Skip to comments.Santorum: A Massively Expanded Welfare State is ‘The Genuine Conservatism our Founders Envisioned’
Posted on 01/12/2012 4:58:10 AM PST by IbJensen
"I believe what I've been presenting is the genuine conservatism our Founders envisioned. One that fosters the opportunity for all Americans to live as we are called to live, in selfless families that contribute to the general welfare, the common good."
Posted by Jeff Emanuel (Diary)
Despite strident opposition from supporters who maintain that Rick Santorum is a true conservative in the mold of you guessed it Ronald Reagan, the already huge mountain of evidence that he is, at heart, a big-government conservative continues to grow. As Erick noted previously, in 2008 Santorum said:
This whole idea of personal autonomy, well I dont think most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldnt get involved in the bedroom, we shouldnt get involved in cultural issues. You know, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world and I think most conservatives understand that individuals cant go it alone.
Now, consider these two quotes from Santorums 2005 book It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good, both of which are very telling:
What was my vision? I came to the uncomfortable realization that conservatives were not only reluctant to spend government dollars on the poor, they hadnt even thought much about what might work better. I often describe my conservative colleagues during this time as simply cheap liberals. My own economically modest personal background and my faith had taught me to care for those who are less fortunate, but I too had not yet given much thought to the proper role of government in this mission.
-Preface, p. IX; audio here
I suspect some will dismiss my ideas as just an extended version of compassionate conservatism. Some will reject what I have said as a kind of Big Government Conservatism. Some will say that what Ive tried to argue isnt conservatism at all. But I believe what Ive been presenting is the genuine conservatism our Founders envisioned. One that fosters the opportunity for all Americans to live as we are called to live, in selfless families that contribute to the general welfare, the common good.
-Conclusion, p. 421; audio here
Though the second quote is the money shot, as it were, the value of the first is that it sets the stage for Santorums exploration of the role of government in the book. As the second quote demonstrates, Santorum has not only concluded that it is the role of government to ensure that all Americans contribute to the general welfare, the common good by acting as the chief arbiter of charitable resources and their distribution.
This is wrong on several levels. While there is absolutely a role for government in creating and maintaining a social safety net (Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, etc.) for the population that cannot take care of itself (whether that should take place at the federal, state, or local level, and in what measure each, is a different discussion), Santorums instinct appears to be to use government to expand that safety net to all who may be in need or want of charity. Further, he accuses conservatives in Congress who disagree with a significantly expanded role of government in enforcing redistributive charity and welfare of being cheap liberals who havent though [enough] about the issue of the poor to recognize that making decisions about charity is clearly governments job to do.
Not only does Santorum argue for an expansion of the welfare state as the proper way to ensure that all Americans contribute to the general welfare, and not only does he dismiss criticisms that his view represents an extended version of compassionate conservatism or big government conservatism, but he actually claims that increasing the size and scope of government, and its role in growing the welfare state, represents the genuine conservatism our Founders envisioned.
Im not criticizing Rick Santorum for being concerned about his fellow man. However, instinctively turning to government to cure all that ails our society and individuals within it and calling that a conservative instinct shows a lack of understanding about the role of government itself within our society. Further, his belief that only government is able (and benevolent enough) to ensure that all Americans contribute to the general welfare in an acceptable manner reveals a lack of faith in, and understanding of, conservatism and conservative Americans. Were he to step outside of his more-government-is-the-solution bubble, he would learn, for example, that conservative Americans voluntarily contribute to the common good by donating to private charities at a very high rate much higher than liberals who, like Santorum, look to an ever-expanding government to take care of the poor using Americans tax dollars.
Santorum certainly isnt unique within the community of current and former lawmakers in his faith that government has the answers and the moral requirement to make fiscal decisions (including where charitable contributions are to be made, and in what amounts) for the American people as a whole. However, denying that such a belief is big government conservatism (if it is conservatism at all) is only surpassed on the absurdity scale by the claim that such a belief truly represents the genuine conservatism our Founders envisioned.
Cut and paste, editing quotes, etc. is par for the course at Red State, the most dishonest conservative blog out there.
He is a ‘social” conservative—not a fiscal conservative. He is liberal on fiscal issues. It is sad that we don’t really have a fiscal conservative running. Newt may be one, but he has said things that raise doubt that he is one. Perry is more of a social conservative than a fiscal conservative as well.
