Robin Hood - Then and Now Essay

Submitted By wring9
Words: 937
Pages: 4

Entitlement Programs in the United States today are much like Robin Hood of old. Taking money from those who have and giving it to those who have none. But are these programs good? In order to fully understand this question, one must first understand what an entitlement program is. An entitlement program can be defined as a governmental mechanism where public funds are given to people because they meet some kind of requirement. There has been a political firestorm over entitlement programs in the United States. Many people are strongly opposed to any kind of entitlement program. They believe that they ultimately cause people to become more reliant on government, and that could potentially harm society. Other people have the opposite view. They think that the government should be spending significantly more money on entitlement programs as a way to help the needy. Now that a decent understanding of entitlement programs is possessed, an examination of whether it is a good thing can take place. Properly understanding why they are bad will require an examination of the history of entitlements, a cost-benefit analysis to be performed, and finally, looking into what the Bible has to day on this matter.
Starting with the New Deal in the 1930′s then moving to the present, the impact the United States will become visible. The New Deal was a series of entitlement programs instigated in the United States in the 1930’s. The programs were formed in response to the Great Depression. America was in dire straits three years after the crash of 1929. 34 million Americans had no income whatsoever. The New Deal's eventual impact went beyond staving off social upheaval, re-establishing trust in the currency, and putting people back to work. The Americans started to think of their government as a solution to problems. Roosevelt stopped pushing New Deal legislation by 1938, after the courts ruled some programs unconstitutional. In the short term, the New Deal helped to make the Depression less of a problem. It did not really end the Depression, but it helped. Long term, it has had huge consequences that we can feel today. Politically, this changed our outlook. It made us assume that the government was going to take care of us and it got the government way more involved in the economy. Though the programs resulted in some great things, the long term effects are distressing.
Performing a cost-benefit analysis will provide further insight onto this issue. The partial success of the New Deal taught Americans bad lessons about the role of government, or lessons that hurt us in the future. The cost of entitlement programs can be very expensive for the United States government to maintain in the long term. In order to keep entitlement programs going, the government is often forced to raise taxes and reduce spending in other areas. Once the government sets up some kind of entitlement program, it is usually very difficult to reduce spending on it, and it is often impossible to remove it. Today, much of the entitlements from the New Deal and others still haven’t been paid for. The National debt is already so high that continuing these programs will not aid us in the long run but will further hinder the economy. Moving on to addressing the benefits of entitlements, one of the most striking benefits of the New Deal was the restoration of confidence of a deeply discouraged population. It resulted in the recovery from 25% unemployment to roughly 10% unemployment, the rebound from 50% of industrial