Posts Tagged ‘Welfare State’

The One Failed War Leftists Won’t Quit

Friday, November 16th, 2012

War Without End

I was born in the 1960s, just as Congress and Lyndon Johnson launched a new war.  The war raged on, and the amount of money spent was unprecedented. Never before had so much money been thrown at a war, but the enemy refused to relent.  Money bled out of our treasury, and the futures of so many young Americans were wrecked.  The cost to the nation was measured in its tragic affects on our culture, as well as our financial standing, and since that war commenced, America has never been the same.  In most cases, the left can’t wait to shut down a failed war once it’s taken up by Republican Presidents, but this war was different.  This was a war they would continue to wage, despite all of the evidence that they were making no ground against an intransigent and intractable enemy. Failure didn’t matter.  Nothing mattered.  Infiltrations?  No matter.  Destroyed morale?  Just another burden to be borne by the American people.  Ladies and gentlemen, no war in history has cost so much or produced so little as the war commenced in earnest by President Johnson, and yet no war in American history has seen such a commitment of resources.  Naturally, I speak not of Vietnam that ended in the 1975, but instead of the counterproductive “war on poverty” that continues to this day, with no hint of success in sight.

In the five decades of the declared “War on Poverty,” there hasn’t been a President who hasn’t spurred it along, and there hasn’t been a Congress that did not act to expand it.  We have spent money in the range of some $15-20 Trillion on the various means-tested entitlement and welfare programs over that period.  It’s fair to say the number is at least on par with our current national debt, and yet for all the screaming by Democrats over the cost of the war in Iraq, and the war in Afghanistan, neither approach the colossal sum poured into the welfare systems and programs of this nation.  In fact, you can combine the total of defense and war spending over that same period and not arrive at an equal sum.  My question for Democrats, as well as for “compassionate conservatives” is simply this:  When do you admit that this war had been a complete and utter failure, more fruitless than any you’ve enlisted our country to fight?

At this late date, we have more people in poverty, and enrolled in these poverty programs than ever before.  If the purpose of these programs had been to give people a “hand up,” how long ago should we have expected them to take it?  One in six Americans is receiving food-stamps.  One in six!  One in seven is enrolled in Medicaid.  More than half the nation’s children receive free or reduced-price lunches and breakfasts at school, all funded by federal dollars.  The number of people living in government-furnished or government-financed housing is outrageous.  If the United States had been involved in a war stretching across the span of a half-century, yielding no improvement in the state of our security, the leftists in this nation would be terminally apoplectic.  We can’t so much as deploy troops to battle terrorists without the left losing its collective hive-mind.

If one were to view warfare as an investment in the future of a county, one could justify the first Gulf War on the basis that it at least restored the free flow of oil at market prices that permitted the nation to enjoy most of a decade of relative prosperity.  If you evaluate the so-called “War on Poverty” by the same criteria, a serious economist would note that it had only made the nation poorer.  In real terms, we have more people in poverty, and a system that is designed to increase the number who will languish in that state.  In truth, most of the people receiving the bounty of the welfare state are living as well as people who earn 150% of the poverty level, and we now provide hand-outs of every description to so many people that they have begun to outnumber producers.

If it is the standard policy of Democrats and their cohort leftist groups to abandon a failed war, why are they not protesting on the streets?  Why are they not screaming and chanting and having die-ins on the streets, not wearing the garb of massacred civilians, as is their usual ploy, but instead wearing the clothing of all those who work for a living?  That’s who they’re killing.  The people being rewarded by this system are not the people who’ve earned it.  Instead, the people who earned the bounty that is being redistributed are being victimized by the Democrats, but also by their friends who are the self-described “compassionate conservatives” in the Republican Party.  Is their compassion with the money of others so thoroughly blinding that they are now unable to see what it is they have wrought?  Rather than elevate people from poverty, giving them the needed “hand up,” what they have accomplished is to create a permanent underclass that largely only fits that definition to the extent of their earnings, but no longer by their standard of living.

The wretched tragedy of this failed War on Poverty might be forgiven if one were to believe it had been the accidental consequence of good intentions, but it is not.  No rational person can evaluate the failed results that have characterized our national effort to reduce poverty, ten years in, twenty years in, or thirty years in, somebody ought to have recognized that this is not working.  It can’t work, in fact, but if you support programs of this sort after you’ve watched their perennial failures for the span of a half-century, one can scarcely conclude that the advocates of such a system had been motivated by benevolence.  While the “War on Poverty” has been a thorough failure, their other war has been a rousing success:  The entirety of this system is part of the extended political warfare against the American people.  The idea is to break us, and it’s working, so that at long last, they have succeeded in making us vulnerable to every conceivable threat.  If the real goal isn’t to cure poverty, but instead to impoverish the American people both in material and liberty, the war of the statists against America has been a rousing success.  We believed they were fighting a war on poverty, but the lengthening line of economic corpses tells another story. There will be no flag-dropped coffins in this war, and no one will salutes its victims, eventually to be measured in the tens or hundreds of millions in shattered dreams and wasted lives.   Too generous and trusting to perceive the objective of their attackers, most Americans didn’t understand that all along, it had been a war for poverty.

Theirs.

Establishment Pundits Miss The Point

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

There is a simple reason Mitt Romney lost:  Free stuff.  Free phones. Free contraceptives.  Free healthcare.  Free food.  Free housing. Rampant illegitimacy.  There exists a broad segment of Republican establishment punditry today arguing approximately: The Republican party failed to attract Hispanic voters, but while there may be some truth in that, only one party has perfected the act of reaching into one citizen’s pocket to deliver goodies into the hands of those who wish to be kept. That’s it.  The GOP establishment is stating that it’s about Hispanics.  It’s not.  They’re suggesting it’s about amnesty and immigration.  It’s not. It’s more about the fact that too many Americans expect to be provided every necessity of life, and so long as you will sign away your liberties, Barack Obama is only too happy to oblige.  How did we get to this point?  How did we arrive in this bastardized America?  What is the leading demographic change that has affected our fundamental make-up to the extent that Barack Obama’s giveaways are effective?  It’s certainly true that the culture has changed in fundamental ways, lending to the viability of the “free stuff” approach of Obama and Democrats, but it’s much less to do with race or ethnicity than some Republicans would have you believe. My wife called it as we watched the election returns:  It has everything to do with sex.

Once upon a time, a man smarter than me alleged that all human conflicts come down to money, power, and sex. I don’t know if that’s absolutely true, but what I do know is that 60% of children in the country are being born out of wedlock.  We don’t talk about this gloomy statistic much any more, as we’ve so thoroughly normalized the behavior that we don’t utilize the term “illegitimacy” any longer because we dare not offend any who might have contributed to the stats.  Looking at the demographic break-down of the election, what I notice is that married women broke for Romney by almost 20%.  Single women, particularly single mothers, broke for Obama in a big way.  Why?  Because, as my wife observed, he’s daddy.  That’s what it is.  That’s all it is.  For all the hype about feminism, what this election reveals is that a large segment of single women want to be taken care of, but they want the illusion of independence provided by an absence of husbands and a boat-load of freebies from government.  As my wife wryly observed as the election returns came in, many are in search of a sugar daddy to whom their faithfulness is signified only with a vote.

If single mothers/women had broken roughly on par with the general populace for Romney, he’d have won.  They were instead so thoroughly lopsided in Obama’s favor that there was no chance for Romney.  Hispanic votes wouldn’t have mattered.  The whole matter of race would have been moot.  Naturally, the GOP establishment leaps to immigration policy and other pandering measures aimed at Hispanics because amnesty is something they believe they can “give away” like free stuff.  Our problem is much more intractable than this, besides which remains the fact that Obama has beaten them to that punch. Until we come to understand how thoroughly our culture has collapsed, we’re not going to win.  Sure, we are going to win elections here and there, but the trend is wiping us out, but this entire meme about bringing in Hispanics is all about JEB and his electoral aspirations in 2016.  Period.

Our culture has changed, in part by demographic measurements, but in larger measure by the moral bearing that drives the statistics.  Young men don’t want families and responsibilities, and young women don’t want them except for transitory purposes.  Yes, that’s painting with a very broad brush, and I am well aware it’s not universally true, but I am talking about the cultural trends.  My notion here is not to blame women, lest you misunderstand.  My point is that women have become the chief source of the difference between the two sides of the electorate, because we have a welfare state that entices them with all of the benefits of marriage with none of its alleged institutional drawbacks.  There is nothing I know that can reverse this trend, and stalling tactics like giving ground on immigration will only buy a little.  The problem is that in order to fix this, it’s going to need to get ugly.  How ugly?  Pre-industrial ugly.

Conservative talk-show host and Breitbart blogging phenomenon Dana Loesch tweeted this morning, and I responded:

We cannot be Santa Claus.  We cannot be a more thorough sugar daddy than Barack Obama.  We cannot give away the country in order to rescue it.  I think the first thing we need to do is to prepare our people for the worst.  I think we need to ready our families and our neighbors for the inevitable collapse.  The Obama-voting electorate is going to discover all too soon that Santa Claus has delivered them only a lump of coal, and prohibited them from burning it for heat besides.  As I tried to explain to Loesch, it’s more than a tough fight.  It’s nearly impossible, because it’s built upon a base of people that continues to grow, while the pool of those who do the provisioning continues to shrink as a group.  It’s a cultural issue, and like most such problems, no policy can fix it.  It’s gone too far.  What will fix it will be when the inevitable collapse occurs, and the well runs dry, and as I covered when Sarah Palin wrote last year over the debt ceiling debacle, the Sugar Daddy has run out of Sugar.

Unfortunately, thanks to the Republicans led by John Boehner, the truth is that the sugar hadn’t run out.  If the Republicans were to stand a chance of defeating Obama in this election, they should have hardened up and cut off the sugar more than a year ago during that debt ceiling debacle.  Instead, they went wobbly, and as you will remember, it was in part at the insistence of Mitt Romney or his campaign staff. They didn’t want any boat-rocking. One more postponement in order to attempt victory one more time, and once again, we found it was too little, too late.  The Republican establishment set will tell us they need one more chance to try to give something away.  It’s won’t work. We can’t out-giveaway the statists.

The problem we face is one of culture.  Until we grasp the fundamentally corrupting influence of our welfare state, and the fact that our alleged compassion leads only to further depravity and destitution, we will not get the country back on track.  It may take a horrible economic collapse for that spigot to run dry, much worse than anything any of us have known in this country.  When that happens, we’ll be going back.  Way back.  The culture will ultimately correct itself, just as one empire gives way to the next when it falls into moral disrepair.  Frightening?  Yes, of course, and thoroughly so.  I don’t know how we will find any other way to convince the people that their moral choices are killing their country, until it happens. Naturally, by then, it will be far too late.  This is why I don’t want to hear from GOP establishment pundits, because they still believe there is some way to buy our way out of that.  There isn’t. We will either lead and teach, or we will be subsumed into the great cesspool of historic collapses, leaving the teaching to history. We must choose our new course, but we must not permit a lack of clarity.  We must, or we’re finished.

Obama Supporters All About the Freebies

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Obama Phone?

If you want to know the sort of America President Barack Obama is building, check out this video.  This woman appeared among a number of protesters at a Romney event outside Cleveland, Ohio, on Wednesday.  Ladies and gentlemen, viewing this video, it is hard to understand why Republicans in Congress have refused to put a stop to some of the hand-outs, and what this woman is contending is true: There are government subsidized phones, but in truth, this actually goes all the way back to Bill Clinton, and was continued under George Bush. Still, this woman believes it is an “Obama-phone” and quite obviously, it is one more reason she supports Barack Obama.  I wonder how she would feel if she were informed that this could also be called a “Bush-Phone?”

For Mitt Romney to win the presidency, this is the mindset he will need to defeat, but sadly, it’s growing and spreading like a cancer across this nation.  Can anybody defeat this? Have we passed the tipping point whereby people who share this woman’s mindset will simply vote to install one dictatorial monster after another into the White House?

Time will tell, but if you want to know how the country is being destroyed, start with this video.

