Never confuse charity (benevolence) with welfare. Acts of charity are volitional acts undertaken on behalf of fellow human beings. We choose to help those we believe are deserving and freely determine the extent to which we are willing to help them. Charity is undertaken voluntarily and never coerced. It is motivated by compassion, never pity. As charity is an act of free will, it is a virtue.
By contrast, welfare is the involuntary transfer of private property from one person to another, deserving or not. It is always coerced. It is motivated by pity, a form of loathing, and the will to power. As such, it is never an act of virtue. No one would ever consider a slave picking cotton an act of virtue by the slave on behalf of the plantation owner. Likewise, a highwayman who promises to give all of his proceeds to the poor is still a criminal. A government acting in this capacity is at once the middleman and the enforcer of institutionalized larceny. It is organized crime fraudulently legitimized by the ballot box. As any legitimate government is instituted to protect the lives and property of its citizens, a government which uses its monopoly of force to carry out the involuntary transfer of property from one citizen to another has no moral legitimacy, nor any claim to the allegiance of its citizens. As such, there is no moral justification for the welfare state.
These passages clarify and support this political and moral axiom:
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Corinthians 9:7
“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” – James Madison criticizing an attempt to grant public monies for charitable means, 1794
One day around 1830 Congress was considering a measure to grant a sum from the public money to a widow of a recently deceased veteran. The measure was expected to pass unanimously until a Congressman rose to the floor. It was none other than the famous frontiersman and lawmaker Davy Crockett:
“Mr. Speaker, I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, as any man in this House. But we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to so appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him. Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week’s pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bills asks.” – Congressman Davy Crockett 2
Crockett, the poorest man in Congress, donated a great portion of his salary to the widow – more than any other Congressman. The lesson: Congress often claims great compassion by offering the public money to charity yet when it comes time for private charity the very same people refuse. It is he who contributes under his own initiative to charity who is the truly compassionate, not he who gives the money of others only to credit himself. My message to Congress: Rather than claim compassion in fraud by appropriating the money of others as charity, engage in true compassion by giving from your own pockets.
The following excerpt from the Constitutional Party website clearly and succinctly explains why publicly funded welfare is unconstitutional.
The Artful Dilettante–Heads Above the Talking Heads