Government has become the bulwark of the lost, the disabled and the aged because churches and charities do not have the resources or the volunteers to fulfill the need.Spend some time as a volunteer ,and you will see what I mean.
I would posit that the soul of the nation is being destroyed by a rapacious business elite that reduces every value to dollars and cents and by an indifferent citizenry that cannot be bothered to look past their bright and shiny things.
Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and render unto God the things that are God's.Jesus would be regarded as socialist by the contemporary GOP.
I see your point. However, if we are to live in a free society, than we must be allowed to give or not give our money to help the truly needy amoung us. God gave us free will to make our own choices' in life. He will judge us on those choices. He won't ask us how much we were forced to pay to Caesar in taxes to help the poor. He will ask what we did of our own free will to help the poor. Our life is on trail in heaven and God will be our judge. Finally, is it a good thing for people to be on welfare? What is this Socialistic government doing to move these people from welfare to productive working citizens?
A good post; this should be interesting.
One observation so far to theflyonthewall...
If the Republican would regard Jesus as a Socialist (and they might), then the Democrats might just as well regard him as the embodiment of a welfare state. They might come to him DAILY for 5 loaves and 2 fishes, ready to sue him for 15 different things if he could not/would not produce.
Interesting points.But consider this: the goal of every Christian is to be Christ-like so if Democrats find Christ the embodiment of the welfare state are they then being Christ-like?
If Democrats and Republicans could agree on anything, perhaps this dynamic country could perform a miracle of the loaves and fishes.A rising tide lifts all boats as they say.What is needed is real economic and political reform to allow the free market( which Conservatives dialate upon at great length) to flourish.What we have now is a closed system ,with the big boys making all of the rules.Don't get me started on tort reform.
"When government requires higher taxes to support it's social welfare programs"? Ironside , which government are you talking about? Defense spending is 58% of discretionary spending in the Federal budget. Income security, health and education take up only 17%.
Are you saying we should eliminate Medicaid and allow poor people to suffer and die young? Cut back Medicaire so those old folks will go ahead and shuffle off this mortal coil, leaving more room and resources for the young?
Churches, NGOs and others, work diligently to provide for the needy, but - as fly pointed out - their resources are limited. And even if they were not, organized religion has a very spotty history of providing for the needy.
The preamble to the Constitution says, in part,"...promote the general Welfare..." So, I guess it goes to your understanding of what the general welfare should consist of. I personally like to think of my tax dollars as helping those less fortunate - just as my church contributions do.
There was a time in this great country when people ran to the church first for help. Now they want to bug their politician first.
The church is run by the people of the community. If they seriously wanted to help others in the community, they would make it possible to help them.
However, it seems like they would rather spend the money on church building improvement projects that are a waste of money and a disgrace to the idea of religion. Bigger and better are not king in the eyes of religion. Simplicity is the king because it shows a sense of modesty and selflessness - two states of mind that are next to godliness.
The Marxist people that are trying to run this country are ruining it.
Ask yourself this - what good has the government done for you? what good has the church done for you? I'll bet the list of answers is longer for the second question than the first.
Bryant, think about how much more good you could do for those in Bulloch County if you were paying 50% less in income taxes. You could support your church that much more. Defense spending is up because we are fighting a war. It is a legitimate expenditure, see Article I, of the U.S. Constitution which establishes what the Federal Government's responsibilty is. Artical I says nothing about social welfare programs are the responsibilty of the Federal Government. The phrase "Promote the general welfare" refers to the role of the Federal Government to settle disputes between the States to promote the general welfare, not social welfare programs. Finally, there are few amoung us who were alive before FDR and the raise of the Socialist State that we have today. We only know the Socialist State. That is why we can be made to fear changing it by the very politicians that buy the votes with welfare programs to keep the Socialist State going. I vote for Freedom for all Americans through less government.
Ironside, my effective Federal tax rate is 7%. I have deductions for home mortgage interest, charitable contributions and on and on. Mitt Romney's effective tax rate on $ 42 million was around 14%.
So just where are you going to cut your 50%? And what programs are you going to eliminate? Where is your "less government" coming from? What are you willing to give up?
Defense spending should be way down because of the "peace dividend" from the fall of the Soviet Union - a dividend promised but never delivered. Why? Because defense contractors are located in virtually every state and no Senator or Representative wants his or her ox to be gored.
Congress can't even agree to reduce nuclear stockpiles despite their decreasing necessity. We still have adequate warheads and delivery systems to reduce the world to rubble after the proposed reductions. The threats to our country no longer are predominated by ICBMs. And, would we ever use nukes against a non-state threat? Probably not. So why aren't we reducing expenses where we can.
I would start with all the Federal Departments that are not in Artical I of the Constitution and therefore never were authorized. Lets see, Departments of Education, Energy, EPA, Housing and Urban Development, OSHA,.... need I go on. The problem is that few Americans learned the Constituion in High School and don't know when the politicians are doing things in violation of it. Just like the President issuing excutive orders as if he were our King. He has no such authority in our Constitution. There is only one authorized department in Artical I that is reduced all the time. It is the Department of Defense. It is reduced by hundreds of thousands of military personnel at the end of every war and conflict. It is the only Department that has ever been reduced in my lifetime. I am 64 years old. We don't reduce any other departments because they by votes for the politicians.
Remember that the Constitution was created in the late eighteenth century and that it was created as a flexible document to deal with real world problems. We do need the departments that you would discard so cavalierly ,and I seriously doubt that you would really like to live with the consquences of such action.
Now is the time to have this great debate before the American people with this Presidential Campaign. The Republicans are for smaller government that gives greater freedom to the indiviual vs. the Democrates bigger and bigger government and less freedom for the indiviual. I agree that we can't just kick millions of people off the government giveaway programs without giving them the ability to take care of themselves. So, first we get the government out of the way of our energy industry and allow them to drill, mine coal, find more natural gas, build the KeyStone Pipeline to drive down the cost of energy by 50%. This can be done in a short 6 months to a year, and would create an economic boom. That boom will create a need for millions of workers not employed now, including those that we can move for government welfare to private sector jobs. They now pay taxes instead of consume taxes.
Continuing down the Democrat road only leads to bankruptcy because the government will run out of other people's money to tax.
Ironside, I hate to puncture your balloon on energy prices, but the Keystone pipeline would have virtually no impact on domestic energy prices. Do your due diligences and you'll see most of the petroleum destined for the Gulf ports through the Keystone pipeline would be slated for overseas export. All the US would do would be to refine it.
Refineries in the US are not operating at full capacity now. No new refinery capacity has been created in the US in years - and that is not the result of government regulations. Productive wells are being taken off-line (Deepwater Horizon as a poor example)by US oil companies as we speak. To say drill more reflects a tenuous grasp of the actual state of petroleum production in the US. Oil companies are not using the full capacity of existing wells.
Millions of jobs? Not according to studies conducted for the companies backing the Keystone pipeline. And the issue with natural gas is not finding more, it's enabling effective distribution and use of the massive reserves we have; e.g. Creating fueling stations for natural gas vehicles.
Driving down the cost of energy by 50% in 6 months to a year is absurd.
Now, say we did shoot for a major cost decrease in coal mining. Since the 1970s a ton of coal per worker hour has increased several times over, while the number of jobs for coal miners has dropped to about 1/3rd of 1970 levels. This is due to research and investment in capital intensive equipment such as that used in mountain-top removal mining that requires less workers to do the same amount of work. That is the only way costs will continue to fall: more investment in capital-intensive, job-killing extraction techniques.
Say we do drill all the oil we have now. First, it would take at least 6 months for an oil company to adequately survey and analyze any place so they could figure out the best spot to plop down a well. Second, it would take at least another 6 months to build a well and get the financial investment in order, even if we were to let them spew oil everywhere, drill a sloppy well that might break in a few years, and pollute nearby drinking water as much as they wanted to. Opening everything up would mean more processing time and would mean less reserves in the future if we ever where crunched by an oil shock. An oil shock can come anytime, by the way, because OPEC produces a majority of the world's crude (60%), and there is no way that we could possibly produce enough to change that equation. Anything that is produced domestically will be sold on a world market that responds to global supply and demand, leaving us powerless to change gas prices.
Finally, say we do open everything possible up for extraction now. Companies operate to maximize profit and so choose an optimal extraction path over a specific time horizon, generally based upon the total amount of a resource. They then extract that resource in a way that maximizes profit, often in accordance with the Hotelling Rule.
Of course there are costs to production such as pollution that causes poor health effects. In Appalachia the total cost for health problems and premature deaths far exceeds the total economic value of the coal that is mined, but nobody actually cares about this because they are just poor mountain bumpkins anyway with no power to make companies pay for the true cost of doing business.
As anyone who's cracked open a tome written by the founding fathers of libertarianism knows, promoting the general welfare by protecting the commons from costly pollution is one of the necessary functions of any limited government. Not saying we couldn't handle that duty in a smarter way than the EPA, but I am saying that the duty ought to be fulfilled by limited government.
What is it about liberals that they have no solutions and stand in the way of those Americans that do.