Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Evil Genius of the Welfare State

At least for now, the Romney campaign appears to be sinking. While it's impossible to prove, I feel very strongly that the turning point was Romney's 47% statement, and the fallout from that continues. The NJ Star-Ledger's October 1st editorial is entitled What Moochers? Government Programs Help Nearly All Americans. Here are some excerpts:

Nearly all Americans have received a direct form of government benefits at some point in their lives, according to a national survey by Cornell University — whether rich or poor, Democrat or Republican.
After pointing out the Romneys' legal exploitation of some tax write-off, the editors say:

   As many as 96 percent of Americans have relied on the federal government to assist them, it found, and most of the remaining 4 percent are simply too young to be eligible for these policies.
   We’re not talking about government spending that benefits everyone, such as national defense or the interstate highway system. This only includes direct benefits, everything from Social Security or unemployment insurance to home mortgage-interest deductions — which are just as much government help as food stamps, home heating aid or college grants.

The editors conclude, "So when Romney wrote off 47 percent of the country, he got his numbers wrong. And he overlooked one pretty jazzy, Olympic-quality dressage horse, too," this last referring to the aforementioned tax write-off.

I left the following comments:

First, let's get past this editorial's dishonest obfuscatory terminology. Those government "benefits" or "help" or "assistance"--whatever you want to call it--are no such thing. All of these programs are based on brute force, politely disguised as "legislation" or the "democratic process." They are funded by money taken by force of taxation from private citizens who earned it, and paid out in one form or another to other citizens. The government's role in this process is that of nothing more than a money laundering operation--an operation so huge that it makes the biggest organized crime syndicates look like mere pickpocket rings.

Romney's idiotic (and untrue) 47% statement aside, the fact remains that there are those who receive more from the government money launderers than they pay in taxes. And there are many suckers who pay more in taxes than they "get back" in government checks. That nearly every American will receive some form of government handout only disguises the fact that the welfare state is a huge immoral transfer of wealth from those who earned it to those who didn't.

But then, that's the evil genius of welfare statism: Piece by legislative piece, like termites eating away at a structure, the statists have managed to trap everyone into a position that makes it nearly impossible for anyone to avoid that government check. Then, use that trap to discredit any opposition to welfare statism. But the editors clever attempt to exploit the trap for political purposes only serves to highlight our corrupt tax code and the extent to which the welfare state has intruded on our lives, and the desperate need to begin phasing out both. 

Is it hypocritical to collect on a program whose "benefit" promises were paid for with your own tax money? "Yes" is the answer implied in this editorial. A resounding no is the correct, and moral, answer. I addressed this issue in a previous post on Social Security. The arguments extend to virtually all government programs.

Related Reading:

The Social Security Injustice

Social Security and the "Hypocrisy" Charge

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