It is a logical conclusion that voters cast their ballots this year in response to President Obamas campaign promises for free goodies because the president’s campaign was comprised almost entirely of assuring freebies to voters — free healthcare, free contraceptives, free food stamps, free college educations. The problem is that someone has to pay for all of these free things. Even if the president gets his tax increases, there simply are not enough taxpayers to fund his campaign promises, which means they will have to be paid for with more debt.
Far worse than the debt, though, are the detrimental effects these policies will have on Americans’ work ethic and the rewards for that ethic that has built America. The president has already stripped work requirements from welfare benefits, creating a dilemma where Americans must choose between seeking work and making a comparable living by staying unemployed. This is a morally dehumanizing policy that robs people of their incentive to achieve.
To be clear, there are people in our nation who have hit hard times, and we have a social safety net in place to help people through it. There is no shame in having to take unemployment to keep afloat or Social Security to supplement income when people reach the end of their working years, but adding greater incentives to stay perpetually on government programs will be disastrous.
Republicans appreciate the need to take care of those struggling in these hard times. The problem with relying upon government programs to help those in need is that they are subject to the political process, which can be less than charitable. For this reason, conservatives are significantly more likely to give to private charities than liberals (see http://philanthropy.com/article/The-Politics-of-Giving/133609/ and http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/opinion/21kristof.html?_r=0). By relying more upon private charities, we can meet not only the physical needs of the poor, but spiritual needs the government cannot. We appreciate Jesus’ admonition that we should care for the poor (though He never said “We are our brother’s keeper, that was actually President Obama). It seems difficult to believe, however, that the Lord had in mind we should provide free birth control to the downtrodden and free telephones to the fatherless.