No group has been more "helped" by the American government than American Indians. Yet no group in America does worse.
Almost a quarter of Native Americans live in poverty. 66 percent are born to single mothers. They have short life spans. Indian activists say the solution is -surprise- more money from the government. But Washington already spends about $13 billion on programs for Indians every year.
There are special programs in 20 different Departments and Agencies: Empowering Tribal Nations Initiative, Advancing Nation to Nation Relationships, Protecting Indian Country, Improving Trust Land Management, New Energy Frontier Initiative, Climate Change Adaptation Initiative, Construction, Improving Trust Management, Tribal Priority Allocations, Resolving Land and Water Claims, Indian Land Consolidation Program. This is just a partial list.
But that's still not enough for Indian activists. In my Fox News Special "Freeloaders" (10 pm ET tonight), Elizabeth Homer, who used to be the U.S. Interior Departments Director of American Indian Trust, argues the government must do more.
I say government already does too much. Indians would be better off without government handouts. I have evidence: tribes not recognized by the federal government, tribes that get no special help, often do better.
Members of the Lumbee tribe from Robeson County, NC, own their own homes. They succeed in business. Lumbee tribe members include real estate developer Jim Thomas, who used to own the Sacramento Kings. Lumbee Jack Lowery helped start the Cracker Barrel Restaurants. Lumbees started the first Indian owned bank, which now has 12 branches.
The political class doesn't understand that its independence, not government management, that allows people to prosper. Congressman Mike McIntyre (D-NC) is pushing a bill called the Lumbee Recognition Act. This bill would give the Lumbees the same "help" that other tribes get. That would give the Lumbees about $80 million a year.
"We shouldn't take it!" says Lumbee Ben Chavis, another successful businessman. Chavis says not getting any handouts is what makes his tribe successful, and if the federal money starts coming, members of his tribe "are going to become welfare cases. Its going to stifle creativity. We don’t need the government giving us handouts."
A report on this will air tonight at 10pm ET on the Fox News Channel. Its titled "Freeloaders". It also Re-airs Sunday at 9pm & Midnight ET.