Poverty  and  Dependency  in  America

This page is the first in a series of pages about poverty and dependency in America.  If you arrived here from a search engine, you might want to start at the index page.

Subtopics on this page:

Overview of the welfare state

The enormous cost and scope of anti-poverty programs

Politicians use handouts to buy votes

Lies about welfare programs

Barack Obama reverses the welfare reform law of 1996

Politicians perpetuate poverty and dependence

Food stamps have been de-stigmatized

Welfare-to-work programs

Why work when you can ride the gravy train?

Welfare-to-work programs

Welfare recipients are in the habit of making unwise choices

Waste and abuse


The total cost of the War on Poverty

Overview of the welfare state

Introduction by the Editor:
Roughly half of the residents of the United States pay taxes, and half do not.  The people at the lowest end of the income scale pay less than nothing:  The government sends out cash rewards to those who do not work and can't seem to avoid illegitimate annual pregnancies.  And yet, if you support welfare restrictions, reforms, reductions or cutbacks, you'll be accused of racism.*  Call me names if you will, but here are my proposed solutions:  (1) Mandatory sterilization (or revocation of benefits — take your pick) for anyone who gives birth after one year or more on welfare benefits, and (2) Suspension of the right to vote for anyone receiving government handouts.  Neither of those things will ever happen, of course, but the implementation of both ideas would immediately put the brakes on the self-perpetuating system of unmerited handouts that we now have.  As someone whose paycheck is reduced by involuntary "contributions" to the current system, I have no sympathy for people who are too lazy to work and who have the morals of alley cats.

Welfare Spending  is budgeted in FY 2024 at $1,569 billion, including Medicaid at $760 billion, and other welfare spending at $809 billion.

The Decline of American 'Civilization'.  A civilized society knows that all its collective parts should contribute to the well-being and advancement of that society.  It will structure itself in such a way as to accomplish that.  A civilized society does not encourage wanton, degraded, degenerate, slothful — or uncivilized — behavior.

The War On Poverty Hasn't Just Failed, It's Failed Abysmally.  Next year, the United States will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the War on Poverty, which President Lyndon B. Johnson initiated in 1964. The War's programs initially started on a modest scale but have expanded almost parabolically since.  By the War's 50th anniversary, the government had spent more than $22 trillion on various welfare and redistribution programs.  A decade later, it spends $1 trillion a year on said programs, not including various "targeted" expenditures under Social Security or Medicare, which make the true total simply unknowable.  To put that in perspective, $1 trillion is greater than the GDP of 194 of the world's 213 countries.  Is this massive expenditure justified by the results of the War on Poverty?

10 Steps to Save America.  The number of those receiving federal and state subsidies is beginning to match the number of those who subsidize them. "No one wants to work anymore" is now a common public lament.  Inflation and recession may come and go, but workers are now scarce whether we are in boom or bust times.  Labor non-participation remains at an all-time high.  Soon only 60 percent of the available labor force will be working.  Trillion-dollar COVID subsidies have accelerated the idea that Americans need not work full-time to maintain a living.  We can easily return to the "workfare" championed by a triangulating Bill Clinton in the 1990s that demanded healthy and able recipients to be gainfully employed upon receipt of state and federal cash.  In the context of the homeless, we need to return to pre-Reagan norms of institutionalizing the mentally ill and creating hospitals and safe spaces away from American downtowns to house those who either cannot or will not take care of themselves.  Defecating, urinating, injecting, and fornicating on city-streets are not victimless crimes, but assaults on civilized life as we once knew it.

Community Action Agencies: Trouble From the Start in LBJ's War on Poverty.  Still prevalent in the Biden social-spending era, community action agencies date to the early 1960s, envisioned by the field marshals of President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty as a way not just to identify and help the needy but to engage the poor in political activism.  "Governors in southern states were moving slow on civil rights," Gary Gerstle, a professor of American history at the University of Cambridge, told RealClearInvestigations.  The federal government determined it could do end-runs around recalcitrant bureaucracies and balky state institutions, Gerstle said, by putting money directly in the hands of activists at the local level.  Policy radicals, including Francis Fox Piven and Richard Cloward, were also convinced that it wasn't enough to give money to the poor.  They were influenced by anthropologist Oscar Lewis, who argued in his 1961 treatise "The Culture of Poverty" that poverty is "a way of life, remarkably stable and persistent, passed down from generation to generation along family lines."

More Government, Less Religion — the Progressive Doctrine.  One great mystery is the persistent refusal of those on the left to abandon what is clearly not true.  That is, that the means for reducing the burden of poverty is more government spending.  It all really started in the 1960s under President Lyndon B. Johnson.  He declared in his State of the Union address in January 1964 an "unconditional war on poverty in America."  Despite tens of trillions of spending since then, poverty remains, and so does the conviction of progressives that it can be wiped out with government spending.  Worth recalling is that the avalanche of government spending launched in the 1960s was followed in the 1970s by runaway inflation.

Congratulations Poverty, for Winning the War on Poverty.  On January 8, 1964, less than seven weeks after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, President Lyndon Johnson gave his first State of the Union address to the nation.  Johnson could have played it safe by keeping the speech very short and spending the entire time paying homage to Kennedy.  But he didn't.  In fact Johnson only mentioned Kennedy three times in the forty minute speech.  And instead of reminiscing about the past, President Johnson laid out an ambitious vision for the future America.  Within literally the first 60 seconds of the speech, Johnson declared an "all-out war on human poverty and unemployment in these United States..."  He lived up to his word.  Only a few months later, Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act into law, and the US federal government started doling out money to families in the name of alleviating poverty.  Over the next few years, Johnson spearheaded several other big spending and entitlement initiatives, part of what he called the "Great Society".

Characteristics of Families Receiving Multiple Public Benefits.  Little is known about the extent to which low-income households receive multiple benefits and in what combinations.  Some past studies have examined receipt of pairs of benefits (Acs and Loprest 2005; Rosenbaum and Dean 2011).  They find that participants in certain benefit programs are likely to receive a second benefit.  For example, among Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients, 98 percent receive Medicaid, 81 percent receive SNAP, and 14 percent receive housing assistance (Zedlewski 2012).  Among individuals in households receiving SNAP, 81 percent live in households that also receive Medicaid or CHIP (Gothro and Trippe 2010).  Receiving a combination of more than two benefits is substantially more common among TANF recipients than SNAP recipients.  Cancian, Han, and Noyes (2011) find that over 50 percent of TANF recipients participate in four or five programs, while over 80 percent of the SNAP population receives only one or two benefits.

Despite Claims Drop, There Are Still Around 16 Million Americans On Some Sort Of Government Dole.  Despite the dismal payrolls print, initial jobless claims continue to slide back towards pre-COVID crisis levels, with a better than expected 444,000 Americans filing for first-time jobless benefits last week (despite 8.1 million job openings).  While that is the lowest since the pandemic began, it is still double the pre-COVID norms.  New Jersey, Washington, and Oklahoma saw the biggest jumps in claims while Georgia, Kentucky and Texas saw the biggest improvements.

HUD to Spend $5 Billion on 70,000 Housing Vouchers for the Homeless.  Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Marcia Fudge plans to spent $5 billion under President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan (ARP) to fund 70,000 housing vouchers for homeless people between now and 2030.  "While most of us spent more time in our homes than we ever have, more than half a million Americans had to spend the last year either in crowded shelters or sleeping outside," Fudge said in announcing the program.  "With HUD's swift allocation of this $5 billion in American Rescue Plan funding, we are providing communities the resources to give homes to the people who have had to endure the COVID-19 pandemic without one," Fudge said.

9 Things You Need to Know About Biden's 'Infrastructure' Spending Plan.  [#7] Over $400 billion in welfare and health spending.  While there is an active debate regarding what infrastructure is appropriate for the federal government to fund, no reasonable definition of infrastructure includes expanding Medicaid benefits for long-term care or starting new social benefit programs.  At a cost of $400 billion, the proposed Medicaid expansion is more than large enough to deserve separate evaluation rather than getting hidden behind construction projects.  The same goes for provisions relating to child care, veterans' hospitals, and public housing.  Congress has an unhealthy habit of producing legislation that is too large for anyone to read and fully understand prior to votes.  Biden, who spent decades in the Senate, should know better than to encourage this tendency by requesting such a wide-ranging and unfocused spending package.

The Top 1% Are Not Causing the USA's Problems.  [Scroll down]  Right in front of me at this moment are various graphs that indicate that housing assistance has increased from $26 billion in 1990 to about $60 billion in 2010.  33.6 million participated in government assistance programs in 1962, but now it's 91.2 million persons (tripled).  "Approximately 52.2 million (or 21.3 percent) people in the U.S. participated in major means-tested government assistance programs each month in 2012."  In 2019, 46.6% paid no income tax and depended for their living expenses in whole or in part on government assistance from the other half that pays income taxes.  Medicaid expenditures have risen from about $175 billion in 1997 to $600 billion (estimated) in 2020.  This is not a picture of a society that is being wiped out by poverty, but a society that is impoverishing itself.

The City is Killing America.  Welfare states don't create jobs.  They're what happens when there are too many people and no jobs.  We might be able to build our way out of this dead end, but we have to begin by questioning the urban model which is at the root of all of our national problems.  America doesn't need an expanding population.  Urban political machines do. [...] There is no shortage of cheap labor in America.  We don't need more of it.  Every major city is already choking on the unemployed cheap labor forces they have.  And unless we have a massive manufacturing boom, the only employment opportunities for them are in the gig economy where they can deliver pad thai and give rides to environmental consultants.  The urban model hasn't worked for America in sixty years.  The pandemic has put it on the verge of collapse as the wealthy industries that made cities their base flee into virtual workspaces.  It's time to rethink and defund cities as the hubs of our economy and our nation.

There's Never Been a More Important Time to Choose Wisely.  This critical election is a choice between progressive government and its collective baggage and representative government and its free enterprise. [...] So-called "progressives" brought us such societal horrors as the War on Poverty.  Progressives are rooted in the intellectual arrogance of self-anointed "experts."  Not only are their theories proven 180 degrees wrong, but they never pay the price for their failures.  They just move on to "solve" the next problem, leaving their mess behind.  Exhibit 1 is the War on Poverty.  Contrary to good intentions, it devastated minority communities for generations and created fatherless homes for 70% of blacks without making a dent in actual poverty.  Progressives applaud "reducing" poverty from 19% of the population in 1964 to 14.8% in 2014.  But they ignore that much "improvement" simply moved people onto public support, building a dependency on welfare, food stamps, "free" lunches, and other subsidies.

Revolution 2020.  In 1965, the Census counted some 40 million people as "poor" — roughly the same number as today.  Over the succeeding half-century, the Federal government has spent some $22 trillion to lift people out of poverty.  Had that money been divided evenly between all the poor, each would have been a millionaire.  Instead, the War on Poverty swelled and solidified America's underclass.  Because the government paid to support women with children so long as they were not married, marriage and family cohesion declined.  With only about one in eight black children growing to adulthood with two married parents, the black community and America as a whole are beset by a self-perpetuating flow of dysfunctional youth.  This led to the long-term imprisonment of more than a million people.  Prisons became an industry.  But the war on poverty enriched countless contractors, consultants and members of the "helping professions."  These initiatives are scams.  Whatever else they have done, they have increased the number of people whose livelihoods depend on government.  Since 1965, the number of direct employees has more than doubled to 22 million, and their pay exceeds that of persons who actually perform services that people want.

Black Lives Matter, Just Not to Democrat Politicians, Part III.  In 1960, 22 percent of black children were in single-parent households.  In 1985, 67 were in that condition.  By 2015, the number had grown to 77 percent.  What happened?  Simple.  President Lyndon Bains Johnson and his self-styled, "Unconditional War On Poverty." [...] After 22 Trillion Dollars, which is pretty much the entire National Debt, we should be getting far better results. [...] As in so many cases, the leftist "solution" actually exacerbates and perpetuates the problem.  Robert Rector notes that the collapse of marriage had an outsized impact on poverty.  To most Americans, this would seem to be a blinding flash of the obvious.

The Activist Never Sleeps.  [Scroll down]  Since the mid 1960s, the rate of Americans considered poor has consistently hovered between 11 and 14% despite more than $20-trillion dollars spent on a sprawling poverty-industrial complex of roughly 100 programs at the federal level alone.  One hundred programs.  Which work?  Which don't?  Which duplicate others?  No one knows.  No one wants to know.  Closer scrutiny might reveal malicious truths.  Ineffective programs would be culled, effective programs would mean fewer people in need and this, in turn, would necessarily mean fewer bureaucrats, clerks, and administrators.  It is a perverse and structural disincentive for a staff whose livelihoods depend on perpetuating poverty, not reducing it.  The issue is compounded by punishing recipients who get pay raises, work more hours, or find better jobs with an immediate loss of benefits.

How We Lost the War on Poverty.  In Great Society:  A New History, [Amity] Shlaes describes the actors, events, and outcomes of those years.  The book is a fast-moving and entertaining read, rich in interesting details and extraordinary in the author's marshalling of the history.  Shlaes, an experienced journalist, has a gift for leading the reader through subjects that initially seem only marginally related, tying them together in the service of her narrative.  As one who lived through that era, most of it in Washington, I appreciate how Shlaes has shone her reportorial light into many fascinating corners and upon a marvelous and frequently flawed cast of characters.

Pelosi Ignores the Problems of Her Constituents as the Impeachment Charade Continues.  With its halcyon climate and prideful politics of tolerance — the tolerance of deviancy at the expense of everyone else — California draws homeless from all over the country and across the border.  Where the homeless come from, of course, is a matter of anecdote.  There are lots of stories but little in the way of systematic data.  Homeless advocates will tell you the homeless person on the streets was once your neighbor and just out of luck.  To some extent that might be true, but anyone who has interacted with the homeless sees a lot of people in need of mental health and addiction treatment.  Moreover, shelters, such as they are, are often underused.  The advocates for the homeless might not want to call attention to the homeless' mental health and addiction problems, but the homeless themselves know that they can be robbed in a shelter or stabbed by someone having a psychotic episode.  Even among the homeless of Chicago, a population with which I have some experience, on a cold winter night, many will prefer a grate or doorway to the personal safety problems associated with a shelter.  No governmental entity can coerce people into treatment or into temporary shelters.  The law prohibits it, which is one of the reasons we have the kinds of problems that we now have with the homeless population.

California's Approach To Homelessness:  That's Not How This Works.  The lesson about spending should have been learned more than 50 years ago, when Sargent Shriver was waging President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty.  When asked why the program was failing to reach its goal, he said Washington just hadn't spent enough.  Even the most reactionary politicians and stubborn government functionaries should have realized at that moment that generous spending wasn't the answer.  Despite outlays of $25 trillion over a little more than a half-century, poverty remains at roughly the same place it was in 1964, when Johnson said during his State of the Union address his administration was declaring an "unconditional war."  More to the point, the poverty rate had been falling consistently for years but began to virtually flatline at roughly the same time Johnson made his announcement.  It has since bounced between 11.1% and 15.3%.

The Left's Lousy Grasp of Science.  [Scroll down]  Consider LBJ's War on Poverty.  In the more than half century since the tough-talking Texan declared "unconditional war" on the ills of the nation's poor, government programs have managed to reduce the poverty rate by a measly 2.5 percent.  The costs of these programs, however, has ballooned to greater than $22 trillion (as of 2014), or more than our current annual GDP.

7 Reasons Conservatives Are Losing the Culture Wars.  [#6] The size of government:  We often think about government from an economic perspective.  The bigger government gets, the smaller the share of the pie for everyone else, but there's also an enormous cultural impact of big government.  The bigger government gets, the less responsibility people are allowed to take for their own lives.  Have a kid out of wedlock?  Big Daddy government is there with a check.  Don't want to work?  Big Daddy government will pay your bills.  Go your whole life without saving a dime for your retirement?  Big Daddy government has your back!  The problem with this is that Big Daddy government is turning us all into children who are surrendering large portions of our autonomy, responsibility for ourselves, and accountability for our decisions.

Government Welfare:  A Cancer Known as Communism.  Government welfare is communism.  Free money from the state, whether in terms of benefits, hand-outs, or non-universal tax-beaks is a trap that will draw people into socialism and beyond.  It's a lot like cancer.  Stage one of societal cancer is "welfarism."  Citizens get a few benefits for the elderly, the very young, those who can't look after themselves, maybe some student loans.  The economy remains pretty healthy.  The symptoms are mild and noticed by very few.  As things get more "social democratic" (stage two), the benefits become more universal and more generous.  The selective tax incentives become larger.  At stage two, most people are getting something from the government.  Some people are getting a lot.

State homeless population said to be larger than population in all but two New York cities.  Alarming new data compiled by Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi and the Coalition for the Homeless found that 254,866 New Yorkers were homeless at some point over the past year, a number exceeding the population of every community statewide except New York City and Buffalo.  Even worse, roughly three out of every five homeless New Yorkers were of school age — up a staggering 68% since 2011, the numbers indicate.

The Welfare Generation: 51.7% Kids in 2017 Lived in Households Getting Govt Assistance.  The Census Bureau has released new data that strengthens the case for calling the current generation of American children "The Welfare Generation."  Among American residents under 18 years of age in 2017, according to the Census Bureau, 51.7 percent lived in households in which one or more persons received benefits from a means-tested government program.  That was down slightly from the 52.1 percent of Americans under 18 in 2016 who lived in households receiving means-tested government assistance.

10 Numbers That Prove That We Are Rapidly Becoming A Nation Of Government Dependents.  As the middle class disintegrates and poverty grows, more Americans than ever are becoming dependent on the government just to survive.  Today, we live in a country where most workers do not earn enough to support a middle-class family, and we are seeing the homelessness crisis spiral out of control in major cities on both coasts.  During this election cycle, many conservatives have been freaking out that an increasing number of Democrats are openly embracing socialism, but the truth is that we are already most of the way to becoming a socialist country.  In fact, as you will see below, more than half of all Americans currently receive more money from the government than they pay in taxes.  We have become absolutely addicted to government money, and this is one of the major trends that is eating away at our nation like cancer.  The government is not supposed to take care of us from the cradle to the grave.  Rather, our founders understood that the proper role of government is to create and protect an environment of liberty and freedom where we would be empowered to take care of ourselves.

Under Trump, Republicans begin measuring welfare's success by how many people get off it.  Like so much of Republican orthodoxy, President Ronald Reagan developed the conservative doctrine on welfare long ago.  "We should measure welfare's success by how many people leave welfare," he said while still California governor in 1968, "not by how many are added."  Republicans can celebrate meeting that standard.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nearly 3 million have stopped taking food stamps since President Trump's inauguration.  Not only is that a drop from 42,134,301 in February 2017 to 39,329,356 in May of 2018, it's an overall drop of more than 8 million people since the program reached its peak under former President Barack Obama.

Help that Hurts.  Is poverty the result of the wealth of some?  Can pauperism be cured by eliminating wealth?  Might it be that, by increasing incomes through transfers will enable the left-behind to participate in economic success stories?

Homelessness dips in L.A. and countywide, but more people are living on the streets for the first time.  After three years of precipitous increases, homelessness dipped slightly this year, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority reported Thursday, providing a hopeful sign that new money flowing into housing and services is having an effect.  But in releasing results of the 2018 count, officials also warned that the number of people falling into homelessness for the first time increased, holding back the potential gains.  And the report noted that three out of four homeless people in the county live on the street, a figure unchanged from last year.

Before and After Welfare Handouts.  Civility and gratitude toward one's benefactors are no longer required in the welfare state.  In fact, one can be arrogant and hostile toward the "donors" (taxpayers), as well as the civil servants who dish out the benefits.  The handouts that recipients get are no longer called charity; they're called entitlements — as if what is received were earned.

California Has Highest Poverty Rate In America.  According to the United States Census Bureau Supplemental Poverty Measure, California has the highest poverty rate in the country.  One in five people in California are living in poverty and the state's residents account for 33% of all those on welfare in the United States, despite the state only being 12% of the country's population.  The state spent $958 billion on welfare programs between 1992 [and] 2015.  According to the study, 60% of Californians are jobless and living in poverty.

San Francisco Is Suffering From The Excesses Of Its Own Liberalism.  In November of 2017 alone, 6,211 needles were collected while via the 311 App, 1,498 requests were made to clean up human feces.  The public defecation problem has become so intolerable in San Francisco that private citizens have built an online map to track the concentrations of poop in the city, so that pedestrians may know to avoid certain areas.  And it's not just poop.  The overwhelming smell of urine on parts of Mission Street and Market Street would make your nose bleed.  I recall the first time I rode BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit, San Francisco's subway system) and was nearly knocked over by the sheer stench of the station.  I was surprised to learn that exiting the station supplied little to no relief — the urine smell hangs heavy in the more populated areas of the city and is nearly inescapable.  In a dark twist of humor, the city has had to replace numerous different street poles due to urine eroding the foundation.  What drives a large part of the human waste issue is San Francisco's homeless population.  The homeless epidemic in San Francisco is tragic and frightening — in a 47-square mile city, we have around 7,500 homeless people, meaning there are approximately 160 homeless people per square mile.

Needles, debris, human waste tallied after cleanup of California homeless camp.  Gritty details from the cleanup of a homeless encampment in Southern California were revealed Thursday [3/8/2018] — and the numbers were stunning.  According to the figures, public works crews in Orange County collected 404 tons of debris, 13,950 needles, and 5,279 pounds of human waste during a massive overhaul between Jan. 22 and March 3, the Orange County Register reported.  The specter of the ever-increasing homeless encampment along the Santa Ana River Trail had drawn the ire of local residents, prompting city officials to take action.

How can a place with 58,000 homeless people continue to function?  Homelessness affects the lives of all Angelenos, not just those forced to live on the streets.  And it does so almost daily, in ways large and small.  Consider the pairs of thick gloves that George Abou-Daoud has stashed inside the nine restaurants he owns on the east side of Hollywood.  When a homeless person accosts his customers, Abou-Daoud says, he can no longer count on the police for help; unless there's an imminent threat to safety, he contends, they don't respond quickly and can't just haul the person away.  So he's had to take matters into his own hands, literally, by physically ejecting problematic homeless people himself.  That's why he has the gloves — to keep his hands clean.

California East.  Despite the obvious political success, there are some nagging doubts cropping up. When Lyndon Johnson declared the War on Poverty in the 1964 State of the Union address, the national debt stood at $0.3 trillion.  Today, that debt has surpassed $20 trillion in just over two generations.  The poverty rate in 1964 was 19%; today, the poverty rate vacillates between 14% and 16%.  A 25% reduction in the poverty rate is nothing to sneer at, but a troubling amount of multigenerational poverty illustrates the limits of the progressive model.

Disillusioned and Disheartened.  I am disillusioned and disheartened.  Disillusioned and disheartened by the damage done by absurd social policies. [...] It has been ongoing for decades.  Specifically, it began on 22 November 1963, when Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as president after the assassination of JFK.  The difference could not be starker.  The nation went from "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country," to the "Great Society," the alleged goal of which was the elimination of poverty and racial injustice.  Johnson's war on poverty created the foundation for the excessive welfare state (and associated entitlement attitude and culture) permeating many communities today, concurrently draining our national treasure and removing the incentive to work.

The Problems With a Welfare State.  Welfare comes from government revenue, which is collected in various ways.  Some sources for government revenue include income taxes, social insurance taxes, etc.  For the year 2015, as a whole the United States allotted 8% of its total spending budget to welfare.  In this country, there are several programs that serve the purpose of welfare, such as food stamps, unemployment, Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Women, Infants and Children (WIC).  It is designed to help those in need — but how much good does it really do?

Revolt of the California 'Freeloaders'.  When normal people talk about "freeloaders," they usually are referring to the assorted welfare dependents, scammers and, yes, public employees who game the system to do as little productive work as possible and receive as many taxpayer-supplied benefits as they can muster.  In California, freeloading is an art form, but the term is largely verboten.  We don't want to be accused of insensitivity or other retrograde attitudes, after all.

Why Democrats keep losing elections.  In cities and towns where Americans are most on the dole — thanks to factory and mine closures and easy access to social security disability pensions, food stamps, free health care through Medicaid and the like — suicides, opioid addiction and general disintegration of civic institutions are most epidemic.  What Mrs. Clinton and liberals on the two coasts refuse to acknowledge is that the U.S. government already aggressively redistributes income — entitlement spending already consumes two thirds of the $3.6 trillion federal budget.  This is financed by a profoundly progressive tax structure — the top quartile earns about 69 percent of the income but pays 89 percent of the income tax and some 45 percent of Americans pay no income tax at all or receive payments through the earned income tax credit.  Moreover, most folks are comfortable with some measure of after-tax inequality if based on hard work and genuine accomplishment.

Three Things President Trump Can Do to Reduce Dependency.  First things first:  The Trump administration should not allow states to continue waiving food-stamp work requirements.  These requirements have been a part of the food-stamp program (for non-disabled childless adults) since the Clinton-era welfare reforms of the 1990s.  However, federal regulations allow the Department of Agriculture to grant waivers if states request them.  Although federal law authorizes waivers only when the state unemployment rate exceeds 10 percent or a state has insufficient employment opportunities, states with unemployment rates as low as 4.5 percent are currently waiving work requirements.  With waivers in effect, food stamps quickly trap their recipients in dependency.  What incentive do struggling Americans have to find employment and raise their standards of living when they face no time limits or requirement to work?

The Runaway Entitlement Train.  In its latest long-term budget outlook, the Congressional Budget Office warns that our budget is seriously out of whack and endangers our nation's future.  While the report will likely be ignored in Washington by politicians who like spending your money, American taxpayers would be wise to heed its message.

Obama Was First President to Spend More on Welfare Than Defense.  Barack Obama was the first president of the United States to spend more on "means-tested entitlements" — AKA welfare — than on national defense, according to data published by his own Office of Management and Budget.  Historical tables that the OMB posted on the Obama White House website, include annual totals for both "national defense" spending and "means-tested entitlement" spending going back to fiscal 1962 — which is three years before President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation creating the Medicaid program, a means-tested entitlement that together with the Children's Health Insurance Program enrolled 74,407,191 beneficiaries as of November 2016.

Before and After Obama: 10 Signs of a Diminished America.  Poverty unquestionably grew worse under Barack Obama, leaving his apologists to hilariously claim that the poverty rate doesn't look so bad after you throw in the skyrocketing value of the welfare benefits that grew explosively under his administration.  Note to everyone peddling this talking point:  spending more on welfare benefits is a bad thing, especially when those expenses are soaring at the same time Obama partisans claim the economy improved.  How can anyone wave off a 10.7 million increase in the number of food stamp recipients, at a cost to taxpayers exceeding $16 billion, at a time when employment was supposedly getting better?

Homelessness is apparently now a human right.  Do homeless people have a "right to camp" wherever they find it most convenient?  That's the discussion taking place in Seattle right now, where hordes of homeless individuals have set up makeshift tent cities (for those able to come up with a tent) on public property.  As you might expect, this has led to increased problems with violent crime — including two murders this year — as well as drug and alcohol abuse, theft and sexual assaults in these essentially lawless enclaves.  There's also the issue of public land being overrun and left in an unsightly mess.

"Any alien who, in the opinion of the consular officer at the time of application for a visa, or in the opinion of the Attorney General at the time of application for admission or adjustment of status, is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible."

How The Cloward-Piven Strategy Is Driving The United States To Collapse.  The Cloward-Piven Strategy was born in the midst of the fiery and violent leftist protests of the 1960s, as the brainchild of two sociology professors from Columbia University:  Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven.  Dissatisfied with the Antonio Gramsci style of cultural marxism, they sought a quicker and more explosive method of destruction that would cause America to collapse within a matter of years as opposed to decades.  In a paper entitled The Weight of the Poor:  A Strategy to End Poverty, Cloward and Piven argued that the only way to end poverty was to enroll as many individuals as possible in government welfare programs.  In doing so, the massive influx of new recipients would cause the system to collapse, at which point leftist activists would take to the streets and demand the establishment of a government that could address their "grievances". In the mind of people like Cloward and Piven, the ideal government was a totalitarian one that would implement Marxism and crush any and all opposition.  While the Cloward-Piven strategy was initially created to specifically address the issue of poverty, it also resulted in an effective 3-step process that others could use to destroy any advanced civilization.

The Useless Left.  Who supports Republicans?  Principally folks do work of value, like producing food, healing the sick, growing cotton, drilling oil, building houses, mining coal, protecting us as policemen and soldiers, healing the sick.  Productive people.  Who supports Democrats?  Principally those sloths whose "work" has nothing of real value to ordinary Americans at all like sociology professors; government bureaucrats; public school administrators; blood-sucking lawyers; and, of course, that vast army of leftists who live off welfare and other entitlements and who do not even pretend to do any work at all.

Mission Accomplished:  Record Number of Tent Cities Springing Up Around the Country.  It has been reported that that the number of homeless children in this country has risen by 60 percent since the last recession, and Poverty USA says that a total of 1.6 million children slept either in a homeless shelter or in some other form of emergency housing at some point last year.  Yes, the stock market may have been experiencing a temporary boom for the last couple of years, but for those on the low end of the economic scale things have just continued to deteriorate.  Tonight, countless numbers of homeless people will try to make it through another chilly night in large tent cities that have been established in the heart of major cities such as Seattle, Washington, D.C. and St. Louis.  Homelessness has gotten so bad in California that the L.A. City Council has formally asked Governor Jerry Brown to officially declare a state of emergency.

Is Personal Responsibility Obsolete?: Part II.  Too many social problems are conceived of in terms of what "we" can do for "them."  After decades of massive expansions of the welfare state, the answer seems to range from "not very much" to "making matters worse."  Undaunted, people in a number of countries are coming up with new proposals that are variations on the theme of government-provided income — which amounts to relieving people from personal responsibility.  Yet even some conservatives and libertarians are coming up with proposals for more "efficient" versions of the welfare state — namely direct cash grants for life to virtually all adults, instead of the current hodgepodge of overlapping bureaucratic programs.  Charles Murray recognizes that "some people will idle away their lives" under his proposal.  "But that is already a problem," he says, and therefore is no valid objection to replacing the current welfare state with a less costly alternative.

Poverty accompanies Democrats
The Worst Cities For Poverty All Have One Thing In Common.  Each of these places has been Democratic for many decades, some even longer.  And what do each of these places have in common?  That's right, they're all run by Democrats.  Big government, high taxes, lots of regulation, and plenty of welfare and poverty.  Yep, that's Democratville for ya.

How Our Welfare System Actually INCREASES Poverty Among All Americans.  Liberals understand economics when it's convenient for them.  Want to fight obesity?  Tax sugar or trans fats, because liberals realize that when you tax something, people buy less of it.  Want to encourage green energy?  Subsidize it and you'll get more of it.  When it comes to the question of redistribution, liberals abandon this logic.  Are we supposed to forget the laws of economics and not realize that by taxing work you'll get less of it, and by subsidizing poverty you'll get more of it?

The 35.4 Percent: 109,631,000 on Welfare.  109,631,000 Americans lived in households that received benefits from one or more federally funded "means-tested programs" — also known as welfare — as of the fourth quarter of 2012, according to data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau.  The Census Bureau has not yet reported how many were on welfare in 2013 or the first two quarters of 2014.  But the 109,631,000 living in households taking federal welfare benefits as of the end of 2012, according to the Census Bureau, equaled 35.4 percent of all 309,467,000 people living in the United States at that time.  When those receiving benefits from non-means-tested federal programs — such as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and veterans benefits — were added to those taking welfare benefits, it turned out that 153,323,000 people were getting federal benefits of some type at the end of 2012.

Record number of New York families living in shelters.  The number of families living in shelters in New York City set a new record this April, according to data of the Department of Social Services published Saturday in the local press.  Last week a total of 12,302 families with children spent the night in shelters around the Big Apple, more than the previous record of 12,281 families in December 2014, the Daily News said.

The City of Homeless Love.  The city of brotherly love has been overrun with broke bruthas asking for some love and it's so depressing, you tend to forget the incredibly rich history of the place.  While we waited for a walking tour to begin a vacuous black man stared at us nonstop as he stuffed potato chips in his face and rode a parked Citibike backwards (they're called Indego bikes there).  His jacket must have been prison-issued because it said "State Property" on the back.  Moments later, as we walked toward the sightseeing tour bus, we literally had to step over another black bum who had passed out next to his dinner on the street.  The woman running the service pitched us like he wasn't there.  I asked if he was included in the tour and she said, "Oh, we can't do anything about him."  This was the attitude of the place:  The homeless are here to stay, move on.

Obama, Redistribution, and Jobs: Always Wrong, Never in Doubt.  [Scroll down]  Though at some point we have to ask whether it really matters whether people are being lured out of the labor force by food stamps, disability payments, unemployment insurance, Obamacare, or any of the many other redistribution programs in Washington.  What does matter is that we have a malignant welfare state that is eroding the social capital of the country.  The entire apparatus should be dismantled and turned over to the states.  But not everyone agrees.  You probably won't be surprised to learn that the White House is impervious to data and evidence.  Indeed, notwithstanding the evidence that the left was wildly wrong about the impact of ending extended unemployment benefits, the White House is proposing to expand the program.

Government Welfare Programs are Crushing America's Economic Growth.  [D]on't let anyone fool you about the economy of the last seven years.  Barack Obama was set up for success, as he took office on the heels of a sharp economic downturn that had a limited, specific cause.  The economy should have come roaring back as it did under Ronald Reagan, only if anything even more so, since the government errors that gave rise to the 2008 financial collapse were relatively easy to correct.  Instead, the Democrats' left-wing policies inhibited economic growth and produced the worst recovery of modern times.

15 Stats That Destroy Liberal Narratives.  [#9] Officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, the food-stamp program has become the country's fastest-growing means-tested social-welfare program.  Only Medicaid is more expensive.  Between 2000 and 2013, SNAP caseloads grew to 47.6 million from 17.2 million, and spending grew to $80 billion from $20.6 billion, according to the Agriculture Department.  SNAP participation fell slightly last year, to 46.5 million individuals, as the economy improved, but that still leaves a population the size of Spain's living in the U.S. on food stamps.

Homelessness Is the Fault of Liberals.  Every major city in the country has seen a dramatic uptick in homelessness and the common denominator are always leftists.  Whether it is at the federal, state or local level, liberals in government are the cause of the homeless disaster.  In downtown Los Angeles, the famous homeless area known as Skid Row now spans 50 city blocks.  Reverend Andy Bales is the chief executive of the Union Rescue Mission, who help those on Skid Row.  He says what is happening there is, "the worst man-made disaster in the U.S."  The Reverend is indeed correct.  Rampant homelessness is entirely man-made.

Why the War on Poverty Is So Unwinnable.  Recall that the first war on poverty, begun by Lyndon Johnson in 1964, fell far short.  In 2014, the official poverty rate (the share of people under the government's poverty line of cash income) was 14.8%, up slightly from 1966's 14.7%.  By some other measures, which include non-cash government benefits (food stamps, Medicaid), poverty has declined.  But clearly, there are still lots of poor people.  In general, the group wants to make work more attractive to the poor.  It proposed expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (the EITC is a wage subsidy, providing payments for workers up to designated income levels).  It also backed a higher minimum wage.

The Surging Anti-American Sentiment of the Left.  As one of the former leaders of the New Left who has now turned into a fierce proponent for conservatism, David Horowitz, explains that the Democratic "party apparatus feeds off the entitlements of the welfare state:  social workers, university intellectuals, trial lawyers, bureaucrats, and government unions are all clients of the big-government programs the party promotes".  The more the individual is given entitlements, the longer the individual is kept dependent upon the program in which the party promotes.  Today it has resulted in more than 23 percent of Americans being dependent on some form of welfare while the American workforce has become demoralized as millions have given up searching for jobs.  Moreover, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percent of Americans in the workforce — either working or seeking work under the Obama presidency has plummeted from 65.7 percent the month he took office in January 2009 to just 62.8 percent in November of 2014.  That translates to more than 7 million fewer workers in the workforce.

NYT Amazed that Democrat Welfare State Is Collapsing At Its Own Hand.  The truth is that any state-operated welfare system is a form of forced charity imposed on workers in favor of those not working.  It is Robin Hood acting as an entire government program.  Folks will tolerate a certain level of mandated "charity" when it supports those whom they think worthy of such support.  This will likely not include supporting Cousin Bobby's opiate addiction.

Homelessness in Hawaii grows, defying image of paradise.  [Scroll down past the sob story.]  Homelessness in Hawaii has grown in recent years, leaving the state with 487 homeless per 100,000 people, the nation's highest rate per capita, ahead of New York and Nevada, according to federal statistics.

Welfare chart
One Chart on Federal "Anti-Poverty" Programs Says It All.  This graphic was created by staff from the House Ways and Means Committee to represent the 80+ federal benefit programs and services for low-income people in the United States.  House Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee, November 3, 2015.  It was unveiled at a hearing yesterday on better coordinating welfare programs for families in need before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources.

US Safety Net Might Be Working Better Than We Think.  Program receipt in the CPS is missed for over one-third of housing assistance recipients, 40 percent of food stamp recipients and 60 percent of TANF and General Assistance recipients.  Dollars of benefits are also undercounted for reporting recipients, particularly for TANF, General Assistance and housing assistance.  We find that the survey data sharply understate the income of poor households.  Underreporting in the survey data also greatly understates the effects of anti-poverty programs and changes our understanding of program targeting.  Using the combined data rather than survey data alone, the poverty reducing effect of all programs together is nearly doubled while the effect of housing assistance is tripled.

Poverty Pimps Owe Middle Class $22 Trillion in Reparations.  In 2014, the Heritage Foundation released their findings on the cost of the War on Poverty.  As of 2013, U.S. taxpayers had spent over $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs.  What did we get for all of our hard labor 50 years later?  An ever-expanding welfare state instead of what LBJ described as an "investment" that would "return its cost manifold to the entire economy."  Not only are 100 million Americans receiving some kind of benefits from at least one government program, but those not on the dole are still paying for entitlements with no end in sight.

Welfare Is the Highest Paying Entry-Level Job in 38 States.  There are obvious problems with giving people "free" money.  We could list the fact that the money is taken from the people who earned it, or that the debt pyramid that funds the "free" money is unsustainable and will end in crisis.  We could point out that people drop out of the labor market because the free money makes it possible, thus lowering productivity at the same time that we are increasing obligations.  That is a looming economic disaster for the country.  But in my opinion the greatest evil of the system is how it degrades human beings and encourages them to decay into perpetual adult children. [...] Human beings, in their natural habitat, are designed to produce and thrive, not live by the work of others.  Being enticed into a system of welfare warps people.  It twists them away from their purpose as men and women who are supposed to take care of themselves and their offspring.

Mark Levin: Entitlement Programs Are Theft From Your Children.  In a recent interview discussing his book [...] Mark Levin described the ills of egregious government entitlement spending: [...] Levin's book focuses on America's youth and the massive impact entitlements will have on them.  The money won't be there for this financially endangered generation; it will exist as IOUs never to be settled, the money already spent.

Get'cha Honey for Nothin', Get'cha Chips for Free.  The quickest and surest way to make things more expensive for most of us is for someone in our government to attempt to make such things "free" for some.  As I noted earlier this year, the largest "charity" in the U.S. is government (which, of course, brags about it!).  Americans gave a total of approximately $3.4 billion (about $2.4 billion from individuals) to private charities in 2013.  In the same year, Americans received over $600 billion from means-tested (recipients required to be below a certain income level) government programs (housing, food stamps, WIC, Medicaid, and the like).  When non means-tested programs (Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, and so on) are included, the total is a shocking and staggering $2 trillion dollars.  In case you missed it, for over four consecutive years now, the number of Americans receiving food stamps (transactions are now done with an EBT card) surpassed 45 million.  About 20 percent of U.S. children receive food stamps.  Thus nearly one-fifth of our future electorate is being conditioned to the idea that it is government's responsibility to make sure they are fed.

Why the Welfare State Always Fails.  Every day, the independent media informs us of a new scandal involving the government's mismanagement of public funds associated with social programs. Waste, fraud, and corruption are commonplace in the so-called welfare state.  Even in the least corrupt countries, welfare programs remain controversial, given the large gap that exists between the state's purported goals and the actual results.  On a national scale, many rulers claim to want to improve the lives of the underprivileged through greater state intervention.  Yet they not only worsen the living conditions of these people in the long run, but leave the entire country in financial ruin.

Why Liberals are Dangerous.  Liberals define a compassionate nation as how long that line is of people showing up for their daily allotment of free fish.  In America today, 94 million Americans are unemployed.  And yet, they have all the necessities and many of the luxuries of working Americans.  Forty-seven million Americans are on food stamps.  Millions of capable Americans are receiving disability.

How Welfare Spending Hurts the People It's Supposed to Help.  Federal and state governments spent $1.02 trillion on welfare in 2014 — an increase of $274 billion, or 36 percent, since 2003 after adjusting for inflation.  At the federal level, the welfare bureaucracy spans numerous agencies and includes more than 80 different means-tested aid programs that provide cash, food, housing, medical care and social services to poor and low-income Americans.  These programs range from public housing and food stamps to direct cash benefits through the earned income tax credit (EITC) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

Generational Welfare, Exorbitant Minimum Wages Are Meant to Become the Permanent 'Living Wage'.  We currently live in a society in which welfare credit cards are given out to make recipients feel comfortable with living on the dole whether they need to or not.  They freely use them at gambling parlors, sex joints and they can be easily sold.  Non-descriptive terms are used, such as "TANF" or "workfare" in lieu of "welfare" and "SNAP" for "food stamps", so as to make the recipients feel comfortable instead of ashamed for taking assistance.  They also serve the purpose of deceiving folks.  Giving tax refunds to people who didn't pay taxes is called "Negative Income Tax" and includes Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and the Child Tax Credit.  Notice the word "credit".  The safety net which almost everyone wants for our needy has been expanded to include the able-bodied non-working, foreigners, people working off the books, refugees who are actually illegal immigrants, and higher-incomed people.  That is not what was intended in the original bill.

War on Poverty? How about war against insanity!  Just in case I was wrong, I checked and found out that the federal government has "invested" $22 trillion fighting the War on Poverty in the 50 years since it was declared by President Lyndon Johnson (Source: Heritage Foundation).  According to my calculation, that's $440 billion per year on average.  Considering that spending on welfare and food stamps has steadily increased in recent years, not to mention the costs of Obamacare, I am confident we are spending well over half a trillion per year to rescue our impoverished members of society. [...] That's right, our $22 trillion investment went right down the rabbit hole, or more accurately the black hole, and we are left with inner cities in decay like Detroit, turmoil like Baltimore, and abject poverty like Watts.

The Food Stamp Pirouette.  You're not alone if you've ever wondered how the government at all levels can spend about $1 trillion per year on "anti-poverty" programs, while the poverty rate never goes down.  By the federal government's official standard, the poverty rate stood at about 15 percent when the War on Poverty began more than 50 years ago — and it remains about 15 percent today, despite more than $20 trillion of anti-poverty spending since then.  Could all that money really have had no effect?  The question puts government officials in a tricky position.  On the one hand, they feel duty-bound to defend the effectiveness of the spending; on the other, any major reduction in the official measure of poverty risks undermining political support for continued and increased spending.

A Trojan Horse Movement.  Consider: the welfare "rights" movement, founded by the notorious socialists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, was not established to guarantee welfare to the poor.  As they said, their purpose was to pack the welfare rolls with so many beneficiaries that the government would collapse of its own weight.  In the ensuing riots, they hoped policy makers would be driven to accept their socialist solution.  In short, they sought anarchy, using a militant poor as their foot soldiers.  They couldn't care less what happened to the poor in prosecuting this agenda, and they said so.  Doubt me?  Just look at the status of the poor today.  There are more people on welfare than at any time in history.  And the crime and degeneracy that accompany it are epidemic.

Christie's Entitlement Plan Is Honest But Doesn't Go Far Enough.  Few want to talk about entitlements during a presidential campaign.  Though it may no longer be the "third rail" of politics, it's still hazardous for any candidate.  Yet today, entitlements and interest spending gobble up 70% of our entire budget.  It's a sad delusion of public debate that we can cut discretionary spending and defense and balance our budget.  Sorry, no we can't.  As the New Jersey governor correctly notes, runaway growth in entitlements is bankrupting our nation.

A Marxist View of the Democrats' Entitlement Economy.  Karl Marx, considered the founding figure in the rise of communism, divided all persons into two classes: the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. [...] It is important to understand that Karl Marx never spoke of food stamps, welfare, and free health care as a remedy for the exploitation of the worker.  He held that workers should unite together and run the government so that all are treated equally and no one class exploits the other; that the wages and benefits to workers should be fair and equitable.  So when Democrats take the language of Marxism and use it to enable entitlement creation they are not following Marx's theory of class society.

What Makes Barack Obama Such a Bad President?  [Scroll down]  According to the narrative, Great Society welfare programs are a good thing.  They are framed (weren't they?) to help poor people (and, not incidentally, to make the people framing them feel better about themselves) ergo they cannot be a failure, not really.  Do they, as a matter of fact, institutionalize rather than abolish poverty?  Do they make an entire class of people more and more dependent on government?  Do they encourage a range of social pathology, from teen pregnancy and single-mother households?

Six Conundrums of Socialism.  In the United States of America:  1. America is capitalist and greedy — yet half of the population is subsidized.  2. Half of the population is subsidized — yet they think they are victims.  3. They think they are victims — yet their representatives run the government.  4. Their representatives run the government — yet the poor keep getting poorer. [...]

Government, not Racism, Is the Greatest Threat.  When King said, "Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism," he was talking about individuals rising up against the forces that had kept blacks down, not advocating for government intervention.  In fact, had he lived, Dr. King would have seen that government dependency has become a far more destructive force than racism.

Let's Get Government Out of the Charity Business.  The story is told that when Tennessee frontiersman Davy Crockett served in the US Congress (between 1827 and 1835) he voted for a bill appropriating $20,000 for relief for victims of a fire that broke out in Georgetown.  When he returned home, a constituent farmer chastised him for supporting the bill and for "giving what is not yours to give."  The farmer told Crockett the constitution does not grant Congress the power to give charity and if it did, "You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and favoritism and corruption, on the one hand, and robbing the people on the other."

Leftist organizers are using Ferguson to rehearse the Big Ugly.  "Unsustainable" is one of those Washington D.C. words with a history of meaning little — like Foggy Bottom's use of "unacceptable."  But unlike unacceptable, unsustainable, when applied to the Welfare State, is a derivative of mathematics — a major determinant of the wealth of nations.  The American Welfare State is unsustainable — destined for significant downsizing by cold, impassionate, apolitical Arithmetic. [...] Lies have long been a tool used by the tyrants of fascists, socialist, and communist ideologies.  In contrast, capitalism — an economic system in great distress in America — is inescapably tied to Arithmetic.  Real math doesn't lie.  It requires unbiased calculation.  Far-left community organizers don't traffic in unbiased calculation.

21 Facts That Prove Government Dependency is Out of Control.  With each passing year the number of Americans jumping on board "the safety net" continues to grow rapidly, and a lot of these people should be able to take care of themselves.  Today, the American people collectively receive more money from the government than they pay in taxes.  And remember, the federal government uses our money to build roads, inspect our food and fund the military as well.  So what does this say about our economy?  Could it survive without all of these debt-fueled transfer payments?  And what does this say about our society?  At one time, our nation was known for our Protestant work ethic.  What would our forefathers say about us today?

Ronald Reagan's Devastating Critique Of The Left's Addiction To Entitlements.  In his 1964 speech, Reagan warned, "37 cents of every dollar earned was the tax collector's share, and the government spent 17 million dollars a day more than the government takes in."  Think of how outraged he would be today with our current economy.  The Obama administration has racked up a national debt that now exceeds 17 trillion dollars, and more than 50 percent of Americans receive some type of government assistance.  Obama has said "We have not massively expanded the welfare state."  However, food stamp spending has surged under the Obama administration with more than 47 million Americans now on food stamps.

Here is the left's secret plan to turn America into Sweden.  Democrats continue to dream up new entitlements.  To Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, we now have Obamacare.  Next up on the wish list is universal pre-K.  After that, perhaps a universal basic income.  On taxes, some prominent left-wing economists are arguing the US economy would be just fine with sharply higher top tax rates of at least 70%.  Put it all together, and it seems like the left is quietly working toward a future America where government spends more, intervenes more, taxes more.  A whole lot more.

The War on Poverty Has Been a Colossal Flop.  Today, the U.S. Census Bureau will release its annual report on poverty. This report is noteworthy because this year marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson's launch of the War on Poverty. Liberals claim that the War on Poverty has failed because we didn't spend enough money.  Their answer is just to spend more.  But the facts show otherwise.  Since its beginning, U.S. taxpayers have spent $22 trillion on Johnson's War on Poverty (in constant 2012 dollars).  Adjusting for inflation, that's three times more than was spent on all military wars since the American Revolution.

The War on Poverty After 50 Years.  In his January 1964 State of the Union address, President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed, "This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America."  In the 50 years since that time, U.S. taxpayers have spent over $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs.  Adjusted for inflation, this spending (which does not include Social Security or Medicare) is three times the cost of all U.S. military wars since the American Revolution.  Yet progress against poverty, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau, has been minimal, and in terms of President Johnson's main goal of reducing the "causes" rather than the mere "consequences" of poverty, the War on Poverty has failed completely.  In fact, a significant portion of the population is now less capable of self-sufficiency than it was when the War on Poverty began.

Poverty In The Black Community Is The Result of Culture Not Racism.  A female relative of mine came to live with me for a short time.  One day when I came home from work, she asked me where everyone in the neighborhood was.  She said that during the day, she would go outdoors looking for someone to talk to and no one was around.  I told her that they were at work, and I asked her how she thought the neighbors could pay for their homes if they did not go to work (just as I was going to work every day).  She looked at me with a confused look on her face.  Up until that point (she was nearly sixty years old), she had lived in neighborhoods where everyone (including her) received some kind of government check and therefore did not work.  She always had someone to shuck and jive with because everyone was at home all day long.  She told me that she was bored living in my (middleclass working) neighborhood.

$213 million earmarked to track L.A. homeless by computer, house 1,400.  A coalition of public and private agencies announced Tuesday that it is funneling $213 million to house 1,400 homeless people and to expand a tracking and placement system it hopes will end chronic and veteran homelessness in Los Angeles County over the next two years.  The placement tool, called the coordinated entry system, is designed to replace a confusing patchwork of entry points to homeless housing and services with a single computerized portal that reaches every corner of the county.

The Editor says...
That's $152,000 per homeless person — enough to buy a house for each of them.

50 Things Barack Obama Has Done Wrong:  [#1]  Because of Obama's policies since he became President, 11,472,000 Americans have left the work force.  [#3]  The number of Americans on welfare has hit record highs.  [#4]  A record 20% of Americans were on food stamps in 2013.  [#5]  The almost 11 million Americans getting disability payments is now approaching the population of Cuba.

The 'Free Lunch' President.  On Monday [7/28/2014], Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew urged Congress to provide more resources for the exploding number of people on permanent disability.  It's part of the Obama administration's "give away the store" mentality, encouraging the masses to sign up for government programs at taxpayers' expense.  Even without Congress' complicity, the administration is doing everything it can to expand government dependence, getting people on Obamacare subsidies, food stamps, earned income tax credits and disability payments.  Federal workers routinely ignore — even blatantly violate — the laws that established these programs in order to maximize giveaways.

Land of the Free?  As far as the IRS is concerned, all men are not created equal.  In the land of the free, an individual has an inalienable right to his property, but not in the land of the IRS. Productive citizens became slaves to others, like indentured servants who can never buy their freedom.  The Founders abhorred such a concept.  Every April, some Americans quietly pay, while others collect their share of redistribution, as if it flowed from some eternal mountain spring.

Poverty Up 30.5% for Americans 18 to 64 Since LBJ Declared War on Poverty.  The percentage of 18- to 64-year olds who live below the poverty level has increased 30.5% since 1966, two years after Lyndon Johnson declared the War on Poverty, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau. [...] According to a House Budget Committee Report, the federal government spent $799 billion on 92 programs to combat poverty:  $100 billion on food aid; $200 billion spent on cash aid; $90 billion on education and job training; $300 billion on health care; and $50 billion on housing, in fiscal year 2012 alone.

The slow decline of America since LBJ launched the Great Society.  Fifty years ago this Thursday, at the University of Michigan, Johnson had proposed legislating into existence a Great Society. It would end poverty and racial injustice, "but that is just the beginning."  It would "rebuild the entire urban United States" while fending off "boredom and restlessness," slaking "the hunger for community" and enhancing "the meaning of our lives" — all by assembling "the best thought and the broadest knowledge."  In 1964, 76 percent of Americans trusted government to do the right thing "just about always or most of the time"; today, 19 percent do.  The former number is one reason Johnson did so much; the latter is one consequence of his doing so.

House Budget Committee to Hold Hearing on Poverty.  Is the federal government responsible for lifting millions of Americans out of poverty or trapping them in it?  That question has become a political Rorschach test this year, the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson's war on poverty.  On Wednesday, Representative Paul D. Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, is holding a third hearing on the government and the poor, featuring testimony from the "front lines."

Special Rules for Democrats.  Remember poverty?  It was once a chief preoccupation of the Democratic Party.  Lyndon Johnson made war on it.  An entire ecosystem of federal, state and local programs has been created over the course of the past half-century to combat it, costing taxpayers more than $1 trillion annually.  Yet the Democratic Party seems to have forgotten the poor.  The proposal to increase the minimum wage by a few dollars is trifling compared with the vaunting ambitions of the War on Poverty.  Sargent Shriver, Johnson's poverty czar, predicted that welfare state programs would eliminate poverty by 1976.

The Poverty Hoax.  As much as 75% of the money allocated to the poor is consumed by the vast bureaucracies that administer this aid.  These agencies are actually job programs for college graduates who would often find it difficult to find employment in the private sector.  The late William Raspberry wrote a column dealing with Gina, a 14 year old living in a group home, who had a caseworker, a psychotherapist and a court appointed lawyer.  These caregivers have to be supported by a number of clerical workers and supervisors who compose the vast helping bureaucracy.  If the "poor" were suddenly to disappear they would have to redefine their definition of poverty in order to maintain their sinecures.  And that is exactly what they have done.

Americans on Medicaid Exceed Population of UK.  The number of Americans who were enrolled in Medicaid at any time during fiscal 2013 exceeded the entire population of the United Kingdom, according to new data published by the federal government's Medicaid and CHIP Payment Access Commission (MACPAC).  Were Medicaid a nation instead of a U.S. entitlement program it would be the 20th most populous country on earth.

Ten Welfare-Reform Lessons.  New York City's welfare system is managed out of a boxy 25-story office building on Water Street in Lower Manhattan.  Approximately 5,000 employees work there, directing government programs that provide billions of dollars of taxpayer-funded assistance to the poor and near-poor.  A solid majority of the workers at 180 Water Street are African-American or Latino; their voter registration is almost certainly overwhelmingly Democratic; and all but about 300 of them are union members.  But from 1995 until this past December, the people who worked in New York's principal social-services agency were leading one of the most conservative and successful welfare offices in the country.

70% Of U.S. Spending On Writing Checks To Individuals.  Buried deep in a section of President Obama's budget, released this week, is an eye-opening fact:  This year, 70% of all the money the federal government spends will be in the form of direct payments to individuals, an all-time high.  In effect, the government has become primarily a massive money-transfer machine, taking $2.6 trillion from some and handing it back out to others.  These government transfers now account for 15% of GDP, another all-time high.  In 1991, direct payments accounted for less than half the budget and 10% of GDP.  What's more, the cost of these direct payments is exploding.  Even after adjusting for inflation, they've shot up 29% under Obama.

Govt aid pays more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states.  For those on welfare and other aid from the government in many U.S. states, getting back into the work force doesn't always make much sense financially.  In fact, welfare and other government benefits pay more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states and in 13 states, the payout is more than $15 an hour, according to a new study from libertarian think tank The Cato Institute.  The study found that the assistance — defined in the study as including government benefits such as food stamps, housing assistance and other programs — pays more than a first-year teacher's salary in 11 states, the starting salary for a secretary in 39 states and an entry-level job as a computer programmer in three states.

You Subsidize Leftist Anarchy.  The Economic Opportunity Act (EOA) of 1964 became the centerpiece of the new war.  It expanded the nation's social safety hammock, turning government resources into war materiel to be used against the American system of constitutionally limited government.  Many of the EOA-created programs still exist today, including VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America), now known as AmeriCorps VISTA, Job Corps, and Head Start.  Many more excuses for handouts were created afterward — so many, in fact, that it is difficult for poor people to pass through the minefield of government assistance unscathed.  The federal government now administers 80 different means-tested, largely stigma-free welfare programs.  Government blew $916 billion on these programs in 2012 alone, and about 100 million Americans accepted aid from at least one of the programs.  Federal and state welfare spending, adjusted for inflation, is now 16 times greater than when this war was declared, according to Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation.

Fact-Free Liberals: Part III.  What the war on poverty was intended to end was mass dependency on government.  President Kennedy said, "We must find ways of returning far more of our dependent people to independence."  The same theme was repeated endlessly by President Johnson.  The purpose of the "war on poverty," he said, was to make "taxpayers out of taxeaters."  Its slogan was "Give a hand up, not a handout."  When Lyndon Johnson signed the landmark legislation into law, he declared:  "The days of the dole in our country are numbered."  Now, 50 years and trillions of dollars later, it is painfully clear that there is more dependency than ever.

Record 20% of Households on Food Stamps in 2013.  A record 20% of American households, one in five, were on food stamps in 2013, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The numbers also show there was a record number of individuals on food stamps in 2013 and that the cost of the program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), was at an all-time high.

50 Years Later, The War On Poverty Is Lost.  Wednesday [1/8/2014] marked 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson asked Congress to wage "all-out war on human poverty and unemployment" — a war that's seen no end, let alone victory, to celebrate.  A record 46.5 million Americans are still counted as poor, and the share of those living in poverty — 15% and rising today vs. 19% and falling in 1964 — is close to what it was when Johnson sounded the trumpet.  More than 47 million Americans are now on food stamps — also a record high and representing roughly a 50% increase since the day Barack Obama was inaugurated after a campaign based on "hope."

The Fifty-Year War.  Trillions of dollars have been spent, and the number of Americans living in poverty is higher today than it was in 1964, while the poverty rate has held steady at just under one in five.  That contrasts unpleasantly with the trend before President Johnson declared his war:  The poverty rate had been dropping since the end of World War II.  That progress came to a halt as President Johnson's expensive and expansive vision began to be implemented in earnest, which coincided with the tapering of the postwar boom.  By the 1970s, the poverty rate was headed upward.

How the War on Poverty Was Lost.  LBJ promised that the war on poverty would be an "investment" that would "return its cost manifold to the entire economy."  But the country has invested $20.7 trillion in 2011 dollars over the past 50 years.  What does America have to show for its investment?  Apparently, almost nothing:  The official poverty rate persists with little improvement.

Washington is ignoring the most potent weapon in the War on Poverty.  Fiftieth anniversaries are typically joyful occasions that prompt deep reflection.  The "War on Poverty" reached that milestone this week and it definitely inspired a great deal of national reflection.  But absent from that reflection was discussion of the crucial role of the family in preventing and remedying poverty.  Considering the firmly established facts on this score, talking about poverty without talking about the family is analogous to discussing health without mentioning doctors.

Escaping the Rat Maze of the Welfare State.  The Heritage Foundation's Robert Rector estimates that we've spent $20 trillion on these programs — not counting Medicare and Social Security.  We spend $1 trillion to $2 trillion more every year, depending on how you do the math.  But, apparently for liberals, that's still too stingy.  Perhaps the problem isn't how much we're spending, but how we're spending it.

The Not-So-Great Society: Back to the Future?  Nothing so surely signals that liberalism has lost its mind than the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Great Society under way this week.  Has there been a greater self-evident social policy failure in American history?

Obama's rhetoric on fighting poverty doesn't match his policies.  Although the president often rails against income inequality in America, his policies have had little impact overall on poverty.  A record 47 million Americans receive food stamps, about 13 million more than when he took office.  The poverty rate has stood at 15 percent for three consecutive years, the first time that has happened since the mid-1960s.  The poverty rate in 1965 was 17.3 percent; it was 12.5 percent in 2007, before the Great Recession.

Escape Poverty: Graduate, Work, Get Married, Have Kids.  Fifty years ago today, in his State of the Union Address, President Lyndon Johnson declared an "unconditional war on poverty in America."  Over the next two years, he massively expanded the federal government, creating Medicaid, Medicare and the food stamp program, and increasing federal involvement in public education.  What impact did this have on poverty?

How to Fight Income Inequality: Get Married.  If President Obama wants to reduce income inequality, he should focus less on redistributing income and more on fighting a major cause of modern poverty:  the breakdown of the family.  A man mostly raised by a single mother and his grandparents who defied the odds to become president of the United States is just the person to take up the cause.

Health Care System Was Kinder, Gentler Before Gov't Stepped In.  While the concept of universal health care was proposed by Presidents Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, it wasn't until 1965 when Lyndon Johnson's Great Society got the ball rolling and signed Medicare and Medicaid into law.  While there are many reasons for the exploding costs of medical care, the entry of government dollars into the system is by far the most potent.  Medicare and Medicaid, administrated by government employees not motivated by the cost restraints of for-profit entities, allowed individual doctor and hospital costs to balloon.

The Difference Between a Hand-out and a Leg Up.  Trillions of dollars have been wasted on the notion that people simply need a bit of help to get by, welfare is but a temporary solution to external injustices visited upon the hard-working poor, and that government assistance can only benefit families struggling to make ends meet.  Yet how many families must we shatter — how much sickness and disability must we incentivize — before we realize (to paraphrase an excellent book) that helping can (and does) hurt?

Barack Obama's Presidency Is A Complete Failure By His Own, Self-Imposed Standards.  [Scroll down]  Under the ultraliberal Barack Obama, and his "progressive" Democrats, poverty has soared while he has been President to nearly 50 million Americans, more than at any other time in the more than 50 years that the Census Bureau has been tracking poverty.  The poverty rate has also jumped by over 30% to 16.1%, about the same as when the War on Poverty started $5 trillion and almost 50 years ago.  We need "progressive" liberal Democrats for this?  Obama has also been the food stamp President, with the number on food stamps increasing during his Administration to an all-time record high of 47.7 million, up 80% over the past 5 years.

Don't Forget the Other Entitlement Monsters.  The continuing attention devoted to the blunders, incompetence, and lies surrounding the Obamacare rollout is much deserved.  But we shouldn't forget that the President's health-care monstrosity is merely the latest and biggest of scores of government entitlement programs suffering from the same flawed progressive assumption — that government "experts" armed with coercive power alone can solve problems better left to the states, civil society, and the free market.  In reality, such programs relentlessly metastasize, increasing as well fraud, waste, abuse, and costs.  One such program is SNAP, the kinder and gentler name for what we used to call food stamps.

Premeditated, Manufactured Chaos.  [Scroll down]  There is such a strategy; Obama has known about it for decades and is using it now.  It was developed in the 1960s by Columbia University professors Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, who published an article in Nation magazine titled "The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty."  By packing welfare rolls with new beneficiaries, they hoped to bankrupt local governments and foment a blazing revolution when benefits dried up.  It came to be known as the "Cloward Piven Strategy," or simply "Crisis Strategy."  The strategy helped explode welfare rolls in the 1960s and 1970s, and precipitated New York City's near bankruptcy in 1975.  Speaking of that crisis, New York Mayor Rudolf Giuliani accused the pair of economic sabotage.  Cloward and Piven created the organizations tasked with executing this strategy, most notably ACORN.

Is There a Way Out?  The fact that Congress has no resources of its very own forces us to recognize that the only way Congress can give one American one dollar is to first — through intimidation, threats and coercion — confiscate that dollar from some other American through the tax code.  If any American did privately what Congress does publicly, he'd be condemned as an ordinary thief.  Taking what belongs to one American to give to another is theft, and the receiver is a recipient of stolen property.  Most Americans would suffer considerable anguish and cognitive dissonance seeing themselves as recipients of stolen property, so congressional theft has to be euphemized and given a respectable name.  That respectable name is "entitlement."

The tyranny of bureaucracy.  [Scroll down]  Do not millions of people owe their allegiance to the government for the privilege of receiving food stamps, unemployment insurance, welfare, business or individual tax credits, college loans, agricultural subsidies, and now even health insurance?  Is there any branch or even twig of life through which the sap of federal subsidies does not run?  No wonder the Tea Party, with its insistence on turning off the federal spigot, is being painted by progressives as a danger to the national well-being.  The national well-being, after all, is a state of stuporific addiction to entitlements and congressionally approved benefits spooned out by thousands of federal bureaus and agencies that prove their worth by keeping the populace in what de Tocqueville called "perpetual childhood."

Questions Rarely Asked — and Never Answered.  If one gives more incentives to obtain government support while unemployed, why would not fewer people be working?  If the food stamp, unemployment, and disability rolls are markedly up, and if it is almost impossible to verify that recipients are also not working for unreported cash wages (we hear mostly of government efforts to add more to these programs, rather than to audit those already on them), why would one seek a "regular" job that would lose such subsidies and make all one's income reportable?

The Obama Facade Cracks at Last.  The Census Department reported this week that almost half (49 percent) of Americans (151 million) are on federal aid.  The U.S. has spent nearly $4 trillion ($3.7) on welfare over the past five years — that is five times greater than the money spent on transportation, education, and NASA, combined.  Further, more than 70 percent of all federal spending goes to assistance programs, and theCongressional Budget Office projects that welfare spending will rise 80 percent over the next decade.  Even with all that spending, though, 46.5 million Americans live in poverty and nearly half of all Americans pay absolutely no federal income tax.

House Republicans Expected to Reform Food Stamps Program.  The federal government paid more than $74.6 billion last year to provide 46.6 millions [sic] Americans with food stamps.  This is an astonishing increase, even for this era of rapidly rising federal spending.  Four years earlier the comparable figures were $34.6 billion in benefits for 28.2 million recipients.

Single Point of Failure.  Gerald Ford's observation that any "government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have" has often been used as an argument against tyranny.  What not many realize is that it is also a warning against creating a single point of failure.  If you depend on government for everything then you necessarily depend on government for everything.  The more 'progressive' and socially engineered a community becomes, the more herded together previously individualized and disparate systems become. [...] Nowhere is this truer than among the unfortunates who have come to rely on the EBT system for sustenance.

Food Stamp Nation: Child Homelessness Spikes in NYC.  Liberals advocate that welfare programs are designed to help the least fortunate and that they demonstrate a society's compassion.  However, sometimes too much compassion by the state can devolve into what recovering drug addicts would call "enabling."  Moreover, the "compassionate environment" provided by government often turns out to be wretched.

Confederacy of Slackers.  If you include the millions of part-time workers who want full-time work, and millions more who have despaired of finding jobs and so have dropped out of the labor market, the real unemployment rate jumps to 13.8 percent, or close to twice the official rate.  Out of a workforce of 154 million people, that's 21 million Americans who are under-employed, unemployed, or sitting on the sidelines — able-bodied but not even bothering to look for work.

Study: Food Stamps [are the] Most Rapidly Growing Welfare Program.  Food stamps are the most inefficient, vastly expanding social welfare program in the country, according to a new study.  Forty-seven million people participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, and costs have increased over 358 percent since 2000.

The Myth of Red State Welfare.  During the last few years, a key liberal talking point has been "red state welfare."  The argument is that the states that get more from the federal government than they pay in taxes tend to be red states, whereas the states that give more to the federal government than they pay in taxes tend to be blue states.  This "red state welfare" hypothesis falls completely apart when we look at the data.

Obamacare laid bare.  [Scroll down]  Obamacare is the largest transfer of wealth in recent American history.  But you can't say that openly lest you lose elections.  So you do it by subterfuge:  hidden taxes, penalties, mandates and coverage requirements that yield a surplus of overpayments.  So that your president can promise to cover 30 million uninsured without costing the government a dime.  Which from the beginning was the biggest falsehood of them all.  And yet the free lunch is the essence of modern liberalism.  Free mammograms, free preventative care, free contraceptives for Sandra Fluke.  Come and get it.

Going Around Congress, Again.  One of President Obama's favorite "big ideas" is universal pre-kindergarten.  It has long been a cherished liberal idea that the poor suffer from the absence of the advantages of the stuff that the middle class takes for granted.  If you give them free phones, free food stamps, free housing vouchers, and free pre-kindergarten with breakfast and lunch, then they will become happy middle class people.  Republicans believe in a safety-net for those in need, but believe that you can best help people to get out of poverty by offering opportunity.

Welfare Can Make More Sense than Work.  Most decisions in life are the result of a cost-benefit analysis. When residents in Connecticut consider getting a job, they assume they would be better off having a job than not.  They'd be wrong.  Because in Connecticut, it pays not to work.

Medieval Liberals.  [Scroll down]  Reactionary is a good adjective as well, since notions of wealth and poverty are frozen in amber around 1965, as if the technological revolution never took place and the federal welfare state hadn't been erected — as if today's poor were the emaciated Joads, rather than struggling with inordinate rates of obesity and diabetes, in air-conditioned apartments replete with big-screen TVs, and owning cell phones with more computing power than was available to the wealthy as recently as the 1980s.  Flash-mobbing sneaker stores is more common than storming Costcos for bags of rice and flour.

"I Am The Guilty Man".  You cannot eat your cake before you take the time to make it or earn the money to buy it.  To eat your cake first, you must become a leech and steal from the efforts of others... producing nothing yet expecting everything.  Society cannot prosper within this context.

Parasitocracy.  Loafing is a man's free choice; charity is yours.  A parasite, on the other hand, is a person who demands — and what is more, who believes — that others must provide for him what he cannot provide, or chooses not to provide, for himself.  This more precise definition is no mere academic exercise.  It reveals the subtleties of parasitism that have allowed it to evolve into the parasitocracy that has devoured most of the developed world.  For it is now clear that being unproductive, though often true of parasites, is not their essence.  What is essential is the parasite's presumption that the productivity of others — their toil, time, and achievement — ought to be at his or her disposal.

$3.7 trillion spent on welfare
Five times greater than the combined amount spent on NASA, education, and all federal transportation projects.
Report: U.S. Spent $3.7 Trillion on Welfare Over Last 5 Years.  "We have just concluded the 5th fiscal year since President Obama took office.  During those five years, the federal government has spent a total $3.7 trillion on approximately 80 different means-tested poverty and welfare programs.  The common feature of means-tested assistance programs is that they are graduated based on a person's income and, in contrast to programs like Social Security or Medicare, they are a free benefit and not paid into by the recipient," says the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee.

Under Obamanomics, America Morphs Into Welfare Nation.  Any lingering doubts about the deficiencies of Obamanomics can be dispelled with one piece of data:  The U.S. has spent $3.7 trillion on welfare in the past five years, with virtually nothing to show for it.  GOP members of the Senate Budget Committee reported that cumulative spending on welfare during the Obama years has been five times greater than what's been spent on transportation, education and NASA — combined.  Maybe that shouldn't be surprising.  Obama, after all, promised a "fundamental transformation" of America.  He's fulfilled that promise with a vengeance.

The Work versus Welfare Tradeoff:  If one looks at this as an hourly wage, it is easy to see that welfare pays more than a minimum-wage job in 33 states — in many cases, significantly more.  In fact, in a dozen states and the District of Columbia, welfare pays more than $15 per hour.

Hourly Wage Equivalent  ($)
Hawaii                  29.13
District of Columbia    24.43
Massachusetts           24.30
Connecticut             21.33
New York                21.01
New Jersey              20.89
Rhode Island            20.83
Vermont                 20.36
New Hampshire           19.11
Maryland                18.35
California              17.87
Oregon                  16.49

ConAgra, Walmart and JPMorgan Lounge In The Food Stamp Safety Hammock.  It turns out 49.7M or 16 percent of Americans are below the poverty line.  And yet the proponents of higher welfare spending will always beg the question of whether these policies actually reduce poverty by issuing statements such as "And one of the main things keeping the economy weak is the depressing effect of cutbacks in public spending — especially, by the way, cuts in public investment — all justified in the name of protecting the future from the wildly exaggerated threat of excessive debt.

Almost Half of U.S. Births Covered by Medicaid.  According to researchers from the George Washington University (GWU) School of Public Health, in 2010, almost half of all births in the United States were paid for by Medicaid, and that rate is only going to go up.  Medicaid was responsible for 48% of the 3.8 million births in 2010, an increase of 90,000 births from 2008, which was an 8% increase during that period.

America Is On Its Way To Becoming A Nation Of Welfare Dependents.  The U.S. achieved strong average annual growth of 3.3%, after inflation, from 1929 to 2012.  But from 2002 to 2012 that average growth rate fell to 1.8%.  Why the slowdown in growth?  Reasons include the uncertainty dumped on both businesses and individuals by ObamaCare and the unknown costs created by the Fed's unprecedented ultra-easy monetary policy.  The less obvious reason is the rapid growth in the value of transfer payments going to households over the past 30 years.

ObamaCare and Boiling Frogs.  When President Lyndon Johnson expanded America's welfare state with his Great Society programs, the legislation included a provision requiring business owners to withhold a slice of their employee's paycheck each week so they would hardly notice.  It was a masterstroke.  Taxpayers no longer had to write a huge check to Uncle Sam at the end of each fiscal year and boil, like the proverbial frog, at the sight of their massive tax bite.

'Welfare State' Doesn't Adequately Describe How Much America's Poor Control Your Wallet.  Many people choose to become Democrats when they are young because of a humane belief that government policies in America are stingy in providing resources to the poor. [...] Once such a decision is made, habits are formed, and many continue to vote reflexively Democrat, regardless of facts on the ground.  As people start busy careers, and take on family responsibilities, basic assumptions are never questioned, the effects of policies are never considered, identification with "their team" becomes hardened, and it is easy to burrow into like-minded media cocoons, where contrary facts and probing questions are never aired, or printed.

The Role of the Federal Government.  It is commendable to have compassion for the poor and to want to help them, but this is not the role of the U.S. government.  It would be wonderful if everyone in this country enjoyed the high level of healthcare afforded to the likes of unions and other groups, but it is not the role of government to provide it.  I'd like to see each American child educated to his fullest capacity, but this again, is not the role of the federal government.

A nation of beneficiaries.  A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds that 55% of Americans have received government benefits from at least one of the six most well-known federal entitlement programs.  Those would be Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, unemployment benefits, and/or food stamps.  About a third of all adults have received multiple benefits, with 15% using three or more programs.

NYC has largest farmers' market food stamp incentive program.  New York City has the largest municipal farmers' market food stamp incentive program making fruit and vegetables more affordable, officials say.  "Health Bucks are at the heart of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — helping New Yorkers in need supplement their diet with the foods that will benefit them the most," Robert Doar of the Human Resources Administration said in a statement.

The farm bill isn't really about farming.  It's about food stamps.
Might Congress actually split up the gigantic farm bill?  We call the large, deliberately convoluted, and $1 trillion/ten years legislation that recently crashed and burned in the House the farm bill, but in reality, the majority of the bill's monetary substance is all about providing funding for the ever-expanding federal food stamp program.

The Welfare State and Manhood.  The welfare state is nothing less than an assault on manly virtue.  It is no accident that in the welfare-dependent family, the position of father is obsolete.  Government entitlement programs simply apply that concept more broadly throughout society.

Bad behavior underserving of sympathy or support.  Like most Americans, I sincerely believe we have a moral and civic responsibility to help those who cannot help themselves as well as those who genuinely want to better themselves through productive employment.  But these "people who have left the work force" are something altogether different.  According to the experts, they are predominantly able-bodied men who have chosen to stop looking for work and are relying instead on the financial support of others.  And the others they rely on are more likely to be girlfriends than spouses and government programs rather than friends or community groups.

President Unleashes a Nationwide 'Community Organizing' Campaign.  Mr. Obama's recurring mantra is that he will focus on the "needs of the middle class," yet every single day nearly 12,000 people are added to the food stamp program, food and gas prices escalate, we are distributing billions of dollars worth of "Obama phones" to millions who do not qualify as needy, and we now have a record number of people who are declared "disabled."  That is not expanding the middle class or meeting the needs of the middle class.

