The Corner

Uncle Sugar

When did it become the principal function of the federal government to send checks to the American people? That’s the subject of my New York Post column today.

Forget all the numbers being tossed around in Washington — the millions and billions and trillions of dollars being taxed, borrowed, printed and spent as the country approaches the Aug. 2 debt-ceiling deadline.

Forget the political jockeying for position between a president desperately seeking re-election in 16 months and a Congress equally desperately seeking not to be blamed for spending even more money that we don’t have.

Forget the fact that such “entitlements” as Social Security and Medicare — social-insurance programs that the public long thought to be actuarially sound — have been exposed as little more than legal Ponzi schemes, paying today’s benefits out of tomorrow’s borrowed receipts.

Instead, just ask yourself this simple question: When did it become the primary function of the federal government to send millions of Americans checks?

This, I think, is the real issue: not only the explosive growth of the welfare state but the effect it’s having on our national character.

The debt-ceiling cage match is the culmination of the Democrats’ 75-year-long fight to establish a voting bloc of dependents under the false flags of “compassion” and “social justice.” It’s sapped our strength, created a welfare mentality and, if unchecked, will reduce us to a nation of aging, resentful beggars with eyes cast permanently toward Washington.

The preamble to the Constitution talks about promoting the general welfare, not the welfare state. For the welfare state is incompatible with the rest of the preamble, which concludes: “and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” By definition, dependents are not free.

Who’ll stop the rain? In the words of a popular Pete Seeger protest song from the sixties, “waist deep in the Big Muddy and the big fool says to push on.”

Or was that then and this is now?

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