So we have promoted a culture, a culture fostered by the political left, that sanctions behavior in which poverty is more likely to occur. And then those that promote this culture say it is only fair that everybody pay the costs.
Worse, the evidence is overwhelming that government spending on poverty has little or no impact on the incidence of poverty.
Again according to Haskins of Brookings, from 1980 to 2011, spending in constant (inflation adjusted) dollars on means-tested (poverty) programs increased $500 billion, with a tripling of the amount spent per person in poverty. Over the same period the poverty rate was virtually unchanged.
Also worth noting is that over this same period, the percent of babies born to unwed mothers went from 18 percent in 1980 to over 40 percent in 2011.
In the first three years of the Obama administration, spending on these means-tested programs increased almost $150 billion, or 31 percent.
ObamaCare will add up to 20 million more individuals to the almost 60 million already covered by Medicaid, the government health care program for the poor. Medicaid now pays for 40 percent of all babies born in the country.
Price tag of big government, moral relativism - hundreds of billions. Price tag of limited government, personal responsibility - zero.
Is this an ideological battle? Of course it is.