Free stuff for everybody!

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David Epps

Politicians are getting more and more desperate these days. One party has no less than 23 candidates running for the presidential nomination, most of whom have very little name recognition. Within a couple of months, most of them will no longer be serious contenders.

The general public has always thought of politicians as people who are nearly incapable of telling the truth. Hence, the old joke: “How do you tell if a politician is lying? His (her) lips are moving.”

This perspective is so prevalent that almost no one expects a politician, of whichever party, to fulfill his or her campaign promises. But, at least in former days, politicians kept their promises within the realm of believability, or at least, possibility.

All that has now been thrown out the window. A number of politicians are making campaign promises that are impossible to fulfill and, if those promises were to be fulfilled, the nation and its economy would be wrecked.

Want free college? You got it! Forgive all student debt? Done! Medicare for every person? You bet! How about guaranteed jobs? Easy peasy! A minimum income for everyone, even those who refuse to work? Of course! Affordable housing? Certainly! And the list goes on and on. It almost seems like a script for a bad comedy except there’s nothing funny about this tactic.

The amazing thing is that there are people who actually buy into these so-called promises and think that “the government” can provide all these goodies for everybody.

Of course, “the government” provides nothing because it produces nothing without first extracting money, by force, from its citizens.

Oh, you think people aren’t forced to pay taxes? Just don’t pay them for a few years and see how that works out for you. You say your house is paid off and you own it free and clear? Don’t pay the property taxes for a year or two and see who takes possession of the house that you assume you own.

I deplore the word “free” because it causes people to believe that some things are actually “free,” when they are not. My wife and I belong to Amazon Prime. The myth of Amazon Prime is that you get “free shipping.” You most certainly do not.

People who join Amazon Prime pay a fee up front. They pay for their shipping in advance. Now, it is true that some people have a lot shipped to their house while others who paid the fee are much more frugal in their spending. But the shipping isn’t “free.” Somebody paid for it.

It is the same with “free” tuition, healthcare, loan liquidation, housing, and everything else deemed “free.” Those “free” school lunches? Somebody paid for them. Somebody pays for everything. Except air. Air is free. So far.

The politicians making all these promises know that the chances of fulfilling them, are practically nil. It would cost a bazillion gadzookillion dollars to fund everything and there’s not enough money — even if the government takes everything from everybody — to pay for these campaign “promises.”

If even one party passes all this stuff, the other party is likely to oppose the measures, thus halting it, or the President, if he or she has a functioning brain, would veto such ruinous legislation.

Sometimes when I watch the news and hear what certain politicians are proposing, and that a sizable portion of the population agrees with them, I feel like I am living in Bizarro World (check Wikipedia if you don’t catch the DC Comics reference) where everything that should be isn’t and that which shouldn’t be is. I also refer to this state as Wacky World.

Our church is funding a youth event this month. We are sending several youth and sponsors to Selma, Ala., for a special conference that we believe will be beneficial to our youth and, thus, to the church.

The youth do not have to pay for their transportation, fees, or rooms. Neither do their parents. But the trip isn’t free. Not by a long shot.

People in the church who work and who give voluntarily are paying for the trip. Somebody always pays for everything.

The next time you see a politician’s lips move and the word “free” come out, remember this fact.

[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, 4881 Hwy. 34 E., Sharpsburg, GA between Newnan and Peachtree City (www.ctk.life). He is the bishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Diocese of the Mid-South which consists of Georgia and Tennessee and is the Associate Endorser for the Department of the Armed Forces, U. S. Military Chaplains, ICCEC. He may contacted at davidepps@ctk.life.]

12 COMMENTS

  1. I’m ok with free Medicare. I’m even ok with expanding the group that qualifies by dropping the age from 65 to whatever. Might even be ok with providing it to illegals – or migrants or Dreamers or whatever sanitized new name the Dems think up for illegal aliens. Only condition I would place on it is that whoever gets Medicare gets it the way I did – by paying into it for 40 years from each and every paycheck which also had income taxes and social security contributions deducted. My Medicare is just that – Mine! I paid for it.

    I think when these funny people running for President say Free Medicare that they don’t understand the difference between Medicare and Medicaid. Nor do they understand the difference between free health care and free health care insurance or health care insurance paid for by taxpayers. And nobody in the press bothers to ask them for clarification.

    Free Medicare (without the user paying into it ahead of time) is actually Medicaid. Medicare is mostly paid for and administered by the states and each state decides who receives those benefits. If some state decides to expand Medicaid beyond its current mission of aid to the elderly and disabled to include younger people and illegal aliens – fine. Go for it. Next we are going to hear that being a migrant allegedly fleeing persecution and entering the U.S. illegally has a disability (you know – not their fault that they have this condition), so maybe Medicaid is the proper solution.

    I’m confident Georgia won’t do that, but some of these states that have whacky ideas like sanctuary cities have leaders that are probably dumb enough or progressive enough to open up the floodgates of their treasury for non-citizens. Fine, have at it. You can move to one of those states if you want and live with line-breakers, gate crashers and other illegals who may not actually contribute to society, but at least they will have health insurance.

    Meanwhile, leave my Medicare alone – its mine, I paid for it. I don’t want to share.