Very very good insights. The progressive catholic church is infested with liberation theology type thinking, which has its roots in Marxism. Dorothy Day was the extreme wing of this thinking but elements of this corrupt theology has spread to many bishops/priests who then poison their flock, who think they are being compassionate.
In March of 1983 JP II specifically went to Nicaragua to address and try to correct this growing marxist movement in the Church. It had its manifestation in South America, but the intellectual roots were formed in Europe/bad Jesuit theology, etc.
True church teaching requires the idividual to perform corporal works of mercy and the OT actually seems to require the giving of alms for salvation, but this is the individual giving freely from his own goods, not the collective deciding for the individual.
This is very dangerous thinking here within the progressive church. I have no idea where Santorum falls along this progressive church leaning socialist spectrum - maybe he doesn’t subscribe to it at all - I am speaking generally....
Newt is the best option to take on the Kenyan, who has WAY more baggage than he does, and once the Kenyan’s murky past sees the light of day there will be a mudslide engulfing him.
Santorum talks a good game but his record is different. There are aspects of him that are far better than Mitt.
If Mitt becomes President he will attempt to turn the US into Mass. Choking gun control, govt run healthcare, regulations galore.
Santorum won’t do that.
Earth to HwyChile, the candidate with the second most votes it a fiscal conservative.
What about the injured, or have you forgotten about the good Samaritan?
Besides, there is more to taking care of our fellow man than just giving handouts. Good businesses take care of their fellow man by providing services (at a profit, of course) that he cannot do. National defense is taking care of our fellow man, as is a uniform law code. Volunteer firefighters help their fellow man, etc.
The welfare mentality has so corroded the modern culture that the left clamors for more and more "welfare", whereas the libertarian, Ayn Rand wing promotes ONLY self-interested capitalism. But a society that is at either extreme will not stand.
As long as people live together, we have obligations to one another to not make each others life miserable. The key is to balance the rights of the individual while promoting voluntary altruism, and to limit government interference.
How is either of the two quotes in this particular instance incorrect? I have not read his book but four and five sentence quotes are normally good at showing what an author means. So it would be helpful if you could provide more specific info.
Now consider the use of voting records to estimate conservatism. With the butt-loads of earmarks and last minute deals going on, there is, categorically, no legislation that comes from the hill that is NOT a pork laden, anti-freedom, piece of dung. That said, a singular bill may foster or diminish some particular virtue or ill of the Republic, but on the whole it is like consuming vermin and parasite laden food. It may nourish for the short term, but the negative load will eventually kill you in the end.
We, as Conservatives, must recognize that change must occur on the scale unknown in this country - possibly since its founding. Any candidate that is “electable” is not, by sheer definition, what is needed. Any candidate that is willing to go the whole way (and we need a full slate to do that) will invariably piss off a score of DC bootlickers many of whom will also be “conservative” PACs that have become institutionalized for their share of the crumbs.
Who, then, is the conservative? Mittens? No, that's a given. Newt? No, again. Look at him closely and you'll see he's nothing more than a third-way elitist. For my money, the most conservative (closest to Constitutional ideals) have already been killed off. For me, this leaves Mr. Santorum as the moral choice among many delusional, but ‘electable’ choices. Will he win? Nay, nay. We conservatives lose this election? You bet. No matter if BO takes a second term (most likely) and takes over the entire gub’mint or some jack-ass like the Mitten takes the WH we still lose through Jacobian tactics in the end.
We are going to lose, lose and lose again until we realize that principle and moral courage are the only things that count. It may very well be that we are no longer a people that can self-govern and, therfore, no longer fit for American freedom. If so, the electorate must change - not the principles or convictions. If we lose and, possibly, die because of sticking to these things - so be it. Better that than to live in a delusional world where black and white have no meaning and evil is become good.
Agree on the NRA and Reid. But where I would close the loop is that in the case of Santorum, the social ONLY conservatives are like the NRA and Santorum is like Reid in the analogy. Santorum is Huckabee. Very very outspoken on social conservatism but a rather poor conservative on almost all other domestic issues. Not who we need for 2012, where issues of big government and the economy and over all liberty is the crushing combo of issues.
