We used to be a nation, as Senator Rubio pointed out, where parents raised and cared for children, then those children cared for their aging parents. Where neighbors cared for neighbors.
We might note that the welfare state idea is not an American invention but an import from Europe. We also might note that about 20 percent of Europeans attend church regularly, half that of Americans.
Europe is characterized today by low birth rates – so low that they are not replacing themselves – and high unemployment rates. The unemployment rate in France has hovered between 8 and 11 percent over the last 25 years.
We must wonder if even we can take on our fiscal problems, if traditional American family life can be restored, and if we believe it even matters.
It is to Senator Rubio’s considerable credit that he has stood up to argue that we must look at the picture of our nation in its entirety. That we cannot separate our budget matters and our attitude toward government from our overall culture and our personal behavior.
What is before us today is not a battle of competing numbers but a battle of competing visions.
Is America to continue in the direction of welfare state materialism? Or will this be a free nation under God?