Quick Take: Matt Walsh on Welfare

Matt Walsh has been posting a slew of controversial blog posts the last week. One of his most recent piece entitled EBT recipients stole food this weekend (and every other weekend) will surely be one of his most controversial posts yet.

In it he discusses from a civic, moral, and Christian perspective what is wrong with governmental welfare. It is well worth the read. If you don’t already follow his blog, you should. He’s awesome.

I don’t have time to do a full logical analysis of the piece but I did want to quickly throw something up voicing my opinion on one part of his post.

Logical statement #1: Something is “yours” — belonging to you, and nobody else — if you own it. […] You might come to own something — making it your property — by earning it, buying it, growing it, cultivating it, producing it, making it, constructing it, or trading for it.

Agreed? Awesome.

Logical statement #2: “Stealing” is “taking what isn’t yours without permission, especially by force.” If you come to possess that which is another’s property, without his or her consent or choice, you have stolen it. […]

Agreed? I thought so.

Logical statement #3: If you employ a third party to carry out the act of forceful taking — or “stealing” — and then that third party hands the ill-gotten gains over to you, you are still guilty of stealing. […]

Agreed? Of course.

So, with all of these statements in mind, how is the Welfare State NOT a giant machine of theft and redistribution?

I actually disagree with Matt’s assertion that the welfare state is theft. At least I think I do. It may not be good policy and it’s certainly not charity but I don’t think it’s theft.

I don’t think it’s theft because the federal government’s ability to take your money is independent of its power to appropriate funds however it pleases. Both happen (or don’t) regardless of whether the other does. The federal government doesn’t take your money for any specific program.

Of course that does not rule out the possibility that federal taxation is theft.

What are your thoughts?