[Rushtalk] The State of Welfare as we Know It

Steven Laib stevenlaib at sbcglobal.net
Thu Jul 10 10:47:04 MDT 2014

We can look at Chicago and Detroit as sterling examples of exactly how the LBJ plan has worked.  It is a wonder that more people haven't come to understand exactly what has happened and worked to reverse it. 

On Thu, 7/10/14, Tom Matiska <tom.matiska at att.net> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [Rushtalk] The State of Welfare as we Know It
 To: "Rushtalk Discussion List" <rushtalk at csdco.com>
 Date: Thursday, July 10, 2014, 11:34 AM
 Not only has it cost
 more dollars than any other war in history, but the
 consequences of social decay(drugs,crime, etc) have probably
 cost far more lives also.   Remember LBJ's primary
 objective was to "buy the N vote for the next 200
 years"  and in that sense the war has been 25%
 successful .....   dunno about the next 150 years.....
 current lefty fashion trend has it that brown is the new
 black.... things may change soon.   Tom
      On Thursday, July 10, 2014 1:18 AM,
 Richard Whitenight <rwhitenight2004 at gmail.com>
  Fifty years ago this
 week, President Lyndon Johnson announced the “War on
 Poverty” during his first State of the Union speech. Under
 the Obama administration, however — five decades,
 countless unconstitutional federal welfare programs, and
 more than $20 trillion later — poverty levels remain
 largely unchanged even based on official numbers, and
 dependence on government has reached unprecedented new
 In reality, Americans’ economic fate is far worse
 than even bogus government statistics would suggest. Even
 more troubling is that analysts say the trends look set to
 accelerate as Washington, D.C., intensifies its failed
 efforts to supposedly achieve “victory” in the “war”
 while the Federal Reserve conjures ever greater quantities
 of currency into existence.
 Since Obama took office, 13 million more Americans
 have become dependent on food stamps, with the numbers now
 hitting a record 47 million — about a third more than when
 he was sworn in. In 2007, there were 26 million recipients.
 Spending on the scheme has more than doubled just since
 2008. The explosion of the program, along with other welfare
 schemes, has resulted in countless commentators and critics
 labeling Obama “the Food Stamp
 2011, Census Bureau data released last year showed that the number of
 Americans receiving means-tested federal welfare benefits
 outnumbered those with year-round full-time jobs. Almost $1
 trillion annually goes to the programs, with over 100
 million Americans receiving some sort of benefits — not
 including Social Security, Medicare, or unemployment. Under
 ObamaCare, with its massive subsidies even for those earning
 many times more income than the poverty level, dependence is
 expected to surge even further.
 the number of Americans dependent on government was growing,
 so were the ranks of the unemployed. As a Fox News
 report pointed
 out , in
 1964, when Johnson declared “war,” almost nine in ten
 men between 18 and 64 years old were employed. By 2012, less
 than three-fourths of adult males in their prime working
 years had jobs. Obama and some members of Congress are now
 working to drive those numbers even higher with a proposal
 to prohibit employment at any wage under $10 per
 hour, all but ensuring
 more dependence on government if the scheme is
 Meanwhile, between 2009 and 2011, a shocking
 one third of Americans slipped below the
 federal poverty line for at least two months, data show.
 Under the Obama administration, the Washington
 Post ,
 citing the recession, noted that persistent, chronic poverty
 rose from three percent to 3.5 percent even as many more
 Americans experienced brief periods under the official line
 — currently $23,492 per year for a family of four. Also,
 the median amount of time spent below the poverty level
 surged from
  5.7 months to 6.6 under the current
 Federal measures of how many Americans are
 below the official “poverty line” are largely
 meaningless, according to critics — especially because
 politicians can simply move the goal posts if they think it
 will advance their agenda. Making the data even more
 troubling is the fact that the line is raised
 annually based on the government’s deeply flawed and
 widely criticized measure of “consumer price index,” or
 CPI, which
  critics say drastically underestimates the real erosion in
 the dollar’s purchasing power caused by central bank
 The official measure of “inflation,” which very
 poorly purports to measure price increases rather than
 expansion of the currency supply, also does not take into
 account the fact that production costs are going down in
 real terms. As labor productivity and technology advance, of
 course, it takes less effort and less work to produce goods
 and services. In other words, the economic misery being
 foisted on Americans by government and central bankers is
 far worse than official numbers aimed at camouflaging the
 problem would suggest.
 fact, in real terms, an analysis by Gold Standard Institute
 President Keith Weinerpublished
 by Forbes shows that Americans are losing ground at a
 rate wildly beyond what official statistics reveal. “The
 bottom line is that, in terms of gold, wages have fallen by
 about 87 percent,” he noted. “To get a stronger sense of
 what that means, consider that back in 1965, the minimum
 wage was 71 ounces of gold per year. In 2011, the senior
 engineer earned the equivalent of 63 ounces in gold. So,
 measured in gold, we see that senior engineers now earn less
 than what unskilled laborers
  earned back in 1965.”
 using the extraordinarily flawed criteria established by
 Washington, D.C., however, reveals that there were some 36
 million Americans under the poverty line when the “war”
 was launched. Today, with the population having grown
 significantly, the ranks of poor, as defined by federal
 bureaucrats, have grown to almost 50 million.
 Using another
 methodology , data shows that, even relying on deceptive
 official measurements, the number of Americans with
 non-welfare income below the poverty line has grown from 26
 percent in 1967 to around 30 percent in 2012. Analysts said
  the data suggests it is becoming harder to break free from
 poverty, too.
 Unsurprisingly, Obama and much of the
 Democrat Party are calling for more of the same failed
