Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Charity is not the role of the Federal government

Wow, just read a great post from CATO, Charity and the Federal Government. It starts off with a great quote from James Madison:

Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.

How far we have strayed from the founding principles of limited government! I also liked this paragraph:
Today, most young Americans grow up in federally subsidized schools offering federally subsidized meals. They are inculcated to view the federal government as a benevolent caregiver that exists to provide Americans with housing, food, health care, and even income (to name just a few). Madison’s unfortunately quaint notion that the federal government isn’t supposed to be engaged in “charitable” activities would probably leave them dumbfounded.
That is outstanding. If you don't think that there is a sizable portion of the Left that is bent on getting as many people possible as dependent as possible on the Federal government, you are naive.Now, having said all of that, I do worry that if we were somehow to magically dismantle the welfare state would those on the political Right step up and give via private charity or just be glad to have more money to spend on stuff? That is a hard question. I like to think so and given how generous many people already are I think you can make a case for it but it is a nagging question nevertheless. Even the most conservative among us seem to have bought into the notion that it is the government's job to care for the poor, we just don't want them doing it with our money.
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