In response to the recent letter suggesting that help and welfare are really quite similar, I would suggest that a better question would be: Are “charity” and “welfare” similar? In this case, the answer would be no.

When individuals make a choice to give of their treasure in order to assist their fellow man, that individual is likely to choose to give to the person or cause that is most needy. The action is also cause for merit to the giver because he voluntarily chose to give help.

In the instance of welfare, money that is earned by one individual is involuntarily taken from him and given out as the government sees fit. Not only is there no merit to the giver because the money was taken without choice, but then there is no incentive for the giver to produce in abundance because it will be taken and given out.

The giver in this case is going to be less likely to give voluntarily because much of what he earned has already been taken.

Saying that help is like welfare is the same as saying bread is like food. Welfare is help, but since when did truly needy people have a right to help getting a free cell phone, cash-back options to buy cigarettes and beer, have cable TV and other abuses.

The saddest part is that, when logical people point out these abuses, we are told that we are “uncharitable,” even though conservatives have shown to be the most generous in giving to charity on a national scale.

I’ll close with a quote from Alexis de Tocqueville: “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

Nicholas Isgro

Waterville