 policies — raising the minimum wage to over $10 per hour,
 for example, along with more borrowing and more spending on
 welfare programs. One Democrat in Congress even proposed re-naming welfare to
 “transitional living fund.” On the 50-year anniversary
 of one of American history’s most radical shifts in the
 role of government, Obama was busy pleading with Congress to
 put the public even deeper into debt to extend unemployment
 benefits further — again.
 Despite five decades of the War on Poverty and $20
 trillion spent, with no sign of victory in sight, Obama said
 the "war" must be stepped up. “In fact, if we
 hadn't declared ‘unconditional war on poverty in
 America,’ millions more Americans would be living in
 poverty today,” Obama claimed in a factually challenged
 speech marking the 50th anniversary of the so-called war.
 “Instead, it means we must redouble our efforts to make
 sure our economy works for every working American.” Among
 other schemes, he proposed “expanding access to education
 and healthcare.”
 Another expansion of unemployment benefits, costing
 taxpayers more than $6 billion, is at the top Obama’s
 agenda. Conservatives, though, promptly lashed out. “The
 mere fact that we're talking about extending
 unemployment benefits again is a proclamation that the
 economic policies of this administration are failing,”
 observed Rep. Steve Southerland II (R-Fla.), who is working
 with other House Republicans to rein in some of the vast
 federal welfare juggernaut and encourage looking for work in
 exchange for taxpayer funds.
 we mark the 50th anniversary of America’s War on Poverty,
 it’s clear we are instead locked in a battle of attrition
 that’s left more people in poverty than ever
 before,” noted Southerland, who
 chairs the Republican Study Committee’s Anti-Poverty
 Initiative. “The Big Government ideas of the past aren’t
 working. History has taught us that bigger budgets aren’t
 going to solve America’s poverty
 Other GOP lawmakers jumped on board the government
 “anti-poverty” bandwagon, although mostly without
 offering serious solutions. Instead of real reforms,
 prominent Republicans called for tinkering with existing Big
 Government strategies — supposedly to deal with poverty
 and perpetually growing dependence on a ballooning
 government that is foisting ever greater amounts of debt on
 already-struggling taxpayers. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), for
 example, called for “fundamental change” in the war.
 Most of his actual policy proposals, though, fell far short
 of that ambitious statement.
 “Our current government programs offer, at best,
 only a partial solution,” Rubio claimed. “They help
 people deal with poverty, but they do not help them escape
 it.” While he proposed shifting some of the federal
 welfare schemes to state governments, the Florida Republican
 also advocated “streamlining most of our existing federal
 anti-poverty funding into one single agency.” Indeed,
 under Rubio’s proposal, state governments would merely
 administer the federal welfare regime. Despite some better
 ideas — reducing the national debt, simplifying the tax
 code, cutting regulations, and more — he also implicitly
 accepted the statist Democrat talking point about “income
 inequality” being a “problem” for politicians to
 Liberty-minded Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah),
 meanwhile, suggested that freedom was the real solution to
 poverty. “For more than 200 years, the United States —
 through trial and error, through good times and bad — has
 waged the most successful war on poverty in the history of
 the world,” he said , blasting
 Obama's vision of government as the supposed
 "solution” to all problems. “This discredited
 mindset — which insists collective action can only mean
 state action — is itself a kind of poverty. It rejects
 social solidarity in favor of political coercion, and
 voluntary communities for professional community
 course, Obama is hardly the only one responsible for the
 ongoing problems plaguing the U.S. economy. Congress, of
 course, must approve all funding. Plus, the current
 administration has merely followed the decades-old
 bi-partisan pattern of perpetually expanding the cost, size,
 power, lawlessness, and intrusiveness of the federal
 fact, even though Washington, D.C., has played a crucial
 role in the ongoing impoverishment of America — and Obama
 has certainly poured plenty of fuel on the fire — the
 single most important culprit has unquestionably been the
 privately owned Federal Reserve cartel established by
 Congress 100 years ago. However, by granting the banking
 cartel a monopoly on
 debt-based currency and allowing it to conjure infinite
 amounts of it into existence to be repaid with
 impossible-to-pay interest attached , the federal
 government retains
  ultimate responsibility.
 In the end, like virtually all of the
 unconstitutional “wars” lawlessly declared by presidents
 — on drugs, terror, cancer, foreign countries, and more
 — the unconstitutional “war” on poverty has been a
 miserable failure. True solutions, though, are hardly
 complex: Restore honest money and free markets while
 allowing private charity to aid those in need. Ending
 government incentives that encourage out-of-wedlock births
 would help, too.
 Americans already want to slash federal government
 spending, polls show. If voters insist
 on welfare, though, state and local governments would
 certainly be a better alternative — not to mention the
 only constitutional option absent a properly ratified
 amendment to the U.S Constitution. Still, with honest money
 and free markets, abundant prosperity would drastically
 reduce the need for charity and welfare in the first
 years after Johnson declared that “we shall not rest until
 that war is won,” Americans have suffered more than enough
 under successive war-mongering administrations and
 currency-destroying central bankers waging war on the value
 of the U.S. dollar — and in turn, fleecing the
 public .
 Perhaps it is finally time for a new type of war: A war on
 counter-productive and unconstitutional government wars.
 Then, the tide of poverty could be truly
 Alex Newman is a correspondent
 for The New American , covering
 economics, politics, and
 Richard Whitenight
 Arlington, Texas
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