When Government Payees Outnumber Taxpayers

The inability of the United States and state governments to produce responsible budgets is part of a widespread problem in which the number of people receiving some type of government checks outnumber the people who don’t. In 2007 the Christian Science Monitor reported that “slightly over half of all Americans—52.6%—now receive significant income from government programs.” This number was expected to grow to 60% by 2040—and that’s before the passage of Obamacare, which would put the nation’s largest non-government industry under the control of the Federal government.

The most recent legislative sessions are revealing the consequences of this situation. Dependents outnumber providers and the national and state budgets mirror the type of budgets that would be produced if children voted on how to spend their parent’s money, teachers voted on how to spend the county’s money, or prisoners voted on how to spend the prison budget. This is a conflict of interest that the Founding Father’s never envisioned, because they could only imagine a small percentage of citizens receiving a Federal or State paycheck, and certainly no retirement check.

Huge New Poll Shows That Our Chances Of Balancing The Budget Are Approximately 0%—Business Insider

When the Democrats, who represent this government payee constituency, were in charge of the 2010 Congress, and the Minnesota State Legislature, they failed to even pass budgets. Now, with a Republican legislature representing the providers in a majority in Minnesota, a standoff over the Minnesota budget has occurred when the Democratic Governor, Mark Dayton, backed by government unions, refused to sign a budget created by the representatives of the people. Thus began a game of chicken that forced a state shutdown, except the legislators did not stop their own paychecks and the courts unilaterally ruled the state had to continue to pay them.

The U.S. founders worked to create checks and balances in the long-ignored Constitution that would prevent government from degenerating and breaking down in this way. For one thing, they left all welfare payments to lower governments, and they forbade direct taxation of the people. The Federal government was a Union of States, and if states were to be taxed, it was to be on an apportioned basis. The 16th Amendment was a trojan horse that created a pool of money in Washington that got people addicted to payments, this virus has now overtaken the entire system.

In most institutions it is standard practice not to vote if you will personally profit from that vote; it is considered a conflict of interest. Governments ask non-profit corporations to abide by this principle, but have failed to heed it themselves. Without repealing the 16th Amendment and devolving welfare payments to the states, it is hard to imagine the Federal government continuing in its present form.

Forbidding voting in the case of a conflict of personal interest might be necessary to enable the system to work. It would mean that the only people who could vote to provide welfare, would be doing so by choice, by volunteering their own tax dollars for some social good. This would insure that welfare is not a form of theft that will turn into the conquest of a mob of recipients driving out all of the providers.

Share

About Gordon Anderson

GORDON L. ANDERSON is the President of Paragon House, Editor-in-Chief of International Journal on World Peace, and Adjunct Professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies. He earned an M.Div. in Christian Ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York and a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion from Claremont Graduate University. He is author of several articles and books including Philosophy of the United States: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness and Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, Version 4.0.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blue Captcha Image
Refresh

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>