When I tell people that I’m working to abolish the welfare state, the most common response I get is not, “That’s awful!” It’s actually some version of, “You’re being unrealistic.” Given the apologetic, uninspiring arguments critics of the welfare state typically offer, it’s hard to blame people for that attitude.

So a few weeks ago, I launched ARI’s End the Debt Draft campaign with the goal of changing the way we talk about the welfare state so that, by the time my daughter is grown up, she’ll be pursuing her own happiness — not laboring to pay off the welfare state’s $205 trillion debt. Here’s the tally so far:



What makes the End the Debt Draft campaign different from other “fix the debt” efforts is that it appeals, not to frightening statistics, but to people’s moral quest for a better life and their hunger for independence, freedom, and prosperity. If you can show people the moral wreckage caused by old-age welfare programs and offer an inspiring alternative, people respond. Here’s a sampling:

“Provocative… [‘End the Debt Draft’] has the power to change the conversation that we’re having about entitlements in this country.”

Walter Hudson

Fightin’ Words Podcast


“I support the End the Debt Draft campaign 110 percent. I am doing my part to fight the Debt Draft by preparing to propose a tax revolt here in my tiny town of Fitzwilliam, NH.”

Luke Sacher

Fitzwilliam, NH


“As a young person struggling to build a life and a career, the issue of our country’s unprecedented and mounting debt is very personal to me. The future of every young American is being needlessly and tragically sacrificed to a corrupt welfare state, and the situation is growing more ominous by the minute. There needs to be a moral crusade against the travesty of selling our young people into debt slavery, and young people who care about their own lives should not hesitate to join the cause. Don Watkins is leading the charge with valuable insight and knowledge, bringing facts, reason, attention and much-needed clarity to this increasingly difficult problem. Stand up for your rights: support his ‘End the Debt Draft’ campaign.”

Ryan Bilkie

Frederick, MD

And the best is yet to come. Over the next month, I’m going to be taking the End the Debt Draft message to college campuses across the country, and debating supporters of the welfare state in an effort to let young Americans discover how the welfare state is exploiting them and what a moral alternative to welfare exploitation would be. My first stop is my debate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, sponsored by The Undercurrent. Here’s a taste of what’s to come.



For more information on this debate and my other events, see ARI’s events page.


The key to this campaign’s success, however, will be whether we can get you and the people who agree with you to take action. Email me at dwatkins@aynrand.org and let me know what you’re doing to end the Debt Draft and I’ll feature the best stories in the next Update.


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