Many government spending programs result in contributions to politicians and/or political parties. In addition, public-sector workers are organized into unions, and much of the money the unions collect in dues finds its way back to the party most responsible for generous salaries and benefit programs that government workers enjoy. Meanwhile, members of Congress and others in positions to decide who gets government contracts often grow rich — and it’s not always from being a good investor, as many explain when they achieve millionaire status.
All of that is bad enough, but there are also wealth-transfer programs that encourage recipients to vote for those who advocate them.
This does not make for a better America. One key to ending this is term limits for all politicians. The founders envisioned a citizen government, but Washington is full of career politicians. And right now we are seeing how desperate they are to keep it that way.
In response to the April 17 Viewpoints essay “Legalizing polygamy”:
I once felt that polygamy should be strictly a matter between the man and the wives who chose to marry him. It should not be my business nor the government’s to tell a man how many wives he can have.
But my position changed after a recent visit to St. George, Utah, where I had a chance to sit down and speak with several local non-Mormons. They pointed out the following potential scenario, which would have a drastic affect on the lives of many others.
Suppose a man has a wife and three sister wives. That is a family of five. Now suppose each of those wives has two children. The size of the family is now 13. The family could easily number in the twenties or more as time passed. This means that the man would have to feed, shelter and educate that many people in addition to providing other necessities. In all likelihood, the husband would be unable to meet this financial burden and be forced to turn to the state to provide for his family.
As a Christian, I have no problem with the government helping a traditional family — a man, his wife and their children — through hard times.
I do, however, have a problem with being forced to pay for the actions of people who believe they can take an irresponsible position on the size of their families and expect others to pay for their abuse of the system.
Dawn Richey’s April 16 letter on the gun issue (“Let’s put people ahead of special interests in gun debate”) was full of inaccuracies.
First, automatic weapons have been strictly controlled since the 1930s and have not been used in any of the mass shootings she mentions.
Second, the NRA is not the Evil Empire but has been advocating the safe and responsible use of firearms since 1871 and has always supported the law enforcement community.
Third, if you look at the per capita rates of homicide, we are far safer than many nations. The media sensationalizes any firearm-related deaths. But the death rate by knives and other sharp instruments, as well as blunt instruments, is much higher. Also, the suicide rate by hanging, drowning, cutting and medication overdose is much higher than suicide with firearms.
As a society, we do want to protect our women, children and elderly. We can do that only with responsible firearm possession. But her comment that there “are more of us than them” is confusing. I’m not sure who she sees in those two groups. The majority of mass murders have been committed by terrorists or the mentally ill, not responsible citizens who possess firearms.