Entitlement Spending Creates a ‘Nation of Takers’

As the economic crisis worsens, people are increasingly becoming dependent on the hand-outs and work ethic consequently goes downhill in exchange for the enticement of easy money. As a result, the quality of life in families is being eroded as the traditional role of both males and females in the household is increasingly undermined.

What’s more, is that one generation influences the next and at the moment we’re mislead to believe that a cut in crucial military spending will solve a problem it never created. Lets also not forget, as the study points out, how the unborn will shoulder the burden with an insurmountable debt that just cannot be paid back for generations.

Whether by some sort of cynical design or pure ignorance, the family unit — the core of America’s pride and social fabric, is being ripped apart. History shows that once a nation’s pride is destroyed, so goes the nation.

America’s entitlement spending is destroying the economy. But political economist Nicholas Eberstadt isn’t worried about that. In an article published in the Wall Street Journal August 31, Eberstadt argued that the effect entitlement spending is having on the nation’s character is far more dangerous.

He outlines a shocking increase in entitlement spending: 727 percent in the last 50 years. And that’s after adjusting for inflation and the increase in population.

“Within living memory, the federal government has become an entitlements machine,” he wrote. “As a day-to-day operation, it devotes more attention and resources to the public transfer of money, goods and services to individual citizens than to any other objective, spending more than for all other ends combined.”

In a longer version of his Journal essay, published by Templeton Press and available here, Eberstadt meticulously backs up his claims with a wealth of data that even his critics do not dispute.

The shocking facts run against the popular historical narrative. For example, Eberstadt points out that America’s defense spending places a smaller burden on America’s economy now than almost any point in the Cold War. America spends 4.8 percent of its economy on defense. In 1961, when President Dwight Eisenhower warned of a “military-industrial complex,” 9.4 percent of America’s gdp was spent on the military.

In fact, since September 11, it hasn’t been out-of-control military spending inflating America’s debt bomb, but escalating entitlement spending.

Manhood was also directly attacked. “Before the age of entitlements, self-reliance and the work ethic were integral and indispensable elements of the ideal of manliness in America,” he wrote.

“Put simply the arrival of the entitlement society in America has coincided with a historically unprecedented exit from gainful work by adult men,” he continued. And once again, Eberstadt commands a battery of statistics. Most surprisingly, more able-bodied American men shirk work than in almost all of Europe, despite the Continent’s infamy for entitlement spending.

Eberstadt’s numbers also show that America is tolerating widespread cheating. In 1960, 455,000 people received government payments for disability. In 2011, it’s 8.6 million. Nearly half of all these payments go to people suffering “mood disorders” or sicknesses affecting “musculoskeletal system and the connective tissue,” like back pain. These two are almost impossible for doctors to diagnose.

The entitlement system draws millions of people into a lifestyle of lying and cheating. And Eberstadt doesn’t just blame the claimants of the disability pay. The doctors and health care workers that allow this are “collaborators,” as is the U.S. judicial system. American voters and politicians are “willing and often knowing enablers.”

Finally, Eberstadt shows that the system drafts society into the robbery of “a pool of citizens who can offer not resistance to such schemes: the unborn descendants of today’s entitlement-seeking population.”

Full article: Entitlement Spending Creates a ‘Nation of Takers’ (The Trumpet)

The Moscow-Beijing Axis — Su-35 Purchase Raises Questions About China’s Defense Spending, Threat to Taiwan

The Chinese government announced prior to last month’s National People’s Congress that PRC defense spending would increase another 11.2 per cent in 2012 to 670 billion yuan (U.S. $106 billion).

This is a “minuscule” fraction of the nation’s economy, some diplomats and intelligence officers said.

“If you believe these official defense spending numbers, then you accept that the PRC are spending only about 1.4 per cent of their GNP on defense, which is just not at all realistic,” one diplomat said.

These and other programs—part of an overall initiative to modernise the PLA and bring it into the digital era—are collectively well beyond what the “official” funding levels would support, said NATO diplomats based in the Chinese capital.

Beijing follows the same practices as the Soviet Union, hiding its true defence expenditures within the budgets of non-defence ministries, or within scientific programs such as the military-controlled PRC space program, these diplomats say.

It is no longer valid to assume that Taiwanese and U.S. forces could repel an attack of the island by the PLA, several experts have suggested.

Virginia Congressman J. Randy Forbes of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee (HASC) questioned USAF Chief of Staff General Norton Schwartz in late February about the 2009 RAND report “A Question of Balance: Political Context and Military Aspects of the China-Taiwan Dispute.”

The study concludes that the USAF and USN would no longer dominate the PLA in any conceivable Taiwan Straits scenario, reversing the think tank’s decades-long position on probable outcomes of such a conflict.

The PLAAF would emerge victorious regardless of whether the USAF were able to commit its force of Lockheed Martin F-22 fighters—and regardless of whether strikes could be launched from Kadena Air Base in Okinawa—according to RAND’s mathematical modeling and analysis.

Even plugging two US Navy carrier battle groups into the equation would not roll back the Chinese force.

Full article: The Moscow-Beijing Axis — Su-35 Purchase Raises Questions About China’s Defense Spending, Threat to Taiwan (Washington Free Beacon)