E-Newsletter No. 19
If not us, who?______If not now, when?
In last month’s newsletter we asked whether the “inalienable right to life” means the federal government is obligated to provide healthcare to the country’s citizens. Our Editorial Board continues to believe that the answer to this question is “No” – and the management of the country’s healthcare system is not an appropriate role of the federal government. Unfortunately, the size and scope of the Entitlement State continues to grow. And unfortunately, the Supreme Court has ruled that the country’s taxpayers must provide subsidies so that all citizens (including those who qualify for subsidies) can fulfill their “individual mandate” requirement under Obamacare.
But aren’t healthcare and welfare benefits an obligation of the federal government (as mentioned in the introduction to the US Constitution – – We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, … to promote the general welfare…) ?? Our Editorial Board believes that the answer to the welfare question is also “No”. The “general welfare” clause means the federal government has a general obligation to the country as a whole. It does not have an obligation to provide for the daily needs of each individual citizen, which is a personal responsibility.
So, what role should the federal government play in regards to welfare benefits? Our Editorial Board’s position is “basically none”. The federal government’s primary role is to protect the country as a whole, and effectively manage the relationships between our country and other countries in the world. It should have an outward (rather than inward) focus. Social services for individual citizens are much more effectively delivered at the local level, rather than by a government bureaucracy. We feel that welfare assistance is more effectively provided by Not For Profit charitable organizations, which are vastly superior to the federal government (or a state government) in the delivery of social services to people who need assistance.
As the federal government’s size and scope has grown over the years, one of the unfortunate side effects has been a reduction in the citizens’ financial support to these key civic / charitable organizations. This has happened because people have been led to believe that “the government” was going to solve the problem(s). However, the federal government’s War on Poverty, which began in the 1960s, has not achieved any measurable positive results. In fact, once the War on Poverty began, the percentage of people living in poverty stopped declining. The federal government’s welfare system has failed the poor.
The government has already spent roughly $22 trillion dollars on the War on Poverty since the 1960s (which exceeds the amount the government has spent on all military wars combined since the beginning of our nation’s history). President Obama’s proposed budget continues to advocate for this broken system, and recommends that the government spend another $13 trillion on means-tested welfare programs during the next ten years. We believe the federal government is the wrong entity to try to eliminate poverty. Social services delivered by Not For Profit charitable organizations prove to be much more effective in helping the poor become self-sufficient.
Our Editorial Board believes that in order to re-establish a self-reliant society, the federal government’s policies should be geared towards supporting the family unit and promoting personal responsibility. We believe the federal income tax code should be revised to help achieve appropriate levels of financial support to qualified Not For Profit charitable organizations (rather than have the funds diverted to another government welfare program).
US Debt Clock – – June 1st – $56,860 per citizen / July 1st – $56,943