There is a wealth of information available from the U.S. Government to help you become more self reliant…unfortunately there is another narrative…this newer narrative is the government actively discouraging self reliance and encouraging dependence. I see this new narrative as a growing trend with more and more messages like this one highlighted by the Washington Examiner:
More Americans rely on their families for assistance than the government, so federal officials have undertaken an effort to help people to apply for federal assistance.
“Given that only 15 percent of you turn to government assistance in tough times, we want to make sure you know about benefits that could help you,” USA.gov announced today. The ”government made easy’ website has created a “help for difficult financial times” page for people to learn more about the programs.
The government got that statistic from a poll asking Americans what helps them the most during tough times. Here are the results:
- Savings 44%
- Family 21%
- Credit cards/loans 20%
- Government assistance 15%
CNN provides another example of this message of dependence being broadcast from our nation’s leaders:
More than one in seven Americans are on food stamps, but the federal government wants even more people to sign up for the safety net program.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has been running radio ads for the past four months encouraging those eligible to enroll. The campaign is targeted at the elderly, working poor, the unemployed and Hispanics.
When a hand-up becomes a life-long, lifestyle of taking hand-outs we all lose. According to the Cato Institute, anti-poverty programs cost the U.S. taxpayers $668 billion last year. This represents an increase of more than $193 billion since 2008.
[Since 2008, anti-poverty spending has increased]… roughly 2½ times greater than any previous increase over a similar time frame in U.S. history and will increase means-tested welfare spending by about 2.4 percent of gross domestic product.
Moreover, if one includes state and local welfare spending, government at all levels will spend more than $952 billion this year to fight poverty.
…The more money we spend on welfare programs, it [the administration] argues, the more people receive benefits from those programs, the better job we do fighting poverty. By those measures, we are indeed doing a better job.
We can’t spend our way out of poverty! The politics of dependency stresses society and makes each of us more vulnerable to disasters as those around us embrace helplessness. Remember, when your neighbor is better prepared, so are you. We must recover the narrative that encourages self reliance and rekindle that spirit of rugged independence that made this nation great.