Next Monday, October 27 marks the 50th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s iconic “Time For Choosing” speech. It was a speech that sparked the modern Conservative Movement, ignited a fire in the hearts of conservatives, and launched Ronald Reagan’s public policy career.
This week as part of a year-long “Time for Choosing: The Next Generation” initiative, Young America’s Foundation is releasing a series of videos in conjunction with the anniversary of this significant speech. The second video focuses on entitlements.
In his 1964 speech, Reagan warned, “37 cents of every dollar earned was the tax collector’s share, and the government spent 17 million dollars a day more than the government takes in.” Think of how outraged he would be today with our current economy. The Obama administration has racked up a national debt that now exceeds 17 trillion dollars, and more than 50 percent of Americans receive some type of government assistance.
Obama has said “We have not massively expanded the welfare state.” However, food stamp spending has surged under the Obama administration with more than 47 million Americans now on food stamps.
Reagan said, “We have so many people who can’t see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion that the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one.” Consider how this administration has vilified the wealthy and successful.
Reagan truly understood that the government wasn’t the solution to our nation’s problems. He noted that welfare spending was ten times greater than it was during the dark depths of the Depression, and yet the country was not better off with an increasing number of welfare recipients. Welfare wasn’t meant to be a lifelong benefit. He realized that the government is failing the American people by keeping them on the government dole.
Decades before he would step foot in the White House, Ronald Reagan urged our nation to choose a path of freedom–not government dependency. Indeed, his “Time for Choosing” speech is a bold call to action from which today’s leaders, and our nation, could greatly benefit.
Ashley Pratte is the spokeswoman for Young America’s Foundation, you can follow her on twitter @ashpratte