20 Reasons America Is Becoming An Increasingly Nonfunctional Society.  [#4]  Leeching off more productive people has become much more acceptable.  To many people, taking welfare, food stamps, free lunches and anything else they can get the government to force someone else to pay for isn't shameful; it's deserved, presumably because they're doing everyone else in the country such a wonderful favor just by existing.

Entitlements: Washington's Official Lies About Spending.  How long can Congress take in $200 billion in revenue per month and spend $360 billion per month?  That means roughly 40 cents of every federal dollar spent has to be borrowed.  The undeniable fact of business is that a greater number of people are living off government welfare programs than are paying taxes.  That's what's driving Europe's economic problems, and it's what's driving ours.

America Needs a New Birth of Freedom.  It was under [President] Johnson, who championed the "Great Society" in the 1960s, that a good portion of the runaway government spending we are trying to get under control today originated.  Johnson signed into law Medicare, Medicaid, the War on Poverty programs, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. [...] So the Johnson administration years marked not just the beginning of many huge government programs that we can't pay for today, but they also marked a major cultural change where government began displacing family and personal responsibility.  It is no accident that as the American welfare state grew, the American family collapsed.

In Obama's America, Only Debt and Dependency Grow.  The Congressional Budget Office says the government is on track for another $1 trillion deficit year.  That's the bad news.  Worse is that most of it goes to programs that increase government dependency.

Does this sound familiar?
Britain can no long afford to pay the extortionate cost of the welfare state.  As we are more or less bankrupt as a country, such generosity is not noble but plain idiotic.  Yet we will not stop doing it.  Change is politically impossible.

20 Ways America Has Begun to Reap What It Has Sown.  [#11]  We reward people for not working with welfare, food stamps and countless other government programs; then we're surprised to have so many takers demanding that everyone else pay their way.

It's YOUR Constitution Obama is Shredding.  I must point out for our nations ill-educated, that by General Welfare, our founders did not mean food stamps or free cell phones.

Homeless return to debase Grand Central Terminal.  In celebration of its 100th birthday, the bad old days have returned to Grand Central Terminal.  Droves of homeless people are flooding the landmark again — even as workers prepared for last week's centennial celebration.  On a windy Wednesday, The [New York] Post spotted at least 40 hobos in search of free eats and a warm place to flop.

Unemployment Benefits are Becoming a Dependence Problem.  I suppose that if you have never had to earn a living you wonder why anyone should have to.  That's the problem with freebees.  People who get them never learn to appreciate the importance of being able to take care of themselves.  They think that their mere existence is their contribution to society.

War On Poverty As Senseless As War On Drugs.  Here in the United States, the 'War on Poverty' which was introduced by President Lyndon Johnson in his State of the Union address in Jan. 1964 has been as ineffectual as the government's war on drugs.  According to a study by the Cato Institute $15 trillion has been spent by the government on various welfare programs since then without budging the Johnson era poverty rate.  A 2013 report released last week found that sixty percent of children in Detroit live in poverty, per the "State of Detroit" report.  This represents a 64.7 percent increase in child poverty in the city since 1999.  But the word poverty utilized by the government bureaucrats is a misnomer for the sole purpose of engendering support for entitlement programs.

The Constitution? What's That?  Our republic is dying.  There can be no doubt of that.  She's dying because we (The People) have turned our backs on her.  We don't care anymore.  We have learned to rely on government for our existence — from the cradle to the grave — and we no longer feel that urge for freedom and liberty.  We don't really care what the government does just so long as they keep us safe and secure and keep the checks coming once a month.

A Different Kind of Welfare.  Welfare is by far the most troublesome element of our government, and it is one that could be easily improved.  We are slowly growing broke, and, as a country, we need to discern the truly needy from the abusers because we cannot afford to subsidize both of them.  Due to ultra-liberal guidelines in administering the welfare programs, we are reaching a point of critical mass in which the welfare class is growing beyond the tax paying class.  This will inevitably result in a collapse of the system because there will simply be no money left to fund it.

The dynamics of dependency: Family background, family structure, and poverty.  According to one view, government welfare programs of the last two decades (principally Aid to Families with Dependent Children, AFDC) have succeeded in aiding some groups but have left a residue of persons destined to perennial dependence on public support.  Made up for the most part of the adult children of "welfare mothers," this subgroup has sometimes been portrayed as deficient not only in earned income but also in moral character and social behavior.  They purportedly do not share society's accepted values, are often disruptive and violent, and are beyond the help of either private or public efforts to rehabilitate them.

Best Dog Whistles of 2012.  A majority of voters in Europe and America have come to believe that a shrinking class of employed or entrepreneurial can support a growing class of dependents, fiscal barnacles.  Neither government nor voters believe that they need to separate wants from needs anymore.  Yet the free lunch crowd has the vote; and may now have a quorum; enough votes to repeal common sense — or mandate suicide.

History suggests that era of entitlements is nearly over.  Nineteenth-century Americans went to war over expansion of slavery.  Early-20th-century Americans grappled with the collapse of the private-sector economy in the Depression of the 1930s.  We are seeing something like this again today.  The welfare state arrangements that once seemed solid are on the path to unsustainability.  Entitlement programs — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid — are threatening to gobble up the whole government and much of the private sector, as well.

The American Welfare State.  Throughout the presidential campaign, Republican candidates pointed to the number of food stamp recipients — increasing from 33 million people in 2009 to 43 million in 2012 — as a sign that poverty had skyrocketed under President Obama.  But a new study suggests that the reason there has been such an increase in food stamp recipients during the last four years is even more pernicious.  The study's authors, George Mason University's David Armor and Sonia Sousa, argue that the food stamp program can no longer be regarded as an anti-poverty program because nearly half of its recipients are above the poverty line, many of them substantially so.

Legislators Hope To Slip Farm Subsidies And Food Stamps Into Fiscal Cliff Deal.  Amidst a flurry of fiscal cliff negotiations, the leaders of the House and Senate agriculture committees are hoping to pull off a legislative sleight of hand.  Eager to pass a farm bill, which would set federal spending on agriculture subsidies and food stamps for the next five years, they have been negotiating privately to reach a compromise that could be easily approved as part of a larger fiscal cliff package.

The Message of Welfare: 'No, You Can't'.  We've all read the hard-luck stories of lottery winners who strike it rich only to lose their homes, spouses and health a few years later.  But there are now several scholarly studies to back up the devastating effects of not earning your success.  Martin Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, named the effect learned helplessness.  "We found that even when good things occurred that weren't earned, like nickels coming out of slot machines, it did not increase people's well-being," Seligman told the New York Times.  "It produced helplessness.  People gave up and became passive."

Give Obama what he wants.  Those of us who think, rather than feel, understand that Obama's course will end up with the United States going bankrupt, because there isn't enough money on the planet, much less the US, to pay for all the goodies the Democrats want to bestow on their favored constituents.

The new government report on "poverty" is merely an advertising tool for expanding the welfare state.
'Poverty' like we've never seen it.  The federal government now considers a family of four in New York City to be poor if its pre-tax income is below $37,900.  Even with full medical coverage.  The calculation helps explain why newly revised Census Bureau figures hike the number of poor Americans to 49 million as of last year, further widening an already yawning gap between ordinary perceptions of poverty and how the government sees it. [...] The typical TV news story on poverty features a homeless family with kids living in the back of a van.  But poverty as the federal government defines it differs greatly from these images.  Only 2 percent of the official poor are homeless.

The Cloward-Piven-Obama plan is working!
Doubt of the benefit: Why increasing unemployment aid is prolonging the recession.  The White House, and other believers in Keynesian policy refer to subsidies to the unemployed, poor and financially distressed as "automatic stabilizers" and insist that subsidies have a large positive effect on national income.  Yet when the subsidy spigots were opened wide in 2008 and 2009, labor market activity contracted sharply, and stubbornly refuses to rebound.

The Cloward-Piven way.  If the Cloward and Piven agenda were being implemented, would it look any different? [...] This explains the Occupy Movement, and the tacit approval of the Obama Administration.  This explains the gutting of the Clinton era Welfare requirements by the Obama administration.  This explains the lack of diligence by administrators in determining who exactly qualifies for Disability.  Encouraging people to get on unemployment, then when your 99 weeks are up, go to disability.  We won't check if you meet the requirements.  This explains why there is a concerted effort to get as many people as possible on Food Stamps, and the lack of oversight diligence here as well.

The Welfare State, No Matter What You Call It, Is Breaking Us.  If you doubt there's an American welfare state, you should read the new study by demographer Nicholas Eberstadt, whose blizzard of numbers demonstrates otherwise.  A welfare state transfers income from some people to other people to improve the recipients' well-being.  In 1935, these transfers were less than 3% of the economy; now they're almost 20%.  That's $7,200 a year for every American, calculates Eberstadt.  He says that nearly 40% of these transfers aim to relieve poverty (through Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment insurance and the like), while most of the rest goes to the elderly (mainly through Social Security and Medicare).

The Victim of a Crime.  The welfare state is our enemy's supreme masterwork, a miraculous machine that takes by force the cream of America's profit and processes it, magically, into an acidic, viscous substance that clings to people and destroys them.  It then pours that destructive substance over the American people, anesthetizing them while it kills.  Best of all, from the enemy's standpoint, America itself is financing the whole thing.

Cloward-Piven Obama link:  Richard A. Cloward and Frances Fox Piven published their blueprint for revolution in 1966.  Everyone has known about this "Cloward-Piven strategy" ever since.  Now, fresh evidence shows that Obama had a more direct link to Ms. Piven than he has ever let on.

Time for the Unthinkable: a Third-Party.  IRS statistics show that 50% of American citizens pay zero income taxes.  This has led to what is called, in economic parlance, "infinite demand for government services."  In other words, if services are free to large amounts of voters, they will want all they can get.  This is basic human nature.  So under our present tax system, 50% of the American voters want more government spending every election year.

The Age of the Welfare State Smashup.  With the re-election of Barack Obama and the confirmation of the mother of all entitlements, ObamaCare, the ruling class has welded into place the fourth wall of the administrative state, and we all now live in its iron cage.  We are now fully confined and controlled by the four-trillion-dollar iron fences of government pensions, government health care, government education, and government welfare, just as liberals want us to be.  For people in an iron cage, the path of gradual change is closed.  It will remain closed until the ruling class runs out of other peoples' money.

It's the Welfare State, Stupid.  A welfare state transfers income from some people to other people to improve the recipients' well-being.  In 1935, these transfers were less than 3 percent of the economy; now they're almost 20 percent.  That's $7,200 a year for every American, calculates [Nicholas] Eberstadt.  He says that nearly 40 percent of these transfers aim to relieve poverty (through Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment insurance and the like), while most of the rest goes to the elderly (mainly through Social Security and Medicare).

Golden State turns to lead, now leads poverty rankings.  The Golden State has reached a poverty rate that is now twice as bad as West Virginia's and substantially worse than the rates of poverty in Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas, according to a new measure of poverty developed by the federal Census Bureau.  Democrat-run California earned its last-place rank under the federal government's new measure of poverty, which incorporates more detailed analyses of welfare payments and the local costs of food, gasoline and housing.

Obama Voters Rewrite American National Anthem.  The punditocracy, like the oracles of old, has spoken.  Obama won because of various and sundry reasons, most of which can be debated and none of which is the single, sufficient cause.  But one reason, or unreason, was a definite and perhaps the single most important factor:  what became infamously known as "the 47%," who now suckle at the government teat.  While these people rationally, though selfishly, choose that it is better to receive than to give, they failed on Tuesday to choose the nation's best interest or even their own long-term interest on Election Day.  They fail to understand that the goose can run out of golden eggs.

The great handout society.  Obama all but bought Ohio and secured Michigan with the $25 billion auto bailout.  The biggest portion of the almost trillion-dollar stimulus went mostly to create dependents through expanded Medicaid, more food stamps and the hiring of more state government workers — with little to show for it from an economic growth standpoint.  Obama has created a new paradigm in America:  dependency politics.  When Ronald Reagan won in 1980, 29% of the country was getting a government check in the form of some sort of assistance.  This year, it is 49% and growing.  It'll get even bigger when Obamacare fully kicks in, student loans are expanded and welfare requirements are softened.

Real Leaders Don't Promote Dependency.  A sense of entitlement too often leads to ingratitude: why be grateful for that which one has been told is rightfully his?  Entitlement-societies seem to have little compassion for those who work hard and follow the rules, and see fairness as something due those claiming victimhood but not those who are straight-laced and buttoned down.  It corrupts moral language by imputing greed to those wanting to retain the fruit of their labor for family while whitewashing the actual greed of those who demand what belongs to others.

Welfare State of Mind.  A welfare state would not work if it did not inculcate, either by education, by mandated indoctrination, by incessant propaganda, or by cultural osmosis, the proper "state of mind" in a population, that is, to instill in men an individual's alleged duty or obligation to submit to a consensus propagated by a variety of authorities, especially government authorities.  A welfare state would evaporate almost immediately without first having pulled a fraud on the electorate.

Ron Paul: Election shows U.S. 'far gone'.  Rep. Ron Paul, whose maverick presidential bids shook the GOP, said in the wake of this week's elections that the country has already veered over the fiscal cliff and he sees no chance of righting ship in a country where too many people are dependent on government.

Food Stamp Growth 75X Greater than Job Creation.  With the latest jobs report, it is now the case that "Under Obama, Food Stamp Growth [Is] 75 Times Greater Than Job Creation," according to statistics compiled by the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee.  "For Every Person Added to Jobs Rolls Since January 2009, 75 People [Were] Added To Food Stamp Rolls."

More Beneficiaries Now Above Poverty Line than Below.  In the Fall 2012 issue of National Affairs, George Mason University Professor David Armor and post-doctoral fellow Sonia Sousa present astonishing but little-known data on the expansion of the welfare state under President Obama.  A glance at the data as they present it goes a long way in explaining our entitlement problem and how we might go about fixing it.  Armor and Sousa trace the growth of entitlements to the expansion of eligibility for them:  More Americans above the poverty line than below it are now receiving the benefits of our largest and most expensive welfare programs.

The Poor Tax.  Welfare spending is higher than ever but the money is going to people living above the poverty line — and this redistribution is actually hurting America's economic recovery, according to a new book.

Restoring a True Safety Net.  The Obama years have seen unprecedented growth in spending on what used to be known as the federal "anti-poverty" or "welfare" programs:  means-tested initiatives to provide food, health insurance, housing benefits, and income support to the poor. [...] The scale of these increases is staggering.  In three years, from 2008 through 2010, total annual spending on welfare programs (in 2010 dollars) increased from $475 billion to $666 billion — a 40% increase after accounting for inflation.  At a combined annual cost of two-thirds of a trillion dollars, these programs are now on the same scale as the defense budget ($693 billion), Social Security ($700 billion), and Medicare ($551 billion).

Too Many Fish And Not Enough Fishers.  Giving 15-year-old girls a check every month for having a baby and a bigger ones for having another one may sound compassionate, but in reality, those policies have created three ever-growing generations of government dependents who are now convinced that it is society's obligation to send them a check every month for as long as they live.

Illiberal Liberals.  Not since the days of slavery have there been so many people who feel entitled to what other people have produced as there are in the modern welfare state, whether in Western Europe or on this side of the Atlantic.

Obama's Homeless.  There are more homeless right now, at this point in Barack Obama's presidency, than there were at this point in Reagan's presidency.  That's significant because the homeless, at this point under Reagan, were used by liberals to torpedo Reagan's reelection bid.  And yet, today, liberals are completely silent about the homeless under Obama.  Liberals have not turned the homeless into a propaganda issue today, as they did in the 1980s.

Poverty Nonsense.  To say that "our society creates poverty" is breathtakingly ignorant.  In 1776, the U.S. was among the world's poorest nations.  In less than two centuries, we became the world's richest nation by a long shot.  Americans who today are deemed poor by Census Bureau definitions have more material goods than middle-class people as recently as 60 years ago.

The Nerve That Mitt Romney Struck.  The welfare state of the United States is now a massive entitlement state.  No longer can we indulge the fiction that welfare is only "for the most poor, and for temporary reasons."  Leaving aside whether such a minimal welfare state is justified or not as a function of government, there's no disputing the fact that this ship has long since sailed.  The massive welfare state is not simply for the poor.  Government has done its job, over the decades, to ensure that as many people and entities as possible are dependent on the federal government.  The poor and the needy?  They're the least of it.

Enrollment in Food Stamps, Medicaid, and Disability Far Outpaces Job Growth in Last 4 Years.  A new chart provided by the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee details the alarming fact that enrollment in federal social welfare programs like Food Stamps, Medicaid, and Disability have far outpaced job growth over the last four years.

Top 10 bad economic signs for Obama.  [#4]  Food stamps:  The one area of growth that Obama has presided over is the explosive increase in food stamp participation.  When he took office in January 2009, fewer than 31 million Americans received food stamps.  After an aggressive effort by the Obama administration to expand the program, now one-out-of-seven Americans, over 46 million, are receiving federal food assistance, an increase of 44 percent during his administration.

It's worse than Romney said: 49% on federal aid, 49% pay no tax.  While Romney suggested that 47 percent of Americans are dependent on government aid of some sort, the number is actually slightly higher.  Over 49 percent of Americans live in a household where somebody is dependent on federal assistance, according to federal statistics.  And the percentage of people who don't pay taxes is worse than Romney pegged at 47 percent.  According to the Heritage Foundation, it's over 49 percent.

Mitt's right: Handouts do win votes.  Mitt Romney's only mistake was lumping together all of the 47 percent who don't pay income taxes.  A lot of them are elderly, and many of them are voting for Mitt.  And there are some people who work, but just don't make a lot of money, or who would be working if they weren't legitimately disabled.  But the indisputable fact is, a huge percentage of Obama's voters are basically wards of the state.  There are millions of them, and they have no intention of voting for anyone who might want them to ever go out and work for a living — "no matter what."

The Editor says...
Wards of the state, or warts of the state?

The truth can set Mitt free.  A tape from a May fund-raiser is rocking the campaign because Romney was "caught" accurately outlining our political polarization.  As a defining principle, the almost-half the nation backing President Obama wants government to do more.  The other half backs Romney because it knows the government already does too much.  It is a financial fight, but also a cultural one.  The entitlement mentality isn't limited to those who earned or desperately need their country's help.

Mitt Romney is Right: Dependency Subverts Democracy.  The Republican challenger speaks an uncomfortable truth — that it's hard enough to beat an incumbent president without almost half the electorate feeling dependent on him for some kind of government benefit.

Freedom or Ruin.  [Scroll down]  I call these sons and daughters of what we know as the Greatest Generation, the Entitlement Generation, these people born between 1945 and 1960.  Many of them literally do not know where they are going or even why, they just know that whatever they have, they deserve it.  Whether they built it or not.  And unfortunately they are the ruling class today.  They are squandering our birthright.

With liberty and taxes for all.  [Some] Americans understand instinctively what a recent report from the Tax Foundation said:  "Aside from the revenue impact of not having 58 million Americans pay income taxes, economists worry about the social and political effects of having so many people disconnected from the cost of government — a phenomenon known as fiscal illusion.  The concern is that when people perceive the cost of government to be cheaper than it really is, they will demand ever more government benefits because they either don't feel the cost directly or believe that others will be paying those costs. [...]"

America's bread and circus society.  If we expect government to be our supplier, we cannot expect that it will not become our master.  Always remember this:  government has nothing to give except that it first takes it from someone else.  Every dollar and every job that government gives is first taken from someone else.  Furthermore, every job given to government is another freedom — and another dollar — taken from the citizenry.  Every government job brings with it a restriction, a prohibition, a regulation, an inspection, a fee, a tax, an assessment, etc.  As government grows, freedom shrinks.  As government spends, wealth shrinks.  And as government hires, opportunity shrinks.

Barack Obama: The welfare king.  "They'll turn us all into beggars 'cause they're easier to please."  So goes a Rainmakers song.  Beggars also are easier to control.  Just ask the drug dealer.  It is not compassion that motivates him to give away the first hits of heroin for free; it is the promise of control.  President Obama wants to give you free stuff.  Lots and lots of free stuff.  At least, he'd like you to believe it's free.  Free health care.  Free welfare checks.  Free food stamps.  But as the saying goes, free stuff or freedom:  Choose one. [...] In Mr. Obama's worldview, even families earning twice the nation's median income should receive welfare.

Black Conservatives Appear in New Documentary "Runaway Slave".  Former presidential hopeful Herman Cain and other black conservatives appear in the new documentary 'Runaway Slave,' which digs deeper into whether America's growth in entitlement programs has harmed and even "enslaved" African Americans to a permanent welfare state.

Meaningless Words and Phrases.  [Scroll down]  Or consider Social Security, welfare, Medicaid, and other bankrupt programs.  People on such "assistance" often put in little to nothing and take out a lot.  True, it doesn't seem much to the people getting the checks, but in terms of national scale, it's digging quite a debt hole.  But since that bill will be paid by someone else, there is no call to slow it.  Is it "fair" to make future generations pay for our irresponsibility?

The United States Of Dependency?  Here are just a few recent reports about the alarming growth in dependency:
  •   In the second quarter of 2011, 107 million Americans were receiving some kind of government welfare — not including Medicare or Social Security — according to a new study from the Senate Budget Committee.  That's up from 97 million just over two years ago.
  •   In the last three months, more people have applied for Social Security disability payments than found jobs in the private sector, federal data show.
  •   New Census data show 43% of all immigrants remain on welfare 20 years after arriving in the U.S., a stunning statistic suggesting the old model of immigration being a path to opportunity may have broken down in the Age of Obama.
  •   A new economic study says almost half of Americans die with less than $10,000 in assets — a sad comment on how government has displaced personal initiative and private savings in preparing for retirement.
  •   IRS data show that almost half of all Americans — 49.5% of us — pay no income taxes at all.

Will American Liberals Ever Wake Up?  America now spends 15 percent of its Gross Domestic Product on welfare.  Welfare is now the third most expensive government spending program.  Welfare spending has outpaced spending on Social Security, Medicare, education, and defense.  And welfare rolls and spending continue to expand.  Welfare spending increased on SNAP alone between FY2008 and FY2011 from $39.3 billion to $75.3 billion.  Over the next 10 years, welfare spending is projected to cost taxpayers $10.3 trillion.  The Obama administration is now working to expand welfare further, spending $2.5 million on an ad campaign to get more people on welfare. [...] But despite increased spending, the poverty rate that remains at nearly 15 percent, roughly where it was in 1965, when President Johnson declared his War on Poverty.

The facts about poverty in America.  The federal government operates more than 70 means-tested welfare or anti-poverty programs, among them Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), the earned income credit, Supplemental Security Income, Food Stamps, the Women Infants and Children (WIC) food program, Medicaid, public housing, low-income energy assistance and the Social Service Block Grant.  These programs provide cash, food, housing, medical care and targeted services to poor and near-poor Americans.

TANF and Federal Welfare:  The federal government funds a large range of subsidy programs for low-income Americans, from food stamps to Medicaid.  This essay examines Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which is a joint federal-state cash assistance program for low-income families with children.  When most people think of "welfare," they are thinking of this program.

Obama's Gotta Go.  Welcome to Obama's America:  nearly half the population is not represented on a taxable return — almost exactly the same proportion that lives in a household where at least one member receives some type of government benefit.  We are becoming the 50-50 nation — half of us paying the taxes, the other half receiving the benefits.

The Vagabond at the Intersection: The Consequences of Pooled Burden.  In a country where almost fifty percent of individuals live in a household that receives some form of federal assistance, perhaps the President was correct in stating that "If you have a business, you didn't build that.  Somebody else made that happen."  To be sure, "somebody else" is making all kinds of things happen for the large number of us receiving federal assistance.  Like the vagabond at the intersection who scrubs your windshield for change even after you've waved him off, our government has collected a trophy case of carefully planned gratuities force fed to us one at a time, all taking form as social programs, government funded infrastructure, etc.  They have been collected for purposes of later guilting us into a socialist disposition.

'There Have Never Been as Many Poor People in Our Country as There Are Now'.  The nation's homelessness czar in the George W. Bush administration says that programs enacted back then have had a dramatic effect on cutting the chronically homeless population, but warns that families are increasingly being left out in the cold as the economy struggles to recover.  "There have never been as many poor people in our country as there are now," Philip F. Mangano told PJM today, adding that the "highest number ever in the history of our country" are living in "deep poverty," which is 50 percent below the poverty line and under.

Choose your Poison, Communism or Other Dictatorship?  We are in a period of economic abundance and welfare dependency; Americans have not suffered economically since the end of World War II.  Under this administration, food stamp recipients are at an all time high, yet the government is advertising the giving of more food stamps, renamed to take away the stigma of being a perennial bum, waiting on handouts.  Economic abundance had lead to complacency, laziness, apathy, and dependence on government as a nanny state.  Who needs a family, mommy and daddy, when we have the government?

The more government we have, the less freedom we keep.  The individual who is dependent on government is not a free person, but rather a subject of what amounts to a modern-day monarchy.

The Progressive Assault on America.  For over a century, liberal-progressives have focused on replacing our Constitutional republic with a statist, social welfare state.

Obama to Spend $10.3 Trillion on Welfare.  Since the beginning of the War on Poverty, government has spent vast sums on welfare or aid to the poor; however, the aggregate cost of this assistance is largely unknown because the spending is fragmented into myriad programs.

Why the Welfare State Is Doomed to Fail:  A lot of money is being forcibly taken by the federal government from the pockets of those who worked hard to earn it and moved to those who have done nothing to deserve it yet feel entitled to it.  Why is the government allowed to do what private citizens are not allowed to?

The poor are not poor because the rich are rich.  The formula for more black wealth:  less government, more ownership and initiative.

The Welfare State and the Selfish Society.  In the contemporary world, where left-wing attitudes are regarded as normative, it is a given that capitalism, with its free market and profit motive, emanates from and creates selfishness, while socialism, the welfare state and the "social compact," as it is increasingly referred to, emanate from and produce selflessness.  The opposite is the truth.  Whatever its intentions, the entitlement state produces far more selfish people — and therefore, a far more selfish society — than a free-market economy.  And once this widespread selfishness catches on, we have little evidence that it can be undone.

How To Serve The Needy At A Fraction Of The Cost.  Our nation's entitlement programs, from Social Security to Medicare to ObamaCare to dozens of welfare programs such as Medicaid, are all based on simple, late-19th century tax and redistribution ideas.  Politically, we will never be able to solve the entitlement crisis by simply trying to cut people's benefits.

Turning a safety net into a hammock.  The purpose of welfare is to assist individuals in need and ultimately to help welfare recipients out of poverty and make them self-sufficient.  Medicare was originally designed in 1965 as a Great Society health insurance program for all Americans age 65 and older and for the permanent physically disabled, funded by payroll taxes.  Medicaid is the means tested health program created in 1965 as part of the War on Poverty for people with low incomes and resources, jointly funded by the state and federal governments, and managed by the states.  These social insurance programs have expanded well beyond their original intents, and the unintended consequences has been to grow dependence on government support, instead of a return to self sufficiency.

Gov't Welfare Widens The Wealth Gap.  Starting in 1964, when President Johnson launched the War on Poverty, a well-intentioned crusade to end poverty, the U.S. has spent an estimated $16 trillion trying to help the less well-off.  LBJ and other well-meaning Democratic politicians at the time also hoped that the burgeoning welfare state would make people more self-sufficient, a noble goal.  It didn't work.  Today, some 44 million Americans are on food stamps.  In 2007, it was 26 million.  Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner recently boasted that U.S. issues more than 80 million checks a month.  But while the U.S. has more than 70 means-tested welfare programs, the poverty rate today is higher than it was in the late 1960s.

The Democratic Party:  Keeping Blacks Down Since 1964.  Shortly after President Lyndon Baines Johnson announced an "unconditional war on poverty" in his State of the Union Address in 1964, his administration embarked on an expansion of bureaucracy rarely seen in American history.  Moreover, within two years of signaling the start of that war, LBJ interwove it with civil rights initiatives so that opposition to the War on Poverty could be branded "racism" by Democrats running against opponents of big government.  Time has shown that if there was any racism attached to the War on the Poverty it was the racism which Democrats brought to the table.

Dependency, the Liberals' Natural Resource.  A Heritage Foundation report shows that thanks to multiple government programs, the proportion of Americans in some way dependent on government largess has suddenly jumped by 31.2% since 2001 after decades of much slower increases.  Even in inflation-adjusted dollars, America now spends thirteen times more on public welfare than it did in 1965.  Dependency has snowballed in health care, public welfare, and housing, and the upward trend seems likely to continue as Obama's statist polices take hold and baby boomers retire.

Socialism is really cannibalism.  When I work, I use up hours of my life... my limited, mortal, human, physical life.  The money I am paid represents the life I expended to earn it.  My pay — my wealth — is my labor.  It is the expenditure of some of my body's short, precious life on earth.  So when someone takes my money, they steal my hours of labor.  They consume not only the fruits of my labor, but my labor itself, that labor which is the very expenditure of my life.  When someone loots and consumes the money I have earned, they consume the part of my life devoted to producing what hey have taken.

And Just A Closing Thought.  You may not realize it, but our country, the United States, is rapidly becoming nothing less than a giant economic support system for government.  We are so very close to the point where Americans will no longer exist to pursue and fulfill their own potentials.  We will exist for one purpose ... to support government and those who depend on government.

The cost of food stamps is well hidden.
Majority of Farm Bill funds food stamps.  The Senate Farm Bill should be renamed the Food Stamp bill.  A document released by the Congressional Research Service, shows that a staggering 78 percent of the $995 billion of the bill's budget authority over 10 years is dedicated to food stamps and nutrition program spending.  Only about $223 billion, 22 percent of the bill actually funds agriculture programs such as crop insurance, farm commodity supports, and conservation programs.

Playing Politics: Democrats Block Drought Relief Measures For Farmers.  On Thursday [8/2/2012], the House passed a short-term $383 million measure to provide immediate relief for farmers and livestock producers impacted by the recent drought.  Conservative groups urged Representatives to proceed with caution on a pork-laden farm bill, as roughly 80 percent of the bill dealt with items such as food stamps rather than actual farming issues.

Food stamps and America's cultural divide over shame.  Some 46 million people now get food stamps, or 15 percent of the US population, up 5 percent in the last year.  Arizona is the only state that requires finger imaging.  The numbers in New York City are even more dramatic — 1.8 million people on the rolls, about 22 percent, even as the city alone in New York requires finger imaging.  City food-stamp recipients have increased by 600,000 in four years.  Part of the spike stems from the recession, but also from an Obama administration decision to waive asset limits.  You can be a millionaire and get food stamps if your actual income is below the limits, which go up to $45,000 for a family of four with child-care expenses.  The average monthly food-stamp benefit for four is $624.

Food Stamp Spending Has More Than Doubled Since 2008.  In 2008, taxpayers spent $38 billion on food stamps.  In 2013, that figure will be $82 billion.  Since 2007, the number of Americans on food stamps has skyrocketed 70 percent to 45 million people — or one out of every seven people living in America.

CBO: Cost of food stamp program increased 135 percent over previous 4 years.  The cost of food stamps has increased in recent years as more people join the program, which will continue to expand through at least 2014, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report released Thursday [4/19/2012].  From 2007-2011 spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (the SNAP program, informally known as the food stamp program) increased 135 percent to reach a cost of $78 billion last year alone, the report reveals.

The Dead Road of Socialism.  It is no news to anyone that the world can often be unfair, that families lack the things they need and that people suffer and die unnecessarily in ways that could be avoided. ... The government centralized approach cannot be defended on the grounds of efficiency, because government programs are notoriously inefficient. ... The only defense for government programs is that they are comprehensive and mandatory.  People can choose whether to contribute to charity, but they cannot choose to pay their taxes.  This brings the element of wealth redistribution to the table, transforming voluntary contributions into mandatory entitlements.

The Overextended America.  We in America today live in a country circumscribed by entitlement policies devised by an America that has steadily been disappearing.  Those policies established over a generation ago cannot possibly in mathematical or demographic terms support the America of the present much less the America of the future.  That is the stark reality.  We need to reform those policies or we shall go bankrupt, and raising taxes on the so-called rich will not fix things.  Even raising taxes on the middle class will not fix things.

America's Ever Expanding Welfare Empire.  A fundamental misconception about America's welfare state misleads millions of voters to reflexively support ever bigger and more generous government.  William Voegeli fingers the attitude in his book, Never Enough: America's Limitless Welfare State:  "no matter how large the welfare state, liberal politicians and writers have accused it of being shamefully small" and "contemptibly austere."

Government Creates Poverty.  The U.S. government has "helped" no group more than it has "helped" the American Indians.  It stuns me when President Obama appears before Indian groups and says things like, "Few have been ignored by Washington for as long as Native Americans."  Ignored?  Are you kidding me?  They should be so lucky.  The government has made most Indian tribes wards of the state.  Government manages their land, provides their health care, and pays for housing and child care.

America's Spirit of Enterprise Must Not Be Replaced By a Nanny State.  The greatness of America will cease with the continuance of a "nanny state."  America was not built with her hand out.  America was built with her hands at work.

Is the Obama Administration Politically Manipulating the Poverty Data?  The Census Bureau's recently created "Supplemental Poverty Measure" (SPM) looks like a ruse to artificially show economic and poverty-reducing improvement in time for the 2012 presidential election.  Longer-term, it appears to be a rigged mechanism for demonstrating how ObamaCare, assuming it survives legal challenges and attempts at repeal, is a resounding success.  If I'm right, the press is doing a really good job of setting things up.

Socialism's Fundamental Flaws:  Unsustainability is the fundamental flaw of Westernized socialism.  The origin of this flaw resides in the all-too-common human failing — the desire to get something for nothing — or at least not at one's own expense.  This proclivity is one to which politicians shamelessly pander.  Having government offer "free" entitlements lures people into repeatedly voting for politicians who promise to deliver ever more of such.

Trimming the welfare state.  Seventy-seven different federal government programs simultaneously attempt to address the needs of the poor.  The cost of these programs is climbing faster than Social Security, Medicare or defense.  The welfare issue hasn't been touched in over 15 years, so it's past time to streamline this overlapping and wasteful mess.

Income Transfers Alone Won't Eradicate Poverty.  Almost all Americans already live far above subsistence poverty:  most because of their earnings, and the rest because of government transfer programs.  This decline in material poverty is obscured by weaknesses in how the official U.S. poverty measure counts income.  What is now called poverty is really "income inequality."  Reducing income inequality is also a vitally important social goal, but it cannot be accomplished through income transfers alone.

Slacker America.  America's work ethic comes from our Puritan past.  When we were an agrarian country, you either worked or starved.  In the 19th and 20th Centuries, we developed into an industrialized nation, led by men with a solid work ethic, that became the strongest economy in the world.  This attitude was essential to our victory in two world wars and our transformation into the globe's sole superpower.  Regrettably, cultural attitudes have changed substantially, and we now often see derision of our traditional principles.

Free Citizens or Tail-Wagging Pets?  The American people are not animals.  We are not content merely to be fed, walked, and taken care of.  Nor do we take joy in fetching sticks and sitting, heeling, and rolling over.  As freedom-loving human beings, we have needs far greater than food stamps, welfare checks, unemployment benefits, and government-run health care. ... Most liberals fail to understand and acknowledge that by providing for all of one's physical wants, government destroys the deeper meaning and purpose of man's life.

I Lost My Country.  There was a time not so long ago when people did not depend on government to bail them out of financial difficulty, a time when the nanny state bred apprehension, not affection.  Now, it seems, in the new America almost everyone wants a free ride.  The non-taxpayer wants a rebate from the taxpayer.  The poor man wants everything the rich man has and he wants the rich man to give it to him.

Moocher Society.  This growing trend can only lead to one thing:  crippling our society.  There comes a point when the few producers can no longer support the growing masses of moochers.

Taking, not making.  Slowly, almost imperceptibly, our economy has changed from a dynamic growth economy into a non-growth, tired and spent welfare state.  The implications of this change are enormous and should be recognized by investors, taxpayers and anyone else who will pay in one way or another for this change.  There are at least three reasons why our economy has reached this point.

Entitlements are not Endowed.  Man made 'entitlements'.  'Entitlements' are not Endowed By Their Creator.  'Entitlements' are not sacred.  Man can un-make 'entitlements'.  And stark reality says we had better hurry.

Capitalism is Peaceful, Socialism is Force.  Government wealth redistribution is force, plain and simple.  It's not a power authorized by the United States Constitution, and it's never moral.  It's the principle of the thing:  Initiating force against another is always wrong.  When you form an army, a police force and build jails to house people who don't obey you, and you threaten this loss of freedom (including death, should you try to escape) for not giving up a portion of your money to others, then this is force.  And it's wrong.

The Voyage of the Doomed.  The welfare state is coming face to face with the problem of how to fund its generous entitlement system with shrinking numbers of highly credentialed service workers who can't find jobs.

Getting America Back On Track.  [Scroll down]  In a sane society, market forces would be allowed to work: those who are no longer making mortgage payments would be foreclosed on; those who are underwater, but can afford to honor their mortgage agreements would continue doing so; and government would get out of the way and let nature take its course, however painful that would be for some Americans.  Unfortunately, we don't live in a sane society.  We live in one where "victims" abound, victims who feel entitled to live in houses they no longer pay for, or walk away from their freely-contracted obligations because it didn't work out as envisioned.  We have a government giving people $8000 in tax credits to buy houses in order to artificially shore up the market, and judges delaying foreclosures because banks have done a lousy job processing paperwork.

Unbundle the Welfare State.  The welfare system represents the majority of government spending in most modern, advanced nations.  Even in the United States, with its ideological commitment to capitalism, spending on pensions, health care, education, and welfare accounts for a majority of the primary public budget across the total of federal, state, and local governments.

This article includes a lot of useful background information:

Teachers, Then and Now.  [Scroll down]  Thomas Lifson recently wrote [an article] about the enormous salaries of teachers in Illinois, a state where 14,000 teachers make more than $100,000 a year.  Do you think such well paid public employees could chip in 2 percent to help those less fortunate than themselves, people who are their neighbors?  Or has the habit of having the government administer aid sapped them of their charitable inclinations?

The Century-Old Gravestone With Current Appeal (To Some).  I don't know if the Democrats are genuinely sincere about their position or just plain dumb, but the idea that this country needs to extend unemployment benefits for those who've been getting checks for nearly two years has no merit at all. ... [T]he Democrats insist that extending the unemployment benefits somehow will stimulate the economy.  They are either brain dead or malicious.

The Welfare State.  When we look at what the term Welfare State means we need to understand that it refers to a state or political entity whereby the state assumes primary responsibility for the welfare of its citizens.  To have a welfare state stay viable you need to have a burgeoning economy, without such you set up the forces for disaster economically.

Why Do the Poor Stay Poor?  Of the 6 billion people on Earth, 2 billion try to survive on a few dollars a day.  They don't build businesses, or if they do, they don't expand them.  Unlike people in the United States, Europe and Asian countries like Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, etc., they don't lift themselves out of poverty.  Why not?  What's the difference between them and us?

Liberalism's Moral Bankruptcy Has Bankrupted America.  President Reagan liked to tweak his liberal critics by saying, "some years ago, the federal government declared war on poverty, and poverty won."  His statement is truer now than ever.

The Fifty Years' War.  This war has been fought over what defines American freedom.  Are Americans freer when they can pursue their dreams without government interference?  Or are they freer when the government ensures that all their needs are provided for?

More Proof We Can't Stop Poverty By Making It More Comfortable.  On Jan. 8, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson delivered a State of the Union address to Congress in which he declared an "unconditional war on poverty in America."  Then, the poverty rate in America was around 19% and falling rapidly.  Last week, it was reported that the poverty rate this year is expected to be roughly 15%, and is climbing.  Between then and now, the federal government spent more than $13 trillion fighting poverty, and state and local governments added another couple of trillion.  Yet the poverty rate never fell below 10.5%.

Liberal Fantasyland.  From 1959 to 1964, the poverty rate dropped every single year, from 22.4% to 19.0%.  After that, President Lyndon Baines Johnson declared War on Poverty.  And indeed, the poverty rate continued to decline, reaching 12.8% by 1968.  But despite the War on Poverty continuing throughout, the poverty rate sort of stalled in the 12-15% range.  It would climb back above 12.8% by 1980, and stay there through 1997, when President Clinton ended Welfare.  In 2006 it was 12.3%, below where it was when Welfare ended and about where it was in 1968.

A Nation on Entitlements.  Efforts to tame America's ballooning budget deficit could soon confront a daunting reality:  Nearly half of all Americans live in a household in which someone receives government benefits, more than at any time in history.  At the same time, the fraction of American households not paying federal income taxes has also grown — to an estimated 45% in 2010, from 39% five years ago, according to the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan research organization.  A little more than half don't earn enough to be taxed; the rest take so many credits and deductions they don't owe anything.

Policy Of Poverty.  An estimated 14.3% of the population, or 43.6 million people, were considered poor in 2009, up from 13.2% the year before, the Census Bureau reports.  This is the highest share living in poverty since the government began keeping records half a century ago.  How can this be in the richest nation on Earth?  Since Democrats took power — Congress in 2007, the White House in 2009 — policies that punish the productive private economy have become the norm.

The Welfare Script.  America's welfare state has grown into an unwieldy hodgepodge of programs that provide various forms of assistance to tens of millions of Americans.  It costs taxpayers nearly a trillion dollars annually and experts predict that, absent reform, it will keep growing in the years ahead.  The welfare state acquired its girth by following a familiar script — over and over again.

The Left's Psychological Assault on Independence.  The strength of a nation reflects the character of its citizens.  While America was once considered a nation of individuals fiercely independent and self-reliant, her citizens are moving closer to a state of dependence, characterized by irresponsibility and ambivalence.  This change has been instigated by the politics of collectivism and the growth of the social welfare state.

Dependence on Government Growing in U.S.  America has reached a tipping point in its citizens' dependence on government, according to a new report by the Heritage Foundation. ... For the first time since the Great Depression, Americans are receiving more aid from the government than they are paying in taxes. ... More Americans are not paying taxes.  An estimated 34% of all taxpayers have zero tax liability, and the U.S. is approaching levels of one-third of taxpayers not paying taxes for federal benefits that they receive.  Housing assistance is at the second-highest level in history.

Subsistence as Freedom.  The Democrats' political endgame requires citizens to accept subsistence as the new definition of freedom.  Democrats created a political and socioeconomic system where citizens are divided into racial, social, and economic classes.  Democrats concoct government programs, sold under the guise of compassion and equality, to an unwitting but fully complicit populace addicted to handouts, freebies, and benefits paid for by the sweat and equity of others.  Welcome to the 21st-century definition of freedom according to the Democrats.

Some Pay, and Some Receive.  The news that the United States has become a two-class society — i.e., half of Americans pay federal income taxes and half don't — has bounced around the media and shocked Americans.  Most people had no knowledge of this appalling economic fact.  Even worse is the reality that 40 percent of Americans receive federal government handouts of cash and valuable benefits.  Those handouts are financed by the people who do pay federal income taxes.

Pelosi's Republic:  If liberal Boomers such as Nancy Pelosi insist on creating government incentives for a generation of people to be unemployed artists who nonetheless have their health care paid for by productive members of society, there will be fewer productive members of society.

Buffalo named third-poorest city in U.S..  Detroit is the poorest city in America, with 33.3 percent of its residents below the poverty level.  Cleveland comes second at 30.5 percent, and Buffalo is the only other major city above 30 percent.  Anchorage has the lowest poverty rate among the nation's major cities, defined as those with populations of 250,000 or more.  Just 6.4 percent of Anchorage's residents were living in poverty a year ago.

Peanut Farmer Allergies.  Many of America's largest cities have been controlled by the Democrats for decades and now lay in ruins.  Look at the condition of cities such as my beloved hometown Detroit, Baltimore, St. Louis and so many others.  Our cities are sometimes as violent as what many of our soldiers face in war.  Industry and jobs have moved to the suburbs for any number of reasons.  And our fearless leader is using the most devastated cities in America as models for his hope and change.  Phenomenally stupid.

The More Given, the Less Earned.  The more the state gives to its citizens, the less they have to earn.  That is the basic concept of the welfare state — you receive almost everything you need without having to earn any of it.  About half of Americans now pay no federal income tax — but they receive all government benefits just as if they had paid for, i.e., earned, them.  America became a great civilization thanks to a culture based on the value of having to earn almost everything an American got in life.  As it abandons this value, it will become a mediocre civilization.  And eventually it will not be America.  It will be a large Sweden, and just as influential as the smaller one.

Uncle Sam's First Name Isn't 'Daddy'.  America did not become great by being a permanent daddy who keeps children ignorant and supports their every need cradle to grave.  Such a father would not simply be misguided; he would be evil.  We still have a republic.  If we intend to keep it, a great number of Americans need to give up the idea that Daddy will take care of them.

A Nation of Thieves.  Edgar K. Browning, professor of economics at Texas A&M University, has a new book aptly titled "Stealing from Each Other."  Its subtitle, "How the Welfare State Robs Americans of Money and Spirit," goes to the heart of what the book is about.  The rise of equalitarian ideology has driven Americans to steal from one another.

Wealth Solves, Rather Than Creates, The Poverty Problem.  Class warfare is alive and healthy in elite parts of America today.  Yes, elite.  Only elites — a tiny fraction of a fraction of the American public — are able to camp in public parks denouncing businesses, while other elites in high government offices and the media discuss them.  The rest of us have to work.

Is America Ready for a Christian President?  For anyone with eyes to see, there is a moral movement now spontaneously arising in America to fight the injustice of the authoritarian welfare state.  The enthusiastic Christian churches, the Tea Party ladies, the conservative movement, and at least half of the Republican presidential candidates are part of it.

Toll-Free Entitlements.  Since fiscal year 2001, the number of monthly federal SNAP participants has nearly tripled to 45 million, with corresponding costs over the same time period quadrupling to just under $80 billion, the GAO reported.  The increase in overall SNAP participation and cost at the state level derives partly from the recent recession, but also substantially from an increase in eligibility triggers that have added to the number of program participants.  "Since the federal government pays for 100 percent of the cost of food stamp benefits, state governments have a financial incentive to enroll as many individuals as possible in the program," wrote Heritage's Robert Rector and Katherine Bradley last week in a paper that outlined needed reforms to the program.

Reforming the Food Stamp Program.  The farm bill is due for reauthorization, including the food stamp program, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  The food stamp program is very large and growing rapidly.  President Barack Obama plans to spend nearly $800 billion on food stamps over the next decade.  Yet as large as it is, this program is only part of a much larger system of means-tested government assistance:  79 programs that provide cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to poor and low-income Americans.
[Emphasis added.]

Meet Hillary's Welfare Queens.  The standard liberal narrative about how uncaring, racist and evil conservatives are usually begins with the welfare queen.  That would be the supposedly apocryphal tale of a Cadillac-driving women on welfare who was fraudulently collecting multiple government benefits.  It was said to be the ultimate dog whistle.  Never mind that the story turned out to be substantially true, though some liberals had a hard time coming to terms with it.

Ron Paul: Black Caucus Only Against War Because They Want That Money For Food Stamps.  Former Republican Rep. Ron Paul, the father of potential presidential candidate Rand Paul and a former presidential candidate himself, said the Congressional Black Caucus does not support war because they want that money for food stamps.  "I was always annoyed with it in Congress because we had an anti-war unofficial group, a few libertarian Republicans and generally the Black Caucus and others did not — they are really against war because they want all of that money to go to food stamps for people here," Ron Paul told Lew Rockwell in early February during a discussion on sanctions.

The joy of welfare funded holidays in the sun.  Here are some of the jaw-dropping details from a report in the Daily Mail.  "A single mother on benefits has admitted spending £3,000 of taxpayers' cash on a dream round-the-world trip to far flung destinations with her 10-month-old baby daughter.  ...she still receives more than £8,500 a year in child benefit, income support and tax credits as it is considered that she has a low income.  ...she visited places such as Australia, Bali and Dubai.  Miss [Kay] Bird says she could work but chooses not to...

"If you want total security, go to prison.  There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on.  The only thing lacking...  is freedom."
Dwight D. Eisenhower          

The enormous cost and scope of anti-poverty programs

Reckless Reparations Reckoning.  Here are 10 reasons why the nation's — and especially California's — discussions of reparatory payouts are dangerous in a multiracial state, and why reparations are not viable either in an insolvent state or a bankrupt nation at large. [...] [#6] The Heritage Foundation not long ago pegged the cost of Great Society redistributionist entitlement programs at $22 trillion.  For a half-century the courts have engaged in multibillion dollar reparatory settlements.  To take one example, under the so-called Pigford I and II payouts, black farmers received $5 billion dollars in payouts.  Are we to total up thousands of such court settlements or other compensatory federal entitlements that were race-based to subtract from the current racialized reparatory obligations?  Can a half-century of affirmative action be monetized, calibrated, and deducted from reparatory obligations?  Again, ridiculous questions like that arise because ridiculous people are ridiculously attempting to monetize purported reparations.

Biggest Food Stamp Hike Ever, Thanks to Bidenflation.  Food stamp benefits are increasing by 12.5 percent as families grapple with grocery prices that have skyrocketed under President Joe Biden.  Under the maximum benefit, a family of four on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) will see their payments increase from $835 to $939 per month.

Biden says White House has secured $8 billion in public and private sector funding to help end hunger in the U.S. by 2030.  President Joe Biden's administration secured $8 billion in commitments from public and private entities to end hunger in the United States by 2030, announcing them Wednesday ahead of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health.  Participants include grocery stores like Hy-Vee, Meijer and Publix, tech and media companies including Google, Warner Bros.  Discovery and Doordash and familiar brands like Chobani.  'We're announcing over $8 billion in commmitments from over 100 different organizations to help reach our goals,' Biden said as he opened up the conference Wednesday morning.

The Editor says...
Nobody is ever going to eliminate hunger or poverty.  Look carefully, and you'll see they're spending billions of dollars to "help end hunger in the U.S."  You can do that much every time you eat lunch.  The Democrats are hoping you don't notice the difference.  They're just re-distributing money.

HUD announces $2.8 billion in grants for homeless services.  The Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing $2.8 billion in fresh funding for homeless services organizations across the country.  The funding, announced Monday, will be allocated via competitive bids through HUD's Continuum of Care Program, the largest source of federal grant support to housing and services programs for people experiencing homelessness.  HUD funds approximately 7,000 homeless services projects annually through the program.  Applications for the new round of funding are due to HUD by Sept. 29.

Affordable housing in California now routinely tops $1 million per apartment to build.  More than half a dozen affordable housing projects in California are costing more than $1 million per apartment to build, a record-breaking sum that makes it harder to house the growing numbers of low-income Californians who need help paying rent, a Times review of state data found.  The seven subsidized housing developments, all in Northern California, received state funding within the last two years and are under construction or close to breaking ground.  When completed, they will provide homes for more than 600 families.  But their exorbitant price tags mean that taxpayers are subsidizing fewer apartments than they otherwise could while waiting lists of renters needing affordable housing continue to grow.

New method for counting people living homeless in King County finds thousands missing from past tallies.  The King County Regional Homelessness Authority says it is leaving behind an old, ineffective one-night method of counting the number of people living homeless here for a new approach that takes the full year into account and better includes those living with mental illness and addiction.  The first results:  Officials estimate more than 40,000 people were homeless in King County at some point in 2020.  CHS reported here on the county's decision to forego for a second year the old census-style approach of a single point-in-time tally of people living outside, in vehicles, or under-sheltered.  The last count performed in King County took place in January 2020 and identified nearly 12,000 people experiencing homelessness where with an increase in the number of people living in cars and RVs.  The county's "point in time" counting effort was overhauled in 2017 with a new approach officials said would provide a more complete look by dispatching teams of three to four volunteers led by the paid guides across census tracts throughout King County.

Democrats push $36B subsidy for Obamacare in monster spending bill.  The Democratic $1.9 trillion spending bill would dedicate tens of billions in temporary subsidies for Obamacare plans, a measure meant to address a long-running complaint about the program:  that coverage is unaffordable for many in the middle class.  The provisions could benefit families earning more than six figures, a reflection of the burdensome underlying costs of the plans.  Currently, only those earning between 100%-400% of the federal poverty level are eligible for premium tax credits to help pay for policies on the Obamacare exchanges.  The COVID-19 relief bill will not only expand tax credits for those earners but will also expand them to anyone making above 400% for the first time.  Both were planks in the Biden campaign's healthcare reform plan.  The expansion of the tax credits will cost about $36 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

52.1% of Kids Live in Households Getting Means-Tested Government Assistance.  Today, they are Americans under 18 years of age growing up in a country where the majority of their peers live in households that take "means-tested assistance" from the government.  In 2016, according to the most recent data from the Census Bureau, there were approximately 73,586,000 people under 18 in the United States, and 38,365,000 of them — or 52.1 percent — resided in households in which one or more persons received benefits from a means-tested government program.  These included the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), Medicaid, public housing, Supplemental Security Income, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the National School Lunch Program.

Homeless encampment relocation plan has California residents outraged.  A plan to house hundreds of homeless people in a tent city near a popular Southern California park was met with fierce public resistance, forcing an upcoming vote to rescind the scheme.  The Orange County Board of Supervisors is set to meet Tuesday to figure out where to relocate people, after a federal judge forced the county to come up with a plan to house the homeless population located along the Santa Ana River.  One proposal would place about 400 people near the county-owned Orange County Great Park in Irvine, located 40 miles southeast of Los Angeles.  The park, which is home to a farmers market and a hot air balloon ride, is popular with families on weekends.

Crown Heights residents fear living in 'hell' as homeless crisis grows in neighborhood.  The corner of Atlantic and Bedford Avenues in Crown Heights is Ground Zero of this middle-income neighborhood's high anxiety.  For the last two years, neighbors have complained to anyone who will listen that groups of men become an occupying force in the sidewalks around the huge 350-bed Atlantic Armory Men's Shelter.  On several recent mornings, the men were out en masse.

Food Stamp Enrollment Drops by Four Million in One Month.  Four million people dropped off the food stamp rolls in one month, according to the latest numbers on food stamp enrollment from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The latest USDA data show that the number of participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the government program that administers food stamps, dropped from 45,666,795 in October 2017 to 41,658,868 in November 2017 — a staggering decrease of 4,007,927 over one month.

Why are so many people poor in the Golden State?  It's not as if California policymakers have neglected to wage war on poverty.  Sacramento and local governments have spent massive amounts in the cause, for decades now.  Myriad state and municipal benefit programs overlap with one another; in some cases, individuals with incomes 200 percent above the poverty line receive benefits, according to the California Policy Center.  California state and local governments spent nearly $958 billion from 1992 through 2015 on public welfare programs, including cash-assistance payments, vendor payments, and "other public welfare," according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Unfortunately, California, with 12 percent of the American population, is home today to roughly one in three of the nation's welfare recipients.  The generous spending, then, has not only failed to decrease poverty; it actually seems to have made it worse.

33 Percent of American Welfare Recipients Live in California.  The liberal state of California is a prime example of why liberal policies must not be adopted anywhere around the country as one-third of America's welfare recipients reside in the state.

74,531,002 Enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP.  As of April, there were 74,531,002 people enrolled in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program as of April, according to the latest data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  That is up 16,705,235 in the 49 states that reported their Medicaid/CHIP enrollment numbers for both the July-to-September period of 2013 (the last quarter before the Obamacare exchanges opened) and this April.  The 74,531,002 enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP as of April includes the numbers for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Nobody Works in One in Five U.S. Families.  No family member was employed in 16,069,000 U.S. families in 2016, or 19.6 percent of families, according to newly released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The number of families with nobody employed increased by roughly 19,000 from 2015 to 2016, although the percentage slightly declined from 19.7 percent to 19.6 percent.  For the purpose of the study, the bureau counts a family as households headed by a married couple or by unmarried women or men.  The definition includes households with children under 18 years old and households without children.  There were 82,092,000 families in the United States in 2016, according to the bureau.  The number of families with no workers has remained relatively steady since 1995, when the bureau began compiling the data.

In 24 States, 50% or More of Babies Born on Medicaid; New Mexico Leads Nation With 72%.  In 24 of the nation's 50 states at least half of the babies born during the latest year on record had their births paid for by Medicaid, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.  New Mexico led all states with 72 percent of the babies born there in 2015 having their births covered by Medicaid.  Arkansas ranked second with 67 percent; Louisiana ranked third with 65 percent; and three states — Mississippi, Nevada and Wisconsin — tied for fourth place with 64 percent of babies born there covered by Medicaid.  New Hampshire earned the distinction of having the smallest percentage of babies born on Medicaid.  In that state, Medicaid paid for the births of only 27 percent of the babies born in 2015.

The 35.4 Percent: 109,631,000 on Welfare.  109,631,000 Americans lived in households that received benefits from one or more federally funded "means-tested programs" — also known as welfare — as of the fourth quarter of 2012, according to data released Tuesday [3/7/2017] by the Census Bureau.  The Census Bureau has not yet reported how many were on welfare in 2013 or the first two quarters of 2014.  But the 109,631,000 living in households taking federal welfare benefits as of the end of 2012, according to the Census Bureau, equaled 35.4 percent of all 309,467,000 people living in the United States at that time.

Los Angeles votes to tax itself to raise billions to support the homeless.  Homelessness advocates in America's second largest city were savoring a seeming double victory after Los Angeles voters appeared to choose to tax themselves to raise more than $3.5 [billion] for homeless services over the next decade, and comprehensively knocked down a second measure that would have slammed the brakes on many housing developments.  Tuesday's [3/7/2017] election was the second in a row in which voters aligned with LA's political leadership in calling for a massive funding effort to move tens of thousands of homeless people into permanent housing and provide the "wraparound" services they need to overcome addiction, mental health and other challenges.

California's 12,209,605 Medicaid/CHIP Enrollees Outnumber Populations of 44 States.  In the fall of 2013, the Obamacare exchanges opened to enroll people in health insurance plans for 2014.  The average number of Medicaid/CHIP enrollees in California in July-September 2013 — the last quarter before the Obamacare exchanges opened — was 7,755,381, according to CMS.  By November 2016, the latest month for which CMS numbers are available, the number of Medicaid/CHIP enrollees in California was 12,209,605.  That is a three-year increase of 4,454,224 — or 57.43 percent.

Number Of Homeless People In New York City Reaches All-Time High.  The number of homeless people living in New York City has reached a record-high.  The Department of Homeless Services reported there were 60,252, up 200 in two weeks.  Now, some are saying the city's current plan to combat homelessness isn't working.

Quality Inn in Bellerose said to eye severing ties with city homeless agency as crisis on streets hits new record.  "I can do the math — we are going backwards."  This is City Council member Barry Grodenchik's assessment of the homeless crisis since Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Steven Banks nine months ago.  Banks finds himself in one of the most volatile chapters of his career.  Protestors from Maspeth, Queens have been demonstrating on his Brooklyn doorstep as the commissioner deals with a homeless population that has hit record highs nearly 10 times in the past 23 days.  As the historic homeless population sits on the brink of exceeding 60,000, the agency is now also relying on commercial hotels to house homeless families.  PIX11 News reported last week that the city is using nearly 70 commercial hotels to house the homeless right next to paying guests.

70% Of Obama's Budget Is Writing Checks To Individuals.  What is the federal government's most important function these days?  Based on the Obama budget released today, it's not defense, or roads, or education, or the environment.  It's cutting checks.  Buried deep in the president's annual budget are a series of tables that few ever notice, but that are incredibly illuminating when it comes to understanding the size and scope of today's federal government.  The table shows how much money the federal government spends on what budget officials describe as "payments to individuals."  Obama's budget puts the figure for next year at a mind-boggling $2.9 trillion out of a $4.1 trillion budget.

Census Bureau: 21.6% of U.S. Children — 15,931,000 of them — on Food Stamps in 2014.  Of the approximately 73,623,000 children under the age of 18 in the United States in 2014, 15,931,000 — or 21.6 percent — were in households that received food stamps, according to data released today by the Census Bureau.  The information comes from Table C8 in the Census Bureau's Families and Living Arrangements data, which is derived from the Current Population Survey's 2015 Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) and which the Census Bureau says reflects 2014 numbers.  (The ASEC survey asks respondents about the receipt of food stamps in the previous year.)

Spending on NYC's homeless to reach close to $1B in 2015: study.  The staggering number includes all money spent on the city's 271 shelters from city, state and federal funds, according to the Independent Budget Office report released Thursday [10/15/2015].  In 2007, the three government entities spent a total of $604 million on Big Apple shelters.  That will rise to an estimated $976 million this year.

Food Stamp Beneficiaries Exceed 45 Million for 50 Straight Months.  The number of beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps, has exceeded 45 million for 50 straight months, according to data released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).  In June 2015, the latest month for which data is available, there were 45,510,153 beneficiaries of the food stamp program, an increase of 14,869 between May and June.  Beneficiaries of this program now exceed the population of Canada, which totals 34,834,841, according to a widely used source for such figures.

California's Medi-Cal explosion.  California is coming face to face with the reality of one of its biggest Obamacare successes:  the explosion in Medi-Cal enrollment.  The numbers — 2.2 million enrollees since January — surprised healthcare experts and created unforeseen challenges for state officials.  Altogether, there are now about 11 million Medi-Cal beneficiaries, constituting nearly 30% of the state's population.

Illinois Is Now the Biggest Food-Stamp User in the Midwest.  In March of this year, Illinois bumped off Michigan to become the Midwest's No. 1 user of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.  For the past several years, Michigan had a higher percentage of its residents on food stamps than any other Midwest state.  But not anymore.  Illinois now has a higher portion of its population on food stamps than any state in the Midwest.

Homelessness and empty stores becoming the new normal in NYC.  The urban streetscape is degrading. Take a walk down Broadway on the Upper West Side from the 100s to the 70s, as I did Sunday, and you'll see it everywhere.  It seems every barren storefront with a rental sign in the window has become impromptu outdoor housing for a homeless person. [...] The number of people living on the street in the neighborhood, or at least taking up daytime residence to beg for change, has skyrocketed from a mere handful to several dozen or more.

One in Five Americans Participates in Government Assistance Programs Each Month.  "Approximately 52.2 million (or 21.3 percent) people in the U.S. participated in major means-tested government assistance programs each month in 2012," according to the Census Bureau's report.  Means-tested programs include Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and General Assistance (GA).  The number of beneficiaries of these means-tested programs has increased significantly over the last decade.  According to the Census, in 2004 there were nearly 42 million monthly recipients of these programs.  Between that year and 2012, monthly participation increased by 24.9 percent.

America's Coming Transfer of Wealth.  According to the CBO's annual Long-Term Budget Outlook, if current laws were to remain unchanged, government spending as a share of gross domestic product would reach 22.2 percent in fiscal 2025, up from 20.5 percent today.  By then, even under a very rosy GDP growth scenario, the debt would amount to 78 percent of the economy. [...] The deterioration comes fully from the explosion of major health care programs, Social Security and escalating interest on debt costs.  More precisely, Medicare, Medicaid, Affordable Care Act subsidies, and Social Security are the drivers of our future debt.  Spending on these programs alone could reach 11.8 percent of GDP in fiscal 2025 and 14.2 percent of GDP in 2040, up from 10.1 percent today.

Feds Spent $100 Billion on Food Assistance Last Year: 109,930,090 Americans participated in overlapping programs.  The federal government spent $100 billion providing food assistance to Americans last year, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  The lion's share of spending comes from the food stamp program, which gave benefits to an average 46 million Americans in 2014, at a cost of $74.6 billion, according to a testimony from the GAO's Director of Education, Workforce, and Income Security Kay E. Brown before the House Subcommittee on Nutrition Wednesday [5/20/2015].  The national school lunch program was second, costing $11.3 billion, followed by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) at $7.1 billion.  Other spending included $1.9 billion for nutrition assistance for Puerto Rico, and $10.7 million for the "Special Milk Program."

America is a food stamp nation.  The gospel according to Wall Street, the White House and propaganda media is that the U.S. economy is recovering just fine. [...] Yet as of January 2015, the number of Americans receiving food stamps, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, had topped 46 million for 41 straight months, according to data released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Every month now for more than three years, going back to September 2011, 14.5 percent of the American population received food stamps.

Homelessness up 12% in L.A. city and county.  The homeless population jumped 12% in the last two years in both the city and county of Los Angeles, driven by soaring rents, low wages and stubbornly high unemployment, according to a report released Monday [5/11/2015].  In one of the most striking findings, the number of tents, makeshift encampments and vehicles occupied by homeless people soared 85%, to 9,535, according to biennial figures from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

The Editor says...
High rent and low wages can be blamed on illegal aliens who should have been stopped at the Mexican border instead of being welcomed in.  High unemployment can be blamed on Obamacare and other red tape and regulations imposed by Barack H. Obama and his minions.  In other words, left-wing liberals are entirely to blame.

Memo: 353,000 Refugees on Food Stamps, 55,000 Receiving Supplemental Security Income.  More than 350,000 refugees in the United States are on food stamps, according the Congressional Research Service (CRS).  In a memo to the Senate Judiciary Committee released Thursday [4/23/2015] but dated April 14, CRS offers data on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — or food stamps — and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) use among refugees.  It also provided refugee benefit usage statistics for medical assistance, cash assistance and public housing.  In Fiscal Year 2013, there were about 353,000 refugees on SNAP.  As of December 2014, 55,000 refugees, asylees, and other similar populations receiving payments from SSI, the memo reveals.

$56B: EITC Payouts Hit Record.  The "refundable portion" of Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) payments hit a record $56,189,578,000 in 2012, the latest year for which the Internal Revenue Service has made data available.  A total of $64,128,627,000 in Earned Income Tax Credits was claimed in 2012.  Of that, $56,189,578,000 was the "refundable portion" — paid out if the Treasury in excess of the net taxes the recipient owed.  That means that only $7,939,049,000 — or 12.4 percent — of the total Earned Income Tax Credit amount in 2012 was used for a tax reduction.

Michigan Has More Food Stamp Recipients Than Students.  Michigan, which announced on Friday [12/26/2014] plans to begin drug testing some welfare recipients, currently has 1,679,421 individuals on food stamps (known officially as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP), according to the U.S. Agriculture Department.  According to the Michigan Department of Education, the state's total pupil count for K-12 is 1,564,114. [...] [In 2014], Michigan's food stamp program cost taxpayers $2,576,165,148.

65 Percent of Children Live in Households on Federal Aid Programs.  The Census Bureau reported in a study released this week that 65 percent of American children lived in households taking aid from one or more federal program as of the fall of 2011.  "Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of children," said the Census Bureau, "lived in households that participated in at least one or more of the following government aid programs:  Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Medicaid, and the National School Lunch Program."  How to be dependent on government is now one of the earliest life lessons America is teaching nearly a supermajority of children.

Federal Spending by the Numbers, 2014.  In FY 2012, the total cost of federal and state means-tested welfare programs reached nearly $950 billion, an all-time high.  Welfare spending has increased 16-fold since the federal government began the "War on Poverty" in the 1960s and is projected only to increase.  This does not include spending on Social Security or Medicare.  Today, there are roughly 80 federal means-tested welfare programs, including major programs like Medicaid, food stamps, the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit, public housing, Supplemental Security Income, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.  Food stamps are one of the largest and fastest-growing means-tested welfare programs.  Costs have doubled in inflation-adjusted terms since 2008.  In 2012, more than 46 million Americans received food stamps every month.

Nearly 1 in 5 Households Will Celebrate Thanksgiving on Food Stamps.  Nearly one in five U.S. households will celebrate Thanksgiving on food stamps this year, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on participation in the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program.  Back in fiscal 2000, there were 106,061,000 households in the United States and, according to a USDA report published in November 2012, there was a monthly average of 7,335,000 households — or 6.9 percent — getting food stamps that year.

Food Stamp Recipients Top 46 Million for 36th Straight Month.  The number of beneficiaries on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — food stamps — has now topped 46,000,000 for 36 straight months, according to new data released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).  From September 2011 through August 2014, the latest month for which data is available, the number of persons participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has exceeded 46 million.

Nearly 68,000 Florida Students Using Tax Credit Scholarships.  The scholarships, worth $5,272 apiece this year, are limited to families who qualify for free- or reduced-price lunch, meaning family incomes below 185 percent of the federal poverty level.  Partial scholarships are available for renewal students in households up to 230 percent of poverty.  This year's preliminary data shows the average income of participating families is 5 percent above poverty.  Nearly 70 percent of scholarship students are black or Hispanic.

Alaska, West Coast lead U.S. in receiving welfare.  Alaska has the highest rate of residents receiving welfare of any state.  The Census Bureau reported Tuesday [9/2/2014] that almost 7 percent of people in the Frontier State receive public assistance from the federal or state government, more than a percentage point more than the state with the next highest rate.

The Editor says...
The seven percent figure is surprisingly low because it includes only those who receive TANF/AFDC, and excludes the recipients of food stamps or disability insurance.

Data shows more than a THIRD of the U.S. is on welfare handouts.  New census data has revealed that around 110 million Americans are receiving government assistance of some kind.  The number includes people receiving 'means-tested' federal benefits and subsidies based on income.  Those receiving food stamps, subsidised housing and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families are also included in the total.  At the end of 2012 around 83 million were collecting Medicaid and 51.5 million were on food stamps, with some benefitting from multiple programs.  Analysts have raised concerns that the programs are encouraging people to stay at home rather than work.

That bad, huh?
Retailers want food stamp data secret.  Retail chains that accept food stamps are fighting a regulatory initiative to make public store-by-store data on their participation in the $80 billion government program.  How many food stamps — known officially as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program — are redeemed at which stores has long been viewed by the companies and the Department of Agriculture as a commercial trade secret and thus exempt from disclosure.  But a recent federal appeals court decision on a Freedom of Information Act request by a South Dakota newspaper has forced USDA to reconsider that stance.

Census figures show more than one-third of Americans receiving welfare benefits.  Newly released Census data reveals nearly 110 million Americans — more than one-third of the country — are receiving government assistance of some kind.  The number counts people receiving what are known as "means-tested" federal benefits, or subsidies based on income.  This includes welfare programs ranging from food stamps to subsidized housing to the program most commonly referred to as "welfare," Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.  At the end of 2012, according to the stats, 51.5 million were on food stamps, while 83 million were collecting Medicaid — with some benefitting from multiple programs.

The 35.4 Percent: 109,631,000 on Welfare.  109,631,000 Americans lived in households that received benefits from one or more federally funded "means-tested programs" — also known as welfare — as of the fourth quarter of 2012, according to data released Tuesday [8/19/2014] by the Census Bureau.  The Census Bureau has not yet reported how many were on welfare in 2013 or the first two quarters of 2014.  But the 109,631,000 living in households taking federal welfare benefits as of the end of 2012, according to the Census Bureau, equaled 35.4 percent of all 309,467,000 people living in the United States at that time.  When those receiving benefits from non-means-tested federal programs — such as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and veterans benefits — were added to those taking welfare benefits, it turned out that 153,323,000 people were getting federal benefits of some type at the end of 2012.  Subtract the 3,297,000 who were receiving veterans' benefits from the total, and that leaves 150,026,000 people receiving non-veterans' benefits.

Americans Got $2 Trillion in Benefits from Federal Government in 2013.  The treasury statement summarizes the financial activities of the federal government, including data on government receipts, outlays, and surplus and deficit totals.  The September 2013 monthly treasury statement calculates these metrics for the entire fiscal year of 2013, which began on October 1, 2012 and ended on September 30, 2013.  According to the statement, the federal government's total outlays, otherwise known as spending, for means-tested and non-means tested government programs — not including administrative expenses — totaled $2,007,611,200,000 in fiscal year 2013.

Homeless People Shower on New Bus in San Francisco.  In May, San Francisco introduced the "Hook-up Truck," providing intimate space for couples on the go.  Now, the city is welcoming the "Lava Mae," a public shower on a bus, aimed at the city's large homeless population.  San Francisco has been fighting a losing battle with homelessness for decades.  City officials concede that they have made little progress over the years despite massive spending, amounting to $34 per homeless person per day.

Food Stamp Recipients Outnumber Women Who Work Full-Time.  People participating in the food stamp program outnumbered the women who worked full-time, year-round in the United States in 2012, according to data from the Department of Agriculture and the Census Bureau.  In the average month of 2012, according to the Department of Agriculture, there were 46,609,000 people participating in the food stamp program (formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).  That contrasts with the 44,059,000 women who worked full-time, year-round in 2012, according to the Census Bureau's report on Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States.

Obama proposes billions more for job training despite spotty track record.  Despite spotty evidence that the billions of dollars spent on dozens of federal job training programs are delivering results, President Obama is proposing to spend billions more as part of his $4 trillion budget plan.  On the federal level, the government already spends about $18 billion a year to provide multiple services to unemployed workers on everything from career counseling to job training and searching.  About half that money goes to Labor Department programs.

Welfare In America: A $1 Trillion Tab And Rising.  Republicans in Congress are being accused of fighting a "war on the war on poverty," in part because of a tiny cut in the food stamps program last week.  Democrats charge that these "cuts" will take food from the mouths of hungry children, and they claim this is an example of how Congress has shred the safety net for the poor.  Never mind that this is the food aid program that has tripled in cost and doubled in participation in just the last decade.  Even during the economic recovery, the number of recipients — one in seven Americans — continues to grow.

Pork in the Farm Bill.  The farm bill will cost taxpayers about $950 billion over the next ten years.  Lawmakers are calling this a $23 billion cut.  But as Veronique de Rugy and my colleague Chris Edwards have pointed out, this is a cut only in the Washington sense of spending less than previously predicted.  In reality, it represents an inflation-adjusted $258 billion increase over the ten-year cost of the last farm bill, in 2008.  That's a whopping 37 percent jump in real spending!  The largest part of this spending is not for farm programs but for food stamps.  The bill provides approximately $756 billion in funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through 2023.

Seven Devastating Economic Facts.  [#3]  47.4 Million Americans Now Rely on Food Stamps.  The Department of Agriculture, which oversees the food stamp program, says that 47,415,895 Americans — roughly one out of every six Americans — now receives food stamps.  Indeed, for the last fifteen consecutive months, the number of individuals has consistently stayed above 47 million, a first in U.S. history.  Food stamp enrollments, which are considered an indicator of economic distress, have skyrocketed in recent years as the Obama administration has loosened eligibility requirements and aggressively promoted enrollments.

CRS: 'Likely Take Several Years or More Before Poverty Rates Recede'.  The number of people living in poverty in the United States hit a record last year, according to Census Bureau data cited by CRS, and the poverty rate remained stuck at its highest level in two decades.  "The 46.5 million persons counted as poor in 2012 is the largest number counted in the measure's recorded history, which goes back as far as 1959, and the 2012 poverty rate of 15.0% is the highest seen since 1993," said CRS in the report, which was published in November.

Only the Self-Reliant Remain Free.  The Census Bureau recently published some remarkable data.  As of the end of 2011, it said, there were approximately 151,014,000 who received one or more benefits from the federal government.  That was 49 percent of the population of the country, which then stood at 306,804,000.  Some of the people receiving federal benefits had paid payroll taxes their entire working lives in return for the privilege of living in government dependency during their retirement.  49,901,000 were on Social Security, according to the Census Bureau, and 46,440,000 were on Medicare.  Others, however, were simply on the dole.  108,592,000 people in the United States as the end of 2011 were enrolled in one or more federal means-tested welfare programs, according to the Census Bureau.

Obama Trashes America to Save ObamaCare.  The U.S. is hugely generous to those who can't afford to pay for health care.  Hospitals spend more than $40 billion a year doing so.  Doctors generously provide billions of dollars worth of free or discounted care to those who need help.  There are various philanthropies that raise billions each year for charity care.  And that's to say nothing of the existing government programs.  Taxpayers fork over $415 billion a year so Medicaid can provide health care for the poor, and another $500 billion for Medicare.  There's the VA for veterans and various state-run programs as well.  So, no, the health care system isn't now and never has been the cold, cruel, heartless disaster that the Obamas make it out to be.

Grand Theft Obama: The Biggest Heist in U.S. History.  [Scroll down]  The consequences of welfare state policies are evident everywhere.  Consider the following statistics:
  •   49 percent of Americans receive some kind of public assistance.
  •   More people collect means-tested benefits today (108.6 million) than there are full-time workers (101.7 million)
  •   1.2 million homeless children attend public school, up 72 percent since the recession began.
  •   46.6 million people receive food stamps, the highest number in recorded history.
  •   46.5 million Americans live in poverty.  This is the first time the poverty rate has remained at or above 15% three years running since 1965.
  •   Median household income is 9% below what it was in 1999.

