Taking candy away.

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Those of us on the right as it pertains to the political spectrum hold high hopes that a decisive victory by the Republicans in congressional and senate races across the country will serve to reverse the country’s leftward lurch. We hope to retreat from government-controlled health care, massive Keynesian spending, the nationalization of the auto industry, increased taxation, irresponsible debt and all of the rest of the agenda as we have seen it from the Obama administration.

I would offer a word of caution, however. Even a sweeping Republican victory on Tuesday will not be enough to address the problems America now faces. As much as we conservatives would like to think that putting the brakes on an administration that is not even 24 months old will save the country from ruin, the fact is that very nearly all of what ails us has been incubating for decades and has done so under administrations and Congresses of both stripes.

At the core of our ill health lies the distinction between the words “benefit” and “entitlement.” Go look them up. “Benefit,” the noun, as defined by Webster, is ‘something that promotes safety or well-being.’ “Entitlement” is defined as, ‘something that is received by right or contract.’

As the Greeks, the French and now the British have learned this year, once a benefit such as government-funded health care or retirement or housing or food reaches a certain critical mass, it stops being a benefit and becomes an entitlement, something to which recipients have an inherent right. Once it becomes a right, it is very hard to take it away, even if you can no longer afford to deliver it.

Thus we saw rioting this past summer in Greece as the government there announced severe austerity measures in order to avoid financial collapse. As this is being written, France is crippled by strikes and riots over the government’s proposal to raise the national retirement age from age 60 to age 62. And Great Britain, in the face of looming economic apocalypse, has begun implementing measures that will, among other things, slash defense spending and put as many as a half million government workers on the unemployment line.

By sheer dint of economic reality, our cousins in Europe are turning away from their statist social policies of the past 60 years just as we appear to be more fully embracing them.

Thus, our financial reckoning still awaits. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are all broke. Too many of our citizens, even though they are able of body and mind, rely on government assistance just to get by. Our national debt is approaching third world proportions. Growth is stagnant. Our currency is being devalued. Our ability to control events is slipping from our grasp.

The election, even one that brings the Obama-Reid-Pelosi cabal to a complete halt, won’t in and of itself, fix any of that.

Until we come to grips with the fact that we simply cannot have all the benefits we have voted for ourselves, much less the entitlements that they have become, we will continue down the same path that has brought civil unrest to Greece and France.

And that means politicians can’t hand you any more candy and lollipops. As a matter of fact, if they defy experience and actually do what needs be done, they’re going to start taking candy away.

Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of Gleiser Communications, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The Team FM & KYZS in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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6 Responses

  1. E Josephs says:

    As a fiscal conservative I remember massive spending under Bush and Co. I hope, should Republicans be elected in large numbers next week, they remember that just having an R after their name is not enough. They must be true fiscal conservatives. Judging recent history, I don’t have a lot of faith that they will be, but I hope I am wrong.

  2. Rick Armstrong says:

    Here! Here! For us to be on the road to recovery, “candy” is going to be taken away…Federal Jobs lost, Federal Spending cut to the bone, Bail Outs stopped, New SS and Medicare claims stopped, welfare done away with. Times will be tough…BUT, America will recover…jobs will once again be available IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR as businesses return, renew or are founded. If we stop looking out ofr a stupid smelt, Argiculture will return to America.

    States will have the right to put forth whatever ‘Welfare” they deem they can do and Americans can “vote with their feet” if they don’t like what their state is doing…e.g. California, New York, etc…Times will be tougher, Americans will be tougher…but, there is a bright horizone that awaits those that tough it through. It is the only way.

  3. Danny Malone says:

    It’s time for us all to pull ourselves up by our own boot straps and realize the federal government should only focus on building roads and protecting our national interests and security from threats abroad and stay pretty much out of the rest of our lives.

  4. Linda E. Montrose says:

    I was taught from a very tender age, that you WORK for what you get in life. Don’t depend on the government to prop you up and make your living for you. That is what is wrong with America today. We are NOT entitled to anything but life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Truth to tell, entitlements are a noose around our necks. There are no free rides and no free lunches, someone down the line has to pay for all these freebies the left is so good at handing out. True compassion is letting people do for themselves. True compassion is getting out of people’s way to be all that they dare to dream of being. Entitlements and government handouts are stifling, not only on an individual basis, but is a disaster to economic growth as well. Entitlements keep people down and under the thumb of government control…we have had this noose around our necks for quite some time, but it has been ever so slowly tightened to where we have become accustomed to the pressure. There comes a time though, it will completely cut off our air…we are almost there!
    To breathe free again we will have to cut the noose that has restrained us for far too long.

  5. L Miles says:

    I’m afraid it is not candy that has been fed us by the politicians but an addictive drug that causes us to abandon the common sense that we use in every part of our daily life (as adults) as we deal with other human beings. In order to have anything that we call property, whether it is food, shelter, or clothing, everyone that is not a child (being taken care of by their parents) quickly learns that he must provide a service to someone else in order to get paid, survive, and thrive. This is how God intended us to live because this simple truth promotes a successful society.

    The political ruling class has become experts at selling the LIE that we in the country class can obtain “goodies” without working for it (as long as we continue to vote for them). The ruling class can violate any moral or legal law to give us the “goodies”, always by taking from those that they determine have “too much”. In every other area of commerce, these liars in the ruling class would go to jail for peddling their “Ponzi schemes” as they swindle the American people at large while they satisfy their own greed for power.

    No society has ever survived this type of tolerated lawlessness by its rulers. The problem is that the ruling class see themselves a “rulers”, not as members of a “representative republic”. Of course, the ruling class gains immense wealth and power as they continue to delude their constituents into believing that the “government” can take care of them. The recipients of this government largess continue to demand more from government and become seduced into believing that they can’t provide for themselves. Those that don’t support the ruling class philosophy become disillusioned and wonder if their hard work is worth the increasing theft of their labor. What a tragedy!

    Ultimately, the foundation of the nation becomes: “We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are NOT created equal; that they are endowed by their GOVERNMENT (ruling class) with certain deserved rights; that among these are freedom from poverty, poor health, and social injustice.” Don’t those of you in the “deluded class” realize that when your Government (mommy and daddy) inevitably dies you become orphans because you have abandoned your “unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (property)?”

    Please VOTE for your Liberty, and fire the “ruling class”.

  6. Paul, you have a way of stating affairs and their conditions so thoroughly that it seems all that need be said is “Amen.” But, for some of us, where’s the fun in that? While I am quick to recognize and respond to truth with that graceful petition, I am more motivated than ever to encourage others with the truth that what our founders gave us — a freedom forged in the foundry of Christianity — is still available to a nation whose people “will humble themselves and pray and seek His face” — that is, truly believe.

    In fact, the moral imperatives of the Christian faith provide the only environment capable of sustaining such a system of self-governance as our wise forebears envisioned. Without such vision we fall prey to those who would lure us to the other end of the spectrum where prideful hunger for power condemns a society to descent into that non-sustainable illusory complex of disguises known as socialism. From there, anarchy and oblivion are but a breath away.

    Today we find ourselves as a nation in crisis, at a juncture of judgment, at a special “crossroads” reserved for the truly guilty. Unfortunately, the inescapable conclusion is that the Church bears the greatest burden of responsibility for learning nothing from pre-WWII Germany — for not speaking to the issues as the specters arose. We can only pray that God will give us yet another opportunity and the strength to say, as did Martin Luther, “Here I stand.”

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