Daily Dose

The Foundation

“They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin, 1759

What did he/she say?

“One interesting aspect of the spontaneous tea party movement is the constant invocation of the Founders and the prominence of the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag. Eighteenth-century Americans declared their independence, 19th-century Americans fought so that blacks could be independent, too, and 20th-century Americans sacrificed to extend the blessings of independence to the wider world.

Americans tend to see themselves as independent doers, not dependent victims. They don’t like to be told, especially by those with fancy academic pedigrees, that they are helpless and in need of government aid. That’s why the politically popular American big government programs — Social Security, Medicare, veterans’ benefits, student loans — all make a connection between effort and reward. You get a benefit because you’ve worked for it.

In contrast, Americans have loathed and rejected big government programs with no nexus between effort and reward. Welfare was begun in the 1930s to help widows with children, whose plight, as Russell Baker’s memoir “Growing Up” showed, was often dismal. But when welfare became a mass program to subsidize mothers who didn’t work and to excuse fathers from responsibility for their actions, it became wildly unpopular.” – Michael Barone, Obama’s Nanny Care Insults the American Spirit

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