Jim DeMint kicked off his first day as President of the Heritage Foundation with a letter celebrating the American spirit and lamenting the damage done to our national character by the Left’s limitless welfare state: “Liberal policies have destroyed families and communities and created dependence on government. Putting our society back together will require work.”
Not surprisingly, DeMint’s message failed to resonate with The Huffington Post. Author Ryan Grim published a short piece in which he criticizes DeMint and points out that “government assistance has led to a dramatic decline in poverty since the days when poor people were left to their own devices.”
Is the choice really only between government help or callous indifference to the plight of others? Or is there a difference between “government assistance” and “government dependency”?
Contrary to what Grim suggests, conservatives are not opposed to helping others and don’t want them to wallow in poverty. What we are concerned with is helping people in such a way that they no longer need help and become capable themselves of helping others.