“Men may exercise unrighteous dominion upon one another through the agency of government in just as many ways as they can when acting outside its framework. The most common method, however, is by denying or interfering with the right to own and control property, one of the elements of freedom.
…applying the Golden Rule, put yourself in “A’s” shoes. He has already given all he desires to charity. Are you not violating his conscience when you compel him to give more? Would you enjoy having someone dictate how much you must give to your church, a hospital or college? Would not this be a plain case of theft? And if you pass a law and legalize the taking and the giving, have you really changed the essential nature of the act? Haven’t you merely legalized stealing?” -page 37
“When you accept food stamps, you accept an unearned handout that other working people are paying for. You do not earn food stamps or welfare payments. Every individual who accepts an unearned government gratuity is just as morally culpable as the individual who takes a handout from taxpayers’ money to pay his heat, electricity, or rent. There is no difference in principle between them… The price you pay for “something for nothing” may be more than you can afford. Do not rationalize your acceptance of government gratuities by saying, ‘I am a contributing taxpayer too.’ By doing this you contribute to the problem which is leading this nation to financial insolvency.” (BYU 1977)
Sometimes we see welfare as simply another gospel topic—one of the many branches on the gospel tree. But I believe that in the Lord’s plan, our commitment to welfare principles should be at the very root of our faith and devotion to Him. (2011 October General Conference, Providing in the Lord’s Way, Priesthood Session - Dieter F. Uchtdorf)
The government is good at one thing. It knows how to break your legs, and then hand you a crutch and say, See- if it weren't for the government, you wouldn't be able to walk.
For my own part, I am not so well satisfied of the goodness of this thing. I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. -- I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer. There is no country in the world where so many provisions are established for them; so many hospitals to receive them when they are sick or lame, founded and maintained by voluntary charities; so many alms-houses for the aged of both sexes, together with a solemn general law made by the rich to subject their estates to a heavy tax for the support of the poor. Under all these obligations, are our poor modest, humble, and thankful; and do they use their best endeavours to maintain themselves, and lighten our shoulders of this burthen? -- On the contrary, I affirm that there is no country in the world in which the poor are more idle, dissolute, drunken, and insolent. The day you passed that act, you took away from before their eyes the greatest of all inducements to industry, frugality, and sobriety, by giving them a dependance on somewhat else than a careful accumulation during youth and health, for support in age or sickness. In short, you offered a premium for the encouragement of idleness, and you should not now wonder that it has had its effect in the increase of poverty. Repeal that law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. St. Monday, and St. Tuesday, will cease to be holidays. SIX days shalt thou labour, though one of the old commandments long treated as out of date, will again be looked upon as a respectable precept; industry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them.
We have been used to speaking of our political system (as envisioned by the founding fathers) as one in which opinions collide constitutionally, wherein vested interests cancel each other out, or tame each other before a safe majority is formed, or, at least, in which vested interests are brought out into the light by the democratic process. Indeed, this system has served us well. Winners and losers have played out the drama almost always within constitutional constraints, as turns have been taken at the levers of power by different majorities. What was not allowed for fully, however, nor could it be, is what happened when government, instead of remaining a referee, first became a participant and then became a possibly permanent majority itself.
It remains to be seen whether or not our nation can tame big government. There is, frankly, no precedent for dismantling, even partially, a welfare state, especially in a peaceful and constitutional way. Such a Goliath will not go quietly to surgery.
Eminent men and able men of great experience and wisdom are blaming the people for looking more and more to the Federal Government to meet their wants and to exercise governmental control over them, and this to the destruction of local self government, the rights of the States, and the rights of the people, all which are the basic factors of our social, economic, and constitutional life.
Might I humbly question whether the people are primarily to blame for this?
Nearly two thousand years ago, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, the Master miraculously fed 5,000 people. They immediately wished to make Him king. One who could feed them without their working for it, ought to be made their sovereign. This would solve for them the all important problem of earthly existence. Perceiving their thoughts and to avoid being dragged forth as the seeming head of a rebellion, the Master dismissed them and Himself fled their presence, going "up into a mountain apart to pray." That night He crossed over to the other side of the sea , and the multitude learning of it, took ship and also crossed over, and came to Him again. They gathered about Him, deceitfully worshipping, declaring: "Of a truth thou art the Son of God." But He discerning their thought and purpose, reproved them saying: "Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves and were filled."
He then preached the great sermon on the bread of life, and the sacred record declares: "From that time many of his disciples went back and walked no more with him."
He was useless to them, except as the gratuitous provider of their bread and meat.
So do multitudes.
If our Congressmen would stop the march of the people to Washington for their government and their substance, they should cease distributing the loaves and fishes from the steps of the Treasury Building across the road from the White House. You Congressmen have the absolute power to stop it; have you the courage? If it is not done, you, not the people, must take on the censure.
There is one principle as old as human government, indeed as old as human relations: He who holds the purse strings, rules the house, the nation, the world.
If Congressmen wish to restore local self-government, and the rights of the States and of the people, let them send back to the States, to the local communities, to the Churches, and to the children of indigent parents, where it belongs, the duty of caring for their own sick and decrepit and aged, their own unfortunate and underprivileged. Then the march on Washington will cease and the countermarch back home will be a Marathon.
I am not forgetting that this may cost a good many Congressmen considerable inconvenience and more abuse, it may cost some of their them official lives. But they are planning and legislating for the conduct of a war which will cost hundreds of thousands of the actual lives of our best manhood; might they not make an infinitely less sacrifice of their own official lives for the common good and for our free institutions? And I tell you, our free institutions are far more threatened by our domestic usurpations than by the outcome of this war. If you Congressmen would save this nation and its free institutions, cease to appropriate the national funds to meet local wants and problems of welfare.
You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the industrious out of it. You don't multiply wealth by dividing it. Government cannot give anything to anybody that it doesn't first take from somebody else. Whenever somebody receives something without working for it, somebody else has to work for it without receiving. The worst thing that can happen to a nation is for half of the people to get the idea they don't have to work because somebody else will work for them, and the other half to get the idea that it does no good to work because they don't get to enjoy the fruit of their labor.
::You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."