Hence the Puritan belief that (in the image of the cross) We have a direct vertical connection to God himself but also a horizontal connection to the community. This however, is not based on the collective but on the individual. i.e. My connection to my community does not allow them to reach into my pocket to serve a need I must be inwardly directed by the vertical Godly influence to do so willingly otherwise, the taxing authority is in effect taking the role of God by forcing benevolence. That is the real compassionate Conservatism.
I seriously doubt that we can talk about that.
You’ve shown yourself in one sentence to be a tool of the left and grossly misinformed about Rick Perry.
You are confusing the in-state tuition thing with immigration law. Rick Perry is for closing the border and has a plan to do so.
I would explain in-state tuition to you, but if you wanted to know the truth it is readily available.
I believe Rick Perry is the candidate targeted by the left from the beginning because they fear him.
He is a consistent conservative, a steady and reliable leader (proven in Texas for 11 plus years)
He’s not volatile like Newt or wimpy like Santorum.
Hang on to your little prejudices all you want but the country will suffer for ignoring Rick Perry.
Our liberty is built upon our moral foundations and I’m pretty sure Santorum does not want the gub’mint to administer morality. In an age of moral collapse, simpy reducing gub’mint will not secure our freedoms either - it will only foster greed and crime. We need a moral regeneration in this country first - IMO.
With due respect, we are talking elections - which means we are talking government. I agree with you on what is morally right and I’ll agree that we need moral under pinnings for our society to succeed.
BUT, the secular governmental role in that equation is to stay small and out of the way. It is not and CANNOT be the role of government to ram morality down the throats of those who do not agree.
Our Founders - who agreed with you on the moral, knew the sacred right was the right of property, because without the right to property, you can not possibly have liberty or pursuit of happiness.
Rick Santorum is not about keeping government small and out of our way nearly enough for me.
“Not only does Santorum argue for an expansion of the welfare state as the proper way to ensure that all Americans contribute to the general welfare, and not only does he dismiss criticisms that his view represents an extended version of compassionate conservatism or big government conservatism, but he actually claims that increasing the size and scope of government, and its role in growing the welfare state, represents the genuine conservatism our Founders envisioned.”
Yeah, Rickster, that’s why Madison, Jefferson, et al. insisted on federal government food stamps, mandated health insurance, WIC, Head Start, No Child Gets an Education, housing subsidies, etc., etc.
Be compassionate with your own money, Rickster. Keep your hands off mine and keep your big government nose out of my affairs.
Big government, compassionate “conservatism” barf alert.
I’m more convinced than ever that there is only one true conservative in the race and that is Gov. Rick Perry and I’m not happy with his class envy of the past few days but he’s still the best there is.
OK, what kind of record did Santorum have in the senate? I understand he filibustered right-to-work. I always had a lot of respect for him but perhaps I accepted his pro-life commitment as evidence he is a conservative.
** A Massively Expanded Welfare State is The Genuine Conservatism our Founders Envisioned**
I can’t believe Santorum said this. Now I have to read the article.
It seems to me that candidates that blather about small government at this time (and do nothing at others) are as useless as tits on a bull. What we really need is a bull in the china shop because things are bound to get broken (need to) one way or another.
This is how I see the candidates:
Santorum: not nearly as conservative as most people think on issues of limited government - as people are fooled by how strident he is on social conservatism.
Newt: much more conservative as legislator than he has been in his books and his other wanderings. Has a very conservative platform.
Mitt: all of both, and all over the place.
Huntsman: more conservative than people think, but will run a puke “cant we all just get along” campaign and would never win.
Perry: not as conservative as we’d hoped on issues of limited government, but as a tenth amendment guy, might be in the Federal position.
Paul: way right fiscal, way left on some other stuff.
The key is someone who could beat Obama and work with what I think will be the most conservative congress we’ve had maybe in my lifetime.
As to social conservatism: Conservatives are generally not libertoonians. One simply CANNOT be conservative without being firmly committed to ending abortion and to resisting/ending sexual perversions posing as a basis for marriage (including tax subsidies for the perverts) and to protecting gun rights and to an aggressive and muscular foreign policy. Money is only money. It is on the ballot in every election and there are no permanent victories.
Those who take slings and arrows for social conservatism are the heroes of the conservative movement. Quislings like Mittwit are not evenly vaguely conservative. I can eagerly support Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich or Rick Perry. I will NOT vote for Romney, Huntsman, or Ron Paul under ANY circumstances. I do not care if any of them effect claims of being "fiscal conservatives."
