Conservatives rightfully ponder whether there exists any upward limit to the non-stop expansion of the welfare state with its escalating governmental intrusion consisting of more regulations, taxes, entitlements, and free stuff; i.e. whether there is any point where the liberal mindset would be satisfied and willing to rest from further agitation against traditional values and fundamental check-and-balance processes. That is to disassociate from an ill-advised mindset that Marvin Olasky has variously labeled promiscuous material distribution, subsidizing of disaffiliation, universalizing depersonalizers, culture of delegated compassion, and false comfort. Each of his descriptors peels away and exposes a layer of liberal falsehood, obfuscation, and deceit as associated with their programs and orthodoxy.
I don’t believe there is a point where leftists will say, “Entitlements and/or government are too big” or, “They are not working.” The left is far less interested in resolving poverty-related problems than in simply continuing to gain from the on-going visibility produced by perpetually defending and funding them at their status quos and beyond. Bob Woodson of the Woodson Center says, “There are a lot of perverse incentives against people being independent” and that these prevent the welfare system from being applied in the manner it was intended. It was intended (but not correctly designed) “as an ambulatory service, not a transportation system [again, Mr. Woodson speaking].” The right understands and holds superior and more practical positions on helping the poor and the victimized recover, become independent, and continue succeeding; but it is deficient at marketing them at the street level and their solutions are generally long-term; that is they take longer to implement, but they last longer – unfortunately, short-term, ineffective fixes are an easier product to sell.
I hold the following five reasons as support for my position. First, “solutions” like increased welfare spending sound so simple. They sit right at the top of the stack of quickie fixes and are easy to grab and run with, especially since that would be safely traveling incognito and in the same direction as the rest of the pack. Conservative real solutions require thorough thinking, research, and implementation planning with post-execution monitoring and accountability; doing so causes one to stand out, perhaps alone. Because these contrary solutions are opposed and ridiculed by the liberal pack – often accompanied by personal slander and harsh recriminations, the advocates must be exceptionally brave and, therefore, are few in number. (The deliberately hurtful negativity expressed in some of their “reviews” of Uncommon Character stand as clear personal evidence of the strident intolerance of ideas that differ from their own).
Second, they are a practical and proven Machiavellian-like method to secure the support of the masses for purposes of gaining and retaining political power. Fabian George Bernard Shaw says, “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.”
Third, liberals believe problems like poverty and education are solved by spending more money; they don’t know that solutions require depth, sacrifice, and time (see the first reason above). Liberal thinking is: see the problem, throw money at it; still see the problem, throw more money at it. If the problem remains, it must be because conservatives are preventing them from throwing enough money at it. In reality, the money often is or becomes a significant part of the problem.
Fourth, liberals haven’t thoroughly dealt with three underlying personal issues. One is personal sin, such as resentment, rebellion, and envy; sin on the part of those allocating the supporting funds and on those receiving them. Another is their genuine guilt (rooted in personal sin and overriding rebellion toward God). They falsely assume that this guilt can be avoided or alleviated by mindless funding of issues related to poverty. Until these two factors are recognized and addressed, they remain surreptitiously negative influences. Effective remedying of sin and guilt requires responses that promote the healing of their relationships with God, man, and self. The last of the three underlying issues is their erroneous belief in the essential goodness of mankind. A brief review of just the twentieth century should be convincing proof to the contrary.
Fifth, giving tax money to the poor is an outlet for liberals to feel self-righteous. Attempting to appear virtuous is valued as the equivalent of the actual practice of virtue. Leftists live outside of a truly righteous relationship with God and they are not motivated by Biblical principles such as true charity; i.e. giving of personal time, care, and money. Therefore, tax-based giving is desirable as an inoculation against having to deal with the underlying truths and the sacrificial giving, both of which are preferably ignored. After all, big government is their god, so let their god give; that’s what gods are for.