Are the Takers Our Enemy?

by Nick Vazzana:

Since the election, Mr. Romney has been making statements that he lost because “certain special-interest groups” who voted for the Democrats were given “big gifts.”  He went on to call them “takers” who got financial gifts that included Pell Grant Loans for college students, Obamacare, Medicare, and food stamps.

There is nothing new about Romney’s libertarian ideas. Anyone who watched the “The Dust Bowl” by Ken Burns on PBS saw an example of the Federal Government trying to help a segment of its citizens survive at a time of unspeakable natural disaster. Through the AAA or Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933, President Roosevelt attempted to balance supply and demand for farm commodities so that prices would support a decent purchasing power for farmers.

The Ken Burns documentary did not point it out, but many business leaders, and those who hated Roosevelt, contended that the Constitution did not give the Federal Government any power over agriculture. These “patriotic conservatives” thought it was up to the insolvent states of the Dust Bowl to solve their own problems. They were also against the idea of taxing the food processing industry to pay for farm subsidies. In the U.S. vs. Butler, the Republican-dominated Supreme Court agreed and declared the AAA unconstitutional. Fortunately, in 1938, the Congress re-wrote the legislation to overcome the court’s objections.

Many politicians, including some Republicans have distanced themselves from Romney’s comments. Unfortunately, no such criticism of these remarks has come from the Tea Party, the business community or right-wing media. This silence speaks volumes about an unpatriotic and dangerous political philosophy that has become ingrained in many of our citizens.

This reactionary view of labeling those who benefit from government as “takers” also fits into a larger condemnation of Federal efforts that help the poor, the retired, the ill, college students, women and even veterans. The voters were correct in choosing President Obama’s path to economic stability for 100% of the American people. He has been working, without much Republican help, to get this nation out of a world-wide slowdown that was caused by the financial meltdown of 2008-09.

Nick Vazzana
Sandwich, NH


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