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Friday, September 28, 2012
Abortion and Welfare Checks Are No Solution to What Ails US of A
Democrats indicate they are committed to fight for the rights of the poor by ensuring economic opportunity and equality by using the power of government to redistribute wealth.   Further, they claim republicans have a laissez faire attitude toward the poor, a “let the best man win” outlook, thereby locking generations of the less fortunate into perpetual cycles of poverty, while the rich get richer.  
 
Republicans, on the other hand, indicate that the most our society can do is offer equality of opportunity, but nobody can realistically guarantee equality of outcomes because so much is dependent upon the individual themselves and the choices they make.
 
I do believe society as a whole is responsible for helping the less fortunate, albeit, in many instances, I believe families, churches and non-profits do a better job at this than our government.  I believe we should help the disabled, those with debilitating illnesses, the elderly, and those who have fallen on hard times and simply need a temporary leg up.
 
When we ask the question who should we be helping, we must consider the fact that some people are simply beyond much help because they are irresponsible.  We can only truly help them once they quit making poor decisions for themselves and their families.
 
Consider the young man who chooses to join a gang instead of the boy scouts.  Consider the teenage girl who wants to get pregnant because she thinks a baby will cement her relationship with her beau.  Consider the drug addict who refuses intervention from his family and our justice  system.  Consider those that suffer from mental illness and refuse to take the medications prescribed and the counseling that has been offered.  Consider the person who would rather panhandle than take a menial job and work himself up the ladder. 
 
We actually spend billions of dollars each and every year in America to help people who make these types of poor choices each and every day.  Here in Santa Barbara County, we spend upwards of $200 million per year to try and convince a few thousand people that there is a better way.  But, despite all the money we throw at these problems, the problems are not going away.  Is this the taxpayer and business communities fault?  Is this phenomenon created because our tax rates are too low?
 
One of the most accurate statements at the Republican Convention that addressed this issue head on came from Rick Santorum.  He rightly pointed out that the three leading indicators of poverty in America have to do with whether somebody finishes high school, whether they are a single parent raising a child out of wedlock (typically very young women), and whether they have a strong work ethic. 
 
The democrats want to blame the republicans for the fact that these problems exists, however, starting with Presidents Roosevelt, on through Presidents Johnson, Carter and now Obama, democrats especially have thrown trillions of dollars at these problems with nothing much to show for it.  At least President Clinton was willing to tie welfare and work together, something that Obama has now once again decoupled.
 
In reality, although the democrats pin their hopes on treating the symptoms of these problems via abortion and welfare checks, they do not have any real solution to high school drop outs, unwed mothers trying to raise a kid on their own, and people who are not willing to do what it takes to earn a living.  At least the republicans aren’t making things worse and engaging in blame shifting and that is a start to addressing the real source of the problems.
 
Andy Caldwell is the Executive Director of COLAB and the host of the Andy Caldwell Show weekdays from 3-5 p.m. on AM 1440
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