image654President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday is February 12th.  The following are quotes about work (and, one could argue, “entitlement” programs) made by President Lincoln, the Republican Party’s first president.  How do you think he would view the big government programs of today, or the call for ever increasing taxes on the wealthy? [Entitlement programs are defined as: a government program guaranteeing certain benefits to a segment of the population.  They include: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, federal employee and military retirement plans, unemployment compensation, food stamps…]

Abraham Lincoln quotes:

  • You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.”
  • “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
  • “If this country is ever demoralized, it will come from trying to live without work.”
  • “You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.”
  • “If any man tells you he loves America, yet hates labor, he is a liar. If any man tells you he trusts America, yet fears labor, he is a fool.”
  • “That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence built.”
  • “You cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence.”

In November, CNN reported “President Barack Obama is a self-professed, lifelong admirer of the 16th president, who is by many accounts the most popular and influential of all chief executives in American history.”  Based on his economic policies, do you think President Obama would agree with these statements made by President Lincoln?