As you may know, the mid-term elections recently took place (or maybe you don’t know, since there was a record-low voter turnout), and the Republicans took control of the Senate and therefore of Congress as a whole.
In my libertarian days when I thought that all government was useless and evil, I would have welcomed having a president from one party in the oval office with Congress being controlled by the other party, thereby ensuring the greatest degree of gridlock possible.
Now that I’m less of a dick (well, less of a dick about this particular issue), I have a more reasonable view of the role of government and the things it can and should accomplish. I still agree with my old libertarian self that the single biggest waste of taxpayer resources is the defense budget (as in, it’s bigger than that of the next 20 countries combined, and they’re almost all allies).
But where I now disagree with my former conservatism is when it comes to the view that government has no business doing anything for the poor since, heaven forbid, we’d hate to become a “nanny state” filled with leeches and takers and welfare moms (you know, the 47% of Americans that Mitt Romney despises so much).
For my part, since America already is a welfare state whose recipients are the super wealthy, why not help the poor as well? If Monsanto and Pfizer and Halliburton get to suckle at the teat, why not throw a few food stamps to someone like me, who has fallen on some pretty hard times of late (and trust me, mine are a walk in the park compared to millions of Americans less fortunate than I)?
To cite Jimmy Carter, you don’t get to claim on the one hand that America is a nation founded on Christian values, while espousing the hatred of the poor and the stranger that often masquerades as GOP politics these days.
(We discuss the issue a bit in our last podcast, click below to listen.)