Nation's poor at 49.7M, higher than official rate.  The number of poor people in America is 3 million higher than the official count, encompassing 1 in 6 residents due to out-of-pocket medical costs and work-related expenses, according to a revised census measure released Wednesday [11/6/2013].

Much-Abused Food Stamp Program Can Be Cut Responsibly.  The $5 billion reduction set to hit in November is a drop in the ocean for a nearly $80 billion-per-year program serving nearly 47 million people, especially considering how the program has exploded in the last five years, more than doubling from $34.6 billion to $74.6 billion.  Moreover, that relatively small $5 billion cut is a return to normal after a "temporary" increase enacted in 2009 as part of President Obama's and the Democratic Congress' massive stimulus-that-never-stimulated.  By now, you see, Obamanomics was supposed to have left the U.S. economy enjoying a Keynesian cavalcade of prosperity.  Instead, in spite of the weak Obama "recovery," the number of food stamp recipients soared from 28.2 million in 2008 to 46.6 million last year.

Welfare, Not Full-Time Work, Is Now America's No. 1 Occupation.  CNSNews.com's indefatigable data hound, Terence P. Jeffrey, dug into a few routine Census releases recently and discovered something shocking:  More people in America today are on welfare than have full-time jobs.  No, that's not a misprint.  At the end of 2011, the last year for which data are available, some 108.6 million people received one or more means-tested government benefit programs — bureaucratese for welfare.  Meanwhile, there were just 101.7 million people with full-time jobs, the Census data show, including both the private and government sectors.

Census Bureau: Means-Tested Gov't Benefit Recipients Outnumber Full-Time Year-Round Workers.  Americans who were recipients of means-tested government benefits in 2011 outnumbered year-round full-time workers, according to data released this month by the Census Bureau.  They also out-numbered the total population of the Philippines.  There were 108,592,000 people in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2011 who were recipients of one or more means-tested government benefit programs, the Census Bureau said in data released this week.  Meanwhile, according to the Census Bureau, there were 101,716,000 people who worked full-time year round in 2011.  That included both private-sector and government workers.

US poverty rate remains stuck at 15 percent.  The nation's poverty rate stood still at 15 percent last year, the sixth straight year that it has failed to improve.

Census: 49% of Americans Get Gov't Benefits; 82M in Households on Medicaid.  In the fourth quarter of 2011, 49.2 percent of Americans received benefits from one or more government programs, according to data released Tuesday [10/22/2013] by the Census Bureau.  In total, the Census Bureau estimated, 151,014,000 Americans out of a population then estimated to be 306,804,000 received benefits from one or more government programs during the last three months of 2011.  Those 151,014,000 beneficiaries equaled 49.2 percent of the population.

More Than Half of U.S. Fast Food Workers on Public Aid.  The Los Angeles Times, in its effort to support the unionizing of the fast-food industry, quotes a report by economists at UC Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that asserts more than half of families of fast food workers get financial aid totaling $7 billion yearly from the federal government.

U.S. Report Makes Case for Food Stamp Increase.  The Obama administration blew an astounding $80 billion on food stamps last year but it wasn't enough to put a dent in the national epidemic of "food insecure" households, according to a new government study that aims to justify pouring larger sums of taxpayer dollars into the bulging welfare program.  It's like there's no end to the madness!  In 2012 a record 47 million people got food stamps, according to the government's own figures.  Uncle Sam spent an unprecedented $80 billion on the program, marking an unbelievable $2.7 billion increase from the previous year.

Food-Stamp Use Rises; Some 15% Get Benefits.  Food-stamp use rose 2.4% in the U.S. in May from a year earlier, with more than 15% of the U.S. population receiving benefits. [...] The number of recipients in the food stamp program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is at 47.6 million, or nearly one in six Americans.

101M Get Food Aid from Federal Gov't; Outnumber Full-Time Private Sector Workers.  The number of Americans receiving subsidized food assistance from the federal government has risen to 101 million, representing roughly a third of the U.S. population.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that a total of 101,000,000 people currently participate in at least one of the 15 food programs offered by the agency, at a cost of $114 billion in fiscal year 2012.

101 million! Recipients of govt. food aid outnumber workers in US.  There are now more Americans receiving assistance from the federal government to eat than there are full time workers in the country.  The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture estimates that the number of people participating in at least one of the 15 food assistance programs offered is now at 101 million, CNS News reported.

U.S. Gives 1/3 of Puerto Rico Food Stamps.  As if it weren't bad enough that a record 47.7 million people — and growing — get food stamps from the U.S. government, federal records reveal that a whopping 1/3 of Puerto Rico's population receives them.  This cost American taxpayers an astounding $2 billion last year, according to figures released by the government agency — the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) — that distributes the benefit.

Government Dependence In U.S. Reaches Absurd Levels.  Government dependence in the United States has reached a level never seen before.  50 years ago, the federal government handed out about 10 cents for every dollar that American workers earned.  Now, the federal government hands out about 35 cents for every dollar that American workers earn. [...] If you can believe it, more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program, and more than 70 percent of all spending by the federal government goes to "dependence-creating programs".  If we really are "the greatest economy on earth", then why is the number of people dependent on the government absolutely exploding?

Food Stamps Don't Stimulate Economic Growth.  First, food stamps are intended to serve as a temporary safety net for those who face economic hardship, not as an economic stimulus.  To justify food stamps as a stimulus to raise government revenue ignores the long-term economic consequences of welfare spending.  Total government welfare spending has reached nearly $1 trillion annually, and the food stamps program is one of the largest of the government's approximately 80 welfare programs, costing taxpayers roughly $80 billion a year.

Congress is getting closer to passing the $1 trillion farm bill, and it is a piece of work.  Despite the Obama administration's continual insistence that the economy is on the mend, the USDA's food-stamp program has exploded by approximately 70 percent since 2008 alone.  There are a record of almost 49 million Americans on food stamps these days, both because the Obama administration's persistent relaxation of the program's requirements and because of the administration's failure to move-and-shake the economy out of stagnation mode with their directly counterproductive big-government policies.

Record 10,978,040 Now on Disability; 'Disability' Would Be 8th Most Populous State.  The total number of people in the United States now receiving federal disability benefits hit a record 10,978,040 in May, up from 10,962,532 million in April, according to newly released data from the Social Security Administration.  The 10,978,040 disability beneficiaries in the United States now exceed the population of all but seven states.

The Editor says...
The hypothetical State of Disability would probably have the highest per capita income and the lowest GDP, too.

72,600,000: Record Number on Medicaid in 2012.  A record 72,600,000 were enrolled in Medicaid for at least one month in fiscal 2012, up from 71,700,000 in fiscal 2011, according to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), which provides an annual report to Congress on Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.  The 72,600,000 enrolled in Medicaid in the United States in 2012 was more than the 65,630,692 people who lived in France last year, according to data published by the Census Bureau, or the 63,047,162 people who lived in the United Kingdom.

Unsustainable and Unconstitutional General Welfare Spending.  Obviously, there is a spending problem in Washington, D.C., and the reason for it is no mystery.  The largest expenditure in Obama's budget — and the largest federal outlay in every budget since 1970 — is an expense item labeled "payments for individuals," which includes spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment benefits, disability payments, and other federal welfare subsidies.  These payments constituted 65 percent of all federal spending in 2012 and are expected to grow to 70 percent in 2016.  (By contrast, national defense spending was 19 percent of the federal budget in 2012 and will decrease to only 14 percent in 2016.)

Record Number of Households on Food Stamps- 1 out of Every 5.  The latest available data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that a record number 23 million households in the United States are now on food stamps.  The most recent Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP) statistics of the number of households receiving food stamps shows that 23,087,886 households participated in January 2013 — an increase of 889,154 families from January 2012 when the number of households totaled 22,188,732.

The Great Society needs to be replaced by the Free Society.
America On Welfare.  Nearly two decades ago welfare reform briefly captured political attention and won bipartisan support.  The effort was a great success.  But most welfare programs remained untouched and the gains have been steadily eroded.  Today nearly 48 million people, almost one out of every six Americans, receive Food Stamps.  Outlays on this program alone have quadrupled in just a decade.  Indeed, the government actively promotes the program, encouraging people to sign up.

Nearly two million NYC residents are on food stamps.  They've fallen through the cracks:  millions of jobless or underemployed New Yorkers whose daily struggle is to find work and food.  They certainly don't show up in the 9.1 percent unemployment rate for the city, since they have exhausted those benefits.  But the number of city residents on food stamps is on pace to jump this year from just above 1 million in 2007 to a breathtaking 2 million sometime this summer.

Obama's plan hatched at Columbia University.  Under Obama, 660,000 Americans dropped off the job rolls... just last month.  90 million working-age, able-bodied Americans are no longer in the workforce.  90 million.  The workforce participation rate is the lowest since 1979.  For men it's the lowest since 1948 (when record keeping began).  Almost 50 million Americans are on food stamps (20% of all eligible adults).  14 million are on disability.  Millions more are on welfare, unemployment, housing allowances, aid to dependent children, or 100 other free government programs.

Foodstamp Recipients Hit Record, Alongside Record Dow Jones And Record Debt.  According to the USDA, an all time high of 47,791,966 Americans closed 2012 in possession of the highly desired Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, managed by who else but JPMorgan.  And with a civilian non-institutional population of 244.4 million in December, this means that a record 19.56% of eligible Americans are on Foodstamps.

New York's homeless population reaches record high of 50,000-plus: report.  The number of homeless people recorded in city shelters each night has topped 50,000 for the first time, a new report has found.  An average of 50,135 people — including 21,034 children — slept in shelters each night in January, the Coalition for the Homeless said.

CBO: Entitlements, ObamaCare To Make Up 53% of Federal Spending.  According to projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), entitlements and ObamaCare spending will comprise 53 percent of all federal spending over the coming decade, totaling $24.9 trillion.  In its updated Budget and Economic Outlook report released on Tuesday, the CBO projects that Social Security will account for $11.149 trillion in spending from 2014 to 2023 while federal health care entitlements, including Medicare, Medicaid, and ObamaCare, will spend $13.85 trillion.  (That total includes TRICARE, CHIP, and "other" spending listed by the CBO under healthcare.)

First Term: Food Stamp Recipients Increased 11,133 Per Day Under Obama.  During President Obama's first term, the number of persons taking federal food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP), increased by approximately 11,133 persons per day.  When Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, the number of SNAP recipients was 31,939,110.  By October 2012, the latest month reported, they had jumped to 47,525,329.  That means the food stamp program grew by an of approximately 11,133 recipients per day from January 2009 to October 2012.

Federal Welfare Spending to Skyrocket 80 Percent in Next Decade.  Federal welfare spending will skyrocket 80 percent over the next decade, according to new analysis by the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee.

Obama's New Economic Normal: Seven Devastating Facts.  [#2]  All-time record food stamp participation:  As of last month, for the first time in American history, 47,710,324 individuals — roughly one out of every seven people living in the United States — now receive food stamps.

Obama's America Will Become Detroit.  The Census Bureau estimates there are 563,055 people age 16 or older in the city [of Detroit] who could potentially work and be part of the labor force.  But only 54.3 percent of these — or 305,479 individuals — actually do participate in the labor force, meaning they either have a job or are looking for one.  Another 257,576 of Detroit residents age 16 or older — 45.7 percent of that demographic — do not participate in the labor force.  They do not have a job, and they are not looking for one. [...] There are 264,209 households in Detroit, and 91,204 of them — or 34.5 percent — get food stamps.

One million Americans entered poverty in the last two months.  It will take a while for Americans to get used to the new normal; having to work two or three part time jobs instead of a full time job because basically, there aren't any.  But as we discovered from observing people who live in totalitarian communist states, people can get used to anything.

United Welfare State of America: US Now Spends Over $1 Trillion on Welfare.  On Thursday [12/6/2012], the Senate Budget Committee released a startling welfare spending report based on a new Congressional Research Study.  According to the report in 2011 the United States spent $1.028 trillion dollars on welfare, which is more than the states and federal government spent on Social Security, Non-Military Defense or Medicare.  The federal spending on welfare entitlements now accounts for one fifth of the federal budget and consumes over 5% of the GDP.  This is almost a 30% spending increase since the start of the Obama Administration.

We Spend HOW MUCH On Welfare?  According to the US Census, individuals below the poverty line have increased from just under 40 million in 2008 to over 46 million in 2010, an increase from 13.2% to 15.1% of our population.  In other words, we've thrown WAY more money at the problem, which has paradoxically only made the problem worse.

Food stamp use reaches another high in September: 47.7 million participants.  Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, reached another high in September, according to new data released by the United Stated Department of Agriculture.  The most recent data on SNAP participation were released Friday [12/7/2012], and showed that 47,710,324 people were enrolled in the program in September, an increase of 607,559 from the 47,102,765 enrolled in August.

'Welfare Spending Equates to $168 Per Day for Every Household in Poverty'.  The amount of money spent on welfare programs equals, when converted to cash payments, about "$168 per day for every household in poverty," the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee finds.

A Nation of Takers Hurtles Toward the Fiscal Abyss.  The on-going negotiations over avoiding the tax hikes and spending cuts we call the "fiscal cliff" are the simply the latest act in a farce of self-serving political denial.  For decades now both parties have overseen and nurtured the expansion of the entitlement state all the while ignoring the slow-motion economic implosion whose predictable end can be seen today in a bankrupt Greece currently surviving on EU handouts.

Exclusive: Food Stamp Recipients Outnumber Populations of 24 States Combined.  Since January 2009, the number of individuals on food stamps has skyrocketed from 31.9 million to the current record high 47.1 million.  By comparison, in 1969 just 2.8 million Americans received food stamps.  Also benefiting from the rapid rise in food stamps are companies like JP Morgan who administer Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards.  A recent report by the Government Accountability Institute found that since 2004, JP Morgan's 24 state EBT contracts have totaled at least $560,492,596.02.  Last year, the food stamp program (officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP) cost taxpayers $72 billion, more than double the $30 billion spent four years ago.

5 Signs Of Societal Degeneration In America.  There are 47 million Americans on food stamps, which is an all-time high.  That's more than 1 out of every 7 Americans.  Since 2008 more Americans have gone onto Social Security disability than the net number of jobs that have been created in that same time period.  Within the living memory of some Americans there was no Social Security or Medicare in this country; yet we've gone from 16 workers for each retiree in 1950 to 3.3 today to an estimated 2 workers per retiree in 2025.

Foodstamps Surge to All Time High.  The Obama administration has finally released its report on the number of Americans receiving food stamps.  This report was released days after the 2012 election, nine days past its traditional release date.  The numbers show that Americans on food stamps is at an all time high.  Worse, the report shows the highest one month jump ever recorded.

Foodstamps Surge to All Time High.  You may recall that just before the election, the Obama administration announced that Hurricane Sandy was going to delay the release of October's jobless numbers. [...] While the unemployment report was ultimately released on schedule and before the election, now we find out about another report, the food stamp report, delayed for nine days after its traditional release date.  This report was also supposed to have been released before the election.  This report is devastating.

Foodstamps Surge By Most In One Year To New All Time Record, In Delayed Release.  [Scroll down]  There was, however, another closely tracked number which perhaps is far more indicative of the economic "growth" in the past 4 years, which certainly had a delayed release.  The number of course is that showing how many Americans are on foodstamps, and usually is released at the end of the month, or the first day or two of the next month.  This time the USDA delayed its release nine days past the semi-official deadline, far past the election, and until Friday night to report August foodstamp data.

Record 70.4 Million Enrolled in Medicaid in 2011: 1 Out of Every 5 Americans.  A record 70.4 million people were enrolled in the Medicaid health care program for the poor in fiscal year 2011, according to government figures provided to CNSNews.com.  That figure equals about 22 percent of the population, which means there was one person on Medicaid for every five Americans in 2011.

Government Welfare Payments Top $1 Trillion for the First Time.  In response to a request from the Senate Budget Committee, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) reported that federal welfare spending reached three-quarters of a trillion dollars last year.  When added to what the states spent on welfare, another $300 billion, total government welfare payments in 2011 hit $1.03 trillion.  More unnerving is that the report from the CRS didn't include spending on Social Security or Medicare.  Putting it all together, federal spending on welfare greatly exceeded spending on the military ($540 billion), Social Security ($725 billion), Medicare ($480 billion) as well as the Departments of Justice ($31 billion), Transportation ($77 billion) and Education ($65vbillion).

Welfare spending jumps 32% in four years.  Welfare spending has grown substantially over the past four years, reaching $746 billion in 2011 — or more than Social Security, basic defense spending or any other single chunk of the federal government — according to a new memo by the Congressional Research Service.  The steady rise in welfare spending, which covers more than 80 programs primarily designed to help low-income Americans, got a big boost from the 2009 stimulus and has grown, albeit somewhat more slowly, in 2010 and 2011. One reason is that more people are qualifying in the weak economy, but the federal government also has broadened eligibility so that more people qualify for programs.

America Won't Survive Another Four Years of Obama.  20% of Americans received some kind of means-tested government check in 2008, when George W. Bush left office.  Now 32% of Americans get some kind of means-tested support — food stamps, disability, welfare, and so forth.  That's a third of the country.  Transfer payments are now fully one-fifth of personal income, as I observed in an essay last year.  Obama's arbitrary and perhaps illegal changes in welfare work requirements create a cycle of dependency, as the Romney campaign has warned.

It's Not Really a Farm Bill: It's a food stamp behemoth.  This week, Congress is under pressure to pass the 2012 farm bill before the current legislation expires on September 30.  About every five years, Congress pushes through a farm bill, ostensibly a big bundle of agriculture subsidies that also funds food stamps.  But the name is misleading.  Nearly 80 percent of the $1 trillion the 2012 bill would spend over the next 10 years would go to the food stamp program.

Food-Stamp Use Climbs to Record, Reviving Campaign Issue.  Food-stamp use reached a record 46.7 million people in June, the government said, as Democrats prepare to nominate President Barack Obama for a second term with the economy as a chief issue in the campaign.  Participation was up 0.4 percent from May and 3.3 percent higher than a year earlier and has remained greater than 46 million all year as the unemployment rate stayed higher than 8 percent.

Food-stamp folly.  [S]pending on the food-stamp program (also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) has been growing rapidly for some time now, from $19.8 billion in 2000 to $84.6 billion in 2011.  Under the president's budget, this trend would continue, with nearly $800 billion in food-stamp spending over the next decade.

165 Million Americans Are Dependents of the State: Is Tyranny Next?  New research from Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee Jeff Sessions (R-AL) reveals that this reality may already be here, with more than 107 million Americans on some form of means-tested government welfare.  Add to that 46 million seniors collecting Medicare (subtracting out about 10 million on Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, and other senior-eligible programs already included in Sessions' means-tested chart) and 22 million government employees at the federal, state, and local level — and suddenly, over 165 million people, a clear majority of the 308 million Americans counted by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2010, are at least partially dependents of the state.

Over 100 Million Now Receiving Federal Welfare.  "The federal government administers nearly 80 different overlapping federal means-tested welfare programs," the Senate Budget Committee notes.  However, the committee states, the figures used in the chart do not include those who are only benefiting from Social Security and/or Medicare.  Food stamps and Medicaid make up a large — and growing — chunk of the more than 100 million recipients.  "Among the major means tested welfare programs, since 2000 Medicaid has increased from 34 million people to 54 million in 2011 and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) from 17 million to 45 million in 2011," says the Senate Budget Committee.  "Spending on food stamps alone is projected to reach $800 billion over the next decade."

More Than 100 Million Americans Are On Welfare.  There are more Americans dependent on the federal government than ever before in U.S. history.  According to the Survey of Income and Program Participation conducted by the U.S. Census, well over 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government.  Many are enrolled in more than one.  That is about a third of the entire population of the country.  Sadly, that figure does not even include Social Security or Medicare.

SNAP statistics:  Apparently updated regularly.

The U.S. Economy By The Numbers:
  5,400,000 — When Barack Obama first took office there were 2.7 million long-term unemployed Americans.  Today there are twice as many.
  16,000,000 — It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.
  46,405,204 — The number of Americans currently on food stamps.  When Barack Obama first entered the White House there were only 32 million Americans on food stamps.

Food Stamp Rules Change Adds $460 Million to Cost in Fiscal 2010.  Nearly 3 percent of the households that receive food stamps in United States would have been ineligible to receive them if the income eligibility rules had not been changed, the Government Accountability Office has reported.  According to the GAO, in fiscal year 2010 the government spent an extra $460 million on the food stamp program — $38 million per month, or about $1.26 million per day — because of relaxed limits on the amount of income a household may have and still receive the assistance. [...] About one in seven Americans are now on food stamps.

This is why we can't build that.  In 2009, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the top 1 percent of income earners earned 13.4 percent of income in the U.S., but paid 22.3 percent of all federal taxes.  Given that the government collected $2.1 trillion of revenue in 2009, this would translate into roughly $468 billion in taxes paid by the top 1 percent.  That same year, according to the CBO, the federal government spent $87 billion on transportation and water infrastructure.  Put another way, the taxes paid by the top 1 percent in 2009 were more than five times what the federal government spent on infrastructure that year — which includes some stimulus spending.  The reason the federal government couldn't spend more than $87 billion on infrastructure was that most tax dollars were tied up paying for major entitlement programs.

The Welfare State — You Didn't Build That.  The welfare state is the single biggest financial problem we face, annually consuming more than the combined cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars plus the TARP bailouts.  Like The Blob, it grows by devouring everything in its path, requiring us to borrow $41,222 per second just to keep government running.

8,753,935: Workers on Disability Set Another Record in July; Exceed Population of 39 States.  The number of workers taking federal disability insurance payments hit yet another record in July, increasing to 8,753,935 during the month from the previous record of 8,733,461 set in June, according to newly released data from the Social Security Administration.  The 8,753,935 workers who took federal disability insurance payments in July exceeded the population of 39 of the 50 states.

80% Of Trillion Dollar 'Farm Bill' Spent On Food Stamps, Not Farmers, Senator Says.  Last night, radio host Mark Levin interviewed Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) about the recent U.S. Department of Agriculture agreement with the government of Mexico to "help educate eligible Mexican nationals living in the United States about available nutrition assistance," which includes the US food stamp program.  Sen. Sessions explained that the funding for this program came from a "farm bill" in 2002, which allocated $800 billion over 10 years for the entire US food stamp program — meaning that 80 percent of this trillion dollar "farm bill" program is spend on food stamps, leaving only 20 percent to go to farmers.

More Texas seniors receiving food stamps.  The fastest-growing group of Texans receiving food stamps is the 60-64 age bracket.  In the past six years, those residents receiving food assistance — now issued in the form of a benefit debit card — has jumped by 106 percent to 85,000 as of this month, according to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.  The total number of recipients from all age groups has increased 58 percent.

6 charts that show the Welfare State run amok.  The original purpose of Medicaid was to provide improved healthcare access for poor people, while not turning the safety net into a trap.  Under President Obama's Affordable Care Act, Medicaid will be greatly exapnded beyond what Congress originally intended. [...] A few scary factoids:
  •   In the 1960s, there were 18 workers per Medicaid recipient.  Today that number is 2.5.
  •   The number of Americans on disability has risen 19% faster than jobs created during this recovery.
  •   There are just 1.2 private sector workers per 1 person on welfare or working for government.
  •   There are now just 1.65 employed persons in private sector per 1 person on welfare assistance.

Some 15% of U.S. Uses Food Stamps.  Nearly 15% of the U.S. population relied on food stamps in August, as the number of recipients hit 45.8 million.  Food stamp rolls have risen 8.1% in the past year, the Department of Agriculture reported, though the pace of growth has slowed from the depths of the recession.

Study: More Than Half a Trillion Dollars Spent on Welfare But Poverty Levels Unaffected.  The federal government is not making much headway reducing poverty despite spending hundreds of billions of dollars, according to a study by the libertarian Cato Institute.  Despite an unprecedented increase in federal anti-poverty spending, the national poverty rate has not declined, the study finds.

The American Welfare State.  News that the poverty rate has risen to 15.1 percent of Americans, the highest level in nearly a decade, has set off a predictable round of calls for increased government spending on social welfare programs.  Yet this year the federal government will spend more than $668 billion on at least 126 different programs to fight poverty.  And that does not even begin to count welfare spending by state and local governments, which adds $284 billion to that figure.  In total, the United States spends nearly $1 trillion every year to fight poverty.  That amounts to $20,610 for every poor person in America, or $61,830 per poor family of three.

America's Ever Expanding Welfare Empire.  There are 184 additional federal, means-tested welfare programs, most jointly financed and administered with the states.  In addition to Medicaid is the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  Also included is Food Stamps, now officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  Nearly 42 million Americans were receiving food stamps in 2010, up by a third since November, 2008.  That is why President Obama's budget projects spending $75 billion on Food Stamps in 2011, double the $36 billion spent in 2008.  But that is not the only federal nutrition program for the needy.  There is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which targets assistance to pregnant women and mothers with small children.  There is the means tested School Breakfast Program and School Lunch Program.  There is the Summer Food Service Program for Children.  There are the lower income components of the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Emergency Food Assistance Program, and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP).  Then there is the Nutrition Program for the Elderly.  All in all, literally cradle to grave service.

Welfare Spendathon.  Even without the extra spending in the stimulus bill, means-tested welfare spending is already at a historic high and growing rapidly.  In 2008, federal, state, and local means-tested spending hit $679 billion per year.  Without any legislative expansions, given historic rates of growth in welfare programs, federal, state, and local means-tested welfare spending over the next decade will total $8.97 trillion.  The House stimulus bill adds another $787 billion to this total, yielding a 10-year total of $9.8 trillion.

In a Welfare State, How Much Is 'Enough'?  California is imploding.  Public-sector unions there, and across the country, are swallowing budgets.  In California alone, pension costs have gone up 2,000 percent in a decade.  At the national level, Obamacare has done little to fix — and much to hurt — America's long-term entitlement mess.  Already, America's structural deficit has tripled since 2007.  Economist Price Fishback has just published a paper finding that America spends more on social welfare than socialist Sweden (though we spend it differently).

America's Ever Expanding Welfare Empire.  America's welfare state is not a principality.  It is a vast empire bigger than the entire budgets of almost every other country in the world.  Just one program, Medicaid, cost the federal government $275 billion in 2010, which is slated to rise to $451 billion by 2018.  Counting state Medicaid expenditures, this one program cost taxpayers $425 billion in 2010, soaring to $800 billion by 2018.  Under Obamacare, 85 million Americans will soon be on Medicaid, growing to nearly 100 million by 2021, according to the CBO.

More than 40m now use food stamps .  The number of Americans receiving food stamps in March topped 40 million for the first time as the jobless rate hovered near a 26-year high.  Recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program subsidies for food purchases totaled 40.2 million, up 21 percent from a year earlier and 1.2 percent more than in February, the Department of Agriculture said yesterday [6/2/2010] in a statement on its website.  The number of recipients has set records for 16 straight months.

Food-stamp tally nears 40 million, sets record.  The Agriculture Department said 39.68 million people, or 1 in 8 Americans, were enrolled for food stamps during February, an increase of 260,000 from January.  USDA updated its figures on Wednesday [5/5/2010].

Illinois' bad joke:  The state is three months behind in paying its suppliers and by spring it could be five months behind.  Keep this up and the state might bankrupt the businesses it needs for products and services.  If you were a doctor or a hospital, how long would you continue to give away your services under these conditions?  About 2.2 million people — 17 percent of the state's population — rely on Medicaid.  Most are children, low-income adults and low-income pregnant women.  But the elderly, disabled and blind consume the greatest proportion of aid.

U.S. Spending on Food Stamps at All-Time High.  The U.S. is now spending more on food assistance than at any time in its history, sparking a debate over whether the roughly 40 million people now receiving the latest version of food stamps at a cost of $73 billion a year are a symptom of a weak economy or are part of a long-term expansion in welfare and related programs.

Obstacle to Deficit Cutting:  A Nation on Entitlements.  Efforts to tame America's ballooning budget deficit could soon confront a daunting reality:  Nearly half of all Americans live in a household in which someone receives government benefits, more than at any time in history.  At the same time, the fraction of American households not paying federal income taxes has also grown — to an estimated 45% in 2010, from 39% five years ago, according to the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan research organization.

America's Food Stamp Culture.  [Scroll down]  Nationwide, 6 percent of food stamp benefits are spent on sugary beverages, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, which administers the food stamp program.  The [New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg]'s tough-love approach to New Yorkers on the food stamp dole comes as a record 41.8 million Americans — including the children of illegal immigrants — are getting monthly food stamp benefits.  The average payout:  $133.36 per person.  News accounts about record levels of food stamp use invariably note that the jobless rate is at a 27-year high — yet curiously, food-stamp use has been in an upward spiral for years, with more than a few Americans becoming permanent users of the program, a fact that underscores the dangers of dependence.

Welfare State: Handouts Make Up One-Third of U.S. Wages.  Government payouts — including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance — make up more than a third of total wages and salaries of the U.S. population, a record figure that will only increase if action isn't taken before the majority of Baby Boomers enter retirement.

Tax Day And The Future Tyranny Of The Non-Taxed.  Ah, April 15th!  I want you to consider that the date means absolutely nothing to 47% of US households as they will pay zero in federal income tax.  Yes, state, property and sin taxes still get them, but we are seeing a disturbing trend towards a tipping point where fewer than half of us pay any sort of income tax.

The Food-Stamp Crime Wave.  The Obama administration is far more enthusiastic about boosting food-stamp enrollment than about preventing fraud.  Thanks in part to vigorous federally funded campaigns by nonprofit groups, the government's AmericaCorps service program, and other organizations urging people to accept government handouts, the number of food-stamp recipients has soared to 44 million from 26 million in 2007, and costs have more than doubled to $77 billion from $33 billion.

For First Time Since 1936...
Government Handouts Top Tax Income.  For the first time since the Great Depression, households are receiving more income from the government than they are paying the government in taxes.  The combination of more cash from various programs, called transfer payments, and lower taxes has been a double-barreled boost to consumers' buying power, while also blowing a hole in the deficit.  The 1930s offer a cautionary tale:  The only other time government income support exceeded taxes paid was from 1931 to 1936.  That trend reversed in 1936, after a recovery was underway, and the economy fell back into a second leg of recession during 1937 and 1938.

10 States With Soaring Poverty Rates.  The poverty line is $10,830 per year, before taxes.  That single threshold remains the same for every American, whether he lives in Mobile, Alabama or the west shore of Maui in the Census Bureau's methodology.  To put it bluntly, that amount of money can go a lot further in Mobile than in Maui.  Where would you rather live with that lump sum, in Mobile, where a gallon of gas goes for $2.50 or in Maui, where it goes for $3.75?

What Do Liberals Have To Show For 50 Years Of Horrible Policies?  [Scroll down]  When President Lyndon Johnson launched his "War on Poverty," the poverty rate was trending down.  When he offered money and benefits to unmarried women, the rate started flat-lining.  Women married the government, allowing men to abandon their moral and financial responsibilities.  The percentage of children born outside of marriage — to young, disproportionately uneducated and disproportionately brown and black women — exploded.

Obama's HHS Is Bigger Than LBJ's Government.  Anyone who doubts that the trend toward socialism is pushing America toward ruin should examine the historical tables President Obama published Monday along with his $3.7 trillion budget.  In fiscal 2011, according to these tables, the Department of Health and Human Services will spend $909.7 billion.  In fiscal 1965, the entire federal government spent $118.228 billion.  What about inflation?  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' inflation calculator, $118.228 billion in 1965 dollars equals $822.6 billion in 2010 dollars.  In real terms, the $909.7 billion HHS is spending this year is about $87.1 billion more than the entire federal government spent in 1965.

Moocher Index
Go west, but not too far west, to find self-reliance.  The graph [in this article] was plotted by Cato Institute's Dan Mitchell from data assembled by the Center for Immigration Studies.  The horizontal axis represents the percentage of non-poor residents of each state signed up for government assistance — in other words, income redistribution programs.  Mitchell calls the measure the Moocher Index. ... Allow me to provide a few observations to assist you in seeing some staggering messages.
[#1]  6 of the top 10 (in fact, 4 of the top 5) states with the most moochers are in the Northeast.
[#2]  11 of the top 30 mooching states are on the East Coast.
[#3]  Fully half of the top 20 mooching states are on either the East of West Coasts.
[#4]  Half of the ten states with the lowest percentage of moochers are in the West, but not the West Coast.

Census: US poverty rate swells to nearly 1 in 6.  The ranks of America's poor swelled to almost 1 in 6 people last year, reaching a new high as long-term unemployment left millions of Americans struggling and out of work.

Expanding the Failed War on Poverty.  It is clear that President Obama is intent on not only continuing the failed war on poverty but expanding and growing the size of the welfare state.  President Obama's 2011 budget will increase spending on welfare programs by 42 percent over President Bush's last year in office.  Total spending on the welfare state (including state spending) will rise to $953 billion in 2011.

American reliance on government at all-time high.  Without record levels of welfare, unemployment and other government benefits as well as tax cuts last year, the income of U.S. households would have plunged by an astonishing $723 billion — more than four times the record $167 billion drop reported last month by the Commerce Department.  Moreover, for the first time since the Great Depression, Americans took more aid from the government than they paid in taxes.

Obama to Spend $10.3 Trillion on Welfare.  In his first two years in office, President Barack Obama will increase annual federal welfare spending by one-third from $522 billion to $697 billion.  The combined two-year increase will equal almost $263 billion ($88.2 billion in FY 2009 plus $174.6 billion in FY 2010).  After adjusting for inflation, this increase is two and a half times greater than any previous increase in federal welfare spending in U.S. history.

Obama to Spend $10.3 Trillion on Welfare.  Since the beginning of the War on Poverty, government has spent vast sums on welfare or aid to the poor; however, the aggregate cost of this assistance is largely unknown because the spending is fragmented into myriad programs. ... According to President Obama's budget projections, federal and state welfare spending will total $10.3 trillion over the next 10 years (FY 2009 to FY 2018).  This spending will equal $250,000 for each person currently living in poverty in the U.S., or $1 million for a poor family of four.

The War on Liberal Contradictions.  If one wants more government, the quickest way to such an end is to create a "crisis" that only government can solve.  After all, there is no way that we can fight obesity and hunger without the government, right?  Evidently not, because, again according to the ABC report, "a shocking 49 percent of all babies born in the U.S. are born to families receiving food supplements from the WIC program," which is operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  To qualify for WIC, women, or families, with children under 5 must have a household income that is less than 185% of the federal poverty guidelines.  Why not 175% or 150%?  What government bean-counter decided that 185% was the magic number?

Food stamp use rises to record 45.8 million.  Nearly 15% of the U.S. population relied on food stamps in May, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.  The number of Americans using the government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — more commonly referred to as food stamps — shot to an all-time high of 45.8 million in May, the USDA reported.  That's up 12% from a year ago, and 34% higher than two years ago.

America Becomes a Two-Class Society.  Income tax day, April 15, 2010, now divides Americans into two almost equal classes:  those who pay for the services provided by government and those who don't.  The percentage of Americans who will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009 has risen to 47%.  That isn't the worst of it.  The bottom 40% not only pay no income tax, but the government sends them cash or benefits financed by the taxes dutifully paid by those who do pay income tax.

Asians buck the trend as poverty rises in US.  According to a Census Bureau report issued Tuesday [9/13/2011], 46.2 million Americans, nearly one in six, were living in poverty in 2010, up from 43.6 million in 2009, representing the largest number of Americans in poverty in the 52 years.  In the case of Asians poverty levels remained at 12.1 percent.  Poverty among Hispanics increased to 26.6 percent; among blacks it rose to 27.4 percent; among whites it climbed to 9.9 percent.

Obama's poverty problem.  America is a poorer country under President Obama.  Since last year, the ranks of America's least well off grew by 2.5 million, according to the government definition of poverty, which includes a family with income of less than $22,314 a year or an individual making less than $11,139.  One-sixth of the country, 46.2 million, met this standard, according to figures released Tuesday.  That's the highest total since the Census Bureau began keeping track a half-century ago.

Expanding Federal Food Programs: Means-Tested Aid for Families with Children.  It is misleading to examine a few nutrition programs in isolation as if no other aid were given to low-income children.  This is particularly important since financial resources are fungible within each household. ... The federal government operates 71 different means-tested aid programs, providing cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to poor and low-income families.  In FY 2011, government will spend around $475 billion on means-tested aid for families with children.  This amounts to over $30,000 for each low-income family with children.

SCHIP: No Child Left Off Welfare.  Originally budgeted at $40 billion over 10 years, the program is on track to be reauthorized at almost triple the cost — topping $58 billion over the next five years.  And that would be only a down payment, if some in Congress prevail.  Currently, SCHIP eligibility is targeted to help only those households at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty line.  That's a $40,000 annual income for a family of four.  One bill now under consideration would double that cap — to 400 percent of poverty.  If approved, Uncle Sam would start paying the medical bills for kids whose folks earn as much as $82,600 a year (or more, for families larger than four).

Obama's Economic Record: The Worst Since Hoover.  The home ownership rate is the lowest since 1965.  The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty has seen a record increase on President Obama's watch, with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty.  And government dependency, defined as the percentage of persons receiving one or more federal benefit payments, is the highest in American history.

Record number in government anti-poverty programs.  Government anti-poverty programs that have grown to meet the needs of recession victims now serve a record one in six Americans and are continuing to expand.  More than 50 million Americans are on Medicaid, the federal-state program aimed principally at the poor, a survey of state data by USA TODAY shows.

Food stamp use hit record 40.8 million in May.  The number of Americans who are receiving food stamps rose to a record 40.8 million in May as the jobless rate hovered near a 27-year high, the government reported yesterday [8/4/2010].

The Ballooning Welfare State.  According to USA Today, government anti-poverty programs serve a record one in six Americans, and that number is expected to rise as programs increase.  For example, the article reports that more than 50 million Americans are on Medicaid, more than 40 million receive food stamps, close to 10 million receive unemployment insurance, and more than 4.4 million remain on welfare.

Does America Deserve Obama?  Since the inception of Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society," we have had at least forty years of welfare programs designed to reduce poverty.  These programs have not worked.  The current U.S. poverty rate is the same as it was in the late 1960s.  So what do we do about it?  Instead of reversing course, we continue on the same path.

Americans 'Hooked' on Government Benefits.  A record 49 percent of Americans live in a household where someone receives at least one type of government benefit, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  And 63 percent of all federal spending this year will consist of checks written to individuals for which the government receives currently no services, the White House budget office estimates.  That's up from 46 percent in 1975 and 18 percent in 1940.

Income Inequality Myths Of Left Exposed Once Again.  Among the neglected or ignored factors [Diana Furchtgott-Roth] addresses are the role food stamps, Medicaid and housing allowances play in the statistics; the increase in both high-income two-earner households and low-income one-person households; and more small businesses shifting from corporate to individual tax schedules since the 1986 tax reform.  For instance, a higher percentage of low-income Americans — 26% in the poorest fifth of households and 31% in the second-lowest fifth — actually own their homes free and clear of mortgage debt than upper-income taxpayers.

Not One Penny More For America's Welfare State.  Here's the scorecard.  Spending on national defense, adjusted for inflation and population, was 42% higher in 2008 than in 1965, while housekeeping outlays were 76% higher.  Both, in other words, grew far less rapidly than the economy or federal revenues — both of which were about 150% higher in 2008 than in 1965.  But welfare-state expenditures were 583% higher.  In fact, the welfare state became the core of the federal government, growing from 26% of federal outlays in 1965 to 61% in 2008.  For years, the Democratic Party's raison d'etre has been to establish, defend and expand the welfare state.

49.5% of Americans Pay No Federal Income Tax.  The number of Americans on food stamps has risen to a record 45.8 million.  The previous record was 31 million in 2009.  Likewise, the number of people using free government-provided cell phones has shot up exponentially.  In 2008, the free cell phone program cost tax-payers $772 million, and in 2011 it cost $1.6 billion.  (Those free cell phones are expensive.)  Free school breakfasts and lunches have been complimented with free school dinners under Obama, and programs to provide meals to kids during the summer have even been added.  Moreover, jobless benefits have been extended to 99 weeks under Obama, and thanks to his new HHS mandate, contraception will now be free for nearly everyone as well.

Did someone mention school lunches?

1 In 6 Floridians Now Depend On Food Stamps.  Knowing government overlords and their cronies like the National Association of Realtors religiously double-count to disguise our nation's true unemployment rates, home sales figures, health care costs, national debt and the like, rest assured '1 in 6' Floridians on food stamps — when using government math — represents half of the actual statistic.

The takers weigh down the makers.  Here's a question of vastly more than theoretical importance to current and coming generations of Americans:  How much longer can the U.S. economy continue to produce enough wealth to sustain a growing class of people who depend on government for some or all of their daily necessities?  To pose the question another way:  Are we nearing a point when there are no longer enough taxpayers to support all of the tax consumers in America?

ObamaCare and American Power:  The United States currently spends roughly as much on defense ($661 billion in fiscal year 2009) as the rest of the world combined.  But that's a pittance compared to what we spend on three major entitlement programs — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Obama Will Spend More on Welfare in the Next Year Than Bush Spent on Entire Iraq War.  As a candidate for president, Barack Obama decried the financial toll that the Iraq war was taking on the economy, but Obama's proposed spending on welfare through 2010 will eclipse Bush's war spending by more than $260 billion.

Welfare Reform after Ten Years:  A State-by-State Analysis.  In an age when "reform" seems a tired slogan that seldom delivers what it promises, why did welfare reform apparently work so well?  PRWORA replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), a national entitlement program, with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), a collection of block grants for the states.  As a result, states gained greater flexibility in implementing reform:  They could implement time limits, work requirements, and family cap restrictions to encourage self-sufficiency.

Welfare in a Bad Way.  What most Americans identify as government "welfare" are payments to single mothers, food stamps and (perhaps) Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the poor.  But that's not the half of it.  Since 1960, government has changed radically.  Then, 52 percent of federal spending went for defense, 26 percent for "payments for individuals" — the welfare state.  By 2008, 61 percent consisted of "payments for individuals," 21 percent for defense.  Social Security and Medicare — programs for the elderly — represented the biggest share:  $1 trillion in 2008.

U.S. Poverty Rate Rises to 11-Year High as Recession Takes Toll.  The U.S. poverty rate rose to the highest level in 11 years in 2008 and household incomes declined as the first full year of the recession took its toll, government data showed.  The poverty rate climbed to 13.2 percent from 12.5 percent, and the number of people classified as poor jumped by 2.6 million to 39.8 million, according to a Census Bureau report released today [9/10/2009].

Manufactured Healthcare Crisis.  Medicaid is funded roughly 50/50 by federal and state governments.  As an essentially free benefit to the poor, Medicaid has no tax associated with it, so it is covered by state and federal income tax revenues — that's you and me...   In 2006, Medicaid spending alone totaled $314 billion.  For perspective, this is roughly equivalent to the baseline defense budget (i.e. excluding war spending like for Iraq/Afghanistan).  State Medicaid programs are the largest single recipient of all federal grants, comprising 43 percent of the total.  In 2008, federal Medicaid and Medicare spending totaled $676 billion.  Comprising only 2 percent of the federal budget in 1967, these two programs today consume 23 percent of total federal spending.  This is the largest component of the federal budget, even exceeding total wartime outlays for national defense.

Welfare Reform after Ten Years:  A State-by-State Analysis.  On August 22, 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA). ... In the simplest of terms, PRWORA sought to promote work and marriage and discourage births to teenagers and unmarried women.  Most policy experts, liberal and conservative, agree welfare reform produced extraordinary results.  Welfare rolls dropped from 12.2 million in August 1996 to 4.1 million in December 2006, a national decline of 67 percent.  Studies show most former recipients left for work, proving wrong the predictions asserting homelessness would increase dramatically.  Other key measures, such as employment of never-married mothers, grew by 50 percent.  Employment changes of this magnitude over such a short period for an entire demographic group are unprecedented in Census Bureau records.

One in 10 Americans gets help to buy food.  A record 32.2 million people — one in every 10 Americans — received food stamps at the latest count, the government said on Thursday [4/2/2009], a reflection of the recession now in its 16th month.  Food stamps, the major U.S. anti-hunger program, help poor people buy groceries.  The average benefit was $112.82 per person in January.

Atlas shrugs, moves to Massachusetts.  Today's Wall Street Journal has an article on a drive to increase unemployment compensation benefits for New Yorkers.  The poor babies only get a maximum of $405 per week, whereas those in Massachusetts get $942.  Those fat cats get benfits which work out to be $48,048 on an annual basis.  The U S Census put median family income for all American families in 2006 at $49,207.

Low-Tax States Cut Poverty Rates:  Study.  Fiscally prudent states appear to be winning the war on poverty, according to a recent study by the Goldwater Institute, which found low-tax and low-spending states are more successful at reducing poverty than their high-tax, high-spending counterparts.  The 10 states with the lowest tax burdens saw a 13.7 percent decline in poverty during the 1990s (more than double the national average), according to the study.  Meanwhile, the 10 states with the highest tax burdens suffered an average poverty rate increase of 3 percent.  The poverty rate dropped nationwide during the decade, the report notes.

Politicians use handouts to buy votes

Welfare programs are permanent, because politicians want to stay in their offices permanently.  The recipients of unmerited payments from the government should not be allowed to vote, in my opinion, because they will obviously vote to keep the checks coming.  Exactly the wrong strategy is in place:  Government agencies actually encourage people to register to vote when they sign up for welfare programs.  That's because the bureaucrats and pencil-pushers like the system the way it is, just like the politicians.  Is there any way to break this cycle?  Yes, there is.  The idea is called term limits.

New York City expands costly debit card program for illegal aliens.  New York City Democrat Mayor Eric Adams' office recently announced plans to expand its debit card program for illegal aliens residing in taxpayer-funded shelters.  The initial pilot program included 3,000 illegal immigrants, and now the administration is expected to provide another 7,300 individuals with the pre-loaded cards over the next six months, which will cost New York City taxpayers $2.6 million.  New York City Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom claimed that the city's program "empower[s] people" by helping "them achieve self-sufficiency and access the American dream."

The Editor says...
If you want them to "achieve self-sufficiency," stop handing out freebies.  Even the illegal aliens can see you're just trying to buy their votes.

Ex-Bernie Sanders Staffer Says Biden Must Cut 'Some Checks' To Sway Black Voters In Swing State.  Former Bernie Sanders staffer Tezlyn Figaro said on Monday that President Joe Biden needs to cut checks to black Americans if he wants to be victorious in Michigan.  Former President Donald Trump is presently leading Biden in Michigan in a five-way race by .3%, according to the RealClearPolling average.  Figaro on "The Story With Martha MacCallum" said Biden's "only" chance of winning the state is distributing money he owes to black voters.  [Tweet with video clip]

Biden's All-of-Government Vote Buying Scheme.  To bet on the upcoming presidential election, don't just rely on polls.  Look at the billions of taxpayer dollars President Joe Biden is pouring into "community organizations" in "disadvantaged communities" to tip the election scales.  The community organizer who became president, Barack Obama, was a master at machine politics, using federal tax dollars to turn community organizations — left-wing not-for-profits — into a fifth estate.  Their staffs, paid using taxpayer money but not tied to government rules, could hit the streets at election time and build turnout.  Biden has scaled up Obama's playbook, using billions of dollars instead of mere millions.

The welfare state confiscates wealth from those who create it to buy votes from those who don't.  Ninety to 95% of the welfare department's "clients" are "New Mainers."  To translate out of liberal Euphemese, in the context of the massive ongoing invasion Biden has facilitated, this means they are overwhelmingly illegal aliens.  It can be assumed that Westbrook is no outlier, and that a similar state of affairs prevails in small towns throughout the country.  The situation in big cities is even worse.  The American people are being forced to finance their own conquest and displacement.  Our ancestors would have fought to the last man before submitting to this.

Biden Admin Cancels $7,700,000,000 in Student Federal Loans.  President Joe Biden announced another round of student loan cancellations.  This round totals $7,700,000,000.  Writing it out shows how much money just went down the drain.  The administration has already canceled $167,000,000,000 in student loans.  In 2022, the Supreme Court said he overstepped his authority when he announced he would cancel up to $400,000,000,000 in loans.  The administration found ways to worm around the decision through established "federal student loan forgiveness programs."  These programs limit the action to "specific categories of borrowers."

RFK Jr Says His First Week In Office He Will Pay Black Farmers 5 Billion Dollars In Reparations.  RFK Jr. says the first week he is in the White House he will pay $5 billion in reparations to Black farmers:  "The 1st week I'm going to get rid of those people in USDA and get that money, that $5 billion dollars is not money that is an entitlement it's money that was a loan that black farmers were entitled to way back and was stolen from them through discrimination."  "It was given to every other farmer, but if you were black, you wouldn't get it, and that's wrong.  I don't think anybody who believes in the values of this country thinks that that's a good idea."  "USDA is broken from the top down.  It's not run for small farmers.  It's run to benefit Big AG."  [Video clip]

Seven More States Sue to Block 'Most Generous Ever' Student Loan Program.  President Joe Biden faces a fresh lawsuit from a seven-state coalition challenging his "most generous ever" federal student loan repayment plan, under which millions of borrowers would have a monthly bill of $0.  In their complaint, filed on April 8 at a federal court in Missouri, the states argued that what the Biden administration calls the SAVE plan is another unlawful attempt to force Americans who incurred no college debt to shoulder the bill for those who did.  "Just last year, the [U.S.] Supreme Court struck down an attempt by the President to force teachers, truckers, and farmers to pay for the student loan debt of other Americans — to the enormous tune of $430 billion," the complaint stated, noting that the high court's 6-3 majority explicitly ruled that the president should not bypass Congress to implement a decision with such profound impact on the country's economy.

Texas AG Ken Paxton sues Harris County over pilot guaranteed income program.  Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing Harris County for its guaranteed income program designed to help eligible families in 10 targeted ZIP codes.  Paxton made the announcement Tuesday morning calling the program "unlawful."  He said it "redistributes public money in a manner that violates the Texas Constitution."  Uplift Harris is the county's first guaranteed income program and provides eligible households with $500 a month for 18 months. [...] Uplift Harris is funded with $20.5 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which was passed to help struggling Americans recover after the pandemic caused an economic crisis.  County leaders said they're worried the program will be derailed just weeks before checks were going to start going out.

Biden's Signature Bills Showering Battleground States With Billions Of Taxpayer Dollars, With More To Come.  Two of President Joe Biden's flagship laws are pumping billions of dollars of taxpayer cash into states that will likely decide the winner of November's presidential election, with much more money still up for grabs.  The 2021 bipartisan infrastructure package and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Biden's massive climate bill, have routed more than $60 billion combined to Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Nevada, Arizona and Georgia, according to White House data.  These states are widely considered to be the seven key swing states that will dictate whether Biden will secure a second term or if former President Donald Trump will return to the White House.  The funds that have been distributed from the two bills to date amount to approximately half of the total amount of money that the two bills have to offer, according to Axios.

NY Gov. Kathy Hochul Dumping $2.4 Billion Into Migrant Care, Pushing State-Funded Housing Construction.  New York Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul has proposed $2.4 billion in spending for migrants in her latest budget proposal, along with plans to spur residential development in a state with some of the highest rent and home prices in the country.  Hochul released her budget proposal on Tuesday [3/26/2024] to address the pressures facing the Empire State, one of which is Joe Biden's continuing migrant crisis.  The Democrat suggested an additional $2.4 billion for migrant care in addition to the $1.9 billion the state spent in 2023, according to Politico.  A large portion of the new spending is targeted for New York City.  Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams apparently agreed to spend $1.1 billion for the illegal border crossers that have flocked to the Big Apple.

The Editor says...
Some of them "flocked to the Big Apple," and some of them were dumped in the Big Apple after they invaded Texas.

Majority Of Biden's $136 Billion Student Loan Forgiveness Scheme Going To "Public Servants".  President Joe Biden is heaping another $5 billion onto a $136 billion pile of taxpayer-funded student loan debt forgiveness, as one of his signature 2024 (vote buying) schemes heading into the 2024 election.  Not only has moral hazard been reduced to an academic concept, shouldn't taxpayer funds be used to bail out poverty-stricken Americans before people with college degrees who signed their names to a contract for non-dischargeable debt?  We digress.  Around 74,000 student loan borrowers will now see debt canceled as a result of administrative changes enacted by the US Department of Education in the latest round of relief[,] including borrowers enrolled in the government's income-driven repayment and public service loan forgiveness programs, Bloomberg reports.

Biden bails out 74K student loan borrowers with $5B in canceled debt.  The Biden administration has approved an additional $5 billion in debt cancelation for roughly 74,000 student loan borrowers, the White House said Friday in a statement.  President Biden said many of the borrowers impacted by his latest student loan debt handout are public sector workers, like teachers and firefighters, who will have their debt erased after 10 years of public service.  Nearly 30,000 borrowers impacted have been in repayment for at least 20 years "but never got the relief they earned through income-driven repayment plans," Biden said.  The latest round of student debt cancelation brings the total amount canceled under Biden to $136.6 billion for more than 3.7 million Americans, according to the Department of Education.  It comes after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked Biden's initial student loan handout last year, which would have cost more than $400 billion.

Colorado Considers $3,000 Payments to Criminals.  It pays to belong to an identity group favored by Democrats.  Consider criminals in Colorado:  ["]Democrats in the Colorado legislature have proposed a concerning new bill that aims to incentivize crime in the Centennial State.  Under this bill, criminals would receive a cash payment of $3,000 upon their release from a Colorado prison.["]  The ostensible purpose of paying people to be criminals through Senate Bill 12 is to prevent recidivism.  Were this an actual objective, authorities might consider making recreational drugs less accessible. [...] The actual purpose is to reward a group that has been loyal in its support.  If a criminal is going to vote, who else would he vote for if not the party of colleague Joe Biden?

Report: Blue States [are] Automatically Registering Welfare Recipients to Vote.  Several blue states across the United States are automatically registering hundreds of thousands of residents to vote each year whenever they interact with state agencies, including welfare offices, a report from journalist John Fund details.  The report, issued by the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, documents the Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) policy now imposed by 23 states and the District of Columbia.  All but three of these states are blue states controlled by Democrats.

The Editor says...
Welfare recipients should never vote.  Nor should violent felons, illegal aliens, or patients in a mental hospital.  In the good old days, all that was just common sense.

Ex-GOP Governor Blasts Biden's Student Loan Bailout As 'Biggest Vote-Buying Scheme Ever Undertaken'.  Former New Hampshire Republican Governor Judd Gregg slammed President Joe Biden this week for allegedly trying to "buy votes" through his student loan bailout program.  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 last week that Biden's attempt to use the HEROES Act to unilaterally forgive federally subsidized student loans was illegal.  Gregg responded to the ruling during an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Monday, calling Biden's plan "the biggest vote-buying scheme ever received or undertaken by a presidency, is all it was."  "Forty million people get 20,000 bucks," he said.  "I'll vote for you to give me 20,000 bucks.  And that's what it is about.  That's what it's still about.  That's why they're trying to reform it so they can keep this idea that they're going to give this huge tax break, this income to all these folks going into the next election."

Project Veritas Reveals Biden's 'Unannounced Plan B' to Work Around Supreme Court Ruling on Student Loan Bailout.  Project Veritas on Friday released an undercover video revealing Joe Biden's unannounced "Plan B" to work around the Supreme Court's ruling on his student loan bailout program.  The US Supreme Court on Friday crushed Joe Biden's student loan bailout program.  Joe Biden unilaterally announced a massive forgiveness of student loans last August to buy the Gen Z-Millennial vote in the 2022 midterms.  Biden canceled over $400 billion in student loans which turned out to be up to $10,000 in student debt for borrowers who earn $125,000 a year or less and up to $20,000 for recipients of Pell Grants.

Workarounds to working.  [Scroll down]  Living off of family money, unemployment insurance, disability insurance, government grants, friends, subsidized homelessness, becoming a perpetual student, and/or working off the books all come together to allow an unprecedented number of people to fail to contribute to the continuing success and financing of our country.  There is a monthly government statistic called U-6 and another metric called Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate.  These two stats, added to the official Unemployment rate, reveal another estimated 12 million unemployed or underemployed individuals over and above the official stats.  Another important metric is people who could work but choose not to do so.  Yes, the government keeps that number as well.  When you combine all these numbers, you approach 100 million people who don't work for a variety of reasons.  That number has risen by about 35 million in the last ten years.

Right After Biden Successfully Buys Votes With Student Loan Bailout, Supreme Court Will Weigh In.  The Supreme Court will decide whether the Biden administration acted lawlessly when it authorized the cancellation of hundreds of billions of dollars in student loans.  The high court announced on Thursday that it would expedite an appeal brought by the Biden administration challenging a lower court's injunction freezing its loan "forgiveness" program, promising a hearing in February on the issues.  Until then, the Supreme Court will let stand the injunction the Eighth Circuit issued in Nebraska v. Biden.  That injunction prevents the Biden administration from cancelling student loans of up to $20,000 per borrower, pending resolution of the legal challenge to the debt-forgiveness plan brought by six states: Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Carolina.

Keywords:  Buying votes, money laundering, slush fund, graft.
Oakland Will Send Taxpayer Dollars To Residents So They Can Donate To Politicians.  Oakland, California, is set to give adult residents vouchers to donate to candidates for local office every other year, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.  Nearly 74% of the city's voters approved Measure W, mandating that the city biannually send four $25 dollar vouchers to residents 18 years of age and older for donations to mayoral, City Council or school board candidates, the outlet reported.  The program will be paid for with city general funds and include legal permanent residents who lack U.S. citizenship.

Biden Extends Student Loan Pause Again After Declaring 'Pandemic Is Over'.  President Joe Biden reportedly plans to extend the pause on federal student loan payments through the summer of 2023 as his student debt cancellation plan faces legal challenges.  The Department of Education will soon announce the extension of the freeze, according to a report from CNN.  The first payments will be due two months after June 30, unless the Supreme Court greenlights the administration's debt forgiveness program beforehand.  A similar report from Bloomberg quoted multiple unnamed sources.

The scary part is that the students fell for it.  Some time ago, President Biden announced an executive order aimed at helping students with college debt, promising $10,000 in debt relief from federal student loans for most and $20,000 in debt relief from the poorest recipients who qualified for Pell grants.  It was "Pandering 101" and really aimed at getting college students to vote Democrat ahead of the midterms.  What else was it?  Well, it worked and the young voted for Uncle Joe and his loan-forgiving ideas.  They probably saved the U.S. Senate for the Democrats and cut losses in the House.

Gravy: 73% of Joe Biden's student loan amnesty recipients plan to spend their windfall on travel, dining out, new tech -poll.  After jeremiad after jeremiad about student loan debt crushing the younger generation, with the media touting drama and womyn's studies majors being unable to get highly paid jobs, it turns out the situation doesn't seem to have been so bad after all: [...] As for whether this is the best use of federal money — or another inflation additive, most people know the answer to that.  The problem with Biden's debt amnesty is that it's a one-size fits all solution.  There are some borrowers who got in over their heads and took on college majors that don't pay enough to recover them — the $300 a month forgivenesss for them actually isn't going to help much.  Others, who scrimped and saved to pay off their debt, get nothing, too.  Then there are the vast majority, the 73%, the coming Apple Watch buyers and airline ticket purchasers, who didn't need the help, the debt amnesty was just an express ticket to live it up earlier, a great government freebie.  For them, it's gravy.

Flailing Biden goes 'Hugo Chavez' with free heating oil handouts just as midterms approach.  [Scroll down] Handing out free heating oil is a cheap Band-aid solution and won't do a thing to fix inflation, which is what the claimed purpose is.  Biden's federal spending on this all of his claimed inflation-alleviation handouts, in fact, will make inflation worse, because free stuff always raises demand for such free stuff.  Apply that to fixed resources and the price goes up — with the result inflation.

Less than a week before the mid-term election:
Harris to announce $13B from Democratic bill for home energy upgrades.  Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Boston on Wednesday to announce more than $13 billion in new federal programs and funds to help lower energy costs for households this winter.  The $13 billion, provided through the Inflation Reduction Act, will fund a grab bag of energy efficiency, home, and electrification upgrades to help people "weatherize" their homes for winter and assist low-income families with heating costs.

Los Angeles and L.A. County buy into guaranteed income movement.  Following a national trend, Los Angeles and Los Angeles County have embraced the popular guaranteed income concept to combat poverty by offering low-income residents no-strings-attached money.  The city of Los Angeles offers a guaranteed income program to 3,200 participants chosen at random to receive $1,000 per month for 12 months.  Los Angeles County has responded with two guaranteed programs of its own.  The county's pilot guaranteed income program involves 1,000 participants who will receive $1,000 monthly payments for three years.  The budget is $16.3 million, and the county will use federal COVID-19 relief money to pay for the program, according to Los Angeles County.  The program began in August.

Biden Is 'Buying Votes' Ahead of Midterm Elections With Policy Decisions: Rep. Lauren Boebert.  As the Nov. 8 midterm election draws near, some see recent moves by President Joe Biden as a desperate means to "buying votes."  [For example,] Pardons for Marijuana Offenses:  On Oct. 6, Biden announced a blanket pardon for some federal marijuana possession convictions.  "No one should be in jail just for using or possessing marijuana," Biden said.  "Sending people to prison for possessing marijuana has upended too many lives and incarcerated people for conduct that many states no longer prohibit.  Criminal records for marijuana possession have also imposed needless barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities."  He went on to say that minorities are disproportionately targeted by law enforcement for marijuana offenses.

Will Biden Cancel Medical Debt Next?  Nobody has yet come up with a definitive estimate of the full taxpayer cost of President Joe Biden's student loan bailout, but the numbers are already staggering.  And as budget-busting as this one is, it's only whetted the Left's appetite for more loan bailouts.  When the White House announced Biden's plan, they said the cost of the loan cancelations would cost $240 billion over 10 years.  The Congressional Budget Office just released its estimate and pegged the cost at $400 billion, plus another $20 billion in costs by the extension of Biden's "emergency" payment suspension through the end of this year — a suspension allegedly in response to COVID, which Biden himself says is no longer a pandemic.  That is close to the estimate from the Wharton school which put the 10-year cancellation cost between $469 billion and $519 billion.  But that's only a small part of the taxpayers' largesse Biden wants to shower on college students.

Gavin Newsom to Send 'Inflation Relief Checks' to Californians Right Before [the next] Election.  California will begin sending "inflation relief checks" to residents in October, right before Election Day, as voters are mailing in their ballots, thanks to a plan launched by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and agreed to earlier this year by the state's Democrats.  As Breitbart News reported, Newsom's plan began as a proposed rebate to help residents afford the high cost of gasoline, which is more expensive in California than in any other state thanks to taxes and regulations (which were not reformed).  Ultimately, the Democrat-dominated state legislature, which had refused to delay a rise in the gas tax, agreed to the "inflation relief checks."  Coincidentally, they will begin arriving as Newsom, who is up for reelection, will face the voters' verdict.

One-Time $1,000 Stimulus Payment Announced for Washington Families.  Some low-income families in Washington, D.C., are set to receive a payment of $1,000 as they prepare to return to school, according to Mayor Muriel Bowser on Thursday [8/18/2022].  "We know that back-to-school time can be an expensive time of year for families — new uniforms, haircuts, supplies.  There are a lot of expenses all at once," Bowser said.  "So we are disbursing these funds now to give families an extra cash bump during a busy time of year so that our students and families can have a strong start to an important school year."  Families enrolled in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) are slated to receive the one-time payments, which were provided via the Congress-passed American Rescue Plan in 2021, over the next several weeks.  The mayor's office said that 15,000 families are enrolled in the program.

A pro-Herschel Walker gas giveaway fuels Democratic outrage.  A long line of cars formed at a Chevron gas station south of downtown Atlanta on Saturday [6/4/2022] as word spread that a political action committee was handing out $25 vouchers.  Now the pro-Herschel Walker group's giveaway is fueling a different sort of backlash.  The initiative by 34N22 was designed to highlight rising gas prices, a top issue for Republicans hoping to capitalize on inflation and economic uncertainty to unseat U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock.

$10,000 for Your Vote?  Never in our nation's history has a U.S. president concocted such a naked and rotten vote-buying scheme.  Of course, never in our nation's history has a U.S. president and his political party been so desperate for votes.  "White House officials are currently planning to cancel $10,000 in student debt per borrower, after months of internal deliberations over how to structure loan forgiveness for tens of millions of Americans, three people with knowledge of the matter said." So says The Washington Post, which added that Biden might've made the announcement last weekend during his commencement address at the University of Delaware, but the Uvalde massacre apparently changed in his plans.

Biden Tiptoes Closer to Mass Forgiveness of Federal Student Loan Debt.  President Joe Biden is on the verge of announcing $10,000 in federal student loan forgiveness per borrower for millions of Americans, according to The Washington Post.  "The White House's latest plans called for limiting debt forgiveness to Americans who earned less than $150,000 in the previous year, or less than $300,000 for married couples filing jointly," write Post reporters Tyler Pager, Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, and Jeff Stein.  Their sources did not say "whether the administration will simultaneously require interest and payments to resume at the end of August, when the current pause is scheduled to lapse."  Federal student loans have been frozen since March 2020.

Former Corinthian students get federal student debt erased.  Hundreds of thousands of students who attended the for-profit Corinthian Colleges chain will automatically get their federal student loans canceled, the Biden administration announced Wednesday, a move that aims to bring closure to one of the most notorious cases of fraud in American higher education.  Under the new action, anyone who attended the now-defunct chain from its founding in 1995 to its collapse in 2015 will get their federal student debt wiped clean.

Biden Plans To Cancel $10,000 In Student Debt Per Borrower Ahead Of Midterms.  As soon as this weekend, President Biden could announce a plan to cancel $10k in student debt per borrower, according to WaPo, citing three people with knowledge of the matter.  Biden could make the announcement at the University of Delaware's commencement ceremony on Saturday.  The plan would apply to Americans who earned less than $150k in the previous year or less than 300k for married couples filing jointly.  On April 6, the White House announced it would extend the pause of federal student loan repayments through August 31.  It wasn't clear if the administration would extend the moratorium beyond this.

It's not debt forgiveness, it's debt transfer.  Laura Ingraham sparked intense outrage on the left (what's new) with her recent remarks criticizing President Biden's reported plans to push forward with his student loan debt "forgiveness" scheme.  Before we get to that, let's establish the obvious:  this isn't debt forgiveness, it's a debt transfer.  Since money can't be evaporated or erased, the existing debt — that is, money that has already been spent — will be paid by someone.  What the president is promising to do is to tell the people who took the loans that they don't have to fulfill their obligation to pay, while telling taxpayers they get to.

Biden is circling closer to a student loan forgiveness executive order.  Despite the lack of any definitive proof that the President has the authority to simply cancel student loan debt without congressional approval, Joe Biden is reportedly in talks to do precisely that and he claims a decision will be coming in a matter of weeks.  The progressive lobby in Congress has been pushing Biden to take such an action, but he supposedly isn't prepared to give them everything they want.  The target figure for progressives is $50,000 in debt relief for everyone.  Biden said he's not going that high and there are expected to be income caps associated with any proposed relief.  What the exact figures are remains to be seen.  But if it's anything close to what's being suggested in this report from National Review, there are definitely going to be a lot of questions among the public.

Biden's Loan Forgiveness Fraud.  His popularity flagging, President Joe Biden is using the oldest trick in the book to return voters to the Democrats' fold:  Don't earn their future votes, buy them.  And that's exactly what Biden is doing with his $1 trillion plan to "forgive" student loans.  Biden had already allowed students to "postpone" paying their loans during the pandemic "emergency," even those who have jobs and could make the payments.  So why now forgive the loans?  The truth is, one of the biggest recent declines in Biden's support comes among Americans of college age and slightly older, the very group most likely to have a pile of student loans.  What better, or more cynical, way to revive their flagging political support than to bribe them with a "free" education?

What if Joe Biden forgives all student loans?  Perhaps the Democrats in Washington are beginning to realize that even their base, particularly the old school Democrats, are turned off by the Democrats' focus on peripheral issues such as climate change, abortion, and transgenderism, while they ignore the record-high inflation that is rapidly draining voters' savings, the supply chain crisis, the influx of illegal immigrants, and numerous other Biden-made crises.  With only six months left until midterms, the Democrats realize that the only way to enthuse and appease their base is to implement some of the very radical items that have always been on their list.  One of their most important voting bases are young voters, who frequently carry significant student loans.  They've been calling for debt forgiveness, which, of course, will amount to a freebie.  Freebies are often used to bribe voters prior to elections with the hope that a record of misgovernance will be overlooked.

HUD Pushes Voter Registration Drives in Public Housing Under Biden's Executive Order.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will engage in voter registration efforts that in some cases allow mass collection of voter registration forms by public housing officials, raising concerns about the potential for voter fraud among other legal issues.  HUD's voter registration drive comes as part of the "all-of-government" approach described in an executive order from President Joe Biden.  HUD sent guidance to executive directors of more than 3,000 public housing authorities managing about 1.2 million housing units, providing advice on "running a PHA-initiated voter registration drive."  In government parlance, PHA stands for public housing agency.

The Editor says...
No one who lives in public housing or subsists on government handouts should be allowed to vote.  That's just common sense, but to put it into federal law would be politically impossible.  Without incentives and motivation, poor and lazy people will stay on welfare indefinitely.

Can Biden buy votes with student debt relief?  The 2020 Democratic presidential primary race was a bidding war in which the various candidates advocated spending trillions of dollars to enact sweeping progressive agendas.  Some agendas were a bit more sweeping than others, but they all amounted to unprecedented increases in federal spending.  Take the issue of student loans.  Sen. Bernie Sanders, the most progressive of the contenders, wanted to cancel all $1.6 trillion in student debt — just throw out all student loans for 40-plus million people and somehow make Wall Street pay for it.  Sen. Elizabeth Warren pledged to forgive everyone's student loans up to $50,000.  And President Joe Biden, the most cautious of the bunch, promised to "forgive a minimum of $10,000 per person of federal student loans."  But here's the thing.  It didn't happen, and yet no person with student loan debt has had to make a payment, any payment, for more than two years.  It is all in the name of COVID relief.  And it is still going on.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to give tax breaks and up to $800 debit cards to all Golden State drivers as gas hits $5.88 a gallon.  California drivers shouldering the highest gas prices in the nation could soon get a tax break, free public transportation and up to $800 debit cards to help pay for fuel — but economics experts warn it'll drive up inflation even more.  The proposal was revealed Wednesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, as gas prices have continued to soar in recent weeks from pandemic-induced inflation and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.  'That direct relief will address the issue that we are all struggling to address and that is the issue of gas prices,' Newsom said in a video posted on Twitter this week.

Biden Administration In Talks To Pay Illegal Immigrants $450,000 Per Person.  If the Biden administration were trying to convince Americans it had little sympathy for the economic distress, growing shortages, and job uncertainty many are facing, one way to do it would be to offer an extreme amount of money to illegal immigrant families who claim they were victims of separations under Trump's zero-tolerance immigration policy.  It sounds insane, right?  Well brace yourselves.  That is, in fact, what the Biden administration is in talks to do. [...] Although the numbers aren't final, the payout could reach the staggering amount of more than $1 billion.  That's a whole lot of cheese for what the families say were health, mental and otherwise, problems caused by actions they themselves decided to inflict on their children when they made the decision to enter the country illegally.

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter signs executive order that provides guaranteed income for families in need.  On Thursday, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter signed Executive Order 2020-24 that authorizes the creation of the People's Prosperity Pilot, St. Paul's Guaranteed Income Demonstration Program.  A release from the mayor's office states the program is led by the Office of Financial Empowerment.  The People's Prosperity Pilot will provide up to 150 St. Paul families with $500 a month in guaranteed income for a period of up to 18 months.  The projected budget of up to $1.5 million will be supported through the Mayors For Guaranteed Income national network, philanthropy, and city of St. Paul CARES funds.  Households will be randomly selected from CollegeBound St. Paul families from the city's most racially diverse and lowest wealth neighborhoods.

The Indignity of Universal Basic Income.  There is an increasing push to implement some form of Universal Basic Income (UBI), especially among tech elites who believe that advances in robotics and artificial intelligence will bring about mass technologically-driven unemployment.  Andrew Yang, the founder of Venture for America, is running for president on the belief that a UBI will resolve many of the woes of the losers of economic transition in recent decades. [...] Its virtues in theory, however, don't negate the problems of proposing it as a response to anxieties about automation.  The intentions of today's UBI advocates bear only a passing resemblance to the arguments from efficiency or the moral desert of citizens that once were cornerstones of the debate.  Instead we hear of UBI as the only option for dealing with the threat of mass automation.

Voting for Dollars.  What if correctional facility prisoners throughout the country were allowed to vote for any candidate they wanted and there just so happened to be a candidate who ran on the promise that if elected all sentences would be commuted to time served?  And by voting together these prisoners constituted a majority, are there any doubts as to who would win and what the results would be?  Well, there is no need to think in the hypothetical for the answer because the results of such a system are seen in most major liberal cities across the United States.  And it's all done legally by nonworking people who vote for Democrat candidates promising to overtax hardworking Americans to pay for the stuff they say is "free."

Democrats Introduce $100 Million 'End Diaper Need' Act.  Two Democratic congresswomen on Thursday introduced the "End Diaper Need Act of 2019", a bill they say "would create a $100 million demonstration program for distributing free diapers and diapering products in states, communities, and nonprofits around the nation to help reduce the diaper need in low-income families and underserved communities."  Representatives Barbara Lee from California and Rosa DeLauro from Connecticut are the sponsors.  "No family should have to choose between buying diapers for their child or buying groceries — but that is exactly the situation many families face every day," said Congresswoman DeLauro in a press release.

The Editor says...
From what I've seen at convenience stores, the lower-class customers have plenty of money for cigarettes, beer, and lottery tickets.  In fact, they're probably poor because they make unwise choices and they have faulty priorities.  In the example above, the Congresswoman claims that there are poor people who can't buy groceries if they buy diapers.  Nonsense.  People like that don't buy groceries at all.  You and I are already buying their groceries with food stamps.

The Great American Rip-Off.  Ask a politician how he wants to balance the budget and, nine times out of ten, he'll give you a politician's answer:  cutting "waste, fraud, and abuse."  Normally, the correct response to this is contempt and mockery:  What drives federal spending isn't office supplies walking out the back door with a rogue secretary at the Merit Systems Protection Board — what drives federal spending is Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  And you know where there's a lot of waste, fraud, and abuse?  Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  Identifying small-ball efficiencies at obscure federal agencies would not do very much to get federal spending under control, but getting a grip on the shenanigans that plague the major entitlements — especially the health-care entitlements — could mean substantial savings, "substantial" here meaning hundreds of billions of dollars.

New Yorkers rally to subsidize MTA fare for low-income residents.  Sunday [3/19/2017] marked first day the newest MTA fare hikes took effect.  While the price of a single subway or bus ride has not increased, a coalition of New Yorkers said it was time to give low-income riders a break.  Activists, local officials, and community leaders came together to ask Mayor de Blasio to step in.  They want him to carve out a chunk of the 2018 city budget to subsidize MetroCards for New Yorkers below the poverty line.

The politics of envy behind 'white privilege' nonsense.  Many of those illegal immigrants trying to enter here come from circumstances much worse than any existing in our inner cities.  We live in a country with abundant resources available to all willing to work for them and that is why President Trump is pushing jobs for all as the real end to poverty.  15 TRILLION dollars have been spent in the war on poverty and yet liberals are still demanding more money for welfare programs so that the poor can vote and keep them in office.  Considering that most of these trillions did go to help the non-white, is it time to reflect that there might also be a black privilege?

Free rides on the subway:  Essentially an invitation to live on the train.
De Blasio:  MTA shouldn't hike fares because 'people are hurting'.  Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday the MTA should seriously reconsider its plan to raise fares for subway and bus riders next year.  "I am very concerned about any fare hike because I think people are hurting economically right now, and I think we have to be very, very careful about putting an additional burden on people's lives," the mayor said on his weekly radio show on WNYC.  "I think the MTA should be very careful on this fare hike issue."  Hizzoner also said he has yet to make a decision on a separate proposal by anti-inequality advocates calling for Metro Card discounts based on people's incomes.

