Written on Wednesday, March 6, 2013 by David L. Goetsch
With Barack Obama’s second term as president underway, liberals in America are realizing the accomplishment of a long-term strategy: using the federal treasury to create an entitlement mentality and, in turn, loyal voters. Big-government liberals like to justify their misguided policies on the basis of equality, fairness, and social justice. They like to claim that government is more fair and just than the free market, although they are unable to provide any evidence to support their claim. However, their real though unstated justification is that getting voters hooked on government entitlements is the most dependable way to get elected or re-elected in America. After all, entitlement addicts are just like drug addicts—they are loyal to their suppliers.
For the sake of argument, assume that big-government advocates are really committed to bringing about equality, fairness, and social justice through government-coerced social engineering. Would this misguided commitment on their part make taking from one person and giving to another irrespective of merit any less objectionable? Hardly. Equality that is based on taking from productive citizens and giving to the less productive is not equality at all. It is legalized theft, and the thief is the government. Legalizing theft on the basis of equality, fairness, and social justice is wrong morally and economically.
Government-coerced equality, fairness, and social justice are lies because providing them: 1) is not a legitimate role of government, 2) is not an enumerated power in the Constitution, 3) does not work, 4) allows politicians and government bureaucrats to determine what is equitable, fair, and just, 5) encourages an unhealthy dependence on government, and 6) devastates the economic well being of society. The truth that liberals will not admit is that big government is inherently unequal, unfair, and unjust. By undermining the economic freedom of its most productive citizens, big government also undermines the personal freedom of all Americans. Make no mistake about it, economic freedom is vanishing in America. In the 2013 edition of the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, The United States has slipped all the way down the list to 10th in the world because of big government, taxation, and out-of-control regulations. By the way, the downward spiral started in 2009 shortly after Barack Obama took office.
Without personal freedom there can be no equality, fairness, or justice. Consequently, by seeking to artificially establish these things through coercion, government is exceeding its Constitutional authority on one hand while ignoring a Constitutional mandate on the other. That mandate is to protect the freedom of all American citizens. Legalized theft protects the freedom of neither its victims nor its supposed beneficiaries, a point Republicans must make in future campaigns and make convincingly.
It is absurd to believe that it is somehow equitable, fair, and just to take from a productive person and give to a less productive or unproductive person, to claim that one is helping the poor by hurting the rich, or to state that one is assisting the unemployed by undermining the competitiveness of employers who create jobs. Where are the equality, fairness, and social justice in these practices? How is it fair and just when a person who prospers by working long, hard, and smart has his assets forcibly taken by government and given to an able-bodied person who would rather milk the system than work?
Does all of this mean there should be no taxes? No. Government exists to carry out specific responsibilities as enumerated primarily in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. These enumerated responsibilities are funded through taxation. The issue is one of maintaining a proper balance, and big-government programs provided in the name of equality, fairness, and social justice coupled with America’s growing entitlement mentality have tipped the scales in the wrong direction. As a result, the federal government has grown so far beyond Constitutional intent that if the founders could somehow return for a day they would not recognize their creation. In fact, they would probably think they had created a monster.
The challenge for Republicans is to convince entitlement addicts that like all addictions there’s will eventually lead to self-destruction. But anyone who has tried to help another person kick an addiction knows how hard this challenge for Republicans will be. One of the first things that must be done is to transform public education. This is where 95 percent of the young people in America learn that addiction to government entitlements is a good thing. This is where America’s children are indoctrinated in liberal orthodoxy in ways that make them gullible and susceptible. Consequently, this is where the battle to reclaim not just the White House but America must start.