Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Create a right to a fish and a government program and who the fuck would waste time fishing? - The Magnamninous and Pissed Patrick M (and yes, I misspelled magnanimous)Yes, my ego lets me go off and start quoting the greatness of me. Also, it makes it easy for other bloggers to cut and paste.
But the point is the same whether I'm addressing Obamacare, "stimulus" plans, corporate bailouts, welfare, or even Social Insecurity. And that point is that even if there are good intentions, and initial good results in a government program, the reason I (and many others) argue for limited government is simple: Social programs, by the way they ignore human nature, are ultimately unsustainable.
The first, and worst example is the travesty of Social Insecurity. Created by FDR, it was designed to force savings for retirement. But instead of a mandate that created a retirement account, it was a program that collected money to the government, which then paid out to other people, even if their pay-in wasn't there. The problem is that for a system like this to work, you have to 1. have some money in the program to pay benefits until the program can pay for itself, 2. you have to actually save and invest the money to grow it (rather than absorb it into the government budget and just make it a paper total), and 3. have enough people paying in to support those on benefits (and the baby boomers kind of killed that by not shooting out enough babies before getting old). Now we face a system that is rapidly approaching collapse.
We see a similar issue in Medicare, where payouts are being cut to try to reign in the exorbitant price tag. And yet, we're looking at a system that will result in everyone on the government plan. And while that might mean more people covered now, at some point, the deficit will catch up and require cuts. And cuts in payments means less motivation for those that provide health care, which means either less hours, or fewer providers. So between increased demand on the system (I'll get to that next), fewer providers, and continually escalating costs (because people will find ways), the system cannot sustain itself. The fact that Canada and Australia are beginning to pull away from their completely government system is an example.
Now I mentioned the increased demand in the last paragraph. This doesn't apply to just health care, but to any program that involves someone getting a check or benefit for the government. This is because of what is best seen in the example of the spoiled child: a little bastard that is given things rather than having to work for them. The spoiled child, in simply getting thing, does not see as much value in them. His parents, meanwhile, see a continually escalating bill. And at some point (hopefully), they will say no. At this point, the child either has to grow up and take responsibility (because nothing is free) or whine and cry until the parents relent and write the check.
Essentially, that's the process Washington is engaged it. Except they're long past writing the check. They're maxing the credit cards, cracking out the third mortgage, depleting the trust and retirement funds, smashing the piggy bank, fishing in the cushions on the couch, and forgetting that the government was never meant to supply everything.
The reason personal responsibility always worked was that in the worst of times, people have to rise to the occasion. Give them a cushion to rest on, and there's no reason for them to get off their ass.