Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Entitlement Culture

Right now, one of the Democrat's political footballs is universal health care. This is another idea for growing the government that, to more and more of America, sounds perfectly reasonable. However, I'm going to leave this debate for another day, as this is only a symptom of a lager problem: the Entitlement Culture.

The Entitlement Culture is a disease in this country that has been going strong since FDR. The idea is that one role of the government is to provide for those who 'can't' take care of themselves. For the sake of brevity, I'll skip the history lesson on this and get right to the rat killing. If you can't pay for health care, the government will. If you can't feed your family, the government will. If you're short on rent, there's a government program for it. if you need something, there is a program. I know. I've used some of these programs over the past few years. From my experience, I've discovered that using these programs destroys your initiative, makes you less of a person. The temptation to rely on the government is overwhelming, especially if you are dealing with other issues in your life. This is why this idea of entitlement has to be eliminated.
To solve this will take a long time. It will also require that we begin shrinking the government for the first time in history. We don't necessarily need to return to the size of government we had in the beginning. However, we need to reign in the idea that government can solve problems. Whenever government solves a problem, it does so by creating two problems and taking more tax money to do so.

To cure the disease, we need to take a hard look at any government program that gives money to people. This includes subsidies, payouts, benefits, incentives, and anything that involves a transfer of funds to someone without a direct return. Anything in this category either should be cut drastically or eliminated completely. This would allow anything that needs funding a while longer (like the cancer of Social Security) to be funded until it can be cut out and thrown away like a swollen tumor. The burden for social programs needs to shift to the charitable and faith organizations in the country. With the number of charities and non-profit organizations that can make use of their money more efficiently and the large number of people that do give freely, this is the way to take care of the truly needy.

Then we need to look at how the government collects revenue. The current system, with the monolith that is the IRS, has to be scrapped in favor of a simple tax system. I have yet to have a specific suggestion, but almost any system, provided it is applied equally (and not 'fairly') to all Americans, will be a better system than what we have now.
Finally, we need to focus the government on getting things done rather than wasting time, and therefore money, on every pointless thing it can find to increase it's own power. To shrink the size of government, we need to eliminate the incentive that politicians and bureaucrats have to grow government like their own satanic Chia Pet. This means eliminating government jobs by the assload. And we need an amendment imposing term limits on Congress to match the term limits already applied to the President.

I know there's a lot of gray area to fill in here, but this is just a general guide to fixing our current form of government, the worst one out there except for all others. I'm sure I'll come up with another couple of ideas later.

No comments: