Thursday, January 2, 2014

Democrats think they are compassionate but their programs do not work

ew Jan. 2, 2014/ 1 Shevat, 5774
The war on poverty at 50
By Cal Thomas | In his State of the Union address on Jan. 8, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson declared a "war on poverty." Today, with roughly the same number of people below the poverty level as in 1964 and with many addicted to government "benefits," robbing them of a work ethic, it is clear that the poor have mostly lost the war.
In 1964, the poverty rate was about 19 percent. Census data from 2010 indicates that 15.1 percent are in poverty within a much larger population.
The lack of government programs did not cause poverty, and spending vast sums of money has not eliminated it.
A policy analysis by the Cato Institute found that federal and state anti-poverty programs have cost $15 trillion over the last five decades but have had little effect on the number of people living in poverty. That amounts to $20,610 per poor person in America, or $61,830 per poor family of three. If the government had sent them a check they might have been better off.
As Robert Rector and Jennifer Marshall have written for The Heritage Foundation, "President Johnson's goal was not to create a massive system of ever-increasing welfare benefits for an ever-larger number of beneficiaries. Instead, he sought to increase self-sufficiency, enabling recipients to lift themselves up beyond the need for public assistance."
Johnson sounded conservative when he said, "(We) want to offer the forgotten fifth of our people opportunity and not doles."
Unfortunately, the war on poverty neglected a key component: human nature. Substantial numbers of people came to rely on government benefits and thus lost any sense of personal responsibility. Teenage girls knew they could get a check from the government if they had babies and so they had them, often more than one. The law discouraged fathers from living with, much less marrying, the mothers of their children and so legions of "single mothers" became the norm, and the lack of male leadership in the home contributed to additional cycles of poverty, addicting new generations to government.
When President Clinton signed the welfare reform bill in 1996, liberals screamed that people would starve in the streets. They didn't. Many got jobs when they knew the checks would cease.
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Over time, government enacted rules to prevent churches and faith-based groups from sharing their faith if they wanted to receive federal grants, thus removing the reason for their success. These groups, which once were at the center of fighting poverty by offering a transformed life and consequently a change in attitude, retreated to the sidelines.
In public schools, values that once were taught were removed because of lawsuits and the fear of lawsuits, creating a "naked public square" devoid of concepts such as right and wrong, with everyone left to figure it out on their own.
There are two ways to measure poverty. One is the way the Census Bureau does, by counting income earned by individuals and families without including government benefits. The other is not measurable in a statistical sense. It is a poverty of spirit. People need to be inspired and told they don't have to settle for whatever circumstances they are in. This used to be the role of faith-based institutions, and it can be again if they refuse government grants and again reach out to the poor.
One condition for maintaining tax-exempt status should be for these faith-based institutions to help people get off government assistance and find jobs, becoming self-sufficient. If people need transitional money for daycare or transportation, it can be provided, either temporarily by government or by the thousands of churches, synagogues and other faith-based groups.
There is no undiscovered truth about the cure for most poverty: Stay in school; get married before having children and stay married; work hard, save and invest.

The "war on poverty" can be won, but it must be fought with different weapons, not the ones that have failed for the last half-century.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Why did the New York times lie about Benghazi? To help Hillary

