Restoring greatness


According to our president, America would not have become a great country without directing half of our taxes into safety nets such as Medicare and Social Security. Thus the biggest threat to our future of greatness lies in accepting the draconian cut proposals of the Tea Party, proposals that will end our welfare system as we know it and jeopardize the lives of 50 million poor senior citizens. After all, taking care of the needy is among those things that we can only do together through our federal government. And, since spending our way out of the last recession worked so well, it is time to tax our way to achieving Obama's goal of "winning the future."

Really? First of all, the determinants of success in the history of mankind have included three main factors: strong military, good commercial institutions, and innovation. In other words, a country can rise above the average level of its times only through conquest, trade, and/or increased productivity. There is not a single example of a nation that has grown to greatness through redistribution. And there are plenty of examples of great empires crumbling to dust due to an erosion of the moral character and work ethic of the people.

Obama described his "conviction that each one of us deserves some basic measure of security" to be provided through federal programs. It is sad that many Americans have been convinced of the same deception since the New Deal. But that is not how the United States achieved greatness. In fact, the single most corrosive force on America's work ethic is the instilled culture of entitlements. There is nothing great about government welfare. It is deeply immoral, a massive theft institutionalized by a temporary majority. It must be abolished.

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Restoring America's greatness requires a painful transition and time to reeducate ourselves to take care of our neighbors without the intercession of a federal savior. In the transition period we should keep a much smaller and shrinking safety net, but only for the genuinely needy, such as those who cannot afford enough food due to "hard times or bad luck, a crippling illness or a layoff." But if you have air conditioning, a flat-screen TV, and a car but none of the above excuses, you probably do not qualify for the government's figgy pudding on Christmas.

Alex Tokarev
Alex Tokarev

Alex is the chair of the Department of Business at Morthland College in West Frankfort, Ill., and teaches at Northwood University in Midland, Mich. The native of communist Bulgaria fanatically supports the Bulgarian soccer team, Levski.


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