"The government was created to promote the welfare of the people in hard
times. This safety net has kept millions of people from living on the
streets."Kathleen,No, the government was NOT created
to "promote the welfare of the people in hard times."And
Yes, the safety net, used correctly, is a very good thing. We don't want
people living on the streets and going hungry.The challenge is
finding the balance between helping those who truly need the help and taking
away the incentive to be self sufficient.
The government has spent trillions of taxpayer dollars on welfare and the number
of people on welfare dependency has increased during that same time. Recessions
do not create poverty and the government can not solve poverty. The largest
demographic of people living in poverty in America are single mothers and 70% of
babies born in America have no father in the home. What do we learn from that?
Personal responsibility, the law of chastity and self reliance ONLY will solve
poverty, not the government's welfare checks.
According to fair and balanced media, if only we could get rid of all
entitlements, min wage, child labor laws, and the EPA, and built a fence between
us and Mexico and gave more tax cuts to the rich, everything in our country
would be fixed.The problem isn't that the rich are making too
much money, it's that they're making too little. Once 1
percent owns not only 80 percent of the wealth but 90 percent, I'm sure
they'll find it in their good hearts to finally start creating jobs here.
At least, that's what I've been told from fair and
Welfare is compassionate and benefits society... when it is used as an actual
Safety-Net when things go wrong. Not when it is used by families for a
lifetime, as a way of life, generation after generation.When used
appropriately it CAN be a good thing. When abused... it demoralizes the
individual and removes their confidence and becomes a crutch they need the rest
of their life. Problem is... we all know our human nature is that many of us
will tend to abuse programs like this.
I have a friend who, thanks to government assistance, has been able to care for
her four children alone, attend school and get a degree instead of working full
time at McDonald’s for the rest of her life. ====Not to mention that the degree and education is ALSO a benefit of Government
spending.Some people want Government to become so small and
insignificant, that America would become just another Somalia or
I don't agree that our government was created to promote welfare of people
having hard times. It was created to preserve everyone's liberty and
protect and defend all the people ALL the time (not just some people in hard
times). But that includes protecting people from disaster in hard times. But
welfare is not the primary reason government was created (according to the
founding fathers). And welfare isn't government's primary function
as defined in our Constitution. But it is one of government's functions.
MountanmanHayden, IDThe government has spent trillions of taxpayer
dollars on welfare...=======And even more trillions on
wasted wars in the Middle East...I'd rather we spent American
tax dollars on caring for our poor and needy in America, than bombing
dirty villages in a desert.But, you never make a peep or show any
outrage over that.
Something for nothing hurts rather than helps people. Are government was not
created to rob one person and pay another. People get off the streets better
without government help not with it. Churches and individuals help
individuals in need not government. And help them hopefully not need the aid
When we do welfare right, it blesses both giver and receiver. It builds
character and fosters unity. The right way to do welfare is to become
self-reliant and then to help others to become self-reliant.When we
do welfare wrong, we foster dependency and weakness and division.I
wish I could say the U.S. government was doing it right. I would love to be able
to say that.
When people fail to understand the simple words of the Constitution, how can you
expect them to honor it? In the preamble, it states: "We the People of the
United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure
domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general
Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do
ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."In Article 1, Section 8, those "general welfare duties" are
enumerated (listed) so that the people know exactly what they have allowed the
federal level of government to tax them for. All other duties are to be left to
the States or to the people (10th Amendment).It's simple.
It's plain. It's on world-view for all to see. Ignorance of the
words is no excuse. Anyone who has a computer can Google "Constitution"
and read it for themselves. Failing that, a trip to a library or to any school
would solve the problem.We must look to ourselves for our personal
welfare. The Government's duty is to protect us from enemies, both foreign
and domestic, not to nanny us.
@ Open minded. That's because you forgot(or prefer to ignore) there are
evil people and tyrants in the world who want to kill you and others just
because they don't like you. Did you forget about 9-11? How about Libya and
more recently Syria? What about Hitler, forgot about him too? Where is our
outrage about 70% of babies born with no father in the home? Why not any show of
outrage that poverty and dependency are only increased by government's
welfare? Is dependency and generational poverty compassion to you? By the way,
we have spent more money on welfare in America by far than all the wars put
I just wish those who are so dead set against government welfare would be
consistent and decry government welfare for corporations and rich people, in the
form of subsidies, tax breaks, and other benefits, the cost of which far exceeds
the welfare given to poor people. Why can't they practice self-reliance
just like the little people?
