Terry Paulson

Starting during President Johnson's term, our country tried spending our way to becoming a very compassionate country. Over three decades, our government invested 5.4 trillion dollars in welfare payments in our "War on Poverty." The investment would have been worth it, if it had worked, but it didn't eliminate poverty.

In fact, the results of this type of government-run compassion have been devastating, creating a debilitating dependence on the very programs that were designed to help. Ronald Reagan said it well: "Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence."

Compassion should be measured by how many people no longer need government programs instead of by how many are served by them. We need a safety net, not a hammock. As our first Republican President Abraham Lincoln said, "The worst thing you can do for those you love is the thing they could and should do for themselves."

We've gone from protecting the unfortunate to supporting the irresponsible. In fact, many liberal politicians seem to want to keep citizens dependent on government. They hate poverty so much that they reward it!

Unfortunately, whatever you reward you get more of! So if my response to your entry-level job is to raise your minimum wage beyond its market value, you're more likely to stay in that dead-end job. Why go to college or learn a new skill if you can get enough money settling for a job with minimum skills?

Republicans support economic tough love that challenges all citizens to better themselves. A free-market economy rewards achievement and not anything less. Is that mean-spirited? We loved our son enough to teach him early that in a competitive world you don’t get everything you want just because you want it. We showed him our love, but we also let him know that he would experience the consequences for his own choices. If he didn't save his money, he wouldn't have money to spend. If he got in trouble in school, he'd be accountable not excused.

In America, all citizens are guaranteed "the pursuit of happiness," not happiness given to them by a controlling government. Democrats would have you believe that every American is entitled to full healthcare, welfare, and high wages whether they've earned it or not. And, of course, who is supposed to pay for all these entitlements, those greedy, "wealthy" Americans who already pay most of the taxes! Will Rogers said it years ago, "I remember back when a liberal was someone who was generous with his own money."

Gerald Ford summed it up well, "A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have." Socialism is not new. It's failed wherever it has been tried. It won’t help you achieve your dreams; it will only punish and stifle your success! Obama believes you can't live the American Dream without taking your neighbor's money to give you another entitlement. That's not the American Dream; that's a nightmare.

Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson, PhD is a psychologist, award-winning professional speaker, author of The Optimism Advantage: 50 Simple Truths to Transform Your Attitudes and Actions into Results, and long-time columnist for the Ventura County Star.

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