Monday, February 13, 2006

On Government Size and Reform

Because Ryan has recently made a post on the state of conservatism and my admission of certain failures within the Democratic agenda seemed to startle some, I’ve decided to further explain my view on government size.

I view it kind of like getting in shape. I have no problem with it gaining a little mass, but we need to trim the fat. I think government should help those who need it without allowing people to become a complacent drain on the system. I have no problem with radical reform of our welfare state; it is flawed, in some cases, DEEPLY flawed. At the same time, that doesn’t mean that we should simply scrap it or give up on the notion that everyone in the United States deserves a fighting chance of success.

I personally know people who are in fact drains on the system. They don’t work, reproduce, and collect assistance with a sense of entitlement. That’s bunk, but it is also a difficult situation. As a society, I think we are morally obligated to at least protect the children they produce, but we must coerce the parent back to work. I think Clinton’s working welfare reforms were a great first step, but more must be done along those lines.

At the same time, I know some who are in genuine need of assistance. These are they types who work 40 + hours a week and make less than $20,000 a year. Usually people in this situation are doing the jobs that many would never wish to do, yet they are positions that are valuable to us as a society. These people deserve support; they deserve at least some level of assistance in order to have the opportunity to better themselves (such as greater financial aid for college). However, under the current system, they are often shut out by those who abuse the system but are able nevertheless to better extract assistance from the government.

In the end, I believe in a stronger government, one that is there to help the citizens who need it the most in their times of need. If this creates a “bigger government,” so be it; I don’t believe in sacrificing the working poor over empty rhetoric that rejects any notion that government can benefit its citizens. However, I do believe in a trimmer government, one that rejects a welfare-supported impoverished leisure class and that has a clear but fair tax code that aims to balance the budget.

Really, is all that too much to ask for?


Blogger Jess said...

Actually, "Clinton's reforms" were Republican reforms that he vetoed several times before his hand was forced. Read Gingrich's Contract with America. The reforms are there.
Define a fair tax system. Our current system is far from fair, on either end of the economic spectrum.
Also, "bigger government" creates a class enslaved by entitlement and programs that do nothing to assist people in actually moving ahead, what Canadian PM Stephen Harper once termed a "culture of defeat," where there is no upward mobility, and the goal of many is to make just little enough to collect welfare (and I've heard people say exactly this). You can see this best demonstrated in southwest Virginia and a few spots in northeast Tennessee.

4:56 PM  
Blogger St. Joan of Arc said...


The harsh girl returns. I write for another blog most of the time.

It's full of all sorts of other harsh people. (and it's actually updeated on a daily basis - unlike the CR blog..)

1:43 PM  
Blogger M. McKain said...

haha, its alright Mellora - Jess has taken over your role quite well, although she focuses on different issues. I'll check out your blog though, since I love being abused.

7:43 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home