Friday, May 24, 2024
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Even Republicans Want the Poor Dependent on Government

Many politicians brag they’ve extended the school lunch program to all children, whether they’re the poor, middle-class, or rich.

My opinions on this subject have inflamed many, even people who label themselves Republicans.

I get in trouble on Facebook when I say it’s a parents’ duty to feed their kids — and not the government’s. These programs make more and more of the poor dependent upon the government.

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Horrified individuals accuse me of wanting to starve hungry children. They rebuke me by saying this government goody is “free money.” People say this as if government money comes from trees and not taxpayers. They say it as if this country isn’t already deep in debt. 

I tell them I don’t oppose feeding poor kids as an act of charity. But when it comes to welfare in general, private charities handle this so much more efficiently than governments can. Private charities attach conditions and teach people how to help themselves. Government welfare, as the Heritage Foundation has documented repeatedly, does none of those things. Among the poor, government welfare creates dependency for one generation after another. 

Research backs this up. Data shows LBJs “War on Poverty” made the problem worse and even encouraged fathers to abandon their kids. 

Why should a dad stick around for his offspring when the government will support them instead? 

There’s no dad around to help raise and/or stabilize these children. Children are more likely to have mental or emotional problems, get in trouble with the law and impose other burdens on society.  

Everything in that last paragraph, of course, is immediately glossed over and ignored by my audience.


Then I hear that I’m a bad Christian. Folks say I don’t want to help the poor. But aren’t these the same people preaching separation of church and state every time the topic involves abortion, gay marriage, prayer in school? Aren’t these the same people who fought successfully to keep the Gideons from passing out Bibles in public schools. 

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As I once heard a pastor say, a secular charity fails in results when compared to a Christian charity. A Christian message of responsibility and self-reliance comes attached to a Christian charity. A government bureaucrat has no real incentive to cure poverty because if he or she does than they’re out of a job.

I’ll end this by saying that 10 years ago the school system in Chattanooga gave ALL kids taxpayer-subsidized lunches. School system leaders assured me that standardized test scores would go up the following school year. This, under the pretense that children with full bellies will work harder. 

I patiently waited a year. Test scores didn’t go up. They went down. Dramatically down.

Their bellies may be full, but their motivations are not.

Good intentions don’t matter.

What matters is results.

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