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‘Promote the general welfare,” — U.S. Constitution


I find it interesting, Michael, that you conservative types are quick to start spouting the law of the land… when it fits your narrative.

I’m thinking about things like the Second Amendment, where “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” has been interpreted to mean “Everyone should be able to have a gun.”

Or, you know, “All men are created equal,” means “All men are created equal… but we still need to tell this group and that group how they should live, who they should marry, what they can and can’t do… for their own good.”

So here we are once again, complaining about how “those people” all want their “free” everything, without having to work for it.

I get it, Michael, you’re “Old School,” and you think that if a person wants something, that he or she needs to earn it through hard work and determination.

That’s fine. In fact, that’ fair. Now, let’s be real here, though. We tried it. We were told, “you can’t do that.”

The government wants people to work for their food stamps and their health care. If you can work, you should work. That makes sense. But, there’s a line where working is worth it. Despite you and your fellow Republicans’ best efforts to deny the will of the people, the Arkansas minimum wage is going to be $11 an hour in a couple of years. That’s $440 a week for a full-time employee before taxes, or $22,000 a year. If you have kids that require care while you work, and if you have a mandate to purchase health insurance, that’s going to be a big chunk of your paycheck before you get it. At a point, financially, it costs more to work than it does not to work. So, while I’m definitely a proponent of earn what you get, I can see, the way the system is currently operating, why forcing someone to work to receive the bare minimum in government assistance is a problem.

You know, Michael, I must point out that these are literally called “entitlement programs.” And by “entitlement” it doesn’t mean “entitled to something for nothing,” it means something that a citizen of the United States or the State of Arkansas is entitled to receive by paying taxes and by the system set up to that the other taxpayers have, by virtue of living in the good ol’ U.S. of A., agreed to be a part of. It’s right there in the U.S. Constitution, in the Preamble that we all had to learn in ninth-grade Civics class. We all agreed to “promote the general welfare.”

How can “welfare” be such a dirty word if it’s right there in the document that created our very government?

That’s just the sort of thing “your tax dollars” are for. We use the word “free” a lot of the time, but none of it’s really “free.” Every feeding program, or health care program, or cell phones for the poor program or whatever costs someone something. And that someone is the taxpayer.

And I get it. No one likes paying taxes, especially for one of these so-called “entitlements.” But you know what else “your” tax dollars pay for? Roads and schools and the fire department and the police department and trash service and so on and so on. Aren’t we “entitled” to those things, Michael? Things funded by all of the people for the good of all the people? Isn’t it for the good of all Americans if all Americans have food or health care or other benefits?

Those who can work should work. Those who can’t or whose work would only deepen their poverty, should be exempt.

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