Posted: 29 Dec 2013 04:36 PM PST
(John Hinderaker)
Paul and Tom Joscelyn have done an excellent job of dissecting the New York Times’ revisionist account of Benghazi. The Times, attempting to shore up Hillary Clinton’s 2016 candidacy, tries to show that the attacks on American facilities in Benghazi that took place on September 11, 2012, were not orchestrated by al Qaeda. The paper’s reporter reaches this conclusion, as Paul and Tom show, by simply ignoring most of the relevant facts. Further, the paper tries to resurrect the theory that an obscure YouTube video had something to do with the death of four Americans. Sure, that’s highly plausible: for the first time ever, movie critics were armed with mortars.
But more fundamentally, so what? The Times’ revisionism fails to answer any of the most important questions. Why didn’t Hillary Clinton, then Secretary of State, respond to any of Ambassador Chris Stevens’ several requests for increased security? The Times offers no answer to this fundamental question. On the contrary, it sets Stevens up as the principal American expert on the various militias and terrorist groups operating in Libya. Which means that his pleas for more security should have been viewed as highly credible. Stevens obviously was correct when he told Clinton that Benghazi needed better security, yet she ignored his repeated pleas. Why?
Further: Where were Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the night of September 11, 2012, and what orders, if any, did they give? The news media’s lack of curiosity as to what Obama and Clinton were doing during the seven or eight hours that went by while four Americans, including an ambassador, were under attack and ultimately were murdered, is remarkable. If we had a real president or a real Secretary of State, they would have been in control that night, and would have taken responsibility for the decisions they made. Instead, Washington did nothing to try to help the besieged Americans, and no one knows whether either Obama or Clinton ever made any decisions at all, or whether they were off partying somewhere. Or fast asleep.
And finally: Why haven’t the perpetrators of the murders been found and punished? President Obama vowed to find and punish those responsible for the murders of the Americans. One would think that Hillary Clinton, too, would be interested in identifying and punishing those who killed an ambassador who was serving under her. And yet, even though many of those who participated in that night’s carnage have been happy to give interviews to New York Times reporters and others, nothing has been done to bring justice to the perpetrators of the greatest outrage against American honor in recent years.
It is remarkable that the New York Times, with all its resources, cannot come up with an account of the Benghazi disaster that even addresses, let alone satisfactorily explains, the Obama administration’s principal failures.

If you think Obama is bad, Hillary will be much worse

I know I don't have to tell you the damage a Hillary Clinton presidency will do to the America we know and love. Building upon the dangerous Obama legacy, President Hillary Clinton will cement the disastrous policies of Obama into the fabric of America forever. 

>>>Open Borders and Permanent Amnesty: Hillary will finish what President Obama and Harry Reid have started – an immigration policy that rewards law breakers and leaves our citizens vulnerable to criminals and thugs.

>>>A Bigger and more Overreaching Government: Hillary will continue Obama's assault on free markets and plot to gut conservative and Tea Party groups. Will the IRS start targeting all conservatives under President Clinton?

>>>A Foreign Policy that leaves America Weak and Vulnerable: Does anyone really believe America is stronger in the world after Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have been in charge?

>>>Obamacare expanded into Hillarycare: Hillary will be the ultimate implementer Obamacare – resulting in sky rocketing taxes, health-care costs and rationing of care?

>>>Jimmy Carter style Joblessness and Unemployment: From the big banks to the taxpayer funded government takeover, a Hillary Clinton Administration will be a dangerous anti-capitalist government that will destroy our economy.

More tyranny from the liar of the year

Posted: 31 Dec 2013 09:40 AM PST
(Paul Mirengoff)
I wrote here about the Obama administration’s proposed rule on “affirmatively furthering fair housing” (AFFH), an attempt to dictate how we shall live. I argued that, in essence, President Obama seeks to use the power of the national government to create communities of a certain kind, each having what the federal government deems an appropriate mix of economic, racial, and ethnic diversity.
To get a good idea of what this looks like in practice, we need only examine the unfortunate experience of Westchester County with AFFH and the Obama administration’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Terry Eastland provides a harrowing summary.
Westchester County made the mistake of entering into a settlement with HUD, regarding it as a reasonable bureaucracy based on its experience with the Bush administration. Unfortunately, the settlement was with Obama’s HUD.
Under the settlement, the County agreed to build 750 “affordable housing units,” 650 of which would be in municipalities with less than 3 percent American-American population and less than 7 percent Hispanic population. HUD insisted on this deal even though Westchester County had not been accused of engaging in housing discrimination.
As further penance for its non-wrongdoing, Westchester County agreed to advertise its affordable housing units to people living outside the County. The non-residents were to be lured into the County to try to ensure that the new housing units would be filled by the desired number of members of the HUD-preferred racial and ethic groups. To this end, Westchester County was required to spend money on behalf of people who don’t live there. This is “regionalism” in action.
It is also a form of “steering.” Racial discrimination in housing has traditionally occurred when realtors steered clients from one neighborhood to another according to where, based on race, the realtor (and forces behind the realtor) thought they should live. Now the government is steering people into certain neighborhoods based, once again, on race.
Westchester County has proceeded apace with the building and steering called for by the Obama administration. But the Obama administration isn’t satisfied. In line with its proposed AFFH rule, it now calls for 5,000 more affordable housing units to be built, most of them in predominantly white communities.
This would require re-zoning, which HUD expects Westchester County to impose. But the County has analyzed all 853 local zoning districts and found no evidence of exclusionary practices, and its analysis has been supported by independent review. Accordingly, Westchester County has refused to sue municipalities to force zoning changes. In response HUD has cut off $17 million in housing grants.
Clearly, the Obama administration’s interest is not in combatting discrimination in housing; its interest is imposing a preordained view of the proper racial and ethnic mix for neighborhoods. And I mean all neighborhoods. For as Rob Astorino, the executive of Westchester County, says, “the battle for zoning in Westchester County [will be] the battle everywhere” — a battle that is “about changing every block, every neighborhood to the viewpoint of federal bureaucrats at HUD.”
Astorino’s assessment may sound melodramatic, but it is supported by the Secretary of HUD himself. Shaun Donovan says, “there are no stones we won’t turn; there are no places we won’t go.”
Can power-hungry leftists like Donovan, Obama, and the “community organizers” whose bidding they are doing be thwarted? This will be the subject of my next post in this series.