Chelsea Clinton Blunder!  Admits Hillary Will Give Illegals ObamaCare!  As Hillary is also on board to continue to flood the country with illegal immigrants, this in itself could be the death of America as we know it!

Clinton offers Temple students debt relief, urges them to vote.  Hillary Clinton, campaigning Monday at Temple University, told college students — many of whom are drowning in debt — that she's the candidate to address their needs. [...] Clinton told the crowd of 300 at Mitten Hall that she has a plan that would offer debt-free public college for everyone, apprentice programs for those who opt to not go to college, and high-quality child care for every family.  The pitch was part of her campaign's push to get millennials involved and committed to voting for her in November.

California Dems Push For Obamacare For Illegal Immigrants.  California Democrats advocated for President Barack Obama to sign a waiver allowing undocumented immigrants to buy healthcare plans through the Obamacare exchanges Wednesday [9/14/2016], claiming the change would not be federally subsidized.  California's Democratic delegation sent a letter to the administration Monday pushing to make the state the first exemption from the Affordable Care Act's provision preventing illegals from purchasing plans.

Photos: Embarrassing Turnout For Hillary Clinton Keynote Speech At Baptist Convention.  [Scroll down]  Clinton repeatedly cited scripture during her speech, praising Baptist pastors around the country and promised increased government spending to assist their congregations.

Everybody's a victim.
Student loan bailout proposed for victims of university 'fraud'.  If that Ivy League philosophy degree doesn't result in the career of your dreams, cheer up:  You may be able to have your student loans forgiven by claiming you were misled by the university.  A broadly written rule proposed by the Education Department would allow students to discharge their federal loan debt if they can show that they were "defrauded or deceived" by a university's "substantial misrepresentation," an added layer of regulation that could leave universities and taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars.  "We do not need another federal bailout," American Commitment President Phil Kerpen said in a statement Wednesday [7/20/2016].

Food Stamps Across State Increase After John Bel Edwards Drops Work Requirement.  Louisiana residents receiving taxpayer-funded food stamps is on the rise in the state, even though the national average is dipping, thanks to a plan to nix welfare reform by Gov. John Bel Edwards.  In an Associated Press (AP) report, some 19 percent of the state's 4.6 million residents are now on food stamps.  In just one year, the state has jumped 9 percent in food stamp dependency.

The Editor says...
There's only one reason for the Governor to make it easier to rely on food stamps:  Politics.

Obamacare Moves to Cover More Criminals.  White House officials on Thursday [4/28/2016] announced a new rule that would extend government-funded health care to most people living in halfway houses, providing coverage to nearly 100,000 additional people.  They also clarified for states that people on probation, parole or in home confinement were not considered inmates of a public institution and could also receive the government-funded coverage.  Medicaid, the program they will be covered under, extends to the poorest Americans under Obamacare and comes at little or no cost to patients.

This is Obama's America:  Everybody's a victim.
Obama administration to write off $7.8 billion of student debt for hundreds of thousands of disabled graduates.  The Obama administration is to forgive $7.8 billion of student debt for hundreds of thousands of disabled graduates.  Today [4/19/2016] the Department of Education announced a new process for identifying 400,000 borrowers with disabilities who are eligible for the federal loan-forgiveness program.  Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell said that too few people have been taking advantage of the program because they either weren't aware of it or felt it was too complicated.

The Editor says...
What counts as a disability?  Stress?  Unemployment?  No sound from the left stereo speaker?

Why Obama is forgiving the student loans of nearly 400,000 people.  Hundreds of thousands of student loan borrowers will now have an easier path to getting their loans discharged, the Obama administration announced Tuesday [4/12/2016].  The Department of Education will send letters to 387,000 people they've identified as being eligible for a total and permanent disability discharge, a designation that allows federal student loan borrowers who can't work because of a disability to have their loans forgiven.  The borrowers identified by the Department won't have to go through the typical application process for receiving a disability discharge, which requires sending in documented proof of their disability.  Instead, the borrower will simply have to sign and return the completed application enclosed in the letter.

Obama Admin Pushes Federal Funding to Fix Diaper Inequality.  The Obama administration has pushed some strange crusades before at taxpayer expense, but "diaper disparity"?  Apparently, yes.  The White House website features a plea for us all to "take action" on the country's "diaper divide."  This means pushing federal funding to the tune of $10 million U.S. tax-dollars to get "diapers to families in need."  "Nearly 1 in 3 families struggle to afford diapers for their babies," reads the March 10 post by Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.

With Every Other Problem Solved, Obama Makes Diaper Prices A Priority.  An official White House email alerts the public that while diapers "are basic necessities ... nearly one in three families struggle to afford them for their babies."  These families, the email says, are forced to choose among food, heat and diapers.  "That's a choice no family should have to make."  The email directed recipients to a White House Web page [...] wherein Cecilia Munoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, laments that while the lucky few can buy diapers by the truckload at Costco or order them for cheap on Amazon, "the benefits of the new economy aren't available to all Americans."

The Editor says...
Some luxuries are not "available to all Americans" because some Americans do not work, and some Americans are incurably stupid, and some Americans spend their money on cigarettes, beer, concert tickets, false eyelashes, and scratch-off lottery tickets rather than spending it on diapers for their illegitimate children.

A Retrospective on the Obama Years.  [Scroll down]  Democrats have advanced two-tier drivers licenses, in-state college tuition, sanctuary cities, and all types of welfare benefits on behalf of illegal aliens for years.  For this, they have been handsomely rewarded at the polls — especially in blue states.  But that was prior to the mass child migration of 2014, high profile crimes committed by sanctuary city-protected offenders — and Donald Trump.  Put aside Trump's gratuitous insults and hyperbole for a moment, and even the inconsistencies and ad hominem attacks on his opponents.  His central premise is impossible to dismiss:  no sovereignty equals no country.

Colorblind America: A Malignant Fallacy.  Yes, African Americans are slightly more conservative than white Americans on social issues such as abortion and school prayer.  The problem is that African Americans do not vote on these issues.  They vote on one issue:  race.  Wealthy blacks are just as likely as poor blacks to vote for the Democratic candidate.  The reason is simple:  The Democrats are willing to give blacks more goodies.  Republicans should recognize that in the short term there is no way to win the black vote.  What they should do, therefore, is allow the Democratic Party to be the party of blacks and black demands.

Obama and the Insanity of the Liberal Mind.  Liberal economic policies like Keynesian taxing and spending and increased minimum wages are illogical and have failed.  Affirmative action and other forms of social manipulation will not produce more productive members of society but rather, more resentful minorities.  And bringing in untold numbers of indigent immigrants, whether Hispanic, Muslim, or otherwise, will only create more of a burden on government-run social welfare programs.  The illogic of liberalism has led to a doubling down of failed policies that are creating more poor, unemployed, and government dependents — and Democratic votes.

Feds' 'Welcome' Guide for New Immigrants Advises on Public Benefits — in 14 Different Languages.  The Obama administration has released an updated welcome guide for new immigrants in the U.S. featuring detailed sections about obtaining public benefits including food stamps, welfare, and Obamacare.  "You or members of your family may be eligible for other federal benefits, depending on your immigration status, length of time in the United States, and income level," the guidebook reads.

Loud and proud: The 'It's not fair' party makes it official.  Remember John Edwards speech about the two Americas?  In 2004, he gave a powerful speech about the two Americas:  the America of the privileged and the wealthy, and the America of those who lived from paycheck to paycheck.  Since I've always resided in that second part of the country, I was interested in hearing his solution and guess what?  I heard the same thing at the Dem debate weeks ago.  Take the money from the wealthy and give it to those like me who are struggling.  Only problem is, their plans always take the money away from me, the average taxpayer, to give it to someone who will vote for them even if they've never paid any taxes.

Welfare and race
Welfare and Race.  A single graphic explains why it is a waste of time for the GOP to try to challenge Democrat hegemony among blacks and Hispanics.

Obama program would give e-books to poor.  President Obama on Thursday [5/1/2015] will announce a strategy for providing 10,000 free e-books to children lacking financial resources.  Obama will announce the initiative from the Anacostia Library in Southeast Washington, D.C., according to Reuters.  It will feature $250 million in e-books committed by multiple publishers for the program.

The Editor asks...
What's wrong with ordinary books?  Too traditional?  Too American?  Too white?  The minute these "children lacking financial resources" get their hands on a new electronic device of any kind, they'll head for the nearest pawn shop.

Obama Is Not Hitler.  But if Obama continues to bring in people who have no interest in showing allegiance to American ideals and values, and all he does is entice them with goodies, is this not step one in transforming the country where the American Dream becomes the American nightmare?  After all, their first move was to break American law, aided and abetted by the con man in the White House.

Dropouts are the Real Problem.  "Give a man a fish and he'll eat today.  Teach a man to fish and he'll eat forever."  That old saying is one of the favorites of conservatives who see education as a path to a better future.  But that saying assumes that the proverbial "man" is willing to learn.  Therein lies the rub.  Too many men (and women) are content to "eat today" rather than "eat forever." [...] [T]he number of people receiving food stamps has, since 2009, increased from about 28 million to over 47 million, a 70% increase from 2009 to 2013.  Why is this important?  Because high school dropouts, those not willing to "learn to fish," make up nearly half the heads of households on welfare. [...] So what does Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama propose?  Another give-away program.

Landrieu flyer

Landrieu supporters papering town with threats of losing government benefits.  In the closing hours of the election, Landrieu supporters have been busy bees indeed.  One report coming in to Hot Air indicates that a very specific threat has been going around to anyone in several low income communities as to what will happen if they don't get out there and vote for the incumbent Senator.

Obamacare as Permanent Welfare.  President Reagan gauged the success of a welfare program by how quickly people were able to move off government assistance and into remunerative work.  Yet President Obama, the White House, and their allies are measuring the success of Obamacare by how many people can be enrolled in their new government entitlement programs.  The president celebrated the law's "success" in getting seven million people enrolled in Medicaid and eight million (or so) people enrolled in exchange coverage, 87 percent of whom are receiving government subsidies for their insurance.

Shrinking government and seeing a shrink.  Avik Roy at Forbes describes why he feels that Obamacare is unrepealable.  Once a government program starts sending out tax credits or welfare checks it is more firmly enshrined than the US constitution.

Dem Sen. Wyden: Give Every Child a $500 College Savings Account.  Sen. Ron Wyden, (D-OR) is intending to draft a law that would entitle every child born in the United States to a $500 savings account of their own.  Wyden stated that if there were universal savings accounts for newborns, it would "really put a dent in the poverty rate."

The Editor says...
This is nothing new.  Hillary Clinton had the same idea 6½ years ago, except her idea was to give every newborn $5,000.  The money wouldn't come out of her pocket, or Senator Wyden's pocket, so why not offer $50,000?

When the Have Nots Become the Haves.  New research from the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee shows that over the last five years, the U.S. has spent about $3.7 trillion on welfare.  "We have just concluded the 5th fiscal year since President Obama took office.  During those five years, the federal government has spent a total $3.7 trillion on approximately 80 different means-tested poverty and welfare programs. [...] The goal has always been to get enough people receiving benefits to out-vote the ones paying for the benefits.

Obama food stamps
Amnesty Supporters Fast, Creates Glut Of Food Stamps!  A USDA spokesman reports that the glut is so severe that agency broadcasts (in Spanish) into Mexico to promote food stamps has been scaled back to just two shifts, leaving the graveyard shift and tens of millions of illegal alien wannabes in Mexico grossly underrepresented.  Domestically, food stamp gluts have become pandemic in California, Texas, and Georgia where millions of illegal aliens have joined the fast to protest the lack of respect for Mexican culture and tradition.

Who Are the 47 Percent?  When the federal government spends $3.8 trillion a year, it can buy a lot of votes.  Remember that every one of those 3.8 trillion dollars represents a check that someone cashed. [...] Democrats in Washington D.C. are euphoric because they believe that they have forged a permanent majority that will rule for the foreseeable future.  That is indeed a frightening possibility:  In today's world, with one in six Americans on food stamps and Kourtney Kardashian better known than Dwight Eisenhower, a coalition of the dependent, the uninformed and the rabidly partisan can easily constitute a majority.

3 million Californians could receive health insurance subsidies.  [A new] report estimates that nearly 3 million Californians could be eligible for generous insurance subsidies under the 2010 healthcare reform law, starting next year.  Anyone with an income between one and four times the federal poverty line — in other words, between $23,550 and $94,200 for a family of four — could receive a tax credit that reduces monthly premiums dramatically.

The United States is a Euro-Socialist Nation.  The unspoken and well-hidden reality is that the "West" has finally reached the point of saturation wherein its economies and societies can no longer afford to guarantee a certain standard of living for the citizens of these countries in exchange for their votes.  But that has not stopped the governing class in these nations from continuing on this disastrous path.

Washington Proposes $1 Trillion Bailout for Delinquent Student Loans.  America's now-nationalized student loan industry just reached a value of $1 trillion, according to Citigroup, growing at a 20 percent-per-year pace.  Since President Obama nationalized the industry (a tacked-on provision of the Obamacare bill), tuition has gone up 25 percent and the three-year default rate is at a record 13.4 percent.

Post-election surprise: A slew of bad news.  [For example,] Food-stamp enrollment hit a new record.  (Can anyone keep up with all the records Mr. Obama keeps achieving?)  In a mid-November Non-Surprise, nearly 500,000 Americans signed on for food stamps in the months just before the election.  In fact (and boy, are you going to be shocked at this), 47 million Americans now depend on the federal government just to eat (and — wait for it — that's a 47 percent increase under Mr. Obama).

Time to Let the Country Crash?  Perhaps these people forget that Roosevelt was re-elected three times during a depression that he helped prolong — a depression that featured soup lines and starvation in a population that actually wanted to work for a living and went on relief only as a last resort, and then with a sense of shame.  Thanks to food stamps, EBT cards, and other entitlements, Barack Obama actually had an easier time.  He just had to threaten that the evil rich would take away flat-screens and "crazy money" to get enough votes.  Imagine if people were really hungry.

What Did You Expect from Short Term Thinkers?  Obviously, what we've long suspected has been proven true.  The takers now officially outnumber the makers.  It's human nature to want what others have and not want to do what others did to get it, but Obama has taken that to a whole new level by fostering the belief that breathing is enough to guarantee you food, housing, education, and a cell phone.

Bleary Eyes, Broken Hearts, We Lost.  It is the leftist ideal world plus the lure of free stuff that brought Obama's vote back out in sufficient numbers to give him the win.  Free stuff and the promise of more free stuff is one of the few proposals that he actually ran on.

Is Obama buying the election with his welfare explosion?  With the unprecedented explosion of means-tested, welfare-related entitlements, does Team Obama think it can buy the election?

The Sure Cure for Voter Fraud.  The left already buys votes by the tens of millions using our tax dollars to elect toadies who will oppose our economic interests and moral beliefs.  The left creates a vast superstructure of taxpayer-funded public schools, libraries, and colleges to brainwash young minds into becoming robots of leftism.  The left does not need or want to buy or coerce individual voters; it does not even think of Americans as individuals.  So why does the left still need to steal votes?  The left needs voter fraud because at its core, the corrupt, vain, and dumb left is just that weak.  What can we do, though, if judges step in and stop laws intended to stop voter fraud from being enforced?

Free healthcare clinic at L.A. Sports Arena draws 4,800.  In addition to receiving medical treatment, patients were enrolled in a free coverage program to prepare for the federal healthcare overhaul that takes effect in 2014.

Obama Is Trying To Buy The Hispanic And Female Vote With Another Government Giveaway.  Now that the polls say that President Barack Obama's poll numbers with women and the Hispanics in the United States aren't as exceedingly high as they were previously, there is suddenly a new benefit to the farming — and rancher — community who are either female or Hispanic, who feel they were discriminated against in the not-so-distant past.  How ironic that this benefit to females and Hispanics is being offered right before President Obama's reelection date.  One might logically think that the timing of this benefit to these groups — who vote — is planned to sway their presidential election vote on November 6.  It's just one of the many, many methods in which an incumbent president can grab some extra votes in the eleventh hour.

Who Will Out the Outers?  Mitt Romney uttered an uncomfortable truth:  a large portion of the electorate has been bribed with government funds to vote for the party of government.  Noting aloud that the land of the free is slowly becoming the land of the freeloader isn't necessarily wrong.  It's just not the kind of thing polite politicians say in public — which, in defense of the too-polite Romney, he didn't.

Obama Saw Welfare Class As Major Voting Bloc to Push His Progressive Redistributive Agenda.  Now there is audio of Obama from 1998 where he said he saw a growing welfare class as a way to further his progressive agenda.

Buchanan: Obama 'drug dealer of welfare'.  President Barack Obama is a "drug dealer of welfare," conservative commentator Pat Buchanan charged in an interview with Fox News's Greta Van Susteren Tuesday night [9/18/2012].  "Barack Obama is a drug dealer of welfare," he said, speaking on "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."  "He wants permanent dependency, in my judgment, of all these folks... somehow getting benefits, benefits, benefits and paying no taxes."

Pat Buchanan: 'Fabian socialist' Obama 'is a drug dealer of welfare'.  "This is the great conflict of our time," Buchanan said.  "Are we going down the road?  Barack Obama, in my judgment, is a Fabian socialist.  You saw the 'redistribution,' and by that I mean he's not [Independent Vermont Sen.] Bernie Sanders, who is right out in the open and honest about it, but he's a Fabian socialist who wants to move through gradualism and reform, step by step, until a majority of Americans are dependent upon government.  When that happens, the party of government wins every election."

Why is the race close?  President Obama's re-election hopes should be growing dimmer by the hour.  His domestic policy has caused unprecedented suffering: high unemployment, gas prices that have doubled, and record numbers on food stamps and disability.  His foreign policy has emboldened our enemies.  Our embassies are under attack and Iran's genocidal leaders are closer to acquiring nuclear weapons.  And yet it is a tight race.  How can that be?  Perhaps the polls are wrong.  But it's more likely that decades of media propaganda and public school indoctrination, as well as growing dependency on government, are taking their toll.

Everybody is a victim under Obama Redistribution.  Not all of the 52.9% (69,456,897) Obama voters were government dependent, but the core that placed him in power certainly were, and still are.  How many of Obama voters then and now were then and now on food stamps?  How many of them sit it out month by month waiting for the postman to deliver their government checks?

"Buying the votes of welfare recipients in most blatant way."
Elizabeth Warren Dips into FDR's Bag of Dirty Tricks.  In an effort to stuff welfare recipients into voting booths in November, Warren's daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi is spearheading an effort to force the state of Massachusetts to send out voter registration forms to state residents who are on welfare.  The mailing will cost Massachusetts about $275,000. [...] But back in 1939, even leading Democrats saw the potential destruction of our political system if politicians could so blatantly buy votes.  In that year, Senator Carl Hatch (D-N. Mex.) sponsored a successful bill to bar relief officials from blatantly campaigning for candidates.

Feds: Too few Americans 'turn to government for assistance'.  More Americans rely on their families for assistance than the government, so federal officials have undertaken an effort to help people to apply for federal assistance.  "Given that only 15 percent of you turn to government assistance in tough times, we want to make sure you know about benefits that could help you," USA.gov announced today [8/27/2012].  The "government made easy' website has created a "help for difficult financial times" page for people to learn more about the programs.

Whistle-blower, documents: Illinois state workers forced to attend Pelosi, Jesse Jackson Jr. event on taxpayer dime.  Documents and a whistle-blower affidavit obtained by The Daily Caller charge that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Illinois Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., and Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., participated in an unethical — and possibly illegal — effort to force 76 employees of an Illinois state agency to engage in political activity on the taxpayers' dime.  According to the whistle-blower, Rev. Jackson also encouraged the government employees to load first-generation and low-income college students up with student loan debt — because Democrats in Congress, he allegedly promised, would eventually pass laws to forgive that debt later.  "[T]hose people will continue to vote Democratic," Jackson Sr. said, according to the whistle-blower.

Massachusetts Sends Voter Registration Forms to 500K Welfare Recipients After Warren Daughter Lawsuit.  This week, Mitt Romney ripped into Barack Obama's "culture of dependency" — and rightly so.  More people are now on food stamps than at any time in American history; Obama's administration has gutted welfare-to-work requirements.  There's a reason for that:  the Democratic Party relies on those to whom it signs checks to boost them back into office.

10 Concepts Liberals Talk About Incessantly But Don't Understand.  [#7]  Charity:  Contributing your own money or time to a good cause is charity.  Liberals view themselves as charitable if they take someone else's tax dollars and give them away to people they hope will vote for them in return.

If Obama wins, look for expansion of the federal dole.  First, on July 12, the Obama administration issued a directive that could result in the removal of the work requirement from the landmark 1996 welfare reform law.  The work requirement was the heart of that reform, and removing it would mean, in the words of conservative welfare expert Robert Rector, "the end of welfare reform as we know it."  It will likely also mean more people on welfare, should Barack Obama — who has opposed welfare reform from the very beginning — win a second term.  Second, the Obama administration has made a far-reaching effort to increase the number of Americans on food stamps.

U.S. Becoming a Nation of Dependents.  The Obama administration is rapidly pursuing its vision of a "transformed" America — an America in which most people are dependent on government, and therefore the party of government, the Democrats, will be dominant.  One of the administration's prime vehicles for stimulating dependence is the food stamp program, which [...] has exploded under Obama.  Food stamps now make up 80% of "agriculture" spending, and the Department of Agriculture has come under fire for aggressively building up the numbers of food stamp recipients.  The Department has put out literature explaining how to hold "food stamp parties" in one's home to get friends and neighbors into the program.  It also sponsored a series of Spanish-language radio ads encouraging illegal immigrants and others to get on the dole.

Obama's Kind of Immigrants.  Of course Obama wants illegal immigration.  Illegal immigrants will depend on the federal government for subsistence, if the federal government offers it.  That's the whole purpose of the Democratic Party in the first place:  To create dependents and enhance their own power.  But think about what this means.  The Democratic Party, and its standard bearer Obama, can only survive politically if millions of people depend on them for their livelihood:  Their food, their shelter, and what passes for medical care and education when run by the government.

They Mean Well. Really?  The war on poverty, that has so far cost $16 trillion, has beggared America while achieving results exactly contrary to those intended.  The lower-class black family has been all but destroyed, with 70 percent of children being raised in single-parent homes.  Millions of inner-city denizens have been sentenced to a lifetime of dependence and despondency, their self-respect demolished, their spirit crushed by the culture of handouts.  Meanwhile, the poverty level has not budged an inch.  If a racist enemy planned to destroy the black community, he couldn't come up with a more efficient strategy of achieving his objective.  Ah, but the deep thinkers who are responsible for this tragedy "meant well."

Roberts, Blankenhorn, and the Power of Liberal Intimidation.  Given how many more Americans define themselves as conservative rather than as liberal, let alone than as left, how does one explain the success of left-wing policies?  One answer is the appeal of entitlements and a desire to be taken care of.  It takes a strong-willed citizen to vote against receiving free benefits.

Government wants more people on food stamps.  More than one in seven Americans are on food stamps, but the federal government wants even more people to sign up for the safety net program.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture has been running radio ads for the past four months encouraging those eligible to enroll.  The campaign is targeted at the elderly, working poor, the unemployed and Hispanics.

The Editor says...
No, the campaign is targeted at the ignorant, the gullible and the lazy — especially if they are old enough to vote.

Magic Accounting.  Lots of Americans are conflicted and confused about our welfare state.  That's forgivable — its programs are numerous, enormous, and complex.  What's unforgivable is how conservative politicians, rather than disabuse people of these misconceptions, exploit them to win electoral victories.

Sessions: Reid unwilling to consider reasonable food stamp reform.  The Senate's final vote on the farm bill is expected next week, but according to Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, there will be no substantial reforms to the food stamp program due to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's obstructionism.  Eighty percent of the spending from the farm bill this year goes to the federal government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, constituting $770 billion in spending over the next decade.  According to Sessions, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, Reid will not allow any of his reform measures — aimed at dealing with the swelling cost and growth of the welfare program — to even receive a vote.

It's Not a Welfare State, It's a Special Interest State.  The problem is that the concept of "welfare" has become an open, bottomless vessel into which every desire can be poured:  Government takeover of the entire health and retirement systems; detailed regulation of employment; manipulation of money; subsidies for housing, education, energy, food; or anything else that strikes the fancy of some segment of the public.  The "some segment" part is crucial, because today's welfare has ceased to be limited to that of the public generally, or to the welfare of any group that has a serious claim to special deserts.

California: America's Welfare Queen.  California is the nation's welfare queen:  The state accounts for one-third of America's welfare recipients, though it only contains one-eighth of the population, and there's no good reason for it. [...] The main reason that California is so dependent on welfare is its uniquely lax enforcement of the provisions of the 1996 welfare reforms.  As part of the creation of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, the federal government put in place a set of regulations on welfare payments to help or encourage recipients to return to work, such as the five-year lifetime limit on benefits.  California, however, is one of nine states that don't unconditionally enforce this supposedly nationwide provision.

Hope and Change ... the Constitution.  [Scroll down slowly]  We ignore history's numerous examples of how good intentions produce bad results.  Almost 50 years ago, another "transformative" president used government to launch a War on Poverty.  But for many welfare recipients and their families, poverty became "structural."  People became dependent on government.  After the government finally placed some restrictions on welfare, dependency declined.  Much to the surprise of those who denounced welfare reform as cruel, people changed their behavior.

The List Could Be Longer.  President Obama has been the worst president for business in my lifetime.  The result:  a stagnant economy where some half of American adults do not pay federal income taxes and almost half live in a household that received benefits from the U.S. government.  The President's rhetoric demonizing business and dividing the country, and the Administration's actions hurting the business environment or specific industries have dampened business hiring.

Dem Rep. Admits Party Expects Votes in Exchange for Gov. Handouts.  When Democrats are actually honest with the American people, they usually say things they wish they hadn't.  Like the time Michelle Obama told a Wisconsin crowd in 2008 that she was "really proud of her country ... for the first time in [her] adult life," or when John Kerry (D-Mass.) equated our military with terrorists, or more recently, when Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-Penn.) admitted that Democrats expect votes in exchange for all the free stuff that pass out to people via the government dole.

Government Efforts To Mix And Match Races Usually Fail.  Apparently the soaring national debt and the threat of a nuclear Iran are not enough to occupy the government's time, because the Obama administration is pushing to force Westchester County, N.Y., to create more low-income housing, in order to mix and match classes and races to fit the government's preconceptions.  Behind all this busy work for bureaucrats and ideologues is the idea that there is something wrong if a community does not have an even or random distribution of various kinds of people.

It's official: Obama, the Food-Stamp President.  A new report from the Congressional Budget Office states that there are now almost 45 million Americans getting food stamps — or, officially, the more genteel Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  That's one out of every seven residents.  The total yearly federal spending is $78 billion, which has something like tripled in the last 10 years.  The CBO estimates that the number of people SNAP benefits will continue to rise before beginning to decline at the end of 2014 — though, judging from the history of CBO forecasts, I'd say its guess is as good as yours.

The 'Obama Factor' and Unemployment Statistics.  The state-controlled Democrat Media Complex (DMC) loves to tout tiny improvements in the unemployment rate as evidence that the "President's plans are working".  I have to agree — those plans are working just fine — if what the President wants to do is reduce the number of makers, and boost the number of takers.  On that score, Obama has made undeniable progress from Day One of his administration.

7 Devastating Facts About the Obama Economy.  [#2]  Every seventh person you pass on the sidewalk now relies on food stamps.

Why Politicians Promise Heaven And Deliver Hell.  With all the talk about people paying their "fair share" of income taxes, why do nearly half the people in this country pay no income taxes at all?  Is that their "fair share"? Or is creating more recipients of government handouts, at no cost to themselves, simply a strategy to gain more votes?

The Entitled States of America: We Want More!  A record 46.5 million Americans rely on food stamps, and in 2010 the federal government paid out more money in the form of benefits than it collected in federal income taxes.  But perhaps the most striking measure of the success of the entitlement state has been the way it's eroded the stigma of being on the dole, while spreading dependency as a virtue as widely as possible.  In other words:  Everybody should buy everybody's free lunch.  And free breakfast too.

The Taker Nation.  [Scroll down]  At the end of the clip, an exasperated [Michael] Savage asked her what she did for a living, and she replied, "I'm on welfare."  Savage asked her where she thought welfare dollars came from, and she said, "From President Obama."  You could tell that Savage was getting angry, and he said, "Do you think Barack Obama makes your welfare payments out of his pocket?"  The woman was confused, but one thing was certain in her mind:  she was absolutely positive that Barack Obama was her benefactor.  In her world, the hardworking taxpayers who actually foot the bill for her indolence didn't even enter the picture.

Democrats sneak Uncle Sam into your bedroom.  [Scroll down]  Politicians are like drug dealers.  Once you're addicted to freebies, you suddenly realize the free lunch is not so free.  Like the drug dealers, the politicians want your money, to be sure, but what they really covet is your submission.  They love telling you what to do and they always claim it's for your own good.

Govt. Funds Campaign To Reduce Food Stamp Stigma.  The effort to boost the food stamp rolls was announced this month [October, 2010] in California, where more than 3 million residents benefit from the federal program each month.  Evidently, state and federal officials believe the number is way too low for the virtually bankrupt state with a population of about 37 million.

Govt. Agency Celebrates Rise In Public Assistance In 2011.  In its annual report to Congress the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) brags of an increase in the amount of public assistance it distributes and that it's leading a "cultural transformation to increase diversity, inclusion and accessibility."  The bloated agency also boasts of its work on "some of the world's most pressing problems, including food security, nutrition, food safety, climate change and sustainable bioenergy."

Food Stamps Become Lucrative Biz.  At stake are nearly $65 billion distributed annually to food-stamp recipients by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The number has skyrocketed in the last few years (from $28.5 billion in 2005 to $64.7 billion in 2010) in part because the Obama Administration has spent millions of dollars to recruit more participants and reduce the "stigma" associated with food stamps, even as the number surged without taxpayer-funded publicity campaigns.

USDA Spends $5 Mil To Recruit Food-Stamp Recipients.  The number of food-stamp recipients has skyrocketed in the last few years yet the Obama Administration keeps wasting millions of taxpayer dollars to recruit more participants in the name of eradicating "food insecure households."

Obama's Food Stamp Fetish.  Unlike the sign at the zoo cautioning us not to feed the animals, Americans are being taught that distributing food to each other through the tax code is economically wise and socially just.  But, notwithstanding the attempts of the Obama administration to make us dependent on federal subsidies for everything from health care to energy to mortgages, we are not caged animals reliant on the generosity of the zookeeper for our very survival.

Rep. West: Democratic handouts an 'insidious form of slavery'.  Freshman Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) on Wednesday evening [2/15/2012] praised the Republican Party for consistently fighting for individual freedom over the last 150 years, and criticized Democrats for pursuing "handouts" to the less fortunate that he said are a modern form of slavery.  "Our party firmly believes in the safety net," West said in a late Wednesday floor speech.  "We reject the idea of the safety net becoming a hammock.

A nation of takers.  More than 67.3 million Americans rely on assistance from Washington for everything from food, shelter and clothing to college tuition and health care.  These benefits cost federal taxpayers roughly $2.5 trillion annually.  About those taxpayers:  Even as the number of Americans receiving federal aid rises, the number of federal taxpayers continues to drop:  Nearly half of all Americans — 49.5 percent — don't pay any federal income taxes.  If that strikes you as an equation that will spell trouble down the road, you have a better grasp of the problem than many politicians have right now.

On the Dole: A fifth of all Americans.  Skyrocketing food-stamp enrollments over the last few years have played a notable role in this year's presidential race, but it's not just food stamps that have exploded — it's entitlements, generally:  housing subsidies, Medicaid rolls, college loans and much, much more.  And the trend is threatening to chip away at the very pillars that keep America's civil society functioning.

Report: Government Dependency Increases 23 Percent Under Obama.  American dependence on government has soared to an all-time high under the Obama administration, growing 23 percent in just two years, according to a new study by the Heritage Foundation.  The conservative research group's 2012 "Index of Dependence on Government" revealed that 67 million Americans are now banking on some federal program, including programs related to healthcare, housing, welfare, education subsidies, and other government programs that were "traditionally provided to needy people by local organizations and families."

It's takers versus makers and these days the takers are winning.  If you tried to hold a series of potluck dinners where a majority brought nothing to the table, but felt entitled to eat their fill, it would probably work out badly.  Yet that's essentially what we're doing.  In today's America, government benefits flow to large numbers of people who are encouraged to vote for politicians who'll keep them coming.  The benefits are paid for by other people who, being less numerous, can't muster enough votes to put this to a stop.

Obama Administration Blocks Reform of Food Stamp Fraud.  As a Bloomberg News commentary notes, large numbers of people who are not poor are getting food stamps, due to perverse incentives that encourage states to deliberately classify people as eligible in order to draw federal money to their state.  People are eligible in some states even if they are not poor at all, but merely received an "informational brochure" for welfare, or a tiny amount of state money that the state deliberately gave them that they didn't even need, in order to qualify them for food stamps.

Is President Obama Creating A Nation Of Dependents?  This year, more than 46 million (15% of all Americans) will get food stamps.  That's 45% higher than when Obama took office, and twice as high as the average for the previous 40 years.  This surge was driven in part by the recession, but also because Obama boosted the benefit amount as part of his stimulus plan.

Obama Administration Offers $75,000 Grants to Sign Up More Food Stamp Recipients.  Over the last three years, the number of Americans on food stamps has skyrocketed by two-thirds and stands at a record-high 46 million citizens, or one out of every seven people in the United States.  Despite the historic rise in food stamp use, however, the Obama Administration believes not enough people are receiving food stamps who should be and is offering $75,000 grants to groups who devise "effective strategies" to "increase program participation" among those who have yet to sign up.

Takers Taking Over.  Like the socialists who govern Greece, Obama's left-wing administration depends on the support of left-wing activists, unionized government workers, radicalized students, and welfare recipients.  All of these groups have been pressing for more government spending, and Obama has not disappointed them. ... Ominously, the percentage of takers, those who collect benefits and pay no federal income tax, now sits at 49%.  Anything beyond that and the country is lost forever.

The truly dismal state of the union.  Some 48 percent of all Americans — 146.4 million — are considered by the Census Bureau either as "low-income" or living in poverty, up 4 million from when Mr. Obama took office; 57 percent of all children in America now live in such homes.  Since December 2008, a month before Mr. Obama took office, food-stamp use has increased 46 percent.  Total spending has more than doubled in just four years to a record high of $75 billion.  In 2011, more than 46 million people — about one in seven Americans — got food stamps.  That's 14 million more than when Mr. Obama took office.

Presidential nonsense:  Last week, President Barack Obama, at a Capital Hilton fundraising event, told the crowd, "We can't go back to this brand of you're-on-your-own economics."  Throughout my professional career as an economist, I've never come across the theory of "you're-on-your-own economics."  I'm guessing what the president means by — and finds offensive in — "you're-on-your-own economics" is that it's a system in which people are held responsible for their actions, that they take risks and must live with the results, that people can't force others to pay for their mistakes, and that they can't live at the expense of other people.

24 Stats To Crush Anyone Who Thinks America Has A Bright Economic Future.  [#21]  The number of Americans on food stamps continues to set new all-time records.  Just check out the following progression.... October 2008:  30.8 million Americans on food stamps
October 2009:  37.6 million Americans on food stamps
October 2010:  43.2 million Americans on food stamps
October 2011:  46.2 million Americans on food stamps

Nation's largest welfare state makes deep cuts.  Advocates of welfare reform in California often cite one, eye-popping statistic as they have pressed for cuts and changes to the program in recent years:  The state has one-eighth of the nation's population but one-third of all welfare recipients.

The Democratic Party's War on the Poor.  The day the American welfare system first made it more desirable to stay on relief than to move up to just the next notch upward — that was the day that the Democrats truly declared war on America's poor.  The right may not look like Santa Claus nearly as often as the left does, but the right is always the one with the best interests of the poor in mind.

A Different Kind of Hope and Change.  As America appears to edge ever closer to a disastrous economic tipping point — defined as the point at which the majority becomes dependent on the government — we find ourselves wondering if the downhill slide is inevitable and irreversible.

Obama's Poverty Politics.  [Scroll down]  Bill Clinton was prodded by a Republican House to reform welfare by imposing work requirements, time limits, and other measures that were geared towards helping those on welfare break free from depending on the government.  And it worked — millions of people left the welfare rolls and became productive and proud workers.  However, Barack Obama is all about "change," and he has been busy rolling back welfare reform.

Catch-22 on Poverty and Welfare.  The government's statistical sleight of hand when measuring poverty and inequality is no accident.  The Census Bureau's poverty report was created at the beginning of President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty in 1964.  Bureaucrats designed the poverty report as an advertising tool for expanding the welfare state.  To justify increased government spending, the report exaggerates poverty.  For nearly 50 years, the Census Bureau has ignored actual living conditions and seriously miscounted income.  Measuring poverty is the welfare state version of Three Card Monte.  The taxpayers (known in the trade as rubes or marks) fork up hundreds of billions to help the poor through anti-poverty programs.  But when it is time to count the poor, the money magically disappears.

Another Load of Trickle-Up Economics.  It's the return of Trickle-Up Economics, an article of nearly religious faith on the Left these days, despite the rather stunning volume of evidence that it doesn't work.  Cast a flurry of government dollars across the deserving poor, and their rush to spend Big Government's largesse will cause businesses to pop up all over the place and begin hiring.  Obviously liberals are in love with this fantasy, because it means Big Government gets to exercise ever-greater control over the private sector.  Taxpayer money is seized and spent, while liberals get to posture as the selfless champions of the little guy.  The fact that it doesn't work is a feature, not a bug, because it creates ever greater demand for that compassionate welfare spending.  Dependent constituencies are the lifeblood of collectivist politics.

Nation Reporter: 'Deep Racism' at the Heart of Food Stamp Reform.  With a record 46 million Americans now receiving food stamps and rampant abuse resulting in what the Wall Street Journal calls a "food stamp crime wave," Nation reporter Lizzie Ratner believes that "deep racism" is "at the heart of conservative food stamp critiques".

Rats in the Kitchen: A Parable.  Once, there was a man who had to deal with rats when he had a major infestation in his home.  The rats' normal environment became unable to support them all, and they began coming down from the hills looking for new digs... and decided they liked the man's house.  They were perfectly happy to hunker down in the attic, garage and basement with free access to the goodies in the kitchen and pantry.  And once they had moved in and saw what rich booty was to be had, they were determined to take over.

The Welfare State Neutralizes Opponents by Making Them Dependent on Government.  As the ranks of those dependent on the welfare state continue to grow, the need for the rulers to pay attention to the ruled population diminishes.  The masters know full well that the sheep will not bolt the enclosure in which the shepherds are making it possible for them to survive.  Every person who becomes dependent on the state simultaneously becomes one less person who might act in some way to oppose the existing regime.

The 2010 Index of Dependence on Government.  The number of Americans who pay taxes continues to shrink — and the United States is close to the point at which half of the population will not pay taxes for government benefits they receive.  In 2009, 64.3 million Americans depended on the government (read: their fellow citizens) for their daily housing, food, and health care.  Starting in 2015, the Social Security program will not receive enough taxes to pay all the promised benefits — which will be hard for all job-holders, but devastating for roughly half the American workforce that has no other retirement program.

Lines Grow Long for Free School Meals, Thanks to Economy.  The number of students receiving subsidized lunches rose to 21 million last school year from 18 million in 2006-7, a 17 percent increase, according to an analysis by The New York Times of data from the Department of Agriculture, which administers the meals program.  Eleven states, including Florida, Nevada, New Jersey and Tennessee, had four-year increases of 25 percent or more, huge shifts in a vast program long characterized by incremental growth.

What Has Barack Obama Wrought?  What the Obama administration has produced is not the social-democracy or socialism it might have meant to move the nation towards, but rather a state-employment dependency sector that now dominates the economic structure of the nation.  A nation in which 17 percent of the employed work force depends on direct government employment — state and national — or government contracts, and entitlements ranging from retirement to housing allowances, education loans, welfare programs, food stamps, and the like.

Number on food stamps soars.  CalFresh, formerly the food stamp program, says that in September in Merced County, 51,343 people received CalFresh, a 70 percent increase since September 2006.  The average monthly CalFresh benefit is $146 a person.  In Merced County, 35,000 low-income adults are estimated to be food insecure.  That means that within the county, 40 percent of all adults with incomes of less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level (less than $36,000 a year for a family of three in 2009) struggle to afford adequate, nutritious food, CalFresh said in a news release.

The Editor says...
Why is the line drawn at 200 percent of the poverty level?  Why not reserve this expensive program for those who really need it, like those below the poverty level?

The United States Can't Afford Four More Years of President Obama.  Soon, people who pay no taxes and receive the lion's share of the benefits will be the majority in this country, and you can expect them to vote in their own self-interest.  They will support candidates like Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid who promise to continue funding programs that funnel money to them and to tax the rich to pay the bills.  In the process, they will destroy this nation.  They're doing it now.  Our deficit and debt problems make that perfectly clear.  We may have reached the point of no return, and if Barack Obama is re-elected, the end of the United States as we know it may be in sight.

Quit Coddling Everybody.  Everyone should pull their own weight.  And anyone who does not should feel horrible about leeching off this great society.  Instead, however, Washington has encouraged this belief that government is the answer to all our problems.

Ben Franklin Skewers Obama's Jobs Proposal.  Ben Franklin's essay, "On the Price of Corn and the Management of the Poor," directly responds to President Obama's jobs proposals:
I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means.  I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.  In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer.  And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.
Barack Obama has formed his entire platform of social justice on the very opposite principle.

The Great Obama Welfare State.  As it stands now, Obama appears headed toward an economic legacy that may very well surpass Jimmy Carter in its level of failure.  We have seen under this president an expanding number of citizens who are partially or wholly dependent on the government for their very livelihood, as the data show that the U.S. has become an ever-growing welfare state under Obama.

USA becomes Food Stamp Nation but is it sustainable?  Altogether, there are now almost 46 million people in the United States on food stamps, roughly 15 percent of the population.  That's an increase of 74 percent since 2007, just before the financial crisis and a deep recession led to mass job losses.  At the same time, the cost doubled to reach $68 billion in 2010...

Obama Baits the Dependency Trap.  An [Obama] administration program will expand free school meal coverage to millions of young people who are not even supposed to be eligible. ... Here's how the program works:  if 40% of students at a school qualify for public assistance, then every student in the school will get free food.  That's free breakfast, lunch, and a snack.  If that sounds like arbitrary welfare waste, it is.  Sixty percent of the student body could be above the poverty line, ineligible for welfare, or even upper-class — it doesn't matter.  Every student magically becomes entitled.

The 70-Million-Check Constituency.  Obama and the left have a massive constituency of tens of millions who do not comprehend the true meaning of money, only caring that the government check is in the mail.

Big Government Means Small People.  While liberals are certain about the moral superiority of liberal policies, the truth is that those policies actually diminish a society's moral character.  Many individual liberals are fine people, but the policies they advocate tend to make a people worse.  Here are ten reasons:  [#1] The bigger the government, the less the citizens do for one another.  If the state will take care of me and my neighbors, why should I?

Liberal Frankensteins.  Indeed, what makes this Fourth different from recent celebrations is the ongoing repudiation of almost everything antithetical to the Founders' views — the redistributive, all-powerful welfare state, the therapeutic arrogance that believes human nature can be altered by an omnipotent well-meaning government, the postmodern notion that nationhood and borders are passé, and the utopian idea that war can be declared obsolete and the need for defense transcended.  From Greece to California such dreams are dead.

Welfare nation.  The latest economic indicators suggest America's sputtering economic engine may conk out once again.  Disappointing service-sector and job-growth figures released Wednesday [5/4/2011] are signs of rough times ahead.  With a weak dollar and stratospheric gasoline prices, millions more could find themselves seeking government assistance.  The administration appears to be just fine with that.

If Our 'Food Stamp Recovery' Persists, Obama Will Lose Big.  I have noticed something unsettling in my own life lately: I know a lot of people who are on food stamps or some kind of extraordinary government assistance.  The count right now stands around 10 people, which is a lot for a small town denizen such as myself.  That is a personal reminder of a very serious, yet rarely discussed economic, social, and indeed political problem:  the fact that better than one out of seven Americans today requires government help to put food on the table.

The Obama administration is using (mostly black) churches to expand the welfare state.
Michelle's Machine:  [Scroll down]  Religious leaders are prodded to work with schools to "create a wellness club for teachers with volunteer instructors from the congregation" and to "help your local school install a salad bar in its cafeteria."  Most worrisome, though, are the administration's efforts to have congregations place themselves in the service of government as recruiters for the welfare state.  Congregations are told to "encourage eligible families to enroll their children in [government-subsidized] school meal programs"; if organizations operate day-care or after-school programs, they are advised to pursue reimbursement for meals and snacks through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (a federally funded, state-administered welfare program).  Places of worship are asked to serve as feeding sites for the Summer Food Service Program — another federally funded, state-run welfare project.

The Editor says...
Where are the "separation of church and state" people now?

America, the Dependent.  In New York, Philadelphia and a total of 30 sites across the country, AmeriCorps and the Department of Agriculture are funding the "National Anti-Hunger and Opportunity Corps" to "increase access to food stamps."  National Affairs managing editor Meghan Clyne reports that the administration is roping in left-wing churches to aggressively promote food stamps.  With institutional support from first lady Michelle Obama, the FoodStampCorps will train church members to apply for food stamps after religious services...

Top 10 Spending Cuts Thwarted by Democrats:  [#9]  Legal Services Corporation:  Long before Hillary Rodham was first lady (and before she started using her husband's name), the Rose Law Firm lawyer was named by President Jimmy Carter to serve on the Legal Services Corporation board.  During her tenure as chairwoman, she was able to triple the budget for the agency, which aids poor people with their legal problems. ... Obama wants to add $30 million to its budget, while the GOP wants to cut $100 million.

The Welfare State of the Union.  What we hear, again and again, is the fantasy that government creates jobs, government drives the economy, government feeds kids and sends them to bed happy.  The facts are just the opposite.  In fact, the Department of Agriculture has just reported that 43.6 million Americans are now receiving food stamps.  Significantly, in 2006, near the height of the historic Bush economic expansion, the number of Americans receiving food stamps was just over 20 million.  Since then, the number of recipients has more than doubled, with nearly all of the increase coming under the presidency of Barack Obama.

Stop the Fraud — Freeze the Debt Ceiling.  Cuts are not politically viable in our democratic welfare state.  Generations have been conditioned to "gimme" politics.  As a result, no politician can run and win on a platform of "vote for me and this is what I will take away from you."  That is why cuts never come and spending rises inexorably.  That is why the debt limit will be raised again (and again and again) until the dollar and economy collapse.

Back on Uncle Sam's Plantation.  Six years ago I wrote a book called "Uncle Sam's Plantation."  I wrote the book to tell my own story of what I saw living inside the welfare state and my own transformation out of it. ... I talked about government programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS), Emergency Assistance to Needy Families with Children (EANF), Section 8 Housing, and Food Stamps.  A vast sea of perhaps well intentioned government programs, all initially set into motion in the 1960's, that were going to lift the nation's poor out of poverty.  A benevolent Uncle Sam welcomed mostly poor black Americans onto the government plantation.  Those who accepted the invitation switched mindsets from "How do I take care of myself?" to "What do I have to do to stay on the plantation?"

The government usurps the role of churches and private charities:
City puts a stop to homeless outreach.  Bobby and Amanda Herring spent more than a year providing food to homeless people in downtown Houston every day.  They fed them, left behind no trash and doled out warm meals peacefully without a single crime being committed, Bobby Herring said.  That ended two weeks ago when the city shut down their "Feed a Friend" effort for lack of a permit.  And city officials say the couple most likely will not be able to obtain one. ... Anyone serving food for public consumption, whether for the homeless or for sale, must have a permit, said Kathy Barton, a spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services Department.

The Editor says...
Obviously the government's goal is to have as many people as possible dependent on it rather than the local churches or generous individuals.  It's a not-so-obvious means of buying votes:  If you depend on the almighty government for your daily bread, you'll naturally vote for the political party that will perpetuate that arrangement.

15 states get bonuses for adding uninsured children to Medicaid rolls.  Even states can get performance bonuses, at least when it comes to moving kids from the "uninsured" to the "insured" list.  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that 15 states will be getting a little something extra in their end-of-the-year stockings for their effectiveness at providing health insurance to kids through Medicaid.

The Editor says...
In other words, the federal government is bribing the states to get more people dependent on welfare.

Behind the broccoli: Liberalism's war on liberty.  What this country needs is a crop of healthy, hunger-free kids — and now, thanks to the hectoring of Michelle Obama and the terrible swift presidential pen of her husband, it has one:  the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. ... ObamaCare and the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 are the things that expose modern liberalism for the iron fist in the velvet glove.  Can't feed yourself?  Dinner's on us.  Out of work?  We'll pay you to stay unemployed.  After all, you're too stupid to make your own best decisions in what used to be personal matters.  All we ask in exchange for your freedom is your vote.

Food Stamp Nation.  "The lessons of history ... show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber.  To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit."  These searing words about Depression-era welfare are from Franklin Roosevelt's 1935 State of the Union Address.  FDR feared this self-reliant people might come to depend permanently upon government for the necessities of their daily lives.

Obama Underwrites Irresponsibility — Again.  The Obama administration has announced another plan to help between 500,000 and 1.5 million American homeowners who owe more money on their mortgages than their homes are currently worth.  The "short finance plan" is simple:  creditors write down mortgages to a number less than the value of the property — and then handoff the reduced loan to the American taxpayer via the Federal Housing Administration.  In other words, all taxpaying Americans are on the hook for the irresponsible behavior of a minority of their fellow Americans — again.

Dallas Rep. Jeb Hensarling wants to eliminate Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac.  For years, conservatives inveighed against government-backed mortgage firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  The complaints began with their dominance of the market and ended with a warning that taxpayers would bail them out one day.  Now that critics have been proven right, they're on the spot to show they know what's best for the future.  Among the questions:  Should Fannie and Freddie be privatized?  Abolished?  And how would government support the housing market without them?

The Editor says...
Oh, dear.  The hack writer at the Dallas Morning News can't understand how anybody could buy a house without government help.  President Obama's goal is to maximize the number of people who are dependent upon the government.  The sooner Fannie and Freddie are buried, the better off we the people will be — at least those of us who pay taxes and purchase our own food and housing with money we have rightfully earned.

A Food Bill We Don't Need.  Feeding a child is one of the most basic parental responsibilities, yet first lady Michelle Obama wishes to liberate parents from this fundamental role by urging them to rely on the public schools to feed their children.  In [an] op-ed in the Washington Post, the first lady pushes for congressional passage of the Child Nutrition Act, a bill that would not only increase funding for the already-wasteful and badly managed school-lunch program but relax eligibility requirements so that more children can be enrolled.  It's clear that Michelle Obama, like her husband, sees government as the great fixer.

How Jobless Aid Became Dysfunctional.  Ever watch a parent lecture a demanding child about self-discipline — then give him everything he asks for?  That's the pattern Congress is falling into.  Beleaguered governors and advocates for the jobless are pleading with Congress to extend unemployment insurance, for at least the sixth time since 2008.

The Parade of Bleeding Stumps.  As public spending becomes an increasingly important issue for the November elections, be prepared to see the left engaging in hysterical scare-mongering about the potential effect of spending cuts.  This has been seen recently in Britain, where such scare-mongering already has its own label — "The Parade of the Bleeding Stumps."  This unsavory phrase originates in British government bureaucracy and darkly refers to the Civil Service's clever response to the threat of spending cuts.

Stop me before I spend again!  Illinois Comptroller Daniel Hynes says the state owes billions to schools, rehabilitation centers, child care, state universities and he told The New York Times, "it's getting worse every single day."  He calls the state's inability to pay for essential services "obscene."  The real obscenity — in Illinois, California, New York and especially Washington, D.C. — is an inability to live within the means taxpayers provide.  Despite record high taxes in these states and more coming at the federal level, government never has enough of our money.  But it isn't all government's fault.  Too many Americans have come to rely on government to take care of them, and government has passed the point where it can do so any longer.

Government Dependency Surges; Addiction To Get Worse.  Today the conservative Heritage Foundation released its 2010 version of the Index of Dependence on Government. ... Americans' dependence on government grew by 13.6% in 2009.  That's the biggest increase since 1976 and the fifth largest going back to 1962, when Heritage began tracking dependence.  The index measures federal government programs that can crowd out or constrain private sector or local government alternatives.

Dramatic Spike in Dependence Projected.  Year after year, The Heritage Foundation's Index of Dependence on Government documents the ever-growing number of federal aid programs and the ever-growing number of Americans who rely on government subsidies for their existence.  The number of Americans who now pay no taxes has passed 35 percent.

Jobs:  Too Many Riding, Too Few Pulling.  The one thing that economists seem to agree on is that any economic recovery will be an uphill battle for some time to come.  But if you've ever pulled a heavy wagon up a hill, you know what happens if your fellow pullers decide to become riders instead and jump on the wagon.

We're too broke to be this stupid.  In any advanced society, there will be a certain number of dysfunctional citizens either unable or unwilling to do what is necessary to support themselves and their dependents. ... When Michelle Obama turned up to serve food at a soup kitchen, its poverty-stricken clientele snapped pictures of her with their cellphones.  In one-sixth of British households, not a single family member works.  They are not so much without employment as without need of it.  At a certain level, your hard-working bourgeois understands that the bulk of his contribution to the treasury is entirely wasted.  It's one of the basic rules of life:  if you reward bad behaviour, you get more of it.

Slaves to the government dole.  Throughout our history, politicians and pundits have often said "America is at a crossroads."  Sometimes it was true, as in the final convulsive years leading up to the Civil War when we decided to end slavery.  New data on personal income, taxes and dependency makes clear that the country is again at a historic crossroad and another form of slavery is the central issue.  There are no iron chains involved this time, but dependence on government for economic sustenance is no less an enslavement.

What Exactly is 'Social Justice?'  Social justice is the complete economic equality of all members of society.  While this may sound like a lofty objective, what it really means is that wealth should be collected by the government and evenly distributed to everyone.  In short, social justice is communism.  It is rooted in the Marxist idea that the money people make, and the property they own, do not rightfully belong to the people who make the money and own the property.

The Ugly Side of Social Justice.  Although [Glenn] Beck has been adamant in expressing that his objections are solely concerned with how — not whether — the needy should be assisted, Wallis nonetheless seems content in portraying him as antagonistic to the plight of the poor.  And because of this unfair portrayal, Beck has been painted in the media as a monster for simply emphasizing his belief that it is better for individuals to donate their assistance to the downtrodden by choice rather than by dictate.

Jobpocalypse now.  This week, the Senate is expected to extend jobless benefits to more than 5 million Americans through the end of the year.  It is the sixth time in nearly two years that they've expanded or extended unemployment benefits — putting off, again, a day of reckoning our political leaders seem unwilling to face.

Has Obama "Stimulated" the Economy Yet?  In the past sixteen months, Mr. Obama's immediate, short-term political need has produced a lot of public policy that positions the President to appear as though he's rescuing people — rescuing them from the economic downturn, from "greedy bankers" and "rich executives," from the threat of home foreclosure, from credit card debt, and so forth.  And part of the political calculus involved with this kind of policy is the assumption that as long as the President gives away enough "things" to the American electorate, and appears as though he's doing enough to "protect" them, the electorate will continue to vote for him and his party, regardless of what the economy does.

Preparations for Reparations.  When the government decides what kind of light bulbs one can buy, what size toilet tank one can install, or how much salt can be added to one's food, then there is no limit to the depth and detail of government intrusion into one's life.  When every aspect of existence is decided or dictated by another, that is not freedom.  That is slavery.  Lest you think that only the half of Americans who actually pay taxes are slaves, let me hasten to address the rest.  Those who exist on the public dole, on welfare and subsidies and federal aid, are also slaves.  They are kept healthy, kept solvent, and just plain kept because they are vital to the whole system of slavery.  Every couple of years, this growing group of dependents is harvested for their votes.

Stimulus Bill Abolishes Welfare Reform and Adds New Welfare Spending.  A major public policy success, welfare reform in the mid-1990s led to a dramatic reduction in welfare dependency and child poverty.  This successful reform, however is now in jeopardy:  Little-noted provisions in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate stimulus bills actually abolish this historic reform.

Looking At Democracy.  Every time I use the word "democracy" to describe the process by which Americans elect their representatives, someone leaps to their computer to inform me that America is a "republic" and not a democracy.  I am well aware of this, but it does not change the process.  It got me thinking about Alexis de Tocqueville's trip throughout America in 1831-1832. ... Presciently, Tocqueville wrote, "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."  That day has arrived.

Socialism Vs. Capitalism:  Illustrated on Film.  [Scroll down]  Governments don't produce, they consume.  They take from the people who create things and convert some of those resources into "benefits".  These benefits are, more often than not, bribes to ease us into letting them keep spending our money like mad.  At some point, a long time ago, they stopped caring about wanted and started telling us what was good for us.  They began taking more and more tax dollars and bribing the least productive citizens so they'd have voters who can override the productive citizens if they complained too much.

The Land of Entitlements.  [Scroll down]  To put this in context, one must realize that there are no Medicare recipients alive today who have firsthand knowledge of being without Medicare while elderly.  Some may remember their parents or grandparents surviving well into old age without Medicare, but not themselves.  Very few alive today remember a time without Social Security. Within the space of a human lifespan, our society has become a culture conditioned to accept (and expect) entitlements as the norm without questioning the consequences.  It has been a very effective strategy to enlarge government.

Denying the Truth at all Costs.  The facts are well known.  Government at all levels has grown faster than any other segment of the economy.  Government, also, pays far more than corresponding workers in the private sector and has lavish benefit packages unmatched by any private worker.  As the Cato Institute detailed in their January, 2010 Tax & Budget Bulletin # 59, the compensation scales and benefits of government are simply unsustainable.  They cannot continue; there must be an adjustment.  But blocking that "adjustment" is the primary goal of labor unions.

The state and local governments are actively trying to get more people dependent on them.
Food bank will qualify applicants for stamps.  Houston's food bank will begin helping qualify eligible Texans for food stamps today [3/1/2010] under special authority from federal officials designed to shorten long wait times.  The waiver will allow food banks in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth to handle food stamp applications directly.  Food bank officials in those cities will have access to state computers to make sure applicants are eligible and not already receiving food assistance.

The Grasshopper and the Ants.  Once upon a time, there was a happy-go-lucky grasshopper who lived only to have fun.  All through the long summer days, he would sing and dance, and laugh at the industrious ants who were busily preparing for winter.  But then cruel winter came, and the grasshopper was starving.

Freedom is Hard Work.  When wealth redistribution occurs in the false name of compassion, liberty is damaged for everybody.  Meanwhile, the seeds of class warfare, resentment and discontent, are sown from coast to coast.  The very fact that we have a literal "dependency class", a class that is convinced it will perish if not directly supported by government action, is a national outrage.

Workers Against Lazy Non-producers United Together.  We can no longer sit back and let our government spend our hard earned money on those who choose to be non-producers of society.  We must stand united and let our voices be our weapon.  We The People must remind our elected officials, that those who have put them in office, can & will take them away. ... Non-producers will no longer be given life and prosperity but forced to earn it as we have!

How Liberalism Exploits The Vulnerable.  Not knowing that she was on camera, this "community organizer" gave away the dirtiest of the dirty secrets of the left.  Herein lies the explanation of how and why major segments of America, particularly in urban areas, upon becoming increasingly liberal over the past several decades, have become more lawless, more hopeless, and more helpless.  While claiming to "help the little guy," liberalism has a vested interest in keeping the "little guy" oppressed and dependent.  Only in such a state can he fulfill his intended role as a "resource" of the liberal machine.

These Dis-United States.  The liberal/progressive movement has convinced modern man that to satisfy his material needs it is not necessary to labor exhaustingly in pursuit of said needs; but much more beneficial to modern man to simply reallocate resources from those who can afford to do so.  The foundations of the welfare state having been laid, the free market struggles to provide for its legitimate members as well as those of a lesser inclination.  The mixed economy may go on for years before the weight of redistributive legislation finally brings the golden goose to a prone position.  The tipping point, however, has finally been reached.  Better than 50% of the class of lesser inclination now feed at the trough of Federal largesse.

Activist Blames Poverty on Liberalism.  Blaming poverty on liberalism and the federal government, a conservative activist on Friday [9/14/2007] said:  "It is very sad what the liberals have done with their war on the poor in this country."  "After 40 years of failure, they still insist that they want to expand this war, that they think they should pour more money into this war," said Star Parker, president of the Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education.

East Berlin, D. C.  Increasingly, visiting our nation's capital can only be likened to visiting a distant dystopia, with problems that don't seem quite at home in America.  Criminals are the most obvious malefactors, but surely part of the problem is government.  The seat of our own government is run as if it were the reductio ad absurdum of government everywhere … Whole segments of the population are now snared in the trap of government assistance.  Call it "welfare," if you must … but how much of this money increases the actual welfare of those caught in the cycle of poverty?

Slaves to the Welfare State:  Obviously not everyone in New Orleans is a slave to the welfare state.  But on balance its residents have drifted since 1927 into the entitlements mentality:  abandonment of personal responsibility and individual initiative.  The socialist welfare state is a form of slavery, or more accurately, a sort of neo-feudalism in which the individual has no rights independent of the figurative "piece of ground" to which the political state has assigned him.

Is It Wrong to Require Work in Exchange for a Welfare Check?:  "It's too bad that Congressman Rangel sees getting something for nothing as being more noble than having to put in an honest day's work for it," said Project 21 member Michael King.  "As opposed to sitting on their hands and doing nothing, residents are asked to give a portion of one day in exchange for receiving housing.  What's the problem?  Oh, I forget — this gives Congressman Rangel and his compatriots something else to point to at election time."

Malnourished Muppets and the Indoctrination of America's Children.  After an extended interlude, America finally has another liberal buzz phrase to add to the country's politically correct vernacular:  "Food Insecurity."  Food Insecurity is right up there with "man-caused disaster," not to mention the long, ever-growing list of 'ities':  neutrality, inequality, inequity, accessibility and ethnocentricity.

Helping Low Income Earners Help Themselves.  "The minimum wage is a horrific example of the failure of politician's good intentions.  Several parties are proposing to further worsen unemployment by lifting the minimum wage up to $15.  The Maori party proposes a minimum wage of $16 an hour!  It doesn't take an over-optimistic Treasury forecaster to realise that this artificial wage level will price even more low skilled labour out of the market and trap more people on the benefit."

Why Are Republicans Supporting the Farm Bill?  The agricultural bills of both chambers of Congress are meant to do two things that fly against conservative principles.  First, about 80% of the Farm Bill is about funding the food stamp program over the next ten years.  Needless to say, the cost to taxpayers for the food stamp program has doubled during the Obama presidency, and is now up to $78 billion annually.  When the Senate was debating its version of the bill, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) observed that, compared to 2008 levels, the new farm bill will increase spending by 60%.  The hike is due to the fact that the new bill incorporates the Obama administration's baseline spending into entitlement spending forever.

If It Damages America, It's Good for Democrats.  In almost every area of American life, the better things are, the worse it is for the Democratic Party. [...] The more Americans depend on themselves or on their family or community, the more likely they are to vote Republican.  On the other hand, the more Americans depend on the government — whether for a job or for economic assistance — the more likely they are to vote Democrat.  Therefore, it is in the Democrats' interest to have more and more Americans depend on the state.

This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2024 by Andrew K. Dart

Lies about welfare programs

You Must Assume That All Information Put Out By Our Government Is Corrupt.  Look under my tag for Poverty, and you will find one post after another detailing how government poverty statistics showing high rates of poverty in the U.S. are used to support advocacy for increasing programs and funding supposedly to reduce the poverty; and then after the programs and funding are increased the measured poverty never goes down.  We're now up to well over $1 trillion per year in anti-poverty funding in the U.S. (all levels of government), and the official "poverty rate" as measured is right around the same place it was when the War on Poverty started back in the 1960s.  How is this possible?  The very simple trick is that the government "anti-poverty" funding never gets counted when official poverty is measured The statistics are very intentionally and cynically manipulated to be misused to advocate for growing government programs and dependency.

If you touch these precious leftist concepts, you'll get a screaming fit.  [For example,] Homelessness:  Another euphemism, this time for conspicuous vagrancy.  Now they're using the term "unhoused," while I prefer "street bums."  The explanation proffered for this sacred cow is a shortage of affordable housing.  It just so happens that all housing is affordable, or else it's vacant.  What good is a vacant property to its owner?  Taxes; insurance; and, often, debt service are still being charged.  Meanwhile, substance-abusing useless adults are flocking to the blue cities, particularly those that enjoy mild weather, largely because of the political nincompoopery that embraces their deplorable condition.  Cities have always had skid rows, but this used not to be such a problem.  Even losers had enough of a sense of shame to stay out of sight — eventually, perhaps, even repairing their lives and moving on.  Now it's a protected life style.

Pope Francis has misguided ideas about global poverty.  Certainly many self-described progressives subscribe to the notion that the rich are always getting richer and the poor are always getting poorer.  That includes socialist torchbearer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has tweeted exactly that.  It is, after all, an essential element of their political creed, used to justify the distribution of wealth between the haves and the have-nots that they intend to carry out using the coercive power of government.  The numbers, however, tell a different tale.

Don't Believe the UN's Propaganda About 'Extreme Poverty' in the US.  Philip Alston, the United Nations' special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, recently reported that in the United States, "[a]bout 40 million live in poverty, 18.5 million in extreme poverty, and 5.3 million live in third-world conditions of absolute poverty."  [...] Such claims do have a veneer of legitimacy, however, because when compiling the U.S. government's official poverty statistics, the Census Bureau considers only the cash income each family reports in an annual survey. [...] These "official" income figures exclude substantial off-the-books earnings among low-income households and omit roughly 95 percent of the $1.1 trillion U.S. taxpayers provide in means-tested cash, food, housing, and medical benefits for low-income persons each year.

UN poverty report blasting Trump, US for 'hatred for the poor' uses data from last year of Obama's presidency.  A recent United Nations report blasting President Trump and America in general for harboring "contempt" and "hatred for the poor" is based on highly inaccurate data that can't easily be used to compare the U.S. to other nations.  The U.N. report's main contentions read like an attack on the Trump administration by the Democratic Party:  America has 40 million poor people, including 18.5 million who live in extreme poverty; U.S. policies regarding the poor are "cruel and inhuman;" the Trump tax cuts aren't working and will worsen inequality; and the U.S. needs to spend less on defense of our nation and more on social programs.

Haley to Sanders:  UN Report Decrying Poverty in America Is 'Ridiculous' and 'Misleading'.  [Scroll down]  The United States' "immense wealth and expertise stand in shocking contrast with the conditions in which vast numbers of its citizens live," the report stated.  "About 40 million live in poverty, 18.5 million in extreme poverty, and 5.3 million live in Third World conditions of absolute poverty.  It has the highest youth poverty rate in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the highest infant mortality rates among comparable OECD States.  Its citizens live shorter and sicker lives compared to those living in all other rich democracies, eradicable tropical diseases are increasingly prevalent, and it has the world's highest incarceration rate, one of the lowest levels of voter registrations among OECD countries and the highest obesity levels in the developed world."  [Philip] Alston called those stats and policies behind them "cruel and inhuman" and said Trump administration policies seem "driven primarily by contempt, and sometimes even by hatred for the poor, along with a 'winner takes all' mentality... contempt for the poor has intensified under the Trump Administration."

The Editor says...
Obviously, if they think so little of us, the United Nations should move its headquarters to a more civilized country.

Despite What You've Heard, The Senate Bill Doesn't Slash, Gut, Or Even Cut Medicaid.  First, the Senate bill doesn't change Medicaid at all for three years.  That means spending on the program will continue to grow, just as it is slated to now — at an annual 5% clip — until 2021.  What does that mean in dollar terms?  Under the Senate's "shredding" reform, Medicaid's budget in 2021 will be $85 billion bigger than it is this year, and $209 billion (or 79%) bigger than it was in 2013.  What about after that?  Under the Senate plan, there'd be a three-year transition to a new way of financing Medicaid.  And then, starting in 2025 federal Medicaid spending would be capped each year, with the cap set to grow at the overall inflation rate.

How Food Stamps Subverted Democracy, Part 2.  I wanted to learn whether the expansion of food programs had fundamentally improved low-income diets.  I had learned how to analyze and interpret the raw data from national nutrient-intake surveys while running a typing business near Virginia Tech in the late 1970s.  Some of my favorite customers were graduate students in human nutrition and, while typing their term papers and theses, I became familiar with the methodologies and controversies in evaluating food-aid programs.  I visited the USDA to garner the latest unpublished nutritional data.  I went to the Library of Congress and carted armloads of dusty old studies from the stacks to peruse in the main reading room.  I found that government feeding programs had an abysmal nutritional record.  Nor was there any evidence of a dietary golden era during the Carter administration thanks to government handouts.  The reports on the programs' failures had vanished in the Memory Hole.  Instead, the government relied on "body counts" — looking solely at the number of people fed or meals shoveled out.  As long as politicians appeared benevolent, food programs were a roaring success.

Welfare is the new work.  The welfare/entitlement state of mind has spiraled out of control in America.  No one is lifting a finger of opposition.  The cost of welfare is now well over $1 trillion a year.  Food stamps are so ubiquitous that they have replaced dollars as the new standard currency in many inner cities in America.  Even in affluent areas with upscale grocery stores, food stamp recipients fill their carts with everything from cakes to lobster.  Liberals love welfare.  It was only a few years ago that Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi opined that putting more people on food stamps and unemployment insurance is one of the "best ways to stimulate the economy."  Which is more astonishing?  That she believes this lunacy or that she would be dumb enough to say it out loud.

Transportation Secretary: Inequitable Distribution of Sidewalks Is Obstacle to American Dream.  Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told a crowd in North Carolina Tuesday that "only 49% of low-income neighborhoods have sidewalks" while more affluent areas have near 90%.  In order to have a society where "everyone has a shot at the American Dream, than it's imperative that we acknowledge these challenges."  Foxx made the comments to the Charlotte Rotary Club where he discussed the ways that infrastructure should connect people to opportunity.

The Editor says...
Opportunities are not confined to the sidewalks in rich neighborhoods.

The Number Of Americans Living On $2 A Day Or Less Is Zero.  There's an interesting new book out talking about how many Americans are absolutely poor.  It's being taken seriously too:  the New York Times runs a review of it today.  Sadly, the central premise of the book, $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America is, depending upon how you want to look at it, either not true or a piece of little more than statistical trickery. [...] For the truth is that there just isn't, to any reasonable approximation, anyone at all living on less than $2 a day in the United States.  Yet the general reaction to this book is that the authors' estimates of 1.5 million families living in this sort of poverty are true.  I'm sorry, but it simply isn't true.  Firstly because of the details of the measures that they're using and secondly because they're not actually looking at the right measure at all to decide upon living standards.

Obama's Soothing - And Toxic - Opiate About Entitlements.  Speaking at the annual White House Conference on Aging, the president had nothing but spoonfuls of sugar for the attendees on the fiscal condition of Social Security and Medicare.  "Now, we're often told that Medicare and Social Security are in crisis.  We hear that all the time.  And usually, that's used as an excuse to try to cut spending on those bedrock programs.  But here's the truth.  Medicare and Social Security are not in crisis, nor have they kept us from cutting our deficits by two-thirds since I took office," the president said.  He didn't go into details, and probably for good reason:  The numbers don't support his claim.

Obama Blames Rich People Like Him For The Country's Poor.  President Obama talked this week about poverty, a subject he should know a lot about, since he's done such a good job of expanding it.  Instead, he offered only fact-challenged and badly misguided ideas.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow: SNAP Beneficiaries Who Buy Fruits and Veggies Double Value.  "If you use food assistance," and "you're buying fruits and vegetables for your children, for yourselves, we'll give you double value," Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) announced on Thursday [3/26/2015] at the Washington Post's "Changing the Menu" forum in Washington, D.C., focusing on healthy eating and wellness.  "In the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, in SNAP, we have for the first time taken things that have been done locally, and Michigan I'm proud to say is one of the leaders in this," said the senator.

Are government statistics deteriorating?  [Nick] Eberstadt decries in particular the government's "hastily devised 'federal poverty measure' unveiled in 1965," which he characterizes as "not merely a bad yardstick" but "an awful one."  It misstates actual poverty by measuring income rather than consumption (most American lower-income people consume more than they earn) and is based on an assumption, not wholly unwarranted in 1965 but antique now, that households spend about one-third of their incomes on food. [...] There's also reason to worry about whether the institutional culture of the government's statistical agencies — a culture proud of its statistical rigor and freedom from political influence — is being undermined by the Obama administration.

Poverty Causes Crime?  When people say this, there are only two possibilities.  One is that, on some level of consciousness, they think that if they were poor, they would commit violent crimes.  My hunch is that this is often the case.  Just as the whites who say all whites are racist are obviously speaking about themselves, those who claim that poverty leads to violence may well be speaking about themselves, too.  The other possibility is that they are not speaking about themselves, in which case they would have to admit that poor Americans who rob, rape or murder are morally inferior to themselves.  Which, of course, happens to be true.

Democrats: 1% Cut In Food Stamp Funding Is "Stealing".  Elected Democrats and movement progressives are up in arms over the meager cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP — commonly known as food stamps). [...] The overall SNAP program costs $70 billion per year.  Hipster congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said "Congress has lost its way" and described the farm bill as "reverse Robin Hood legislation that steals food from the poor."

Scientists Decide Americans Are Too Stupid to Understand Global Warming.  Welfare states never work because the material needs of society's most vulnerable will always be a moving target.  There will never be enough and for every dollar spent in welfare, there is an equal loss of freedom and liberty.  It will be no different, or better this time around, no matter how appealing it sounds or convincingly it is presented.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee: Change the Word 'Welfare' to 'Transitional Living Fund'.  In a brief speech on the House floor Wednesday [1/8/2014], Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) hailed the war on poverty, endorsed government welfare programs, and said the "safety net has to be something for all of us."  "Maybe the word welfare should be changed to something of, 'a transitional living fund.'  For that is what it is — for people to be able to live," she said.

Government health-care diagnosis: Dependency.  The claim:  The United States is the richest nation in the world, and as a matter of decency should pay for the health care of all Americans who can't afford to pay for their own.  The truth:  The United States is not the richest nation in the world; we are the richest debtor nation in the world.  We literally owe trillions of dollars — not just in the national debt, but also in unfunded liabilities for various entitlements.

Pelosi: GOP Failure to Extend Unemployment Benefits Practically 'Immoral'.  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says the Republican refusal to include unemployment benefits in the Ryan-Murray budget deal is immoral.  "It's interesting to note that they rejected unemployment insurance — this is so unconscionable, it's practically at the level of immoral to do.  The people who work hard, play by the rules, lose their job through no fault of their own, are not able to get — continue to get an unemployment insurance check."

The New York Times' 'homeless' hooey.  If a five-part opus in The New York Times by Andrea Elliott is to believed, we live in a hard-hearted city.  But if you read closely, it suggests just the opposite.  Begin with the family at the center of this story.  The mother, father and eight kids aren't really homeless at all.  True, they live in housing meant for "homeless families."  But their 540-square-foot unit gives them a solid roof over their heads, in addition to city-provided meals and services.

Food Stamps Fund Left-Wing Media.  Not surprisingly, in recent months Mother Jones has published several odes to food stamps.  One, "The Hidden Benefits of Food Stamps," makes the preposterous claim that food stamps improve the health of Americans and the U.S. economy.  The article cites the discredited Keynesian "multiplier" effect, arguing that every $5 in food stamps generates $9 in economic activity.  By this reasoning, America should be able to spend itself into prosperity if governments add a few more trillion dollars to their welfare programs.

WH: Food Stamps 'Are Boosting the Economy'.  People who depend on the government to buy their food using food stamps are boosting the economy, the White House says.  A Thanksgiving message posted on the White House website says the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — AKA food stamps — helps millions of Americans put food on the table and keeps millions out of poverty.  In the last five years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of Americans on food stamps has gone up 67.7 percent.

