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News ::
Republican-Libertarian despises the Poor, calls them Junkies (english)
15 Jul 2003
Federal "entitlement" like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, may soon be include "universal healthcare" and "tax cuts for the working poor” (translation: "welfare lite"). Yet, considers military spending "discretionary". Go figure...
America’s Addiction
Sean Turner, Subsidiary of J.J. Johnson Enterprises, Inc., July 15, 2003

Last year, the federal government spent billions to deal with them. Millions of Americans are addicted to them in one or more of their various forms. They've broken the will of countless "consumers" for decades. Today, they are far worse than a generation ago, and without any obstacles, their path of destruction will continue to erode the very fabric of America. What am I referring to? If you guessed illegal drugs, then you're absolutely incorrect. The correct answer is: government "entitlements".

Federal "entitlement" programs come in many forms, and are known by a number of names like Social Security, "welfare", food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, child nutrition, agricultural subsidies, etc. Soon, they may be known by a few more names like "universal healthcare", "prescription drug benefits", and "tax cuts for the working poor" (translation: "welfare lite"). Nevertheless, socialism by any other name is still socialism. Its "feel good" policies, utopian promises, and disastrous results mimic the rhetoric of your friendly neighborhood street-corner "pharmacist". Its wealth redistribution mechanisms are replete with subsidies that conceal failure, unearned income that replaces frugality and planning, and policies that discourage self-sufficiency.

Despite a plethora of history showing the rapaciousness of "entitlement" programs, millions refuse to kick the "habit", and continue to beg Congress (read, the "pusherman") for more money to satiate their appetite for dependency. Of course, Congress is unfailingly willing to comply, since supplying these "entitlements" satisfies the demand for dependency, and ensures an uninterrupted career in Washington. To further inculcate the notion that the word "entitlement" is apropos for the socialistic policies it encompasses, the federal government categorizes the spending for these programs as "mandatory". Yet, it considers military spending, an essential function of the federal government, to be "discretionary". Go figure...

Much of the current "welfare" or dependency state in America began in 1913 with the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which gave Congress the power to collect taxes on income, and with the passage of the Social Security Act of 1935 initiated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The government, however, is not entirely to blame for the current trend toward socialism. Very often, if not always, members of Congress simply respond to what they perceive to be (or what actually is) the preponderance of demands from their constituency. If these demands are met, the voters repay the elected official with their votes, thus ensuring an enduring career of spending other people's money.

So how do we cure America of its addiction? Undoubtedly, the majority of our focus must begin with the electorate. Though Congress cannot be neglected totally, focusing primarily on changing the actions of elected officials has proven to be somewhat futile, as evidenced by the growing dependency of Americans on the government. We must begin with the education of the masses. Most are unfamiliar with basic economic principles, the history of various governments around the world, and the effects past and present of public policy. As the electorate increases its comprehension of these subjects, the voting patterns will begin to change. While the "withdrawal" caused by the elimination of the addiction may be too fearful a prospect for some, a citizen is more likely to shed his or her dependency if the consequences are completely understood.

In short, the cure is a matter of economics, as our representative form of government is nothing but a "political economy". Removing the supply will not eliminate the demand for "entitlements". It is the demand that must be removed from the electorate, and the supply will eventually follow.
Sean Turner is a member of the Project 21 Advisory Council of the National Center for Public Policy Research, a regular columnist for,, and a contributor to a number of political websites. Readers can write to him via the feedback form below.
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