President Franklin D. Roosevelt laid the foundations of our welfare state with pure intentions, aiming to lift our retired citizens from poverty through Social Security in 1933. This vision has expanded through subsequent administrations, including President Johnson’s.
However, over the years, the evolution of welfare has led to some unintended consequences. My belief is that we must reassess and realign our welfare approach to reinforce the values of compassion, self-reliance, and fiscal responsibility. Here’s how:
Social Security: A Commitment, Not a Handout
To me, Social Security is not mere welfare but a promise—an insurance policy that Americans pay into for their future. It’s time to put it on solid fiscal ground. Unfortunately, Congress’s diversion of these funds for other purposes has weakened this essential safety net. Let’s mend it quickly to protect the confidence and security of those nearing retirement.
Welfare: Support with Purpose
Welfare should be a helping hand, not a permanent crutch. It must be evaluated based on need, provided
compassionately but sparingly, and always with the aim of fostering independence. This includes reining in corporate and foreign assistance that doesn’t serve our national interests.
I advocate for:
- Sustainable Support: Temporary assistance to ensure basic life needs, without unnecessary excess.
- Prioritizing Citizens: Putting American citizens first, as any nation should prioritize its people.
- Engaging the Private Sector: Trusting in the private sector’s capacity to provide charity as needed, with the government focusing on health, safety, and security.
- A Balanced Perspective on Welfare
Both parties have perspectives on welfare that contain truths and missteps. While some in the Democratic party may over-rely on government assistance, some in the GOP might overlook the essential role of government in providing a safety net.
My vision is one of balance:
- Empowering Self-Reliance: Encouraging people to provide for themselves, recognizing that genuine self-sufficiency brings dignity and fulfillment.
- Compassionate Care: Understanding that government assistance is vital in desperate times but should be tempered with wisdom.
- Community Responsibility: Building a prosperous society where individuals, communities, and faith organizations have the means to offer support and teach self-sufficiency.
Our welfare system began with noble intentions, and those principles should continue to guide us. By reassessing and restructuring our approach to welfare and Social Security, we can create a compassionate and fiscally responsible system that serves our citizens well. Let’s work together to ensure that we provide temporary support and lifelong empowerment, not dependency. Let’s teach our fellow Americans to fish, as we also provide for them temporarily. Our strength as a nation lies in the balance of compassion, responsibility, and self-reliance.