Without social conservatism, there is no such thing as a "fiscal conservative." On social issues, Barry Goldwater was a Jacobin social revolutionary posing as a "conservative" while wife #1 (Peggy) spent 35 years on the National Board of Planned Barrenhood. He supported gay everything and took his own daughter to an abortion mill to murder his grandchild, saying that anyone who objected could kiss his ass. He also was never reliable in supporting Ronaldus Maximus or his foreign policy.
typical of so many who think it’s just two issues, social issues and money.
You so so so so so miss the point.
There are NO RIGHTS without property rights. Without a right to your property, you don’t have a right to your time - and without either, you have no time to go to the pro life rally or to put money in the offering plate.
To be intellectually consistent, you must be socially conservative, true.
But you must understand that without property, you don’t have any rights at all.
“But there is a brand of Catholic conservatism which is very conservative on social issue but which believes the state has an obligation to help the poor and working class.”
We call them liberal Catholics. Which, of course, is an oxymoron.
“Any candidate who is chiefly electable is nothing more than an empty husk that mirrors the fears and greed of an unprinciple electorate.”
So true. These people who base their votes on “electability” drive me crazy.
What if Obama jumped parties and entered the race for the Republican Nomination? Are conservatives going to vote for him because he is the most electable?
If the Stupid Party ran a halfway competent campaign—I know, figure the odds—they could beat the Bamtard with a brown paper bag full of guano as their candidate.
A principled conservative would carry the day. Unfortunately, the corrupt RINO elite will not allow a principled conservative to become the Republican candidate.
I’m with you. My hope is for a last gasp realization of the truth like Britain had in 1940.
God go with you, brothers.
Demint/Palin has a nice ring to it.
It’s up to the neighbors, the church or synagogue, the city to care for those less fortunate, but be careful that you’re not being snookered.
Well, actually, I care about many conservative issues but the "money" issue is not very high on the list. Putting on a green eye shade and sleeve garters to join the old money changers and coupon clippers in the back room at the bank on Main Street (or BAIN Street?) and reducing the federal government to the significance of the corner store ala RuPaul is not my idea of political romance. Conservatism is a much richer tapestry than that cramped view.
I do not consider and shall not consider for one moment the obscene notion that the conservative movement exists to serve and protect the likes of Bain Capital and the Mittwit practicing vulturedom at the expense of people's jobs, families and the normal American way of life. We have been toting this sort of albatross from the days of the Federalists, the Whigs and throughout the history of the GOP. It drags upon us in every election and for what???? Likewise, the notion and relentless policy of "free trade" which has destroyed the American middle class by sending their jobs to Bangladesh and tells American factory workers that, if they and their families want to survive, they had better learn to become investment bankers, at least until that job is also outsourced to Bangladesh so that even those with banking functions can be paid 74 cents an hour with no benefits, all in service to the mega-stockholding elites.
Correction! WITHOUT LIFE, you have no rights and no property rights. If your mother aborted you, you would not be making foolish arguments on the internet.
I believe that the #1 priority of this nation must be to end the holocaust of American unborn infants. 50+ million sliced, diced and hamburgerized babies is more than enough, thank you very much. We are slaughtering our future. This nation is already paying a price for government subsidized libertinism that has for nearly forty years included murdering the babies that result.
You and I and every person reading our posts were allowed to live. We must extend that same courtesy to the next generation that God is preparing to inherit the Earth. And without carefully calculating how many dollars it will cost J. Random Citizen not to allow another 1.3 million innocents to be slaughtered in 2012.
I am informed by my youngest daughter that Rockford, Illannoy's one and only abortion mill has announced today that it will not re-open after its license had been suspended for about four months. I hope she is right.
Next comes putting a stop to the spreading acceptance of sexual perversion as a somehow legitimate lifestyle. I understand that this sort of thing is going to occur but it need never be accepted socially, nor subsidized by tax provisions or benefit packages and we certainly do not need to tolerate the perverts parading their evils in the face of our formerly civilized society.
Next, I believe in a citizenry armed to the teeth without gummint interference, as envisioned by the Founders in enacting the Second Amendment.
I believe in a military that is armed to the teeth as well with the best technology the government can buy and is used whenever necessary or desirable for advancing and protecting American interests.