Obama: 'We're Not Lavishly Spending on a Whole Bunch of Social Programs'.  President Obama told a gathering of business executives on Tuesday [11/19/2013] that the federal government was not "lavishly spending" on social programs.  "What we know is, is that our — our fiscal problems are not short-term deficits.  Our discretionary budget, that portion of the federal budget that isn't defense or Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid, the entitlement programs, is at its smallest level in my lifetime, probably since Dwight Eisenhower.["]

Food Security Junk Science.  With the release of the USDA's latest report on household food security in the United States, we get another example of junk science, government largesse, and a social engineering Trojan horse. [...] Apparently, "children were food insecure at times during the year in 10.0 percent of households with children.  These 3.9 million households were unable at times during the year to provide adequate, nutritious food for their children."  Where does this data come from?  Unaudited voluntary population surveys.  This means the underlying data cannot be verified and may be subject to significant bias.

The Myth of Red State Welfare.  During the last few years, a key liberal talking point has been "red state welfare."  The argument is that the states that get more from the federal government than they pay in taxes tend to be red states, whereas the states that give more to the federal government than they pay in taxes tend to be blue states.  This "red state welfare" hypothesis falls completely apart when we look at the data.

First Lady: Barack's Working to Free Americans from 'Any Form of Public Assistance'.  In an e-mail to supporters, First Lady Michelle Obama says she grew up in a family that didn't need help from the government, and that her husband is working to make Americans free from dependence on government once again. [... But] The Obama Administration's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has arranged to pay a public relations firm $8 million to promote dependence on government-run health care — enrollment in ObamaCare's health insurance exchanges.  In Pennsylvania alone, HHS is spending $4 million to promote Obamacare at state health clinics.

How The Welfare State Stole Christmas.  "We Could End Homelessness With The Money Americans Spend On Christmas Decorations," announces a headline from Think Progress blogger Adam Peck. [...] According to Peck, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says it could end "homelessness" if only its annual budget to fight the problem ballooned from $1.9 billion to $20 billion.  That's dubious — financial reasons seldom account for why a person ends up living on the street or under a bridge.

President Unleashes a Nationwide 'Community Organizing' Campaign.  Mr. Obama's recurring mantra is that he will focus on the "needs of the middle class," yet every single day nearly 12,000 people are added to the food stamp program, food and gas prices escalate, we are distributing billions of dollars worth of "Obama phones" to millions who do not qualify as needy, and we now have a record number of people who are declared "disabled."  That is not expanding the middle class or meeting the needs of the middle class.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker: $80.4B Food Stamp Program 'Not a Government Handout'.  Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker says the federal government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), which spent $80.4 billion in fiscal 2012, is "not a government handout."  "I hope and understand that people are getting a better recognition that this is a program that really helps America, helps families in need," Booker said on Friday, while describing his fourth day of living on a SNAP budget.

Not News: Food Stamp Participation Jumped by Over 600,000 in September; Last Pre-Election Number Revised Up.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its latest report on food stamp program participation through September today [12/7/2012].  I received the email alerting me to the release at 5:17 p.m., so it seems reasonable to believe that USDA and the Barack Obama administration wanted the new data to get as little attention as possible.  If so, they have two probable reasons for wishing to minimize its impact.

Schumer: Jobless Benefits 'The Best Stimulus There Is'.  Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that extending long-term unemployment benefits would be the "best stimulus there is" for the economy, saying it would create the most jobs for the money.  "At the end of last year, there were 5 million people receiving emergency UI [unemployment insurance].  This year, there are only 2 million.  It's working," Schumer said at a press conference Thursday [12/6/2012].

The Editor says...
Paying people not to work is an incentive to stay home, not an incentive to get a job.

Federal Entitlements Prevent U.S. From Being Third World Country, Lawmaker Says.  Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) chided Republican efforts to reform entitlements during a floor speech Tuesday [12/4/2012], saying certain federal programs prevent the United States from being a third world country.

The Editor says...
Exactly the opposite is true, of course.  Massive spending on unconstitutional payments to individuals is building the national debt at an (apparently) uncontrollable rate.

Kirsten Powers: 'Complete and Utter Myth' That Illegal Aliens Receive Welfare, Other Benefits.  Illegal immigrants get little in the way of welfare or other taxpayer-funded largesse, according to Kirsten Powers.  And she's adamant about it.  The liberal columnist and Fox News contributor appeared on Geraldo Rivera's KABC radio show out of Los Angeles yesterday [8/23/2012], at the same time Rivera invited GOP strategist George Ajjan.

Hoyer: Food Stamps, Unemployment Insurance are the two 'Most Stimulative' Things for Economy.  House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday [7/17/2012] that food stamps and unemployment insurance are the two "most stimulative" things you can do for the economy.  During a pen and pad briefing with reporters on Capitol Hill, Hoyer was asked if any Democrats are "reconsidering the wisdom" of letting the Bush tax cuts expire at year's end for the top income earners given the still struggling U.S. economy.

Feds Encourage Food Stamps: Helps Local Economies, 'Everyone Wins'.  The federal government has been making the case that, with food stamps, "everyone wins," according to literature meant to promote the federal social welfare program.  The argument is that accepting food stamp benefits helps to promote economic growth for the communities hosting those recipients.  "Each $5 dollars in new SNAP benefits generates almost twice that amount in economic activity for the community," states the federal government pamphlet.

The Editor says...
If that were true, and it isn't, we should all be on food stamps.

A Political Glossary.  [Scroll down]  People who make no provision to feed themselves, but expect others to provide food for them, are those whom politicians and the media refer to as "the hungry."  Those who meet this definition may have money for alcohol, drugs or even various electronic devices.  And many of them are overweight.  But, if they look to voluntary donations, or money taken from the taxpayers, to provide them with something to eat, then they are "the hungry."

SNAP Questions & Suggested Answers.  Read the government propaganda for yourself:  "Everyone wins when eligible people take advantage of benefits to which they are entitled."

The Editor says...
That's a lie.  Everyone receiving the benefits is dependent on Big Brother, and the rest of us have money taken from our wages, under threat of imprisonment, to be given to the shiftless parasites who will probably find a way to spend the money on beer and cigarettes.

Liberals and Magical Math.  Nancy Pelosi has made what could quite possibly be the most imbecilic utterances ... regarding job creation and stimulating the economy:
 •  Unemployment benefits "injects demand into the economy."
 •  Unemployment benefits "is a job creator."
 •  "Unemployment insurance, the economists tell us, return $2 for every $1 that is put out there for unemployment insurance."
 •  It creates jobs to help reduce the deficit.
 •  "This is one of the biggest stimuluses to our economy.  Economists will tell you this money is spent quickly.  It injects demand into the economy, and is job creating."
 •  Unemployment insurance "creates jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name because, again, it is money that is needed for families to survive, and it is spent.  So it has a double benefit.  It helps those who have lost their jobs, but it also is a job creator."
 •  "It is the biggest bang for the buck when you do food stamps and unemployment insurance.  The biggest bang for the buck."

We should all use food stamps.  That would solve everything!
Obama Agriculture Secretary: Food Stamps Create Jobs.  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack repeated the White House claim that food stamps and other forms of government welfare are stimulus programs in disguise, stating that when government gives out money, it is creating jobs.

Obama Ag Secretary Vilsack: Food Stamps Are A Stimulus.  Obama's Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack:  "Well, obviously, it's putting people to work. ... I should point out, when you talk about the SNAP program or the foot stamp program, you have to recognize that it's also an economic stimulus.  Every dollar of SNAP benefits generates $1.84 in the economy in terms of economic activity.  If people are able to buy a little more in the grocery store, someone has to stock it, package it, shelve it, process it, ship it.  All of those are jobs.  It's the most direct stimulus you can get in the economy during these tough times."

Gingrich: "Obama Is The Most Successful Food Stamp President In American History".  ["]We need a program to put 14 million Americans back to work.  We are committed to creating jobs.  The Democrats are committed to killing jobs.  You decide which future you want, paychecks or food stamps?["]

Obama's charity state.  President Obama made a big to-do about a big speech about his allegedly big new plan to reduce the really big deficit and fix the country the way a president is supposed to.  Predictably, he dusted off old far-left mantras as tired as Joe Biden at an Obama speech, spouting yet again that the way to end deficits is to raise taxes.  The rhetoric on the left is getting more shrill by the minute, with accusations of Republicans wanting to "steal" from poor people, women and senior citizens.  Yes — "steal" — as if there is money that is theirs and mean old Republicans want to break into their homes in the middle of the night and lift it from their wallets.

Nancy Pelosi: A Ruler of Fools.  Nancy Pelosi doesn't have much longer as Speaker of the House.  But if there's one constant in our ever-changing world, it's that Pelosi will remain unconscionable until the gavel is wrested from her hand.  During a recent speech on the House floor, she expressed opinions about unemployment insurance and tax policy that seem irrational even for her.  Pelosi supports extending unemployment insurance beyond the current 99-week limit.  To substantiate her position, she touted unemployment benefits as a burgeoning economic catalyst.  All we need do is and tap into their power.  Pelosi informed Congress that "[u]nemployment insurance ... returns two dollars for every one dollar that is put out there."  A two-dollar return for every one invested is a lofty promise.

Black Republican: Black Caucus preaches victimization and dependency.  Congressman-elect Allen West (R-Fla.), who said he plans to become the only black Republican in the Congressional Black Caucus, accused the organization of failing the black community by promoting dependence on government welfare programs.  "The Congressional Black Caucus cannot continue to be a monolithic voice that promotes these liberal social welfare policies and programs that are failing in the Black community, that are preaching victimization and dependency, that's not the way that we should go," West said on Fox News Friday [11/19/2010].

Why Do Blacks Still Buy The Government Plantation Lie?  Blacks still by and large see government dependence as the remedy rather than the disease, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  They still choose to listen to left wing black political leadership and media who have careers in keeping it all going.  Consider that it was welfare state government policies that caused this economic collapse to begin with.  And that it was community activist groups claiming to represent the interests of minorities who lobbied for these policies.

Obama Battles Reagan.  Every major Obama initiative from Obamanomics to ObamaCare is inevitably attempting to transform America just as Obama promised:  taking the prosperous America Ronald Reagan saw as The Shining City Upon a Hill and turning it into a Society of Beggars.  Sending Americans begging — literally.  Turning Reagan's "Morning in America" into what Rush Limbaugh has termed Obama's endless Dark Night of the Soup Kitchen.  All of this based on the idea that building the American economy (or for that matter any economy), as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said, must be done based on the philosophy that "the biggest bang for the buck [comes] when you do food stamps and unemployment insurance — the biggest bang for the buck."  This is, of course, straight from Marx.

Pelosi Advocates Food Stamps to Help Economy.  Seriously.  There is a great danger here.  What she's talking about is right out of Karl Marx's socialist playbook.  Allegedly a devout Catholic who somehow manages to get around the Church's stand on baby killing via legalized abortion, she has ignored the warnings of numerous popes about socialism.

Poverty Is Up, Crime Is Down. Is That Possible?  [Scroll down]  Here is a curious thing about that increasing poverty, though — and it's something that has received very little press attention:  It has not resulted in a higher crime rate.  In fact, according to the FBI, even as unemployment was spiking during 2009, the rate of murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults declined by 4.4 percent compared with the previous year.  As even the Washington Post acknowledged, the conventional wisdom for many decades has been that "economic trouble breeds lawlessness."

Poverty and the Democrats.  The Associated Press reports that Census Bureau data due next week will show a record increase in the poverty rate. ... The Democrats, of course, are like the arsonist who works for the fire department.  They will argue that soaring poverty demands more government spending.

Words sugarcoat politicians' bad ideas.  [Scroll down]  Take the simple phrase "rent control."  If you take these words literally — as if they were money in the bank — you get a complete distortion of reality.  New York is the city with the oldest and strongest rent control laws in the nation.  San Francisco is second.  But if you look at cities with the highest average rents, New York is first and San Francisco is second.  Obviously, "rent control" laws do not control rent.

A country of 'third rails'.  Since the inception of Social Security, there has been an unspoken rule in politics:  When campaigning for national office or running for re-election, a candidate could never pledge to touch, cut spending for, dismantle, or otherwise look crossways at Social Security unless it was to raise the payouts to its recipients.  Social Security has always been referred to as the "third rail" in politics.  You simply never touch it.  It would now appear that the US is riddled with a plethora of untouchable third rails and holy grails.

Expansion of the welfare state disguised as environmentalism.
Earth Day:  An Assault on Man.  [Scroll down]  The American Clean Energy and Security Act passed by the House proposes green economic schemes that should frighten us greatly.  For example, buried on pages 1014-1016 of the bill is the "Monthly Energy Refund."  According to this trick, for those with a gross income that "does not exceed 150 percent of the poverty line ... a direct deposit" of an undisclosed amount of money will be sent "into the eligible household's designated bank account[.]"  On pages 502-503 we find the "Low Income Community Energy Efficiency Program," whereby grants will be issued "to increase the flow of capital and benefits to low income communities, minority-owned and woman-owned businesses and entrepreneurs[.]"

Obama's Quiet War on Red States.  [Scroll down slowly]  The admonition goes that the poor will always be among us, but today's poor needn't become a permanent underclass, which has happened in big cities, especially those in blue states (think Newark, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Detroit).  These poor — mostly black and Hispanic — are the prisoners of big-city Democratic machines, which, allied with leaders in minority and poor communities, have stymied the "up and out" dynamic that was once a feature of poverty in America.  The poor are always with today's Democrats because in exchange for subsidizing the poor, Democrats get whole blocs of votes in return — votes that perpetuate their political power.

The Welfare State of America.  Even before Obamacare and this year's spending increases take effect, Americans have to accept that our government already has gotten to be as big as the biggest welfare states.  Socialism is not just somebody else's problem anymore.

President Obama Makes Poverty Permanent.  If "poverty" is defined as earning less than 75% of other people (or 60%, or whatever number you like) then the poor will always be with us and there is nothing anybody can do to change this.  Omnipotence itself cannot change this.  Yet President Obama thinks he can. ... How?  His administration will create a new index of poverty, one which slides upwards as all income increases.  This guarantees "poverty" will always be with us.  This act of will creates an eternal class of the "poor" from which there can be no relief.

Let It Burn.  If Republicans take control of the House and Senate, and if they repeal the health care bill, then they will not be able (or likely even try) to reform Medicare or Social Security.  These programs alone will bankrupt our nation.  Yet they are untouchable because a large number of Americans have come to depend upon these benefits.  They have become unknowingly hooked.

What It's Really About:  Insurance Reform Was Never About Health Care.  Past liberal administrations began the march toward socialization, expanding government control and provision, demonizing capitalism, and shifting responsibility away from individuals and onto government.  ObamaCare will take its place in the liberal cavalcade of massive government growth initiatives alongside Welfare, Social Security, and a multitude of entitlement programs.  Democrat Senator Dick Durbin said the massive taxes and vast expansion of government required to run the program would simply be, "The cost... of having the kind of America we want to have."  What kind of America was he referring to?

Ignorance is strength and...
Food Stamps Are Not Welfare.  With the help of the statist media, Big Government is making progress in its drive to corrode our culture to the point that dependence on coercively funded handouts is both socially acceptable and ubiquitous.

Michelle Obama, Liberal Government and Obesity:  First Lady, Michelle Obama, has decided to take a whack at solving the American obesity epidemic.  Splendid.  She should start by looking at one of the biggest roots of the problem:  liberal government and its most favorite project of the past 40 years, the welfare state.

Recession Shatters Myth of Poverty Causing Crime.  The sound you should be hearing right now is that of a myth exploding.  And given the long duration and wide acceptance of this myth, the noise should indeed be deafening.  But, no, as when many cherished notions of the left are revealed as fallacious, the current reaction is a hushed, embarrassed silence.

Texas' program for food stamps called the worst.  Texas has the worst-performing food stamp program in the nation, the federal director for food assistance told state officials here Tuesday.  It ranks last among the 50 states and U.S. territories in processing food stamp applications and also does a poor job getting eligible low-income people to apply, Kevin Concannon, a U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary, said in an earlier meeting with reporters.

The Editor says...
That's great news!  Why should the state encourage people to apply for welfare?

Crisis of the Government Party.  Democrats are the Party of Government.  They feed it, and it feeds them.  The larger government grows, the more agencies that are created, the more bureaucrats who are hired, the more people who become beneficiaries, the more deeply entrenched in power the Party of Government becomes.  At the local, state and federal level, there are 19 million to 20 million government employees.  And if one takes only Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and earned income tax credits, we are talking of scores of millions who depend on government checks for the necessities of their daily life.

12 Policies that Undermine Civil Society.  [#1]  Massive Expansion of the Welfare State.  Within his first two years in office, President Obama will have increased spending on means-tested programs for the poor by 30 percent, and over the next decade he will spend $10.3 trillion on welfare programs alone.  These are programs such as food stamps, Medicaid, housing, and Head Start that are targeted at low-income people.  In addition to increased spending, the President and Congress are widening eligibility for the programs so that more people will qualify.  Government-sponsored welfare programs do little to actually help move families from a position of dependence to self-sufficiency.

The Fruits of Labor.  We now have a government that considers it public policy to take from those who are productive and give to those who they believe are less productive (or unproductive).  Although this is nothing new with respect to politics, it is more blatant now than at any other time in our history.

The Myth that Liberals Care About the Poor:  Almost every program the Left supports to "help" the poor in this country is surreptitiously designed to de-motivate them and keep them dependent on the government.  The Left saps their will to work with welfare and food stamps, the Left reduces their income and puts them out of jobs by encouraging illegal aliens to enter the country, and the Left fights voucher programs that would allow poverty-stricken students to go to the same schools as the rich Americans.  Liberals incessantly ramble on about how much they care about the poor — and they do, the same way a Venus Flytrap cares about a random bug that happens to fly into its maw.

Poverty?  It's just a lie the Left uses to destroy the middle class.  The propaganda gives it away.  Those ridiculous claims about abolishing child poverty are a huge warning sign.  Why 'child' poverty, by the way?  It's partly to make us all go gooey and say 'aah'.  It's also because the children in our most deprived households have no responsibility at all for the conditions they live in.  But the Government does, by encouraging the creation of single-parent families on welfare.

Cap-and-Tax:  Government vs. America.  There is still time to stop the legislative monstrosity known as the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill before the Senate approves it.  But for that to happen, Americans must learn how bad it is. ... As noted, the bill contains a hidden provision establishing unemployment benefits for up to three full years for workers displaced as a result of this "job creations" bill, as well as health insurance premium subsidies and $1,500 each for job search and relocation expenses — all at taxpayers' expense.

Social service advocates predict disaster if budget cut.  Armageddon, disaster, nightmare, obscene, devastating.  Those are just a few of the words some people use to describe the fallout if deep cuts in Illinois' budget become a reality.  "This budget would be a disaster.  We are talking about decimating programs that help the most vulnerable," said Diana Rauner, spokeswoman for the Ounce of Prevention Fund, a poverty relief organization.

Obama's Stimulus:  LBJ's Great Society welfare was probably the worst of all liberal policies because it was directly responsible for destroying marriage by subsidizing illegitimacy and divorce, thereby creating a matriarchy dependent on government handouts.  It wasn't poverty that destroyed marriage in the lower-income classes, it was the liberal policy of giving taxpayers' money to women, thereby making the husband and father irrelevant and even an impediment to the flow of easy money.  By setting limits on government handouts, the 1996 welfare reform encouraged welfare recipients to get jobs or job training, to make themselves self-sufficient and to end their long-term dependency on government.  The Obama stimulus plan increases the taxpayers' money that the federal government gives to the states for welfare, and reverses incentives by giving bonuses to states that put more people on welfare.

Gospel of dependence from National Urban League.  Shouldn't it embarrass black Americans that one the nation's largest and most prestigious civil rights organizations offers a long list of proposals to improve black life in our country, and every single proposal is a government program? ... There's not a single proposal that I could find in a several hundred-page report about improving black life that does not start with government.  The civil rights movement once was about freedom and liberation.  Now it's about government dependency.  We should be ashamed.

Why Team Obama Hates Poor People.  Democrats, and the progressive left in particular, exploit the poor, they use the poor, they write speeches about them, and manipulate their "unrepresented voices" in debates.  But one thing is increasingly clear from the Obama administration and the popular left in America, they don't have any interest in helping them.

Top 10 Poverty Cities:  What do the top 10 cities with the highest poverty rates all have in common?
 1. Detroit, MI... hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1961;
 2. Buffalo, NY... hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1954;
 3. Cincinnati, OH... hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1984;
 4. Cleveland, OH... hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1989;
 5. Miami, FL... has never had a Republican mayor;
 6. St. Louis, MO... hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1949;
 7. El Paso, TX... has never had a Republican mayor;
 8. Milwaukee, WI... hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1908;
 9. Philadelphia, PA... hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1952;
 10. Newark, NJ... hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1907.

The Editor asks...
Do poor people reflexively elect Democrats to avoid being cut off from public assistance, or do Democrats actively encourage people to be dependent on big government?  I think both.

The poverty of Democrats' ideas for cities:  Perhaps nothing illustrates that better than what's been happening in Detroit, Michigan, and Buffalo, New York.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly a third of the residents in those cities are living beneath the poverty line, the highest rates among large cities in the entire country. ... Detroit, whose mayor has been indicted on felony charges, hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1961.  Buffalo has been even more stubborn.  It started putting a Democrat in office back in 1954, and it hasn't stopped since.

The Magic of Barack Obama.  [Scroll down]  Ten out of 10 radicals surveyed agree that America must be remade via spreading the wealth around.  That means confiscating increasingly more money from society's hard-working wage earners and job producers and redistributing or "reinvesting" the booty in liberal programs and bureaucracies.  No matter that the welfare state has been an abject failure, having destroyed the traditional family and shipwrecked tens of millions of lives.  "The welfare system just needs more taxpayer money and then it will finally succeed," dreams the radical left.

Priceless politics:  Among the many rationales used to defend the welfare state, the most powerful is that it is necessary, in order to take care of the poor and the downtrodden.  But the amount of money required to bring every poor person in the country above the official poverty line is a fraction of what is spent by government on the welfare state.

Not Everyone Should Own a Home.  Maybe only a friendly foreigner could say this.  But America needs to realize that not everyone can own a home.  The American Dream of home ownership for all is a fraud.  Politicians who pimped this dream created an unsustainable mortgage industry whose collapse is only surprising because it didn't happen earlier.  America's mortgage industry will not recover, nor deserve to recover, unless it is prepared to challenge this politically unpalatable reality.

Houston Zoo will offer free admission to poor.  Despite record crowds, officials with the Houston Zoo are looking for ways to attract more low-income families.  Starting Aug. 1, families that use the Lone Star card to receive food stamps and other benefits will have unlimited free admission for themselves and up to eight others.

The Editor asks the obvious question...
How will that help the poor improve their situation?

A poor way to measure poverty.  The official poverty measure counts only monetary income.  It considers anti-poverty programs such as food stamps, housing assistance, the Earned Income Tax Credit, Medicaid and school lunches, among others, "in-kind benefits" — and hence not income.  So, despite everything these programs do to relieve poverty, they aren't counted as income when Washington measures the poverty rate.

Poverty Does Not Cause Crime.  In all my years covering court, I don't ever recall a defence lawyer claiming that his or her client committed a particular crime because of poverty.  All sorts of explanations crop up during sentencing submissions, including addiction, mental illness, childhood abuse and abysmal coping skills.  Defence lawyers, however, do not pin their hopes for a light sentence on the poverty-causes-crime argument.  It's untrue and judges won't buy it.

Barack Obama reverses the welfare reform law of 1996

Medicaid and the Democratic War on Work.  And yet there can be little doubt that the Democratic Party has somehow morphed into the anti-employment party.  The evidence for this is pretty difficult to miss.  The Obama era, despite a deluge of disingenuous media reports about the allegedly heroic role our erstwhile president played in "saving" the economy, was characterized by countless initiatives clearly meant to reduce employment growth to the anemic level that Obama himself called the "new normal."  A clear sign that he intended to take every action possible to render this sluggish job growth permanent was his disembowelment of Clinton-era work requirements for welfare recipients.  And, in keeping with their war on work, the Democrats and the media produced the usual claims of racism and cruelty when President Trump reversed his predecessor's anti-employment and illegal changes to the 1996 welfare reform law.

Did Welfare Reform Increase Extreme Poverty in the United States?  Two decades ago, on August 22, 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, popularly known as welfare reform, into law.  At the time, liberals proclaimed that the bill would slash the incomes of one in five families with children and push 2.6 million people into poverty.  Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously predicted that the bill would leave children scavenging in the streets, "sleeping on grates, picked up in the morning frozen."  In fact, reform cut welfare caseloads by over 50 percent, employment of the least-skilled single mothers surged, and the poverty rates of black children and single-parent families dropped rapidly to historic lows.  Doomsday prophets were utterly discredited.  Reform was very popular with the public.  Remarkably, 20 years later, Moynihan's alarm about "children sleeping on grates" has been revived.

Obama edict repealed 1996 welfare reform's work requirement.  When the Republican Congress and Democratic President Bill Clinton reformed welfare in 1996, among the many changes was to add a work requirement to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly known as food stamps.  Liberals always hated the work requirement, and the stimulus was a perfect opportunity to repeal it.  The results have been entirely predictable.  A 2012 Congressional Research Service report found that the number of able-bodied American adults on food stamps has more than doubled, from 1.9 million in 2008 to 3.9 million in 2010.

Obama edict repealed 1996 welfare reform's work requirement.  There were plenty of reasons why President Obama's $787 trillion economic stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, received no Republican votes in the House of Representatives.  But one rarely mentioned reason was tucked away in the more than 1,000 pages of crony capitalist spending — a provision ending the work requirement for the food stamp program.

5 Ways Obama Has Trampled the Constitution.  [#4]  Waiving welfare work requirements:  In July 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services gutted the work requirements out of the welfare reform law passed in 1996.  It notified states of Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's "willingness to exercise her waiver authority" so that states may eliminate the work participation requirement of Section 407 of the 1996 reforms.  This flatly contradicts the law, which provides that waivers granted under other sections of the law "shall not affect the applicability of section 407 to the State."  Despite this unambiguous language, the Obama Administration continues to flout the law with its "revisionist" interpretation.

Welfare: Obama Wanted to Gut Work Requirements in 2009.  President Obama had been seeking ways to circumvent the 1996 welfare work requirements since coming to office, according to a 2009 memo released Tuesday [5/7/2013] by Representative David Camp (R-MI) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT).  "From the first year the Obama Administration took power, it was trying to find any legal and policy justification to permit the weakening of welfare reforms that demand work in exchange for government benefits," said Hatch in a press release on Tuesday [5/7/2013].  "They used states' desire for flexibility as a stalking horse to justify this massive executive branch power grab."  Last July, Obama's Department of Health and Human Services released an official policy directive effectively gutting work requirements from the successful welfare reform of 1996.

Food stamp rolls explode after Obama loosens rules.  You will recall that during the last election there was a big controversy over whether the Obama administration had acted to "gut" — to use the Romney campaign's term — the work requirements under welfare reform. [...] The programs have simply been made more efficient, the White House argued.  If by "more efficient" the Obama team meant getting unprecedented numbers of people on the rolls and keeping them there longer by relaxing the old rules, then, yes, the administration's reforms have been a roaring success.

Obama's Latest Political Slander.  During the Obama years, in fact, the ranks of America's poor have climbed to levels unseen in nearly half a century.  In addition, Obama was opposed to the 1996 welfare reform bill, which was arguably the single best policy reform to help poor Americans, and his administration has taken steps to weaken welfare work requirements.  Yet the president feels like he's in a position to lecture Republicans about caring for the most vulnerable members of the human community.

Obama's Palace Guard.  [Scroll down]  This isn't a closely guarded secret.  Key personnel under Sebelius at HHS have a lengthy track record of opposing the 1996 welfare reform.  Doug Steiger, for example, the deputy assistant secretary for legislation for human services at HHS, plays a significant role in shaping Obama administration welfare policy.  Rector notes that Steiger used to work for Max Baucus, the Senate Finance Committee chairman, "and when TANF was going to be reauthorized in 2002, they put up a bill that manifestly had no federal work requirements in it at all.  And he was very explicit that was their goal — there were to be no federal work requirements."

Welfare Reform as We Knew It.  It's hard to remember now, but this summer Mitt Romney opened a useful debate about "dependency" — concerning President Obama's regulation to rewrite the 1996 welfare reform.  Democrats deny any such intent, but as early as this week the House plans to hold a vote to override the new rule.  So it's a good moment to dissect what the Administration is really trying to do, because in this case Mr. Romney is right:  The Administration has made welfare's work requirements far weaker, and for ideological reasons that the press corps has failed to report.

CRS report: number of able-bodied adults on food stamps doubled after Obama suspended work requirement.  Obama administration officials have insisted that their decision to grant states waivers to redefine work requirements for welfare recipients would not "gut" the landmark 1996 welfare reform law.  But a new report from the Congressional Research Service obtained by the Washington Examiner suggests that the administration's suspension of a separate welfare work requirement has already helped explode the number of able-bodied Americans on food stamps.

Media Blackout: GAO Says Obama's Welfare Waivers Illegal.  On Sept. 4, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) made a startling assertion saying that Obama circumvented the law when he summarily waived the work requirements in the welfare law.  Perhaps not as shocking, few news outlets seem interested in the story.

Obama Administration Welfare Waivers Violated Law, GAO Finds.  Did the Obama administration, in waiving work requirements for welfare recipients, violate the law?  According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress' investigative arm, the answer is yes.  In response to a request from Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, the GAO examined whether the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) July 12 Information Memorandum concerning the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program violated the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

How Obama has gutted welfare reform.  The 1996 welfare reform law required that a portion of the able-bodied adults in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program — the successor to the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program — work or prepare for work.  Those work requirements were the heart of the reform's success:  Welfare rolls dropped by half, and the poverty rate for black children reached its lowest level in history in the years following.  But the Obama administration has jettisoned the law's work requirements, asserting that, in the future, no state will be required to follow them. In place of the legislated work requirements, the administration has stated, it will unilaterally design its own "work" systems without congressional involvement or consent.  Any state will be free to follow the new Obama requirements "in lieu of" the written statute.

Gutting Welfare Reform: Ending Welfare as We Know It.  Today, the federal government operates nearly 80 welfare programs at a total cost to state and local governments that is approaching $1 trillion annually.  Now the Obama Administration is attempting to boost government dependence by removing work requirements from one of only two welfare programs that include work requirements. [...] The Obama Administration's directive strangles welfare reform and threatens the principle of personal responsibility.  Instead of rolling back welfare reform, work requirements should be strengthened in TANF and added to programs like food stamps and public housing to help those in need become self-reliant and free from government dependence.

Welfare Reform's Work Requirements Cannot be Waived.  Under the guise of providing states greater "flexibility" in operating their welfare programs, the Obama Administration now claims the authority to weaken or waive the work requirements that are at the heart of welfare reform. But Congress intended that those requirements be absolutely mandatory in all instances and specifically withheld any authority to weaken or waive them.  Waiving the work requirements that are at the center of the 1996 welfare reform is not only terrible policy, but also a violation of the President's constitutional obligation to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed."

No wonder I'm so tired.  I've been working two jobs!
New York Times Fact Checkers: Bed Rest Is Work!  The non-Fox media have formed a solid front in denouncing Romney's welfare ad for daring to point out that Obama has gutted the work requirements of the 1996 welfare reform bill.  The New York Times claims that Romney's ad "falsely" charges Obama with eliminating work requirements.  CNN rates the ad "false."  Underemployed hack Howard Fineman says Romney's ad "is just flat out wrong on the facts" and "that every fair analyst, every fact checker" has said it's "just factually wrong."  When a campaign ad induces this much hysteria, you know Romney has struck gold.

Obama Sabotages Welfare Reform.  Obama's goal, as he has said, is to "fundamentally transform the United States" and to "spread the wealth" to produce more dependency on government.  As he probably learned at the Socialist Workers conference he attended while at Columbia, and then as a student of Chicago radical Saul Alinsky, the best way to do that is to load more people onto the welfare rolls.  In gutting the Republican welfare reform, Obama ignored the fact that the work requirement written into the TANF law is "mandatory."  He just went ahead and issued a waiver anyway, claiming it is OK under Section 1115 of the Social Security Act.  However, the TANF law states that waivers cannot be issued unless they are specifically listed in Section 1115.  Welfare's "work" requirement" is not listed.

Obama Ends Welfare Reform As We Know It.  Welfare reform replaced the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children with a new program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).  The underlying concept of welfare reform was that able-bodied adults should be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving welfare aid.  The welfare reform law was very successful.  In the four decades prior to welfare reform, the welfare caseload never experienced a significant decline.  But, in the four years after welfare reform, the caseload dropped by nearly half.  Employment surged and child poverty among blacks and single mothers plummeted to historic lows.  What was the catalyst for these improvements?  Rigorous new federal work requirements contained in TANF.

Obama Ends Welfare Reform as We Know It, Calls for $12.7 Trillion in New Welfare Spending.  Last Thursday [7/12/2012], the Obama Administration quietly issued new bureaucratic rules that overturned the popular welfare reform law of 1996.  This was an illegal move, and it completely undoes years of progress that helped millions of Americans.  The 1996 reform replaced the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program with a new program called Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).  At the core of the TANF program were new federal work standards that required able-bodied welfare recipients to work, prepare for work, or at least look for work as a condition for receiving aid.  Welfare reform turned "welfare" into "workfare."

Obama is buying his reelection, one entitlement at a time.
Food stamps for votes.  Welfare to work is the cornerstone of a reform passed in 1996 by a Republican Congress and signed by Bill Clinton.  The Obama administration on Thursday [7/12/2012] announced it was taking steps to gut this landmark law.  The theory behind welfare reform was people on government assistance not only should work towards getting a job but actually want one.  The law is credited with shrinking the welfare caseload by over 2.8 million, making them productive members of society.

Obama takes the Work out of Welfare.  Yesterday afternoon [7/12/2012], President Obama's Department of Health and Human Services issued a directive effectively waiving work requirements that have been the fundamental component of the 1996 welfare reform law.  The law, hailed by both Republicans and Democrats as an extremely successful piece of legislation, cut the number of people on welfare in half.

'Add Welfare Reform to List of Laws Obama Refuses to Follow'.  The Obama administration today [7/12/2012] issued a waiver for work requirements under the 1996 welfare reform law, prompting the chairman of the conservative caucus in the House to accuse the president of "hurting the very people he claims to help."  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent an "information memorandum" to states this afternoon exercising waiver authority under the Social Security Act for the provision that "parents and caretakers receiving assistance under the [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)] program engage in work activities."

The Editor says...
What percentage of the people receiving "Temporary Assistance for Needy Families" are actually needy, and receiving the money temporarily, and part of an actual family?

Obama, after gutting welfare reform: Americans can't be looking for handouts'.  "Americans can't be looking for handouts," Obama said during a campaign stop in Virginia.  "There are some folks you can't help if they're not willing to help themselves."  Moments later, he invoked former President Clinton as a model for economic leadership:  "Bill Clinton did it, and we ended up having 23 million new jobs," Obama added.  But he was referring to Clinton's tax policy, not the welfare reform bill undermined by his Department of Health and Human Services yesterday [7/12/2012].

White House approved reversal of welfare reform.  Both OMB and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius approved the new rules, Kenneth Wolfe, the department's deputy director of public affairs, told The Daily Caller.  The department will not be holding a press conference about the rules, which remove a core element of the successful reform that halved the taxpayers' welfare caseload.

Republicans accuse HHS of gutting welfare reform with quiet policy change.  Republicans are accusing the Obama administration of unilaterally gutting welfare reform after the Department of Health and Human Services quietly notified states that they may seek a waiver for the program's strict work requirements.  HHS made the announcement in a policy memo Thursday [7/12/2012], news that slipped well below the radar amid a raucous day on the presidential campaign trail.  But a few prominent GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill picked up on the change, and accused the administration of overhauling one of the most important bipartisan agreements of the past several decades.

Obama hacks away at America's foundation.  Barack Obama's out of control presidency plunged deeper into outlaw territory this past week.  Obama's lawless band gutted the nation's successful 1996 welfare reform law by issuing a bureaucratic directive that (illegally) does away with the work requirement at the heart of the bipartisan reform adopted under Bill Clinton's presidency.  The directive, issued by Obama's Department of Health and Human Services, allows states to waive the work requirement to receive welfare.  But the reform law clearly does not allow for that specific waiver, according to Robert Rector of the conservative Heritage Foundation, who helped draft the 1996 reform.

The Latent Function of Welfare Un-Reform.  There has been much gnashing of teeth over the fact that the Obama Administration's recent decree on welfare reform means that practicing yoga or bed rest would count as work for purposes of admitting people to welfare rolls, but there well may be another purpose of the action — intended or unintended. [...] So, clearly, a latent function, or goal, of the actions is the reduction of the unemployment rate — if you're not seeking work but engaged in the "work activity" of bed-rest and are collecting welfare because of that status, you are no longer unemployed.

Orrin Hatch introduces bill to block Obama power grab.  Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced a bill Wednesday to block President Obama's controversial changes to work requirements in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families law.  Sen. Hatch introduced his bill, the Preserving Work Requirement for Welfare Programs Act, on the Senate floor by saying, "This bill halts last week's unprecedented power grab from the Obama administration whereby unelected bureaucrats unilaterally granted themselves the authority to waive federal welfare work requirements ... to put this another way, unelected bureaucrats ignored the law passed by Congress, the elected representatives of the American people."

The Misgovernment Campaign.  The Republic has survived, and probably can continue to survive liars, misguided ideologues and incompetents in high office, but Obama does not stop at flawed logic or false assertion.  He has shown himself so irresponsible and so heedless of the best interests of our economy, social fabric, and security that he has unleashed recently a wave of destructive policies and administrative practices aimed at manipulating and mobilizing the frightened, the dispirited, the resentful and the ignorant to help return him to office.

Obama's Illegal and Risky Welfare Policy.  Until this week, the Obama campaign's strategy of interest-group payoffs and demonization of Romney seemed, if tawdry, at least a possible route to reelection.  The president's promises to deliver more and more "free" stuff for carefully selected grantees — adorned in the language of sticking up for the "middle class" — appeared to have a chance of success.  But the decision to embrace one of the least popular Democratic positions of the past 100 years — opposition to the work requirement for welfare recipients — is inexplicable politically.  It's also illegal and imperious.

Obama Flouts the Rule of Law.  Mona Charen had a characteristically great column Tuesday [7/17/2012] about President Obama's illegal welfare policy.  The president purports to be unbound by federal welfare law, which imposes work requirements on welfare recipients.  The Washington Times reports that "such activities as motivational reading, housework, weight loss, and journaling" will now qualify for exemption from work requirements.

So Much for the 'Dignity of Work'.  [Scroll down]  The Obama administration has also destigmatized welfare through a series of ads targeted at middle- and lower-income Americans in both English and Spanish.  In the English versions of the radio ads, which the Tatler first noticed back in April, food stamps are re-branded SNAP, and the ads encourage Americans to call a 1-800 number to find out if they qualify.  The ad's positive, peppy tone notes that it is possible to qualify even if you have a job and own a car and a home.

Obama Puts Democrats Back in Welfare Reform Trap.  Political controversy over welfare is back after a 16-year hiatus.  As with the fight that started earlier this year over whether Catholic organizations should be forced to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees, a rule change from the Department of Health and Human Services started the dispute.  And once again, the Obama administration is on shaky ground as a matter of both law and politics.

Obama Admin.: Journaling, motivational reading count as work for welfare.  In 1996, Republicans forced through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) bill, also known as welfare reform.  It incentivized states to create welfare-to-work programs, trying to transition Americans from government dependency to financial solvency. But states quickly acted to poke holes in that legislation, calling the following activities "work" for purposes of the statute:  bed rest, personal care activities, massage, exercise, journaling, motivational reading, smoking cessation, weight loss promotion, participation in parent-teacher meetings, or helping friends or family with household tasks and errands.  This was idiotic.  So in 2005, Congress closed the loophole, over the objections of then-Senator Obama.  Now, Obama has walked back the 2005 legislation, using his Department of Health and Human Services to unilaterally waive those work requirements.

Leftist politicians perpetuate poverty and dependence
... by encouraging people to get hooked on welfare benefits and food stamps.

Gullibility 101.  The loony leftist assumes that the poor are poor because of the rich.  The wealthy have more than their fair share (as if wealth is limited — it isn't:  it's produced, but that's another discussion).  So — if we raise taxes on the rich, we'll have enough money to give a lot to the poor and we'll all be equal.  Right?  That just beats all.  How do they think the rich got that way?  Not by being stupid.  No law has ever been written that didn't have a loophole in it.  The rich can afford to lobby Congress to get those loopholes created.  And the rich can afford to hire people smart enough to find and appropriate those loopholes.  What makes matters worse is that not only do the rich get richer, but those whose job it is to redistribute the wealth gain power and use that power to get even richer themselves.  So, the poor will always be with us.

Texas Supreme Court halts Harris County 'Guaranteed Income' program.  The Texas Supreme Court halted a "guaranteed income" pilot program launched by Harris County on Friday, likely setting the stage for the program to be scrapped altogether.  In a 12-page ruling, Justice Jimmy Blacklock delivered the opinion for the court, granting the state's motion to halt the program and ordered all payments "prohibited pending further order of this court."  This is the second time the high court has ruled on, and halted, the program.

San Francisco Will Be Spending 5 Million Per Year On Free Booze for the Homeless.  San Francisco has been spending $5 million a year for four years on a taxpayer-funded program that hands out bottles of beer, glasses of wine, and shots of vodka to homeless alcoholics.  Under the 'managed alcohol program', nurses distribute shots of vodka and beer multiple times a day as part of patients' healthcare plans[.]  [Video clip]

San Francisco Exemplifies Leftist Logic Perfectly With Program to Help Alcoholic Bums Get Free Vodka Shots.  The City of San Francisco has decided to take a rather peculiar approach to address the issue of homeless alcoholics.  They've initiated a "Managed Alcohol Program," which, in the most cynical sense, can be summed up as providing free beer and vodka shots to homeless individuals suffering from alcohol addiction.  This program, funded by the taxpayer's hard-earned dollars, is a part of a little-known pilot program.  Experts claim that this program can save lives or at least prolong them.  But let's be honest here, it's not like the city is investing in their recovery or sobriety.  Instead, they're simply making sure these individuals stay off the streets and out of emergency services, which apparently saves the city a few bucks.

San Francisco Slammed For Spending Millions Of Dollars For Vodka And Beer For Homeless Alcoholics.  San Francisco is spending around $5 million a year to give vodka shots and glasses of beer to homeless people with severe alcohol addiction in an effort to cut down on calls to police and hospital stays, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.  The city's "managed alcohol program" started during the COVID pandemic, but came under fire earlier this week after Adam Nathan, the chair of the Salvation Army San Francisco Advisory Board, posted a thread on X, saying he "stumbled upon the building where they have this program."

S.F. program gives homeless people free booze.  Here's why the city says it's helpful.  For a small slice of San Francisco's homeless population that struggles with severe alcohol addiction, nurses offer treatment not in a pill, but in a shot of vodka or a glass of beer.  It may sound counterintuitive, experts say, but it helps keep people off the streets and out of emergency rooms, jails — or the morgue.  San Francisco set up a "managed alcohol program" four years ago as a way to care for vulnerable homeless people who drank excessive amounts of alcohol and were among the city's highest users of emergency services.

Guaranteed income programs will create more poverty.  Several cities across the United States give low-income families a guaranteed basic income.  I wrote about this trend in my book Seven Gray Swans.  It is my opinion these efforts will ultimately create more of the problem that they are intended to solve. [...] Pilot programs are funded by the federal government (taxpayers), foundations, and state and local taxpayers.  For one to three years, recipients will receive income with no strings attached.  This is not a loan or wages for labor.  The recipients have zero accountability for the use of funds.  It amounts to a charitable gift to private citizens, so it is mislabeled as "income," which is normally associated with compensation for a job or task.

California sues El Dorado County, Placerville for banning needle exchange programs.  The California Department of Public Health is suing El Dorado County and the city of Placervillefor banning needle exchange programs, defying state law and policies.  The state has challenged the actions by both the county's Board of Supervisors and the Placerville City Council to stop the safe syringe programs, or SSPs.  The lawsuit, filed in early March in El Dorado Superior Court, not only spotlights the debate about the effectiveness of the programs but California's assertion that local jurisdictions are not empowered to overrule state law.  Specifically, the justice department is arguing that because the state has already allowed SSPs to exist, counties and cities have no authority to ban them.

Biden boosted the need for food stamps — and calls that a 'success'.  Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden each view their respective records on food stamps as grand successes, even though they produced directly opposite results.  Welfare rolls fell during Trump's tenure, while more people rely on government under Biden.  Apparently, one man's success is another man's failure.  Under Trump, the combination of low inflation and a booming economy meant more people with jobs and growing paychecks that weren't simply negated by higher prices.  People genuinely became wealthier and incomes rose, even after adjusting for inflation.  Consequently, fewer people needed to rely on welfare programs like the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, more commonly called food stamps.

NYC spent almost $2.5B providing welfare checks to over 720K residents — the most it's paid out in over a decade.  New York City provided 720,765 residents cash assistance last year — the most [it has] awarded in welfare checks in at least a decade.  To handle the surge, a staggering $2.46 billion in federal, state and city funds was budgeted by Mayor Adams this year to provide cash assistance to adults unable to work or pay their bills and for their children.  The city previously budgeted $1.99 billion during the fiscal year that ended June 30, and $1.57 billion in fiscal 2022.  The biweekly checks are used for rent, utility costs and purchasing clothing or other necessities.  The number of New Yorkers getting handouts is 17% more than the 614,402 recipients in 2022 during Adams' first year in office, and 30% more than the 555,311 in 2021 during Bill de Blasio's final year in office, an examination of city records by The [New York] Post shows.

House Republicans Agree To Help Democrats Grow The Welfare State And Shrink The Workforce.  The legislation increases the portion of the subsidy considered refundable — that is, the amount that households can receive as a cash payment over and above any income tax liability they have.  Under current law, $1,600 of the $2,000 subsidy is refundable, but the legislation would increase that threshold to the full $2,000 in 2025.  While this provision, along with the others discussed below, will technically expire in 2025, Democrats will likely move to extend all of them as part of consideration of the Trump tax plan, major portions of which will also expire next year.  While Congress calls this particular program the "child tax credit," the term in many respects constitutes a misnomer, because most of the payments go to individuals who owe no income taxes.  For instance, the Joint Committee on Taxation found that over 91 percent — or $30.6 billion of the $33.5 billion cost — of these changes to the "child tax credit" would come via outlay (i.e., spending) effects, making it much more of a welfare subsidy than a reduction in tax liability.

Markets and Miracles.  Government handouts changed people's thinking.  They taught millions of Americans:  You are entitled to a check.  No longer was it individuals' responsibility to help families, neighbors and ourselves; now it was clearly government's job.  The result is that people became dependent on handouts.  Government rarely teaches people to be self-sufficient; handouts encourage you to be helpless.  Welfare created something never seen before in America:  a near-permanent "underclass."  Welfare told parents:  don't get married; you'll lose benefits.  Don't work; your check will be reduced.  Above all, make sure the father isn't home when a welfare worker comes.  If he is, your check may be reduced or eliminated.  This changed incentives that motivated parents for generations.  The result has been ruinous for millions of children.

Why Governments Have Replaced God with Global Warming.  In many ways, living within the walls of government is a lot like serving a life sentence in the penitentiary: at some point, people become so used to the bars on their cells and so dependent on the directions of their jailers that, when push comes to shove, they would gladly choose to stay locked up in chains.  Those who love government's coercive grip over their lives are forever "institutionalized."  All rulers — whether in the mold of communist dictator Xi Jinping or Bill Clinton's "I feel your pain" fake-but-folksy politician — wield power as Machiavelli's "prince" by seeking to "institutionalize" the people under their charge.  As such, all forms of government pursue two identical policies:  first, they invent threats for their citizens to fear, and second, they establish a monopoly over available solutions.

Toronto's shocking priorities: lavish $33,000 spent on branded drug gear as addiction crisis soars.  The City of Toronto has spent tens of thousands of dollars in the last three years on branded crack pipe stickers and other paraphernalia.  The hefty price tag of $33,561 for Toronto Public Health branded stickers can be found on crack smoking kits, crystal meth kits, foil kits and injection kits, according to access to information documents obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF).  [Tweet]  "Each of the stickers on the kit bags cost $0.2017," details the document, noting that a total of 166,392 City of Toronto branded kits have been distributed for free.  "Why in the world does the city need to spend thousands of dollars on stickers for crack pipes and meth kits?" CTF Ontario director Jay Goldberg asks.  "This is a crystal-clear example of reckless city hall spending that needs to stop."

The Catastrophic Death of Fairness.  Stealing the earned successes of some, so that others may benefit without sacrifice, has a tendency to permanently scar both the victim of the theft and the supposed beneficiary.  When hard work and dedication are spurned, a seed of dejection is planted that can spoil an otherwise promising life.  When unearned rewards become expected entitlements, the enriching pursuit of human excellence withers and often dies.

America and the Common Characteristics of Authoritarian Regimes.  [#12] A Permanent Underclass:  The regime knows that financial independence leads to an independent mind which soon begins to rebel.  Hence, they ensure that the masses are always hungry and needy.  This permanent underclass survives on government subsidies and is perpetually grateful.  Members of the regime are insulated from these hardships.  Castro's disastrous economic policies in Cuba led to high inflation, shortages, and high taxes.

Debt deal imposes new work requirements for food aid and that frustrates many Democrats.  Democrats are deeply conflicted about the food aid requirements that President Joe Biden negotiated as part of the debt ceiling deal, fearing damage has been done to safety net programs that will be difficult to unravel in the years ahead as Republicans demand further cuts.  Bargaining over toughening work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, became the focal point for the White House and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., up until the end.  Negotiators from both sides made clear, publicly and privately, that it was the biggest area of disagreement and almost led to the talks breaking down several times.

The Editor says...
Why would anyone be opposed to work requirements for perpetual parasites?
If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.

There are never enough regulations for progressives.  Bernie Sanders now wants a minimum wage of $17 per hour and a 32-hour work week. [...] The goal of Democrats for decades seems to be making more people dependent on the government instead of having a goal to make more people independent and giving them the opportunity to move up the economic ladder.  A huge problem is that members of Congress haven't worked even an average of 32 hours a week for a long time, so they live in an alternative universe.  Five of the richest ten counties in the United States are around Washington, D.C., where they produce nothing but more bureaucracy for the rest of us, but there is never enough.  The question is, when will the politicians and bureaucrats ever think they have confiscated more than their fair share?  The answer is never.

It's a Problem When the Goal of School Meals Is No Longer Just to Serve Students in Need.  The White House wants every K-12 student to be part of the welfare system.  And in its zeal to achieve that goal, pesky things like Congress or the risk of expanding already poorly performing programs pose no obstacles.  President Joe Biden's administration is continuing the work of President Barack Obama's team and trying to put as many students as possible on federal school meal programs.  The current administration is proposing a significant expansion of school meals, turning a program meant for children from low-income families into an entitlement — akin to welfare — for all students.  Created in 1946 to help poor school-aged children who did not have food to eat at school, the National School Lunch Program has since spawned breakfast and other meal services.  In 2010, federal lawmakers expanded school meals yet again through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

Playing By the Rules Is for Suckers.  Just look at yourself, all responsible and upstanding.  You worked hard, and you played by the rules.  You didn't go out and commit felonies or drop a bunch of kids with so many partners that you need a spreadsheet to keep Father's Day straight.  You've earned a credit score in the triple digits by paying your bills.  Congratulations.  Now you get to pay for the deadbeats who party while you grind out a paycheck.  The Biden regime's new plan is to add a surcharge to the mortgages of people with good credit scores to subsidize a key Democrat constituency, the ditzes, doofuses, layabouts, and bums whose bad decisions would have once led to bad consequences, except we only do dire consequences for good people in 2023.  Their problems are your problems, and your problems are also your problems.

Useless Minds.  One potential solution to the displacement of workers by automation is to adopt a Universal Basic Income (UBI), where everyone in society is guaranteed an income regardless of employment.  People might use their unlimited free time to pursue other interests since it would be pointless to retrain for the old careers.  Those might be volunteering, artistic pursuits, or caring for family members.  These activities may not be valued in terms of monetary compensation but can still provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment.  In a completely automated society, the ownership of the economy would depend on the economic system in place.  If the society was capitalist, the robotic economy would likely be owned by individuals or corporations, presumably taxed by the government to provide a UBI for the economically "useless mouths."  In a socialist or communist system, the means of production would be owned by the state.  Since state-owned factories have historically been less productive than private enterprise the UBI provided by socialist/communist robots might prove lower.  But essentially the arrangement would be the same.  Greater and greater percentages of the population — regardless of whether they are capitalist or socialist — would be dependent on the dole.

The homeless industrial complex.  Homeless people are big business in cities like New York, San Francisco, and L.A.  Billions of dollars flow to nonprofits, bureaucrats, and contractors whose job it is to "solve" the homeless crisis.  You may have noticed that the homeless crisis is in no way being solved.  There are multiple reasons for that, of course, and the biggest one is that people are homeless for a reason.  They are often mentally ill, drug abusers, or themselves the victims of abuse.  The crisis itself is very real, both for the homeless people themselves and the people who have to live with them.  Nearly everybody involved sees their quality of life get much worse, which is why citizens have kicked in billions of tax dollars a year to clean up the mess and help the people.  The one group of people whose lives are improved dramatically by the continuation of the crisis, though, gets all the money and makes all the decisions on how to spend it.  They are doing very well indeed.

Bill in Oregon Would Give $1,000 Per Month to Homeless People.  In the state of Oregon, a newly-proposed bill would see the state government hand out $1,000 to the state's homeless residents, with no limits on how the money could be spent.  As the New York Post reports, the bill was introduced by State Senator Winsvey Campos (D-Ore.) and State Representative Khanh Pham (D-Ore.), and would establish a "People's Housing Assistance Fund Demonstration Program."  The program would give 12 monthly payments of $1,000 to Oregon residents who are either homeless or about to become homeless.  The handouts are also available to those who either spend half or more than half of their monthly income on rent, as well as those who earn 60 percent or less of their area's median income.

Kamala Harris, the $21 Trillion Woman.  That's the conservatively estimated cost of then-Senator Harris' "Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act."  With the Biden administration setting a May 11 end date for the COVID-19 public health emergency, we can finally close the books on the remarkable plan Harris introduced in May 2020. She proposed sending Americans "crisis payments" each month that emergency declaration was in effect, plus an extra three months after it expired.  The legislation never advanced, but if it had most Americans would have received $2,000 checks each month retroactive to March 2020 and continuing through this coming August.  Up to two parents and three children per household would have been eligible, for a maximum of $10,000 per month or an astonishing $120,000 per year.  That's nearly double the US median household income of $67,521 in 2020.  It even exceeds the risible guaranteed annual income of $97,000 recently proposed by the San Francisco Reparations Advisory Committee.  Think finding workers is hard now?  Across a span of 42 months, a typical family of four would have received a whopping $336,000 in federal checks — without working a minute.

Democrats propose plan to make federal government give EVERY American born after 2005 a $1,000 savings account.  Congressional Democrats rolled out a spending proposal aimed at closing the racial wealth gap on Wednesday, which would give at least $1,000 to every American born after 2005.  Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) introduced the American Opportunity Accounts Act, which would federalize the use of 'baby bonds' for the country's youth to help fight wealth inequality.  The program would be funded by raising estate and inheritance taxes.  It would result in a major redistribution of wealth to middle and lower-income Americans.

The Editor says...
Any effort by the government "to help fight wealth inequality" is nothing more than a scheme to buy the votes of lazy people using the wealth of the most productive and successful citizens.

Report: Biden Administration Allowing Medicaid Funds to Pay for Groceries.  President Joe Biden's (D) administration is reportedly allowing states to use Medicaid for food and nutritional counseling, according to the Wall Street Journal.  The Journal reported Sunday that policy makers are trying to determine whether "food as medicine" programs can enhance health and also save money, the outlet said:  ["]A growing body of research suggests that addressing food insecurity can improve health as well as deliver savings by reducing medical visits, the need for medication, or by helping control serious illness.  The programs have also appealed to some GOP lawmakers who believe states should have more control over their Medicaid programs. ...["]

Biden's New Border Admission Policy Allows Haitian, Cuban Migrants To Receive Medicaid, Food Stamps, Cash Handouts.  The Biden administration's new policy to permit migrants that would otherwise be expelled allows for Haitians and Cubans to receive an array of public benefits, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  Haitian and Cuban migrants paroled into the U.S. can receive Medicaid, food stamps and cash benefits, according to HHS' Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).  The new program uses parole authority to allow 30,000 Venezuelans, Nicaraguans, Cubans and Haitians to enter the U.S. on a monthly basis if they have a sponsor.  Migrants of the aforementioned nationalities would otherwise be expelled under Title 42, the Trump-era order used to quickly expel certain migrants who cross into the U.S. illegally.

You Must Assume That All Information Put Out By Our Government Is Corrupt.  Look under my tag for Poverty, and you will find one post after another detailing how government poverty statistics showing high rates of poverty in the U.S. are used to support advocacy for increasing programs and funding supposedly to reduce the poverty; and then after the programs and funding are increased the measured poverty never goes down.  We're now up to well over $1 trillion per year in anti-poverty funding in the U.S. (all levels of government), and the official "poverty rate" as measured is right around the same place it was when the War on Poverty started back in the 1960s.  How is this possible?  The very simple trick is that the government "anti-poverty" funding never gets counted when official poverty is measured The statistics are very intentionally and cynically manipulated to be misused to advocate for growing government programs and dependency.

Portland homeless woman boasts about how she is fed three meals a day by woke city and can stay in her tent all day and do drugs.  A homeless woman on the streets of Portland bragged about the perks of living on the streets, including the free meals and ability to be high all day.  The woman, known only as Wendy, said open-air drug policies are bringing more tents onto the streets.  Portland currently has more than 700 homeless encampments across the city within less than 150 square miles, and the ordeal has also led to the skyrocketing use of cocaine, heroine, LCD and meth which officials decriminalized in 2020.

The Government Wasn't Intended to Be a Charity.  A quick trip through Chicago's Southside, or any similar distressed area in any Democrat-controlled city in America proves it.  The real objective of the Democrats is not to "lift people out of poverty."  If they did?  Say "Buh-bye" to the Democrat base.  Why?  Why would any sane American who succeeds vote Democrat?  Why would a successful voter willingly stand by while the federal government robs him or her to pay Paul?  Why would a financially sound American who's charitably minded rather allow the government to redistribute his or her money rather than contribute to the charities of his or her choice?  All questions are rhetorical.

Your Government Hates You.  During the coronavirus fiasco many state and local governments took a ride on the federal government's gravy train, which was powered by mega amounts of printing press money.  State and local politicians, who are generally much dumber than they look, took this one time, event driven largesse from Washington and used it to establish new, and everlasting structural spending programs.  This week, for example, we discovered there are at least 82 municipalities across 29 states that are promoting guaranteed income programs.  And more than 70 of these municipalities have pilot programs created in the past year.  There's even a coalition of over 100 mayors, aptly titled Mayors for Guaranteed Income, that are advocating for them.  How do these forward-thinking mayors intend to pay for these guaranteed income programs?  They intend to raid federal pandemic assistance money from a $350 billion fund for state and local governments within the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, adopted in March 2021.  Remember where this money comes from; that is, it comes from you, the American taxpayer.  Adding to the army of dependents reliant on government for their daily bread is beyond foolish.  People who receive ongoing handouts slip into apathy.  They become unwilling and unable to provide for themselves.  They become dependents for life.  And what happens when the guaranteed income can no longer be guaranteed?

Cook County Guaranteed Income Pilot Prepares Participants for First Payments.  At an enrollment event this week, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle welcomed some of the more than 3,000 participants in the Cook County Promise guaranteed income pilot.  The participants, who were selected by lottery, are set to receive their first monthly payment of $500 on Dec. 15.  "This is the largest guaranteed income pilot in the country, $42 million.  We will have 3,250 individuals participating over a two-year period in the pilot program," Preckwinkle said.

The hunger scam.  America's poor don't have a hunger problem, they have a nutrition problem.  The biggest medical issue for the poor is obesity yet today's popular propaganda about the poor tells us they are hungry and overweight at the same time.  "Food insecurity" is a myth.  The federal government doles out food vouchers like they were candy and in many cases that is exactly what they turn out to be.  On top of the federal safety net turned into a hammock, local food banks hand out food to anyone who shows up, usually with no means testing.  This lack of accountability, combined with the myriad of free [dinners], free lunches, and school feeding programs throughout the country creates for a black market in food for cash. [...] The government provides this benefit with fewer restrictions in order to buy recipients' votes.  If government [cared] about the nutritional well-being of the poor, they would stop encouraging recipients to eat their way into the healthcare system where once again, the taxpayer foots the bill.  The government looks the other way while the poor poison themselves with unhealthy eating habits.

Biden is abusing his 'emergency powers' to grow the welfare state.  After more than two years, the rollout of effective vaccines for all who want them, and much anguish, the public has moved on from COVID-19.  Although the virus tragically continues to take lives, some degree of COVID-19 prevalence is likely our new normal, hence why just 1% of voters now list COVID-19 as their priority issue.  It no longer even ranks in the top 10.  But the Biden administration is simply unwilling to let go of the emergency — and its "emergency" powers.  The president is reportedly planning on extending the pandemic emergency declaration, originally implemented in January 2020 under former President Donald Trump, yet again after it was set to expire on July 15.  Why extend the declaration even though the "emergency" is clearly long over? [...] The real reason this White House won't give up its "temporary" emergency powers is much more sinister — and partisan.  It's simple:  The forever-emergency status quo is allowing them to keep millions of ineligible people on welfare programs such as Medicaid and food stamps.

St. Paul, Minn., expands guaranteed basic income to address college savings.  The Minnesota city of St. Paul is looking to combine the federal funds it received during the COVID-19 pandemic with private donations to expand its guaranteed basic income program for struggling families.  Pending city council approval in July, the $4 million in coronavirus relief grants, plus $1 million from philanthropists, will go to 666 families eligible for the next phase of the city's income program called College Bound Boost, the Twin Cities Pioneer Press reported.  A family must be enrolled in College Bound St.  Paul — a personalized college savings account program created by the city over two years ago — and have an income of no more than three times the federal poverty limit to be eligible for College Bound Boost.

The Editor says...
If you have an income that's almost "three times the federal poverty limit," do you really need a handout from the government?  Probably not, but the city of St. Paul calls such people "struggling families."

Yes, Safe Smoking Kits Include Free Crack Pipes.  We Know Because We Got Them.  Crack pipes are distributed in safe-smoking kits up and down the East Coast, raising questions about the Biden administration's assertion that its multimillion-dollar harm reduction grant program wouldn't funnel taxpayer dollars to drug paraphernalia.  The findings are the result of Washington Free Beacon visits to five harm-reduction organizations and calls to over two dozen more.  In fact, every organization we visited — facilities in Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Richmond, Va. — included crack pipes in the kits.  The kits became the subject of national attention in the wake of a Free Beacon report in February indicating that a $30 million harm-reduction program was set to fund the distribution of free crack pipes in "safe-smoking kits."  Pressed on the matter in a Feb. 9 press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki issued a full-throated denial.

Biden announces 20 internet companies will give 'free' high-speed broadband for almost 50 million low income families.  The Biden administration announced a plan to get high-speed internet to millions of Americans through subsidies and discounts agreed to by industry — putting work-from-home technology, plus educational and entertainment options into rural and low-income homes.  'High-speed internet service is no longer a luxury — it's a necessity,' the White House said in a fact sheet Monday [5/9/2022] announcing the program.  The funds come from the bipartisan infrastructure law that Biden is championing around the country.

The Editor says...
Low-speed internet service is good enough for email, high-school homework, and browsing the news.  High-speed internet is "a necessity" only if you watch a lot of movies and TV shows over the internet, or you constantly upload movies of your cat.

N.J. residents to get $13M more from feds to help pay home energy bills.  Low-income New Jerseyans will be getting another $12.8 million to help them pay their heating and cooling bills, the final tranche of a record allocation to the state.  President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus law, the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law and the regular spending bills will deliver $302.4 million to the state through Sept. 30, more than double the $112.7 million the state ordinarily would receive under the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP. [...] New Jersey residents making no more than 60% of the state median Income and who receive utility bills directly or have those charges included in their rent are eligible for the program.  For a family of four, the monthly income cutoff is $6,439, according to nj211.org.

The child tax credit is a ruse.  Here's what is at the heart of the woke push for a permanent cash child tax credit — really, a government-provided cash allowance to procreate.  It's about creating electoral dependency and buying votes.  If leftists really wanted to help children from low-income families, they would be pushing more for government-funded daycare to help working parents and expansion of pre-kindergarten programs for the children of working parents.  It's true that the Biden Build Back Better plan provides $100 billion over the next three years for expanded childcare, but when you actually spread that out and apply it to the eligible 23.6 million children below age five, it's only about $100 per month — hardly enough to pay for child care.

[The] Kellogg Foundation [is] now paying illegal aliens $500 per month for being non-white, non-American.  With funding from the Kellogg Foundation, which controls the Kellogg's cereal empire, the New Mexico Economic Relief Working Group has partnered up with the national nonprofit UpTogether to offer monthly payments of $500 to qualifying illegal alien families beginning in March.  According to the coalition, the NM Immigrant GBI Project will be the first one statewide to offer guaranteed basic income to illegal invaders.  So far, 330 families from 13 New Mexico counties, including in Doña Ana County, will start receiving $500 monthly payments for 12 months starting in just a few weeks.  "The payments will be delivered through direct deposit or prepaid cards, and there are no conditions on what the money can be used for," reports explain.

Guaranteed income pilot program will use lottery to pick 5,000 recipients of $500 monthly checks.  With demand for the $500 monthly payments expected to outstrip the $31.5 million in available cash, Chicago will hold a lottery to pick 5,000 participants in what Mayor Lori Lightfoot has touted as the nation's largest universal basic income program.  Four months after the City Council agreed to use a chunk of federal pandemic relief money to provide the no-strings-attached cash assistance, the year-long test period finally may be getting off the ground.  On Thursday, Lightfoot marked the two-year anniversary of her war on poverty by announcing the city will launch the lottery for the program in April.

CrackPipeGate Just Got a Lot More Interesting — and Confusing.  Did they or didn't they?  That is the question some are asking about the White House crack pipe funding scandal.  When it was first reported that the Biden administration would be funding the distribution of crack pipes to underserved communities as part of "smoking kits," it seemed like a Babylon Bee headline.  But the Washington Free Beacon's report was quite serious about the grant that would provide for these questionable drug-consuming resources.  After the White House denied claims that the grant would specifically fund the distribution of paraphernalia that would allow for the consumption of crack cocaine, meth, and other illicit substances, the issue received even more scrutiny.  Now, after various reports from the Washington Post, and a rebuttal from the Free Beacon, the issue has become even murkier.

White House crack pipe distribution denials fall apart.  The White House has been furiously denying that the Biden administration would even dream of handing out crack pipes to addicts in the name of 'racial equity.'  The scrambling came following the Washington Free Beacon's Feb. 7 report that the Biden administration was handing out 'safe smoking kits' to NGOs to distribute to drug addicts for a claimed purpose of 'harm reduction.' [...] When news of that hit the airwaves, the Department of Health and Human Services furiously declared the whole Beacon report 'blatant misinformation.'  White House spokesweasel Jen Psaki called it "inaccurate reporting" and claimed that crack pipes were "never a part" of the 'safe smoking kits.'  The Biden administration said that "no federal funding" would be used for such things.  Then the mainstream media and the 'fact-checking' outfits jumped on, declaring the Beacon story wrong, false, a lie...  But the preponderance of the evidence says that that's exactly what they were doing and probably will continue to do once the flak dies down.

Republicans Propose the HUNTER Act, Which Would Ban the Government from Funding Crack Pipes.  In case you missed it, the Biden administration has set aside $30 million in funding for a program that includes 'safe smoking kits' with paraphernalia that critics have referred to as 'crack pipes.'  The mainstream media hath decreed that this is a bastardization of the program's intent and thus it is sacrosanct to refer to such 'drug equity' paraphernalia as 'crack pipes.'  The Washington Beacon broke the story, as pointed out by Fox News.  "The Health and Human Services (HHS) Department is rolling out a $30 million grant program that will fund the distribution of items, like crack pipes, for smoking illicit substances, according to a new report," Fox News reported.

Kellogg Foundation Bankrolls $500 Monthly Income for Illegal Aliens.  The left-wing W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which effectively controls the Kellogg Company, is bankrolling a pilot program that will provide hundreds of illegal aliens living in the United States with a guaranteed basic income.  A coalition of activist organizations has teamed up to institute the pilot program across 13 counties in New Mexico where 330 illegal alien households will receive monthly payments of $500 for the next year.

Justice Department considers allowing safe havens for addicts where users can legally shoot up.  The Justice Department says it may be open to allowing safe injection sites — places where people can use heroin and other narcotics with protections against fatal overdoses — a year after winning a major court battle against their opening.  The department said it's 'evaluating' such facilities and talking to regulators about 'appropriate guardrails' in response to questions from the Associated Press.  The position is a drastic change from its stance in the Trump administration, when prosecutors fought vigorously against a plan to open a safe consumption site in Philadelphia.

Biden's administration wants to make life easier for minority crack addicts.  In times past, the American government stood with productive people and pushed back against the forces of corruption and decay.  In Biden's America, though, the opposite is true.  Big cities are becoming concierge services for hard-drug addicts and Biden's administration is joining in, with a multi-million plan to provide crackpipes for addicts.  And here's the kicker:  In the name of equity, the administration will make a special effort to bring these instruments of destruction to Blacks and members of the LGBTQ+ crowd.  There's a growing trend on the left to facilitate drug addiction.  Just recently, under ex-Mayor de Blasio's aegis, New York opened legal shooting galleries — or, as they're politely called, "Overdose Prevention Centers." On the very first day, five people overdosed in the Harlem site — although they were brought back to life.  The theory is that, if the drug addicts have a nice, safe place to shoot up, fewer will die.  This is the same belief system that sees parents offer their kids pot and alcohol at home so that they're not on the mean streets doing drugs.

Biden Admin To Fund Crack Pipe Distribution To Advance 'Racial Equity'.  The Biden administration is set to fund the distribution of crack pipes to drug addicts as part of its plan to advance "racial equity."  The $30 million grant program, which closed applications Monday and will begin in May, will provide funds to nonprofits and local governments to help make drug use safer for addicts.  Included in the grant, which is overseen by the Department of Health and Human Services, are funds for "smoking kits/supplies."  A spokesman for the agency told the Washington Free Beacon that these kits will provide pipes for users to smoke crack cocaine, crystal methamphetamine, and "any illicit substance."

The Editor says...
Is crack smoked exclusively by people of one race?  Are these people better off if the government makes it easier to smoke crack?

Biden administration says tax dollars won't be used to buy crack pipes.  The Biden administration on Wednesday denied reports that $30 million in federal grants would go towards funding pipes to smoke meth and crack.  Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and National Drug Control Policy Office Director Dr. Rahul Gupta issued a joint statement refuting the claim and stating that their offices "focused on using our resources smartly to reduce harm and save lives."  "[N]o federal funding will be used directly or through subsequent reimbursement of grantees to put pipes in safe smoking kits," they stressed.  The funding will go towards "proven harm reduction strategies like providing naloxone, fentanyl test strips, and clean syringes, as well as taking decisive actions to go after violent criminals who are trafficking illicit drugs like fentanyl across our borders and into our communities," according to the statement.

The Editor says...
The government is only providing "clean syringes."  Please bring your own crack pipe.

San Francisco Promotes Illegal Drug Use, Overdose Deaths 'Skyrocket'.  San Francisco launched a "bizarre medical experiment" in which the city helps the homeless use illegal drugs.  Environmental and urbanization writer Michael Shellenberger notes that since the pandemic began, the city has lost twice as many residents to drug overdoses than to COVID.  "The city is carrying out a bizarre medical experiment whereby addicts are given everything they need to maintain their addiction — cash, hot meals, shelter — in exchange for ... almost nothing," Shellenberger reports in a Substack column.

Has the US Government Declared War on Its Citizens?  [Scroll down]  What kind of government intentionally depreciates the value of the dollars paid for the workingman's labor, cripples his children's future with unserviceable debt, and then sends his job overseas so that the things he can no longer afford are built by people he no longer knows?  What kind of government sacrifices the abundant natural resources of its own lands so that it is dependent on oil, steel, minerals, and rare earth metals from foreign adversaries and enemies?  What kind of government sacrifices a labor force spread across the continent, so that a small number of tech and finance employees in a handful of coastal cities can prosper at everyone else's expense?  It is as if the U.S. government set out to make a broad swath of the American people as dependent on government welfare as the government is dependent on critical resources coming from foreign dictators.  How could that possibly be a formula for American safety, security, and survival?

DC daycare workers to receive $10,000 checks.  Thousands of daycare workers in Washington, D.C., are set to receive checks of at least $10,000 after the city council passed a measure reallocating tax dollars from the richest residents to those who work in childcare.  The Council of the District Columbia on Tuesday voted unanimously to disburse the funds, available to any eligible childcare worker who applies for it.  Workers will receive personal checks anywhere between $10,000 to $14,000, depending on their current position.  The one-time payment is the first step toward raising childcare workers' salaries, as city officials argue they are underpaid.

The Editor says...
Janitors, grocery sackers, burger flippers, and daycare workers are not rocket scientists or brain surgeons.  Some jobs pay more than others.  If you feel that you're underpaid, it could be because you're paying too much in taxes.  Or it could be because the minimum wage is too high, and everybody else in town is overpaid.  Or maybe it's because you didn't pay attention in school, before you dropped out.  Or maybe you don't have enough money because you spent it all on tattoos, cigarettes, concert tickets, false eyelashes, and scratch-off lottery tickets.

What's With the Left's Attempt to Abolish Work?  [A]ll societies, even hunting and gathering societies, do require self-support and work in order to function.  They may not have a market exchange, but there's nobody sitting around saying, "Hey, go find me some food and I'll sit here."  Nothing works like that.  And work is fundamentally about self-support.  If you think back traditionally, this would be someone building his own house, raising his own food, family making their own clothes, and so forth.  Now, in a market economy, we don't do that anymore.  But what we do is exchange our work for someone else's work, who can do a particular thing more efficiently.

Six Basic Concepts Liberals Don't Get.  [#3] Welfare spending doesn't cure poverty; it creates it.  Work and self-reliance are the only means to escape poverty.  But that requires action by individuals, not the state.  People have to choose to take responsibility for their own welfare.  Unfortunately, providing unearned income trains sloth and makes people wards of the state, rather than the self-reliant creatures they are meant to be.  It's counter to nature.  "Wild" animals born and raised in captivity can rarely be returned to the wild.  They lack the skills for survival.  By allowing people to live without working, we are training them to forget their survival skills.  Those skills include a will to survive, a craft to support themselves, a drive to excel, and the ability to cope with life's disappointments.  Welfare is no longer a safety net.  For far too many, it has become a way of life.  It is the exact opposite of its intended purpose — to help those who have fallen on hard time to get back on their feet.  Now it allows people to choose poverty as a means to a life of leisure — as long as their expectations aren't too high.  An amazing number of people are willing to make that choice.

Democrats Reject Work Ethic, Embrace Freeloaders.  Using the pretext of pandemic relief, Democrats enacting the American Rescue Plan last March changed a feature of the tax code, the child tax credit available to adults who work and pay taxes, into a grant paid unconditionally and monthly to almost all adults with kids, whether they work or not.  Democrats have been pushing to extend the monthly payments through 2022 as part of the Build Back Better Act, with a plan to make them permanent.  [Senator Joe] Manchin saw right through what his party intended:  a socialist-style universal basic income.  Manchin objected to the unconditional monthly cash grants:  "There's no work requirement whatsoever."