  2. To STF– Thank you for your kind and gracious words. Apology accepted and I also apologize for getting a bit heated. I realize that not everyone will agree with my opinions nor should they have to. I had someone stop me in Peachtree City some time ago and say, “You’re that guy who writes the column, aren’t you?” I said, “Yes, sir, I am.” He said, “You sure are opinionated!” I replied, “It’s an opinion column.” I make no claim to be all-knowing. I’m just a guy with an opinion. I THINK I’m on good solid ground, else I wouldn’t write what I do. But one of the great things about America is that we can all have an opinion and still disagree and, hopefully, still live in peace. Peace to you, STF. Keep reading and responding.
    David Epps

  3. A comment to Stranger Than Fiction: I have not, nor have I ever, been on the pubic trough, as you so deceptively put it. When I was younger, I worked 2 1/2 years for a state agency in child protective services. I put myself through college without any help from parents and was too proud to go to financial aid to apply for a Pell Grant. I did receive the G. I. Bill, which I earned while 93% of Americans let someone else do the dirty work. I did one enlistment in the USMC. I am not a military retiree. My 25 years with police departments was as an unpaid volunteer. I have never had “free health care” through the VA and don’t even know if I qualify. As far as being well paid, my first check as a Marine was $110.00 a month. My first church paid me $400 a month and refused to pay their portion of my Social Security. I have never received food stamps or any kind of welfare. I do receive a relatively small check each month now call “Social Security.” But that’s MY money that I earned and the government has allowed that l receive some of it back. You don’t know me or my history. Instead you have chosen to simply make up untruths based on erroneous assumptions. That’s the problem with people using screen names. One can lie all day long and there is no accountability. And there is this: the point of the article is unchanged. Nothing, save air, is free. Somebody pays. You can sling biosolids all day long and try to denigrate my character but the facts remain what they are.

    • Rev. Epps – I apologize to you and all readers of this blog. I did indeed make some assumptions about your employment history that are not accurate, and thus my conclusions are erroneous. Your corrections are noted and appreciated. Thank you for setting this record straight.

  4. I see that some folks believe that Christians should have no voice because the church is exempt from property taxes and the income of the church, as in all 501(c)3 organizations is tax exempt. HOWEVER, every member of the church pays taxes, including clergy–income tax, state tax, Social Security tax, property tax (if they own a home and I do), gas tax, sales tax (in Georgia the church pays sales tax), and any other fees that the governments levy.
    I never hear people complain about the liberal churches that promote their agendas. Why is that? So, do you include the black churches and clergy that very often get involved in “political” dialog as those who should keep their mouths shut? What about those churches and clergy that endorse the LGBTQ agenda? Would you silence them? Or how about the “ministers” that “bless” abortion clinics? Do you propose that they should hold their peace? No, I thought not. Your ire is specifically aimed at people, especially those of the Christian community, who are orthodox and biblical in belief and practice and dare to express an opinion that is not far to the Left.
    Well, guess what? We are citizens who pay taxes and have the same rights as any other citizen. And I would bet that our church, in any given year, gives money money away in benevolences and outreach that almost any of our critics, including you folks who would silence us if you could.
    And, by the way, I served in the Marine Corps and spent 25 years on the road with police officers so get over yourselves. Not only do I have the constitutionally guaranteed right to an opinion and the freedom to express it, I EARNED it. Did you? Oh, and sign your names and quit hiding behind the protection of being a “keyboard commando.”
    David Epps

    • This rancorous diatribe constitutes the height of hypocrisy. Rev. Epps has bellied up to the public trough his entire life. He still receives monthly checks from the government and enjoys free health care through the V.A. while presiding over a tax-exempt social club while decrying others who somehow wish to join the gravy train. Get a clue Father – You’ve EARNED no special rights as a citizen because you’ve been well paid every step of the way.

      You can’t make this stuff up. Truth is stranger than fiction!

  5. You started off by saying “Politicians are getting more and more desperate these days”. Is it really desperation or are they just getting people “their base” riled up to vote. Examples “Build the wall” “Repeal and Replace Healthcare””Lock her up”. Yep a lot of broken promises. What did happen was with one party control was a big giant tax cut for corporations with a great economy. Makes since to see the stock buy back and 2 more trillion debt added to the deficit. What happened to the TEA Party? Now we will see record corporate donations to politician”s campaigns. Who is winning? Yes a new social contract in America does need to happen and lets hope people start coming to their senses and stop fighting over crumbs with each other. BTW we don’t need political opinions from a tax free church……

  6. Things like universal health care, Universal access to higher education, housing etc. are things that most people in western Europe take for granted. So it’s not impossible at all, although the American political right would like to keep everybody believing that. What is required is the political will to make the changes. And a whole lot of people today, especially younger people, know this and are demanding change.The time for a new social contract in America is way past due.

    The truth is that the traditional American dream is now far more achievable is Europe than the US. The documentation is in this article:

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/jan/17/want-to-get-ahead-move-to-denmark

    You may need to copy and past into your browser.

    • Free Tuition is different than what many of our youth have took out loans for, so many have taken out loans for living expenses which is often 3-10 times the tuition cost. So many kids have 30-40k in loans for a school that has 3-4k tuition a year. I am all for free Community college education but not to pay for the kids to live in dorms and feed them for 4 years.