John Florez: Legislators abandon caring values

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  • Mr. Bean Phoenix, AZ
    March 25, 2014 12:16 a.m.

    "And where does it say in the scriptures that you can't agree as a society to help the poor together."

    The problem is, how to identify the poor... as apposed to the lazy. Many times the lazy intersperse themselves with the poor for a free ride.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 24, 2014 6:51 a.m.

    We can give tax subsidies to corporate America, we reduce the tax burden the rich pay. We subsidize and pay for education. Most of us get tax breaks for home mortgages. We pay property taxes that help our schools, and libraries. We are subsidizing almost everything that any of us enjoy using.

    Yet when it comes to providing for our poor there is no compassion. I find it truly unchristian that our current majority party in Utah can refuse to help the poor when they turn around and subsidize the rich.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    March 22, 2014 8:29 p.m.

    And wherein has the American citizen, poor, rich, or middle class, benefitted from the war on poverty declared fifty (count one year fifty times) years ago? If any person, alive or otherwise, can explain how we can justify further government answers (50 years, I assume is not enough!) in helping the poor, I am all ears! Telling me "more resources" seems like a diabolical answer, particularly to the poor who have been scammed! Come on, outline an answer that doesn't repeat the failed policies of the past!

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    March 22, 2014 3:14 p.m.

    @You are kidding -- I don't need the government to take care of me and you don't need the government to take care of you, but there are people who, for whatever reason, need some assistance for a short, or sometimes a long time. As other posters have pointed out, up until relatively recently, the model was to rely on private charity. It worked for some people, but there were plenty of people who had to do things like give their children up to others to care for or go homeless or hungry. Or die for lack of medical care. You are most likely a good person, but there's a real head in the sand attitude among those who think that their personal generosity is enough. As I just said, why can't we, as a society, agree that we will care for our poor. Why is that so offensive to conservatives? I don't understand it unless you truly don't care what happens to these people.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 22, 2014 3:10 p.m.

    "We need to take a hard look at all our government leaders and elect only those who are in favor of smaller government, lower taxes, and greater personal freedom exercised with greater personal responsibility"

    Can you name 5 of our current congressmen that fit that bill?

    I see congressmen TALK about those things. And I see them proposing 1/2 of those things.

    It is easy to cut taxes. But without cutting the underlying spending, we just increase the deficit.

    Everyone wants lower taxes. But, no one want to lose what they are getting from the government.

    The 3 biggest uses of our tax dollars are Military, SS and Medicare.

    What conservative has talked about cutting ANY Of those?

  • YouAreKidding Salt Lake City, UT
    March 22, 2014 2:20 p.m.

    While I agree with Mr. Florez that the government should get out of the business of subsidizing hotels, I would argue that the government should get out of the business of subsidizing ANYTHING. Sadly today, there truly is not much of a difference on the national scale between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. But, there IS a difference between Liberals and Conservatives.

    Liberals bemoan Conservatives as uncaring about the welfare of their fellow Americans and attempt to force everyone to feed the government machine. As Conservatives, we see our country as a great land of opportunity, a land that our Founding Fathers intended to be free of government intrusion into our lives. Conservatives see themselves as liberal when it comes to taking care of their fellow man. I know I do. But, I vehemently disagree with Liberals that it is the government's place to do it. It is the individual's place.

    We need to take a hard look at all our government leaders and elect only those who are in favor of smaller government, lower taxes, and greater personal freedom exercised with greater personal responsibility. We do not need government to take care of us.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    March 22, 2014 10:13 a.m.

    It always boggles my mind when people say a Christian can't be a Democrat. With the disrespect and disdain shown for the poor by many Republicans, I could more easily understand it if someone said you can't be a Christian and a Republican. Seems to me the thing Christ emphasized the most, even more than sexual issues (which is where Republicans get hung up about Democrats), was care for the poor and downtrodden. And where does it say in the scriptures that you can't agree as a society to help the poor together. Where does it say that I must only care for the poor myself and I can't agree with my neighbors (through our elected representatives) to help them collectively.

  • Ralph West Jordan Taylorsville, UT
    March 22, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    Great article by Mr. Florez! I never ceases to amaze me by the responses that that cry "Charity with someone else's property is not a virtue" and "When the whole economy thrives, the poor can be helped, and will have opportunities to help themselves". While agreeing with some of these statements understanding that to accomplish them will take years if not decades, I ask what do we do in the meantime? I have yet to hear the nay sayers offer and alternative to doing nothing!

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    March 22, 2014 9:31 a.m.

    Let's go back and deal with a historical reality. Back 150 years there was plenty of poor and downtrodden. The system was nearly laissez-faire. I say "nearly" as again government has always been involved, if you study history, in helping businesses and promoting some business interests over others. But as far as the poor, yes there were charitable individuals and even charitable churches and organizations. However, they weren't enough. We evolved, I would say generally better, to a more mixed economy where the government does assist the poorest amongst us. If we want to end welfare, I say end all welfare, including corporate welfare. It seems like Fox News, well a lot of their commentators, are all out to find those few "parasites," living off of government welfare and food stamps, but they don't seem, save Stossell, too interested in all the big corporations that game the system and harm our economy at MUCH greater level.

    Again, we need to see things for how they are. Government seems to have a role in making sure the poorest among us are taken care because private charity/churches couldn't do it all.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    March 22, 2014 8:46 a.m.

    This whole article is just a political point.

    If the body is infected all over, the paper cut on the hand will hardly be noticed, and is no threat to wellness.

    Taking care of the economy, as a whole, is vital to the well being of the individual members of society. When the whole economy is depressed, there is insufficient to care for the poor. When the whole economy thrives, the poor can be helped, and will have opportunities to help themselves.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    March 22, 2014 7:35 a.m.

    Charity with someone else's property is not a virtue.

  • David King Layton, UT
    March 22, 2014 7:23 a.m.

    Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them-Thomas Paine ("Common Sense")

    Let's get one thing straight. Caring for the poor and needy is an almost universal concern. Where we differ is how it should be done. Some people think that it should be accomplished entirely by government. Others think it should be entirely accomplished as private individuals within society, and a lot of people are somewhere in between. But for either side to claim that the "other guys just don't care about the poor" is disingenuous and immediately ruins the chance for productive dialog.

    And since you mentioned health care, now might be a good time to look at how the kind of people you say don't care about the poor actually do. Dr. Ron Paul, who was an OB-GYN before he was a Congressman, had his own practice where he refused to accept Medicare and Medicaid payments from his patients. Instead he would just care for them for free.

    Using the logic of this piece, however, unless you are arguing for more government money you simply don't care about the poor.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 22, 2014 5:33 a.m.

    What you are seeing is polarizing, partisan politics. They have been around forever, but gotten much more blatant in the last 10 years. Maybe that is why you are just noticing.

    Our politicians operate with priorities. And they are easy to see and very consistent.

    1) themselves
    2) their party
    3) a distant third, the American people.

    Included in #1 and 2 are their alliance with corporation and unions. (Or basically anyone with enough money to help them out)

    Each American only has one vote. A corporation or union can bankroll and deliver many votes.

    Until we, the American people, both Republican and Democrat, band together and turn our backs on any big money politicians, it will not change.

    "almost one-half of our state’s budget comes from federal money: $6 billion of the state’s $13 billion budget."

    Yes, the reddest of the red states talks a great game.
    "Get government out of our lives" they scream.

    But at the end of the day, they love "Uncle Sugar's" money, as much or more then the next guy.