Senator McDaniel Pens Op-Ed Calling for New Approach to Address Poverty

Senator Chris McDaniel writes in a commentary on August 30:

By forcibly divesting taxpayers of the means to provide for their own needs and confiscating substantial income from society’s economically productive segments, government action hinders the creation of more opportunity for those who seek to benefit from its benevolence. The government has no capital of its own and cannot create wealth, so to provide benefits, it must first collect capital from the industrious and then redistribute the money – minus a transaction fee, of course – to other, select members of society it deems politically worthy. Not only is such a system unfair, inefficient and burdensome to economic freedom, as the burden of graduated taxation is unfairly levied against a smaller and smaller percentage of income earners, but it also becomes more difficult for the private sector to provide jobs for the unemployed or the poor.

If we are sincere about lifting our neighbors out of poverty, we must first admit that government is not well-suited for the role of caretaker.

Rather than relying on the power of the tax code to redistribute income, a long-term reduction in poverty will only be realized when individuals, families, churches and charitable organizations – in conjunction with private enterprise – voluntarily work together to provide assistance and broaden the creation of economic opportunity.

Leaders should enable people to cooperate with one another without coercion or central direction, reducing the area over which political power is exercised.

By encouraging private enterprise and providing opportunity, Americans will experience less reliance on government programs, an increased work ethic and a newfound sense of dignity. Perhaps more importantly, subsequent generations will realize the nature of hope, liberty, and happiness that are born as the result of the prideful elimination of dependence.

The people have demanded that the government play a limited role in relieving the suffering of our most needy, in particular with the disabled and elderly, but it cannot realistically provide a long-term solution to the problem of poverty.

Only education, opportunity, and self-determination can do that.