Withering Morality and the Statist Reality

While Mr. Obama offers endless pontification in front of the cameras, claiming the moral superiority of his policies, the reality is that more and more citizens are the object of federal subsidies and policies that bribe their voting loyalties. What moral code is responsible for this reality? Mr. Obama is clearly and consciously in pursuit of the road to serfdom. Exactly who wishes to take that road and why?

A small but telling recent reality is that millions of people have fraudulently received cellphone subsidies. Federal spending on this subsidy suddenly increased from $846 million in 2008 to over $2.2 billion in 2012 with more than 6 million citizens receiving subsidized cellphone service. The federal agency overseeing this program is now back peddling and claiming to increase enforcement of eligibility requirements but the morality of those exploiting the subsidy is clear for all to see.

The reality is that millions of people now expend a substantial portion of their human potential looking for federal subsidies and exploiting them wherever and whenever possible. While intended to help those less well off, subsidies offer free entrance to moral failing, not the benevolent society Mr. Obama preaches. History is clear that ever increasing government benevolence, whether or not justified by moral rationalization, serves only to decrease individual responsibility and work.

The dramatic increase in food stamp recipients and dollars spent per recipient needs to be publicly discussed in this context. My analysis is based on government data.

The facts show that:

  • The number of food stamp recipients has increased from 26 million in 2007 to over 46 million in 2012.
  • Food stamp participation as a percentage of total population averaged 8.24% between 1975 and 2007 with temporary increases to 9% in the early 1980’s recession to slightly more than 10% in the early 1990’s recession, always returning to a level below 8%.
  • Food stamp participation as a percentage of total population increased dramatically after 2008, rising above 13% in 2010 and further increasing to 14.85% by 2012, an increase of 80% above the mean and 42% above highs in the early 1990’s.
  • The average monthly food stamp benefit per participant increased by over 22% in 2009.

Our citizens need to understand why our government continues to subsidize food stamps for 20 million more people in 2012 than in 2007, why the average benefit increased over 22% in 2009 when inflation actually turned to deflation, and why the current participation rate is materially greater than that in previous periods of economic difficulty and does not show any sign of receding to the historical norm.

Our citizens need to understand how people on food stamps will be moved out of the program so as to avoid creating a permanent 15% or more of our population living in food stamp dependency and expecting more of it.

America is fast becoming a nation of dependency and expected entitlement. More people are exploiting available subsidies.

Mr. Obama frequently uses the word “responsibility” in describing his policies. The press needs to hold up the results of his “responsible” policies to the light of day.

Regards, Pete Weldon

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