Pat Buchanan

By every standard, America is a far more prosperous country than in the 1950s. Yet, then, there were no food stamps. Today, 47 million Americans are on food stamps at an annual cost of $72 billion.

Does it not say something alarming when one in seven Americans cannot rely upon themselves or their families for their daily bread?

During the Chicago school strike, we learned that 86 percent of the 350,000 pupils were getting free or subsidized meals twice a day.

What kind of society have we become when children in a great city cannot rely on mothers or fathers for a bowl of cereal in the morning and a brown bag with a sandwich and apple in it for lunch?

Federal, state and local government together now consume 37 percent of the economy. Can we not see where this is leading us, by looking at Spain or Italy -- or California?

In the Golden Land, the state tax burden has been shifted heavily onto the most successful, while state benefits have exploded.

Result: For the first time since California entered the Union, the young and middle class are moving out, not in, heading for Colorado, Arizona, Idaho and Nevada. And California has become the destination of choice for the immigrant poor, legal and illegal.

Yet, the November ballot has a proposal to raise the state income tax on the rich to the highest in the nation, 13.3 percent.

Romney indicated that folks deeply dependent on government are almost impossible for an advocate of smaller government to win over. Is he entirely off base when Washington, D.C., the most government-dependent city in America, went 93-7 for Obama in 2008?

In his 1935 State of the Union, Franklin Roosevelt himself warned about exactly what Mitt Romney is talking about.

"Continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit. ... The Federal Government must and shall quit this business of relief."

That greatest generation got off the narcotic of dependency.

Unfortunately, for tens of millions today, that narcotic has become indispensable. And "spiritual and moral disintegration" describes exactly the condition of all too many who have come to rely upon it.

No apologies needed, Mitt.

Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
 
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