I wonder if the people cheering Ron Paul in Columbia understand that, when he says he wants to get rid of “entitlements,” he means all the social safety net programs that many in his audience need to survive. Rep. Paul is a strong believer in “free market” economics which means every man for himself and don’t ask your fellow citizens for help. Maybe his supporters agree with him and would give up Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Pell Grants, farm subsidies, and disaster aid (as Gov. Kasich of Ohio did recently.)
Here is what President Dwight Eisenhower said about such things in a letter to his brother, Edgar, in 1954: “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are H.L. Hunt (you probably know his background,) a few other Texas oil millionaires and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”
Today’s Republican leaders and presidential hopefuls have perverted the kind of common sense conservatism that I championed as a loyal Republican until 1980. I knew President Reagan’s free market folks would begin dismantling all parts of the social safety net. I could see the ship of state was headed for dangerous waters and the life boats were being jettisoned to cut costs and raise profits.
Now corporations control our government at all levels, and we need to look no further than our own Missouri state legislature for proof. For someone who wore an “I like Ike” button as a teenager, this is all very sad. The “G” in GOP no longer stands for “Grand.” It stands for “Greedy.”