A Libertarian view on entitlements

Posted: Sunday, April 24, 2011

My letter is in response to Mr. Treider's letter to the editor on April 20. His claim is that Republicans should continue to fund Medicare, heating oil subsidies, and food stamps for the poor and "needy." While his intentions are commendable, the fact is that these wasteful programs and others should be cut. These programs are, in essence, forced charity from citizens by the government. We are made at the implied point of a gun to pay taxes that are just forced charitable donations. Perhaps if we weren't taxed so much by our out-of-control government, we would be more inclined to give to charities that would help the poor and needy.

For instance, Medicare. Why does this need to be a government funded program? If that 2.9 percent taken from our paychecks can theoretically pay for medical bills after the age of 65, then perhaps allow people to save money on their own. They could put that much into a savings account for use later. If they don't do this, or spend their money frivolously, then that is their problem and I have no sympathy for them.

As for heating oil subsidies and food stamps: these are nothing more than an appeal to people's emotions. While no one likes to think of someone freezing in the middle of winter or going hungry, it is yet again something the government should not be involved in. If these were cut then taxpayers could use that money on their own initiative to help out the needy. Mr. Treider also specifically mentions pregnant mothers. This is another example of pandering to our emotions. Why should I be forced to help out a woman because she's pregnant? Is it my child? If the answer is no then I have no obligation to give her any of my hard earned money. It is her fault for becoming pregnant -- she could have been abstinent. Just because she made poor life choices doesn't mean that I should be punished for them.

Mr. Treider believes that the money saved by cutting these programs would only be used to help extend the tax cuts for the "privileged." Besides the obvious that his "vacation homes" reference shows that he has a case of class envy, think about this: that money they saved can then be invested in businesses, which boosts the economy naturally (unlike the quasi-socialist stimulus plan) and provides more jobs for these "needy" people. These "privileged" are smart businessmen, how else did they make and keep their money? They know that they can take that money and re-invest it and their returns would most likely be more than the original principle, which then improves the economy, creates jobs, and they can still get their vacation home -- everybody wins!

Jeff Melvin


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