I think there are some serious misconceptions out there about the Republican Party and conservatism. One of the worst misinterpretations of conservative tenants is the perception that we could care less about the poor. Conventional wisdom out there in liberal land tells you that Republicans love stomping on the poor with the proverbial boot of big businesses. Nothing could be further from the truth, but our methodology is not as obvious as getting a check in the mail.
First, Republicans are pro-business for a reason: successful businesses help everyone out, including the poor. We have an economic system where all the businesses are fighting to give you what you want, when you want it, and at the lowest possible cost so more people buy their stuff over the competitor's. Having the necessities of life at a minimal price helps the poor greatly. If you're poor, Wal-Mart is your best friend. Dollars saved here and there add up quickly.
Second, companies provide tons of jobs for everyone to help poverty and unemployment at a minimum. I know many of you work at Daktronics. Having that big company right here in tiny Brookings is a great source of jobs for the poor (a.k.a. college students) to help them make ends meet. Liberals would have you think Daktronics is rich and evil and that they need to be taxed as much as possible. The corporate tax rate in the United States is 39 percent. Just think how many more jobs Daktronics could afford and provide if they could make 39 percent more? Companies expand and reap greater profits through hiring additional people to get more things done. Also, look what companies have been able to do for us. Through their millions of investors and customers, they have been able to accomplish unimaginable things for the benefit of all.
Take Verizon Wireless, for example. Last year they spent over a billion dollars on network improvements alone (or 14 dollars for each of their 70.8 million customers), allowing people to communicate from almost anywhere in America. If you get caught in a blizzard and call 911, your phone will communicate with a satellite in outer space, which can then tell dispatchers where you are within one foot. All that at the lowest possible cost to all of us. Taxing companies more hinders the ability for them to provide services like that and provide work for Americans.
Probably the most important way that conservatives care for the poor is how we choose to help them out. We actually like handouts to the needy just like our liberal friends; the difference is that we believe it's our responsibility as individuals to help our neighbors out. Sure it's easy to just raise taxes on the rich to help the poor, where we give the government ten dollars for one dollar worth of benefit. Let me keep that ten dollars and I'll go over and drop it in the Children's Miracle Network box in The Union. We know our neighbors and friends way better than any government entity, so who is best suited to help them out - the government or us? When I'm having a tough time, I talk to my friends and family instead of calling congressmen. If you're hit with hard times, what's going to give you a better, more positive outlook on life: a big check in the mail or a big spaghetti fundraiser with all of your friends and family there to help you pay for your chemotherapy? We need to help each other out, not look to a bloated, inefficient government to do it for us.