First off, there are certain things (national defense and making the states work together on interstate commerce) that the federal government is mandated by the constitution to do. There are other things, such as libraries, where it makes sense for the government to offer the service. There are other things, like jails, that ONLY the government can do. I don’t think funds–the tax revenue–to pay for goods and services such as this are stealing. I also don’t have a problem with taking care of people who cannot work and cannot take care of themselves. I also don’t have a problem providing basic support for a very limited period of time (4 weeks, perhaps) to people who, for example, just lost their job (basic support means they won’t die from exposure, walk around naked, or starve).
What I do think is stealing is taking money from me (or anyone else) and giving it to people who can and should be working. 99 weeks unemployment? free phones? $60,000 for being on welfare? Support those who want to murder their children? No way no how. To force me, or anyone else, to take our money and give to those who simply won’t work because they choose to is flat out theft. The government forces us, with threat of jail, to pay our taxes.
To those who think my attitude on taking care of people is “unChristian,” I want to point out 2 Thes 3:10:
“…if any would not work, neither should he eat.”
Read it in context. Yes, it really does say that. Yes, Christians are commanded to take care of each other, supply for each other’s needs, help each other out, and give each other the benefit of the doubt. But we aren’t supposed to enable bad behavior. Anyone who says otherwise is taking the entire council of scripture out of context.
Image from michael mandiberg via flickr