I believe in civil liberties and stripping federal and state agencies of their recently accumulating unconstitutional powers to ignore search and seizure protections, arrest people without accountability or appropriate warrant to do so. I believe in freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of worship and freedom of the press, including the electronic press.
I believe in putting courts, all courts and their judges, federal, state and local back in their box and making them go back to applying the laws and the constitution rather than re-inventing them and to refusing to apply laws clearly violative of the constitution. In that regard, we will have to understand that it will be a long road to bringing back the 10th Amendment which has been broadly ignored for centuries now and will, itself, probably need to be amended by the process provided in the constitution itself and not by judges.
If you want to obsess on money, begin by abolishing all of the utterly unnecessary and undesirable government agencies created in the last forty years or so or ever. Environwhacko Protection Administration, school breakfast, lunch and dinner programs for kids whose families already receive food stamps, the food stamp program itself and watch grocery prices slide downward, National Endowment for the Arts (an upper class entitlement program), National Public Television and Radio (again an upper class entitlement program), The Edjamakshun Department (which exists to guarantee incorrigible ignorance and brainwashing of those crumb crunchers incarcerated in gummint skewels), any program of "affirmative action," the Energy Department (which produces no energy), White House speechwriters (for anyone not just Obozo), the First Lady's "staff" (all of it no matter who is First Lady), speechwriters for ANY federal official, the civil rights division of the Justice Department since we are no living in 1948 and the Klan has long been suppressed, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (which ought to be a convenience store in the private sector as someone has observed), the jobs of anyone in the military wasting tax money investigating pissing on dead Taliban, the entire Homeland Security Department (which produces no such thing), the Transportation Safety Administration in case it otherwise survives the demise of DHS, provision of SSI monthly payments simply because the recipient is a drunk, a recreational drug addict or similar excuses, VISTA, the Peace Corps and similar leftist training (at taxpayer expense) operations of national and international do-goodism, the Labor Department, the Commerce Department, the Interior Department, the Agriculture Department, most of the State Department and particularly the diployakkers, federal subsidies of any sort to gummint skewels, foreign aid, each and every unnecessary foreign military base (many are necessary, many are not), consulates and embassies in hostile foreign nations where Americans ought not expect gummint protection while traveling, whether sightseeing or on business, any program designated as "green," all money for propaganda posing as "public service" announcements which also serve the purpose of homogenizing the politics of radio and television and even newspaper outlets dependent on this form of subsidy, each and every unnecessary (and that is most of them) IRS job, ridiculous obsolete agencies like the Mohair quality Board and the Tea Tasting Board; Smoky the Bear; substantial numbers of federal judges by attrition by ignoring and tabling Obozo's attempts to appoint new judges to replace old; the National Labor Relations Board; each and every nickel of the trillions of American dollars provided by the Fed to prop up the Euro or any other anti-American "government" abroad and maybe most that are used to prop up the currencies of allies, and so on, ad infinitum, ad nauseam. Utilize the savings to pay off the IOUs held by the Social Security "Trust Fund" and make it an actual trust fund.
After all of that, cut taxes, first and foremost, on folks of modest means after decades of focus on the terrible privations suffered by the trust fund baby set. If there is anything left, establish a rainy day fund for the federal government. If anything is left after that, then engage in very modest continued coddling of the spoiled and privileged. Then call it a day.
I am not limited to two issues. I did not miss my point. It just differs from yours. And there is a lot more where that came from.
Based on Santorum’s original quote, I don’t see any advocacy of a welfare state, quite the contrary. The fact that the gays hate him so much means that he’s doing something right.
Since you demonstrated very poor reading comprehension of my point in the first paragraph. zzzz
1. The breadth of conservatism (hint it is not limited to obsessive money-grubbing);
2. The absence of rational thought demonstrated by your #81 as referenced in your #90;
3. The desirability of curing your limited horizon by consideration of a property tax to replace all existing federal taxation of income and payrolls (a far better idea than VAT).
If y'all manage to nominate the money-obsessive Mittwit, then maybe enough of the actual conservatives will make your year an exciting adventure wondering how we will vote. It won't be money-grubbing and baby-scraping and marriage-wrecking Libertoonian either. Property is a "nice to have." No one has property unless he or she have life itself. That is a basic (and grossly violated) principle of our civilization not just some burden we sadly assume to be consistent.
Consider taking a few years' (decades'?) courses in brushing up your writing and reading.
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