Skip to comments.Immoral Beyond Redemption
Posted on 06/06/2012 5:20:23 AM PDT by Kaslin
Benjamin Franklin, statesman and signer of our Declaration of Independence, said: "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." John Adams, another signer, echoed a similar statement: "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." Are today's Americans virtuous and moral, or have we become corrupt and vicious? Let's think it through with a few questions.
Suppose I saw an elderly woman painfully huddled on a heating grate in the dead of winter. She's hungry and in need of shelter and medical attention. To help the woman, I walk up to you using intimidation and threats and demand that you give me $200. Having taken your money, I then purchase food, shelter and medical assistance for the woman. Would I be guilty of a crime? A moral person would answer in the affirmative. I've committed theft by taking the property of one person to give to another.
Most Americans would agree that it would be theft regardless of what I did with the money. Now comes the hard part. Would it still be theft if I were able to get three people to agree that I should take your money? What if I got 100 people to agree -- 100,000 or 200 million people? What if instead of personally taking your money to assist the woman, I got together with other Americans and asked Congress to use Internal Revenue Service agents to take your money? In other words, does an act that's clearly immoral and illegal when done privately become moral when it is done legally and collectively? Put another way, does legality establish morality? Before you answer, keep in mind that slavery was legal; apartheid was legal; the Nazi's Nuremberg Laws were legal; and the Stalinist and Maoist purges were legal. Legality alone cannot be the guide for moral people. The moral question is whether it's right to take what belongs to one person to give to another to whom it does not belong.
Don't get me wrong. I personally believe that assisting one's fellow man in need by reaching into one's own pockets is praiseworthy and laudable. Doing the same by reaching into another's pockets is despicable, dishonest and worthy of condemnation. Some people call governmental handouts charity, but charity and legalized theft are entirely two different things. But as far as charity is concerned, James Madison, the acknowledged father of our Constitution, said, "Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government." To my knowledge, the Constitution has not been amended to include charity as a legislative duty of Congress.
Our current economic crisis, as well as that of Europe, is a direct result of immoral conduct. Roughly two-thirds to three-quarters of our federal budget can be described as Congress' taking the property of one American and giving it to another. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid account for nearly half of federal spending. Then there are corporate welfare and farm subsidies and thousands of other spending programs, such as food stamps, welfare and education. According to a 2009 Census Bureau report, nearly 139 million Americans -- 46 percent -- receive handouts from one or more federal programs, and nearly 50 percent have no federal income tax obligations.
In the face of our looming financial calamity, what are we debating about? It's not about the reduction or elimination of the immoral conduct that's delivered us to where we are. It's about how we pay for it -- namely, taxing the rich, not realizing that even if Congress imposed a 100 percent tax on earnings higher than $250,000 per year, it would keep the government running for only 141 days.
Ayn Rand, in her novel "Atlas Shrugged," reminded us that "when you have made evil the means of survival, do not expect men to remain good."
Kaslin, Thanks for your dedication to FreeRepublic. I know I will be reading a post of substance when I see an article posted by you. Thanks to your efforts, and others, I’ve learned a LOT on FR.
you’re welcome and thanks
"I KNOW BUT ONE CODE OF MORALITY FOR MEN WHETHER ACTING SINGLY OR COLLECTIVELY"
I was scanning the titles of threads and just the name ‘Walter E. Williams’ caused me to stop and read the thread. Such is the wisdom of this man, this teacher, this American Ggem of wisdom. I shake my head when I consider that the first black American president is a little bastard commie, when we have such wise men as Walter Williams and Tom Sowell who are all but ignored by the black community which worships the socialist demagogues.
We cannot show charity to the deserving poor by coercing and extorting money from others. The only answer is the Biblical example of charity. Indeed in the very same books that vigorously protect property, God says that the righteous have an obligation to help those in need.
Government has almost destroyed charity. It has expanded the mentality of entitlement so there are many “poor” yet far fewer who deserve help even though they qualify under the rules. Government has tremendous overhead and government gets to act as the power broker. Those being taxed curry favor with the politician who promises to tax them less and the poor curry favor with the politician who promises to give them more of the loot.
We could put an end to this by granting a 100% refundable tax credit to qualified charities who would then use the money to fulfill the needs they see in the communities they serve. We could even manage the level of service by setting the tax credit higher or lower. But like with public education, public “charity” is far more about setting government up as a broker of power and a controller of people than it is about performing a needed function in society.
There are different types of need that justify charity. I need to count up the number of times the Bible refers to helping widows and orphans. It is mentioned over, and over. Obviously, how one treats the defenseless matters to God, and reflects upon us as individuals.
Taking individual out of the equation is what makes the entire system evil, because it shifts the burden from individual decisions made by free people to coersion by government agents willing to employ lethal force to enforce their edicts.
On the other hand, the Bible also instructs that an able man who does not work should not eat. This is because it promotes sloth, which leads to all kinds of evils.