Is a welfare state really such a bad thing? Should we rethink our notion of what social welfare is and indulge the desires of millions of Democratic voters to let the Obama economy take care of their needs? If Americans want to depend on federal solicitude for health care, retirement security, rescue from bad mortgages, an income when things go bad, and an economic system that promises to level the playing field, they should get what they want. Democratic America deserves a welfare state with fair, not shared responsibility, including the responsibility for making stupid decisions.
The White House agrees: the Obama economy is grim
The president paints a bleak picture of life in America:
But the fact is we’ve still got millions of people around the country who are struggling. We’ve still got folks who are out of work, folks who have lost their homes or their homes are underwater, young people who still are trying to figure out how they can afford college, or if they’ve gone to college, a [sic]¹
When you are the one who wrecked the economy you better find a scapegoat. Lambasting Paul Ryan at a Chicago fundraiser, the president derided the GOP approach to dealing with the national debt while continuing to promote entitlements and dependence:
Let’s make sure that we still have a strong Medicare and Social Security system, and make sure that the most vulnerable among us are cared for.²
The joke is on us. In the Obama economy everyone is vulnerable. Election polls continue to show that plenty of Americans are buying into the president’s plan for the future. Whether or not this president wins his reelection bid, we should embrace a social welfare system that turns welfare to work into working to pay for welfare.
Obama supporters deserve their social welfare state
Arguing over the merits of welfare to work is a waste of time and dodges the larger issue of why so many Americans need to rely on Washington for support. Requirements for federal handouts will never be stringent enough for conservatives or permissive enough for liberals. Conservatives bemoan social welfare. Liberals view dependence as a right paid for by others.
When Paul Ryan was announced as the Romney VP pick arguments to reform entitlement spending became more contentious than ever. Let’s face it. Entitlement programs are dignified welfare, giveaways we have been duped into funding with promises of security for those who are too old to work and have nothing left but the government. Those late night television ads offering help with Social Security disability benefits tell us a lot about how our federal retirement savings are regarded. Most of us who are still working and contributing to Social Security and Medicare have figured out the scam. By the time we retire Washington’s promises are going to be modified. They are going to be modified a lot.
Instead of arguing over who gets what, Democrats backing the president should have the chance to pay for all the welfare, entitlements, security, and dependence they want by taking responsibility for their welfare state.
Forget welfare to work. America needs I Work to Pay for Welfare.
Is the scheme behind the Obama economy as simple as keeping America frightened and dependent enough for Democrats to maintain power (see: Why a Recovering Economy Could Be Bad for Democrats)? Arguments over controlling debt and deficit are straw men because neither Democrats in Congress nor the president show any indication that they care. The only real issue is who gets stuck with the tab. There are not enough higher earners to support a welfare state in the deteriorating Obama economy. Robbing the rich will only finance more irresponsible spending.
We keep hearing from Obama supporters who claim to be wealthy but have so little vision of what to do with their money that they endorse giving more to the government. Those who favor keeping Barack Obama in office should have the chance to live up to their words and sign up for a federal I Work to Pay for Welfare program giving Americans who want a welfare state their own tax bracket.
Obama’s economic geniuses can decide what a typical Democratic American’s fair share should be, what they need to live on, and how much money they should be allowed to keep. Those participating will probably want to contribute a lot so they can support others while helping to level the playing field. The IRS can add a big check box to its tax forms and the government can calculate how much those participating in I Work to Pay for Welfare owe. At long last we will be able to find out just how many do-gooders are serious about funding dependence, and whether they will cower when they see what funding a welfare state in the Obama economy costs.
The rest of America, those of us not demanding to be enriched by the over-entitled 1%? We can keep on paying what we pay now. We can vote Republican and hope for better times. If not enough Democrats sign up for I Work to Pay for Welfare, we will still have Paul Ryan around to figure out how to fix the problem.