Why do we deserve government handouts when life hits the skids? Because politicians say we do. It’s that simple. America owes you nothing, which is why it is so important for pols to blur the distinction between our country and our government.
Not all Americans deserve government handouts. Those who are owed nothing get to pay for the giveaways Democrats and even some Republicans keep telling Americans they are owed. There are handouts to erase inequality (see: Being Poor Is the Fix for Income Inequality), handouts to replace incomes, handouts to buy food and health care, and even handouts to make up for laws our government doesn’t agree with.
Could we survive without government handouts?
What would life in America be like if government handouts weren’t offered for every setback?
No unemployment benefits.
If you lost your job you would have to rely on your savings, but without all the taxes and regulations to pay for handouts the business sector would probably be happier and it would be easier to find a new position. No savings? That’s your fault, not the government’s.
Democrats like to cite a federal report that claims 200,000 jobs would be created by extending unemployment benefits.¹ They don’t talk much about the part of the report that argued that extending benefits can also have a negative effect on job searches:
Indeed, empirical studies have found that UI affects the rate at which recipients accept new jobs. For example, research has shown that many workers find jobs in the weeks immediately before and after their benefits run out.²
Why do unemployment benefits have a positive effect on job growth? Because our government pays the unemployed to spend.³ Government handouts don’t linger for long in the pockets of the jobless and spending is good for the economy, though in this case it doesn’t seem like the type of consuming we should be proud of.
Calling cuts to food stamps “unacceptable,” House Democrat Jan Schakowsky made the SNAP problem clear:
While the conference agreement is a major improvement over the House-passed bill, I opposed the legislation because of its $8 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – our nation’s last and strongest line of defense against hunger.4
The strongest defense against hunger is for the government to pay for food? Our best defense is to make sure people can buy their own, but there is no political mileage to be had when there is nothing to give away. This is not about temporary assistance for the needy. This is about a culture that relies too heavily on the government because politicians make it easy to do.
No same-sex marriage protection.
Government handouts are not always financial. Rights that are created and given away for purely political purposes are a good example. The president has promised to step in and do things his way whenever he can and the gay vote is important to Democrats. Eric Holder’s newest grandstanding effort won’t do much, but it sounds good in the headlines and gives the appearance of Washington giving something away to the faithful.
No immigration reform.
Citizenship is a government handout when it’s given for political gain. Washington has told illegal immigrants they are owed the right to be here. Americans know better. That’s why we put people who break the law in jail instead of giving them handouts. We haven’t tried that with illegal immigrants, at least not lately. It might be worth a shot.
No government grants.
Grants are one of the most ignored government handouts. Reeking of partisanship and political favors, our money is doled out and all too often not much attention is paid to who gets grants and why. Why do financial train wrecks like Illinois deserve government handouts from Americans in more responsible states? States should sink or swim on their own merits. Those that don’t have any merits, like Illinois, can drown.
No government pensions.
Federal, state, and local governments and their employee unions are very good at convincing their workers they deserve government handouts. Public employees whine when asked to contribute more to their pensions, but they are the only ones who don’t see the obvious: government pensions are a high-priced handout.
Members of Congress get a pension, too, as do the political elite in states like Illinois who are in charge of this abusive government handout and are responsible for passing pension laws. After they retire from passing out the giveaways their own retirement handout will keep on paying.