Liberals label conservatives as "uncompassionate." But how should we evaluate "compassion?" Does it depend only on good intentions, or should we look at results?
Consider the "war on poverty." Implemented in late 1964, it greatly expanded the federal government's role in social welfare programs with the "compassionate" intention of ending poverty in the U.S. The poverty rate in 1965 was 17.3 percent. In 2010 it was 14.3 percent. A minor improvement yes, but after spending over $6 trillion on the program, it is demonstrably not very efficient. Conservatives agree, some people do legitimately need a "hand up" rather than a "hand out." But after 46 years of this "war," there are large numbers of people now hooked in an intergenerational dependency on the "narcotic" of federal handouts. Conservatives would define "compassion" not based on how many people are receiving handouts, but on how many no longer need them. In this regard, the "war on poverty" is a colossal failure.
Many other programs fall into this category. The Community Reinvestment Act which encouraged home loans to people who could not pay them back, and ultimately lead to the recent financial collapse, is one.
Programs such as Medicare and Social Security are headed for a financial cliff.
Conservatives who see these problems and propose reforms are labeled as "uncompassionate." Yet shouldn't we be looking at the results instead of the good intentions?
Steve Ball, Gilbert