No Such Thing As Something For Nothing!
by Representative Karey Hanks, District 35B
As the November election approaches, we will continue to be bombarded with myths, ads, and calls to expand Medicaid – urging us to vote in support of this massive funding increase and further dependence on government programs.
One such myth: recent ads claim failure to pass Medicaid expansion will result in lost federal dollars returning to Idaho. This is not the case and is simply not true. Medicaid expansion will NOT bring Idaho’s hard-earned taxpayer dollars back to Idaho. Any federal payment(s) made to Idaho under this guise is, unfortunately, borrowed money and will only add to our already out of control national debt – further burdening our kids and grandkids to give able-bodied adults “free to them” health care.
We all know that NOTHING IS FREE and there is NO SUCH THING AS SOMETHING FOR NOTHING! We all know the government cannot give to one person unless it first takes from someone else. Frederic Bastiat, famous for penning The Law, called it LEGAL PLUNDER. He said:
“When a portion of wealth is transferred from the person who owns it–without his consent and without compensation, and whether by force or by fraud–to anyone who does not own it…that an act of plunder is committed… How is this legal plunder to be identified?… See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime…”
We have allowed unconstitutional taxes and laws to exert increasing control over our lives incrementally. Many citizens embrace additional and expanded taxpayer-funded government programs in which we are “compelled givers” instead of voluntary givers. The people receiving assistance believe it is their right to receive the fruits of our labors, with no gratitude for our sacrifices. We are nameless and faceless donors.
A story is told of Davy Crockett as a member of the House of Representatives giving a persuasive speech opposing an appropriation for the widow of a distinguished naval officer. After several statements supporting the bill, Crockett rose to say:
“Mr. Speaker–I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money…” (Source: https://fee.org/media/14953/notyourstogive.pdf)
He challenged others to donate to this widow individually but reported that not one other Congressman responded.
Those who are loudly clamoring for expanded Medicaid funding (including some members of the Idaho legislature) contribute to the idea that they know best, that in this case, certain people have special rights.
“Most of the major ills of the world have been caused by well-meaning people who ignored the principle of individual freedom, except as applied to themselves, and who were obsessed with fanatical zeal to improve the lot of mankind-in-the-mass through some pet formula of their own. The harm done by ordinary criminals, murderers, gangsters, and thieves is negligible in comparison with the agony inflicted upon human beings by the professional do-gooders who attempt to set themselves up as gods on earth and who would ruthlessly force their views on all others with the abiding assurance that the end justifies the means.” (Henry Grady Weaver)
Let’s be clear, Medicaid expansion for able-bodied, childless adults will affect those currently served; this includes pregnant women, children and the disabled. Lines for services will be longer, and society’s neediest will not necessarily be at the front of the line. As enrollment numbers rise above projections, other government services of necessity will be cut, including education, public safety, and roads. Tax increases will also be in our state’s future.
Since the passage of “The Great Society” in the 60’s, with promises of ending poverty (and racial injustice), we have seen steady increases in U.S. poverty rates and generations who have become accustomed to or dependent upon government “charity.”
Are we to continue down this road of more government control–in effect socialism? It is vital that liberty-loving people 1) VOTE NO on Proposition 2, and 2) contact your state legislators and strongly urge them to oppose Medicaid expansion when it comes before them in the 2019 legislative session.
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