But here we go anyway…
At a website of a local candidate for City Council, I found an ebook for free download. This was made available a few years back by Chris Cannon, a Utah Congressman. It’s called, “The Role of Government”, by Ezra Taft Benson.
Here’s an excerpt:
“I believe it a violation of the Constitution for government to deprive the individual of life, liberty, or property except for these purposes:
“1 Punish crime and provide for the administration of justice;
“2 Protect the right and control of private property;
“3 Wage defensive war and provide for the nation’s defense;
“4 Compel each one who enjoys the protection of government to bear his fair share of the burden of performing the above functions.”
Basically, that means that government can only provide a judicial system, a police force, and an army, and that it can tax its citizens to pay for that, and that alone.
Now, on the surface, that seems pretty reasonable. No big government, no volumes of rules and regulations, no high taxes. Pretty sweet, huh? In theory, it sounds great. But in practicality, I have some significant problems with it.
Any other use of taxes, he says, is redistribution of wealth and plunder. “…Once government steps over this clear line between the protective or negative role into the aggressive role of redistributing the wealth and providing so called “benefits” for some of its citizens, then it becomes means for what he accurately described as legalized plunder. It becomes a lever of unlimited power which is the sought-after prize of unscrupulous individuals and pressure groups, each seeking to control the machine to fatten his own pockets or to benefit its favorite charities—all with the other fellow’s money, of course.”
But when talking about the needy, the lame, the sick, he says, “
OK, so where’s all this going?
Every year, Jodi goes to the state capitol to lobby the legislators to provide more funding for services for the handicapped. Most prominent among those is a system called DSPD (the Division for Services for People with Disabilities). This system helps provide many valuable services for people, like my son Jacob. Unfortunately, the system is also drastically underfunded. There is currently about a four to five year waiting list to get approved. It took Jacob about four years to get off the list and begin receiving services.
Previously, however, once you were off the waiting list and on services, you were guaranteed services and aid pretty much for good. Not so any more. This last summer, Jacob had to requalify.
Let’s look at Jacob’s situation. The actual services we receive from DSPD are actually pretty nominal. A few hundred dollars a month for respite care. But the big deal is that if you get services from DSPD, you automatically qualify for Medicaid. That’s a big deal. What that means is that after our own insurance coverage, Medicaid covers the remainder of his medical bills.
For those that don’t understand that, let me point some things out:
- His formula for nourishment costs $2500 a month.
- His wheelchair for mobility at school and home costs over $20,000
- His medications for Cystic Fibrosis and seizures cost upwards of 8,000 to 10,000 a month
- And on and on…
So, if our state legislators were to follow President Benson’s advice, we would be left with expenses of over 10 to 15 thousand dollars A MONTH!
Let me clarify. This is not because I’m a lazy bum who can’t get work to support my family. This is not because I’m a welfare leech. This is not because I have bad or no insurance. This is the cost AFTER my insurance.
Let me further clarify: This is not money we’d like to have so that we can maintain a more comfortable standard of living. This is not so that we can drive a nicer car. This is money spent on medicines (and we receive the medicines, not the money) to keep my son ALIVE. Let me stress that. Without this “unconstitutional redistribution of plundered wealth”, my son would DIE.
So, how come he didn’t die while he was waiting on the list? Because my wife tackled his health care as if it were her full-time job and found other governmental sources of “unconstitutional redistributions of plundered wealth.” It also helped that he wasn’t having seizures back then and was on fewer medications.
The alternative, according to President Benson, is to rely on the charity of those around us. Anyone willing to step up and donate a couple of grand a month to help us out? I’m not holding my breath.
Here’s my point: Yes, government is too big. I think much of that has to do with a bloated “defense” budget, but that’s another blog entry for another day. Yes, there are a lot of people who cheat welfare. Yes, the welfare system is set up to encourage people to stay on and cheat.
But let’s reform the system to truly take care of those who need it, and not cut everyone off in the process.