by: Diane Benjamin
Government wants people on Food Stamps. They even advertise so new people will sign up. They give away free cell phones without income checks – there was even a table set up on the west side of Bloomington to hand them out. (https://blnnews.com/2013/07/22/free-government-phones-in-bloomington/) The list of government giveaways is close to endless and the reason government at every level never has enough money!
Personal responsibility by citizens is not expected or demanded, therefore it isn’t received. Responsible parents know they must demand chores and work from their children, or they don’t get it. Consequences must be enforced or your kids will never make their bed, brush their teeth, clean their room, or get out of bed for school.
Government is no different. There are no jobs Americans won’t do if they are hungry, but they won’t do them when the government is paying them NOT to work. See this story: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/08/21/study-in-most-states-welfare-pays-more-than-minimum-wage-job/
Local government is no different. Responsible leadership should evaluate programs not on compassion, but on consequences. This quote from Benjamin Franklin in 1766 should be framed and hung in every government office that serves citizens with programs or handouts:
“I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”
That brings me to a story on the front page of the Pantagraph today. The McLean County Emergency Management Agency and the McLean County Health Department have a registry of 517 people with functional needs who would need assistance in an emergency. They think the list should have at least 8000 people.
Evidently McLean County has many people with nobody to rely on other than government. In the case of an emergency nobody can be expected to help, the neighbors won’t run to their rescue, ordinary citizens won’t hear calls for help, and nobody will stop to check is assistance is needed. Government is the great savior of all. When you treat citizens as children, children is what you will get.
Who is going to pay to get these 8000 people signed up? Who is going to pay to maintain the list and update it for deaths and new people? Of course you are!
It gets worse. If there is a widespread emergency, these people will be sitting in the homes wondering when help will arrive. Does government have that many emergency personnel? How are priorities set? Who gets rescued first? The list provides a false sense of security. Instead of having their own plan for survival, they will be waiting for the government to arrive. Maybe waiting a long long time.
Maybe we should go back to knowing our neighbors and taking care of each other. In theory a registry sounds good. In practice it’s just another level of bureaucracy which will never go away. Soon another tax increase will be needed for more staff and funding pensions.
When does it stop? Never-unless citizens refuse to be the children of government.
A few more pages into the Pantagraph, a story says 16,000 residents will be getting a survey so the County can assess needs. Oh joy! More programs people want that we have to pay for! Let’s throw a pre-survey party. How many people will send it back with a big”Get out of my life” written across it?