Hillary is the real enemy

The Principal Enemy

December 30th, 2013 - 9:32 pm
Back in the seventies when I was a lefty and under the sway, like the new mayor of the city of New York, of various Central and South American marxists, we used to speak of “el enemigo principal,” the principal enemy. In fact, there was a rather graphic (and well made) Bolivian movie of that name by leftwing director Jorge Sanjines. (Clip here.)
Not surprisingly in those days the principal enemies of Sanjines’ film were los yanquis and their dreaded CIA — a bit of a cliché, one must admit, but the idea of having a principal enemy in itself is not bad, if you know who it really is. Identifying your enemy can make you more effective, whoever you are.
And, whether they know it or not, Republicans, conservatives, libertarians, center-right folks, all those who favor smaller government and increased freedom, do have a principal enemy. But, surprisingly, it’s no longer Barack Obama. He is over. He was already a lame duck when Obamacare plucked most of his remaining feathers. The damage he can do may still be serious, but most of it will be reparable.
The principal enemy for the right and the center-right is now Hillary Clinton, the vastly favored frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. She is so far in front, in fact, that her competitors are not even in hailing distance. Hillary is the one who can consolidate and solidify the “gains” of the Obama era in a way Obama himself never could because she is much more politically savvy — Obama was only savvy about getting elected, not governing — and has the backing of her even more politically savvy husband. Hillary is the one who can fully remake the United States into some version of Western Europe or, yet more frighteningly, China, a permanently stratified state capitalism governed by quasi-totalitarian bureaucrats. (We can call this system Soros Marxism, meaning a ruling clique of increasingly rich corporate czars employing a propagandistic veneer of socialist equality to keep the power and wealth for themselves.)
As Roger Kimball pointed out, the New York Times (the very model of that propagandistic veneer) already knows their bread is buttered with Hillary, not Obama. They demonstrated that Saturday with their revisionist article on Benghazi, bent on taking that scandal (Hillary’s Achilles’ heel) off the table for the coming elections or at least seriously defusing it. Republicans would do well to redouble their efforts to make sure this particular obfuscation does not succeed by doing the proper research and communicating the results to the public — succinctly and repeatedly.
But to do this our group must concentrate on the principal enemy and not upon each other. My inbox is filled with emails on both sides of the inter-right wars (the Tea Partiers and the so-called RINOs) excoriating each other. What unmitigated idiocy — as if Lindsey Graham or Ted Cruz was the principal enemy and not Hillary Clinton. It’s a war between those who favor cutting government by seventy percent versus those who favor cutting it by fifty or sixty, ignoring those who want to expand it by a hundred. Although not nearly as violent, it’s in some weird way reminiscent of the party rectification campaigns practiced by Stalinists back in the 1940s.
Sensible? Obviously not. And monumentally self-defeating. It has the word “loser” written all over it — and at a time when the opposition is reeling. 2014 is a time for victory not defeat. We shouldn’t be wasting our ammunition on each other. Nobody has unlimited quantities. Concentrate on principal enemy Hillary. Even though she is a well-documented liar, she is still “most admired.” Tell the truth (well) and end this. And end the hostility toward each other before you destroy all of us and our children’s future.