You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

EDITORIAL: Happy Dependence Day

Who needs Ben Franklin when we have John Roberts?

Question of the Day

Should Congress make English the official language of the U.S.?

View results

Forget about those fireworks (too dangerous) and their ostentatious display of anachronistic values. Forget also about mom (sexist gender-role stereotype) and apple pie (too fattening). Wednesday has become Dependence Day, a time to reflect on all the good that the federal government does for us.

Thursday's Supreme Court decision set us free from the tired notion that individuals should be forced to make difficult decisions about what's best for themselves. How much better we all are that we have unelected agency heads in Washington who can plan for the collective good.

Such plans now encompass everything that touches on a person's health and well-being, as President Obama explained while enumerating the blessings of his reinvigorated Obamacare law. "Because of the Affordable Care Act, young adults under the age of 26 are able to stay on their parent's health care plans," he said. "Because of the Affordable Care Act, seniors receive a discount on their prescription drugs - a discount that's already saved more than 5 million seniors on Medicare about $600 each."

That's just a sampling of the upcoming goodies that we have been promised on top of already generous entitlements. According to the Census Bureau, there are 17,777,797 Americans whose paychecks come from either a local, state or federal government entity. Another 13.9 million who don't work also receive government checks in the form of unemployment benefits. Some 61.5 million retirees receive an average of $1,126 per month from Social Security. Forty-six million are on food stamps and related programs at a collective cost of $105 billion.

Taken together, the Tax Foundation estimates 58 million Americans filed tax returns but paid no income tax, receiving a total of $105 billion in refundable credits. This shows the number of households dependent on the generosity of politicians is nearly equal to the number who rely on their own hard work.

This isn't the state of affairs the Founding Fathers imagined as they sketched out their blueprint for a national government. In an April 1768 letter to The Gentleman's Magazine, Ben Franklin explained his principles by writing, "I fear the giving mankind a dependence on any thing for support, in age or sickness, besides industry and frugality during youth and health, tends to flatter our natural indolence, to encourage idleness and prodigality, and thereby to promote and increase poverty, the very evil it was intended to cure; thus multiplying beggars instead of diminishing them."

Thanks to Chief Justice John Roberts, we can finally bury Franklin's quaint notions of self-reliance. We have a government that can take care of our every need and want, from cradle to grave, in sickness and in health. That is a transformation in our nation's character worthy of reflection as we celebrate America's 236th birthday.

The Washington Times

© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
TWT Video Picks
You Might Also Like
  • Maureen McDonnell looks on as her husband, former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, made a statement on Tuesday after the couple was indicted on corruption charges. (associated press)

    PRUDEN: Where have the big-time grifters gone?

  • This photo taken Jan. 9, 2014,  shows New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gesturing as he answers a question during a news conference  at the Statehouse in Trenton.  Christie will propose extending the public school calendar and lengthening the school day in a speech he hopes will help him rebound from an apparent political payback scheme orchestrated by key aides. The early front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will make a case Tuesday Jan. 14, 2014, that children who spend more time in school graduate better prepared academically, according to excerpts of his State of the State address obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

    BRUCE: Bombastic arrogance or humble determination? Chris Christie’s choice

  • ** FILE ** Secretary of State Hillary Rodham testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Chris Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

    PRUDEN: The question to haunt the West

  • Get Breaking Alerts