Entitlements are immoral

Paying with EBT cardWhy work anymore? Let’s all lay around the house with our families and then head out with our friends for eats and partying on our new welfare debit card.

America has reached a crisis of entitlements, and I smell the stench of decay over the republic. Entitlements corrupt. Free stuff saps initiative. Accepting something of value that is unearned is unethical unless freely given.

But entitlement recipients don’t seem to care. Many of them have no shame and delude themselves into believing it’s some sort of game that they’re good at, like the welfare moms who pop out a new baby annually to multiply their child-care checks.

Government entitlements fall into two categories, one good and the other not good. Entitlements paid for by the recipient, like Social Security, are the good kind. In fact, it’s an insult to call Social Security benefits “entitlements.” Entitlements paid out of other people’s pockets, like welfare, are where the problems lurk.

Why work hard anymore if the fruits of your labor will be confiscated and given to people who haven’t earned them? Entitlements have crossed the line — they are as much evil as helpful.

Entitlements started out sensibly — to help the truly needy get back on their feet. But they morphed into an industry for liberal causes. They became a way to buy votes by giving away “free” stuff. They became a tool for liberals, mostly federal Democrats, to stay in office to perpetuate personal power and liberal programs.

Viewed in that light, entitlements are immoral. They are immoral in another way, too: They cause addiction and dependency. To many, avoiding work has become more pleasurable than the satisfaction of working and earning your keep. Why subject yourself to the annoying chore of getting up in the morning and trudging off to a job when you can live off the money made by others?

Instead of being a productive citizen and holding your head high, you can stroll over to your local welfare office and sign up for an Electronic Benefit Transfer welfare debit card. The card allows you to shop at local “underground” grocery stores, where you can use the plastic money to fill your shopping cart (in most states) with prime steaks, booze and cigarettes. And then the welfare queens can use their card to slip over and get their nails done at the local salon, while the welfare kings head down to use their cards at the casino and tattoo parlor.

Quite the life, dedicating oneself to a culture of dependence that rewards the lazy behavior of those dependent on other people’s money. Worse, this lifestyle scuttles the pursuit of happiness: In all my life, I have never known a dependent personality who was a happy personality.

By elevating the entitlement game to a life science, the liberals have long passed the point of filling needs. They’ve moved to the business of fulfilling “wants.” Even worse, the liberals are not ashamed of their behavior, even though they know satisfying “wants” buys lots more votes. I say erecting barriers to self-esteem to get votes is bargaining with the devil.

In 2012, food welfare giveaways totaled $75 billion, distributed to 51 million Americans. Over half of Americans now receive some form of entitlement, benefit or compensation from government. So the takers are the new majority, and the givers are now in the minority. The fault lies with the liberal political class over the last few decades. These are the same idiots who turned Social Security into a Ponzi scheme and twisted welfare to the needy into political control for themselves. The result is that national solvency is spiraling downhill.

Government should not subsidize stupid personal decisions. The true test for whether we can exit this government-created entitlement epidemic is whether American voters and political contributors have the wisdom to see through the travesty and withhold votes and funding from congressional and presidential candidates who don’t support entitlement and deficit reduction.

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John R. Smith

John R. Smith is chairman of BIZPAC, the Business Political Action Committee of Palm Beach County, and owner of a financial services company.

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