Consider a moment of clarity from my own experience. In Governor John Engler's first few months in office in 1991 he pushed to eliminate a state program called General Assistance (GA). It was a welfare program for the able-bodied. Engler was eventually successful, and today many Michiganians would not even remember there was such a program. But in those days the debate was fierce.
I was on leave from Hillsdale College at the time to serve as Deputy State Treasurer for Taxation and Economic Policy, and as such was with the governor at an event at the Detroit Athletic Club. After the speech, Engler was interviewed by a reporter from The Economist magazine.
"Governor, what are you going to say to the Michigan people when the first person who no longer gets General Assistance freezes to death?"asked the reporter.
My reaction was: "Gee, governor, what are you going to say?"
But Engler's answer was right on point. "I will ask where this person's family was?" he replied.
from Mark Steyn does Paul Revere
Remember, a couple of summers ago, when there was a heat wave in France? and hundreds of elderly people died in their apartments. The reason? no one checked on them. Their children were all off vacationing and no one called to see if they were okay. How our hearts grow cold.