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It's time to end the welfare state

Published October 13. 2012 09:01AM

On occasion, I have difficulty coming up with a topic for my weekly article. This week, after many hours of drawing a blank, I decided to write about the constitution and the Fifth Amendment. It is the Fifth Amendment that grants the right to own private property to each and every one of us. In doing my research, I was intrigued by a story about a woman in Detroit who had a squatter take over her home while the homeowner was away for an extended period. The squatter simply moved in to the house as if it were hers. Now, the homeowner and the squatter live in the house while the homeowner tries to have the squatter removed. One would think that this would be a simple process, as the squatter has no rights. It appears that the squatter, who pays no rent, is in fact endowed with rights to property that is not hers. The homeowner must go to court to obtain an eviction notice. Until the court grants the notice, the homeowner is forced to live in the house with the squatter. (

I am amazed that a squatter can simply walk into a house and live there as if they owned it. The actual property owner must go to court to have the freeloader removed from their residence. So what happened to our rights to private property guaranteed in the Constitution? These rights have been usurped by a society that supports moochers, sloths and laggards. If someone chooses not to work, the government gives him or her welfare. If someone is homeless, the government gives him or her Section 8 housing. If they don't like what the government gives them, then they take what they want from hard-working Americans. They may choose to rob a store, mug a senior citizen or steal a car. Or, they can simply move into a house and live rent free for months or even years as the case for eviction moves slowly through the courts. The ultimate insult is that the property owner has to pay all of the legal costs related to the eviction.

Whatever happened to the work ethic? I was raised to believe that work was a necessary part of life. Work would enable you to put a roof over your family's head, feed your children and pay taxes to support the community. Whether you worked for a corporation or founded your own business, hard work was rewarded with prosperity. By saving some of your salary each month, you could look forward to a comfortable retirement, visiting with your children and grandchildren and telling stories of the good old days of capitalism. After 3 1/2 years of Obama's administration, I can say that capitalism is on its last legs! For several years now, we have been on the path to socialism and we are now a socialist country. Why should a healthy able-bodied person work at a minimum wage job when welfare, Medicaid and subsidize housing can be had for the asking? If you want a new house, just find a vacant one and move in!

With the government providing welfare and food stamps, one can live quite comfortably as a squatter. They can have the water and electricity turned on. There is no need to pay the bill. Once your utility bill is several months in arrears, you can request payment rescheduling. This could buy you another two or three months before the utility shuts off your service. When the utility company gives the required 48-hour notice, simply call up your local newspaper and give them a wonderful sob story. One of two things will likely happen. The utility may give you more time to pay or concerned citizens may pay the bill for you. What a deal! When the service is finally cut off, simply move to another vacant house and start the process over again.

In my opinion, this is fraud. The freeloader has no intention of paying. We have unemployment insurance and welfare that are intended to assist those who fall upon hard times. Social assistance gives them a chance to find a job and get back on their feet. With all the safety nets our government provides, there is no reason for someone to illegally occupy a house they do not own or rent. It is one thing to "Occupy Wall Street" to protest; it is another to invade someone's personal property and use it as if it was his or her own. I'm sure some readers will think I am unduly harsh and that I am uncharitable. In fact, I am a giving person and love proving others with a hand up. I'm just sick and tired of giving handouts to able-bodied people who refuse to work, yet want all of the benefits America has to offer.

For years, workers have carried the weight of the laggards. As the economy worsens, more people take advantage of welfare and climb on our backs. Americans are now so overburdened that we can no longer support those who do not want to work. We have arrived at a turning point. If we continue to support the sloths, our economy will collapse. Our government owes over $16 trillion and we are adding 1 1/2 trillion dollars a year to our debt. If we can encourage those who are not working to find a job, pay taxes and contribute to society, then their tax dollars will help reduce our deficit. Also, they will be less of a drain on our welfare society and may even be able to get off the welfare rolls entirely. This is the American way! If you work, you reap the benefits of society. If you are aged or sick and cannot work, then we should provide you with social assistance. I strongly believe that we have no obligation to support those who are able to work but choose not to work.

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of carrying the burden of the laggards on my back. In the early 1960s, I read a book by Ayn Rand called Atlas Shrugged. Ms. Rand was a Russian émigré who came to this country with nothing but a dream. After living in our country for 30 years (and publishing several books), she wrote a futuristic novel about the downfall of America and the rise of socialism in our country. When I first read it, I thought it was a work of fiction. I reread the book every few years and saw many of the things that she warned us about becoming reality. Now over 50 years after she published the book, the society she predicted has come to pass. This weekend, the movie Atlas Shrugged Part Two is showing in the theaters. My wife and I will be going to see it. We do not expect to be entertained. Instead, we expect to see America at its worst, and then, miraculously, America will rise from the ashes like a Phoenix and our country will be rebuilt.

Our country is in trouble. It is time for conservative Americans to work together to contain our government, reestablish fiscal responsibility, and elect conservatives to protect the Constitution and the American dream. The election is just a few weeks away. I suggest each and every one of you research the candidates in your area and vote for the one you think will best help to restore America to its former greatness. This may be our last chance to save our country. We cannot shrug our responsibility nor can we expect others to carry our burden for us.

© 2012 Gordon Smith - All Rights Reserved

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