When one adds the 107 million Americans already receiving some form of means-tested government welfare, to the 46 million seniors collecting Medicare and 22 million government employees at the federal, state and local level suddenly, over 165 million people, a clear majority of the 308 million Americans counted by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2010, are at least partially dependents of the state.
We clearly live in a welfare state based, not on the production of wealth, but on the redistribution of wealth. Here are thirteen quotes from men of recent history on government welfare:
“I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. If we run into such debts, we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessities and in our comforts, in our labor and in our amusements. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labor of the people, under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.” – Thomas Jefferson
“When the people find that they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” – Ben Franklin.
“There are two ways to enslave a nation. One is by arms. The other is by debt.” – John Adams
“If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains set lightly upon you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” – Samuel Adams
“Property is the fruit of labor. Property is desirable, is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently to build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence.” – Abraham Lincoln
“This question of legal plunder must be settled once and for all, and there are only three ways to settle it: (1) The few plunder the many. (2) Everybody plunders everybody. (3) Nobody plunders anybody.” – Frederic Bastiat
“The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.” – Alexis de Tocqueville
“Man, no doubt, owes many other moral duties to his fellow men; such as to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, care for the sick, protect the defenseless, assist the weak, and enlighten the ignorant. But these are simply moral duties, of which each man must be his own judge, in each particular case, as to whether, and how, and how far, he can, or will perform them.” – Lysander Spooner
“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” – Mark Twain
“Government cannot make man richer, but it can make him poorer.” – Ludwig von Mises
“Perhaps the fact that we have seen millions voting themselves into complete dependence on a tyrant has made our generation understand that to choose one’s government is not necessarily to secure freedom.” – Friedrich August von Hayek
“It is easy to be conspicuously ‘compassionate’ if others are being forced to pay the cost.” — Murray N. Rothbard
“Whenever we depart from voluntary cooperation and try to do good by using force, the bad moral value of force triumphs over good intentions.” – Milton Friedman