Self reliance vs. government programs

I've often mused that socialism, big government programs and liberal ideology, in general, takes the individual out of society, enabling him/her to cease emulating the hard work that made our country the great nation it stands as today. Thus, self reliance is of utmost importance to the American Ideal, and federal programs, on the whole, are antithetical to our history.

I would note that, after much study, only three federal programs stand out as positive examples in longevity and overall effectiveness:

The GI Bill

The Homestead Act

The Welfare Reform Act

A sign of our troubled times, only the last of these really involved scrutiny, but of course, it has been an immense success. Solely racists like Ted Kennedy, who decried it akin to slavery a decade ago, would oppose the bill, instead opting to continue funding massive programs that will keep people impoverished and looked after forever. Those who favored the bill, introduced by former Missouri Senator Jim Talent (including, of course, then-President Clinton who wisely campaigned on a platform to "end welfare as we know it") see the indigent as worthwhile individuals who innately yearn to improve their lot in life and be productive members of society.

And as President Bush noted in his Second Inaugural Address:
"Self-government relies, in the end, on the governing of the self."
More simple rhetoric from that simple, unwavering, "inflexible" man. If Clinton has said it, all the liberals who confess to being "fiscally conservative" would have called him a genius.

For much more on self-reliance, see excerpts from The Heritage Foundation's 2005 report.
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