@ Curmudgeon. Tax breaks, subsidies and other benefits you refer to, does that
include all the teacher's and public sector unions, Solyndra and all other
failing green energy corporations, government employees and "rich"
Democrats as well?
You left out all the government welfare for big oil, corporations, banks and
zillionaires like our recent presidential candidate who can legally hide much of
their fortune in offshore banks and other schemes to avoid paying taxes.
Open Minded Mormon,You love the amount we spend on Welfare... but denounce
any money being spent on defense.Would you be happy getting your
welfare check each month... but having attacks like 9/11 in your city each month
because we don't defend ourselves??? I wouldn't!I think
it's obvious that we NEED to continue funding defense. I think the
Constitution clearly indicates that Defense of our liberty (at home and abroad)
is the government's prime responsibility. Giving us paychecks each month
is NOT the government's primary responsibility. And yet... our government
spends more on sending us checks each month than it spends on Defense. The 2013
budget pie chart I'm looking at indicates 58% of the budget is for social
programs, 18% for military, 7% interest on debt, and nothing else is above 4%.
I think that's out of wack. 58% in welfare benefits and only 18% for
defense? And you think we need to spend MORE on welfare and LESS on
defense?I hope reality is seeping in...
I'm deeply opposed to government welfare for individuals.But
corporate welfare is totally moral and ethical. GE and Exxon should continue to
profit billions and never pay taxes.While we're at it let's cut
the minimum wage so corporations and investors can keep making massive profits.
Old man. If you knew anything about offshore bank accounts, which I have
personally have owned, you would know that all foreign income is fully taxable
in the US. Wise up!
Mike Richards, the definitions of words are often points of disagreement. I
don't know what you see in the words "provide for the general
welfare" (Art.1.8), but I see among other things prevention of epidemics,
public education, and help for the desperate -- without these provisions, our
community would soon become unsustainable, not to mention immoral.
@JoeBlow[No, the government was NOT created to "promote the welfare of
the people in hard times."]...provide for the common defense,
promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty... - US
Well I guess if religions were doing their part to feed and cloth the poor and
ill we wouldn't need Government welfare... but they aren't. Mntman said: "Recessions do not create poverty" So in the
conservative world recessions create opportunity and wealth?My
mistake was thinking of the average American. Now I get it, recessions are a
great thing for the wealthy in America because then they can take advantage of
being the only folks with money to buy up more of the average America's
property and businesses for pennies on the dollar increasing their wealth,
ownership and control of the government, the conservative dream.Mntman said: "you would know that all foreign income is fully taxable in
the US. Wise up!"True, when you claim it, or bring it into the US,
otherwise what's the point of offshore accounts other than hiding or
@Mountanman"Where is our outrage about 70% of babies born with no
father in the home?"Would you rather they be aborted? If you
really cared you'd support expanded access to contraception in order to
prevent those pregnancies from happening in the first place.
What we have here is ultracrepidarianism , selective Constitutional
chastisement, and made up pie charts. All which could be avoided if you paid
employees livable wages. There is no greater welfare "queen" then the
corporation and the so-called "job creators" who have reaped 110% of the
benefits of the great recession recovery. You think their are a lot of
panhandlers at intersections now. Wait till you see the SNAP cuts.
The constitutional term "promote the general welfare" has nothing to do
with hand-outs or safety nets. "General welfare" means the well-being
of the country as a whole.Compassion is an individual action and
responsibility. Handing over tax money anonymously is not compassion, it's
a cop-out to avoid compassion. People taking care of their neighbors is
compassion. Government making them dependent on government hand-outs is
tyranny.Welfare is the domain of churches and charities, who can do
it a lot more efficiently and effectively than government ever could.How much do you contribute to churches and charities? That's compassion.
Demosthenes,I agree that charity and teaching charity is the role of
churches (not the government). But government and politics has become religion
for some people. So those roles get mixed for them.IF we saw the
"role of government" as Ezra Taft Benson did (google it)... there would
be no confusion about the role of each (and that they should be separate). But
both would know their limits and their role, and focus. But some
people today are so dead set against God, and have replaced churches with
politics in their own lives... that there are now a lot of gaps for people to
fall into (when people feel no obligation to care for their needs and just
expect them to go to the government if they have problems). But that approach
doesn't always work. WE need to be taking care of the needs
or our neighbors (not the government). IF we did... we would ALL be better
off.But divorcing yourself from having to know about and take care
of your neighbors (because you already paid your taxes so you wouldn't have
to worry about any of that garbage)... doesn't always work well.
