By Tom Quiner
As liberals so often do, Stephen Colbert sets up a false choice in the meme above.
A friend posted it on Facebook. Mr. Colbert suggests that if you don’t want to help the poor “without condition,” which to a liberal like Colbert means more welfare programs and more public spending without a speck of discernment as to whether it works or even has unwanted side-effects, then we are rejecting Jesus.
Interestingly, conservatives like to help the poor in a hands on way. They donate more money to charity than liberals and donate more time to the poor than liberals.
Liberals want to leave it up to the government, and demand that rich taxpayers foot the bill, you know, the same people who have already donated privately.
Here was my Facebook response:
I’m not sure where Mr. Colbert comes up with this stuff. The federal government operates over 90 means-tested welfare programs that provide cash, food, housing, medical care, and targeted services to poor and lower-income Americans.
Taxpayers pay out over a trillion dollars at the state and federal level to fund these programs, and yet the poverty rate today is comparable to the rate it was at when the Great Society Programs were passed in the 60s.
Honorable people can and should discuss these questions: 1. Is it working? 2. How can it work better? 3. Are the perverse incentives baked into the system responsible for dramatic spikes in the out-of-wedlock birthrates which drives so much of the social pathology in this country? Mr. Colbert’s smug meme sets back the conversation.
No one is suggesting that we don’t help the poor. Republicans want to move the poor from dependence to independence. Sadly, the Great Society programs created a permanent underclass dependent on Big Government from generation to generation.