Entitlement Nation

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So many Americans now look to their government expectantly for every need and desire that our system of entitlements has largely replaced self-reliance, industriousness, and independence. A huge segment of the population now reflects plodding mediocrity. To paraphrase author C.S. Lewis, we sought “a benevolent leader who likes to see people enjoying themselves, and at the end of each day a good time is had by all.”

Our founding principle of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness has been twisted to become a guarantee of happiness. Entitlement-spending by government is known as “auto-pilot” spending if Congress has little or no power to control it. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid have long been on auto-pilot with expenditures over which Congress has had little or no will to control. Now nationalized health care is an entitlement. It has even been called a “right.” A Newsweek article last year quoted then-Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass) as saying that “we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American …will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right.”

As the give-away Obama Administration and Congress provide more and more entitlements, we are fast becoming an entitlement nation. In time, this can bankrupt us. Erskine Bowles, co-chairman of President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, compared the unsustainability of the federal budget to a “cancer.” He said also, “This is a challenge for America.” Democrats will slightly out number Republicans on the commission, appointed in February. It is to recommend putting the budget in balance (achieving deficits of about 3 percent of GDP) by 2015.

The Obama budget for fiscal 2011 calls for $3.8 trillion in spending. About 60 percent of it now is mandatory entitlement spending. Nearly $678 billion was for Social Security, $425 billion for Medicare, and $251 billion for the federal share of Medicaid. Some $607 billion is for other mandatory spending programs. About 5 percent of the federal budget now has to be paid out for interest on the national debt.

On Jan. 16, 2009, Obama was all about entitlement reform pledging to put a hold on entitlements, making them a “central part” of his plan to curtail federal spending. At that time he said, “What we have done is kick this can down the road. We are now at the end of the road and are not in a position to kick it any further…making sure some of the hard decisions are made under my watch….”

How quickly matters change. First, the trillion dollar socialized health care was foisted on the nation. Now, Obama wants to add guaranteed education to the country’s plethora of entitlement programs. In an August 9 speech at the University of Texas in Austin he declared: “The single most important thing we can do is to make sure that we’ve got a world class education system for everybody. This is a pre-requisite for everybody.”  He called for 8 million more college graduates by 2020. He said college must be made more affordable and promised “the best education possible from cradle through a career.”

Enter realism: Only about half of the freshmen entering four-year colleges eventually graduate. Freshman-to-sophomore drop-out rates, according to other studies, increased to 27 percent. The notion that all young people will go to college is an impractical dream. Nearly 6.2 million students in the United States between the ages of 16 and 24 drop out of high school, CNN reported last year. That totals 16 percent of all those of that age in the county. Most were Latino or black, a study found at Northeastern University in Boston. Of the 30 occupations with the highest expected growth from 2008 to 2018, only 8 require a bachelor’s degree.

Acting so as to let no teacher be left behind, Obama Aug. 10 signed a $26 billion bill that Democrats in Congress said would save 300,000 teachers, as well as police and others—mainly union members—from lay-offs this election year, the AP reported. This entitlement, mainly for union members, is to be paid for in two ways. One is by raising $10 billion in taxes on U.S.-based multinational companies. The balance is to come from accelerating the phase out of an increase in food stamp payments. Food stamps were increased in last year’s stimulus package.

The new law provides that payments would return to pre-stimulus amounts in 2014, thereby supposedly saving $12 million. Does any one believe the food stamp entitlement of nearly $75 billion for 40 million people won’t be kept available. Someone said that “honesty may not be the best policy in politics, but it’s worth trying once in a while.”

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  • davarino

    Its like young children, if you dont push them out of the house to go get a job they will stick around forever and lay around doing nothing. I agree, lets help the needy, but the rest need to be pushed out of the house and become self sufficient. Its good for them, its good for us, its good for the nation. Tuff love works, and yes I am greedy and want to hold onto as much of my money as I can : )

    And the rest of you filthy politicians need to go get a job as well

    • John Gault

      Until you and all other Americans are will to say “ to hell with the needy” and mean it we will always have this entitlement mentality. Nowhere in the constitution does it say anything about taking money from some Americans to give it to others based on “need”.

  • iyzablue

    Entitlement and political correction has been killing this nation for far too many years. It will take good men to make difficult decisions once we get them into office. It will take more than a few years to get young skulls full of mush to learn true history and not what they have learned in the public school system. I am one of those skulls who has had to do my own learning of real history and I am 51 years old. I cannot imagine what most young people have learned (not learned) since 1977.

  • hardroad1999

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    Alexis de Tocqueville

  • tanstaafl

    There are Makers, Takers and Fakers. When the Takers and Fakers out number the Makers, the end is in sight.

  • blotto

    "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship." Alexander Tytler

    Well he was right and here we are. Are white progressives really that ideologically blind or so duped by their own rhetoric that they do not see the end. Do they not see a public that now fully vested in government largesse that once there is no more wealth they cannot be bribed that civil war will begin. Do they not see that as the government feeds more and more people that less money will go for defense; and if we are even more defenseless we will suffer an attack. Do they not see that Islam will move into the vacuum that once was our republic. Do they not see that even as white progressives, once the money ends they too will be hunted down and eliminated like the rest of white America and that they will have caused the death of America?

    • readyforit

      Time to become TOTALY self sufficient. The government will not be around to give and will only take. Buy guns and ammo, learn to reload, learn to repair what you have, teach your family, friends and neighbors.

  • noodle

    blotto, the white progressives are not dupes. They know exactly what they are doing. They desire to be the dictators and us under their boot.

  • evergreen78

    I like what Dennis Miller said: "We don't mind helping the helpless, but we're tired of helping the CLUELESS."

  • USMCSniper

    The old saying is true: " if you give a man a fish, he will come back the every day demanding more fish from you; but, if you teach him how to catch his own fish, he will be independent and self sufficient for a lifetime." The goal of all statists is the creation of dependency classes at all levels so that their power to loot wealth from the self sufficient is consolidated.

  • George

    Your source is a Yahoo questions forum?

    Couldn't you at least get your lazy self to look up some facts and figures if you were going to write about this subject.

  • Samurai Hit Woman

    Obama is out to bankrupt the country so he can make it over into the image he imagines. But first he has to tear the building down to reconstruct a building of his making.

  • oldatlantic

    That old Chinese saying needs to be updated. If you give Mexicans the jobs that take a back and Chinese and Indians the jobs that take the mind, then you will have to support the rest, which may be hard for you after you gave away your own job.

  • Liane

    I want someone to deal with this issue in TRUE HONEST terms!! First of all, why is everyone in this country "lumping" Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid & Welfare all together under the term entitlements!!! My mother and father and grandparents WORKED and paid into Social Security their entire lives (2 are still working) and they are "ENTITLED" to those benefits. Welfare/Medicaid recipients have most likely never worked, here they start in high school having their babies so they can get more check, and they NOT entitled to a darn thing because they have not earned it. Man up and admit that the welfare system has become nothing more than a big fat BRIBE!!! It is a bribe for politicians votes and a bribe to prevent an uprising of minorities like happens in other countries where they either don't have that kind of benefit or where they have been taken away. In other words, "keep sending me my check, or I won't vote for you" or "keep sending me my check or we'll all riot and kill, rob, etc. all of ya'll". It's insane!!! Stop talking about the benefits the working class earned as if the entitlements of Social Security and Medicare are dirty words, we paid that money in and the ones of us who worked for all that money ARE ENTITLED to those benefits if we live long enough. Come on people, right is right and wrong is wrong. Wake up, this country has been under a serf society system for years and everyone acts like we should be worried that we are going to turn into one… WE ARE already one.