ObamaFare: Big Brother Is My Keeper

On a campaign swing through Pennsylvania earlier this month, President Obama preached, yet again, about how we are our brother’s keeper. He means that the Government’s job is to take care of those he deems deserving by taking from everyone he doesn’t. Back to energizing his base with promises of even greater Government largesse. From a Treasury that already borrows 37 cents of every dollar spent. And an Administration that can’t put together a competent economic recovery plan in a time of record high unemployment. Never mind all that. Charity requires a bigger, even more insolvent government, at least if your brand of religion blesses trading fiscal stability for votes.

The charity pitch is just another number in Obama’s “Entitlements Are A Politician’s Best Friend” songfest. And it’s a pretty discordant one at that. The original use of “my brother’s keeper” was an attempt to duck responsibility for the planet’s first (if the Bible is your bible) murder. You know the story. Cain killed Abel in a jealous rage and tried to cover it up. When God asked Cain where Abel was, Cain replied famously, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Now God, being God, already knew what had become of Abel. So, His question, rather than one of discovery, was an opportunity for Cain to confess and seek forgiveness. Cain sought evasion instead.

From such a murderous little seed of deceit has a mighty philosophical question grown. “Am I my brother’s keeper” is the centerpiece in a persistent debate over the responsibility each person bears for the well-being of his fellow man. In Judaism and Christianity, treating the downtrodden with love and charity is one of our greatest individual duties. In fact, a Christian tenet warns that God will judge each human by how he treats the least of his brethren. If you’re found wanting, you won’t be any better off than Cain and you know what happened to him.

Unless, of course, you can convince God that the Government did your charity work for you. Just tell Him that the taxes you paid also paid your charity tab. It might work since Obama won’t give up trying to put Big Brother in the brother keeping business, but it will be a hard sell. First, you’ll have to get God to believe that Government is pulling it off. So, you’ll have to hide the fact that it can’t make a business of the good deeds business. Remember Social Security, The War on Poverty, Food Stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, HAMP, Make Work Pay, Obamacare, etc? Based on that record, God is more likely to find the shipwreck of a government too easily pulled under by a performance-driven sea. And not a bit of charitable flotsam or jetsam in sight.

Then there’s using a Biblical directive to individuals as an excuse to pump more air into the Government’s outsized entitlement balloon. A confining prison of government entitlements is hardly the point of the teaching Obama so glibly, and so often, misappropriates. The whole of Christian charity centers on individual responsibility and individual reward. The Bible doesn’t talk about saving governments, which is too bad because ours could use some saving from itself.

Our Federal institutions have been at war with poverty for years longer than the rest of the Country’s wars combined. And at a much higher cost. But poverty keeps gaining ground. At some point, you ‘d think the Feds would change their strategy from handouts to hand ups. A good start would be stimulating self-reliance. Even better, the Government can offer tax credits to build up philanthropic organizations. Let the competent get the job done.

When Judgment Day arrives, pointing to the Government as your brother’s keeper is not likely to get you through the Pearly Gates. You’ll be better off standing on your own two feet.

See you on the left-side.