Hundreds of Bronx NYCHA residents get free wi-fi, $11 laptops — and program is expanding.  Hundreds of Bronx families signed up for free internet access and $11 laptops on Monday as part of a new federal program.  More than 1,200 families at the Melrose Houses will have affordable internet access thanks to the Emergency Broadband Benefit program. [...] Because of the pandemic, [one woman] said her 16-year-old son has been doing more and more of his class work remotely.  She said she spends over $150 a month on technology for her home.  The free internet she signed up for on Monday [11/29/2021] will go a long way for her budget.

The Editor says...
[#1] Yes, and being legally married would do a lot for your budget, too.  [#2] There is no emergency need for broadband internet service.

Government Supports Would Grow to $76,400 per Poor Family.  This week, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the partisan Build Back Better Act.  This legislation, if enacted, would generate the largest increase in means-tested welfare spending in U.S. history.  House leadership has allegedly cut the 10-year costs of the bill in half.  But these "savings" are almost entirely due to the gimmick of terminating or curtailing the bill's enormous spending initiatives halfway through the 10-year budget window or sooner.  Have you ever seen the federal government pull the plug on a welfare program after five years?  New means-tested spending alone will cost over $800 billion in the first five years.  If this new spending were fully funded through the entire 10-year budget window, the total cost would exceed $2.5 trillion.

Largest Welfare Increase in U.S. History Will Boost Government Support to $76,400 per Poor Family.  The massive spending hikes proposed in the Biden Administration's revised Build Back Better Act would be by far the largest increase in means-tested welfare spending in U.S. history, piled on top of the existing welfare system that costs $1.16 trillion per year.  The average poor family with children already receives $65,200 in cash, food, housing, medical care, and educational support from the taxpayer each year.  The Biden plan would add at least another $11,300, with payoffs to special-interest groups including the public school industry, teachers' unions, and large center-based day care.  The plan reverses the Clinton-era welfare reforms, resurrecting the failed policy of rewarding families for not working and exacerbating the welfare system's already potent marriage penalties.

The father has no place in today's Democratic Party.  In yet another desperate attempt to sell the public on his failing multitrillion-dollar spending agenda, President Joe Biden released a slideshow Thursday [10/28/2021] that inadvertently betrays how the modern Democratic Party views the family.  And the news isn't good for fathers, mothers, children, communities, or the nation.  In Biden's slideshow, we meet a cartoon "Linda" from Peoria, Illinois.  Linda, we are told, is pregnant with her son "Leo," but we are never told where exactly Leo's father is.  We see one slide in which Linda and Leo benefit from Biden's direct payments to parents.  We see another slide that shows the government helping Linda pay to put Leo in daycare.  And we see another slide in which Leo is placed in government-run pre-K.  But again, at no point do we see Linda or Leo with the father.  It is as if he doesn't exist.

In Obama's first two terms, she was known as "Julia."
White House Sells 'Life of Linda' to Promote Socialist Cradle-to-Grave Government.  The White House released a new series of images to promote the "life of Linda" under President Joe Biden's proposed Build Back Better agenda, promoting the idea of a government role from the cradle to the grave.  The slides tell the story of "Linda," a pregnant working mother who receives a monthly check from the government to help her provide for her son after he is born and also gets money to help her pay for daycare. [...] The "Life of Linda" series shows no sign of a husband or father in her life or the life of her child, suggesting that government will fill in for the man missing in their lives.  The Biden White House "Life of Linda" series echos the "Life of Julia" marketing push used by former President Barack Obama to sell Obamacare to single women.

Cell phone van
How Free Stuff Is Used To Addict The Urban Poor To Welfare.  Lifeline is a federal program originally intended to provide low-income people with a free landline phone.  Sensing a chance to get more poor people to vote for them, Democrats expanded the program to include free cell phones.  To maximize the number of subsidized cell phone recipients, "free phone" vans patrol low-income areas of every Democrat-run city in America, a practice that has resulted in massive fraud.  The "free phones" van pictured [left] set up shop on a street in a predominately African American area of Baltimore.  As revealed in this must-see report by the city's Fox45 TV, within just three years of Barack Obama's election, fraud exploded the number of subsidized phones in Baltimore from 6,000 in 2008 to 231,000 in 2011.  Baltimore isn't the only place where Democrats have used free phones to addict the urban poor to government dependency.  In a viral video that illustrates how readily poor people will vote for politicians who promise them free stuff, a welfare recipient in Cleveland, Ohio screamed at a TV reporter that minorities would be voting for Obama because he gives them free phones.

Franklin Graham:  Democrats Take Your Money and Give It to People 'Not to Work'.  "Make it better for the next generation."  This has been the mentality of working Americans for decades, even centuries.  Work as hard as you can so that your children will have the benefits and opportunities you never had.  But then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and with federal stimulus packages paying the unemployed a comfortable wage, why work hard anymore?

SNAP (food stamps) benefits have largest increase in history.  The Biden administration has approved a significant and permanent increase in the levels of food stamp assistance available to needy families — the largest single increase in the program's history.  Families in October have seen the average benefits for food stamps (officially known as the SNAP program) rise more than 25 percent above pre-pandemic levels.  The increased assistance is indefinite to all 42 million SNAP beneficiaries.  The aid boost was first reported by The New York Times and the details were confirmed by a spokeswoman for the Department of Agriculture.  They were formally announced by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

California's plan to combat meth use?  Pay drug users to stop using.  What could possibly go wrong?  According to a report from NPR, officials in California are reportedly exploring a potential wide-scale offering to combat meth addiction:  paying individuals to stop using drugs.  While it's a bit of a rudimentary explanation of what's being entertained, that's essentially what the state may pursue to counteract addiction running rampant within the state.

Food stamp benefits to jump after Congress-ordered review.  A pandemic boost to food stamp benefits has expired, but recipients are set to see a jump in assistance anyway, due to Congress' decision in 2018 to review how benefits are calculated.  Benefits will jump 27% above pre-pandemic levels in October, the largest increase in history, CNN reported.  The spike comes after the Department of Agriculture revised the Thrifty Food Plan, which determines how much a person receives under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Every Tragedy Caused by Government Is Done with the Best of Intentions.  President Johnson's "war on poverty" caused more poverty, deepened the dependence upon government welfare of those most economically vulnerable, and initiated a collapse in marriage rates and two-parent families that continues to this day.

Idle hands do the devilish Dems' work.  The hardest working states, as measured by WalletHub, are predominantly Republican.  The lowest 10 in the rankings are mostly run by Democrats.  Probably not a surprise since they were lavish with unemployment benefits and other work disincentives.  Democrat-run states and cities rarely score well in various quality of life ratings.  Notably, the U-Haul ranking of states by migration growth shows that people are fleeing blue states for red states, usually for economic reasons.  They intend to work hard and benefit from the fruits of their labor.  The dignity and sense of purpose that accompany hard work can be tied to long-lasting happiness — which conservatives enjoy more than liberals — versus the fleeting, instant gratification the ingordigious lefties pursue.

Democrats Are Trashing the American Work Ethic With Their Spending Bill.  The humongous bill that Democrats in Washington, D.C. are assembling this week is a slap in the face to Americans who work, pay taxes and support their families.  The bill demeans work ethic and glorifies government handouts.  It sends a message that work and self-sufficiency are for suckers.  Better to climb on Uncle Sam's gravy train that will now provide cradle-to-grave benefits.  The social spending bill will give monthly payments to almost all parents based on how many children they have, regardless if anyone in the family works.  Democrats are also promising virtually free child care until kids reach age 5, free community college and, near the end of life, new Medicare and elder care benefits.  The bill also includes 12 weeks paid leave each year for anyone who claims a family member needs care.

This Nation's Expanding Dependence State.  The US government destroys people's lives by giving then free money to make them dependent and unable to provide for themselves. [...] The same dependance state that is being granted to those who cross our borders legally will now be given to Afghan refugees who, even if lacking the requirements to be brought to this nation, will now be the recipient, in part, of funding from American taxpayers, even as Americans have been left behind in Afghanistan.

In Biden's America, it's better not to be employed.  The latest jobs report for August was disappointing.  Job growth fell by more than half and was one-third of expectations.  This was partly because of COVID concerns.  But we still don't have nearly enough adult Americans in the work force.  Why?  Government welfare policies are clearly keeping Americans — millions — from taking jobs.  Here is what we know:  Across the country, there are between 5 million and 6 million unemployed Americans, but also an all-time record 10.1 million job openings.  These are in construction, warehousing, retail, manufacturing, trucking, business services and so on.  These aren't "dead end" or even minimum-wage jobs in most cases.  Open factory and truck driver jobs pay $50,000 to $100,000 a year with benefits.  But economist Casey Mulligan of the University of Chicago has found that when counting all government benefits, a family of four in high welfare-benefit states like New York and Connecticut and with two unemployed parents can receive up to $100,000 in cash, food stamps, etc.

Stop enabling people to avoid work because of COVID.  Why should anyone work when he can get all the money he needs while staying home?  A reckoning is coming in September, when the extra benefits are due to be cut off.  At that point, a great many people may find that if they want to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table, they will have to return to work. [...] It's time to stop all this enabling.  Sending people back to work and children back to school is not a death sentence, and the government and news media should stop acting as though it's not safe for the world to return to normal.

Despite widespread job openings, Biden administration to extend jobless benefits past deadline.  The Biden administration is working to ensure that $300 weekly unemployment payments from federal taxpayers continue in some form beyond their expiration date set by Congress.  Lawmakers enacted weekly $300 unemployment payments and set them to expire Sept. 6 in response to joblessness during the pandemic.  A political battle is expected over the payments, especially since many Republicans have argued they are contributing to elevated unemployment despite widespread job availability.

USDA to permanently boost food stamp benefits by 25 percent.  The Biden administration has approved a significant and permanent increase in the levels of food stamp assistance available to needy families — the largest single increase in the program's history.  Starting in October, average benefits for food stamps (officially known as the SNAP program) will rise more than 25 percent above pre-pandemic levels.  The increased assistance will be available indefinitely to all 42 million SNAP beneficiaries.

Here's proof GOP governors were right to cancel ultra-generous unemployment benefits.  It takes a brave politician to take away welfare benefits from voters.  But that's exactly what 26 governors, almost exclusively Republicans, have done.  In their states, these governors prematurely ended the federal government's "temporary" pandemic supplement to unemployment benefits that was otherwise set to continue through September.  They've received tremendous backlash for this move, but a new report resoundingly vindicates their decision.  Under the broken expanded system Congress created, millions of workers could earn more by staying home on welfare than by returning to work.  Indeed, in dozens of states, unemployed households can receive the equivalent of $25/hour in benefits.  The work disincentives here were obvious from the get-go and have fueled widespread reports from businesses facing labor shortages.  It's just not hard to figure out.  Even the equivalent of 1.8 million unemployed people themselves openly admitted in recent polling that they are choosing to stay home from work because unemployment benefits pay so generously.

Media Narrative Wrecked!  Poll Shows 1.8 Million Turned Down Jobs Because of Government Handouts.  A new poll delivers a devastating blow to the latest lie from the mainstream media about unemployment.  According to a poll from Morning Consult, a whopping 1.8 million Americans turned down jobs because the government extended unemployment benefits and it discouraged work.  The outlet stated that 14.1 million Americans who were receiving unemployment insurance for the week ending June 19 that "benefits reduced the number of accepted job offers by an estimated 1.84 million over the course of the pandemic."  The 1.84 million Americans turned down jobs likely because of government handouts.  Morning Consult's survey found that "most workers receiving unemployment insurance know that their benefits are about to expire, signaling that job acceptance and search practices are likely to change even before benefits actually expire."

Biden to send child tax credits to 39 million families starting Tomorrow with parents of children under the age of 17 getting up to $300 a month per kid.  On Thursday the Internal Revenue Service will begin delivering monthly installments of President Joe Biden's enhanced child tax credit to some 39 million American families.  The boost will see individuals who make under $75,000 and couples earning under $150,000 with children under six-years-old receive $3,600 per child, with monthly $300 checks starting to go out July 15.  The tax credits were part of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which was passed by Congress in March with no Republican support.  Republicans have argued that the child tax credit boost amounts to an expansion of the welfare state.  Biden will hold an event at the White House Thursday to mark the first payments going out.

The Editor says...
Paying people to reproduce does not increase prosperity.

AOC Urges Illegals to Apply for Welfare in New York.  The conscience of the American left, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, told illegals how to apply for welfare in a recent video.  AOC told illegal aliens, "Do not count yourself out," as she urged them to sign up for their government benefits.  AOC has been pushing welfare for illegal aliens for years now.  It is also widely known that most U.S. families headed by illegal immigrants use taxpayer-funded welfare programs on behalf of their American-born anchor babies.

The Nation That Wouldn't Get Out Of Bed And Go To Work.  A country of roughly 330 million has more than 9 million job openings, and 9.5 million unemployed.  This is a disgrace, a clear indication that our American character and work ethic are slipping, a rolling tragedy that's been authored by the Democrats. [...] According to the Labor Department, there was a record high of 9.2 million job openings in May, and 9.5 million jobless in June.  ZipRecruiter reckons as many as 15 million jobs need to be filled.  Either way, millions are ignoring what MarketWatch describes "an insatiable demand for labor as the economy fully reopens and businesses scramble to keep up with soaring sales for their goods and services."  We have arrived at this point in history because the Democrats have made sitting at home collecting a government check a better financial decision than working.  We covered this in May, when we said "as part of Biden's 'American Rescue Plan,' the Democrats included a $300 weekly bonus to those on unemployment that runs until September.  The plan included various other handouts that are letting the jobless live comfortable lives at the moment."  In some cases, taxpayer-funded benefits are higher than the wages recipients would receive in return for their labor.

Buying votes and paying people to reproduce — which they tend to do anyway.
Biden announces families will get $300 per child a month from July 15 if they earn under $150,000 as he hikes child credits by 80%.  President Biden has unveiled his reformed child tax credits which will see American families paid up to $3,600 to help raise each of their children.  The raise, unveiled as part of Biden's $1.8 trillion American Families Rescue Plan, will see families with children aged under six receive a monthly payment of $300 per child — equivalent to $3,600 — in 2021.  Families with children aged between six and 17 will receive $250 a month, or $3,000 over the course of a year. [...] Biden's program received widespread support — but some Twitter users condemned it as wasteful and unfair.  Keith McLendon wrote: 'Printing and giving away money is going to only increase inflation even more.  I know you don't understand this but your handlers should...' [...] A user called Donkey Kong added:  'This free money is one of the lucrative reasons children are used as tools in disingenuous divorces.  I can't support these measures because of the abuse they are open to and for which nothing is done to protect children and wrongfully disenfranchised parents.'

Biden's Crooked Path to the Middle Class.  The New York Times headlined a recent article, "Biden's $6 trillion budget aims for path to middle class, financed by the rich."  But is it possible to confer middle-class status on individuals just by giving them a handful of unearned money?  Is it possible for someone to say, "I'm middle-class because I'm getting checks from the government"?  Most thoughtful observers will recognize the absurdity of this notion, but it doesn't seem absurd to Biden or his progressive supporters — just as it didn't seem crazy, back in the 2000s, to gift a middle-class home to those who could not pay for it, or today that one can transform a mediocre student into an Ivy Leaguer just by adding points to his application based on race.  Or, for that matter, that one can confer health on the poor by buying them health insurance, or that one can end illegal immigration by destroying American energy independence in the name of climate change.

Six Ways The Black Community Is Hurt By Democrat Policies.  [#1] Promotion of the Welfare State:  Around the same time that the last Republican mayor of Baltimore was leaving office in 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson was putting the finishing touches on his so-called 'War on Poverty.'  Over fifty years later, and after having dumped trillions of federal tax dollars into programs such as welfare, food stamps, and public housing, poverty in America is virtually identical to what it was in 1967.  Johnson's War on Poverty is one of the worst debacles and biggest failures in American history.  Think of what could have been done with those trillions of dollars that could have actually helped Americans.  Yet Democrats won't acknowledge the failure, and instead choose to double-down.  It seems like every other week President Biden is proposing trillions in new spending on some initiative or another, usually designed to achieve 'equity.'  Biden's spending won't work, just like Barack Obama's, Bill Clinton's, Jimmy Carter's and LBJ's spending didn't work.  It's only going to make matters worse.

Guatemalan President Blasts Biden's Border Policies For Enabling Criminal Human Smugglers.  After gifting reporters a cookie of her face, Vice President Kamala Harris has made her way to Guatemala to discuss the "root causes" of an unprecedented surge of illegal immigration into the United States since President Biden took office in January.  [Tweets]  Ahead of her arrival, Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei blasted the Biden Administration for "family reunification" policies that enable human trafficking and smuggling.  "The message changed to 'we're going to reunite families and we're going to reunite children.  The very next day the coyotes were here organizing groups of children to take them to the United States," Giammattei said during an interview with CBS News.

Expanding the Child Tax Credit Will Do Very Little To Help the Poor.  Here's Why.  With the latest COVID-19 relief package, Congress expanded the child tax credit, increasing the maximum amount a taxpayer could claim from $2,000 per child to $3,000 for those aged 6 to 17 and to $3,600 under age 6.  The expanded part of the credit begins to decrease as income rises above $75,000 for individuals, $112,500 for heads of household, and $150,000 for married couples.  The $2,000 credit starts phasing out when income reaches $200,000 for individuals and $400,000 for married couples.  The credit is bigger, fully refundable, and includes no work requirement.  It means that parents who don't make enough money to pay the income tax will receive cash from the government in the full amount of the credit regardless of their income.  For instance, if you make no income and have two kids between ages 6 and 17 in addition to one toddler, you would get $9,600 a year.  Before the change, only $1,400 of the $2,000 credit was refundable.  So, in the scenario described above, that payment would have been at most $4,200.  However, the family would have to report a limited amount of income to be eligible.

Five Things to Know About Biden's $1.8 Trillion American Families Plan.  [#4] Permanent Expansion of the Welfare State:  Biden is proposing that two major means-tested welfare programs be permanently expanded.  First, the administration would extend the expansion of the refundable child tax credit program until 2025.  This change is depicted by the Biden administration as providing tax relief to families; in reality, most of the proposed cost would send unconditional monthly welfare checks to families who owe no income tax.  Second, the administration would increase the refundable earned income tax credit, also a cash welfare check, for childless workers.  These proposed changes would make existing problems in the welfare state worse by undermining work and marriage.  We've been down this road before.  For example, before the bipartisan welfare reforms of 1996, government benefits discouraged work among low-income parents:  nearly 9 in 10 families on welfare were workless.  Most of these families were stuck in long-term poverty.  Two-thirds of families received welfare benefits for more than eight years.  Unwed births rose year over year for decades.  And all of this made intergenerational child poverty worse:  1 in 7 children were dependent on welfare benefits.

Employers Beg for Workers: 'It's the Economy, Stupid'.  With so many Americans now vaccinated, economists predicted about 1 million more Americans would find work, but only 266,000 jobs were added to the economy.  According to Biden, this has nothing to do with generous federal unemployment benefits that are scheduled to last until September, on top of state unemployment benefits.  According to Team Biden, it has nothing to do with the federal government (i.e., taxpayers) paying workers to sit on their couches, watch Netflix and collect unemployment checks, even as small-business owners across the country are on their knees begging workers to return now that many are vaccinated and the pandemic is winding down.  "I know there's been a lot of discussion since Friday's report that people are being paid to stay home rather than go to work," Biden said after the April jobs report was made public.  "Well, we don't see much evidence of that."  To see evidence, you have to open your eyes.  Just like if you want a job you have to take one.

Wisconsin Democrats Try To Hide Shameful Video Celebrating Most Americans Becoming Welfare Recipients.  The same day a troubling national jobs report showed businesses can't hire workers partly because politicians have risked inflation to make everyone welfare recipients in the name of "COVID relief," Wisconsin Democrats put out a video calling for people to "show us your stimmy shimmy."  After an outcry on Twitter, the Democrat account deleted the video, but another user saved it:

White House Occupant Reads Teleprompter, Desperately Attempting to Spin Horrific Policy Outcomes.  [Scroll down]  The COVID bailout has created massive incentives for people not to return to work.  It is only not a laziness and comfortable dependency issue, it is also an economic decision.  Low wage workers can make more sitting at home getting unemployment to combine with their COVID bailout money than they can returning to work.  The political risk is again obvious.  As overall policy destroys the middle class in favor of Wall Street, multinational corporations and the investment class, it doesn't take an economist to see the dependency model creates a disincentive.  The Chicago crew is concerned about the backlash from obvious economics.  [Biden's] teleprompter is loaded with obtuse talking points that deflect and deny this reality.  Additionally, the teleprompter message to blue states lets them know more money is coming into their coffers; so hold the line.

Biden is repeating the disastrous policies of England's welfare state.  The Biden administration got a disastrous jobs report on Friday:  In April, the economy added only 266,000 workers, which was one-quarter of what the Democrats had optimistically predicted would happen after they printed money like Weimar Germany or Venezuela and then handed out massive stimulus checks.  For me, it was déjà vu all over again, because the same thing happened in England in the late 1970s.  Had Trump stayed in office and continued with his economic policies, I believe the economy would have added the 1 million jobs Democrats so blithely predicted.  Instead, ["]The US added just 266,000 jobs in April — far below economists' expectations of 1 million — and the unemployment rate rose slightly to 6.1 percent, the feds said Friday.["]  Significantly, and sadly, the worst hit were Blacks and women, who were thriving under Trump.

Why no one needs to work in Biden's America:  Experts project anyone who earned $32,000 before COVID could now earn MORE in benefits staying at home.  People who lost their jobs in the pandemic are now earning more in benefits than they did in wages, creating a nightmare economic situation that is stopping people from returning to work and in turn, driving up inflation.  In March 2019, the average weekly payment to an unemployed person was $348 when combining federal and state unemployment payments.  That nearly tripled to $938 in April 2020, when Trump passed COBRA — a temporary economic plan that boosted weekly unemployment payments by $600 and also gave employed people one-off stimulus checks.  COBRA expired in July and the unemployment boost was halved to $300-a-week.  Now, they are $638-a-week on average and they'll stay that way until September 6 at least.

The Curley Effect: The Economics of Shaping the Electorate.  James Michael Curley, a four-time mayor of Boston, used wasteful redistribution to his poor Irish constituents and incendiary rhetoric to encourage richer citizens to emigrate from Boston, thereby shaping the electorate in his favor.  As a consequence, Boston stagnated, but Curley kept winning elections.

Oakland California Begins $500/Month Payments to Low Income Residents, White People Not Allowed.  Oakland California is beginning a pilot for giving low income families $500/month with no strings attached for up to 600 families.  The goal is to bridge the income disparity gap; however, poor white residents are not permitted to apply for the program.

125 low-income mothers of color in Marin County can receive $1K a month in guaranteed income.  Mirroring similar efforts in cities such as Stockton and Oakland, Marin County supervisors this week approved participating in a universal basic income experiment to give 125 low-income mothers of color $1,000 a month for two years.  The county will spend $400,000 and the remaining $3 million will come from the Marin Community Foundation, the Marin Independent Journal reported.  To qualify, the women must have a child under the age of 18.  Participants will be selected at random from among 4,600 people who have already received direct cash aid from the foundation with the help of the Family Independence Initiative.

Oakland to offer guaranteed income, but only for minority families.  Officials in Oakland, California, announced the launch of a guaranteed income pilot program this week that will provide direct monthly payments to low-income minority families in the city.  The initiative, which is one of the largest guaranteed income experiments to be conducted in the United States to date, aims to find out if providing regular payments low-income families will lift them from their economic plight.  The program, called Oakland Resilient Families, will send 600 families in the city $500-a-month payments over the next 18 months as part of an effort to eliminate racial wealth inequalities in the city, which the program argues is the result of "ongoing systemic racism."

The Editor says...
[#1] Yes, widespread poverty could be the result of systemic racism.  But it's more likely the result of drug use, illegitimate children, incompetent education, and a lifetime of bad decisions.  [#2] Notice the misuse of the word family:  It apparently means unmarried women and their illegitimate children, with no men in the picture.  [#3] If white people are excluded from this program, that's "ongoing systemic racism" right there!

Oakland launches one of the largest guaranteed income programs in the country.  Oakland plans to start a guaranteed income program this spring for 600 residents — one of the largest such programs in the country, city officials said — as Bay Area leaders search for solutions to rising poverty and inequality in the wake of the pandemic.  Through the pilot program, residents will receive $500 a month for at least 18 months with no strings attached, Mayor Libby Schaaf said at a Tuesday news conference.  Checks could be in residents' hands by this spring or summer.  Low-income families — with at least one child under 18 — who are Black, indigenous or people of color will be randomly selected through an application process to vet eligibility, Schaaf said.  Officials said those groups suffer from the greatest wealth disparity, according to data on Oakland's population.  More than 70,000 people — or 16.7% of Oakland's population — live in poverty, according to the U.S. Census.

Democrats' New Welfare Baseline Is All Cash For No Work.  Even before President Biden's new $1.9 trillion COVID "stimulus" package goes into effect, multiple news stories make clear the flaws in its approach.  Washington's welfare-industrial complex, which the "stimulus" will bloat even further, both discourages work and leads people to expect that government will solve the problems government has created.  The coronavirus pandemic caused very real economic hardship for millions of American families.  But many of the well-meaning efforts to address those hardships — along with welfare expansions Democrats proposed long before COVID hit our shores — will only harm our nation, and the people the left seeks to help, by stifling our economic dynamism and saddling future generations with mountains of debt.

Unemployed Could Get $100,000 From Biden's Stimulus.  A new piece in the Wall Street Journal by CTUP's [Committee to Unleash Prosperity] Stephen Moore and Casey Mulligan reports that the "stimulus" bill will reduce employment by between 6 and 8 million jobs because it pays people not to work.  The new bill will create one of the largest expansions in government welfare benefits since LBJ launched the failed War on Poverty (poverty won).  The bill includes six months of weekly $400 bonus unemployment benefits on top of the normal weekly benefits, a $3,000 per-child tax credit, an expansion of food-stamp and rental-assistance benefits, $2,000 per person checks, and expanded health-care benefits.  A family of four with two unemployed parents will be eligible for benefits ranging from $100,000 to $150,000 (with no payroll tax) in benefits on an annualized basis.  In other words, the stimulus pays most unemployed people more money not to work than to go back on the job.  This isn't a safety net, it's more like a hammock.

Tax-Funded Seattle Homeless Shelter Handing Out 'Booty Bumping Kits' for Addicts to Inject Drugs Rectally.  A tax-funded homeless shelter in Seattle, Washington is providing addicts with the technology to get a more intense, longer-lasting high with a method that won't leave track marks.  "A homeless shelter uses Seattle city funds to feed an addicts deadly disease.  Tax dollars are used to buy heroin pipes, syringes, and 'booty bumping kits,' which allow users to rectally inject drugs for a more intense high," local KTTH radio Host Jason Rantz explains in a tweet posting video of his appearance on Fox News Channel's "Tucker Carlson Tonight."  Seattle's Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) shelter is advertising its offerings by posting flyers, Rantz reports.

Seattle homeless shelter buys heroin pipes with city funds, teaches rectal injection method.  A Seattle-backed homeless shelter is instructing addicts to smoke heroin and inject drugs rectally.  And the shelter is using tax dollars to help get addicts high.  The Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) passes out heroin pipes and so-called "booty bumping" kits.  To alert homeless clients of their offerings, DESC posted several flyers at their Navigation Center location on 12th Avenue South.  They give encouragement to addicts to use new tools and methods to continue their destructive and deadly addictions.

8 Things You Must Know About Deeply Flawed COVID-19 Package.  [#6] It Includes Opportunistic Welfare Expansions That Create Perverse Incentives:  The legislation includes benefit increases and expansions for a variety of "safety net" programs, including unemployment insurance, Affordable Care Act subsidies, the earned income tax credit, cash welfare payments, and more.  All of this ignores the fact that federal and state governments already provide an expansive safety net for unemployed and low-wage households at a tremendous cost to taxpayers.  The economy is struggling, but is in much better shape than it was during the Great Recession, so there is no meaningful justification for expanding the welfare state.  Worse, expanding the benefits will reduce incentives to find work, marry, or increase earnings, each of which can reduce what the federal government provides to an individual.  Another danger is that these welfare expansions could become permanent, which would harm the nation's finances and cement anti-work incentives in place.

Pennsylvanians receiving unemployment benefits [are being] urged to apply for other state assistance programs.  Due to Congressional legislation to extend the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs has been delayed in Washington, D.C., the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) is strongly encouraging the more than 500,000 Pennsylvanians receiving payments through these expiring programs to seek other forms of assistance.  According to a statement released Saturday [12/26/2020], under the current CARES Act, both programs will stop at the end of this month and Pennsylvania claimants will not receive payments after the week ending December 26.

Who Is to Blame for Black Poverty?  [Scroll down]  The evidence seems to show that Black people themselves appear to not want to be helped.  One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results.  So, are Black voters in these areas insane?  They keep voting for the likes of Sheila Jackson Lee, Maxine Waters, and Kweisi Mfume, but expect these serial grifters to suddenly start working for them.  In my eyes, that puts the blame squarely on both parties, the politicians and the voters who keep sending them back to their offices.  Is it because the way things stand now, those voters are cozily wrapped up in their blanket of victimhood?  Is it so comfy in there receiving their government subsistence handouts that they can't be bothered to get out and do something about it?  Is the alternative to this abusive, co-dependent relationship — personal responsibility, hard work, and entrepreneurialism — just too difficult to face?

Supporting Systemic Victimhood Is Not Caring.  Socialism has never worked.  It spreads misery wherever it has been tried.  Under the guise of caring, Biden's platform calls for new entitlements designed to meet all needs — healthcare, college tuition, guaranteed income, and the list goes on.  It's clear that those on the Left have no confidence in the minorities they claim to help.  To the left, minorities need a political Robin Hood ready to steal from their neighbor to give them what they deserve but can't earn.  What an affront to those they claim to help.  Unfortunately, the reality is that once a citizen is locked into government programs and funding, it's hard to get out.  They live too well.  To actually work and start at the bottom and work their way up in a real job means a cut in income.  They call it "The Cliff!"  Why work when being dependent can meet my needs.  Why be married when not having a husband or wife increases my benefits?

Unemployment in NH now pays better than working for many.  Someone who made the statewide average of $452 a week working in a New Hampshire clothing store in February would receive $849 a week in unemployment today.  Welcome to the world of pandemic economics.  Because of the supplemental $600 weekly federal payments, lower-wage workers actually are earning more on unemployment right now than they did while working, said Richard Lavers, deputy commissioner at New Hampshire Employment Security.  "Obviously, that is not a dynamic that is sustainable in the long term as unemployment should not be competing with people returning to work when it is determined safe to do so."

The Perfect Storm Of Homelessness & Cesspools Of Filth In The Big Cities.  [Scroll down]  As for AFDC, all the conservative clichés are true:  the majority of AFDC recipients are promiscuous single mothers, disproportionately Black or Hispanic, who produce children like an assembly line.  Three and four generations live like this.  The fact is that most of the "homeless" today are receiving Social Security disability payments, VA benefits, or SSI, or would be if they bothered to file a claim and stay in one place long enough for the government to send them their checks.  So our glorious masters decreed that welfare recipients, if they had no house or apartment, must be paid a temporary extra benefit, which, originally, they could get once a year (it has at least been tightened up a bit since then).  We cynical eligibility workers assumed that the welfare recipients would deliberately spend their rent money on drugs, be evicted, and file for the free extra money.  This is exactly what happened.  We immediately had a rash of evicted recipients filing for and receiving the extra money and lounging around for weeks in motels before finding new apartments.  A year later they would repeat the process.

On Leaving the Golden State.  [Scroll down]  Let us talk about the authorities for a moment.  What exactly are they doing to help?  First, they threw open the borders and created sanctuary cities so that people that do not belong here can not be molested by law enforcement.  Next, they decriminalized camping in public.  People camping in public need something to do to while away the hours so they decriminalized drugs even going so far as to give away free needles.  If that were not enough, they decriminalized theft up to $950 per day.  This way any homeless person can walk into any business and brazenly steal whatever they wish without any fear of being sent to jail.  Finally, they've arranged things such that the police will no longer respond to 911 calls pertaining to vandalism or burglary.  You can watch from your bedroom window as a homeless person smashes your car windshield with a rock so as to ransack your car and if you call 911 it will be YOU that is in trouble for tying up their emergency line as someone vandalizing and robbing your car is a non-emergency and not worthy of any kind of response.

Former San Francisco mayoral candidate:  Years of liberal policies have caused homelessness 'tragedy'.  Liberal policies in San Francisco are inflating California's homeless crisis and driving longtime residents out of the city, former mayoral candidate Richie Greenberg said Thursday [10/17/2019].  Appearing on "Fox & Friends" with co-hosts Brian Kilmeade and Ainsley Earhardt, Greenberg said that as the state government has moved farther and farther to the left over the years — adapting socialist ideals — the homeless population has only grown.

Government Help Will Never Be Enough.  My neighborhood in Shreveport, Louisiana, is a perfect example of the income inequality, poverty, and legacy of racism that fuel so much political discussion today. [...] Allendale was poor and black a century ago, and remains so.  Census numbers tell the story:  31 percent of our nearly 3,000 residents live below the poverty line; unemployment stands at 57 percent; 43 percent of households receive food stamps; 49 percent are on Medicaid. [...] In fact, in many cases, these programs may inflict more harm than good.

How Did That Universal Basic Income Test Work Out?  Last year we found out that the mayor of Stockton, California was launching a test program to see how a universal basic income program might work out.  Michael Tubbs had arranged for a combination of public and private funding to allow a relatively small number of people to sign up for a monthly check with no strings attached.  (In a curious turn of events they wound up having trouble attracting enough people to the test program because most people who received letters about it assumed it was a scam.)  Tubbs did eventually get the program off the ground, however, and it's been running for roughly a year.  So how did it work out?  If you listen to the program's supporters, not too badly.  Most people claimed to be using the money for basic bills, food and necessities.  Or at least that's what they're telling the people conducting the survey.

Dems Will Make Homelessness Worse.  If Democrats capture the White House in 2020, your own neighborhood is likely to look like the disease-ridden tent slums taking over Los Angeles and San Francisco.  Presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren insists it's wrong to ban living on the streets and in public parks.  Bernie Sanders is calling for a 3% cap on annual rent hikes, the kind of poisonous rent control law that deters new housing construction and worsens homelessness.

Countering Progressive Nihilism.  From Seattle to Portland, to San Francisco and Los Angeles, progressive politicians downgraded property crimes, stopped enforcing vagrancy laws, and ignored drug use. [...] Seattle's politicos argue that what's needed to ease the problem is more money.  Yet the city already spends hundreds of millions yearly on homelessness — just not enough of it on the kinds of interventions that might help.  Its council passed an employer tax in 2018 meant to raise some $120 million more per year for homeless services but had to rescind it when companies and residents revolted.  At one community meeting, a resident castigated public officials for ignoring the truth.  "This is a drug problem.  I've only heard it be called a housing problem." Even the homeless themselves admit that virtually all the city's street people are drug users.  Public policy is enabling a homeless drug culture.

Baltimore, poverty, and the liberal epidemics of Congressman Cummings.  One can make the argument that [Elijah] Cummings did nothing to make the district better off, but one can argue that this district would be poor no matter who was in that office.  That's because poor people will generally choose a candidate who supports policies that foster poverty.  The representatives of the most impoverished congressional districts share some similar policy preferences:
  •   Strong support for social spending programs that undermine industriousness
  •   General hostility to the interests of business
  •   Support of laws that make it more difficult for people (particularly the poor) to get jobs.  For example, raising the minimum wage to levels higher than the job is worth eliminates jobs for people who need them.  People are paid for what they add to the bottom line.
The list goes on.  Representatives from poor districts typically support policies that keep people poor.

How Washington Has Helped Destroy American Civil Society and Family Life.  The rise in children born out of wedlock cannot be separated from the massive expansion of the welfare state under Johnson's Great Society. [...] A partial list of programs assisting single motherhood includes:
  •   Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) commonly known as "food stamps"
  •   Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC), another food assistance program
  •   Child Care Assistance Program, Head Start and Early Head Start, all daycare assistance programs
  •   Section 8 housing assistance
  •   Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which helps single mothers pay their utilities
  •   Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), health insurance assistance programs
  •   Supplemental Security Income, often called "disability," but accessible to those without bona fide physical disabilities
  •   The Emergency Food Assistance Program and the National School Lunch Program
These programs act as a disincentive toward family formation.

What 'Free Money' Means to Me.  Officials in Stockton, Calif., a hard-pressed agricultural and industrial city 75 miles northeast of San Jose, are enjoying the glow of media attention from their ongoing, first-in-America program to provide residents with a Universal Basic Income, or UBI. [...] After more than 100 lower-income Stockton residents start receiving $500 monthly payments for 18 months, 25 of them will be telling the public about what it has meant for them to have more cash.  Those stories will be disseminated by the program's backers.  Academic researchers will provide data by 2021 that no doubt confirms people who receive extra money can buy extra stuff.  Stay tuned for the thrilling details.

States, Feds, Offer Conflicting Claims About SNAP Work Requirement Waivers.  The Trump administration is revising a 22-year-old federal regulation that has enabled states to acquire geographic area waivers exempting able-bodied adults without dependents (ABWDs) from having to work or undergo job training to receive taxpayer-funded food stamp benefits.  Critics argue that states have been using data provided to them by the politically far-left, George Soros-funded, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), by combining counties and geographic areas to circumvent the work requirement threshold in counties with low unemployment.

Trump-backed food stamps work requirement reform dropped by lawmakers.  Lawmakers could vote on a new farm bill next week, which deals a blow to part of President Trump's vision to reform the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also referred to as food stamps.  In order to get the bill passed, Republicans had to drop a proposal for a more comprehensive work requirement for SNAP — which provides food assistance to low-income individuals — Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., told reporters, per The Washington Post.  Currently, most Americans between the ages of 18 and 49 are required to work at least 20 hours per week in order to qualify for the program.

Colorado is one step closer to having a supervised injection site for drugs.  On Monday [11/26/2018], Denver City Council approved a pilot program for the facility with a 12-1 vote.  The proposed site now must be given the okay by the State General Assembly.  Denver Mayor Michael Hancock tweeted out support for the proposed site.

California city council candidate is caught dropping off his wheelchair-bound mom, 86, so she can panhandle.  A nonpartisan candidate for city council in Southern California has been accused of dropping off his elderly, wheelchair-bound mother to panhandle for the last decade, even though they're not homeless.  David Chey has been caught on camera leaving Soon Chey, 86, in her wheelchair in the downtown district of Laguna Beach with a sign that reads, 'please, help me.'  'They have a brand new car, live in a condo in Irvine, yet beg for our help,' local business owner Heidi Miller told DailyMail.com.

L.A. Metro will offer free rides on buses and trains on election day.  In an effort to boost Los Angeles County's historically poor voter turnout, Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials agreed Thursday [10/25/2018] to offer free fares on the sprawling bus and rail system on election day.  On Nov. 6, rides on Metro's six rail lines and 2,200 buses will be free from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.  Eliminating the $1.75 fare for a day will cost the agency an estimated $600,000, officials said.

The Editor says...
Almost everyone living in poverty is poor for a reason, or for a series of reasons — typically a lifetime of bad decisions and regrettable actions.  Moreover, poor people are most likely to be completely dependent on Big Government.  They should not be encouraged to vote, nor should they be given a free ride to the polls.

San Jose to pay homeless $15 an hour to pick up trash.  San Jose, Calif., is combating its litter problem by paying 25 homeless residents to pick up trash around the city's "hotspots."  Downtown Streets Team and Goodwill, which initiated the program, said the idea was to ultimately help participants get back on their feet, the Mercury News reported.

Algorithms Designed to Fight Poverty Can Actually Make It Worse.  Near the end of 2006 Mitch Daniels, then governor of Indiana, announced a plan to give the state's "neediest people a better chance to escape welfare for the world of work and dignity."  He signed a $1.16-billion contract with a consortium of companies, including IBM, that would automate and privatize eligibility processes for Indiana's welfare programs.

True Blue Liberal California Now Leads The Nation In Poverty.  It was recently revealed that the home of Jerry Brown, Hollywood, Nancy Pelosi and Kamala Harris is now the most poverty stricken state in the country.  Anyone who has seen the sprawling homeless encampments of greater Los Angeles and San Francisco probably knew this would be the outcome.

Chicago sets up universal income task force as city seeks ways to tackle poverty.  Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will form a task force that will consider implementing the so-called "universal basic income" program in the city, as the embattled mayor seeks to cement his progressive legacy after promising not to run for another term.  The idea for the program, which would make monthly payments to a number of Chicago families without any conditions, has been floated around in the city for months now.  Back in June, Chicago's North Side Ald.  Ameya Pawar introduced a resolution calling upon the mayor to launch the pilot of the program and pay 1,000 families $500 every month.

A Portland-Area Effort To End Homelessness Shows How Not To Do It.  The Seattle Times published an interesting story today [8/27/2018] about the failure of an attempt by the city of Portland to offer shelter to everyone who needed it.  The so-called "no turn away" policy started, as these things often do, with a genuine desire to help families living on the street and ended two years later with a blown budget.

The Editor says...
Unfortunately, a "blown budget" is not perceived as a problem by most Democrats.  That's how we have accumulated a $21 trillion national debt.

California, Poverty Capital.  According to the Census Bureau's Supplemental Poverty Measure — which accounts for the cost of housing, food, utilities, and clothing, and which includes noncash government assistance as a form of income — nearly one out of four Californians is poor.  Given robust job growth in the state and the prosperity generated by several industries, especially the supercharged tech sector, the question arises as to why California has so many poor people, especially when the state's per-capita GDP increased roughly twice as much as the U.S. average over the five years ending in 2016 (12.5 percent, compared with 6.27 percent).  It's not as if California policymakers have neglected to wage war on poverty.  Sacramento and local governments have spent massive amounts in the cause, for decades now.

10 Ways Big Government Harms You.  [#3] Big government makes people dependent.  America has seen a widespread increase in the amount of people on government assistance.  Statistics show massive expansion in public assistance programs such as food stamps, disability, extended unemployment insurance, Medicaid, and health insurance subsidies.  Additionally, there are record number "baby boomers" hitting retirement age and their dependence on Social Security is increasing the amount of people dependent on the government as well.  Never before in American history, not even during the Great Depression, have we seen such a large expansion of government programs.  As more and more people get on government assistance, you will see less and less people fight against the abuses of government.  Such dependency instills fear amongst the populous that if there is a push back against the government, they will then lose the benefits that they enjoy.  Once this dependency is created, a tragic division occurs within society.  People who are not receiving government benefits begin to resent the people who are receiving the assistance.  They see themselves as "doing all the work" or "providing" and others happily living off their efforts.

Black Pastor Calls for Crushing the Evil Welfare State.  Alex Newman spoke with Reverend Matthew Cummings about overcoming the welfare state that has swelled in the U.S.  [Video clip]

Wise Giants and Arrogant Dwarves.  [Scroll down]  Welfare programs and transfer payments have created a dependent class who don't have to work.  As a result, we have a low workforce participation rate at the same time as a shortage of workers.  Our 1850 farmer could have predicted that outcome.  Tradition and experience taught his generation that given human nature, if you give somebody something for nothing, he will soon expect something for nothing as a right, and his character will be degraded by sloth and dependency.

Sen. Kamala Harris pushes Rent Relief Act, the ultimate jackpot for 'free stuff Dems'.  California Sen. Kamala Harris, a big-government Democrat, wants to subsidize the rent of Americans who live in apartments, condos or townhouses they cannot afford.  "Nationally, over 21M Americans spend more than 30% of their paychecks on rent.  That's absurd," she tweeted Friday.  "I introduced the #RentReliefAct to help ease the burden.  This equals more money in people's pockets at the end of the year."

California's 'foreclosure capital' to give away $500 a month to residents in experimental welfare program.  A California city is set to become the first in the nation to embark on an experiment of Universal Basic Income, paying 100 residents $500 a month without any conditions.  The program's purpose is to eventually ensure that no one in Stockton, with a population of 300,000, lives in poverty.  The receivers of the cash will be able to spend the money on anything they want without any strings attached.  It will launch by 2019 and the 100 fortunate residents will receive the cash for a full 18 months as part of its testing phase before deciding whether to roll it out across Stockton.

Handing them out like candy.
Seattle authorities luring homeless off the streets with plane tickets, rent payments.  Seattle is testing out other ideas, such as using tax payer money to purchase airfare for homeless people looking to stay with family in other places.  Last week, two people at the camp accepted plane tickets to Kansas to stay with friends in a more stable housing situation using the taxpayers' money.  Now [Mayor Jenny] Durkan is willing to dig deeper than just covering homeless people's airfare.  She is now proposing paying two months rent or even paying car repairs in order to keep people off the city's streets or give them opportunities to relocate.  Durken has described her plan of action as a diversion service.

Housing Crisis May Be Inevitable, Thanks To Government Meddling.  The Fed, worried about ultralow 3.8% unemployment and rising incomes, has signaled it could raise rates as many as seven times between now and the end of 2019.  Not only would new buyers no longer qualify to buy homes, but homeowners who bought during the Fed's zero-interest rate days might get a severe shock as payments surge and buyer demand dries up.

The Dark Side Of Welfare Programs.  What would you think of a tax system that imposed effective marginal tax rates of up to 80% on low-income families?  That's what exists today thanks to various federal benefit programs that phase out while income rises.  At a recent panel on poverty, the Congressional Budget Office made a presentation showing how income and benefit programs interact in ways that can heavily discourage work.

Government removal of children from their parents didn't start with Trump.  The government has routinely taken children from their parents for the past 50 years; not in increments of 2,000 as indicated in the tabloid, but by the millions.  It began with the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which included sex on it its list of categories to receive discrimination protection.  This law neutered the American male in general, but the African-American community experienced its immediate implementation.  The government fostered unwed motherhood through financial inducements made possible by the welfare system, which gave women incentives to have children if they weren't married.  Even well-meaning young couples who planned to get married opted for the welfare system because it meant tens of thousands of dollars in increased income over the life of the young family.  Fathers lived with parents, other family members and friends, for if welfare workers found even a pair of pants hanging in the closet of the mother, she would lose her welfare payments.  This was the first step in separating children from parents.  The father was removed from the home.

Feds find NYCHA managers lied for years about squalid conditions; City agrees to pay $2 billion.  NYCHA managers have for years used carefully crafted lies and elaborate deception to cover up the squalid condition of public housing, filing false documents, tricking federal inspectors and betraying the 400,000 tenants who have long endured heartbreaking conditions and the growing sense that nothing will ever change.  A blistering complaint made public Monday [6/11/2018] by Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman ripped the lid off of the city Housing Authority's longstanding culture of deceit, revealing a long bureaucratic tradition of lying about NYCHA's failures to address everything from toxic lead paint to mold infestation to rat burrows.

America's King of Poverty.  I know it is not a pleasant topic but let's take just a moment and think about poverty in this country.  Which state do you think has the highest poverty rate?  Must be Mississippi or Alabama or one of those Southern states.  No it ain't.  The state with the highest poverty rate is... wait for it, CALIFORNIA!!!  Yep, our progressive, income redistributing state which accounts for 12% of the country's population is home to about 1 in 3 of all U.S. welfare recipients.  Our poverty rate exceeds 20% when the national average is around 15%.  It is not as though California policy makers have neglected to wage their assault on poverty.  Since 1992 California has spent nearly $1 trillion on benefit programs.  Clearly it hasn't worked.  Then again paying poor people to be poor never does.

Medicaid Expansion Will Harm the Poor.  Like all Democratic programs, it's about power and money.  Obamacare incentivizes expansion states to shift Medicaid's focus to able-bodied adults by paying over 90 percent of their coverage costs, while the federal share of costs for traditional Medicaid patients remains below 60 percent.  This does not mean, however, that doctors and hospitals will receive more money.  Providers will continue to be paid less by Medicaid than the cost of treatment whether the patients are expansion or traditional enrollees.  The extra money will go to political slush funds and insurance companies.

Seattle mayor unveils aggressive plan to increase temporary homeless housing, shelters.  Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced an aggressive expansion the city's available shelter beds on Wednesday in an effort to "show results" the city has a plan to get people off the streets.  "I understand that this city is demanding results and so I have a plan to move 500 people or more inside within 60 to 90 days," Durkan told a crowd gathered at a new tiny village encampment in North Seattle.  The plan increases the city's available shelter space by 25 percent and would serve an additional 522 people every night.  "This is a surge to move as many people as we can so they can get services from the city," Durkan said during a briefing to reporters on Tuesday.  "This is the largest increase of shelter capacity since the emergency has been declared."

Medicaid and the Democratic War on Work.  When the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that states could experiment with work requirements as a prerequisite for Medicaid eligibility, the Democrats denounced the policy as racist and cruel.  They didn't explain how such requirements could possibly be racist in states whose Medicaid populations are nearly 100 percent white.  Nor did they say what is cruel about asking Medicaid enrollees to do something that will, according to numerous studies, improve their well-being.  The science says that work will be good for their physical, psychological, and fiscal health.  So, why have the Democrats declared war on work?

Guaranteed Basic Income Punishes Work, Subsidizes Sloth.  The latest "big idea" in the U.S. is the Universal Basic Income — a guaranteed income for all.  Progressives of course like the idea, but even some conservatives and libertarians do, too.  Only one problem:  It doesn't work.  Ask Finland, a highly progressive Scandinavian country that has an ongoing guaranteed income experiment, but is abandoning it.  Starting in 2017, the two-year Finnish program selected a random group of 2,000 unemployed people and gave them a monthly income roughly equal to about $678 for doing ... nothing.  The government hoped that many participants would flood back into the labor market.  But Finland is already backing off.

$24M housing, 'service center' for homeless planned in downtown Nashville.  Mayor David Briley's administration on Wednesday revealed a proposal meant to address downtown Nashville's growing homeless population through the creation of a $24 million "services center" and low-income apartments to help people with nowhere to live.  The plan hinges on a land swap with luxury housing developer Tony Giarratana, who as part of the deal would acquire nearly an acre of Metro-owned parkland where homeless people currently congregate at Church Street and Sixth Avenue North.  Giarratana hopes to build what would be the city's tallest residential building on that prime real estate.  In return, he would construct a taxpayer-funded, eight-story affordable housing building with about 100 units above the services center on his parking lot at 301 James Robertson Parkway, if final plans are approved.

Homeless may get mobile showers at Los Angeles Metro stations.  As the homeless population continues to grow in Los Angeles, the agency that operates public transportation in the county is considering putting showers in or near some of its train stations in an effort to promote hygiene.  Metro's Board of Directors unanimously approved a motion on Thursday following a four-month study to examine a pilot hygiene and mobile shower program, which would also examine incorporating public restrooms at all new rail stations on the system.

Project Freedom.  Several key Trump administration proposals, taken together, would help cure an absurdity so ingrained and ideology-caked in American society that almost no one discusses it anymore:  while millions of unskilled immigrants sneak illegally into America to do jobs that Americans won't do, Americans won't do them because the government pays them as much for idleness as an honest day's labor pays.

L.A. County wants to help build guest houses in backyards — for homeless people.  "Not in my backyard" protests helped block homeless housing in Temple City, delayed it in Boyle Heights and, last month, killed Orange County's plan to relocate homeless people to shelters.  Now, Los Angeles officials want to turn NIMBYism on its head — by paying property owners to put houses for homeless people in their backyards.  In August, the county Board of Supervisors approved a $550,000 pilot program to build a handful of small backyard houses, or upgrade illegally converted garages, for homeowners who agree to host a homeless person or family.  Then in February, Bloomberg Philanthropies awarded L.A. a $100,000 Mayor's Challenge grant to study the feasibility of backyard homeless units within the city limits.

Facing backlash, California county rescinds homeless shelter plan.  Facing a public backlash, officials in Southern California's Orange County rescinded their plan Tuesday [3/27/2018] for emergency homeless shelters in three cities.  The homeless shelters in Irvine, Huntington Beach and Laguna Niguel were to house up to 400 people, the Orange County Register reported.  Laguna Niguel ranks seventh among the nation's wealthiest cities, according to a 2016 Register report.  "They're just dumping these poor people in our neighborhoods and communities where there are like six schools and, you know, little children walking to school," Irvine resident Radhika Athlaye told ABC7.

LA Considers Ambitious Proposal To Provide Housing For Every Homeless Person.  The Los Angeles City Council Friday [3/23/2018] is considering a motion that would enact a plan to provide housing for every transient in the city, as it continues to grapple with a housing shortage which has spiked rents and sent thousands of people into homelessness.  The motion, introduced last month by Councilmen Mike Bonin and Marqueece Harris-Dawson, says there is little evidence that anything is being done to create or improve shelters for the homeless in the city and that a true sense of emergency is needed to deal with the problem.

De Blasio Making Homeless So Comfortable They Won't Leave The Shelter.  Homeless persons in New York City on average stayed nearly 100 days longer in shelters in 2017 than four years ago, according to an upcoming report from the Manhattan Institute.  Under Mayor Bill de Blasio, the average adult homeless person stayed in the shelter for 383 days in 2017 compared to the 293-day average stay in 2013.  "The more comfortable an adult or a family feels in a temporary housing situation, the weaker the motivation could become to move back into the community," Stephen Eide, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, told the New York Post, which first reported on Manhattan Institute's study expected to be released this week.

6 Points to Consider in the Debate About Homelessness.  It's amazing what a civil rights lawsuit and some federal judicial muscle have done to force officials in California to address the vexing homelessness problem in Orange County, especially in the dreary encampments along the Santa Ana River trail.  Judge David Carter excoriated county and city officials during an unorthodox court proceeding on Tuesday that produced in hours an agreement that had been elusive during weeks of wrangling.  The deal lets local governments clear out the sprawling camps in exchange for providing 30-day emergency vouchers for people to stay at motels.  The Orange County Board of Supervisors also announced that it will soon provide more than 300 additional beds or tents for the homeless at facilities around the county.

The Editor says...
First of all, the "emergency vouchers" are only postponing the problem for a month, and the problem is not an emergency.  Second, moving a homeless bum to a motel does not change the bum.  It only adds to the taxpayers' burden and diminishes the marketability of the motel.

L.A. County's homeless problem is worsening despite billions from tax measures.  Los Angeles County's homeless population is increasing faster than the supply of new housing, even with the addition of thousands of beds in the last two years and millions of dollars beginning to flow in from two ballot measures targeting the crisis, according to a long-awaited report by the region's homelessness agency. [...] As a result, a $73-million annual shortfall in funding for the county's comprehensive homelessness program could more than triple, a [Los Angeles] Times analysis of the report found.

California's Paradox:  More Immigration, More Poverty.  California is a land of untold opulence.  Hollywood's glitter dazzles the gawking masses, while the world's most profitable companies, Google, Apple, and Facebook, funnel cash into the Golden State from every corner of the earth.  And yet California is also desperately poor.  One-in-five Californians live in poverty, the state's income inequality is worse than Mexico's, and untold thousands live on the streets.  California is a dystopia.  How can so much wealth and poverty coexist?  This is the California paradox.  It was not always this way.  California used to be home to America's largest and most affluent middle class.  Now it is a playground for the rich and a prison for the poor.  How did the Golden State become America's poverty capital?

Philadelphia aims to become first US city to legalize safe injection sites.  Some Philadelphia officials want to make history by pushing an effort to make the city the first in the U.S. to allow drug users to shoot up at a medically supervised facility.  The city overdose-related deaths peaked last year to about 1,200.  And city health officials want to cut down on the overdoses and deaths through this unique — and controversial — approach.  "We haven't seen a public health emergency like this in the last century," said Thomas Farley, Health Commissioner for Philadelphia.  "It's time for us to rethink our assumptions, and consider options we hadn't seen before.

Stockton's 'Basic Income' Plan Diverts City From Its Real Duties.  [Scroll down]  In fact, one of California's most impoverished cities, Stockton, is working on a proposal that would provide a "Universal Basic Income" to a small number of residents.  Instead of a million bucks, the city — thanks to a grant from some Bay Area tech entrepreneurs — wants to hand out $500 a month for two years without any limits on how it's spent.  It's not as controversial as Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs' proposal last summer "that pays people not to commit crimes," as KCRA reported.  But now Tubbs is back with this latest "let's just pay people" plan.  The income idea is backed by a group that believes "cash is an effective way" to rebuild the American middle class.  It's a pilot project that will help evaluate how this type of program works. [...] If this idea takes hold, it will be followed by demands to increase the payments. [...] But my biggest fear is what it will do to the already eroded concept of work.  Many people prefer to do nothing if someone else will pay their bills.

Playgrounds for Elites.  Homelessness has been on the rise in virtually all large cities, including Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco, even as it declines elsewhere.  Despite numerous exposés on the growth of suburban poverty, the poverty rate in core cities remains twice as high; according to the 2010 census, more than 80 percent of all urban-core population growth in the previous decade was among the poor.  For all the talk about inner-city gentrification, concentrated urban poverty remains a persistent problem, with 75 percent of high-poverty neighborhoods in 1970 still classified that way four decades later.  Clearly, then, the urban renaissance has not lifted all, or even most, boats.

Atlanta Officials Shift Homeless Into Airport As Amazon Searches For HQ2.  The homeless population at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) has nearly tripled since the start of winter, said Fox 5.  Atlanta police officers working at the world's busiest airport have sounded the alarm about the deteriorating conditions for travelers caused by the increasing homeless population.  While the homeless cannot pass through the security checkpoint without a passport or plane ticket, that has not deterred them from setting up camp across the North and South terminals as well as the connecting Atrium.

De Blasio plans to open homeless shelter on 'Billionaire's Row'.  Mayor Bill de Blasio blindsided Manhattan's "Billionaire's Row" with a quietly announced plan to open a men's homeless shelter in the former Park Savoy Hotel.  The building at 158 W. 58th St. — which stands back-to-back against the city's most expensive apartment building, One57 — is being converted into housing for 150 residents and is scheduled to open in March, the city's Department of Homeless Services said Wednesday [1/17/2018].  Hizzoner's plan — part of a program to create 90 new shelters across all five boroughs — was revealed last week in letters to local elected officials.

City offering to pay homeless a year's worth of rent if they leave town.  The city wants the homeless to get out of town — and is offering to pay a full year's rent to those willing to abandon the five boroughs.  Under a pilot program quietly launched last month, shelter residents who have been in the system for at least 90 days and have a source of income can get 12 months of rent paid up-front virtually anywhere they can find an apartment.  Their travel expenses to vamoose would also be paid under a program already in place known as Project Reconnect.

Santa Ana creates homeless czar position as it works to combat growing issue.  As Orange County municipalities take steps to address growing homeless populations within their borders, the city with one of the largest concentrations is doubling down on its efforts to keep the issue from getting even more out of hand.  Santa Ana council members on Tuesday, Sept. 19, unanimously approved a homeless prevention, intervention and mitigation plan and created a city homeless services manager position.

Costa Mesa considers adding 'spartan' restrooms to deal with growing homeless issues.  Faced with continuing issues with the local homeless population, officials in Costa Mesa have again floated the idea of installing new public restrooms that would provide a hygienic and safe place for transients to use.  City Councilman John Stephens broached the topic during Friday's meeting of a liaison committee made up of representatives from the city, Costa Mesa Sanitary District, Mesa Water and Newport-Mesa Unified School districts.  The agencies, he said, could consider a pilot project to install one or two new restrooms away from parks where families gather.  No specific locations were mentioned during the meeting.

Houston school district will give students 3 free meals a day for an entire year in wake of Harvey flooding.  The Houston Independent School District announced Wednesday [8/30/2017] all students will eat all school meals for free during the 2017-2018 school year.  The approval came from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Texas Department of Agriculture to waive the required application process for the National School Lunch/Breakfast Program.  HISD says the free meals come in the wake of flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey.  "Despite the federal waiver, HISD is still asking parents and guardians to complete and return the application," HISD stated in a press release.

'Tenant rights' for the homeless: an absurd new low in NYC liberalism.  Blue York City liberalism can get so nutty, the laws and rights turn outright fratricidal — such as in a suit from the Legal Aid Society demanding equal tenant rights for the homeless.  As Carl Campanile reported in Monday's Post, the LAS wants homeless whom the city houses in regular apartments to have full protection under the rent laws — even though they pay no rent.

Public defenders push more DAs to ease up on turnstile jumpers.  The movement to stop prosecuting subway fare-beaters, announced recently by the Manhattan district attorney and soon to be adopted in Brooklyn, must be expanded citywide, public defenders argue.  The Legal Aid Society, the Bronx Defenders, Queens Law Associates and other groups have joined efforts to pressure prosecutors in Queens and the Bronx to get onboard with the cause, which advocates say will help unclog the courts.  Advocates say arresting turnstile jumpers unfairly disadvantages the city's poor population.

Turnstile Jumping Okay in New York.  Good news for fare-beaters on the New York subway system.  It has been discovered that enforcing the law against jumping turnstiles disadvantages the poor.

The soft bigotry of Denver's public pooping laws.  'The Denver City Council has voted unanimously to decriminalize a number of offenses, including defecating in public.  Also, urinating in public.  Camping on public or private land without permission.  Panhandling.  And lying across public rights-of-way, such as sidewalks.  Democrat Mayor Michael Hancock and city officials explained the new ordinances are designed to protect immigrants — legal and the other kind — from "unintended consequences."  These consequences were fines and longer jail terms, as has been customary in most places for violating the behavioral norms of civilized American society.

How Food Stamps Subverted Democracy, Part 1.  The federal government is now feeding more than 100 million Americans.  The vast increase in dependency fundamentally changes the relationship of Washington to the citizenry.  The more Americans rely on handouts, the more difficult it becomes to roll back politicians' power over those who do not.  There was no good reason for the vast expansion of dependency.  The history of the federal food-aid boom is a story of political conniving, bureaucratic bungles, and media collusion.  Forty years ago, when the "hunger revolution" in American politics began, average people would have scoffed at the notion that the government must intervene to supply so many meals.  But in the subsequent decades, politicians captured new prerogatives to take over far more lives.

Legalized marijuana turns Colorado resort town into homeless magnet.  From his sidewalk vantage point in front of an outdoor equipment store in downtown Durango, Colo., Matthew Marinseck has seen a transformation in this mountain resort town.  The picturesque town near the New Mexico border, once a vibrant, upscale community dotted with luxury hotels, is being overrun by panhandlers — thanks, in part, to the legalization of marijuana.  The town suddenly became a haven for recreational pot users, drawing in transients, panhandlers and a large number of homeless drug addicts, according to officials and business owners.  Many are coming from New Mexico, Arizona and even New York.

Sacramento public housing residents just got free Zipcars.  Residents at three public housing areas now have a mini-fleet of free Zipcars to make their way around Sacramento.  On Friday, Sacramento launched a pilot program that put eight shared electric Kia Souls at public housing sites.  Up to 300 residents can apply for on-demand access to the vehicles, with no charge for maintenance, insurance or juicing up the battery.  The program is funded through a $1.3 million grant from the California Air Resources Board using cap-and-trade funds that businesses pay to offset their carbon emissions.

Chicago approves IDs for illegal immigrants.  The Windy City has a whole host of issues to deal with these days, many of them centered around the fact that you're more likely to be murdered there than in Fallujah on any given day.  But rather than worrying about pesky little problems like that, the city council has decided to go after the really big ticket items on the agenda.  One of these is to begin creating and distributing special municipal ID cards for various "underserved" groups including illegal immigrants.  What could possibly go wrong?

A homeless family needed shelter.  D.C. gave them bus tickets to North Carolina.  The nation's capital is one of the few places in the country that guarantee homeless families a right to shelter.  So when Chanda Davis faced eviction last winter from the apartment in Southeast Washington she shared with her four children, she thought she could count on D.C.'s Department of Human Services for help.  Davis got help she wasn't expecting.  Instead of putting a roof over her family's head, the city put bus tickets in their hands — and sent them on a one-way trip to North Carolina.

These are the 30 posh hotels where NYC places its homeless.  The city has used 30 Manhattan hotels to house the homeless, including the iconic New Yorker, the upscale Excelsior and the tourist-friendly The Manhattan at Times Square.  The city's use of Manhattan hotels shot up 58 percent in the last year as bookings expanded from the outer boroughs to prime tourist destinations in Midtown and Soho.  And the homeless lodging has reached beyond fleabag flophouses to boutique hotels and brand names sought by visitors who don't necessarily want to mingle with the down-and-out.  "We rode the elevator up to our room with homeless people who were barefoot," one guest at the Art Deco New Yorker hotel griped on the site Trip Advisor in August.

What Has Obama Done to Us, and How Was He Able to Do It?  Undoubtedly, one reason why so many people vote left is because, for this or that reason, they are dependent upon some sort of government largesse.  As Mitt Romney noted in 2012, 47% of the American populace receive some kind of government benefit, and are therefore unlikely to react favorably to the prospect of that beneficence being curtailed or eliminated.  After four more years of Obamaism, that percentage may actually be higher.  Republicans will find it hard to wean people from the government benefits bestowed during Obama's presidency.

Democrats, crime and poverty
You'll never guess which political party leads in poverty and crime.  I'd be more a lot more snarky if the human toll wasn't so devastating.  The sad fact remains:  progressives don't get it and never will.  Their policies are based on emotion, not facts.  Feelings, not human experience.  Their policies are those of a cult, not a real political party.

41,000 Welfare Recipients Just Received Brutal News.  Many Americans have long advocated for welfare reform, to prevent people from being able to spend their entire lives on welfare without ever looking for a job or attempting to better their situation.  Liberals fight this tooth and nail, because Democrats typically aren't looking to help people improve their lives — they want to keep them reliant on the government.  But unfortunately for liberals, Missouri enacted welfare reform and tens of thousands of people are no longer eligible.

Hope and humility.  Politicians promote faith in themselves because it helps their careers and feeds their egos.  When was the last time you heard a politician say only you can make your life better by the choices you make?  Have you ever heard a politician say, "We are clearing the field of liberty as much as we can so that you have the best opportunity to succeed at whatever you believe your gifts qualify you for"?  If politicians started talking like that people might have more faith in themselves and politicians would see their influence and power decline significantly.

Living on the welfare cliff.  A single parent in Lake County who earns $12 per hour brings home just over $22,000 in net pay.  However, that same single parent is eligible for an array of welfare benefits as follows:
  •   Refundable tax credits from the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, the Additional Child Tax Credit, and the Illinois Earned Income Tax Credit
  •   Food assistance, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, food packages for the Women, Infants and Children program, or WIC, and the National School Lunch Program
  •   Housing assistance from the Housing Choice Voucher Program
  •   Subsidized child care services
  •   Medical assistance for both the parent and her children
When you add up the value of those potential benefits, it comes to an astounding $39,534, bringing the total net receivables — in terms of earned income and benefits — to $61,655.  In comparison, suppose you earn $18 per hour, bringing home about $33,000 in net pay.  That is a gain of about $11,000 in earned income.  However, your potential welfare benefits will drop drastically to $5,236 from $39,534, for a loss of more than $34,000.  Why would any sane person voluntarily give up $34,000 in benefits to gain only $11,000?

New York City to pay residents who house their homeless relatives or friends almost $2,000 a month in 'Home for the Holidays' campaign.  The city of New York is willing to pay friends and families of homeless people thousands of dollars to let them stay in their homes over the holiday season.  The city rolled out its 'Home for the Holidays' program this week, which will be offered to 5,000 families who have been living in homeless shelters for at least 90 days.  Every family chosen for the program will be placed with friends or relatives, and given a $500 voucher to 'help them get settled'.

Low-income families going upscale at taxpayer expense.  The Obama administration is changing the program through which very low-income families are paid rent subsidies at taxpayer expense so they can live in more upscale neighborhoods.  HUD Secretary Julian Castro recently confirmed the plan to raise the rent subsidies.  "Today, we embark upon a new approach to offer more choice and greater opportunity for families struggling to find a decent place to call home," Castro said.  "Moving to this approach will offer these voucher-holding families more opportunities to move into higher opportunity neighborhoods with better housing, better schools and higher paying jobs."

HUD Gives Poor More Rent Money to Live in "Higher Opportunity" Areas With "Lower Poverty".  To help "very low-income families" live in better neighborhoods, the Obama administration has issued a sweeping order requiring the government to pay more for their housing so they can move to areas of higher opportunity and lower poverty.  The final rule was announced in the federal register this month by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the agency that annually spends tens of billions on rent for the poor.  A chunk of the money, an estimated $18 billion according to the Congressional Budget Office, goes to a program called Housing Choice Voucher (HCV), which is funded by HUD and administered by local public housing agencies.  It allows recipients to choose housing in the private market and pays a set amount based on fair market rent for a metropolitan area.  Under the new rule, which goes into effect in January, fair market rents will now be calculated by ZIP code so Uncle Sam will pay a lot more for people to live in nicer areas.

Medieval America.  Today, a fifth of American households have zero or negative net worth.  The shrinking middle classes struggle to service trillions of dollars in consumer and student debt to big banks — in the manner of medieval peasants.  In the medieval world, impoverished serfs pledged loyalty to barons in exchange for their food and housing on the manor.  In the modern world, progressive government is the bastion that distributes entitlements on the expectation that the masses show their political fealty at election time.

Locked In.  Let me tell you about "lock-in" — a practice at Pine Ridge, the Indian reservation in South Dakota.  One weekend a month, a particular school has lock-in.  Literally, they lock the children into the school, where they play games and so on.  Lock-in is timed for the arrival of government checks.  Why?  Because when adults receive the checks, they have money to booze up, and when they do, they are likelier than ever to abuse the children.  Hence, lock-in, for the kids' protection.  And, frankly, they could use this every other day of the month, too.

$15 hammer.  I am angry at the continued (seeming) acceptance of the new normal of Obamanomics. [...] The unemployment rate is a sham.  Obamanomics has produced perverse incentives which are accelerating decline and dependency.  Where an employee today had a paycheck and insurance, tomorrow, they'll have unemployment and ObamaCare.

$10 Mil to End "Diaper Disparity" after Free Diaper Laws Fail Twice in Congress.  The multi-million-dollar initiative is being promoted by the White House as essential to eradicate a national "diaper divide" and the goal is to abolish "diaper disparity" by expanding access to affordable diapers for America's poorest families.  Behind this high-priced mission is Cecilia Muñoz, the White House Domestic Policy Director.  A renowned open borders lobbyist in Washington D.C., Muñoz was vice president of National Council of La Raza (NCLR) before Obama brought her on as White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs.  A few years later the president promoted her to the more powerful and prestigious post of top advisor on domestic issues.  Muñoz wields tremendous power, coordinating the policy-making process and supervising the execution of domestic policy in the White House.  If she wants Uncle Sam to give poor families free diapers, it's safe to bet that it will happen even if Congress has twice nixed the scandalous idea.

Dumb, Dumber and Democrat.  The Democrats purposely created a narrative of nasty and divisive class envy, destroyed our educational system particularly through Common Core, and wildly helped millions of people become addicted to a life of entitlement.  These do-gooders demonically created a dependent constituency who will obediently be there when it is time to pull the voting lever, whether legal or not.  The two pillars sustaining today's Democratic Party are the elites and the losers.  Remember the so-called and once important "middle class"?  Although occasionally still referenced in stump speeches, these hard-working blue-collar factory laborers, veterans, police and fire-fighters have been relegated to the back of the Democrats' busload of newly-found victims.  "Black Lives Matter," men in dresses and harboring dangerous illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities are the new protected class and assured Democrat voters.

Hawaii may bring back traditional grass huts for homeless.  Hawaii lawmakers are considering a unique solution to the housing crisis:  They want to make it possible for people to live in traditional Hawaiian grass huts.

The Danger of a 'Right' to Live on the Streets.  Across the United States, temperatures are plunging, making it deadly for the homeless who refuse to go into shelters.  Each year, hundreds of these vagrants die from exposure on the streets.  Yet blinded by progressive ideology, so-called "advocates" for the homeless — including the Obama administration — are defending a "right" to stay on the streets.  Even if it means freezing to death.

The Editor says...
It's called survival of the fittest.  A homeless person should be locked up year-round if he or she is truly incapable of making competent decisions about his or her self-preservation.  On the other hand, in the absence of any criminal activity (such as tresspassing or vagrancy), one should have the freedom to live wherever one pleases, at one's own risk.

New Louisiana governor to undo welfare reform.  Hope and change is coming to Louisiana after the defeat of David Vitter last month. John Bel Edwards swept to victory by a double digit margin and let everyone know that he was going to start changing up the game.  Now, well before he's even taken the oath of office, Edwards is prepping for some of his first big reforms in the financially troubled state.  One of the top items on his docket is getting rid of the work requirement for able bodied food stamp recipients.

Obama's Real Legacy: Ten Ticking Time Bombs.  [#7] A "food stamp" nation.  Over the past decade, the food stamps program has nearly doubled in size from 26 million to 46 million recipients (one in seven Americans) and more than doubled in cost from $29 billion to $64 billion a year.  When the next recession hits, these figures will swell to historic highs.  Democrats oppose common-sense reforms.  Prognosis:  more dependency.

The 7 Keys To Trapping As Many Americans As Possible In Poverty.  You want to make as many Americans poor as possible?  Then start by... [#2] Encouraging Dependency:  You want to keep people poor over the long haul?  Then get them dependent on a government payment that will always keep them poor.  Start them young!  Get as many kids as possible used to taking handouts with free breakfast and lunch programs.  Then when they're adults, make it as easy as possible to get on the dole and stay on it.  In fact, you should spend millions on advertising campaigns letting people know that they're eligible to become dependent on the government.  This keeps people stuck in a no man's land where they're still poor, but they're just comfortable enough that they don't feel compelled to work to get more.

Hawaii declares state of emergency for homelessness crisis.  Hawaii Gov. David Ige has declared a state of emergency to deal with the state's homelessness crisis just days after city and state officials cleared one of the nation's largest homeless encampments.

Hawaii Declares State of Emergency for Homelessness — Guess What Their Solution Is.  Hawaii [...] now has the worst homeless problem in the country.  What do you suppose causes that?  With the highest cost of living in the nation, it is small wonder that if someone falls on hard times that they wind up on the street.  It's also a magnet, climate wise, for those who know they will be on the streets.  The Hawaiian government is notoriously controlled by Democrats.  Their progressive policies have created this mess.  But, never fear, they've come up with a solution!  Yep, they are going to take real estate that no one else wants and put what they call 'transitional housing' on it.  This 'housing' is made up of shipping containers, divided in half to form a duplex of sorts.

Poverty Pimps Owe Middle Class $22 Trillion in Reparations.  Who are the poverty pimps?  Any politicians who have ever voted for legislation that took money out of Americans' pockets and put it in failed programs in the manufactured War on Poverty.  Any activists, including clergy, who have lobbied for more funding for failed programs.  Any progressive radicals who have called for an end to capitalism in favor of creating a majority of low-income workers.  Any nonprofits that have brought in billions over the last 50 years in the name of eradicating poverty.

Some People Choose to Be Homeless.  The Obama Department of Justice argued last week that a Boise, Idaho, law against "public sleeping in a city without adequate shelter space constitutes criminalizing homelessness itself, in violation of the Eighth Amendment."  In a statement of interest filed in federal court, the Obama administration asserted that banning sleeping and camping in public places constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment."

The Tragic and Complete Collapse of Racial Relations.  Obama in recompense for favoring the aristocratic elite feels that by expanding food stamps, disability insurance, housing, legal, and education subsidies, etc., the lower classes will be satisfied in lieu of a high-paying job on a fracking rig, in construction, or welding on the Keystone pipeline.

Bernie Sanders: Pathetic and Outdated.  People need to work. People need to contribute to the improvement of society.  The old leftists like FDR still had some element of the work ethic in their worldviews.  But the leftists of our generation are now locked into a hopeless political schizophrenia where they promote state-managed giveaway programs and at the same time call for vast work programs.  The work ethic core value is the polar opposite of the entitlement mentality. [...] Additionally, manual labor is no longer considered a fit activity for citizens who are used to instant food, instant information through the Internet, and instant money through the welfare system.  Manual labor takes time, and, well... it is laborious.

Food banks struggle to meet surprising demand.  Food banks across the country are seeing a rising demand for free groceries despite the growing economy, leading some charities to reduce the amount of food they offer each family.

