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Opinion Letters Government programs have not solved our problems

My Bed Time Stories published recently, have invoked comments. They have ranged from being in favor to opposition to my stories. I am happy to say most were complimentary. To those I say, thank you. Also those that opposed were civil. No name calling, only discussions. One lady wrote a glowing rebuttal of her perspective on the “great depression.” She and her siblings were college graduates during that time. How many do you know that were able to afford college back then? Most families struggled to have their children graduate from high school and do not share her view.

Aren't you getting tired of the victimization complaint of the vocal “left” as I am? It's the wealthy, corporations, slavery and the Republicans that are at fault. They are the reason that things are so bad. Most all of the Democrat presidents were millionaires or became one, as I remember. They are OK, I guess. The poor are rich if you look realistically at the really poor of Africa and the rest of the world. They would like to have cell phones, TV sets, food stamps and a residence with inside toilets, too. The “Union’s” mantra of “give us more and more,” is also wearing thin. Just having a job is not enough. Then there are those who say, Government isn't doing enough for me. What's wrong with our country? Boo hoo, help me, I am in need. Tell THAT to all those who want to come to the U.S.A. They know better.

Growing up in the ’30s, our heroes were the early pioneers that made this country prosperous. Our pioneers did not have government helping them to have a good life, they made their own. They did not blame the government for not providing roads for their wagon trains, and were creators of wealth not takers. They endured hardship and death. What happened to the John Wayne spirit of optimism and true grit that built our country to greatness from a wilderness? Most were poor during the depression but too proud to ask for help. People helped each other where possible. It was tough but they knew if you strived for a better life, it was possible to become “rich.” There were no “entitlements” for the pioneers or for us in the ’30s, as we have now. Our country was built by the labors of people from the bottom up. Not the other way around.

Today, it is a sad commentary when you hear; we are entitled to have more. Safety nets have become a permanent way of life. We now have a country where only half pay taxes and over 40 percent receive some government handout. The government program of the New Deal of President Roosevelt helped some folks. Most however, were unemployed. The unemployment rate fell from 25 percent to 13 percent only to see it spike in 1938 to 18 percent. President Johnson's “War on Poverty” did not lower the poverty rate. The statistics of today are as low as 1963. Look at Greece. Entitlements have put them on the edge of bankruptcy. Dependency on others as a person or a country is debilitating. Remember the axiom of giving a person a fishing rod? Today many don't want to fish. Our national budget is financed, by a third, on borrowed money. To be fair, past President Bush also increased the debt and created another entitlement as well. Now please, don't argue how great Social Security is. That's another subject that we can discuss. I am fortunate to have mine but I worry about our grandchildren?

Remember President Kennedy's speech. He said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” It's time for our country to change course. Compassion for others is noble, but not in a looming financial crisis. Government programs have not solved our problems. They have only created a generation of people addicted to entitlements and a mountain of national debt. We need more John Waynes and let the government get out of the way.

Philip J Migliore — Franklin, N.C.


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