How “the greatest generation” betrayed America 9

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare – all must go. If we were politicians we would propose a soothing program of phasing them out. But we have the luxury of being theoreticians only, airy-fairy philosophical types, who have reached our ivory tower after decades tramping the muddy and perilous highways and byways of the wicked world. So we can simply and bluntly say: it is not the proper business of government to feed, house, heal or educate the people, and the federal government must stop trying to do so or the nation will sink under the burden of debt this administration has laid on it.

The proper business of government is to defend the nation, protect every individual and his property by enforcing the law. It should not encroach on the freedom of the people. It is a thing that all too easily runs wild and ravenous. It must be kept within tight limits. At best it should be no worse than an annoying necessity. Always remember that anything government does, it does badly. So let it do only what it must; what only government can, nothing more.

In support of our view today we cite Walter Williams, who writes at Townhall:

Whether Americans realize it or not, the last decade’s path of congressional spending is unsustainable. Spending must be reined in, but what spending should be cut? The Republican majority in the House of Representatives fear being booted out of office and are understandably timid. Their rule for whom to cut appears to be: Look around to see who are the politically weak handout recipients.

The problem is that those cuts won’t put much of a dent in overall spending. …

More than 200 House members and 50 senators have co-sponsored a balanced budget amendment to our Constitution. A balanced budget amendment is no protection against the growth of government and the loss of our liberties. Estimated federal tax revenue for 2011 is $2.2 trillion and federal spending is $3.8 trillion leaving us with a $1.6 trillion deficit. The budget could be balanced simply by taking more of our earnings, making us greater congressional serfs. True protection requires an amendment limiting congressional spending. …

We need a rule that combines our Constitution with simple morality and plain common sense. I think it immoral for Congress to forcibly take one American’s earnings and give them to another American to whom they do not belong. If a person did the same thing privately, he’d be convicted of theft and jailed. We might ask ourselves whether acts that are clearly immoral and despicable when done privately are any less so when done by Congress. Close to two-thirds of the federal budget, so-called entitlements, represent what thieves do: redistribute income.

Some people might say, “Williams, the programs that you’d cut are vital to the welfare of our nation!” When someone says that, I always ask what did we do before. For example, our nation went from 1787 to 1979 and during that interval produced some of the world’s most highly educated people without a Department of Education. Since the department’s creation, American primary and secondary education has become a joke among industrialized nations.

Who made this happen and when? He points an accusatory finger:

There is a distinct group of Americans who bear a large burden for today’s runaway government. You ask, “Who are they?” It’s the so-called “greatest generation.” When those Americans were born, federal spending as a percentage of GDP was about 3 percent, as it was from 1787 to 1920 except during war. No one denies the sacrifices made and the true greatness of a generation of Americans who suffered through our worse depression, conquered the meanest tyrants during World War II and later managed to produce a level of wealth and prosperity heretofore unknown to mankind.

But this generation of Americans also laid the political foundation for the greatest betrayal of our nation’s core founding principle: limited federal government exercising only constitutionally enumerated powers. It was on their watch that the foundation was laid for today’s massive federal spending that tops 25 percent of GDP.

A good part of that generation is still alive. Before they depart, they might do their share to help us have a federal government exercising only constitutionally enumerated powers.

They might. But not all grow wise as they grow old.

  • Xytan4

    I was born physically disabled and depend on Social Security to survive. Do you know how many disabled people in this nation would suffer or die if Social Security and Medicaid were suddenly cut? What would you do with all the disabled people in this nation, herd them into gas chambers like Hitler did? What about people who are disabled in a work place accident and can’t do their jobs any more, would you shoot them like a lame horse?

    • Jillian Becker

      I would not under any circumstances willingly do you (or anybody) any harm whatsoever. You seem to have more than enough trouble to put up with as it is. I concentrate on seeing to the needs of myself and my dependents. I assume everyone else is doing the same. The sort of mass cruelty you are describing is done where collectivism has triumphed – Nazi Germany, Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China and so on. It is not done in a land of the free.

      But can you give me one good reason why I should support you?

      If the state supports you, as it does, it is with tax-payer’s money. Every tax-payer is contributing to your support. The state takes money from one person and gives it to another whether the earner of the money wishes it or not.

      There are institutions other than the state that could help the small number in the population who truly cannot support themselves and have no individuals in their lives to assume the responsibility. Churches (since they exist the may as well be useful), charities, foundations … They might make a better job of it too.

      To shape an entire economy to fit the needs of a tiny proportion of the population is absurd and extremely expensive. That is what the welfare state does. The result is less prosperity, so those who make money have less to bestow on others if they wish to.

      • George

        You are completely correct Jillian . We still have people who believe they deserve special priviledges and are owed something for past injustices . Sound familiar ? ——————- Keep speaking out and telling it like it is in spite of any opposition !!!!!