Politicians are insulated from the bums in the street:
Cops keep de Blasio in a bum-free bubble.  No wonder he doesn't think there's a problem.  The police have been laboring to keep Mayor de Blasio in a bum-free bubble — clearing nuisance-causing vagrants from his view at Gracie Mansion and as he travels in the city.  On Wednesday [7/15/2015], two hours before de Blasio was due to walk through Washington Square Park, cops arrived en masse to clear out the quality-of-life-ruining bums who drink from paper bags, sprawl on benches and pee in public.

Bums think de Blasio is the best mayor ever.  Bums across the city hailed Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday for relaxing enforcement against homeless panhandlers, saying it hasn't been this good for them in years.  "I want to thank de Blasio for taking it easy on us.  It's easier for me to get by.  Because of him, nobody bothers me," said Phil Zasel, 63, who was hanging out near Bellevue Hospital with several sacks of belongings.  "It's better out here now.  It's the best time to be homeless.  The weather is nice.  I feel like I'm in California.  So I'd rather be out here until it gets cold."

Government Crushes People — Then Writes Them Checks.  [Scroll down]  The 2008 global economic collapse was caused just about entirely by government.  Banks were forced for decades to make hundreds of thousands of home loans to people everyone knew couldn't pay them back.  The bad papers mounted and mounted — and when the market teetered ever so slightly, the Everest of government garbage avalanched down and buried the planet.  Our government's response — was to cut checks for hundreds of billions of dollars to the institutions they forced to make the loans.  Getting mad at the banks is like shooting someone — and then getting mad at them for bleeding on you.  This was entirely government's fault.

Make people WORK for food stamps? New Mexico plan has libs WAILING.  Liberals usually just want to give you things, especially when they are paid for by other taxpayers, without expecting you to work for it at all.  It makes you dependent on them and keep voting for them.

The shrinking workforce of Obama's America.  Reagan gave us an enormous and highly productive work force, and that's why there was so much prosperity during his time in office.  Barack Obama has a very different idea about what life should be like in America.  And he's achieving his vision too.  Obama thinks it's a shame when people have to work too hard, and he wants the government to enact policies that give people more free stuff in exchange for less work.

Obama Has Officially Turned America Into Food Stamp Nation.  Since 2008 when Obama took office, the number of Americans relying on food stamps has doubled.  Now, one CEO is tired of seeing America being turned into a food stamp nation by the entitlement-happy liberals and says big changes need to happen to get Americans back to work.  Andy Puzder CEO of CKE Restaurants said the problem is that people actually are working less to keep their entitlements and even giving up promotions because they are afraid if they earn more they will lose benefits and won't be able to feed their kids.

Garcetti shifts stance, won't enforce tough new homeless measures.  [Los Angeles] Mayor Eric Garcetti backed off controversial legislation targeting homeless encampments, saying late Tuesday [6/30/2015] he would not stop the measures from becoming law but would block enforcement until the City Council softens some provisions.  Garcetti had originally said he supported the laws, passed by the council last week, which would make it easier to seize and destroy homeless people's belongings on sidewalks and in parks.

Obama: Low-income Kids Do Worse in School at Month's End Partly Because They're 'Getting Hungry,' Food Stamps 'Running Out'.  Kids in low-income communities statistically do poorer in terms of school performance near the end of each month, in part, because "they start getting hungry" as their food stamps "start running out," said President Barack Obama at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Santa Monica, Calif., on Thursday [6/18/2015].  "Too many of our kids still go hungry in this country," said Obama.  "I was looking at some statistics, because we're looking at policies around hunger and the SNAP program, and the performance of children in lower-income communities in school dips at the end of the month in a statistically significant way," he said, "in part because they start getting hungry as their food stamps for their family start running out which then affects how they perform in school."

The Editor says...
Yes, if you depend on the government for every bite of food, then you may get really hungry before your next government check comes in the mail.  (Do they still send checks through the mail, or is it done by direct deposit?  I'm happy to say I don't know.)  To keep from going hungry, you're supposed to get a job.

Los Angeles ranked #1 place to live by homeless people.  If it's Tuesday, you should hate the police; if it's Wednesday, you should hate white people; if it's Thursday, you should hate men; and if it's Friday, it's time for some good old-fashioned class envy.  And so, appropriately enough, the New York Times had an article talking about the enormous swelling population of the homeless in Los Angeles and its predictable causes.  And so what is responsible for this increase in homelessness?  The Democratic city council?  The Democratic mayor?  Decades of Democratic Party rule in Los Angeles?  The Democratic governor?  The Democratic president?  No, it's people who work for a living.  The Times is claiming that gentrification, the reclamation of old, dirty, dangerous neighborhoods, is pushing people into homelessness.

Ben Franklin Skewers Obama's Jobs Proposal.  [Scroll down]  Benjamin Franklin gives us his unabashed opinion on the matter:  ["]I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means.  I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.  In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer.  And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.["]  Barack Obama has formed his entire platform of social justice on the very opposite principle.

Po-Po and the Missing Papas.  Police as father substitutes have been in the lives of ghetto boys from the first cha-ching on mamma's welfare card.  And ghetto is the correct term.  "Inner city" is a prog-speak euphemism.  People of all races and backgrounds live in inner cities, especially the very rich.  But every major American city has a section where the economy is controlled by two kinds of interrelated dependency — government and drug — and that is the black ghetto.  The left-wing leaders whose power and wealth derive from that self-reinforcing dual dependency manipulate the people to blame the in loco patres — the police — rather than question why all the billions poured into the hood don't help.

Liberals' petri dish laid bare in Baltimore.  All the mayhem unfolding in Baltimore is nothing short of an unspeakable American tragedy.  Laid bare are the failures of cradle-to-grave social policies held so dear by politicians in both parties, but embraced and celebrated most lustily by Democrats.  These self-proclaimed Robin Hoods and do-gooders have issued open and unashamed invitations to the most vulnerable in society to become completely dependent upon government for everything from food to cellphones to home heating oil.  Left in the wake is the utter annihilation of families and the destruction of cohesive neighborhoods.  Complete dependency comes at such a high and bitter cost.  All in return for what really amounts to a sad pittance of welfare payments.  It is a twisted mockery of the American dream.

Blacks, Hispanics reject Obama climate change agenda over concerns about poor.  The very same voters who helped put Barack Obama in the White House increasingly are turning against the president's climate change agenda, with influential black and Hispanic leaders warning that stiff regulations to limit carbon emissions will have a devastating effect on the poor and will further stifle economic opportunity for minorities.  Some of Mr. Obama's most ardent supporters say they simply cannot go along with the administration's increasingly ambitious program to combat global warming.  They argue that, contrary to the Environmental Protection Agency's claims, the carbon regulations will drive up utility bills for poor households and will stunt economic growth in low-income areas.

Baltimore riots: Who will protect rights, lives and property of city's residents?  For generations the residents of inner-city Baltimore have grown dependent on the government.  The government of that once great city and of the State of Maryland have kept large numbers of folks in Baltimore in near poverty by offering dependence in return for votes — not personal or economic freedom, not even safety; just dependence.  That lamentable state of affairs has been looking for a tipping point; and in the unexplained death of Freddie Gray it found one.

Why Are So Many Employers Unable to Fill Jobs?  [Reason #1] Government discourages work.  Welfare consists of dozens of different and overlapping federal and state income support programs.  A recent Census Bureau study found more than 100 million Americans collecting a government check or benefit each month.  The spike in families on food stamps, SSI, disability, public housing, and early Social Security remains very high even five years into this recovery.  This should come as no surprise given the vast majority of the federal government's roughly 80 means-tested welfare programs don't include any type of work requirement.

Let's End Means-Tested Benefits.  The Democratic establishment gets votes from the poor by locking them into poverty and government dependency.  But to win elections, they must also appeal to the middle class.

The Homelessness Problem Is Still With Us — and Growing.  The [Los Angeles] Times described The Jungle as a "68-acre shantytown," i.e., 3 million square feet. [...] Even though the camp has now been dismantled, one quite inconvenient fact, at least for the left, remains.  "The Jungle" didn't spring up until roughly the beginning of 2013.  In other words, the "makeshift community" and its "somewhat unprecedented growth" all occurred while Democrat Chuck Reed was the city's mayor, Democrat Jerry Brown was California's governor, and Democrat Obama was the nation's president.  If "the Jungle" had appeared while Republicans were in charge of any of these three governmental bodies, the nation's press would have treated it as a national scandal since at least the middle of last year.

Right to shelter cities
4 charts that expose the invisible side of homelessness.  New York City and Massachusetts are legally obligated to provide shelter to all homeless residents year-round, while Washington, DC must do so when temperatures fall below freezing.  In all three places, family homelessness increased by roughly 40% since 2011 in the midst a national decrease of 8%.  Major cities such as Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, Seattle and San Francisco saw no change or even a decrease in family homelessness.

Trust in Government is Pathological.  [Scroll down]  The Barnacles are the folks that have fixed themselves on the government teat. Whether they are lifer bureaucrats counting the days till they can retire on that government pension or single mothers on welfare or crony capitalists sucking up green subsidies, they have to believe in government.  Otherwise they'd have to get a life.  Then there's the liberal professor at a government university, or the diversity dean, or the trainers teaching men not to rape.  Of course they all believe in government.  They are Barnacles; they have to fix themselves to a host. [...] Every day in every way the liberal shills out on the midway invite Americans to become Barnacles and attach themselves to the free-stuff substrate.

The system discourages work, whether by design or by uncorrected flaws.
The Land of Entitlements.  [Scroll down]  He explained that essentially, his clientele comprises Spanish-speaking business owners, almost all of whom employ essentially 100% Spanish speaking workers.  They own firms such as restaurants, gardening services, custodial services, small grocery stores, painting companies, trucking companies, and so on.  But, he said, most of their employees who work only 20 to 30 hours a week, with only a very few who work the full traditional "full time" 40 hours a week.  As a result, my CPA client said, nearly all of his clients, the business owners, don't feel an obligation to provide benefits to these "part-time" employees.  When I asked why they had mostly part-timers instead of full-time workers, he explained that the employees don't want to earn too much money, or else they'll lose their government benefits.

Bring Back The Welfare Stigma.  There is strong evidence that welfare use is transmitted from parents to children; that is to say, a parent's using welfare significantly increases the likelihood that the child will use it, as well.  This makes Richmond's "free lunch" program all the more troubling, of course, for it essentially bypasses all parent involvement, at least in the children's eyes, and grants a government handout directly to the child himself.  So the welfare state has found itself wanting, and has determined that the most efficient transmission of its benefits, and thus its own continued existence, is directly into schoolchildren's mouths.  That's efficiency.

Poor Regulations.  According to the House Budget Committee majority staff, at least 92 federal programs purport to help lower-income Americans.  These include dozens of education and job-training programs, 17 food-aid programs, and more than 20 housing programs.  In fiscal year 2012, the federal government spent $799 billion on these programs.  Ryan is hardly alone in charging that some of these programs hurt the poor.  He cites Creighton University economics professor Diana Thomas, who says that Department of Transportation regulations requiring rear-view cameras will impact low-income car buyers, who prefer to spend their money elsewhere.

Diaper duty for Calif. taxpayers? Bill would create new welfare program.  California is weighing a first-of-its-kind welfare program that would subsidize diapers for needy families, though some lawmakers say the plan's a stinker.  Assembly Bill 1516, written by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a Democrat from San Diego, would create the taxpayer-backed program within the state's existing welfare network, called CalWORKs (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids).  Families that qualify for CalWORKS could be eligible for $80 a month to buy diapers for children under the age of 2.

The Editor says...
When the news media refer to "families," they are talking, by and large, about single mothers.  As long as politicians buy diapers and food for those who don't make sound decisions about their lives based on long-term thinking, the poor will always be around, waiting for the next handout and lobbying for even more programs of this sort.

The Progressive War on Hard Work Continues.  There is a movement to bump the minimum wage for tipped servers (often lower than the official minimum wage, because they are primarily compensated by gratuities), which has emboldened people who seem to disdain the performance-based nature of the service industry. [...] Because who in their right mind would embrace the idea of earning more for doing a better job?

Downtown bridge that would let tenants bypass homeless approved.  The Los Angeles City Council voted Friday to let a downtown developer install a pedestrian bridge over Temple Street, which had been sought as a way to protect tenants from homeless people who live nearby.

The Editor says...
A better solution, of course, would be to incarcerate all the homeless people so that normal, sane, law-abiding citizens can safely walk on the public streets.

1000 Days Left and Counting: Here's a Quick Snapshot of What Obama's Done So Far.  What jumps out is the unemployment rate, food stamps, and debt.  But Fact Check fails to account for:
  •   The labor participation rate of 63.2% being a low last seen in the 1970s;
  •   Nearly 50 million living below the poverty line;
  •   Income inequality being at its worst level since 1947.

Why Are The Poor, Poor?  Americans at every income level face a lifetime marginal net tax rate greater than 50 percent.  That is, for every dollar they earn, they will lose more than 50 cents in higher taxes and reduced transfer benefits.  Furthermore, the highest marginal net tax rates are not imposed on the highest-income families.  They are imposed on those with the lowest earnings.

SF Supervisor Breed: fix public housing for homeless.  Supervisor London Breed announced legislation Tuesday [4/15/2014] that would earmark $2.6 million to rehabilitate 172 public housing units that are too run down for people to live in — housing she wants used for homeless families.  Breed is asking the city to spend the money immediately and outside the normal budget process, possibly to circumvent federal housing law, which requires hopeful public housing residents to be called off a wait list that has been full, and closed, for four years. [... "] We have to ask for forgiveness instead of permission," she said.  "Let the federal government challenge us for being humane citizens.  I'm OK with that kind of lawbreaking — to prioritize people who live on the streets.  That's a chance the city needs to take."
[Emphasis added.]

Obamacare is a voter registration machine:
Obamacare as Election Turnout Machine.  A settlement between California and left-wing groups begins to reveal the political architecture of Obamacare. [...] Here's the simple version:  Obamacare requires millions of people to interact with the government who never would have done so before.  At the point of interaction, NVRA requires them to be pushed to register to vote.  Presto.  Millions of people are now touched by a political touch when they just wanted to see a doctor.

State to send voter registration cards to Obamacare applicants.  Heading off a lawsuit over compliance with a federal voting rights law, California officials have agreed to help millions of state residents register to vote.  Under a deal announced Monday by several voting-rights groups, the state will send voter registration cards to nearly 3.8 million Californians who have applied for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.  The move will ensure that many residents can complete or update their registration in time for the June 3 primary election, representatives of the groups said, and bring the state into compliance with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.  The law requires that certain state offices provide clients with registration opportunities.

Obama Policy Keeping Homeless People on the Street.  On May 20, 2009, President Obama reauthorized the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009.  It redefined homelessness and promoted all sorts of alleged benefits.  The real result is something quite different. [...] President Obama and the Democrats leading this country have decided that every homeless person in America is a cookie-cutter destitute Ken or Barbie who may enter one door only to be helped.  This is "central processing," where a bureaucrat assigns the person to a room somewhere, anywhere.  The Obama solution is to give every homeless person a room, as if mental illness and subsequent drug and alcohol problems have nothing to do with homelessness.

America in Decline.  [Scroll down]  Increasingly, America is becoming a nation of dysfunctional families.  41% of babies are born out of wedlock.  Under America's first black president, American blacks are increasingly unemployed, and 72% of black kids are born out of wedlock, a terrible indictment of American society.  The corrosive results of government hand-outs are now rampant in America.  A nanny-state produces a population of dependency, not independence or an entrepreneurial spirit.

Obama and The Democrats Plot To Control America.  The entitlement crisis has been a crisis that has not been allowed to go to waste.  Under Obama's feeble economy and sputtering "recovery" (the weakest in modern history), spending on welfare, food stamps, and disability payments have soared.  Hooking people onto the government IV line is an excellent way to increase dependency and the number of future dependable Democrats.  It is also an excellent way to bankrupt America. [...] [T]hey can then consider their mission accomplished:  the permanent weakening of America.  Obama and Congressional Democrats have handcuffed all future presidents and endangered Americans yet to be born.

Obama's Orwellian View Of Freedom.  President Obama wants Democrats to reclaim the word "freedom" as their own.  But what he describes as freedom is little more than deeper dependence on government.  Not exactly what the Founders had in mind.

'Gaming the system'? States use trick to undo food stamp cuts.  States are using what critics call a "perverse" legislative maneuver to partly undo congressional cuts to food stamps, despite efforts by some U.S. lawmakers to stop it.  The Washington Post reported Monday [3/10/2014] that three states so far are finding a way to avoid or minimize the cuts.  The bill passed by Congress last month was supposed to save $8.6 billion over the next decade in food stamps.  But New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania have figured out how to trigger additional spending anyway.  The trick, as many states have discovered, is for them to devote a relatively modest amount of funding to home-heating assistance.  Under the law, states that give a certain amount to families could then qualify those families for additional food stamp money.

Cheat and Eat Food Stamps.  One of the farm bill's ballyhooed reforms was closing the "heat and eat" loophole, which allows states to leverage federal funds from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (Liheap) to raise food-stamp eligibility and payments.  Fifteen states as well as Washington, D.C. participate in "heat and eat," and more may join once they realize how their liberal neighbors are milking Uncle Sam.  Under this classic liberal trick, Liheap beneficiaries automatically qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program's "standard utility allowance," which increases their food-stamp benefits.  They receive this deduction regardless of how much they spend on energy.  Many renters don't pay a dime.

Job Destroyer.  Does the president have a clue about what creates jobs and what kills jobs?  Based on the evidence from his five years as president, the answer is no, he doesn't. [...] Obama persists in advocating an extension of unemployment benefits for 1.8 million jobless.  Perhaps the president doesn't understand that subsidizing joblessness is a sure way to keep people out of work.

Sperling: Higher Minimum Wage Will Allow Some Americans to 'Work Less'.  Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016 will help "people who just want to work hard," but it also will help those who want to "work less," White House economic adviser Gene Sperling told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday [2/19/2014].  He argued that Americans support raising the minimum wage because it will lift "struggling" families out of poverty: [...] Sperling called an increase to $10.10 a "moderate increase," and he said it means people "will rely less on the government."

The Editor says...
Obviously, if you can't make ends meet at the current minimum wage, you're already dependent upon the government, so a minimum wage increase won't make you less dependent.

Obama's Two Americas: The Economy and How Democrats Win Elections.  President Obama is dividing America into two nations — one rich, the other increasingly poor, and both more likely to elect Democrats.  Americans growing richer support his policies, and those growing poorer are increasingly dependent on Democratic politicians for government handouts.

Obama's Loafer Nation.  Obama telegraphed his goal in 2008, making a Kinsley gaffe (a politician accidentally telling the truth) when he went off the teleprompter and told Joe the Plumber that his goal was to "spread the wealth."  How have Obama and his fellow Democrats achieved that goal?  Count the ways:  Endless extensions of unemployment insurance to anesthetize jobless Americans from the pain of reckless Democratic anti-growth policies; Record high food stamp usage; A record number on disability were getting the highest-ever monthly benefits; Labor Force participation rates have declined; people not in the labor force are at a record 91.8 million; Democrats are encouraging people to get on the government dole at an early age.  High-school students are constantly exhorted to go to college.

Federal Government Has Declared War On Work.  While 50 years ago the federal government declared war on poverty, I would submit that in recent years it has led an undeclared but real new war:  a War on Work. [...] While a vast number of government policies cause a decline in work, let me mention just six:
  •   Extended unemployment benefits.
  •   Expansion of food stamps.
  •   Higher taxes on workers, especially the most productive ones.
  •   Increases in Social Security disability payments.
  •   Increases in Pell Grants and other forms of federal higher education aid.
  •   Increases in minimum wage laws at local, state and federal levels.

Exploiting the miserable.  In an email Wednesday [1/15/2014] for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Mr. Reid urged supporters to sign a petition to "demand that Republicans extend unemployment insurance with no strings attached."  The "strings" are the eminently sensible requirements that the $6.5 billion cost of a three-month extension be paid for with cuts elsewhere in a federal budget the size of the Goodyear blimp.  To suggest, as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi did in September, that "the cupboard is bare" and there are "no more cuts to make," is beyond preposterous.

Study: Extending Unemployment Benefits Increased Unemployment by More than 3 Percentage Points.  The study's finding:  "Most of the persistent increase in unemployment during the Great Recession can be accounted for by the unprecedented extensions of unemployment benefit eligibility."  In the aftermath of the financial crisis, the federal government has dramatically expanded the length of the unemployment insurance program from the typical 26 weeks, the period states more or less have the funds to offer, to as long as 99 weeks.

Levin: Boehner, Cantor, Ryan Expanding Welfare State by Pushing Amnesty.  Radio's Mark Levin on Friday evening [1/10/2014] excoriated House GOP leadership, particularly House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan, for their immigration policies that will end up aiding an increased welfare state.

GOP Is Right To Seek Cuts Before Extending Jobless Benefits.  Once again, Democrats are styling themselves as the party of compassion by spending money they don't have and forcing taxes on future generations of workers to pay for it.  It's phony, but they've gotten so good at this class-warfare schtick that hey, they just might get away with it again.  And not wanting to be seen as Scrooges, the GOP will no doubt eventually go along.  But Republicans would do the country and themselves a favor by insisting that Democrats at the very least agree to cuts elsewhere in the budget equal to the $6.4 billion they'll spend extending jobless benefits.

Obama [is] America's Clear and Present Danger.  Pure and simple, liberal progressives are advocating for wealth redistribution and trickle up poverty.  They believe instead of having tax, regulatory, and monetary policies that enable a thriving free market system, we should expand the welfare nanny-state.  It's purely political, and not as President Obama tries to persuade, moral.  The goal is to create such a state of depravity and hopelessness for a broad swath of Americans who are forced into the desperate state of grateful dependency upon Obama and his ilk.  It's the textbook Alinsky tactic of demonizing the opposition as heartless, uncaring, mean and evil.

White House pressures Congress on long-term jobless benefits.  The White House is ratcheting up the pressure on Congress to restore emergency long-term unemployment benefits when they return to Washington next week.  President Obama will be joined by people who have lost those benefits, which expired at the end of last year, when he delivers remarks on the issue at the White House on Tuesday [1/7/2014].

Obama adviser Gene Sperling pushes for unemployment benefits extension without offsets.  Top White House economic adviser Gene Sperling took to the Sunday morning talk shows to push for Congress to extend emergency unemployment benefits ahead of a key Senate vote Monday [1/6/2014].  Sperling, the director of President Obama's National Economic Council, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that Monday "is the day that 1.3 million Americans go to their mailbox and find that the check that they'd been relying on to put food on their table, put gas in their cars to look for a new job, will not be there."

The Editor says...
If the goldbricks were using their unemployment checks to hunt for a new job, it wouldn't take 99 weeks to do so.  On the other hand, if those unemployment checks are buying cigarettes, beer, concert tickets, false eyelashes, and scratch-off lottery tickets, the job hunt probably isn't a priority.

How to Keep Workers Unemployed.  Maybe it's time to consider whether the big expansion of unemployment insurance has increased joblessness.  In 2009 the Obama Administration and Congress extended jobless benefits for up to 99 weeks.  The point was to help people through the recession, but now the jobless rate is 7%, down from 10%, and the White House still wants another extension.

Obama To Hold Photo-Op With Americans Who Lost Unemployment Benefits.  As part of an effort to pressure Republicans into extending federal aid for three more months, Obama will hold a photo-op at the White House with Ameicans who lost their unemployment benefits at the start of the year.

The Editor says...
We're apparently supposed to feel sorry for goldbricks whose 99 weeks of unemployment checks have come to and end.  The President wants to extend unemployment benefits even further — preferably until after the next election day.  Obviously, if unemployment checks lasted a lifetime, no Democrat would ever work again.  Here's my simplistic-yet-brilliant solution:  Send out 99 weeks of unemployment checks, but have the payments decrease by one percent every week.  The gradual increase in pressure will make a lot of people turn off the TV and hunt for a job — at least the few who understand what percentages are.

Obamacare could increase food stamp rolls.  Republicans have another reason to hate Obamacare:  It could grow the number of people on food stamps.  The Obama administration has ordered a study to determine whether the Affordable Care Act, by increasing the number of people eligible for Medicaid, will also increase the number of people enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program based on how states enroll people.

Food Stamp Independency.  Today [11/1/2013], the first-ever program-wide reduction in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ("SNAP"), also known as food stamps, will take place. [...] This increase in dependency is a specific goal of the Obama administration, with the USDA giving bonuses to states for "efficiency" in adding more people to the food stamp welfare rolls.  In 2011, Oregon bragged of a $5 million "performance bonus" for increasing SNAP recipients by 60 percent over three years.  Contrary to willfully ignorant reporting describing today's reductions as "a move by congress," these automatic "cuts" represent the end of a temporary boost of 13.6 percent in SNAP benefits enacted through President Obama's 2009 stimulus, which failed to stimulate anything other than the growth of government and dependency — again, precisely the goal of this administration.

Call 911! EBT benefits get cut.  I would hate to be a 911 operator around 1 or 2 this afternoon when the welfare recipients start rolling out of bed.  Stand by for a deluge of calls reporting thefts — from their EBT cards.  Their monthly dole just got cut this morning.  How can President Obama have let this happen to his most loyal voters?

When the Have Nots Become the Haves.  New research from the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee shows that over the last five years, the U.S. has spent about $3.7 trillion on welfare.  "We have just concluded the 5th fiscal year since President Obama took office.  During those five years, the federal government has spent a total $3.7 trillion on approximately 80 different means-tested poverty and welfare programs. [...] The goal has always been to get enough people receiving benefits to out-vote the ones paying for the benefits.

Is Healthcare.gov Designed To Register Dem Voters?  The crash-prone government health-care site asks applicants if they want to register to vote as they try to sign up for ObamaCare.  By sheer coincidence, a plurality of the uninsured are likely Democratic voters.

Obamacare Websites Encourage Voter Registration After Application Completion.  The Obamacare exchange website does more than merely register you for an insurance program.  According to a report from the MacIver Institute, once you complete the process, you are then immediately asked to register to vote — a propagandistic strategy designed to make government beneficiaries into lifetime Democratic voters.

Obamacaid.  Democrats do have one lament about [Obamacare's] implementation:  Some states are opting out of the Medicaid expansion.  Medicaid, the joint state-federal safety net intended for the poor, already covers more than one of five Americans and pays for two of five U.S. births.  And that's before ObamaCare dumps up to 20 million new dependents onto its rolls.

Obamacare's next round.  In his book "Crisis and Leviathan," [Robert] Higgs described how the state takes on massive new powers during a crisis, usually wars.  When the crisis subsides, the state relinquishes some of those powers, but it never gives them all back.  This is how the state grows over time.  But the concept has broadened in recent years.  On both the right and the left, there's agreement that once you give people a new entitlement, they won't want to let go of it.

Portland wants to put a homeless camp in a parking lot under a bridge.  One of Portland's trendiest areas might soon be home to a tent city.  If this were another town, the owners and developers of high-end homes and condominiums would scream to high heaven about diminished property values.  But this is Portland, where the citizens try their best to be tolerant of everything except intolerance — and gluten.

The Editor says...
Very obviously, if the City of Portland makes life more comfortable for vagrants and bums, their numbers will increase steadily.

How ObamaCare Wrecks the Work Ethic.  A new wave of redistribution will arrive in America on Jan. 1, primarily thanks to the Affordable Care Act.  The president's health-insurance plan forces those who hire, work and produce to pay full price for health care, while creating generous discounts for practically everyone else.  This second redistributionist wave of the Obama era will follow a first wave of tax hikes, additional unemployment benefits, food-stamp expansions, waived work requirements for welfare benefits, etc.

Weakness Does Not Make A Political Party.  [Scroll down]  The President wanted to change America.  He has succeeded.  Our national family income is down to 1989 levels.  This breeds more dependency and future Democrats.

GOP Food Stamp Bill Includes $125 Million to Fight Food Deserts.  The House Republican bill to reduce food stamp spending also creates a $125 million program to combat food deserts and orders the agriculture secretary to "review the public health benefits of white potatoes."  H.R. 3102, which narrowly passed 217-210 on Thursday [9/19/2013], was the subject of scorn from Democrats due to $3.9 billion in cuts per year over the next ten years to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps.  The cuts to a program that now spends $88.6 billion annually.

Florida official tells Christian charity to choose between Jesus and cheese.  A Florida ministry that feeds the poor said a state agriculture department official told them they would not be allowed to receive USDA food unless they removed portraits of Christ, the Ten Commandments, a banner that read "Jesus is Lord" and stopping giving Bibles to the needy.  "They told us they could no longer allow us to have any religious information where the USDA food is going to be," said Kay Daly, executive director of the Christian Service Center.

Should Austin spend $175K on statue honoring homeless ... or on the homeless?  This is a tougher question that it seems on the surface.  KEYE TV reports that the Austin city council is considering whether to replace a barely-visible tribute to the homeless who have died on the street with a more prominent statue for the same purpose, at a cost of $175,000.  One advocate for the homeless and the statue calls the cash "chump change" while defending the project.

The Editor says...
The best way to attract homeless people to your city is to make them feel welcome and honorable.  Homeless people who have died in the street were there, I believe, because of bad choices they had made months or years earlier.  Beggars and sponges are not honorable people and do not need to be commemorated.

The government wants a monopoly on benvolence.
Police Stop Effort to Feed the Homeless.  In Raleigh, North Carolina the non-profit religious group, Love Wins Ministries, makes an effort to feed and help the homeless every Saturday and Sunday.  But this weekend was different.  The group was attempting to hand out coffee and sausage biscuits when the police officers arrived.

The Rolling Student Loan Bailout.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau performed a genuine public service this week by alerting taxpayers to the tidal wave of student loan defaults coming their way.  Too bad the intention was also to alert student borrowers to ways they can avoid repaying those loans.  A new analysis by the bureau shows federal-backed student loan debt surpassing $1 trillion, which is nearly double what it was at the start of the Obama Presidency.

Busybody Politics.  San Francisco and New York are both plagued with large "homeless" populations today, largely as a result of previous housing "reforms" that made housing more expensive and severely limited how much housing, and of what kind, could be built.  The solution?  Spend more of the taxpayers' money making homelessness a viable lifestyle for more people.

Free air fare!
Hawaii lawmakers want to buy homeless one-way tickets off island.  Lawmakers in the Aloha State want to wave goodbye to their growing homeless population — by buying them a one-way ticket off the island.  Hawaii's controversial three-year "Return to Home" pilot program launches later this year and is being billed as a way to help the state's 17,000 homeless residents, while reducing the financial burden the state has in caring for them.  Under the plan, the state will pay for a one-way plane ticket for any homeless resident who can find someone on the mainland to take them in.

Hawaii sets aside $100,000 to offer its 17,000 homeless people one-way airfare back to their home states.  Hawaii is hoping to take the burden off its welfare system by saying aloha to its 17,000 homeless residents.  The state will offer one-way tickets home to any eligible homeless person to anywhere in the continental United States.  Hawaii has allotted $100,000 for a three year trial run of the so-called 'return-to-home' program, which could also even offer participants beds on cruise ships bound for their homes.

The Editor says...
If you're a tourist returning from Hawaii, you'd better hope the State of Hawaii hasn't packed your plane with undesirable bums.

Poverty: Americans Blame Welfare.  Americans say government welfare is the biggest reason for poverty, according to a new Wall Street Journal and NBC News poll.  "Given a list of eight factors and asked to choose the one most responsible for the continuing problem of poverty, 24 percent of respondents in the poll chose 'too much government welfare that prevents initiative,'" reports NBC.  Not surprisingly, only 4 percent of those in the survey stated lack of government funding as the top reason for persisting poverty.

Obama's 'Iron Curtain' descends on America.  Far more wily than Uncle Sam or Uncle Sugar, 'Uncle Satan' lures scores of U.S. citizens motivated by entitlement mentality with food stamps, free cell phones and unquestioned access to social security, into a trap from which they will never escape.  Comfortable with the guarantee the government will look after them from cradle to grave, few see the walls going up around them.

25 Reasons To Dislike Liberals.  [#10]  Liberals view hooking people on welfare and food stamps as a core part of their election strategy, which is terrible for the country, shows they have no character and requires more than a little hatred for poor people.

Jihad Bums.  Americans have an improper understanding of what welfare actually is.  Many among us believe it to be charity and have the naiveté to believe that it will be accepted by poor, beleaguered beneficiaries as such.  But welfare bestows entitlement, not charity — and its result is not gratitude, but resentment.  Democrats are all too willing to nurture those feelings of resentment, and the bulk of their constituents may be content with continued promises to grant them a pittance more in the next election cycle.  But that is not good enough for Islamic fundamentalists.

Creating Dependency, One Mouthful at a Time.  In a nutshell, receiving a temporary handout that depends on doing something worthwhile is wholly unlike receiving the identical assistance sans any obligation and for however long as the recipient remains legally eligible.

Government dependence
Index of Dependence on Government Jumps for the Fourth Year in a Row.  The Index tracks government spending on the federal programs that breed government dependency.  The Index rises 3.28 percent in next year's report, for which 2011 is the latest year the underlying data are available.  It is adjusted for inflation, so it rises or falls because of spending in real dollars.

Why Welfare is Working.  In reality, one of the main reasons the Republican's [sic] keep loosing [sic] is that we refuse to buy votes with the use of food stamps and welfare checks.  For this reason alone, welfare is working perfectly for those on the left.  The Democrats have done a great job of legitimizing these buyoffs for decades and with the use of various tools of propaganda, the primary issue with those on government assistance on Election Day is to protect their monthly entitlement.

Progressive Democrat Control Came Via Welfare State Voters.  This tragedy can be exposed via one rhetorical question:  What would happen to the Democrats if all the poor in this country suddenly became rich?  They'd never win another election, would they?  So the Democrats have a vested need to keep the poor down.  Our permanent welfare class is no accident.  Government incentives for people to stay poor may be well-calculated.  But with a repressed minority manipulated into believing that Democrats are on its side, now to be joined via immigration by a large number of Hispanics that the Dems see as captive voters, the new U.S. demographics make the liberal Democrats' scheme to finesse a permanent one-party government a near certainty.

'Dignity Mortgages': Welfare By Another Name.  Housing activists' new bright idea is approving home loans for people who have rebuilt their finances since losing their job and their homes during the crisis, but who still have bad credit.  Though required to make a down payment, inner-city housing groups could front them the money.

The Risk of Obama's Universal Daycare.  Heavy-handed state intrusion always beings innocuously, a "good idea" to cure a seeming intractable problem but as one intervention after the next falls short, state power expands and personal freedom slips away.  Obama's initiative is only emerging but its key elements are clear.  A state-federal partnership will guarantee a pre-kindergarten education to every family whose income falls below 200% of the poverty line ($38,000 for a single parent with two children).  Head Start will also be massively expanded (it currently consumes $7.6 billion).

Against the Ghetto Plantation.  If Frederick Douglass walked today's ghettos, he would witness a new-age style of slavery, plantations without the lash and chains.  He would soon be outraged that government overseers are perpetuating generations of dependency through policies designed to capture the votes of the ignorant.

Welfare Increases Poverty Instead Of Ending It.  Americans have now elected twice a man who said he wanted to spread the wealth around.  So how ugly is it going to get?  The Senate Budget Committee says welfare spending will nearly double in 10 years.

We're now one step closer to America's coming civil war.  Far from adding to people's standard of living, government is the number one cause of poverty in this country.  It forces those who depend on its largesse to live hand to mouth, with no time or money to plan for the future.  They become unable to fend for themselves — and increasingly resentful of those who can.  When the economy tanks and the government checks have to shrink, their only alternative is to take to the streets.  That's what happening in Argentina, and in Greece; [...]

Oh, good!  Now they have the right to urinate in the street.
California lawmaker proposes 'homeless bill of rights'.  California law protects its residents from discrimination based on sex, race, religion and sexual orientation.  Now a state lawmaker is pushing to add another category to the list:  homelessness.  New legislation titled the "Homeless Bill of Rights" by Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco is meant to keep communities from rousting people who have nowhere to turn.

The Editor says...
Somehow the writer failed to include words like vagrant and vagabond, and only the commenters used words like drifter and bum and panhandling.  Homeless people generally are homeless for a reason — usually a lifetime of bad decisions.  This makes them poor candidates for long-term employment, which is apparently the motivation for the proposed legislation discussed in the article above.  Please keep in mind that many of the chronically homeless who need protection are really in need of incarceration for their own good.  Street-corner beggars pay no taxes, so if they bring in $20 an hour, they're probably better off than you.  Even the ones who claim to be hungry will throw away food if someone gives it to them.  Give a couple of bananas to a "hungry" roadside beggar and see what he or she does with them.

Obama's Idea Of 'Balance' Is Higher Taxes To Fund A Growing Welfare State.  To paraphrase Churchill on the British Empire, Barack Obama did not become president of the United States to preside over the liquidation of the welfare state.  On the contrary, he is dedicated to its expansion.  He's already created the largest new entitlement in half a century (ObamaCare).  And he has increased federal spending to an astronomical 24.4% of GDP (the postwar norm is about 20%), a level not seen since World War II.  But this level of spending requires a significantly higher level of taxation.

Does the Left really want to end poverty?  The statistical evidence of the past twenty years has become overwhelming: that getting a job is by far the best route out of poverty, that benefit dependency tends to turn temporary hardship into permanent poverty, and that free markets can deliver mass prosperity more effectively than any other form of economic system.  It is time for the debate to move on.  The old fashioned socialist dogma — that only the state can "lift people out of poverty" — is not just wrong.  It is pernicious.

How much wealth do the poor in America have?  [Scroll down]  In America, poverty is self-inflicted.  But that doesn't mean that the Democrats don't help the poor to stay poor.  Democrats wants [sic] to raise minimum wage, which promotes higher unemployment among younger workers — and more dependence on government programs.  They want to subsidize single motherhood and enact no-fault divorce laws, to destroy marriage.  And they want to push gay history and green propaganda in the public schools, to diminish the economic value of a high school education.  They don't want the poor to lift themselves out of poverty so that they are independent of government.

Report: CFPB stifles 150,000 jobs after controversial 'recess' appointment.  President Obama's Consumer Financial Protection Board, led by a 'recess appointee' installed when the Senate was actually in session, has blocked 150,000 jobs and made it difficult for lower-income Americans to access credit, according to a new House report.

Per Household Welfare Spending Exceeds Median Income.  The tipping point is where so many people are gorging at the government teat that they will vote for whomever is most likely to keep the free money flowing, no matter how conspicuously awful that person might be as a leader.

Political Elites Keep Power By Blocking Change.  A couple of economists have determined that rulers around the world keep their subjects in poverty so they can maintain power.  What does this impart to us about where our country is headed today?

Fighting the Good Conservative Fight.  Susan Carroll of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University explains the obvious.  "The Democrats are much more supportive of the social safety net, the programs that help people who need financial assistance, whether it be unemployment insurance, child nutrition programs, Medicaid, the whole infrastructure of the social welfare state that helps people who financially are more in need."  Nothing keeps people "in need" better than the disintegration of marriage and the nuclear family.  As long as this trend continues to get worse, so will conservative electoral prospects.

The Republican Hispanic challenge.  Although Mitt Romney took flak for his statement that he lost the election because President Obama bestowed "gifts" on key parts of the electorate, what he said is basically true.  We're stuck in a deadly spiral where economic growth is retarded because the economy is larded with enormous and ever increasing government spending and debt.  Yet, more and more Americans want the lard.  President Obama got re-elected by promising to continue to serve it up.

5 Questions for Black Voters.  Democrats have been bribing people to vote for them with various social programs.  Since the 1960s, the government's welfare policies have been been decimating black families and keeping people mired in poverty and misery.  Furthermore, Democrats have a vested interest in keeping people poor and powerless so they can continue to offer them "goodies" in exchange for their votes.  How does it feel to know your vote is being bought and you're being taken for granted?

3 Windows into Obama's Dangerous Second Term.  What should have come out in late October didn't arrive until November 9, yet another Friday afternoon, three convenient days after the election.  It's now clear that Team Obama deliberately sat on it, as its contents would certainly have become a final-days election issue had they been known.  August enrollment exploded by over 400,000 to a record-shattering 47.1 million.  Revised data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us that the economy added 192,000 jobs during that same month.  Though that level of monthly job growth, symptomatic of the worst economic recovery since World War II, is still unacceptable, the food stamp rolls should be declining, and they're not.  That's because the program has morphed from being about temporarily helping the truly needy into a dependency-engendering, vote-buying enterprise.

House Democrats push for extension of jobless benefits.  House Democrats are beginning their push for an extension of expanded federal unemployment benefits before more than 2.1 million workers lose them at year's end.

Food Stamps — The Black Hole You Enter and Never Exit.  Why in the world is this welfare program administered through the Agriculture Department?  We have been arguing about agriculture subsidies since the beginning of time, yet a program that really has nothing to do with farming or ranching now swallows up most of the budget.  Just the idea that the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is running a $75 billion welfare program gives you a perspective of how screwed up this situation has become.

Obama's Class Warfare Rhetoric Is Preparation for Tyranny.  Mitt Romney was entirely correct when he alluded to the efforts by Obama and the Democrats to create a faction of people dependent upon the government, and therefore upon themselves, who therefore would form a reliable voting bloc.  Indeed, this has been the Left's modus operandi since FDR's time — lure Americans into the addiction of government handouts, continually make the income tax code more and more "progressive" so that greater and greater numbers of us in effect do not pay any income taxes while shifting the burden more and more to the capital-providing, jobs-producing rich.  By draining and driving out these victims of redistribution, the government then generates more "need" for hand-outs and assistance as jobs disappear and the economy systematically slows down.  Obama has been working for the last four years to accelerate these trends because he is making a concerted effort to grasp total power.

Depending on Dependency.  The theme that most seemed to rouse the enthusiasm of delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte was that we are all responsible for one another — and that Republicans don't want to help the poor, the sick and the helpless. [...] Belief in the superior compassion of the political left is a worldwide phenomenon that goes back at least as far as the 18th century.  But in all that time, and in all those places, there has been little, if any, effort on the left to check this crucial assumption against facts.

Administration: Bingo Games Can Promote Food Stamp Use.  The USDA wants to add to the record 46.7 million Americans who receive food stamps, including seniors the agency says could be convinced to sign up for the government program through parties featuring games like Bingo and crosswords.  The tips for recruiting food stamp recipients are part of the agency's 261-page tool kit issued in August 2011, which states the "campaign" is designed to increase the number of food stamp recipients, including seniors.  "The primary goals of the campaign are to increase enrollment in SNAP and to reinforce its role as a nutrition assistance program," the tool kit states.

USDA's new tactic to promote food stamps: Party!  Forget Tupperware bashes and toga soirees — the latest rage is food stamp parties.  The USDA is encouraging the nation's food stamp program to promote to the elderly using parties and games.  A series of guides currently posted on the USDA website promotes local offices of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — or SNAP, but commonly referred to as food stamps — to entice eligible seniors to enroll in the welfare program.  The promotional campaign has cost between $2.5 million and $3 million.

Obama Admin. Boosts Food-Stamp Participation by Targeting Seniors.  Despite already having record-breaking numbers of Americans on food stamps, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continues to campaign for more, as the agency has been espousing the government welfare program through parties featuring games like Bingo and crossword puzzles.  Targeting the nation's seniors, the effort was touted in a pamphlet released on the USDA website earlier this summer, which provides tips for recruiting potential recipients to the program.

Civil Unrest: Do Our Rulers Actually Want It To Happen?  There have been several different predictions and scenarios involving how inflation and austerity measures in the U.S. could bring about food shortages and other shortages, food riots, looting, violent protests, flash mobs, and martial law. [...] But it seems that the U.S. government has been pushing hard to get as many people dependent on government as possible.  Food stamps spending has more than doubled since Barack Obama became President, although the number of Americans on food stamps almost doubled from 2001 to 2009 during the presidency of George W. Bush as well.

'Mountain Pride' versus the Welfare State.  The federal government is choking our economy while it degrades the character of a proud people.  The food stamp program is purposefully undermining "mountain pride" in Appalachian communities in order to create more wards of the welfare state.  It should be a scandal that the federal government is purposefully weakening a core principle of our value system:  self-reliance.  To wit, the feds are praising local bureaucrats for "counteracting" what they call "mountain pride."  These bureaucrats are convincing people who characteristically reject food stamps to instead embrace a culture of dependence.

The Drug Is Government, The Pusher Is President Obama.  The signature theme of Barack Obama's presidency is getting millions more Americans addicted to more government, often a little bit at a time.  Pushing the big government drug is everywhere in Obama domestic policy.  High joblessness from his own policies justifies an unprecedented level of extended unemployment benefits, an approach even Paul Krugman concedes "reduces a worker's incentive to quickly find a new job."

BBCE = broad-based categorical eligibility.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Improved Oversight of State Eligibility Expansions Needed.  Over the last 10 years, participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) SNAP, previously known as the Food Stamp Program, has more than doubled, and costs have quadrupled. Since 1999, USDA has allowed states to expand SNAP eligibility by adopting BBCE policies, which make households that receive services funded by Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, such as a toll-free number or brochure, categorically eligible for SNAP.  Under BBCE policies, states are able to increase federal SNAP limits on household income and remove limits on assets.

Big Government's Best Friends: Nontaxpayers.  The proportion of those paying no income taxes continues to hit higher highs — a trend that will ultimately make lowering taxes and reducing government impossible.

USDA moves to end questionable food stamp ads after criticism.  The Department of Agriculture moved Friday [7/13/2012] to "cease future production" of advertisements that encourage people to go on food stamps, FoxNews.com has learned, following criticism over what was described as an "aggressive" campaign to grow enrollment.  The department had come under fire for a 10-part series of Spanish-language "novelas" that trumpeted the benefits of the food stamp program.  The radio ads were produced in 2008, but continued to be available for use.  After those ads drew scrutiny, though, the USDA removed them from its website.

1-800-FOOD-STAMPS: How states expand eligibility for welfare program.  Getting food-stamp benefits can now be as easy as picking up an informational brochure or calling a toll-free number, according to a new report out this week from the Government Accountability Office.  More than 40 states have lowered eligibility requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, resulting in a vast expansion of the welfare state under President Obama.

A Guaranteed Minimum Income In The US?  We know from the records that the welfare rolls have increased exponentially under Obama.  Recently, changes were made by Presidential Executive Order to redefine "work" allowing even more applicants for welfare to be added to the welfare rolls.  Why?  Could it be the Obama Administration is deliberately attempting to "crash" the US welfare system?  If so, why?  I contend that is exactly what is happening.  If I an [sic] correct, then we are actually seeing the "Cloward-Piven Strategy" at work.  We are observing the foundation, the groundwork, if you will, for establishing a guaranteed annual (minimum) income for American citizens.

Fewer know independence from government.  This Independence Day we note an unfortunately accelerating trend toward government dependence.  This is tragically ironic in the land of the free, where the founders were brave enough to assert independence from the government of their day.  The genesis of the problem was when government's string pullers discovered how to offer something of value at little or no apparent cost to those receiving it.  Uncommon personal character is required to turn down such an offer on principle.  We long for a revival of the principle that set the United States apart two centuries ago — the principle of independence, rather than of dependence.

Government under fire for 'novela' ad campaign promoting food stamp enrollment.  The Department of Agriculture is coming under fire for its "aggressive" ad campaign, including a 10-part series of Spanish-language "novelas," to convince people to go on food stamps — at a time when one in seven are already enrolled.  The food stamp rolls have swelled since the recession, growing roughly 40 percent since 2009. As of April, more than 46 million people were in the program, which costs $80 billion a year.  Yet the USDA is engaged in an ongoing ad campaign to convince those not on food stamps — but still technically eligible — to let down their pride and sign up.

The Dictator in the Black Iron Man Suit.  Al Sharpton and a majority of the so-called black civil rights coalition define blackness as having an urban experience, solely dependent on government for survival, always voting Democrat, and being incapable of finding one's way to acquire a photo ID.  Sharpton and company consider self sufficient-blacks traitors to their race, trying to act white.  All of my life, I have fought to free myself and fellow blacks from the left's efforts to force blacks to live in their "black box."

The Great Destroyer.  In wholesale breach of his 2008 campaign themes, [President Obama] is zapping America of its optimism and hope, replacing those with despair and malaise.  He is using his bully pulpit to turn the American dream on its head, demonizing success and glorifying government dependency.

Trillions Have Been Wasted On Poverty Programs That Don't Work.  The federal government wants more Americans using food stamps.  To what end?  Washington has been fighting a war on poverty since 1964 and has gotten nowhere with it.  Unless of course establishing a culture of dependency is the goal.  If that's the federal government's real objective, then it's doing a fine job.

Does Government Want People to Be Poor?  Street vending has been a path out of poverty for Americans.  And like other such paths (say, driving a taxi), this one is increasingly difficult to navigate.  Why?  Because entrenched interests don't like competition.  So they lobby their powerful friends to erect high hurdles to upstarts.  It's an old story.  Now, growing local governments are crushing street vendors.  The city of Atlanta, for example, has turned all street vending over to a monopoly contractor.  In feudalist fashion, all existing vendors were told they must work for the monopoly or not vend at all.

Registering the Poor to Vote is Un-American.  Why are left-wing activist groups so keen on registering the poor to vote?  Because they know the poor can be counted on to vote themselves more benefits by electing redistributionist politicians.  Welfare recipients are particularly open to demagoguery and bribery.  Registering them to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals.  It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country — which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote.

Runaway Trains of Bureaucracy.  [Scroll down]  For example, according to the GAO report, 18 different programs across three federal agencies work to "ensure the needy have access to food," producing an estimated $62.5 billion in overlap.  Every one of these eighteen programs found an ample supply of needy mouths to feed, and set about requesting an ever-larger cornucopia from Congress.  None of the bureaucrats involved was going to spend his valuable time searching the massive federal flowchart to see if any other agency might already be working to assist prospective clients.  There was no incentive for them to make their agencies less useful, and less worthy of a funding increase in the next budget.

DOJ sting targets Bobby Jindal and ignores the law.  Attorney General Eric Holder's Justice Department has targeted Gov. Bobby Jindal's, R-La., administration as part of a rushed investigation into whether Louisiana is complying with federal voting laws.  Undercover investigators have flooded the state to interview welfare recipients to determine if state welfare offices are urging them to register to vote.  During a time when DOJ travel is purportedly frozen, these numerous DOJ staffers have been deployed for days in New Orleans and around Louisiana trolling for stories of state officials failing to urge welfare recipients to register to vote.

Ratio Of Takers To Givers Reaches A Tipping Point.  In America, nearly half of wage earners pay not one single dime in federal income taxes.  Many of them trudge down to the local polling place or vote via absentee ballot — and vote themselves a raise.

Keeping Poor People Poor.  In Houston, a less restrictive city, regulatory costs add about $13,200 to the price of an average home.  In San Diego, a multitude of regulations add $240,000.  These cost-increasing regulations have essentially priced many low-income residents out of the market for a private home, forcing them to turn to public housing instead.

Freeing Entrepreneurs to Provide Essential Services for the Poor.  Poor Americans face difficulties accessing many services that most Americans take for granted, some of which are essential to their ability to work and live in a safe environment.  Such services include transportation, child care, security, housing and health care.  Federal, state and local government programs exist to meet these needs, but they are often costly and do a poor job of meeting the needs of low-income families.  However, private entrepreneurs — individuals, for-profit businesses and entrepreneurial charities — could supplement government efforts or provide better alternatives.  Unfortunately, a host of government regulations bar or limit these potential entrepreneurial efforts.

These people want unlimited, perpetual welfare checks.
Welfare recipients file class-action lawsuit over benefits limit.  Several welfare recipients filed a class-action lawsuit Friday [9/28/2011] in federal court to block a stricter, four-year lifetime limit on benefits from taking effect Saturday.

Maybe this is why socialists hate the Boy Scouts:
Depending on the Government.  We are dependent on government, in scarier ways than Obamacare.  We haven't learned from the generations before us how to garden, and many city ordinances wouldn't let us grow our own food anyway.  We don't know how to build or craft many of our necessities.

A nation of sponges:
Nonpayers Complicate Republican Effort At Overhaul of U.S. Tax Code.  More than 45 percent of U.S. households won't owe federal income taxes for 2010.  That stems from decades of tax cuts and, in the minds of some Republican lawmakers, it's also a problem.  Policies designed to ease the tax burden of lower-income Americans and offer targeted tax incentives have pushed millions of people off the income tax rolls.  That has bolstered an argument that these households don't have enough of a stake in the political system because they don't pay income taxes.

Bureaucrats find ways to perpetuate their jobs.
Washington Sends $1 Food Stamp Checks to 250,000.  The state of Washington sent $1 food stamp checks to 250,000 households in order to raise state caseload figures and trigger $43 million in additional federal funds.

Food stamps have been de-stigmatized

Food stamps are now in the form of a debit card, which makes shopping more comfortable for the freeloader.  (It's called Electronic Benefits Transfer or EBT.)

She Thinks 500 Dollars Per Month In Food Stamps Is Not Enough, She Demands 1k.  You taxpayers are just not working hard enough to be able to keep up with inflation, you all need to work more hours to pay 1000 dollars per month for this woman's food bills.  [Video clip]

The Day All the Free Food Vanished.  FBI Director Christopher Wray recently warned America about a possible Chinese cyberattack on our electric grid, transportation centers, and energy facilities that would almost destroy our economy. [...] Particularly consequential would be disrupting the government's program to supply food to those with low incomes. the most important is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly called "food stamps." [...] SNAP benefits reflect a family's size, income and expenses and is automatically placed in credit card-like Electronic Benefit Cards.  In 2023, some 42.1 million Americans, on average, participated in the SNAP program at a cost of $113 billion dollars (with some exceptions, families with a gross monthly income of $3000 or less are eligible).  SNAP has generally expanded, especially under President Biden, and covers nearly all food a family might need except for tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, pet food, already cooked food, medicine, and diapers.  In 2020, 27% of SNAP recipients were Black.

Even before reforms, food stamp use declined drastically under Trump.  Barack Obama got the nickname "the food-stamp president" because food stamp usage reached unparalleled heights during his administration.  In his first two years in office, 12 million people were added to the already 28 million people receiving food stamps.  By the time he left office, 44.2 million people in America were on food stamps.  Under the old rules for food stamp eligibility, adults between 18 and 49, who were able to work and had no dependents, could receive only three months of food stamp benefits over a three year period if they did not meet a 20-hour-a-week minimum work requirement.  The exception to the rule was that states with unemployment rates as low as 3.6% were able to waive the work requirement.  When Donald Trump came into office, he promised to shrink the number of food stamp recipients by tightening eligibility rules.  He wisely waited, however, until the economy was stronger before implementing any major rules.

Socialism starves, America feeds, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lies.  The latest goings-on with America's SNAP, or food stamp, program is that this administration reined in some of its more egregiously abused aspects by formalizing work requirements for adults, ages 18 to 49, who do not have minor-age dependents to feed.  In other words:  If you're an adult, able to work, and absent any responsibility for children, then you have to work to eat.  The food-stamp gravy train is leaving the station.  Still, that new rule doesn't apply to parents with minor-age children in their homes — something Ocasio-Cortez failed to mention.  The new rule also carves out allowances for adults without children who work at least 20 hours a week to continue receiving food stamps under certain conditions.  All in all, America is a pretty generous nation.  Nobody starves in America.  Not as the left would like believed.

New food stamp rules will save taxpayers $5.5 billion over 5 years.  According to the government, 40 million Americans were on food stamps in 2018.  In 2017, a little over 9% of households received food stamps at some point and about 16% of all children received food stamps.  Under the new rule, most states will no longer be able to exempt food stamp recipients from work requirements.  The work requirements state that adults under age 50 who have no children and are able-bodied must work a minimum of 20 hours a week for more than three months over three years to qualify for food stamps.

More than half-a-million people to lose food stamps under new Trump rule.  More than a half-a-million people are set to be thrown off food stamps after the Trump administration on Wednesday approved a new requirement tightening the criteria to qualify for the public assistance program.  The law would ask states to mandate certain work requirements for people seeking to qualify for the benefits in areas deemed in "economic distress."  The rule would apply to only able-bodied adults without dependents.  It is expected to cut the number of people who receive food stamps by more than 600,000 nationwide.

Trump's Commonsensical Food-Stamp Rule.  Our food-stamp program has some bizarre loopholes in it, and the Trump administration is trying to close them.  A new rule finalized today attacks one in particular.  In theory, the program has a strict time limit for "ABAWDs," or able-bodied adults without dependents:  If they don't meet their work requirement or receive a case-by-case exemption from their state, they may receive food stamps for at most three months in any 36-month period.  But in practice, the executive branch has broad discretion to waive the limit for large geographic areas with weak labor markets — and previous administrations used that discretion promiscuously. [...] Many on the left complain about the rule simply because it will reduce the number of people on food stamps — by about 700,000, roughly 2 percent of total food-stamp enrollment, by the administration's own estimate.  But increasing benefit receipt is not an end in itself, especially when it comes at the expense of an incentive for childless, able-bodied adults to find work; [...]

Trump administration tightens food stamp work requirements.  The Trump administration is tightening work requirements for the federal food stamp program in a move that will slash benefits for hundreds of thousands of people.

U.S. Spends $907 Million On Useless "Nutrition Education" For Food Stamp, WIC Recipients.  Besides spending tens of billions of dollars on fraud-infested programs to feed the poor, the U.S. government wastes an additional $907 million to give recipients useless "nutrition education" courses with rates of effectiveness that cannot be assessed.  It marks the latest scandal to rock the government's famously bloated and corrupt food stamp program as well as a multi-billion-dollar sister project that feeds millions of low-income women and their children.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) operates and funds both programs and spends a fortune on them annually.  The grand master is food stamps, renamed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by the Obama administration to eliminate the welfare stigma.  Under Obama the food stamp tab reached a ghastly $80.4 billion in one year to provide a record 46 million people with the welfare benefit.

Trump administration submits proposal to end food stamps 'loophole'.  Residents signing up for food stamps in Minnesota are provided a brochure about domestic violence, but it doesn't matter if they even read the pamphlet.  The mere fact it was made available could allow them to qualify for government food aid if their earnings or savings exceed federal limits.  As odd as that might sound, it's not actually unusual.

White House proposed new rule will cut 3.1M people from food stamp program.  According to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials, the Trump administration will propose a rule Tuesday [7/23/2019] to reduce unwarranted access to food stamps, removing 3.1 million from the program and saving taxpayers $2.5 billion.  President Trump has argued that many Americans now using SNAP are not in need, given the strong economy and low unemployment.  Recommended changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) would limit access to food stamps for households with savings and other assets.  The goal is to end automatic eligibility for those already collecting other federal and state assistance.

Food stamps and online grocery shopping are about to mix.  Amazon and Walmart on Thursday kicked off a two-year government pilot program allowing low-income shoppers on government food assistance in New York to shop and pay for their groceries online for the first time.

The Editor says...
Food stamp purchases need to be more difficult, not less.  This is a step in the wrong direction.

Trump is dismantling Obama's legacy.
Food Stamp Usage Falls to 37 Million for First Time Since October 2009.  The most recent USDA data revealed that 37,911,631 people received food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in December 2018, marking the lowest level of overall participation in the nation's food stamp program in nearly ten years.  The last time overall participation in food stamps reached this level was in October 2009, when 37,672,818 people were on the government dole, according to USDA data.  Overall food stamp participation had consistently declined since 2013, when the Obama administration was in power and enrollment in the program reached its highest levels in American history.

Food stamps chart
Why have none of you asked why the farm bill was 960 billion dollars? (80% goes to food stamps).  If you want to know how damage immigration is doing to the USA[.]  Just look at the farm bill, 80% of this bill goes to food stamps!  This is the outlay in 2014 and its even higher in 2018[.]

Trump Administration Plans To Make More People Work For Food Stamps.  The Trump administration announced on Thursday that it would move to make sure able-bodied Americans work to receive food stamp benefits, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said could save billions of dollars in taxpayer money each year.  The Agriculture Department unveiled expanded work requirements in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP.  A move to expand such requirements was included in a $400 billion farm bill recently passed by Congress, but was stripped out at the last minute.

Trump Ends Food Stamps For Able Bodied Americans.  What Congress didn't have the guts to do in law, Trump will be doing himself.  While so many news people were fixated on whether the government would shut down or not, Congress passed a very sizable Farm Aid bill.  One thing was NOT addressed in that bill, however.  Food Stamps eligibility for the able-bodied.  Since they weren't up for it, the President is addressing that issue another way.

Food Stamp Recipients Down 4,123,082 Under Trump.  The number of persons in households participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — also known as food stamps — has declined by 4,123,082 since December 2016, the month before Donald Trump was inaugurated president, according to newly released data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  In December 2016, the last full month that President Barack Obama was in office, there were 42,969,079 people on food stamps, according to USDA.  As of August 2018, according to data released last week by USDA, the number of people on food stamps had declined to 38,845,997.

Food Stamp Participation Reaches Lowest Level in Nearly a Decade.  Participation in the nation's food stamp program has sunk to an all-time low, reaching its lowest level in nearly a decade, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The most recent USDA data reveals that 38,845,997 Americans took part in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the federal government program responsible for administering food stamps, in August 2018.

Thousands of Amazon workers receive food stamps, and Bernie Sanders wants Amazon to pay up.  Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will soon introduce legislation that would require large employers like Amazon, Walmart and McDonald's to fully cover the cost of food stamps, public housing, Medicaid and other federal assistance received by their employees.  The goal, he says, is to force corporations to pay a living wage and curb roughly $150 billion in taxpayer dollars that currently go to funding federal assistance programs for low-wage workers each year.  The bill, which Sanders plans to introduce in the Senate on Sept. 5, would impose a 100 percent tax on government benefits received by workers at companies with 500 or more employees.  For example, if an Amazon employee receives $300 in food stamps, Amazon would be taxed $300.

Things that failed to outrage me this week.  [Scroll down]  Also on Tuesday [8/7/2018], NBC reported, "The Trump administration is expected to issue a proposal in coming weeks that would make it harder for legal immigrants to become citizens or get green cards if they have ever used a range of popular public welfare programs, including Obamacare."  The key part of the story was this, "more than 20 million immigrants could be affected."  We have almost 50 million people on food stamps.  Is NBC saying 40% of them are immigrants?

Study: SNAP Recipients Eating Less Nutritious Foods.  People receiving government food assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are making less nutritious choices than people not receiving assistance, according to a new study.  Published Friday [6/15/2018] in the journal JAMA Network, the study examined dietary patterns of people who participate in the SNAP program, people with incomes that qualify them for SNAP but do not to receive benefits and people whose income is too high to qualify for the program.  It comes as the administration of President Donald Trump has proposed revamping the SNAP program and cutting costs dramatically by, among other things, sending food to recipients instead of letting them choose for themselves.

Farm bill fails:  Work requirements for food stamps, welfare benefits still on the table.  After three days of debate and years of work, the House of Representatives rejected the $867 billion farm bill that included a provision to impose stricter work requirements on recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps or SNAP.  The farm bill was expected to pass on a strict party-line vote until 30 Republicans rebelled and voted with the entire Democratic caucus in voting it down.  For Democratic opponents, SNAP was the sticking point.  After the bill failed, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., denounced the bill "cruel," "destructive" and "heartless," and called on both parties to return to the negotiating table to rewrite a bill with bipartisan support.

Time to Draw a Line on Food Stamps.  About 80 percent of the farm bill's spending is on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.  The rest is mostly pork for agricultural interests.  Rumor has it that President Trump may threaten to veto the bill if it doesn't include reforms to SNAP's work requirements.  He declined to do so at a meeting today with key members of Congress, but he shouldn't hesitate to take this step if it's needed to move the process along.  Fixing food stamps is about the only good thing that could come from a farm bill — our most storied ritual handout of taxpayer dollars to government-preferred businesses — and the Senate likely won't go along without this kind of pressure.

Food Stamp Rolls Decline by More Than 2 Million in FY 2017.  In fiscal year 2016, the number of individuals receiving benefits from the food stamp program totaled 44,219,363.  In 2017, that number dropped to 42,182,443 — a decline of 2,036,920.  Food stamp participation has declined roughly 9 percent over the last four years.  In fiscal year 2014, there were 46,663,872 individuals on food stamps.  Historical data show that while the program has expanded greatly over time, participation has declined as of late.  The USDA has been tracking data on SNAP participation since fiscal year 1969, at which time average participation in the program stood at about 2,878,000.  This means that since then, participation in the program has increased 14-fold.

Two Million Americans Got Off Food Stamps In Trump's First Year.  The number of food stamp dependent Americans hit a six-year low in President Donald Trump's first year in office, reflecting an improving economy and falling unemployment, according to a U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) report.  An average of 42.2 million Americans participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program in 2017, which is an 11 percent decrease from 2013, when a record number of people used food stamps, according to USDA.  "Federal spending for SNAP totaled $68.0 billion or 4 percent less than in the previous fiscal year," USDA reported.  "This was also 15 percent less than the historical high of $79.9 billion set in FY 2013."  It's the fourth year in a row SNAP participation fell.  Previously, the number of people on food stamps grew for 12 years.  About 13 percent of Americans used food stamps in 2017.  That's well above pre-recession levels.

USDA Opens Public Comment Period For Proposed Food Stamp Reforms.  Sweeping new changes could be coming in the way federal food assistance is delivered.  While comparably under the radar to other big Trump administration initiatives like tax reform and infrastructure, big changes are coming to federal food assistance programs.  Currently, more than 40 million Americans rely on the federal food stamps program, now known as SNAP, to buy groceries and other household necessities.  However, incidents of SNAP abuse have been a long-time blemish on the program.  The most common example being that of some SNAP recipients sell their government-provided EBT payment cards for cash.  Then-candidate Trump promised to reduce reliance on the program during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Food stamp fraud and the opioid epidemic: more reasons to go to food boxes.  Food stamp fraud costs a billion dollars a year and undoubtedly contributes to the opioid epidemic in run down areas, where cashed out food stamps go to the purchase of illegal drugs.  With the risk-to-reward ratio quite high for robbing banks and quite low for food stamp fraud, you can see why so much of this is going on.  Food boxes replacing food stamps would end the problem right away.  Nobody is going to buy government-issued cheese food product at the convenience store counter in exchange for a cut-rate cash, at least not in bulk, presumably to resell to who knows whom, and certainly not when the revenooers are around looking for violators.

Why does replacing food stamps with food so anger liberals?  President Trump has proposed replacing some food stamp grants with actual food.  This has curiously enraged liberals, who you would think would be delighted to see "hungry" people getting food. [...] [P]articipating in SNAP is a character flaw.  No one should be on SNAP for years.  Get a job!  As for removing choice discouraging personal responsibility, just the opposite.  If you want a choice of what food to buy, get a job!

When It Pays Not to Work.  Welfare is often described as a 'social safety net,' but when a recipient stays home today, he or she may be making more money than a neighbor who works hard for 40 hours a week.

Trump Gives Obama Project to Help Food-Stamp Recipients Eat More Fruit & Veggies $16.8 Million.  The Trump administration is throwing more money at a controversial Obama-era program that dedicated tens of millions of dollars to help food-stamp recipients eat more fruits and vegetables.  It was part of a project launched by the former president and his wife to provide low-income minorities — already getting free groceries from the government — with healthier foods, compliments of Uncle Sam.  In the last two years alone of the Obama presidency the initiative, known as Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grant Program, received an astounding $62.5 million.  This month, the Trump administration announced that the cash will keep flowing via the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the agency that administers the nation's monstrous food-stamp program.

Trump's Food Stamp Reform Would Close the Trap of Dependency.  President Donald Trump's newly released budget contains a proposed food stamp reform, which the left has denounced as a "horror" that arbitrarily cuts food stamp benefits by 25 percent.  These claims are misleading.  In reality, the president's proposed policy is based on two principles:  requiring able-bodied adult recipients to work or prepare for work in exchange for benefits, and restoring minimal fiscal responsibility to state governments for the welfare programs they operate.  The president's budget reasserts the basic concept that welfare should not be a one-way handout.  Welfare should, instead, be based on reciprocal obligations between recipients and taxpayers.

Food stamps 'SNAP' back into debate about spending.  The cost of Food Stamps, or SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), has ballooned the past two decades.  It went from having a price tag of $17 billion in 2000 to costing $71 billion last year.  That's why President Trump said he wants to clamp down on government-subsidy programs. [...] About 45 percent of households headed by immigrants with children use food-assistance programs, according to a study by the National Academy of Sciences.  Reports last month said Trump had drafted an executive order that would reduce the number of immigrants using government assistance.

How liberals undermine the food stamp program.  Congress created the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, or food stamps, "to alleviate ... hunger and malnutrition" and to "permit low-income households to obtain a more nutritious diet through normal channels of trade," in the words of the federal statute establishing the program.  It's a good goal.  Whether SNAP is optimally designed to achieve it is a separate question, to which the answer seems to be "no," according to new research commissioned by the Agriculture Department.

The Brainwashing of a Nation.  Did you ever wonder where the idea of giving awards and trophies for just showing up originated and why whiny millenials turned out the way they did?  The shame factor disappeared from entitlement programs that boosted the self esteem of those on the dole by substituting EBT cards for food stamp checks.  When I was raising our six kids on one paycheck, I signed up for food stamps but never re-registered because I loathed shopping with them and would have preferred the old distribution of basic food commodities program.  Why was that program eliminated?  While we weren't on welfare, my neighbors were and would give us the food distributed by the program; flour, rice, peanut butter, canned meat, cheese food, margarine, and more to sustain any family.  A recent survey showed that food stamp users were buying soda and junk food with their EBT cards so really how much healthier are the poor now?

USDA study reveals what food stamps are really spent on.  The food stamp program has been a fraud magnet from the start. [...] There are no doubt people who need help putting food on the table.  I wish the nannies would focus on those who eat at taxpayer expense in imposing limits like Bloomberg's soda cup and salt limits.  There is evidence that they need the advice more than people who pay their own way.  And financing a system as easy to cheat on as this simply invites predators.

Food-Stamp Recipients Can Order from Amazon, Other Online Retailers.  Food-stamp recipients can use their taxpayer-funded benefit to order online from retailers like Amazon under a new Obama administration initiative that aims to facilitate the shopping experience for rural and urban residents.  It marks the latest of many costly experiments by the administration to expand the fraud-infested program, which has seen a record-high number of beneficiaries under President Obama.  To eliminate the welfare stigma, the administration renamed food stamps Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the rolls swelled to an astounding 46.5 million in 2016.  This cost American taxpayers and eye-popping $70 billion, according to government figures.

Under Obama, 10.7 Million More Use Food Stamps — A 32 Percent Jump.  As President Obama prepares to leave office, his legacy will include an increase in the number of Americans using food stamps.  The number of food stamps recipients went up by 10.7 million people, a 32 percent jump, since President Obama took office in 2009, according to data released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).  In 2009, 33,490,000 people received food stamp benefits.  As of October 2016, the last month reported for FY 2016, 44,219,123 people received food stamp benefits, an increase of about 10,729,000.

Time for a Fresh Look at SNAP.  The House Agriculture Committee just released a lengthy report on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps.  The report — Past, Present, & Future of SNAP — is a comprehensive review of the federal government's costliest food program, which has a projected budget of $82 billion in 2017.  Republicans in Congress have been eyeing changes to SNAP, and President Trump may have the chance to sign the first major reforms to this program since 1996.  Under the Obama administration, participation in SNAP spiked from 26 million people in 2007 to almost 48 million people in 2013. [...] A morass of federal and state agencies that oversee 18 different food-assistance programs leads to overlap and waste, another problem the next Congress could tackle.  Although SNAP is federally funded, it's administered at the state level with little coordination between it and other public-aid offices, which sows fertile ground for fraud and misuse.

The Obama Legacy: 13 Million More Americans On Food Stamps.  Obama's legacy can be described as an epic failure.  Not for Republicans who have made historic gains during the eight years of failure.  But the American people have gotten worse under Hussein Obama.  Aside from doubling the national debt in eight years, another number that rarely gets mentioned is the amount of people on food stamps and welfare.  Under Obama, 13 million more Americans have gone on food stamps and welfare.  As bad as it was under Dubya Bush, it's worse under Obama.

Food Stamp Craze:  U.S. Spends $3.6 Billion to Give $70 Billion in Benefits.  Not only does the government spend a breathtaking $70 billion a year to give a record number of people food stamps, it wastes billions more to administer the bloated welfare program.  Some states spend a lot more than others to distribute the free food vouchers and the discrepancies are downright outrageous.  The government dedicates $3.6 billion annually just to administer food stamps (renamed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [SNAP] to eliminate stigma), according to a federal audit that includes mind-boggling figures.  For instance, California, the state with by far the largest food-stamp roll, spends a lot more than the national average to execute the federal nutrition program.  The Golden State doles out an average of $34.06 a month for each of its 2 million food stamp cases while other states, like Ohio, spend only $9.55.  Some California counties are off the charts with administration costs.

Bureaucrats Take Fat Cut of Food Stamp Largesse.  What's in it for the government to take wealth from those who earned it and give to those who didn't?  Power, of course.  The money isn't given for nothing; it buys votes.  But also, Big Government takes a cut of the loot — a fat cut.

States Did Not Enforce Work Requirements for Food Stamp Recipients.  States did not always enforce work requirements for food stamp recipients before giving them benefits because doing so was "too burdensome" for them, according to an audit from the Department of Agriculture's Inspector General.  The Food and Nutrition Service established work requirements for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program participants who are able-bodied adults without dependents, fall in the age range of 18 to 49, and are not disabled.  These individuals are required to work 20 hours or more each week or participate in a qualifying work activity.  If an individual does not meet this work requirement, he can only receive benefits for three months in a span of three years.

Obama Admin.  Opens The Internet To Food Stamp Purchases.  The federal government is taking food stamp purchases to the internet, launching a two-year pilot program to experiment with allowing food stamp users to buy their groceries online.  Thursday the Obama Administration announced that it is looking for retailer volunteers to participate in the nationwide test program.  "Online purchasing shows great promise to improve access to healthy food for [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] participants living in neighborhoods and rural or tribal areas without grocery stores," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, said in a statement.

Right Now We Have Longest Soup Lines In History of America, You Just Can't See Them.  Factually, if the number of American people on EBT or SNAP welfare benefits had to line up for soup and meals (instead of just get money on an electronic card for use anywhere), there would be massive lines, miles-long lines, all day and all night in hundreds of thousands of soup kitchens nation-wide.  Such visibility would make the soup lines of the great depression seem insignificant by comparison.  The EBT and SNAP cards are exactly that, "Electronic Soup Cards".

Food Stamp Rolls Drop as States Decline Federally Funded Benefit.  Food-stamp enrollment in the U.S. is declining from record levels, in part because some states are ending benefits earlier than they have to.  Seven states, all led by Republicans, have decided this year to end waivers for some able-bodied recipients that were made available in the 2009 federal stimulus bill — even though the benefits are federally funded.  Enrollment in what's formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is still nearly twice the level it was before the recession.  But the most recent data, for May, showed 43.5 million people were receiving food stamps, down 9 percent from a 2012 peak and the fewest since 2010.

The Editor says...
Bias alert:  This Bloomberg writer apparently believes those evil Republicans are cutting off the gravy "even though the benefits are federally funded" — so they don't cost anything!.

7 States Are Ready To Cut Special Post-Recession Food Stamp Program.  Several states are unilaterally ending the waivers on work requirements for food stamps, which were part of the post-recession stimulus package, before federally required to end the waivers.  The 2009 stimulus allowed states to waive the work requirement for food stamps recipients, and gave federal money to cover the extra costs.  States had to request the waivers, and now Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and New Jersey, join other states ending the program early, Bloomberg reports.

Welfare is the new work.  The welfare/entitlement state of mind has spiraled out of control in America.  No one is lifting a finger of opposition.  The cost of welfare is now well over $1 trillion a year.  Food stamps are so ubiquitous that they have replaced dollars as the new standard currency in many inner cities in America.  Even in affluent areas with upscale grocery stores, food stamp recipients fill their carts with everything from cakes to lobster.  Liberals love welfare.  It was only a few years ago that Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi opined that putting more people on food stamps and unemployment insurance is one of the "best ways to stimulate the economy."  Which is more astonishing?  That she believes this lunacy or that she would be dumb enough to say it out loud.

