Craig R. Smith is an author, commentator and popular media guest because he instantly engages audiences with his common-sense analyses of local, national and global trends. Serving as CEO of Swiss America for over 25 years, Craig understands that Americans want solid answers to the tough questions and that real leadership begins with servanthood. Craig's most recent book is "Crashing the Dollar: How to Survive a Global Currency Collapse," which heMore ↓Less ↑
Are we going to take the fork to the left where we continue the pursuit of a welfare state birthed by FDR in the 1930s, strengthened by LBJ in the 1960s and now being rigorously pursued by BHO? Or will we take the fork to the right and return to the personal responsibility that requires hard work and sacrifice?
Will we continue to provide handouts or instead start offering hand ups for those who fall on hard times? Handouts are creating a dependent class of takers who have no ability to provide for themselves. A portion of our society is totally reliant on the benevolence of a government that steals from the working class – the only class contributing to the greatness of America.
I experienced a small slice of the dependent side of America this week when I spent the day talking to public-school eighth graders in the one of the toughest neighborhoods of Phoenix. They’re children who live in Section 8 housing and eat meals provided by the school or food stamps. They’re children who have been raised in homes that have only known the government as their provider and children who are victims of lazy, irresponsible parents.
Meeting with one young man whose life ambition is to be a pimp changed my thinking about just how fatally the welfare state is destroying our country. This child has experienced 11 different men living with his mother over his short 14 years of life – none of which were her husband. He has watched his mother give her body to men while having Uncle Sam pay the utility bill and provide food. If she were to marry, she would lose her government support.
A welfare environment has produced a young man who sees more of a future in human sexual slavery than free enterprise. Thank you LBJ with your Great Society. Philanderers like you must be so proud to see the fruit of your labor.
Equipped with the belief that launching a war on poverty would increase self-sufficiency and create future generations that could support themselves, LBJ spent 1.2 percent of GDP in 1964 to fund his Great Society programs. Forty-seven years and almost $20 trillion later, we now spend more than 5 percent of GDP and poverty is worse than ever before. More children are trapped in this downward spiral as the government requires zero contribution from welfare recipients.
By any reasonable measure, welfare spending to eliminate poverty has been an abject failure. But these facts don’t stop your president. He has no plan to change course. He is going to stay on the left fork with orders for full speed ahead.
Mr. Obama intends to spend $10.3 trillion on welfare over the next 10 years, placing an additional $100,000 burden on each American household. Much, if not all, of this money borrowed and charged to future generations will produce no beneficial results.
It won’t produce more self-sufficient people or a new generation of productive citizens. No. It’ll produce more Americans being raised in single-parent homes not knowing anything different than government paying the bill. There’s no responsibility and no reason to better yourself. There’s just the belief that being lazy and irresponsible is completely acceptable, even favorable.
But there is another fork.
One focuses on free markets and job creation, lower taxes and less government regulations. It’s a road paved with the belief that every American must make his or her best effort to contribute to the experiment we call America. It’s a government run by people who believe in getting off the backs of their fellow citizens, removing the unbearable burden of taxation and leaving to parents the responsibility of raising our children. It’s a government focused on our national security, not social engineering.
When I shared simple free-market principles with the eighth graders about how to start a business or how to attract and create investment capital with a great business idea, their eyes opened as wide as saucers. They sat up in their chairs and became attentive. They actually started answering the questions I posed and became fully engaged. They saw another world than that of welfare, a limitless world.
Our children yearn to be productive. They want to learn. To them, making a contribution to the country would be the greatest statement of self-confidence they could make. Our underprivileged kids want to break the cycle of poverty the government has created and perpetuated. I watched the great potential in each of these students come bubbling to the surface when I exposed them to a life which believes in free-market capitalist principles, not government assistance and a continuance of poverty.
One young man talked about buying nickel bags of crack from his dealer and selling them for $10 to make a profit. He mentioned how now he sees his business is much like any legitimate business where you take a product, mark it up and make a profit. While one is illegal, both methods produce a profit, the mother’s milk of business. The light bulb went off, and now I see this young man as a potential market maker, not a junkie maker.
For the first time, he saw profit as a good thing and not an evil like Mr. Obama rails about in his class warfare speeches. He saw me as someone to look up to, not an evil, greedy suit. Wow, was it exciting. Until then, I never realized these kids actually believe the lies the left is telling about business and profits.
Mr. Obama and the left must stop with the Robin Hood mentality. We have taken from the middle class and the rich and have given to the poor. All that does it create more poverty.
As dependence on government increases, society becomes more divided. Mr. Obama has used this great Lincoln quote many times, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Yet he is out raising millions of dollars using class warfare as his signature causing a greater and deeper division among our people. We are all in this together, not separately.
If we are going to balance our budgets and pay off our national debt, we must abandon every last welfare policy. Each has failed. Before FDR we didn’t have welfare and people survived. We didn’t have people dying of starvation. I’m sure his motives were good, but they were wrong. “Give a man a fish” is not as effective as “teach a man to fish.”
In between FDR and BHO, there was a shining light from the Democratic Party trying to stop the madness of falling for the lie of welfare. JFK wanted us to, “Ask not what your country can do for you; but what you can do for your country.” I agree with JFK.
It’s time to take the fork that leads us to freedom. It is time for welfare statists to be firmly rejected by the electorate and return America to free markets, hard work and personal responsibility while we still can.