      • Xytan4

        You talk very big, but put yourself in my position. You would change your tune very quickly if you had to rely on these “charities” and “foundations”. There are 27 million disabled people living in the USA; “charities” and “foundations” cannot support that many people. These people would die, cutting Social Security and Medicaid would be the same as herding them into death camps. But there’s not only the disabled, there’s the retirees who paid their whole lives into Social Security, are they supposed to be homeless and rely on a local Church to feed them too?

        • Xytan4

          I want to ask you a hypothetical question, if you were to have a car accident tomorrow and were severely disabled to the point you couldn’t work any more, would you depend on a “charity” or a “foundation” to support you for the rest of your life? Think about that for a while.

        • Jillian Becker

          You have not answered my question. I ask you again –

          Can you give me one good reason why I should support you?

        • George

          Actually both you Xytan4 and Jillian Becker have specific valid points if I may comment so this does NOT become an argumentative debate. Yxtan4 , you are indeed correct when you say that if Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid were to be cut off, that the elderly and severely handicapped people would be out on the streets and actually starving to death and NO civilized person wants that. By the same token Jillian is also correct when she says that she and other tax payers are NOT legally responsible or obligated to care for the downtroden and helpless at their expense with their TAX money or Social Security /Medicare money without their consent. Charity is a voluntary thing and should not be forced upon citizens at the barrel of a gun by Big Brother Government who uses government force to take our money and spend it as they (government) beauracrats see fit. From a socially moral perspective Xytan4 you would be correct in your commentary and from a legal perspective and an obligatory perspective Jillian would be correct. I truly understand both points and it is indeed a “thorny” subject. This is just my opinion as I consider that in some way, todays Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid is like an investment for the future or for emergency like a form of government insurance program or emergency government relief-effort program. By the same token there are a mass multitude of people in the USA who are collecting Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid and have NEVER worked or paid into the program and yet are receiving the benefits. I would NEVER want the government today to “cold turkey” overnight shut off the benefits which people now depend on to survive when it was our society and government and even the private sector that told them that they were eligible for such benefits all their life and then to later “snatch” it away without a surefire substitute that works. I personally have looked upon Social Security as a form of government personal investment insurance policy fund ( I may be wrong ) and I’m not certain on this ( just my personal perception ). And yet still the government has made it a mandate by force which presents the opposing credible argument. There have been discussions nationally on this whether we as a nation should have a national voting referendum on this matter and let the citizens at large decide as a whole. I can’t say for sure if this is the proper manor of handling this matter. Either way this subject can touch some raw nerves. Not to change the subject but I really have a problem when big government does things without the overall consent of the people when government is suppose to represent the people by the consent of the people. I also must be totally honest and admit that I have rather mixed views on this and I can’t truly say I have a definitive answer. I believe it’s far past time that this matter be put up for national discussion by the people and for the people.

  • Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! We rightly revere the victors of World War II, and it’s right to remember their spoiling of my generation was out of love. They wanted us to have everything they didn’t. Ironically, they created conditions that made us selfish and narcissistic. As we begin to age and retire, we had finally better grow up and think about our own children and grandchildren.

  • George

    I was raised in the south and went to school in the south (Florida ) back in the 1950’s and also in the 1960’s . That generation for me was in some ways good and in many ways evil. Being a black man , I endured Jim Crow segregation, harrassment by the KKK , and lived often in fear in an era of American apartheid. However , today I must admit when I walk up to my bank ATM late at night it , I’m not watching for al Qaida ; I’m watching for al Crackhead. It’s the crazed domestic terrorists that are wreaking havoc in our great society. Both the Democrats and Republicans are at fault and are actually two sides of the same coin. We must take control and cease the out of control wasteful government spending and entitlement programs and emphasize personal responsibility and less involvement and dpendency on government. Government is NOT the answer, but rather is the problem. Former President George Bush Jr. did NOT close our borders, and was actually going to place our seaport security in the hands of the United Arab Emirates when we are at war with radical Islam. What lunacy ! We have over 30,000 American troops on the border of South Korea when the South Koreans should be guarding their own border and we could use those troops on our borders. Both the Democrats and Republicans are at fault. The “Republicrats” or “Democans” have hoodwinked Americans. My generation and my father’s generation and my grand-father’s generation kicked butt during the threat against America during wartime and even the Great Depression and survived but government corruption and bigotry and ignorance prevailed. We currently are experiencing the aftermath of such political chaos. We still have the gretest infrastructure in the world , but unless we as a society as a whole make a drastic turnaround in the way we conduct political and social business we could very well lose this great nation of ours. Many great civilizations before us said it couldn’t happen–and look what happened to them. Duuuuuuhhhhh !!!! There were many faults that took place during what was called the “greatest generation ” but I must admit we have transcended from the “Greatest Generation” to the “Garbage Generation”. I really love this website because the posters are always civil and intelligent in spite of different viewpoints.