“So you’re all for like, ‘yay, freedom,’ and all this stuff. And ‘yay, like pursuit of happiness,'” a heckler told Mitt Romney in Peoria, Illinois yesterday. “You know what would make me happy? Free birth control.”
Romney’s response? “If you’re looking for free stuff you don’t have to pay for, vote for the other guy. That’s what he’s all about, okay? That’s not, that’s not what I’m about.”
A microcosm for what’s wrong with the American republic, I think. Vast swaths of our society would gladly give up their individual freedom in exchange for goodies voted to them from the treasury.
Of course, neither contraception nor anything else the government would provide us with is free. Somebody, ultimately, has to pay and when we get down to the nitty gritty it’s usually not “other people.” If you tax the rich for it, they spend less on investment and starting business which hurts us economically. If you order companies to provide services gratis, as Obama has done with insurance companies on contraceptives, then those companies simply charge more for their other goods and services.
And there’s another cost to this sort of thing too. Once you’re dependent on the government, you’ve lost your freedom. Though freedom, these days, is something taken for granted, as the heckler above illustrates.