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Lloyd Waters: Ever find government a little troubling?

October 14, 2012|By LLOYD WATERS

Everyone has an opinion on the role of government. Should we have more of it or less of it? Your answer, I suppose, is determined by where you wake up each morning and find yourself.

I would think that most Americans still believe a little bit in the American dream; you get up in the morning, go to work, and make your dream come true.

But Mitt Romney thinks there are a lot of people who get up in the morning, draw their entitlements, and then go back to bed.

Romney was overheard saying that 47 percent of our population benefit from some sort of entitlement from the government. He has since recanted this statement and figure.

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Do you believe, however, that there “is” a real percentage who actually does take advantage of our government?

I have worked most of my life just like many people I know.

But I have encountered numerous examples of people who get out of bed each morning and look for someone else to keep or provide for them. Some examples:

  •  Need a cell phone; the government will get you one;
  • Lose a house you can’t afford; the government will help prevent foreclosure;
  • Don’t want to work (but in many cases can); get a disability;
  • Enjoy relationships but don’t want kids; government will provide contraception;
  • Enjoy relationships, don’t want kids, don’t use contraception; the government supports abortion;
  • Want kids but don’t have a job; the government will provide assistance.

I often think about the California mother Nadya Suleman, who had a great desire to have a few children.

Actually, her desire must have been to have a few more children, since records indicate she already had six before giving birth to octuplets (8) in 2009.

A real achievement: A single mom giving birth to 14 kids.

“In vitro fertilization” really does work if you are interested.

I like families and I like kids, but I also like responsible adults.

How is a single mom going to find funds and time to supervise and raise 14 kids?

What’s the answer?

I think you already know the answer; the government will assist and perhaps for a very long time.

When I worked in the prison as a young correctional officer, I would often spend time talking to those incarcerated. They could tell you to the penny how much money one’s family could receive each month by multiplying the number of kids in their household by the amount of government assistance received. 

We have created a society that encourages people to be irresponsible in their thinking and decision making while being rewarded in many cases for this same behavior by the government.

What’s wrong with penalizing bad behavior and rewarding good behavior?

Do you think government could improve our society by taking this approach?

I don’t believe the real objection in society is to helping those in need at all. I think the real objection is supporting the lazy, the harebrained, the poor decision makers, and those money usurpers who expect something while offering little for the good of a community.

Is it realistic to expect Uncle Sam to continue to bail out people from their poor decision making? 

Our constitution entitles each American to the “pursuit of happiness.” Anything wrong with encouraging or expecting a little personal responsibility along the way? I never hear much discussion about personal responsibility these days.

I know a grandmother who has difficulty paying her pharmacy bill each month, but her granddaughter has three kids, does not work, and receives money for housing, food and other amenities.

Nothing to suggest she is finished with having kids either.

I have an empathetic heart for those who are poor amongst us. I have very little empathy, however, for the lazy and those who would take and offer “nothing” in return for the good of our world.

Lloyd “Pete” Waters is a Sharpsburg resident who writes columns for The Herald-Mail.

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