Great letter, Kathleen.I do have one minor disagreement, however,
You say: "The government was created to promote the welfare of the people in
hard times." When the Constitution's preamble mentions "to promote
the general welfare," I believe it is not speaking only of during "hard
times" but at all times.One of the great government assistance
measures during my childhood was the GI Bill, which enabled millions of soldiers
returning from World War II to receive a college education.Some
people talk as though government were some amorphous entity, when in fact
government is us, i.e., "of the people, by the people and for the
people." What we the people need to do is elect people who will make it work
rather than try to sabotage it. (Defeating all tea party candidates would be a
Mntnmn:Your ability to find cause-and-effect relationships where
there are none is admirable. The real reason there are so many people at least
partially dependent on government programs is because the corporate economy we
have permitted to evolve treats the largest part of the population as either (1)
a cost to be minimized or (2) mere consumers, whose responsibility it is to
purchase all the stuff the corporations produce overseas (or here increasingly
with machines rather than human labor). This system, by definition, constantly
reduces the portion of the sales price that goes into the pocket of the
worker/consumer. Only a blind person could fail to see the end of this road.
When 90 percent of the wealth ends up in the pockets of the top 5 percent, who
will buy all the products the top 5 percent need to sell in order to stay in
their mansions and yachts?The greatest problem we are facing is the
growing inequality that will eventually destroy the economy. So what do we do in
Utah? We elect politicians who support policies that increase the inequality.
Welfare represents the chains of slavery. Before the total takeover is complete,
The Government will cut off all welfare just like they are doing with the food
stamps tomorrow, so that the people who are dependant on those things, will
LDS Liberal."I'd rather we spent American tax dollars on
caring for our poor and needy in America, than bombing dirty villages in a
desert.But, you never make a peep or show any outrage over
that."I do nothing but show any outrage over that. But since I
don't share your political views, you just close your eyes and pretend it
Re: "'General welfare' means the well-being of the country as a
whole."Having a populace that is healthy, well-educated,
well-fed, and well-housed DOES promote the well-being of the country as a whole.
The more people who prosper, the more the whole country prospers. To let large
numbers of the population go jobless or hungry or homeless because
"it's none of the government's business - the churches and
individuals should take care of them" is to invite, among other ills, crime,
civil unrest, and disorder."To provide employment for the poor,
and support for the indigent, is among the primary, and, at the same time, not
least difficult cares of the public authority. In very populous countries, the
task is particularly arduous. In our favored Country, where employment and food
are much less subject to failures or deficiencies, the interposition of the
public guardianship is required in a far more limited degree. Some degreee of
interposition, nevertheless, is at all times and everywhere called for" -
James Madison, Jan. 8, 1820.Since Madison wrote that, our country
has become very populous, unemployment is high, "the task is particularly
arduous," and government interposition is called for.
To "Lightbearer" you are partially right. Having a healthy educated
population helps the nation as a whole. However, who pays for it? If
individuals pay for their education, food, housing, and health needs then the
nation as a whole can prosper. When the government provides the basic needs it
harms the welfare of the nation.What Madison failed to account for
was the propensity of man to seek out circumstances that allow him to avoid work
yet reap the rewards.Thomas Jefferson said "The laying of taxes
is the power, and the general welfare the purpose for which the power is to be
exercised. They [Congress] are not to lay taxes ad libitum for any purpose they
please; but only to pay the debts or provide for the welfare of the Union. In
like manner, they are not to do anything they please to provide for the general
welfare, but only to lay taxes for that purpose."
@Mountanman;You seem to think that everyone over there was out to
get you. The vast majority of people killed in our wars of choice had nothing
to do with 9-11, Benghazi, or any other terrorist act. They're just
unfortuate enough to live in countries that we're targeting.If
churches would use their donations to help the needy instead of building
mega-palacial worship houses, then the poor would be taken care of. Instead,
government has to do it because religion has gotten to money-oriented.
