Yes, I understand the implications contained in the title to this piece. “Nutshell” It’s a common metaphor, but when connecting it to politics, it’s dangerous. Just so you know, I know.
Here we are in the last half of May 2014 and there are so many misconceptions about what people believe, who they are, and all the labels appear to divide more than unite. So let’s dive in with my beliefs.
Our Federal Government has overstepped their constitutional boundaries in multiple areas. This is not new and it is not tied to one political party. We can go back to the beginnings of the Social Security era and we will see how the Federal Government began extracting money from one group (the workers) to give to another group (the retired). It has grown and expanded and is now too big to fail. This redistribution of money at the Federal level of government has spread to multiple programs ranging from health care, (I’m talking about Medicare and Medicaid, but we can also include the provisions of the Affordable Health Care program too), to multiple subsidies and relief programs for the poor.
Scott, you sound like a mean-hearted, selfish, son-of-a-gun.
Stop a second. Read what I wrote in bold. I am not against helping those who need help. I am against the power that our Federal Government has granted itself that oversteps their role. In an ideal world, each state government would be taking care of these needs, not the Federal government. And each of our 50 states has the authority in their own state constitution to decide how to take care of those needs. Perhaps it’s done on a more local level.
Where I live, besides Federal and State levels of government, we also have multiple local levels. I live in the city of Fort Wayne which has authority and responsibility for its citizens and certain services. But not everyone in Indiana lives in a city or town. However, the entire state is dividing into counties, which includes everyone. Counties are often subdivided into townships. Townships offer services to the residents who live within their borders. Take a look at the duties that the Township Trustees have where I live by clicking here. What stands out to me is this section:
Overseeing the poor and distributing poor relief is a primary duty in many townships. The trustee is charged to care for the poor by the most economical means available and at the same time is charged to be sure that the necessary needs of an individual or family are met. The applicant must show that they are unable to provide those needs through personal effort and that they have exhausted all other means.
Many trustees creatively cooperate with other agencies and churches in their areas, keeping costs controlled and delivering services needed. The advantage the Trustee’s systems has over other forms of welfare is the freedom to discern whether or not an individual has and is willing to put forth that personal effort to help themselves. (Title 12 of IN Code)
Now that sounds a lot like neighbor helping neighbor. There is accountability involved. There is a redistribution of stuff, but it is a combination of stuff that has been voluntarily donated and some government assistance.
A couple of paragraphs ago I mentioned that this was in an ideal world. Because we have been trained to rely on our Federal Government for generations for things that 100 years ago did not. We cannot and should not simply tell those receiving Social Security Retirement benefits that they are cut off. Social Security is too important to the economic survival for too many to tell those who have been faithfully paid into the system that they are no longer going to get their monthly payment.
I don’t know what the solution is to stop this dependency on Federal Government programs without creating economic chaos and revolt. I do know that we can stop it from spreading, by saying no to more and more government programs that are in the hands or oversight of our Federal Government.
We need to educate others and ourselves about the true role of our various levels of government. See, the argument needs to be refocused from the more government/less government stance, to which government Federal/State/Local has the power/authority/responsibility for the various aspects of our lives.
We blame the President and Congress for too much because we want them to fix our problems. Or stop being the problem.
That’s the easy/lazy/ineffective and dare I say stupid way out. At the national level, their decisions are too politically inspired. Meaning they will say and do stuff that they believe will help them stay in office and get reelected. As citizens we need to know who is really in charge and can make changes that affect our daily lives.
Indiana just had our 2014 primary elections this month. Primary Elections are for the political parties. You declare which party ballot you want, and they load your voting machine with the registered candidates of that party. You get to vote in your party election to select who will be representing the party in the various political offices in the November election.
12% of registered voters participated this month. I was one. There were several names of local people running for office that I never heard of. And considering I try and pay attention, I wonder about those people who voted who had no clue who anyone was on the ballot.
Want to change the direction this country is going? Start local. Find out who will be on the ballot and decide before you vote who you will vote for. Base it on your beliefs and those of the candidates.
Also demand less from the Federal Government and more from your State and Local officials. Next time I’ll share more, but in the mean time, your comments are welcome.