The City of Berkeley, California, has, fittingly enough, become a stage on which the untenability of liberal entitlement plays out.
Last month, the Berkeley City Council passed a resolution demanding that the U.S. Marine Corps shut down its recruiting center in the city. If the Marines remain, the city says, they do so as “unwelcome intruders”.
In response, several conservative U.S. Senators earlier this week introduced the Semper Fi Act of 2008, which would rescind more than $2 million in hidden earmarks for the city contained in the 2008 Omnibus Appropriations bill and transfer the funds to the U.S. Marine Corps.
When conservative bloggers extolled the commonsense bill, liberal commenters went berserk, revealing all the ill-considered entitled assumptions that undergird their irrational policies. One commenter called Scott’s Morning Brew’s support for the bill “treasonous”. Over at The Write Side of My Brain, a commenter insists, “The US becomes more like the countries they invade every day.” Falling back on “free speech”, the commenter shows no understanding that freedom doesn’t encompass “being given plundered money”. And a commenter on both sites complains that the measure would cut off federal funding for the University of California at Berkeley; he calls this cut-off punishment, showing no more understanding than Mike Huckabee that punishment doesn’t mean “not being given plundered money”.
These commenters simply assume that federal money is an entitlement, and that taking it away constitutes some sort of violation.
It doesn’t. The City of Berkeley is not entitled to federal tax dollars. The U.S. Marine Corps, on the other hand, actually does deserve taxpayer support. That’s because the Marine Corps, and the other armed services, defend the nation. That’s one of the (few) proper functions of the federal government. Passing out taxpayers’ money to whiners who haven’t earned it is a perversion of the government’s duty to enforce justice.
The fight over the Berkeley resolution shows just how deeply this perversion has pervaded liberals’ thinking: Everyone is entitled to the fruits of others’ labor: except those who are actually protecting the country.