Do you want to hear something really ironic?I'm a Liberal. Many
of you are not.I'm a veteran. Many pro-war commentors are not.I
work for the USAF. Many pro-Defense commentors are not.I do what I
do because I sworn an oath to defend the Constitution and our freedom.So,
What is that - really?It is - Speech, Press, Religion, Assemble,
Privacy, ect.The ironic reality is, I feel more threatened of
losing those REAL freedoms by the radical right who seems to be trying to take
those freedoms away. I do not fear or feel threatened in the very
least from all the dirty villages, 12,000 miles away, from a people who must
walk because they have no cars and in reality are more concerned and
interested in finding food and water than planning some sneak attack over here
and take away our freedom or kill us.How's that for reality?Happy Halloween to all the paranoid, tin foiled hat, Boogieman under the
bed, conspiracy uber-cons!
LDS Liberal: that was fantastic! Couldn't have said it better myself. The
far right is far more dangerous than some villager in Pakistan.
"Welfare... benefits society in many ways."It also degrades people
in many ways... such as, it makes them lazy. Why work when you can spend up to
2 years on government unemployment benefits... which may well exceed wages?The Constitution says provide for the 'general welfare.' Not
'specific welfare' ... such as Medicare, Medicaid, Obamacare,
unemployment benefits, etc. Federal taxation authorized by the US Constitution
is to pay bills incurred by the federal government... not for handouts.So, what would be some 'general welfare' stuff? Assure safe
food/medical drugs (FDA). Assure integrity of securities and trading (SEC).
Assure a safe environment (EPA).@Happy Valley Heretic:"Mntman said: 'you would know that all foreign income is fully
taxable in the US.' True, when you claim it, or bring it into the
US..."Any and all income regardless of the source, is includable
in the federal income tax return. Of course, foreign taxes paid on foreign
income is deductible on the federal return. As to foreign corporations... US
citizens are required to include dividends received om their tax returns.
It's not a matter of 'bringing it into the US.'
This article and the ensuing posts highlight for me one of the differences I
find between myself and the right. It's a difference I'm very proud
of. The right seems to believe " It also degrades people in many
ways... such as, it makes them lazy. Why work when you can spend up to 2 years
on government unemployment benefits.." I'm generally the
glass is half empty person, but my experience in life tells me this right wing
meme is absolutely wrong. People want and need to work. If this weren't
true pretty much all low wage jobs would be filled by teenagers. The facts also bear out that people want and need to work. Over half of SNAP
recipients work or live in households with work income. A quarter of SNAP
recipients are seniors and others are disabled. It leaves a small percentage
for those looking for work and slugs. Righties, your meme that if
someone is given help by the government they will become lazy is just wrong.
There are things to fix and improve on with safety nets but your premise is
wrzPhoenix, AZ"Welfare... benefits society in many ways."It also degrades people in many ways... such as, it makes them lazy. Why work
when you can spend up to 2 years on government unemployment benefits... which
may well exceed wages?======== Which begs this question
then -- Should Government be responsible [via taxes on the middle
class] to provide the means to keep people from starving to death and
destabilizing society via riots and anarchy, orshould Business who
exploits the masses - and pays them dirt wages [who also wouldn't even pay
them MINIMUM wages if it wasn't for the LAW of the mean old nasty
Gv'mnt] for their productivity that makes the wealthy while making record
level profits and with-holding $14 Trillion in used, unspent, and uncirculating
capital from our economy?I'm ticked, but I blame Capitalism -
not the Government.If nothing else, I blame the Government for not doing
MORE to stop this disparity.
@pragmatistferlife:"... your meme that if someone is given help by the
government they will become lazy is just wrong."Apparently you
didn't see the guy highlighted on several TV programs (including
O'Reilly's Factor) with his SNAP card spending his days at the beach
and/or partying with his friends. His comment: 'Why not, it's free
money.' And happy that he only had to get his card renewed once a year.And what about the females who have additional kids (out of wedlock) in
order to up their government handouts?@LDS Liberal:"Should
Government be responsible [via taxes on the middle class] to provide the means
to keep people from starving to death and destabilizing society via riots and
anarchy..."The government can and should provide help... in
exchange for something of value such as cleaning trash off highways or something
like the old WPA and/or CCC."I'm ticked, but I blame
Capitalism - not the Government."Then you need to move to a
socialist country (if you can still find one)."If nothing else,
I blame the Government for not doing MORE to stop this disparity."It's not the government's job.