July 22, 2021

Promote the General Welfare

By Glenn

Taxes fund public services.  A vote is our voice for funding these services.  As a community, we decide on which services to fund or how they are funded.  We benefit from these services either directly or indirectly. 

The U.S. Constitution: Preamble

Direct benefits are pretty easy to understand.  If you have a child in a school, then you and your child receive a direct benefit.  Not only does the child receive an education, but the parent does not have to pay the cost all at once.

The costs associated with an education are also shared with the rest of the community.  Adults without children in schools also pay for the education.  These adults receive an indirect benefit.

Indirect benefits are harder see.  The Texas Constitution, however, does a pretty good job explain why we need public education. 

“A general diffusion of knowledge being essential to the preservation of the liberties and rights of the people, it shall be the duty of the Legislature of the State to establish and make suitable provision for the support and maintenance of an efficient system of public free schools.”  (ARTICLE 7)

Knowledge is power.  We, as a community, benefit from knowledgeable neighbors.  Education empowers our neighbors to improve their own lives.  Educated citizens become plumbers, teachers, nurses, doctors, and yes, even lawyers.

We all benefit from the freedom to choose our occupation.  We work harder and better when we do things we like. 

Not all government services however are as concrete as public education or roads.  Many of our public services today are insurance.  These protect us from a catastrophic fall.  They are often called a safety net.

Fifty percent of the Federal budget supports the two biggest safety net programs, Medicare and Social Security.  Private companies found no profit insuring our seniors.  These programs insure a basic level of income and care.

Other safety net programs include unemployment benefits, workman’s compensation, and Medicaid.  These insurance programs soften the fall from losing a job, getting hurt on the job or needing basic medical treatment.

These programs work just like private insurance, except the costs are lower.  There are no investors diverting premiums to their own pockets instead of paying claims.

When politicians attack government spending, these are the programs threatened.  Can we afford to lose our public schools, our Social Security, our Medicare or our unemployment insurance?

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