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Vail Daily letter: Don’t spin my donations

Chas Bernhardt Vail, CO, Coloradonewsroom@vaildaily.com

There is a huge difference between those who are hard workers and fall on difficult times, and those who are lazy. Social programs are to help those who have fallen on hard times, not to aid those who refuse to work and play the system, sit back and reap the labors of those who are industrious.People are, for the most part, products of their environment. If you are raised in an industrious family, you are usually hard-working yourself. Those brought up on welfare have children who are usually looking for a handout, because that is what they are conditioned to do.What happens when you have such a system of more takers than workers is that the workers get fed up with the constant frustration of having their labors be in vain and they leave. The USA has been having a huge “brain drain” (Wall Street Journal 11/07) and I see that continuing. LBJ’s “Great Society” was a wonderful humanitarian effort to assist the poor and to help redistribute the wealth. The problem is mentioned above: The children were conditioned to expect to be taken care of and we have created a society of entitlement. This is why so many lawsuits claim “it is society’s fault.” Check out what the Detroit teachers union did to help those children. It is so very sad: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hhJ_49leBw&feature=topvideosDonations to charities used to be an incentive for those with more to give to those with less, and those donations were often given to local people in need. What happened is that the government decided they knew best and reduced the tax incentive to donate, took the money themselves via taxes, then they decided who is to receive the assistance. What then occurs is the lobbiests basically buy the votes by funneling the monies to their own groups like ACORN so the national money becomes concentrated. ACORN is one of the largest housing owners in the country, and you and I are technically owners of those apartments, but we have no say in how they are operated.Think of it in biblical terms: Don’t just give them a fish. Teach them to fish for themselves. Bill Gates has donated generously to the school program Expeditionary Learning that is based upon the principles of Outward Bound. This program is immensely successful and is in over 150 public schools throughout this country, including one in Eagle County. It will never be financially profitable, which is why we need tax money to go to education more than anything else. My heart aches for this failing country, and for the poor and downtrodden. Don’t spin my desire to help those in need into something evil. It is those in want or those who feel entitled that I want to curb my giving to. The government told us we need to tighten our belts, and what do they do? They give themselves another 5 percent raise, more health benefits that we pay for, then tax us on our own health plan payments. That seems to be a group that considers themselves entitled!Spend some time thinking about what it is that made this country so great. Write down your thoughts, then write down how it can be made better, and be specific — not lofty ideals, but how they can be successfully implemented. We need innovative minds here. Let’s not penalize them so they go elsewhere. Chas Bernhardt


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