We should be fair.
The problem with fairness in things like welfare is a matter of being deserving.
Most people know of at least one person (or family) who does not deserve the assistance.
Most people will agree that those who don't deserve the help should not receive it.
A principle problem with the way we are doing this is that a remote entity is making the decisions about what is fair and that the criterion for that determination is so broad that nearly anyone can qualify for the benefits.
Dragging this decision to a more local entity would have a positive effect in many ways, being closer to the people in need would allow the decision to be made more on merit than body temperature.
Traditionally this function was performed by religious charities. This is the principle reason that churches got a tax exempt status.
Another positive thing about the churches running it was they could establish hard rules about receiving the assistance. Break the rules and you're on your own.
There have been and still are non-religious charity organizations in America as well. They enjoy the same tax-free status as churches.
What the secular and religious charities have in common is their financing is optional by the donors. If they start supporting people I don't want to see supported, I can withdraw my support until they return to my way of thinking or I can simply give my money to someone more deserving.
With the government, at any level, providing the charity; the option of opting out of the program is eliminated. They will take my money through taxes and give it to whom they decide is worthy of support regardless of my opinion of the matter. I am left impotent in my objections because my only recourse is to vote against 1 of 235 representatives, two of 100 senators and the president at the national level. Even if I get my way with the congress-critters I can vote for, there's 332 out there I have no say about.
I don't mind the idea of charity. I have donated my time and money to several. I have never claimed the tax exemption for my donation; my motives weren't to get that exemption. I wanted to help. I would not stop you from helping with your time or money even if I disagreed with the recipients of your generosity.
That's more than the government can say. There are two charities I used to volunteer at that are no longer there because they were regulated away.
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