Opinion

The Road To Hell Is Paved With…Free Utilities?

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Posted: May 28, 2020 12:01 AM
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The Road To Hell Is Paved With…Free Utilities?

Source: AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman

“The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” That saying holds true more now than ever. But in the rush to “do something,” what the government does – in response to the global pandemic – actually matters.

In the last few months, Washington has spent at least $5 trillion trying to mitigate the economic damage done by lockdowns and stay-at-home orders. And that’s not counting the cash the Federal Reserve is setting on fire daily.

It’s easy to sneak favors into massive omnibus spending bills, so it’s Christmas in spring right now. The Kennedy Center gets a truckload of money, Planned Parenthood gets small business loans, etc., you know the stories.

Now, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her “Squad” are looking for as many cash giveaways as possible, and only the Republican controlled Senate and the president are in their way.

The left-wing of the Democratic Party is floating the idea of suspending mortgage and rent payments until the pandemic ends. Of course, the pandemic won’t be declared ended unless a vaccine is created, which may never happen. They’re also pushing for student loan forgiveness – vaccinating people against the consequences of majoring in something unmarketable (gender studies, for example) at a school they had to borrow a quarter-million dollars to attend (rather than an affordable state school).

There is no end to the opportunities available to politicians seeking some advantage in November.

The ironically named HEROES Act, which is really a bailout for fiscally irresponsible blue state Governors, includes a bunch of these little “favors” for Democratic Party electoral payoffs. Imagine a campaign where a candidate promises, for example, to protect you from your utility bills by mandating your water, gas, or electricity can’t be shut off. What incentive would you have to pay your bills? None.

The expenses of the utility companies don’t stop just because people aren’t paying their bills; salaries still have to be paid. If you wanted to drive them into bankruptcy, I’m not sure there’s a better way to do it. The road to Hell…and all that.

What are people supposed to use all that money the government is sending out for if not to pay their bills? Was it to keep people’s heads above water or buy new giant TVs? At some point, doesn’t personal responsibility have to come into play, even in an emergency?

It should. But so much of what the Democratic Party pushes these days is designed explicitly to absolve people of personal responsibility. Why else are schools still handing out food to kids of parents who receive food stamps? What are the food stamps for?

A lot of what we’re doing is necessary – the government stopped the economy and has an obligation to make sure as little damage as possible is done to people until it gets going again. But a lot of what we’re doing is making bad situations even worse. Kids are learning that good things come from government, not their parents – i.e. school meal distribution. And some adults are learning that the government will give them money while protecting them from the consequences of using it irresponsibly, from blowing it rather than prioritizing paying their most basic of bills.

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What is ridiculous about the Democrats' proposal to eliminate utility payments is that there is a federal government program that exists to help people pay their utility bills. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program – or LIHEAP – can be funded to ensure that people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic can keep their gas and electricity. But that would actually make sense, and is something the Senate may want to consider.

Sure, suspending rent and mortgages sounds great, as does banning the shutting off of utilities, but those decisions have real, damaging consequences. You ready for landlords, banks, and utility companies to go out of business in the name of compassion? Who’d ever re-enter those markets to fill that void, knowing the government could swoop in at any time and screw you? No one. Which would leave government to grow even larger and take over those businesses. Then we wouldn’t be on the road to Hell any longer, we will have arrived.

Derek Hunter is the host of a free daily podcast (subscribe!), host of a daily radio show on WCBM in Maryland, and author of the book, Outrage, INC., which exposes how liberals use fear and hatred to manipulate the masses. Follow him on Twitter at @DerekAHunter.