Port: Will the checks from the government ever stop?

Work is important. It is enriching. It's not something we need to be protected from.

U.S. President Joe Biden walks toward Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, in Washington, D.C. President Biden visited suburban Philadelphia on Tuesday as part of his effort to tout the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package to fight the pandemic and boost the economy. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/TNS)

MINOT, N.D. — I love to work.

I got my first job in the fourth grade, delivering copies of the Minot Daily News at 4:30 in the morning, seven days a week, to about 100 or so subscribers. I also had to make monthly collections from many of these subscribers and deposit the checks in cash in a local bank.

For my time, I was paid about $120 per month.

I kept that job through my senior year in high school.

In my youth, I detailed cars and put in hours at a local call center doing over-the-phone technical support for Gateway 2000 (remember the cow boxes?). I've worked as a private investigator. I've served civil process. I've managed a retail store.


I loved these jobs, as unglamorous as some of them were. Each one taught me something valuable I still carry with me today.

People sometimes ask me how I can deal with what can be tidal waves of criticism my writing can provoke, and I tell them it's not quite as bad as trying to explain to a flustered parent how to set up their new personal computer on Christmas or serving someone divorce papers.
But it's time I got to the point.

Work is important. It is enriching.

It's not something we need to be protected from.

Yet, that's what some of our political leaders seem intent on.

There's a quote, often erroneously attributed to people like Alexander Fraser Tytler and Alexis de Tocqueville but probably made up by some guy from Oklahoma named Elmer , which tells democracies only survive "until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury."


Pandemic-era politics have become a race to see which politician can promise the biggest checks from the government. We've had stimulus checks. We've had expanded unemployment benefits ( which some want to make permanent ). The nearly $2 trillion, Democrat-backed coronavirus rescue package includes monthly payments to parents with children.

Eligible parents will receive $300 for each child under 6, and $250 for each one age 6 to 17.

This program of payments is supposedly temporary, but then the expanded unemployment benefits were supposed to be temporary too.

We should be talking about how to get Americans back to work.

Instead, we're debating how large their government checks should be. Checks funded with money the government doesn't have, by the way. The budget deficit in 2020 was well over $3 trillion, and so far the 2021 deficit is on pace to be even higher.

Our nation's national debt currently stands at $28.138 trillion.

We've already spent all the tax dollars you or I will ever pay.

We're now giving ourselves money funded by the tax dollars our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will pay.


When will it stop?

When we stop rewarding the politicians responsible for it with our votes, assuming anything approaching a political majority will ever be in favor of stopping this gravy train.

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Rob Port, founder of, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at .

Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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