Although the Fairness Doctrine has not been reinstituted as of yet, I wanted to go ahead and post my brother's opinion on the recent election. Since we communicate via email, I am just going to copy and paste his words, lest I leave out some important detail. I re-read this all before I copied it, and I still don't agree with him. I actually was really tempted to tear apart his email piece by piece with facts & figures (like the fact that we don't have employer based healthcare either, but we still have insurance or that tax refunds are actually just allowing the gov't to use your money interest free and you should change your withholding so you get to keep more each check and invest it). In fact, I am not even sure we are really related anymore. Just kidding! I think age has a lot to do with our differing opinions. After all, when I was young I voted for Clinton because I thought he was going to change things. I love my brother's idealist views on things. Especially his view on inadequate participation in the system. Amen to that! And if you happen to be an Obama supporter, I'd love to hear your thoughts as well. So, in the interest of fairness....
Although I understand your sentiment that you don't like having your money taken for someone else who is not working, I might suggest that the majority of your money that's being taken will go toward a tax cut for working Americans and to pay for health care initiatives. My tax refund will increase, and I'm hardly not working; the health care plan also provides for folks who can't get employer-based healthcare (again like me). I think if you crunched the numbers, you'd see that welfare, food stamps, WIC, and other 'handouts' form a miniscule amount of the federal tax bill.
I do agree with you on the notion that now a certain race or color will be 'in charge'. That possibility has always concerned me as an Obama supporter, but I don't think you can attribute it to Obama just as it's difficult to attribute to McCain the shouting at Palin rallies to kill Obama.
The conservative ideology of relying on civic duty often doesn't pan out well when it's aligned with the conservative ideology of 'work hard, keep what you earn' capitalism. After all, why engage in your civic duty to help the less fortunate when your ideological goal is to make as much money as possible? Government's job is to be the civic duty and to make sure everyone is doing their civic duty; that's why comments such as 'paying taxes isn't patriotic' bother me so much. Palin was wrong to assert that, because it denies the social contract.
I don't disagree that government could be more efficient. We should not, however, throw out the baby with the bathwater. Falling prey to the argument that we must denude government of its functions because it is inefficient amounts in a separation of government from its basis of power in the people. Doing so only makes the problem worse by convincing us we must fight against government waste from the outside rather than take the attitude that government waste is a symptom of inadequate participation in the system.
I also might point out that, unfortunately, churches and charities cannot make up the difference sometimes. They often are stretched to the breaking point by economic downturns, and even in good times certain areas lack charitable assistance. While we all might like to think that charity can and will provide a floor for the poverty-stricken, the reality is not the case. I myself would love it if churches could pay the rent for everyone and if charities could make sure every student I teach has enough food to eat. But the reality, again, is not the case. The government, as a collective of individuals, can be relied upon to provide that floor.