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It is fair to say that our nation is divided amongst political viewpoints that resemble a chasm of thought, beliefs, deeds and actions that seem insurmountable while we struggle with an economic calamity unseen since the Great Depression. This transient economic situation has been not only our problem but the worlds as well. Our recession has circled the globe with the piper finally coming due for all the years of ignoring the reality of unbridled expenditures. The dearth of spending by our nation and the socialist nations of Europe is causing the world’s economies to crash under the weight of obligations to their own citizens.
We have always been a nation that has prided ourselves on our work ethic, that is until the “New Deal” came about with Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the 1930’s, the refrain from many during this time was “Mr. Roosevelt gonna save us all.”
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It was then that America began to change; it was hard at first, as many just wanted a job, not a handout, and their abject rejection of “charity” was central to the average citizen at that time. Slowly, as the Depression wore on and heavily on our citizens, they were forced to change their perspectives as utter desperation was staring them in the face day-after-day. And hunger is a merciless master. It was also a time of great changes happening in the world, and many citizens were seeing the rise of Fascism and Communism being played out in Europe as they dealt with their economic collapse as well. This caused many of us to question whether these new “collectivist” schemes were viable. After all, there was a great divide between the rich and poor in those days, much more than we have today.
However, everyone forgot the heyday of the roaring twenties as the economy boomed and you could make a fortune on the stock market almost overnight. Practically everyone had money in the market: secretaries, schoolteachers, laborers, homemakers. Times were good.
As we move forward to today, we have a situation that is similar, if not the exact same conditions that we faced then. And it is being handled in exactly the same way now as then. The only difference we have is that the attitude of our citizens has changed. This is because the name of these same types of programs that Roosevelt championed have been repackaged and called “entitlements” instead of relief or assistance programs so the stigma of charity has been removed and charity has become institutionalized by the federal government.
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Citizens now feel entitled to these benefits, and many have certainly paid their “dues” through the years with ever larger taxes to pay for all of this spending, though most would rather have a job and the quiet dignity that earning an honest living brings.
How many supporters of President Obama have taken the time to consider the consequences to the increasing costs associated with ever-increasing programs that have been forced upon the American taxpayer? In addition, even if these are the right things to do, why aren’t these expenses planned for and budgeted? Much less any consideration and appreciation to the people that actually pay for these benefits, which is that pitifully small group of citizens known as taxpayers. Instead, they are being vilified as selfish, and told that they certainly should be doing more? Our president, instead of asking all of our citizens to pull together and help one another, declares that these taxpayers are being greedy and demands that these citizens pay their “fair share.” Do you support this?
All Americans should understand that sacrifice is needed to solve the slump we are in. However, when the budgetary process is nonexistent and the Senate (through the leadership of Harry Reid) will not even bring a budget to vote on the floor of the Senate, clearly, this is not dutiful care of our collective treasure and destiny!
This has resulted in the largest deficits and debt since WWII when measured against the GDP and this type of spending will continue as it now sustenance expenditures to our citizens. It is being paid for by an ever-decreasing portion of the nation’s citizens, day-after-day and year-after-year. Do you understand at some point the system will collapse under its own weight? What will be the consequence of this, with almost half of our citizens receiving “entitlements” without any collection of federal income taxes from them to pay for it all, as more collect benefits while less pay for it, all in a downward spiral?
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Do you support the expansion of endless legislation (that has thousands of pages) that create an ever-larger government and agencies upon agencies demanding more tax dollars and placing restrictions on commerce that will only cause the industrious to say, enough and just retire and remove opportunity, jobs and income from our economy? If you agree with all of this, just remember that the Constitution was only four pages, and it created all of the wonders that this nation has been (and I do mean “has been”). The rhetoric out of Washington these days is to pit neighbor against neighbor, and make cruel demands that only some be given all while many give none.
The collapse of the Soviet Union came about by the failure of their economic system, where the government had central planning and steered the economic fortunes of its citizens. They never had anywhere near the veritable life of luxury we have enjoyed. It collapsed for one reason and one reason only: it defied an immutable law of economics in that it took away the incentive for the citizen to get ahead and become more than we are at any one time, simply put, to climb the ladder of success. It happened in thousands of places in their nation at the same time since, their system created two economies: one was sanctioned, and the other sprang up of its own volition and required brutal force to suppress. It was the manager who operated the butcher shop, shoe store, the neighborhood gas station, and the clothing store that made the choice to sell the pitifully small amount of goods they produced and had to sell out of the back door and around the corner in the alley and pocket the money themselves. Of course, this was illegal, however their economic system was at odds with human nature, so it was doomed to die a slow death by apathy, and a life filled with drudgery was all a citizen had to look forward to. Is it any wonder Vodka was cheap and plentiful as their citizens numbed their dull and perfunctory existence with alcohol as a brief respite from reality. Ironically it was only one of a few goods that did not thrive on the black market, as the state controlled stores practically gave it away.
This is where all these programs, ideas and beliefs end up in the dust bin of history. While you may support these redistributive measures, can we really afford to have half of our citizens paying taxes with the others not? How is such a system fair? If you really believe this is best for our nation, then it is your responsibility to make sure that at least the people that pay the freight get a fair deal, demand accountability out of Washington, and demand that the vilification of these good citizens stop. After all, you support these ideas and programs, please treat those who finance them with the respect they deserve. They are not your ATM, cash cow, or enemy. They are simply citizens complying with a cruel system that requires much from them, while all too many reap the rewards without enduring the same sacrifice.
Please also understand that many are living in their condition of poverty by choice, and can with some hard work and sacrifice on their part to become more than they currently are. The truly disabled are another matter entirely, so bringing them up is only deflection and will not aid this discussion. When these citizens receive entitlements because they are uneducated and unskilled, this is their fault and not society’s. Education is available to every child free of charge. The property owners in your community pay taxes for this benefit so that we can all prosper if we choose to. So personal responsibility needs to be demanded from these citizens. The excuse of being disadvantaged when it is a self-made condition should be ignored after two, three, and four generations have passed. It is simply an excuse, not a reason. Continuing to allow them to stay in poverty by government largesse is only enabling the condition by a political party that advocates dependence. Why you accept this situation is anybody’s guess. Maybe you need to look at your own values as well.
If we do not take action to bring some sanity to these programs and paradigms, many shopkeepers and businesses will simply vanish, and the means to support this nation will collapse into chaos and misery, the same as the Soviet Union. It is your duty to make them listen. Speak up and be heard before it is to late.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website.