Friday, April 2, 2010

Entitlements, Recipients, & Contributors by Julie Ranson

In my last post on entitlements, I focused on the growing bloat of the welfare state in the U.S. This time, let’s talk about the recipient class and the provider class in this entitlement nation.

One of my favorite radio talk show hosts, Andrew Wilkow, speaks often about the recipient class and its members’ status as “zero-liability voters.” A zero-liability voter is a member of the recipient class who receives more money back from the government than he/she put in. We can also call the recipient a “non-contributor” or a “net consumer.” (Among other things….)

FDR's New Deal and the Earned Income Credit (EIC) are significant factors in the growth of the citizen class. The EI credit has been expanded for years 2009 and 2010. Those who earn this credit file taxes and often receive a refund over and above anything paid in. Roughly 40% of Americans pay zero or less in federal taxes. What happens if or when this recipient class exceeds 50%? Imagine the power this group will have to consistently elect those who will continue to pay them. What courageous politicians will be willing to cut entitlement programs and, essentially, commit political suicide?

On the other hand, what motivation does a recipient have to get off of welfare? Consider this scenario that repeats itself across the country and around the globe:
A lady in business for herself needed help to meet the demands of her customers. She has hired five different helpers during the past year; each has, after varying lengths of time, simply not shown up for work. The latest hire, who showed the most promise, was given a Christmas bonus and a Christmas gift, after which she never returned. Each of these employees was, in general, poorly educated and receiving, in one form or another, monthly handouts from the state or federal government. There was, therefore, little need for them to hold down a job.

This recipient class has no feeling for the provider class. Rich people can “afford” to pay more, can’t they? Isn’t this what liberals say too often? Listening to a liberal radio talk show host right after healthcare passage, I heard the host opine that “finally the rich will pay their Fair Share.” Another viewpoint decries tax cuts as welfare for the rich. “The key Republican tax proposals during the Bush administration have amounted to massive amounts of welfare for a class of Americans who don't need the help.” It’s THEIR money the government lets them keep. Hardly welfare, but such is the viewpoint of the left.

With a burgeoning federal deficit and no spending cuts in sight, the government will need to seek out more taxpayers or increase the taxes of those who are Taxed Enough Already.