(NewsBreakDaily.com) – The term “general welfare” appears in two places in the Constitution of the United States of America: the Preamble and Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1 of the main body. Sadly, like so much else in our government, the meaning has morphed into something it was never meant to be.
The origins of what we have today can be traced back to the “New Deal” programs during the time of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR). The Great Depression was in full swing and the government established a good part of what we now know as the “alphabet soup” of agencies. It wasn’t a free-ride, but a means of temporary relief to a struggling nation. What many of these new entities did was put people to work so they could earn their way, just as they were trying to do.
Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ) took over the reins of the government after the assassination of John Fitgerald Kennedy (JFK) in November 1963. LBJ’s plan, “The Great Society,” envisioned a place where Washington DC would carry the load to correct the ills of our culture, both real and perceived.
Combining the two grand socialist plans has left us with a monstrosity that is massively expensive and does little to encourage families to become self-sufficient. It has also become a bludgeon used by the Democrats to keep misguided voters coming back for more.
Here in the 21st-Century, it is very difficult to determine the actual cost of the welfare system because of how it’s structured. There are about 80 programs on the federal level that either directly administer the plans or give the money to state and local agencies to administer.
Back in 2011, then Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) submitted a report to the Senate Budget Committee (SBC) that estimated total expenditures at $1.1 trillion, exclusive of Social Security and Medicare (which recipients have paid into). Essentially insurance premiums.
Here are a few programs and their budgets or estimated costs:
- Public (free housing) was budgeted at $4.65 billion for the fiscal year 2019
- Medicaid budget is $419 billion
- SNAP (food stamps) in 2018 cost $68 billion
These programs, as the safety nets envisioned in theory, are vital to the survival of millions of families across America. In practice, the Progressive Liberals have changed them from helping-hands to weapons used to keep their voter base beholden to them.
Starting with LBJ and snowballing from there, the Democrats have pushed the idea that these aren’t temporary assistance programs but rather “entitlements.” Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) is vying to become the Democratic Party’s candidate to oppose President Donald Trump in the 2020 November election, and he knows how to play that game.
Using his position as the Ranking Member on the SBC, Sanders launched into a diatribe that is now part of the Congressional ledger and posted on his official web page. In it, he took the president to task over every penny cut from public welfare programs. It doesn’t take a huge leap to infer the underlying warning considering his campaign platform: “I’ll give you more Free Stuff that Trump wants to steal from you!”
It’s like one of those dot-to-dot puzzle books, FDR…LBJ…Sanders. The problem is that the final picture isn’t a puppy or a train, it’s far more akin to the Hammer and Sickle. Bigger government, oppressive taxes, and the only people with any kind of wealth are the political elite.
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