On Tuesday of this week, Dr. Ben Carson had an article in the Washington Times entitled “A problem bigger than Ferguson” (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/aug/26/carson-a-problem-bigger-than-ferguson/). It was an almost flawless column, which delved wisely into the real reasons behind why there are “so many young black men in the streets of America with defiant attitudes that frequently lead to incarceration or death…Could it be that a large number of them grow up without a father figure to teach them how to relate to authority and teach them the meaning of personal responsibility?”
I said ALMOST flawless, because it all kind of fell apart in the very last paragraph. If only he would have stopped before moving on to the part that will certainly raise eyebrows among GOP base voters, who know and embrace the purpose of the Constitution, which is to limit government in favor of individual liberty.
in that last paragraph, Carson writes that once we get our economy back on track, “we should devote some of the tax revenues generated to child care facilities, which will allow many of those unwed mothers to get their General Education Development or higher degree and become self-supporting. There are also a number of programs across the nation that offer free classes that teach social and job skills, which will give many of the young men some different options. We must concentrate on these kinds of programs, because we cannot afford to lose large segments of our society to despair and underachievement in an increasingly competitive world.”
Anyone familiar with the purpose of the Constitution recognizes immediately what’s wrong with the above. The enumerated powers list the very few things the federal government is required to do – which are also the only things the federal government is allowed to do. The default position of the government is an absence of power, as it is not permitted to do anything at all that’s not specifically enumerated. Spending tax dollars on child care, education, teaching social/job skills, and the like are not among the enumerated powers…so they are strictly prohibited, by virtue of that omission.
Never mind the fact that these programs Carson calls for spending tax revenues on are simply more of the same nonsense that has led to the problem he rightly recognized: too many young black men without fathers. It is just these sort of “well-intentioned” programs that metastasize into ever larger and more harmful budget-busting entitlements. And anyone who dares to question the efficacy or efficiency of any of those programs is demonized as cruel and heartless, uncompassionate and uncaring.
But I ask you: What is compassionate about taking money BY FORCE from one person who’s earned it and giving it to someone else who hasn’t? Funding these types of programs that Carson espoused is indeed a good idea, and a noble cause. Using tax revenues to accomplish that funding is not. It is a violation of personal property rights and of the strict limits placed on government via the enumerated powers. Any such funding is perfectly fine as long as it’s done via completely voluntary charity, and not through government confiscation and redistribution of money.
Instead of looking for even more unconstitutional social programs on which to spend collected tax dollars – which will only serve to exacerbate the very problems Carson rightly identified – we should instead be exploring ways to get rid of the already existing ones in place.
IF IT’S NOT ENUMERATED, IT MUST BE ELIMINATED!