A light, airy, effervescent, blog of grave consequence. (NOT!) Dedicated to those of us who must respond to negative stimuli by Chernobyling (entombing in concrete) our innermost thoughts.

Location: Slaughter, Louisiana, United States

A semi-gruntled corporate reliability engineer trying to make ends meet while keeping my wife happy, and myself out of the asylum.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Uncompassionate Conservatism?

Rod Dreher, an editorial writer and columnist for the Dallas Morning News published an interesting column about a difficult subject on August 29, 2004. Here is a link to the entire article: Registration required.

Mr. Dreher's point is, in cutting the state budget to compensate for a huge revenue shortfall, the state republicans have eliminated some publicly funded programs, specifically CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program), that, because of their ability to help hold families together in times of crisis, were worth more than the strict adherance to the mantra of "No New Taxes."

He makes good points about the hard-working, but temporarily under the weather recipients of public assistance.

  • " A society that pushes struggling families to the wall and that denies minimal health care to children who had nothing to do with the circumstances, is not a good society. It is a society that attacks the family and calls it conservative virtue."
While I understand this sentiment and agree that the Child Medical Insurance plan may not have been the best place to start budget cuts, I have to wonder what can be done in any circumstance to reduce the level of reliance on governmentally sponsered social welfare programs.

How did the unfortunate and displaced survive prior to the introduction of public assistance? I believe that charity was once the domain of Churches and neighborhoods. Unfortunately for all of us, in our rush toward a Godless society, we have lost much of our faith and sense of community so there is little aide available from these formerly trusted sources.

Most conservatives would agree that typically administered social welfare programs do not reinforce the value of a stable nuclear family. The replacement of a father-figure by a government check is a documented result of the last 40 years of welfare.

What method of choosing families that are deserving of assistance could be used by a state government that would not result in cries of "Discrimination" from one corner or another? Or, asked another way, how can the abusers of public assistance be removed from the roles so that the program can be administered in good conscience? That is not a question that any politician who might ever run for re-election would answer.

So, there we have it. The true problem is not that republicans cut the budget and displaced some deserving families. The problem is a societal unwillingness to confront the nanny-state head on and modify the programs that are being abused. Until we stop saying that everyone is just as deserving as everyone else, everyone loses.


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