Promote the general WelfarePosted Saturday, August 27, 2011, at 7:45 PM
These four very simple words strung together have caused much consternation over the last century or more. This phrase is used twice in the Constitution. The first time is in the preamble and that is what I will try to address here. While the founding fathers were very wise, they couldn't possibly foresee the future as it exists today. I do believe that their intent was to produce a document that would guide a young nation. They saw the result of the Puritan experiment, therefore the 1st amendment. Therefore also my opposition to any group of people who would seek to impose on the nation their particular religious views, but I digress. The concept of the social aspect of the general welfare was accepted by the Supreme Court by validating Social Security, our government's first excursion into social welfare. Since then both ends of the political spectrum have tried to achieve their vision of promoting the general welfare and at the end of the day, both sides have been dismal failures. One side has promoted self sufficiency, faith based aid and has systematically tried to eliminate basic safety nets, while the other side has promoted cradle to grave care.
Both sides are wrong and there has to be an answer somewhere in the middle. The concept of community based safety nets were perverted by the greed of some of those who provided the safety net. The concept of government based safety nets has been perverted by the greed of some of those who benefit from the safety nets and have made them a way of life. I'm sure that the founding fathers would have no problem with basic safety nets for the citizens of this country. Food, Shelter and Medical Care. I added Medical care as it has become so expensive and expansive that it completely out of reach for so many.
That being said, I think the founding fathers would have no problems with attaching certain strings on said aid, i.e. where and how it is spent. What sort of giving back to the community should be required for those who can give back with their labor or skills.
I hope everyone noticed I said the CITIZENS of this country. Now before anyone accuses me of being an uncaring ogre because of the children of illegal immigrants would go hungry or lack shelter or medical care because of the sins of their parents, that isn't what I'm proposing. The Medical care part is easy since it is person specific. The question is how to feed and provide shelter to the children without benefiting the parents. It is vexing, and I for one have no reasonable answer. The one answer that has been put forward is to simply deport them all. Children born on U.S. soil are citizens. Until the Supreme Court reverses itself that is the law of the land. So if we deport the parents, what of the children left behind? Like it or not, they are citizens.
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Almost 65 and retired. Raised by an East Coast liberal. I am also a child of the sixties.
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