As a Teen Cashier Seeing Food Stamp Use, I Changed My Mind About the Democrat Party.  [Scroll down]  I also learned how people gamed the welfare system.  They'd buy two dozen packs of soda with food stamps and then sell them at a discount for cash.  They'd ring up their orders separately, buying food with food stamps, and beer, wine, and cigarettes with cash.  They'd regularly go through the checkout line speaking on their cell phones.  I could never understand why our lives felt like a struggle while those living off of government largesse enjoyed trinkets that I only dreamed about. [...] Every two weeks, I'd get a small paycheck and notice the line where federal and state income taxes were deducted from my wages.  At least as often, our drug-addict neighbor would buy T-bone steaks, which I was too poor to buy for myself but was forced by Uncle Sam to buy for someone else.

Feds Spend $564,231 on Farmers' Markets for Refugees.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture is spending over $500,000 to start farmers markets for refugees on food stamps.  The International Rescue Committee (IRC) enrolls 10,000 refugees in the United States every year onto the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.  The group received the funding to provide "culturally-appropriate" corner stores and food markets.  "The IRC will expand and deepen the impact of its successful Fresh Fund incentive program over the next four years in seven refugee-rich neighborhoods across Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Baltimore, and Charlottesville," according to the grant, part of a $16.8 million effort announced by the agency last week to get food stamp enrollees to eat more vegetables.  The agency said refugees and immigrants in the United States are simultaneously at risk for "under-nutrition and obesity, and are highly dependent on SNAP to meet nutritional needs."

The Editor says...
I don't think I have ever seen a single article packed with so much Newspeak.  The "refugees" are Muslims.  They are "highly dependent on SNAP," which means they don't have jobs and will be a perpetual burden to the public, even if they aren't coming here to kill us.  The government is going to "provide 'culturally-appropriate' corner stores and food markets," meaning halal food will be provided at government expense exclusively and specifically for Muslims.

Obama Food-Stamp Free-for-All:  Feds Bust Largest Fraud Operation in U.S. History.  President Obama's expanded food-stamp program certifying flea market retailers as vendors to provide low-income neighborhoods with fresh produce has ripped open a Pandora's Box of fraud and corruption.  This week federal authorities in south Florida busted the largest food-stamp fraud operation in U.S. history.  Twenty-two defendants in the largely black and Hispanic areas of Miami-Dade County known as Opa-Locka and Hialeah swindled the government out of $13 million by fraudulently trading food stamps for cash.  The crooked vendors operated food and produce stands at a local flea market as part of First Lady Michelle Obama's initiative to eradicate "food deserts," common in poor, minority communities where fresh, healthy food is tough to find or often unavailable.

Food Stamp Beneficiaries Exceed 45 Million for 56 Straight Months.  There were 45,188,655 beneficiaries of the food stamp program in December 2015, the latest month for which data is available.  The number declined by 265,216 from November to December.  The USDA has been tracking data on participation in the program since 1969, when average participation stood at 2,878,000.  Since then, participation in the program has increased by more than 1,470 percent.  The number of food stamp recipients first exceeded 45 million in May 2011.  Since then, the number has consistently exceeded 45 million, hitting a record high of nearly 47.8 million in December 2012.

USDA: Retailers That Accept SNAP Must Expand 'Healthy Food' Choices; 168 Items Per Store.  The U.S. Agriculture Department on Tuesday [2/16/2016] announced a proposed rule intended to give food stamp (SNAP) recipients increased access to healthy foods, by requiring stores that accept SNAP to stock a wider variety of healthy food choices.  "USDA is committed to expanding access for SNAP participants to the types of foods that are important to a healthy diet," USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon said in a news release.  "This proposed rule ensures that retailers who accept SNAP benefits offer a variety of products to support healthy choices for those participating in the program."

The Editor says...
Instead of putting the burden on small businesses and dictating to the stores what they must put on the shelves, why not restrict the use of the food stamp card to the most basic staples, like bread, cheese, milk, and peanut butter?  And why not put sensible limits on the use of such a card, or food stamps in general, like a six month expiration date, and a maximum throughput of $150 a week?

Maine mayor pushing bill to post welfare recipients' addresses online.  A Maine mayor is proposing a controversial name-and-shame strategy for welfare recipients, saying he plans to push a bill requiring the state to publish the names and addresses and other details for "every individual on the dole."  Robert Macdonald, mayor of Lewiston, Maine, pitched the plan in his regular column for the Twin City Times.  He noted that a website already lists information on state pensioners, and complained that "liberal, progressive legislators" think similar information on welfare recipients should be private.  "Well, the days of being quiet are gone," he wrote.  "We will be submitting a bill to the next legislative session asking that a website be created containing the names, addresses, length of time on assistance and the benefits being collected by every individual on the dole.  "After all, the public has a right to know how its money is being spent," Macdonald said.

Food stamp chart
The Obama Recovery in 9 Simple Charts.

Most states waiving work requirements for food stamps, despite improving job market.  Most states still are waiving work requirements for those on food stamps, raising concerns that despite an improving job market the Obama administration is feeding government dependency — and all at the expense of taxpayers.  Forty-four of the 50 states have to some degree eased work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps:  30 states grant waivers state-wide, while another 14 issue partial waivers in areas of high unemployment.

Food Stamp Beneficiaries Have Exceeded 45 Million For 48 Straight Months.  The number of beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps, has exceeded 45 million for 48 straight months, according to data released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).  In April 2015, the latest month from which data is available, there were 45,438,832 beneficiaries of the food stamp program.

Soon You Might Be Able To Receive Food Stamps Over The Phone.  Soon it could be possible to apply for food stamps over the phone, with proponents arguing that in-person interviews add too much extra administrative cost.  A report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) looked at whether it should get rid of in-person interviews for those who apply to receive benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is commonly known as food stamps.  The program is the nation's largest food-assistance program.

How can you shame those with no shame?  People tell me stuff, and I print it or post it online — that's my job.  I thought this was called reporting, but now I find out that I am engaged in something called "EBT shaming."  Apparently posting supermarket receipts online is now a hate crime, at least in the trust-funded world of the moonbats.

Time To Go On The Offense Against Liberalism.  Perhaps I would be a bit more charitable if over the last week I had not been barraged with obscenities, death wishes, and threats for daring to opine that being on EBT is something you should be ashamed of.  But when progressives invite you to die because you'd prefer not to subsidize lay-about Democrat-voting losers, it clarifies things.  Leftists want you dead, or at least enslaved, and you can tell that because they can't keep themselves from telling you that.

46 Million on Food Stamps for 36 Months in a Row.  According to newly released numbers from the United States Department of Agriculture (which oversees the food stamp program), food stamp enrollments in September 2011 were 46,268,250 and never fell below 46 million up and through September 2014 (the most recent month for which numbers are available), when 46,459,998 individuals received food stamps.  The 36 unbroken months of food stamps enrollments above 46 million paints an economic portrait of a citizenry frozen in place.

Food Stamp Recipients Top 46 Million for 35th Straight Month.  The number of Americans on food stamps has topped 46,000,000 for 35 straight months, according to data from the Department of Agriculture (USDA).  From September 2011 through July 2014, the latest month for which data is available, the number of persons participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has exceeded 46 million.  As of July 2014, there were 46,486,434 beneficiaries of the SNAP program.

Obama's USDA to Spend $31.5 Million on 'Healthy' Food Stamp Program.  The Department of Agriculture, the agency that administers the food stamp program, has announced that it will spend $31.5 million on a new program that will promote a healthy diet for recipients of the assistance.  The National Institute of Food and Agriculture, a division of the Department of Agriculture, is developing the program to urge recipients of the SNAP food stamp program to choose more fruits and fresh foods.

Food Stamp Sign-Ups Outnumber Jobs Created in Obama's Illinois.  Among the many metrics that show Obama's home state is struggling to break the Great Recession, a new report shows that applications for food stamps in Illinois is greater than its creation of jobs.  Illinois has had the worst recovery from the recession of any state in the country, the Illinois Policy Institute reported this month:  "There are nearly 300,000 fewer Illinoisans working today than in January 2008, and 170,000 fewer payroll jobs.

Bring Back The Welfare Stigma.  "Once Stigmatized," the New York Times reported a few years ago, "Food Stamps Find New Acceptance."  One food bank employee told a gainfully-employed young man to sign up for the program because "there was enough aid to go around and that use would demonstrate continuing need."  Eight years into Mike Bloomberg's mayoral tenure, the number of residents on food stamps had hit over one-and-a-half million people; a stunning 20 percent of households nationwide were enrolled in SNAP. [...] [I]f there's one thing at which the Left truly bristles, it's an independent citizenry that can provide for itself without the Left's benevolent help.

Chicago Public Schools Now Phoning Home to Make Sure Kids Are Signed Up for Welfare.  Last week, parents of children enrolled in Chicago Public Schools received a recorded phone message encouraging them to sign up for low-cost health insurance and food stamps: [...] So many in our society are pushing more people to sign up for food stamps and are placing less importance on the need to create jobs.  Yet, how can anyone ever claim our nation is in a "recovery" when 47 million Americans depend on the government to feed them?

EBT buys fast food
Fast Food Restaurants Accepting Food Stamps.  Just when I thought I'd heard it all, now fast food restaurants want Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients to be eligible to use their food stamp benefit at selected restaurants.  Restaurants such as Taco Bell, KFC and Subway believe that there are certain types of SNAP recipients who are homeless or living in conditions that do not allow them hot meals and these people would benefit from being able to use their food benefit at fast food restaurants.  Seriously?  Fresno, Calif., officials are considering legislation that would permit SNAP benefits to be used at fast food restaurants in their area.  Arizona, Michigan and other parts of California already allow the practice and Kentucky is currently considering it.

Chicago Public School system pushing food stamps.  Chicago Public School parents received robocalls last week encouraging them to sign their children up for food stamps and free or low-cost health insurance.  "Currently there are 68,000 children in the Chicago Public Schools that are not enrolled in free or low-cost health insurance and SNAP also knows as food stamps," the recording, obtained by The Daily Caller, says.  "Your child may be one of them.  To find out more about your eligibility call the Children and Family Benefits Unit [...]"

Democrats are making income inequality worse.  Seventy percent of Agriculture Department spending funds food services.  Nearly 48 million people — almost as many live on the West Coast (in California, Oregon and Washington) — receive food stamps.  This dependency, inimical to upward mobility, is assiduously cultivated by government through "outreach initiatives" to "increase awareness" and "streamline the application process."  Between 2000, when 17 million received food stamps, and 2006, food stamp spending doubled, even though unemployment averaged just 5.1 percent.  A few states have food stamp recruiters.

Bill Would Make Food Stamp Recipients Show Photo ID.  A group of House conservatives have introduced legislation to require that people using food stamps show a photo ID whenever using them.  The bill, introduced by Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), would "amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to require households that receive supplemental nutrition assistance benefits to present photographic verification at the time food is purchased with such benefits."

Food stamps buy fried chicken
You Work, They Eat

House-passed farm bill bans gov't from food stamp advertising, promotion.  A new House-passed farm bill bans the Department of Agriculture from actively recruiting or advertising for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps. [...] The legislation further instructs the secretary of agriculture to issue regulations banning outside entities that receive funding from recruiting for SNAP.

White House Slam GOP's Food Stamp Reforms in Thanksgiving Message.  On Wednesday, President Barack Obama's White House politicized Thanksgiving to promote the reauthorization of the SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) or "food stamps" as part of the farm bill at a time when a record number of Americans are receiving assistance.  In an email, the White House urged Americans sitting down for Thanksgiving Dinner to remember:  "For decades, Congress has authorized SNAP in a bipartisan fashion through the Farm Bill.  They don't have to do it in a way that hurts children, seniors, veterans, and vulnerable families.  Learn more, and pass it on."

A Farm Bill in Name Only.  Hard as it may be to believe, 80 percent of the farm bill being hammered out by the Senate and the House of Representatives is made up not of agriculture programs, but of food stamps. [...] Why are food stamps rolled into the legislation? They're included "purely from a political perspective," Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), ranking member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, said earlier this year.  "It helps get the farm bill passed."  At least it used to.

Newspaper presses FOIA fight for food stamp payment data.  South Dakota's Argus Leader newspaper urged a federal appeals court Wednesday to reverse a ruling blocking the newspaper from receiving data on how much the federal government pays to stores that redeeem food stamp benefits.  Jon Arneson, an attorney for the newspaper, told a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit that a lower court judge misinterpreted the law by ruling that a confidentiality provision for retailer applications allowed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to withhold all data on payments to those retailers.

Obama's America: 7-Eleven Promoting EBT Pizza.  Mini-mart chain 7-Eleven is promoting $5.55 large pizzas which is nothing unusual, but what caught my eye is that 7-Eleven is promoting how to purchase the pizza.  7-Eleven is promoting EBT Pizza.  Food stamp usage has sharply increased since Barack Obama took office.  We've gone from 28 million Americans on food stamps at the end of George W. Bush's second term in 2008 to over 47 Million in President Obama's fifth year in office.  American's using food stamps has almost doubled in five years [...]

Senators full of reasons why EBT reform won't work.  They always have an excuse, the State House hacks do, for why their beloved welfare recipients are behaving badly.  It's never the layabouts' fault, of course.  And if you suggest doing anything to reduce the waste, fraud and abuse, well, there's always a reason the reform won't work — much like the welfare recipients themselves.

Congress likely to reduce food stamp funding in new farm bill.  The Senate on Monday opened debate on a $955 billion farm bill that would reduce federal spending by as much as $23 billion over the next 10 years by cutting funding for food stamps and eliminating some farm-support programs.  "This legislation will create jobs, cut taxpayer subsidies and reduce the deficit," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday [5/20/2013].

USDA spending $4 million to increase food stamp use at farmers markets.  The Department of Agriculture announced a $4 million dollar, expanded-eligibility plan to increase food stamp access at farmers markets this week.  Agriculture Undersecretary Kevin Concannon announced that in an effort to make more produce readily available to participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamp program, the agency is expanding the use of wireless point-of-sale equipment to farmers markets and direct marketing farmers who do not already have such equipment.

Thune: Food stamp participation has increased at 10 times the rate of job creation under Obama.  South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune and Indiana Republican Rep. Marlin Stutzman introduced legislation Thursday [4/18/2013] aimed at saving $30 billion in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program over a decade.  Thune and Stutzman said their "Streamlining the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Act" would eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse and close loopholes in a program that, under President Obama, has seen participation increase from 32 million to 47.8 million people and spending double to $80 billion in fiscal year 2012.

This is probably satire, but I can't be too sure.
US Financial Industry to Replace the Dollar with Food Stamps.  As experts ponder the implications of America's stepping-back from world political leadership, finance professionals are openly discussing what the world will be like without the US dollar as the primary unit of international and domestic trade.  In the meantime, American businesses are considering the benefits of a new economy based on food stamps.

Many think "welfare" no longer belongs in Pa. agency's name.  The name Department of Public Welfare was no doubt seen as an improvement when the state came up with it nearly a century ago, merging two older offices — the Board of Charities and the Committee on Lunacy.  But now, 90 years later, Pennsylvania is one of just two states in the nation that still use the word welfare in the name of the massive agency that serves mainly the elderly, disabled, and children.

Food stamp president: Enrollment up 70 percent under Obama.  Enrollment in the food stamp program — officially the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — has soared by 70 percent in the years since President Obama first took office, a new report finds.  The government said the recession ended in 2009, The Wall Street Journal reports, but enrollment in the food stamp program didn't wane, as would be expected in an improving economy.  Since 2008, it's been on a steady rise, The Journal reports.  A record 47.8 million people participate in the program, as of December 2012 — a figure that translates into a 70 percent rise since 2008, The Journal says.

Food Stamp Nation: R.I. Town Shows Leftism's Dead End.  A little town in Rhode Island shows where liberalism and all its talk of economic "security" ultimately leads — a stale economy and suffocating dependence on big government.

When stigma is replaced by a sense of entitlement, the result is arrogance.
Food stamp recipients, feds cast doubt on Haley proposal.  West Ashley [South Carolina] resident Shirley Wilson gets $32 a month in food stamp vouchers, and she said it's not the government's business to tell her what kind of food she should be able to buy with them.  "Nobody should tell me how to eat, except when I'm dying and a doctor puts me on restrictions," said Wilson, shopping at Save-A-Lot in West Ashley Tuesday afternoon [3/26/2013].  "Why are you going to tell me how to spend $32?"

Getting On The Gravy Train [is] Easier Than Ever — If You've Lost All Pride.  It's no mystery to explain the huge numbers of Americans filing for unemployment when it is becoming as easy as surfing the net for social networks.  Politicians are always trying to make it easy for people to file for food stamps, Medicaid, HEAP, and other benefits not because they give a whit for the needy but because they expect those entitled to keep them in office.  If the process is difficult for some, those who know how to work the system will find it a breeze.

Food stamps put Rhode Island town on monthly boom-and-bust cycle.  Three years into an economic recovery, this is the lasting scar of collapse:  a federal program that began as a last resort for a few million hungry people has grown into an economic lifeline for entire towns.  Spending on SNAP has doubled in the past four years and tripled in the past decade, surpassing $78 billion last year.

46,609,072 People on Food Stamps in 2012; Record 47,791,996 in December.  On Friday [3/8/2013], the United States Department of Agriculture quietly released new statistics related to the food stamps program, officially known as SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).  The numbers reveal, in 2012, the food stamps program was the biggest it's ever been, with an average of 46,609,072 people on the program every month of last year.  47,791,996 people were on the program in the month of December 2012.

Food Stamps: Policy or Political Payoff.  The [food stamp] program was intended to be supplemental; not a replacement for a family's entire food budget.  It follows that an increasing number of families might have difficulty putting food on the table.  A closer look at the situation, however, raises some concerns.  The first is that people are not necessarily "turning to" food stamps, as much as they are being recruited to receive them.  Since 2008, the USDA has produced Spanish language radio advertisements about SNAP, with the expressed goal of increasing the number of Spanish speaking individuals receiving food stamps.

The Facts on Food Stamps.  That SNAP, or food stamps, has expanded under "Dear Leader" Barack Hussein Obama is not debatable.  In fact, a report released in September 2012, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) showed that about 45 million individuals are now enrolled in the food stamp program, more than double the number that were enrolled in 2003, when George Walker Bush was president.  We taxpayers spent, in FY2012, a record $80.4 billion on SNAP, or food stamps, an increase of $2.7 billion over FY2011.  Further, according to Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), food stamp spending has increased by 100 percent during the Obama reign.

The Wages of Unemployment.  There are over 30 million more Americans receiving food stamps today than in 2000. [...] Compare 2010 with October 2012, the last month for which food-stamp data have been reported. [...] Food-stamp usage should have peaked and probably even begun to decline.  Yet the number of recipients rose by 7,223,000.  In a period of falling unemployment and rising output, the number of food-stamp recipients grew nearly 10,000 a day.  Congress should find out why.

New data show 1 in 4 children on food stamps in FY 2011.  One in four children in America participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, in fiscal year 2011, according to data from the United States Department of Agriculture and U.S. Census Bureau.

Panic In California As Thousands Of Food Stamps Cards Suffer Brief Outage.  This past weekend, as part of a system update to the CalWIN software of California's Social Services department, HP accidentally cancelled EBT cards for some 37,000 Californians. [...] The OC Register reports that eighteen counties were affected in the CalFresh chaos (the 'friendly' name given to California's food stamp program — also formerly known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP).

Obama's Food Stamp Mania.  It was great when we started referring to Barack Obama as the "food stamp president"  — and such a fitting title for the current head of the White House.  Unfortunately liberals eat up government dependency, and they started wearing the new phrase as a badge of honor.

Foodstamps, Foodstamps, ...  A woman who argued with a grocery store manager about what is and is not paid for (with our tax dollars) by foodstamps was, she claims, humiliated by the store manager.  You simply won't believe this.  A woman argued, while in the check-out line, about what was and was not paid for by foodstamps.  The disputed amount was $10.  When the manager relented, the woman said, "'See, I told you it was covered by food stamps."  The manager responded, "Excuse me for working for a living and not relying on food stamps!"  The unbelievable part is that the grocery store manager was transferred to another store.

Food-stamp folly.  Do you know what Maryland gives its welfare recipients so they can access cash and food benefits?  An "Independence Card."  If that sounds a bit Orwellian, consider the perverse spending increases that the Obama administration has planned for food stamps and an array of other forms of welfare.  Why perverse?  Because the whole goal of the successful welfare reform of the 1990s was to reduce dependence.  And the president's budget would do just the opposite.

Welcome to the welfare state: Obama's 'badge of honor'.  Nancy Pelosi says President Obama should embrace the "Food Stamp President" label as a badge of honor — and he has.  Food stamp use has risen 100 percent in three years.  Welfare reform has been rolled back through work requirement waivers.  The USDA holds "food stamp parties" to hook seniors, and Obama's Ag secretary calls welfare "economic stimulus."

New American Food-Stamp Plantation is a SNAP.  Liberals tells us that this program's mind-boggling growth is explained by our foundering economy.  But, as Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama points out, spending on this program increased 100 percent from 2001 to 2006, a period over which there was no increase in the rate of unemployment.  From 2007 to 2011, spending increased 135 percent.  But CBO attributes only about 65 percent of the dramatic growth in program spending and the number of recipients to the recession.  Here's what else has happened:  It has become increasingly easy to qualify for SNAP benefits, the government has been spending more taxpayer funds promoting the program, and the stigma of SNAP, food stamps, being perceived as a welfare program has disappeared.

Hey, it all depends on the meaning of 'demeaning'.  Gov. Deval Patrick doesn't like "anecdotes."  You know, all those news stories that are so embarrassing for his most loyal supporters and the welfare programs that enable them to live high on the hog.  Like the convicted heroin dealer from Roxbury who used his EBT card for bail money. [...] John Adams once said that facts are stubborn things.  So are anecdotes, because they tend to be based on facts.  And so it was that this week the Democrat-controlled House voted 152-1 to override Gov. Anecdote's vetoes of certain mild reforms in the welfare program known as EBT cards.

USDA combats 'mountain pride,' self-reliance to boost food stamp rolls.  One in seven Americans are on food stamps, but the government is pushing to enroll more — in many instances working to overcome Americans' "pride," self-reliance or failure to see a need.  "Our common goal is to increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program," the United States Department of Agriculture explains on its "Outreach Toolkits" page.  "Our purpose is to ensure that those going through difficult times can feed their families healthy, nutritious food.  By working as a team, we can accomplish these goals."

Therese Murray taking us all for an EBT cab ride.  So we're not going to have a real crackdown on EBT card fraud after all. [...] It was clear that last week's 122-33 House vote to tighten the EBT rules was just a charade — to give taxpayers the illusion of doing something while the Democrats continued coddling their constituents in the non-working classes.

'Nothing to see' mantra costly.  EBT, of course, stands for Everybody But Taxpayers.  Anyone opposed to putting a halt to the fraud will be dismissed as mean-spirited, racist, xenophobic, or all of the above.

Gov, time to book these 'anecdotes'.  Another 32 EBT "anecdotes" arrested or cited yesterday [4/19/2012] and charged with welfare fraud. [...] One Vietnamese immigrant store owner in Quincy was charged with $700,000 in welfare fraud. [...] The average layabout collects $450 a month on his card.  And 20,000 cards are "lost" every month (and then replaced at no charge).  Do the math — could be close to $9 million a month in fraud, just on those "lost" cards.  Yet Deval's appointees claim it's too expensive to put the welfare recipient's photo on the card.

USDA suggests food stamp parties, games to increase participation.  While spending on the food stamp program has increased 100 percent under President Barack Obama, the government continues to push more Americans to enroll in the welfare program.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has embraced entire promotional campaigns designed to encourage eligible Americans to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps.  A pamphlet currently posted at the USDA website encourages local SNAP offices to throw parties as one way to get potentially eligible seniors to enroll in the program.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program:  The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides benefits to help people in low-income households purchase food.  In fiscal year 2010, households receiving SNAP benefits had annual income (other than those benefits) that averaged about $8,800; SNAP benefits averaged about $4.30 per person per day.  Nearly 45 million recipients, one out of every seven U.S. residents, received SNAP benefits in an average month in fiscal year 2011.  Total federal spending for the program was $78 billion.

USDA Spends $5 Mil To Recruit Food-Stamp Recipients.  The number of food-stamp recipients has skyrocketed in the last few years yet the Obama Administration keeps wasting millions of taxpayer dollars to recruit more participants in the name of eradicating "food insecure households."  The latest publicly-financed campaign to boost the food-stamp rolls — officially known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP — was announced this month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the agency that administers it.  The USDA is dedicating $5 million this year to "improve access to and increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program."

State Gets $5 Mil Bonus For Food Stamp Sign Up.  In its quest to promote taxpayer-funded entitlement programs, the Obama Administration has actually rewarded one state with a $5 million bonus for its efficiency in adding food-stamp recipients to already bulging rolls.  It's part of the administration's campaign to eradicate "food insecure households" by improving access and increasing participation in the government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  Incidentally, the program was recently changed to SNAP to eliminate the stigma that comes with a name like food stamps.

Food Stamp Millionaire.  If you have any uncertainty regarding the responsibility for the nearly bankrupt status of the state of Michigan and its cultural and philosophical epicenter, Detroit, take a gander at the state's food stamp program.

Michigan man still on food stamps despite winning $2M.  A man who won $2 million on a Michigan lottery show has told a TV station that he still uses food stamps.  Leroy Fick of Bay County admitted he still swipes the electronic card at stores, nearly a year after winning a jackpot on "Make Me Rich!"  He told WNEM-TV in Saginaw that more than half the prize went to taxes.

Lottery winner's luck running out.  The luck of Leroy Fick, Michigan's 59-year-old "Food Stamp Millionaire" — a lottery winner on government food assistance — appeared to be running out Wednesday [5/25/2011] as state officials worked to get him off the dole.

Grown-up babies.  Not from nowhere has this stubborn, self-destructive sense of entitlement sprung.  As I reported last month, a record-breaking 12 million Americans have been added to the federal food stamp rolls over the past two years, and the bloated $6 billion AmeriCorps social justice army has been converted into a publicist corps for the welfare machine.  Just this week, a Michigan man boasted that he's still collecting food stamps after winning a $2 million government-sponsored lottery prize.  "If you're going to ... try to make me feel bad, you aren't going to do it," he told a local TV reporter.  Embedded in his rebuke is the eternal refrain of the self-esteem-puffed teenager:  "You can't judge me!"

Somewhat related:
USDA Wants RFID Tracking Technology To Be Mandatory In US Food Stamp Program.  The USDA is now considering biometric identification for all individuals who will want to benefit from their Food and Nutrition Services.  The RFID chip may just soon be a must for everyone who does not want to starve!

More information about the demise of stigma.

Welfare-to-work programs:
Get back to work, or go hungry.

How a Judicial Hack Halted Kentucky's Medicaid Work Plan.  U.S. District Judge James Boasberg, providing a timely object lesson in leftwing judicial activism, has vacated the Medicaid work rules created by the state of Kentucky and approved by the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).  The ostensible basis of the ruling is that the Secretary of HHS approved the program in an "arbitrary and capricious manner," but its text reveals that the judge's reasoning has more to do with personal ideology than federal law.  Much of the decision is devoted to scolding President Trump and his administration for daring to alter Obamacare's Medicaid expansion in any manner.  In a ruling rife with partisan editorial commentary Judge Boasberg sniffs, "It is no secret that the current administration hopes to 'prompt[ly] repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,'" as if such aspirations are somehow immoral.

Federal judge blocks Kentucky's Medicaid work requirements.  A federal judge says Kentucky can't require poor people to get a job to keep their Medicaid benefits, chastising President Donald Trump's administration for rubber-stamping the new rules without considering how many people would lose their health coverage.

Why Does The Left Oppose Work Requirements For Welfare?  Attacks on President Trump's push for work requirements to get welfare benefits fall into two categories:  Either the work rules are pointless, or they are inhumane.  Neither is correct.

President Trump Has Signed an Executive Order Pushing Work Requirements in Return for Welfare.  President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday [4/10/2018] that aims to add and strengthen work requirements for public assistance and other welfare programs.

Congress set to battle over food stamps work requirement.  Lawmakers are poised this month to wage a major battle over the House version of the Farm Bill, which will call for work requirements in the federal food stamp program that serves the poor.  The heated partisan fight has stalled the legislation before it has even been introduced.  The normally routine sign-off on the bill by House Agriculture Committee Chairman Mike Conaway, R-Texas, and ranking member Collin Peterson, D-Minn., hasn't happened because Democrats are staunchly opposed to Conaway's plan to add a 20-hour work or job training requirement for some able-bodied recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the formal name for the food stamp program.

A Chance To Really End Welfare As We Know It.  Thanks to a revived economy spinning out jobs, the number of people on food stamps dropped by 2 million people last year, according to a new report.  That's great news, both for those who are leaving food stamps and for taxpayers.  And more can — and should — be done.

As food stamp rolls climb to record highs, states seek work requirements for recipients.  A failure to impose work requirements on parents receiving food stamp benefits has entrapped millions of Americans in welfare dependency and resulted in spiraling costs and soaring enrollments, according to a study released last month.  The Florida-based Foundation for Government Accountability's report, "The Case for Expanding Food Stamp Work Requirements to Parents," says the number of Americans who receive the nutritional benefits through the federal government is now more than 12.2 million, up from 4.7 million in the year 2000.

Get Off the Couch, If You Want Medicaid.  Last week the Trump administration announced it will allow states to impose a "community engagement" requirement on healthy adults getting Medicaid, the public health insurance program for lower income people.  So far, ten states intend to do it, though not welfare-haven New York.  To get Medicaid, adults in these states will have to work or look for a job, study for a high school diploma, learn English as a second language, volunteer, get addiction treatment, or take care of a family member.  In short, do something.  Democrats and the liberal media call the requirement "cruel" and "pathological."  Baloney.  There's no reason taxpayers should pick up the tab for able-bodied people who won't get off the couch.  Medicaid was created in 1965 as a safety net health program for pregnant women, children and the disabled.  Then Obamacare distorted it into permanent insurance, raising the allowable income level and opening it up to healthy adults who refuse to work.  The Medicaid rolls now top 74 million, and are projected to reach 87 million within a decade.  As Medicaid dependence soars, the left brags that more people are "covered."  Technically true, but misleading.  Medicaid's ballooning enrollment is creating a national crisis.

Nine more states ready to require jobs for Medicaid enrollees.  Last week, Kentucky became the first state to require work for some Medicaid beneficiaries.  The Trump administration approved a proposal from Kentucky that would require Medicaid beneficiaries to work, volunteer or take classes as a condition of being enrolled in the program.  But the state is unlikely to be the last.  Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah, and Wisconsin have submitted their own proposals, though some will have to work with federal officials to make sure their requests fit the guidelines laid out Thursday [1/11/2018] by the Trump administration.  States have varying requests, according to a Washington Examiner review of Medicaid waiver applications filed to CMS.

No, Medicaid Work Requirements Aren't Racist or Cruel.  When the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that states could experiment with work requirements and volunteer community service as prerequisites for Medicaid eligibility, the melodramatic response from the Democrats and their media allies was as predictable as it was mendacious.  House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi summed up the position of her congressional accomplices by vehemently denouncing the new CMS policy as "mean-spirited," "cynical," and "spiteful."  And USA Today captured the gist of the "news" coverage with a work of fiction titled, "Medicaid work requirements are a throwback to rejected racial stereotypes."

Kentucky to add Medicaid work requirement; first state to follow Trump plan.  Kentucky received the green light Friday [1/12/2018] to require many of its Medicaid recipients to work in order to receive coverage.  The Bluegrass State thus becomes the first state to act on the Trump administration's unprecedented change that could affect millions of low-income people receiving benefits.  Under the new rule, adults age 19 to 64 must complete 80 hours of "community engagement" per month to keep their care.  That includes working a job, going to school, taking a job-training course or volunteering.

Food Stamps Take Nosedive in States with Restored Work Requirements.  Thanks to President Donald Trump, food stamps won't be handed out as easily anymore.  Now there are work requirements being put into play in order to receive welfare.  Under the Obama administration, less and less people worked while more and more landed on the list of food stamp recipients.  However, now that there are new rules to the game, not so many people want to play.

Food stamp rolls plummet in states that restore work requirements.  After the food stamp rolls swelled for years under the Obama administration, fresh figures show a dramatic reduction in states that recently have moved to restore work requirements.  States were allowed to waive those rules for able-bodied adults thanks to the 2009 economic stimulus.  As the rules loosened and the economy sputtered out of the recession, food stamp enrollment soared to record levels — peaking at nearly 48 million nationwide in 2013.  But while that number has dipped gradually in recent years, some states have moved aggressively to push recipients who can work back into the job market and, in due time, off the program.

Proposed Law Would Require Food Stamp Recipients to Show Proof of Job Search.  A Louisiana congressman introduced legislation that would strengthen work requirements for recipients of food stamps.  "By putting certain perimeters or requirements on the program where you have to actually do job searches and you have to go do interviews and you have to participate in certain job training activities, it is migrating people from dependence to the workforce and that is a win for everyone," Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., told The Daily Signal in an interview.

Steep Decline In Food Stamps In Georgia After Work Mandate Enforced.  Georgia sees a steep decline in the number of participants receiving food stamps.  The state recently reported a 62 percent drop in "snap" payments for residents living in 21 counties last month.  This came after a 2016 work mandate became enforced in those counties at the beginning of April.

13 Alabama counties saw 85 percent drop in food stamp participation after work requirements restarted.  Thirteen previously exempted Alabama counties saw an 85 percent drop in food stamp participation after work requirements were put in place on Jan. 1, according to the Alabama Department of Human Resources.  The counties [...] had been exempt from a change that limited able-bodied adults without dependents to three months of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits within a three-year time frame unless they were working or participating in an approved training program.

85% drop in food stamp recipients in AL counties where work requirement restarted.  The Alabama Department of Human Resources says 13 counties that reinitiated a work requirement for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamp program, saw an 85% drop in recipients.  The counties had been exempt from the work requirement due to high levels of unemployment.  But with the economy recovering, the state of Alabama restarted the work requirement on January 1 this year, which resulted in the massive drop in SNAP participants.

Trump budget saves taxpayer money by weeding out welfare freeloaders.  Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney delivered a tough message on Tuesday [5/23/2017] as he explained the cornerstone of the Trump administration's budget blueprint for fiscal year 2018; ween capable, low income Americans off of welfare programs and put them back to work.

Wisconsin's attempt to tie food to jobs pays off.  Wisconsin has announced that significant reforms of its statewide food benefits program have led to nearly 15,000 gaining meaningful employment, joining a national trend toward putting more food stamp recipients to work.  Republican Gov. Scott Walker led a campaign to require able-bodied adults without dependents who participate in FoodShare, the state's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, to work at least 80 hours a month or risk limits to their benefits beginning in April 2015.

Georgia Tells Able-Bodied Food Stamp Recipients to Work for 'Greater Good'.  Thousands of Georgia residents who depend on food stamps are losing their benefits because they have failed to meet the state's new requirements that force the able-bodied without children to find jobs.  These new work requirements have been rolled out in phases for the past year.  The latest round impacted approximately 12,000 people in 21 counties.  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported more than half of them, or 7,251, were dropped from the food stamp program because they were not working.

House Bill Would Strengthen Welfare Work Requirement.  Rep. Jim Jordan introduced a bill Thursday [5/26/2016] that would reform food stamps.  "Welfare programs are meant to be a temporary safety net, but they have become a permanent way of life for millions of Americans," Jordan, R-Ohio, said in a statement.  "Instead of giving impoverished families and individuals a helping hand, the current system penalizes positive steps toward self-sufficiency."  According to a press release from Jordan's office, H.R. 5360, the Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act, is based on Maine's successful reforms and the welfare reforms of 1996.  The bill would, among other things, implement stricter work requirements for "able-bodied" adults without dependents receiving assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.  It would also help recipients with employment training and job searches to give recipients the tools needed to overcome poverty.

Is Personal Responsibility Obsolete?  Among the many disturbing signs of our times are conservatives and libertarians of high intelligence and high principles who are advocating government programs that relieve people of the necessity of working to provide their own livelihoods.  Generations ago, both religious people and socialists were agreed on the proposition that "he who does not work, neither shall he eat."  Both would come to the aid of those unable to work.  But the idea that people who simply choose not to work should be supported by money taken from those who are working was rejected across the ideological spectrum.

The Questions Liberals Never Have to Answer.  [Question #4]  Does it matter if anti-poverty policies work?  If programs don't work, shouldn't they be abandoned?  Is it good for people to be on welfare and food stamps long-term?  Does it matter that the number of people on disability is so historically high that a significant percentage of the people receiving it almost have to be doing so fraudulently?  Are we fulfilling our responsibility to the taxpayers to make sure their money is used to temporarily help people who really need it?

Why More States Are Requiring Work Requirements for Food Stamps.  Newspaper headlines have been bemoaning that more states will now have to require adults on food stamps — who are able-bodied and without dependents — to work.  Since 2009, nearly all states have been able to waive the modest food stamp work requirement.  But these waivers have gradually been expiring, and as of April 1, more states are once again required to enforce the modest food stamp work requirement.  The food stamps program is one of the largest government means-tested welfare programs. [...] The most rapid growth was among able-bodied adults without dependents, which jumped from just under 2 million in 2008 to 4.7 million in 2014.

The controversial reason tens of thousands of people just lost their food stamps.  As many as 1 million Americans will stop receiving food stamps this year, the consequence of a controversial work mandate that took effect this week in 21 states as the economy improves.  The revival of the mandate, which was hotly debated when adopted in the 1990s, is reigniting a discussion among policymakers and advocates for the poor about the fairness and wisdom of the social safety net in the new U.S.  economy.  The requirement, which generally stipulates that participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) who do not have children or a disability must find a job within three months of receiving the benefit and work an average of 20 hours a week, was suspended in most states following the mortgage crisis amid widespread unemployment.  Now, as jobs have returned, the work mandate was automatically reinstated in many states at the beginning of this year, and the three-month allowance for finding a job ended April 1.

States moving to restore work requirements for food stamp recipients.  States are moving to once again require able-bodied adults to put in work hours in exchange for food stamps, after the requirements largely were suspended by the Obama administration.  The slow-moving reversal follows the administration pulling back on Clinton-era changes that required recipients to work for government welfare benefits.  Signing the reform bill in 1996 alongside then-Speaker Newt Gingrich, then-President Bill Clinton said the goal was to make welfare "a second chance, not a way of life."  But during the last recession, President Obama allowed states to suspend a requirement that able-bodied adults without children work at least 20 hours per week or participate in a training program to receive benefits for more than three months.

Welfare System Is 'Anti-Work,' Researchers Say.  The war on poverty is a war on work, the authors of a new book that criticizes the nation's welfare system assert.  Phil Harvey, chief sponsor of the DKT Liberty Project, and Lisa Conyers, a policy analyst for the project, conducted a nationwide study of anti-poverty programs for their book, "The Human Cost of Welfare: How the System Hurts the People It's Supposed to Help."  "The present system is anti-work.  It's almost a war on work.  And that's insane; at the very, very least, we ought to be helping people get out of the system and into paid employment," Harvey said Monday as the authors discussed the results of their study at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.  They said their research, illustrated by numerous interviews with welfare recipients, led them to conclude that the current benefits structure traps many enrollees in the very poverty they wish to escape.

Maine Ends Dependence On Food Stamps: How Did It Happen?  The number of childless, able-bodied adult food stamp recipients in a New England state fell by 80% over the course of a few months.  This didn't require magic, just common sense.  From December 2014 to March 2015, the caseload of able-bodied Maine adults with no dependents crashed from 13,332 recipients to 2,678, says the Heritage Foundation.  This is a remarkable change and needs to be repeated in government programs across the country.  How Maine achieved this is no mystery.  Gov. Paul LePage simply established work requirements for food stamp recipients who have no dependents and are able enough to be employed.  They must, write Heritage policy analysts Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield, "take a job" — just 20 hours a week — "participate in training, or perform community service" for a mere 24 hours a week.  Recipients who do none of those are stripped of their food stamp benefits after three months.

Maine Required Childless Adults to Work to Get Food Stamps. Here's What Happened.  One trillion dollars — that's how much the government spent last year on means-tested welfare aid, providing cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to poor and low-income individuals.  The food stamp program is the nation's second largest welfare program.  The number of food stamp recipients has risen dramatically, from 17.2 million in 2000 to 45.8 million in 2015.  Costs have soared over the same period, from $20.7 billion in 2000 to $83.1 billion in 2014.  The most rapid growth in the food stamp caseload in recent years has been among able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs).  These are work-capable adult recipients between the ages of 18 and 49 who do not have children or other dependents to support.

North Carolina Welfare Leeches Just Got Some Devastating News.  On Jan. 1, the Department of Agriculture eliminated an exemption that had allowed North Carolina to ignore "a federal requirement that able-bodied adults without children work or volunteer at least 20 hours a week to receive benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP," reported Wake County news station WRAL.  Specifically, it eliminated the exemption for 23 counties, including my county of Wake.  The exemption will remain in place for the state's 77 other counties until July 1.  This means that about 59,000 men and women who currently receive food stamps in N.C. will now need to make an effort to either work or volunteer, lest they lose their access to free food.

Britain's job-training regimen provides a remedy for welfare addiction.  Since his party's impressive election victory in May, Prime Minister David Cameron is moving quickly to fulfill his campaign promise to ensure welfare benefits are no longer a way of life for many of his fellow citizens.  Instead of open-ended benefits for the unemployed, the government, beginning in April 2017, will require young people between 18 and 21 who don't have jobs but are collecting welfare, to attend three-week "boot camps" to prepare them for work in a rapidly improving economy.  If they refuse, they will be denied benefits if they are unemployed for six months.

The Editor says...
This idea could never be implemented in this country, with the current crop of spineless politicians.  As soon as a work-or-starve law was implemented, the press would embark on a week-long series of sob stories featuring the saddest cases they can find — little old ladies who can't make ends meet any more because their welfare checks are about to stop.  By the end of that week, the Republicans would give up and reinstate everybody's handouts.

Foodstamps for able-bodied adults down 80% in Maine following minimal work requirement.  Foodstamp enrollment by able bodied childless adults in Maine (which has a conservative Republican governor) is down 80% after imposing a very modest requirement that recipients work at least 6 hours a week in a volunteer program.  Of course, the media portrays this as an exercise in cruelty. [...] Let's face it, 80% of the able bodied childless adults in Maine on Foodstamps didn't need it.  Truly hungry people would eagerly volunteer six hours a week for free food.

Food Stamps Have Exploded Once Work Requirements Were Gutted.  Started in the 1970s, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has just become another vehicle for the political left to increase dependency and further their agenda.  In all, there are 48 million Americans on food stamps, up from 17 million since 2000.  Additionally, millions more are being added to their states' respective food stamp rolls than they are finding full-time work; for every one person who found a job, two people are given SNAP benefits.  In terms of cost, we were spending $17 billion on food stamps.  It's now ballooned to an $80 billion program.

Foodstamps down 80% in Maine following 6 hr/week work requirement.  Foodstamp enrollment in Maine (which has a conservative Republican governor) among able bodied single adults is down 80% after imposing a very modest requirement that recipients work at least 6 hours a week in a volunteer program.  Of course, the media portrays this as an exercise in cruelty. [...] The Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program is intended to be a supplemental food pantry, but a growing number of clients here and at pantries around the state have little else to rely on because of a change in state policy this year.  These are the leeches who don't want to even work 6 hours a week for their check.

Oh no.  Not that!
Bills Would Require Michiganders To Work For Welfare, Pass Drug Test.  A bill has passed in the Michigan Senate that would require those receiving public assistance to do some "volunteer" work.  Another bill, which passed the House Commerce Committee, requires drug testing, revoking benefits for welfare recipients who refuse the test or who test positive.

Obama's Work to Welfare Program.  With the economy stuck in the doldrums, the unemployment rate mired in the mid 7% range and the U-6 rate, which measures those out of work along with those who have given up or who are working part time in lieu of full time work, lounging in the 14% range one has to wonder why there is no popular outcry to throw the bums out.  The answer would seem to be that many are discovering not working is more lucrative than their options in the workforce.

Many disability recipients admit they could work.  Recipients of federal disability checks often admit that they are capable of working but cannot or will not find a job, that those closest to them tell them they should be working, and that working to get off the disability rolls is not among their goals.  More baffling, most have never received significant medical treatment and not seen a doctor about their condition in the last year, even though medical problems are the official reason they don't work.

The Welfare Debate We're Not Having:  It turns out — apparently to the surprise of many on the left — that working for a living is better than subsisting as a parasite on government handouts.

Many recipients of welfare benefits are too lazy to work
Others are criminals intent on defrauding the taxpayers.

When their unemployment benefits run out, freeloaders by the thousands are switching over to disability benefits.  Apparently it isn't difficult to claim some sort of disability, and the pencil-pushing bureaucrats are happy to sign up everyone who applies.  Aside from disability claims, there is very little motivation to work when the "safety net" is so comfortable.

Four million at risk of abandoning work permanently as benefits surge.  Nearly four million people are at risk of abandoning work permanently amid a post-lockdown surge in benefits paid to claimants who do not have to find a job.  Policy in Practice warned there had been a "marked" post-pandemic shift in welfare that was moving people away from seeking employment, with 3.9 million now receiving out-of-work benefits without having to even look for a job — twice as many as the number of claimants who must try to find work.  Its analysis of Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) data showed this was the highest since at least 2015 and up from just over three million in 2020.  The social policy and data analytics company added that this was in stark contrast with a big drop in the number of welfare claimants whose benefits are tied to work search.

Food stamps:  Texas SNAP payments for October worth up to $1,691 to be sent in 12 days.  Texas's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will begin its October payments, worth up to $1,691, in 12 days.  SNAP payment amounts in Texas are based on the household size of recipients — single households receive $281, and eight-member households receive $1,691, according to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.  Families larger than eight are granted an extra $211 for every additional member.  Eligibility is determined by household income.  To qualify, a single-person household cannot make more than $1,869 per month, and a five-person household cannot make more than $4,465 per month.

The Editor says...
In other words, the program subsidizes reproduction and punishes success.

Democrats — the party of freeloaders.  The Democratic Party, long known as the party for working people, is now for freeloaders.  Democrats want taxpayers to support people who refuse to get off the couch and get a job.  That's the major reason Democrats and Republicans in Washington were locked in a stalemate for weeks over hiking the debt ceiling.  The biggest sticking point was whether people should be allowed to collect government assistance indefinitely to finance their nonworking lifestyle.  For everyone who toils for a living, the idea of paying taxes to support healthy people who won't work feels like a slap in the face.

Hey, Uncle Sam: Stop Paying People for Not Working.  A policy question these days that has befuddled federal lawmakers is why so many millions of people have not returned to the workplace in the post-COVID-19 era.  The labor force participation rate among employable adults is near a record low today.  There are at least 2 million to 4 million employable adults who could and should be working but aren't.  Very few people with even minimal skills can credibly say they can't find a job.  Employers report some 10 million job openings.  Small business owners say their biggest problem is finding competent workers.  There are many explanations for why so many people aren't working — fear of COVID-19, the skills mismatch, more people taking early retirement, and so on.  But a major factor is that the federal government is back to doing what it did in the 1970s and 1980s.  The welfare state today is paying people not to work — even a single hour.

New York is paying BLM rioters over $6M.  It is widely believed and statistically demonstrated that New Yorkers live in a generous welfare state.  Full benefits in New York can garner a welfare recipient the pre-tax amount of $43,700 annually, or an hourly rate of $21.01.  At the same time, a Floridian in similar circumstances would receive $12,600, or $6.06 per hour.  If you think that benefits in the sums available to New Yorkers are not a disincentive to being employed, you are delusional.  The citizens who do get up each day and go to work are paying for those welfare benefits through their exorbitant tax bills.  They find those figures laughable but not at all humorous.  Is it any wonder that so many New Yorkers, at least those willing to work, are heading south to the Sunshine State?  The Floridian sense of humor does not include laughing at the poor guy forced to support freeloaders.

Workarounds to working.  [Scroll down]  Living off of family money, unemployment insurance, disability insurance, government grants, friends, subsidized homelessness, becoming a perpetual student, and/or working off the books all come together to allow an unprecedented number of people to fail to contribute to the continuing success and financing of our country.  There is a monthly government statistic called U-6 and another metric called Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate.  These two stats, added to the official Unemployment rate, reveal another estimated 12 million unemployed or underemployed individuals over and above the official stats.  Another important metric is people who could work but choose not to do so.  Yes, the government keeps that number as well.  When you combine all these numbers, you approach 100 million people who don't work for a variety of reasons.  That number has risen by about 35 million in the last ten years.

The welfare state is out of control, new study shows.  A massive labor shortage continues to hamstring the economy, with millions more empty jobs than unemployed job-seekers.  All the while, millions of people remain on the sidelines, with the labor force participation rate significantly below the pre-pandemic norm.  Why are so many potential workers sitting idle while jobs need to be filled?  Well, the astoundingly bloated nature of America's welfare state offers one explanation, according to a new study.  Conservative economists Stephen Moore, E.J. Antoni, and Casey Mulligan of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity analyzed what a typical four-person family, with two nonworking adults, could receive in welfare benefits, including both unemployment and healthcare subsidies, across the 50 states.  They found that in three states, Washington, New Jersey, and Massachusetts, this typical family can earn the equivalent of more than $100,000 annually without working, thanks to various government programs.  Meanwhile, in 14 states the benefits are equivalent to an $80,000 annual salary or more.

The Vanishing American Work Ethic.  As a result of the pandemic, 'Now Hiring' signs proliferate in most restaurants, grocery stores, and small businesses, but most go unanswered.  Large blue-state cities, especially California, are plagued with hordes of homeless encampments; a migration trend that started long before the pandemic.  Thanks to conservative media, we at least know these homeless dregs of society are attracted there by lax law enforcement, offers of free stuff, and some are even paid by leftists who run these infested cities.  The persistent unfilled job openings are puzzling.  Popular opinion blames the nationwide shortage of workers on the generous COVID unemployment and other payments, but there is much more going on, according to a piece from Mauldin Economics.

The 5 Big Problems with Andrew Yang's $1000-a-Month Universal Basic Income Proposal.  [#5] History has shown us over and over again that the larger the pool of young men a nation has with no jobs, no real purpose in life, and nothing much to do other than entertain themselves, the more degenerate, dangerous, violent and crime-ridden your society will be.

Unfit for Work:  Disability in America.  In the past three decades, the number of Americans who are on disability has skyrocketed.  The rise has come even as medical advances have allowed many more people to remain on the job, and new laws have banned workplace discrimination against the disabled.  Every month, 14 million people now get a disability check from the government.  The federal government spends more money each year on cash payments for disabled former workers than it spends on food stamps and welfare combined.  Yet people relying on disability payments are often overlooked in discussions of the social safety net.  The vast majority of people on federal disability do not work.  Yet because they are not technically part of the labor force, they are not counted among the unemployed.

Guilty plea in huge Social Security disability fraud case.  Nothing quite brings out the genius in criminals like schemes that look to bilk the American taxpayer.  A lawyer in Tennessee signed a guilty plea in one of the biggest Social Security disability fraud cases in history.  Eric C. Conn acknowledged that he was the ringleader in a conspiracy to defraud the federal government of hundreds of millions of dollars in disability benefits.  Here's a crook who covered all the bases.

Small Businesses Lament There Are Too Few Mexicans in U.S., Not Too Many.  In Dallas, the King of Texas Roofing Co. says it has turned down $20 million worth of projects in the past two years because it doesn't have enough workers.  In the San Francisco Bay Area, Joe Hargrave is expanding his successful Tacolicious chain of restaurants, but says he is building smaller ones due to "a massive shortage of restaurant workers."  And in Florida, Steve Johnson, who harvests oranges for the citrus industry, says, "Right now, if I had 80 guys, I could put every one of them to work."

The Editor says...
The problem is not that Mexicans are rare individuals who are uniquely qualified to do difficult jobs.  The problem is lower-class American citizens prefer to stay home and live on welfare (and "disability") benefits than show up for work.

Ex-NYPD detective on $90G disability also draws salary as security boss, report says.  An ex-NYPD detective receiving $90,000-a-year in disability payments is also drawing a $50,000 salary as a U.S. Army security supervisor, The New York Daily News reported on Sunday.  Anthony Hernandez, 43, retired as a detective in January 2014, which is when he began receiving disability checks, according to records reviewed by The Daily News.  But Hernandez soon began working at the Brooklyn military base in Fort Hamilton.

Ex-cop with alleged 'back problems' reaps $90G from disability pension, works full-time as U.S. Army security boss.  A retired police detective earning a whopping $90,000-a-year in tax free NYPD disability payments is working full-time as a security boss for the U.S. Army, the [New York] Daily News has learned.  Anthony Hernandez, 43, of Staten Island, retired as a detective from the NYPD in January 2014 and began receiving $7,443.62 a month in coveted disability payments from the city, records show.  Within a few months, the former general manager of the NYPD's football team then began working as a security official at the sprawling Brooklyn military base in Fort Hamilton, making about $50,000 a year, records show.

The [Difficulty] of Applying for Government Benefits.  Massive budget cuts and hiring freezes in the last few years have turned the Social Security Administration into one of the most understaffed and overburdened agencies in the federal government.  As of June, it had a backlog of more than 1 million unresolved disability claims, the highest in the agency's history.  The average wait time to get one of these claims adjudicated is more than a year.

The Editor says...
I don't feel sorry for those who find it difficult to pick my pocket.  If it is difficult to get disability payments started, maybe that's because there are tens of thousands of others applying for disability payments, while their only disability is unmitigated laziness.  The government has made it too easy to get on the gravy train.

Trump Wins Big in Disability Country.  The $150 billion federal disability program is a mess.  It almost went broke (Congress had to give it an emergency infusion).  It discourages employment and can be gamed.  But woe to the office-seeker who tries to fix it.  No one understands this better than Donald Trump, who has defied Republican orthodoxy and courted Republican voters by opposing changes to entitlement benefits, which include the federal disability program that is part of Social Security and provides income to 11 million Americans.  The portion of the working-age population receiving benefits is 4.8 percent, up from 2.8 percent in 1994.  Applications are growing again, after leveling off last year.  Recipients are mostly non-college-educated, white, blue collar and middle-aged.  Trump voters, in other words.

In 1 in 5 Families in the U.S., No One Works.  There were one in five families in the United States in 2015, or 19.7 percent, in which no one in the family worked, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  "Families are classified either as married-couple families or as families maintained by women or men without spouses present," explains the bureau.  "Families include those without children as well as those with children under age 18."  There were 81,410,000 families in the United States in 2015.  Of those, there were 16,060,000 families in which no member was employed, or 19.7 percent of the total.  The number has remained relatively steady since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started tracking this data since 1995.

$11 Billion in Excess Disability Payments Found by GAO.  Congress is bailing out the financially troubled Social Security Disability Insurance program as part of a two-year bipartisan budget deal that received final approval on Friday [10/30/2015].  The costly program — which provides $143 billion annually to 11 million people unable to work because of significant illness or impairment — has undergone intense scrutiny by lawmakers and the Government Accountability Office.  It will undergo substantial reforms in the coming months in order to reduce wasteful spending and fraud that have jeopardized the program's financial stability.

Seattle sees fallout from $15 minimum wage, as other cities follow suit.  Seattle's $15 minimum wage law is supposed to lift workers out of poverty and move them off public assistance.  But there may be a hitch in the plan.  Evidence is surfacing that some workers are asking their bosses for fewer hours as their wages rise — in a bid to keep overall income down so they don't lose public subsidies for things like food, child care and rent.  Full Life Care, a home nursing nonprofit, told KIRO-TV in Seattle that several workers want to work less.

On The Brink Of Bankruptcy, Federal Disability Program Wastes Billions.  A government audit finds that the Social Security Disability Insurance program paid out $16.8 billion in disability benefits over the past decade to about four million people who either were working, made too much money, were in prison, were dead, weren't eligible or were no longer physically or mentally disabled. [...] Between 2003 and 2014, SSDI rolls climbed 44% — even though the Census Bureau reports that the number of actual working-age disabled has been climbing at a far lower rate.

Report: Social Security Overpaid Nearly Half on Disability.  Social Security overpaid nearly half the people receiving disability benefits over the past decade, according to a government watchdog, raising questions about the management of the cash-strapped program.

SSA Issued $16.8 Billion Disability Overpayments.  The Social Security Administration (SSA) made nearly $17 billion in disability overpayments in the last decade, according to an audit by the Office of Inspector General (OIG).  Some beneficiaries were able to receive disability benefits for 10 years, even though they were ineligible.  The OIG based its estimate of $16.8 billion overpayments on a sample of more than 1,500 Americans who received benefits since 2003, finding nearly half were overpaid.  "Our review of 1,532 beneficiaries in current pay status as of October 2003 found that over a 10-year period (from October 2003 through February 2014), SSA assessed overpayments for 44.5 percent of sampled beneficiaries," the audit said.

Social Security overpaid nearly half on disability, watchdog says.  In all, Social Security overpaid beneficiaries by nearly $17 billion, according to a 10-year study by the agency's inspector general.

The Futility of Jobs Programs.  Government work-related programs are designed to teach specific skills, not impart character traits such as showing up when you'd rather stay home.  How do you transform a youngster who has drifted through life with minimal self-control to one who without protest follows all instructions and otherwise performs as a valued employee?

Extending Unemployment Benefits Doesn't Work.  Congress passed the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act of 2008.  [This] law dramatically extended the duration of unemployment benefits, from (typically) 26 weeks to as much as 39 weeks.  Democrats controlled both houses of Congress in 2008.  Then came the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama's famous "stimulus bill," that further extended the duration of unemployment benefits, so that by the end of 2013 the typical duration of unemployment benefits was 99 weeks.  Further, the ARRA expanded eligibility for unemployment benefits to part-time workers, and exempted the first $2,400 of unemployment benefits from taxation.  Economists criticized these extensions and expansions, saying that they encouraged people to remain unemployed, to stay out of the labor force.

The Shirking Man's Party.  Rand Paul accuses most recipients of Social Security disability payments of "gaming the system" and calls them "malingerers."  "What I tell people is, if you look like me and you hop out of your truck, you shouldn't be getting a disability check," the Kentucky senator told New Hampshire voters earlier this week.  "You know, over half the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts.  Join the club.  Who doesn't get up a little anxious for work every day and their back hurts?  Everybody over 40 has a back pain."

Generous L.A. city policy rewards workers who take long injury leaves.  Los Angeles Police Department clerk Demeturius Matthews took a full year off for an on-the-job injury after she banged her elbow into a metal filing cabinet.  She didn't break any bones, city records show, but a chiropractor declared her temporarily disabled.  She took a second year off after smacking her knee into her desk.  A third yearlong leave began after she said she felt pain between her shoulder blades while reaching for her phone.  Matthews collected $170,000 in salary while on those leaves, and increased her take-home pay by thousands of dollars during the time off under an unusually generous Los Angeles city leave policy for civilian workers.

21 Facts That Prove Government Dependency is Out of Control.  [#10] Right now, more than 70 million Americans are enrolled in Medicaid.  [#11] The number of Americans enrolled in the Social Security disability program now exceeds the entire population of the state of Virginia.  [#12] If the number of Americans on Social Security disability were gathered into a separate state, it would be the 8th largest state in the entire country.  [#13] In 1968, there were 51 full-time workers for every American on disability.  Today, there are just 13 full-time workers for every American on disability.

Suit Filed to Halt Work Requirements for Food Stamp Recipients in New Mexico.  On October 27, the New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty, the Southwest Organizing Project, and a number of food stamp recipients filed suit to halt work requirements for food stamp recipients which are set to go into effect in November.  The Associated Press reports the changes would require "some childless adults [to] work in order to receive food stamps."  Other recipients would have to "search for a job or participate in community service or job training."

This item comes from Al Jazeera.  BYO grain of salt.
Maine residents to work for food stamps, governor says.  Maine's Republican governor on Wednesday [7/23/2014] launched a push to make more "able-bodied" people work for their food stamps.  "People who are in need deserve a hand up, but we should not be giving able-bodied individuals a handout," said Gov. Paul R. LePage. [...] About 12,000 of the state's residents receiving $15 million annually in food stamps are considered to be able-bodied by Maine's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which administers the aid.  That means that they are between the ages of 18 and 49, have no dependents and are not pregnant or disabled.

Disability Beneficiaries Top 11 Million for First Time.  The total number of disability beneficiaries in the United States topped 11 million for the first time last month, increasing from 10,996,447 in April to a record 11,004,507 in May, according to new data released by the Social Security Administration.

11 Million On Disability: Why Are Rolls Rising So Fast?  More than 5.2 million workers have enrolled since President Obama took office, and enrollment is climbing faster under Obama than at any other time in the program's history.  An average 81,000 workers joined the Social Security disability program each month during Obama's years.  Under President Bush, monthly enrollment averaged 66,000, and the overall average since 1975 is 52,000.  While there is debate about the exact causes of the swelling ranks of workers on disability, it's clear that the sluggish economic recovery under Obama played an important role.

1 in 6 American Men Between Ages 25-54 Are Not Working.  "There are currently 61.1 million American men in their prime working years, age 25-54.  A staggering 1 in 8 such men are not in the labor force at all, meaning they are neither working nor looking for work.  This is an all-time high dating back to when records were first kept in 1955. [...]"

Nearly half of unemployed not looking for work, poll finds.  Some 47% of unemployed Americans say they've given up on looking for work, according to a poll commissioned by staffing firm Express Employment Professionals.  More than half say looking for work has been more difficult than expected; only 2 in 10 currently receive unemployment benefits.

10,996,447: Disability Beneficiaries Hit New Record.  The total number of disability beneficiaries in the United States rose from 10,981,423 in March to 10,996,447 in April, setting a new all-time record, according to newly released data from the Social Security Administration.  The number of Americans receiving disability benefits continues to exceed the populations of Greece, Tunisia and Portugal, and is approaching the population of Cuba, which according to the CIA World Factbook is 11,047,251.

BLS: In 20% of American Families, No One Works.  In 20 percent of American families in 2013, according to new data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), not one member of the family worked.  A family, as defined by the BLS, is a group of two or more people who live together and who are related by birth, adoption or marriage.  In 2013, there were 80,445,000 families in the United States and in 16,127,000 — or 20 percent — no one had a job.

USPS worker claimed $300k in disability checks for five years while fishing in Alaska.  A former U.S. Postal Service employee in Anchorage was arraigned Friday on charges he accepted at least $334,000 in disability and worker's comp payments while he spent his summers fishing.  The U.S. attorney's office says in a Friday release that 56-year-old Amacio Zamora Agcaoili Jr. was indicted by a federal grand jury on 18 counts, including theft of government funds.  They claim every summer between 2009 and 2013, he went dipnetting and fishing on multiple occasions despite being on disability.

Obama Democrats' troubling view on work.  America now has a government that views work as a trap and celebrates those who escape it.  That is the upshot of last week's remarkable exchange over ObamaCare.  It began when the head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that the interplay of taxes and subsidies in the law "creates a disincentive for people to work."  The report predicted the mix would lead to fewer hours worked, costing the equivalent of nearly 2.5 million jobs.  In response, President Obama's spokesman pleaded guilty — with pride and pleasure.

Obamanomics: Tax The Rich, Punish The Working Poor.  Team Obama taxes millionaires who create jobs, while ObamaCare creates incentives not to work at those jobs.  No wonder recovery's so anemic.  The policy here is to create fewer jobs and induce people to work less at those jobs. [...] I thought the American Idea had something to do with work, family and opportunity.  But what I see from the Obama administration is policies that undermine these virtues.

Demonomics.  The CBO report projected that by 2021 under ObamaCare more than 2 million full-time workers will find it financially advisable to quit work entirely or switch to part-time jobs in order to get more subsidies for healthcare insurance.  To most of us who studied real economics or just paid attention to human nature, subsidizing indolence means you'll get more of it.

The Last Generation of the West and the Thin Strand of Civilization.  Over 90 million Americans who could work are not working (the "non-institutionalized" over 16).  What we take for granted — our electrical power, fuel, building materials, food, health care, and communications — all hinge on just 144 million getting up in the morning to produce what about 160-170 million others (the sick, the young, and the retired who need assistance along with the 90 million idle) consume.  Every three working Americans provide sustenance for two who are not ill, enfeebled, or too young. [...] Given that the number of non-working is growing (an additional 10 million were idled in the Obama "recovery" alone), it is likely to keep growing.  At some point, we will hit a 50/50 ratio of idle versus active.  Then things will get interesting.

Seven Devastating Economic Facts.  [#4]  A Record 10.98 Million Americans Now Receive Disability Checks.  Social Security data reveal that a record 10,988,269 Americans now receive a monthly check for an average $1,146.43.  Several recent studies and investigations have revealed that the nation's disability program is rife with fraud and abuse.  When health care for disabled workers is included, U.S. taxpayers now spend $260 billion a year funding the disability program — a figure that exceeds the amount spent on food stamps and welfare combined.

Disability Has Become A Long-Term Jobless Benefit Program.  The latest annual report of the Social Security Board of Trustees projects that the Disability Insurance (DI) portion of the program will run out of funds to pay promised benefits by 2016, or possibly even 2015.  That's because of a 22% increase in disability dependents on the program to 2 million since 2008.  America has not suddenly become subject to a rash of disability since 2008.  Disability insurance has effectively become a long-term unemployment assistance program enabled by the Obama administration's abandonment of rational qualification standards.

New York City's Disability Grifters.  More than a hundred people were indicted today for fraudulently obtaining Social Security disability benefits, constituting one of the biggest such fraud busts of all time.  At a news conference in Manhattan Tuesday afternoon [1/7/2014], federal and local officials described a 26-year-old scheme through which 102 people — including 72 New York City Police retirees and eight retired New York firefighters — allegedly collected Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) fraudulently.  A number of the 102 indicted have already been arrested.

I took the SNAP Challenge and scored 25 lbs. of bacon!  [Scroll down]  The question I keep asking myself is, "Why shouldn't I sign up?"  I qualify.  Maybe not for $1,137, but I'd get quite a bit of loot.  Other than my own set of beliefs, there's nothing stopping me.  It's an incredible temptation.  I can see how easy it would be to let the government pay for all my food.  I mean, if I were getting $1,200 a month for groceries, why would I get a job?

2013 Closes With Record Number on Disability Getting Highest-Ever Monthly Benefits.  The total number of people in the United States now receiving federal disability benefits hit a record 10,988,269 in December, up from the previous record of 10,982,920 set in November, according to newly released data from the Social Security Administration.  The average monthly benefit paid to a disabled worker also hit a record of $1,146.43 in December, up from a previous high of $1,130.34 in December of last year.

10,982,920: More Americans on Disability Than People in Greece.  The total number of people in the United States now receiving federal disability benefits hit a record 10,982,920 in November, up from the previous record of 10,978,040 set in May, according to newly released data from the Social Security Administration. [...] November was the 202nd straight month that the number of disabled workers in the United States increased.

Implosion of Social Security Disability Ponzi Scheme Accelerates.  Fresh data just released by the trustees of the Social Security Administration show that the number of people receiving benefits from the Disability Insurance Trust Fund has exploded over the last five years, reducing the surplus in that fund from $216 billion in 2008 to just over $100 billion in 2013.  There were 7.4 million recipients in January 2009, but as of October 2013, there are nearly nine million beneficiaries, not including another two million spouses and children of disabled workers who are also receiving benefits.  Simple math illustrates the inevitable:  If those receiving benefits for disability (real or faked) continues to increase, the trust fund will be bankrupt in less than three years.

Report: 881 million federal unemployment checks sent out during weak economy.  Those checks, tallied from July 2008 to July 2013, totaled $252 billion, or more than $200 billion in inflation adjusted dollars — more than any of the last four federal temporary unemployment benefit programs.  The committee reports that 24 million people in total have received benefits through the program and remained in the program for 38 weeks on average.

Widespread fraud reported in Social Security Administration's Disability Program.  A two-year investigation by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has found widespread fraud in the Social Security Administration's Disability Program.  The fraud is so rampant, and disability cases have so proliferated in recent years, that the Social Security's Disability Trust Fund may run out of money in only 18 months, says Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., whose office undertook the investigation.

Committee Reveals Widespread Disability Scheme.  A Kentucky lawyer made millions off Social Security disability programs, devising a scheme with a judge to approve fraudulent claims at an "assembly-line" rate.  A two-year investigation led by Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.), ranking member on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, revealed a case of coordinated fraud responsible for the approval of billions in claims.

Why The Poor Don't Work, According To The Poor:  Why don't the poor, who make up the overwhelming majority of food stamp recipients, go to work?  In 2012, more than 26 million 18-to-64-year-old adults lived under the poverty line; about 15 million of them didn't have a job during the year.  Is the economy to blame?  Or are personal choices at fault?

Social Security makes $1.3 billion in overpayments.  The Social Security Administration has paid an estimated $1.3 billion in disability insurance payments to thousands of people who weren't eligible for the benefits, a government watchdog report finds.

Investigators: 36,000 game disability system.  Social Security made $1.3 billion in potentially improper disability payments to people who had jobs when they were supposed to be unable to work, congressional investigators said in a report Friday [9/13/2013].

The Obamanomics decline.  [Scroll down]  Faced with this reality, millions are being driven toward stopgap solutions that further a national economic decline.  Employees who are too old to find a new job but not old enough for Social Security have taken extreme measures such as seeking disability payments to make ends meet.  There are now 8.8 million working-age individuals claiming federal disability benefits.

Local governments cutting hours over Obamacare costs.  Many cash-strapped cities and counties facing the prospect of shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars in new health-care costs under the Affordable Care Act are opting instead to reduce the number of hours their part-time employees work.

Welfare pays pretty well
Obamanomics: Welfare Pays More Than Work In Most States.  A new study shows that in most states welfare programs pay more than a minimum-wage job, and in some states government aid can be more than the earnings from a regular, entry-level job.

Report: Welfare Pays More than Minimum Wage, Discourages Workers.  Welfare benefits and the loss of leisure time still act as disincentives to earning a salary despite improvements in the welfare-work tradeoff since federal reforms in 1996, according to a report published Monday [8/19/2013].  The report by the Cato Institute found that the equivalent wage value of welfare has increased in 33 states since 1995, when the think tank first released a report on the issue.  Benefits in the District of Columbia expanded by $6,850 to a total package equivalent to $50,820 in wages, the second largest increase behind Vermont.  Welfare "pays" more than $15 per hour in 13 states.

When welfare pays better than work.  Here's an offer for you:  $38,004 per year, tax free.  No work required.  Apply at your local welfare office.  The federal government funds 126 separate programs targeted towards low-income people, 72 of which provide either cash or in-kind benefits to individuals.  (The rest fund community-wide programs for low-income neighborhoods, with no direct benefits to individuals.)  State and local governments operate more welfare programs.  Of course, no individual or family gets benefits from all 72 programs, but many do get aid from a number of them at any point in time.

Record 8.9 Million Workers Now on Disability Benefits.  More than 76,000 workers went on the federal government's disability program in July, according to the latest data from the Social Security administration, bringing the total number of new enrollees this year to 534,038.  Although that is down somewhat from the same month last year, enrollment in the Social Security Disability Insurance program remains sharply higher than it has been historically.  Since 2009, an average of about 1 million workers have gone on SSDI annually — a 31% increase from the average enrollment over the previous 10 years.

Binder on Binder & Binder.  The Social Security Administration pays an awful lot of money to people who aren't — and never claim to be — disabled.  When a person applying for disability secures a legal representative, then is successfully awarded benefits, the lawyer or advocate who helped him gets a generous cut of the money, paid directly from the SSA's disability fund.  In the first six months of 2013, the SSA has already forked over $642.6 million to these claimant representatives, who have a significant financial interest in getting people on disability.

Inability to Speak English Helps Get You Disability Bucks.  If leftist quislings are able to ram through the amnesty bill with help from RINO traitors, 46 million mostly unskilled Third World peasants will be flooding the USA by 2033, according to the Congressional Budget Office.  It is doubtful that — as the economy collapses under the burden this will place on society — there will be that many openings for landscape workers and chamber maids.  But not to worry, your tax dollars provide special disability benefits targeted at those who don't speak English.

Food Stamps Up 39% Under Obama, Disability Up 13%.  An analysis by the former chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers finds that given today's sluggish job growth, it will take over a decade for employment to return to pre-recession levels.  Edward P. Lazear, now a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, says the nation's moribund economic growth only partly explains the static employment rate; America's new welfare culture is also a key driver.

10,962,532: U.S. Disability Beneficiaries Exceed Population of Greece.  The total number of people in the United States now receiving federal disability benefits hit a record 10,962,532 million in April, which exceeds the 10,815,197 people who live in the nation of Greece.  According to newly released data from the Social Security Administration, the record 10,962,532 total disability beneficiaries in April, included a record 8,865,586 disabled workers (up from 8,853,614 in March), 1,936,236 children of disabled workers, and 160,710 spouses of disabled workers.  According to its latest census, Greece had only 10,815,197 residents.

Disabled Nation: Small Fraction Leave Disability Because They Work or Get Better.  When President Dwight Eisenhower — a big-government Republican running for re-election — signed the federal disability program into law in 1956, he suggested this new form of welfare would increase government efficiency, rehabilitate the truly disabled and roll back government dependency. [...] In fact, the disability program predictably became a one-way street to government dependency — a street that gets wider, better paved and more heavily trafficked every year.

Record 8.9 Million People Now On Disability.  The nation's disability rolls continued to climb sharply, as 76,983 workers enrolled in the Social Security Disability Insurance program in April, according to new data from the Social Security Administration.  More than 300,000 have joined the program so far this year.  The number of workers on permanent disability is now a record 8,865,586, a net increase of one million in just three years.  Today, 6.5 workers are on disability for every 100 who have a job.  That's double the ratio from two decades ago.  The number of people on disability has climbed almost sixfold since 1970.

D.C.-area disability rolls grow as more opt out of job market.  The number of Washington-area residents turning to federal disability benefits is soaring as they seek to escape a weak job market in a region already dependent on government spending.  The amount of money spent on disability benefits for the 4 million residents in the District and its neighboring counties has more than doubled in the past decade, from about $25.8 million in 2001 to more than $55.7 million in 2011, according to Social Security Administration data.

Workers Stuck in Disability Stunt Economic Recovery.  The unemployment rate in Friday's [4/5/2013] report fell to a four-year low of 7.6%, which most times signals job growth.  This time it reflected workers leaving the workforce, a problem that could persist:  Economists say relatively few people are likely to trade their disability checks for paychecks, in part because the program doesn't give much incentive to leave.

90 Million Americans Are No Longer Looking for Work.  In March, the number of Americans who dropped out of the labor force increased by 663,000 which adds up to a record 90 million Americans who are no longer looking for employment.

Disability Ranks Continue to Surge Under Obama.  Last month, 81,804 workers left the workforce to join the Social Security Disability Insurance program.  So far this year, nearly a quarter million workers have joined the program.  Over the past four years, 4 million left the workforce to go on disability.  Even after accounting for those who dropped out of the program because of death or retirement, the ranks of the disabled have shot up more than 1.4 million under Obama.

Is Disability the New Welfare?  The government in Britain recently did something interesting.  It asked everyone receiving an "incapacity benefit" — a disability program slowly being phased out under new reforms — to submit to a medical test to confirm they were too disabled to work.  A third of recipients (878,000 people) didn't even bother and dropped out of the program rather than be examined.

Unwilling to Work.  A NPR report "Unfit For Work" notes the startling rise in those on disability.  Here are some interesting facts from the article.
  •   Every month 14 million Americans receive a disability check.
  •   In 1961 the leading cause of disability was heart disease and strokes, totaling 25.7% of cases.  Back pain was 8.3% of cases.
  •   In 2011 the leading cause of disability was a hard to disprove back pain, totaling 33.8% of cases.  The second leading cause was an equally difficult to disprove "mental illness" at 19.2%.  Strokes and heart disease fell to 10.6%.
  • &nbs