Tom McLaughlin

A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email: tomthemick@gmail.com

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Adult Children of America


When my parents were born, Americans took care of themselves. They didn’t depend on government to feed them, clothe them, house them, or pay their doctor bills. If they fell on hard times, they got temporary help from family, friends, church, or private charity - none of whom were obligated to help, but who did so out of human compassion. Now, millions of Americans - perhaps even a voting majority - cannot imagine life without government paying for all their basic needs from birth to death. Obama’s Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said the other day: “We write 80 million checks a month. There are millions and millions of Americans that depend on those checks coming on time.”

When Americans got help from family, friends, church, or private charity, they tended to be grateful. They were motivated to give back after getting past their hard times. Both giver and receiver got something out of the dynamic. Extended families became closer. Bonds were strengthened. Communities were fortified. Americans today, however, feel entitled to whatever assistance they get from government. They don’t even know who contributed the revenue they receive and don’t care either. They may not even know who their next-door neighbors are. All they know is, a check comes in the mail. This kind of big-government “assistance” doesn’t strengthen us as a nation. It weakens us at every level.

What happened? How did we become a nation of dependents in only three generations? It began with FDR’s New Deal, expanded with LBJ’s Great Society, and now is disintegrating under BHO’s (Barack Hussein Obama’s) Devastating Debacle. These were Democrat Administrations constantly expanding the scope of government and its cost. They’ve changed us from a nation of independent citizens into a nation of dependent children afraid of life without the indulgent-parent government taking care of us cradle to grave - adult children of the nanny state.

Between the above administrations, Republicans have either made half-hearted attempts at dismantling big-government entitlements, or actually expanded them as George W. Bush did with his prescription-drug benefit. Federal and state governments are going bankrupt because they cannot afford to pay for the promises they’ve made since the 1930s. The money simply isn’t there, and won’t be there in the future either.

Take Social Security for instance. Passed during FDR’s New Deal in 1935, it was designed as a trust fund people pay into all their working lives and then draw from it when they retire. Americans visualize it as a pile of money built up by millions of citizens. Al Gore counted on that illusion when he promised to put it all in a “lock box” while running for president eleven years ago, but there is no pile of money. Government has already spent it all - every last cent - around $2.6 trillion. Last week, President Obama inadvertently admitted as much when he warned that, unless Congress raised the debt ceiling beyond $14.3 trillion by August 2nd, he couldn’t send out Social Security checks August 3rd - “because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it." The only things Al Gore would have been able to put in his lock box were piles of IOU’s from the federal government.

Most of the federal budget is spent on social programs and interest on the debt, not on defense or infrastructure. The federal government has largely become a vehicle to suck money out the wallets of Americans who work so as to send checks to people who don’t. The former group is dwindling and the latter group is growing. At some level, we understand that this cannot go on forever. Yet, still, we borrow trillions from the rest of the world, and when they balk at lending us more, we simply print it.

“Progressives” in the White House and Congress insist that if the rich would pay more of what they earn, the gravy train could continue for everyone else. This kind of class warfare rhetoric is the progressive stock-in-trade. Yet even if “the rich” were taxed at 100%, there would still be mounting deficits passed on to our children and grandchildren to pay back. Nonetheless, President Obama stokes the fires of class envy by repeating the mantra of “corporate jet owners” at least six times in just one press conference June 30th. Granny and Grampy are starving because rich people fly jets. America’s adult children don’t want to take care of Granny and Grampy themselves anymore. They’d rather put aging parents in nursing homes and let government pay.Lee speaking for the Congressional Black Caucus

Left-wing progressives refuse to acknowledge the borrowing and spending must stop, that government cannot continue supporting a nation of dependent adult children. Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA), for example, blames Tea Party conservatives in the House for “manufacturing” the debt crisis because they’re calling attention to it - because they’re insisting that there be real cuts to unsustainable, pie-in-the-sky, entitlement programs. According to Lee and the millions of Americans who think as she does, the problem isn’t progressives like her who spend us into insolvency, the problem is with conservatives who make us face up to it. They don’t want anybody pointing out that we’re about to go off the cliff if we don’t reverse course.From Gateway Pundit

America was founded on the principle that “We’re endowed by our Creator with . . . rights . . . to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” We’re not guaranteed happiness - only the pursuit of it. We’re not children and government isn’t our mommy or daddy. It’s time those among us who don’t understand that to grow up, and soon.

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10 Comments:

Anonymous Aliledar said...

Absolutely right! And dependence makes people weak so actually, rather than being 'compassionate' as like to say they are while they invent more and more programs, they are being patronizing and cruel, assuming people can't take care of themselves.

7/27/11, 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh we are sorry Mr McLaughlin, we hope you weren't depending on your teachers pension to survive. We changed the rules and spent it all on other programs. So sorry to have broken our promise.

7/27/11, 9:16 AM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Don't worry Anonymous. I don't depend on it. Never depended only on my teacher salary either. I've always worked three jobs.

Down to two at the moment, but we'll see what else comes along.

7/27/11, 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someday those pensions WILL be gone, looted to pay other, more preferred classes of citizens - just like the GM fiasco. Until then, at least Maine teachers paid something toward their own pensions.

7/27/11, 3:16 PM  
Anonymous Mr Ed said...

A good article Tom but beyond just the institution of the welfare state is the creation of the warfare state and the corporate/government state. Never has been so much stolen from this nation in just recent times, with the bailouts of banks and corporations.

As you said the raiding of SS fund took trillions off the balance sheet. There is more going on in America than just the nanny state. There is a systematic dismantling of Americas wealth and productivity. The jobs have been outsourced, unemployment is in depression mode. The wealth and vitality of this nation has been sapped by an oligarchy.

I don't believe that this has occured because of happenstance, this sapping of America was done by design and it was done by those that get rich on controlling government and those, us, under its control.

It starts by promising wealth distribution and when that is accomplished, the next is complete control by the oligarchy and completely indebting a nation. It is a worldwide phenomenone.

7/27/11, 10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said MR.ED !!!!! You sir are talking Horse Sense.

7/27/11, 11:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do I feel so helpless? Even those of us who are articulate enough to express our opinions would seem to be whistlng in the wind. Is anyone actually listening? Have we become mere channels for media propaganda? George Orwell was right. Big Brother is here, and has been for a long time, not just since 1984.

7/28/11, 10:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once again, and I hate to ruin your fantastical view of the human condition as it stands in 2011, but it has NOTHING to do with democrats, republicans, independents or anyone else involved in " politics" . It's obvious that it's an absurdist theatre, especially over the last few days. But if you want to waste your precious time on this earth railing against ideologies that are meant to keep you distracted and misinformed go ahead. It merely proves that your insecurities and doubts are easily manipulated.

What I can't understand is that rather than come together in order to fight the new world order you'd rather play republican in a fixed game of he said she said.

What's truly astonishing is that you seem to have no idea what it means to be free.

7/30/11, 2:09 PM  
Blogger gaffer said...

Great post Tom! The problem that exists however is about half of the citizens do not believe it and think the freebies can go on indefinitely. The sooner our country goes belly up and the chaos thins out some of those who do not know how to work the better.

7/30/11, 3:08 PM  
Blogger Joern said...

We have total (short)history of children's upbringing here, and it is the same in Europe:

http://danmark.wordpress.com/2006/07/14/fills-your-school-child-with/

Joern Ebbe Vig
Denmark

8/1/11, 4:11 PM  

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