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The Conservative Welfare State

The welfare state is an American idea and a conservative institution. The Church did poverty relief and free healthcare when it was a public institution funded by taxes. When the "separation of church and state" was introduced under the new republican system of liberal democracy in America, the church lost its ability to raise revenue from legally mandatory tithes (income tax). When this happened, some of the social responsibilities of the church had to be passed on to the government. The church can't afford to provide for the needs of all the poor when it is no longer a taxpayer funded public instition. So in the New England colonies the "parish-township" replaced the "parish-church" as the institution responsible for ensuring social welfare in the form of providing for those in need. Thomas Jefferson talks about this in his letters. The first single-payer healthcare system was put in place by the Founding Fathers, the wisdom of progressive taxation was proclaimed by those same Founding Fathers, and the idea of taxing land in order to fund a citizen's dividend was seriously put on the table.

When Republicans, Fox News viewers, and Trump fans complain about welfare, taxation, and liberalism, it's not socialism that they are condemning—what the Republican Party is against is America and the ideas of the Founding Fathers.

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