Do we share Ancient Rome’s fate?
The left-wing media went wild after the election when analysis showed that many poorer Americans supported President Obama and entitlements could have been a major reason why. Liberals always like to think of themselves as noble, and the thought that some vote-buying could have occurred is deeply offensive to them.
Nevertheless, the facts speak for themselves. Americans earning less than $30,000 a year gave the president about 7 million more votes than Gov. Romney. All told, Obama defeated Romney by 3.5 million votes. The math is clear. But what about motivation? How can you assign entitlements as a voting factor? Well, what else is there? Were lower-income Americans voting to support the $16 trillion dollar debt? The 8 percent unemployment rate? The nearly $5,000-a-year decline in wages for working people?
No, many lower-income voters were supporting the expansion of means-tested entitlements like food stamps, Medicaid and welfare payments, along with Obamacare, where about 30 million Americans will have their health insurance paid for by other Americans. When you have individuals in more than 100 million American households receiving some kind of federal subsidy outside of Medicare and Social Security, that will mean something at the ballot box.
Especially because Mitt Romney proposed to change all that. But why is doling out so-called “means-tested entitlements” a bad thing? Isn’t it a sign of a humane society? Financial safety nets are surely worthy. We can’t let the elderly and children suffer because they don’t have resources. But what’s happening in America is far more than simply expanding a needed safety net. Twenty years ago, the feds spent 9 percent of the total budget on entitlements other than Medicare and Social Security. Now, the number is 16 percent. Liberals scream that it’s because of the bad economy. Not true. Twenty years ago, unemployment among African-Americans was 14.3 percent.
This year, it is 14.3 percent. In the Hispanic-American precincts, unemployment in 1992 was 11 percent; today, it’s 10 percent. It is the liberal culture that is driving the entitlement mentality, and that is destructive to the country. The truth is that folks who get stuff are not likely to be as motivated as people who work for things. Freebies sap initiative. We are living in a “Where’s mine?” age. “If at first you don’t succeed, then ask for things to be given to you.” A record amount of Americans are receiving food stamps, and more workers are on federal disability than ever before. The Democrat Party actively supports the entitlement expansion, and that absolutely helped Barack Obama get re-elected earlier this month. If we continue down this road, however, say hello to Emperor Nero.
Same thing happened in Ancient Rome. Look it up. The population became weak and unmotivated, and Roman power collapsed as individual ambition was crushed by selfishness and dependence on the state. The question used to be, “Who’s your daddy?” Now, it’s, “Who’s your nanny?”
And we all know the answer.
Bill O’Reilly is host of the Fox News show “The O’Reilly Factor.” For more, see the Web site www.billoreilly.com.
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