Our founding fathers must be turning in their graves.

 

What Should We Do About The Poor?

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Given my unyielding stance against the welfare state, I am frequently the recipient of emails asserting that I am cruel, greedy, harsh, heartless, rotten, and selfish.  The character of the emails is ever the same, and they tend to consist of two parts, the first being a lengthy critique of my alleged lacking of human compassion, the second being a persuasive attempt to corner me with foolish propositions that have no basis in fact, or ignore the Laws of Nature.  The question is always some form of:  “All right, you cruel heartless so-and-so, what would you have us do about the poor?  Step over their corpses in the gutter?  You who claim to hate so-called death-panels want all of government to be one giant death panel and discontinue assistance to the poor, like unplugging a person from life-support.  You’re a complete hypocrite!”    With some form of that shrill rebuke, they go on their indignant way, never to be read again. I often take the time to answer these emails, not because I expect such stunted minds to consider what I’m saying, because they generally will not even if they are able, but because in the name of all that is right, they ought to be told the truth.  I had thought that if I were to address it here publicly, there would be some chance to clear things up, so let me begin by asserting to those who surround it with insults, the problem is that you are asking the wrong question.  The first matter to be addressed is not what we should do about the poor, but instead whether we should do anything about them at all.

Many people recoil at the suggestion implied by my question, and yet it is a question we must ask in earnest.  The great object of all the indignant sneering at the question is to obfuscate its answer.  Before we can consider what is to be done, we must examine if anything should be done at all, and if so, by whom and under what circumstances.  The great fraud of the safety net is and has been to impose on the wider society the responsibility for bearing the burdens of all the misfortunes and bad choices of their neighbors.  Let me state bluntly that if you wish to devote some portion of your earnings and wealth to the care of the poor, I believe you should be free to do so with your money as your conscience dictates.  There should never be a time in which we prohibit the gifting of goods and money to people in poverty, or for any other cause that the owner of said wealth should decide proper. Here, however, is the ugly trick of their question:  I don’t ask what we shall do, but instead say “you may do whatever you like with your resources.”

At the root of their question is an assumption about who must act, and who needn’t.  They use “we” to mean “everybody but me,” in most cases, because they don’t actually intend on participating in the gifting.  It’s generally the assumption of those who make such a claim that only people of means should be compelled to contribute, but those of modest means ought not.  The part they leave unstated in their plaintive demands for our collective actions is the notion that only some people, however distinguished by their wealth, ought to bear the burdens of the problems of every other living soul.  Whether it’s health-care or clothing; food or shelter; Internet service or auto insurance, they can build a case to dip into the pockets of others on the basis of some “basic need” they have assumed we all share, and in payment for which we all ought to share.  By their grim formula, your exertions on behalf of your fellow man, managed of course by these “compassionate” souls, would never end because in all the world, there will always be somebody slightly more needy than you.

At every step along the way, the entire argument is constructed so as to hide from your view one basic concept that they abhor most of all:  Free will.  They assume the right to deprive you in all cases whatever of your volitional disposal of your assets according to your plans, goals, aspirations, and conscience.  It is ever their assumption that you will pursue your own ends first, and only share what you consider on your own to be your excess wealth, and they believe they have the right to tell you the line of demarcation between necessity and excess.  This is born of their pathological disrespect for the most basic concept of civilization: Property.

Without the concept of property, even your lunch is not your own.  Your person is not secure, because you wouldn’t own even your life.  They who hypocritically complain about “warrantless searches” have no problem with the IRS having unfettered access to the accounts and affairs of those who they decide “have enough,” and even for those who may not, they don’t mind, since they assume some would be able to hide how much they really have otherwise.  No, we mustn’t have any wealth sneaking away.

What none of these will admit is that the naked motive explicit in their demands is to be sure they are always cared for in every conceivable way, without respect to their ability or willingness to pay.  Sure, they bleat on about the elderly, lamenting the problems of poverty, but none are more greedy than they who want to have a “safety net” in which to land on the day they decide they no longer wish to have responsibility for their own lives, whether that date arrives in two decades or two days.

The answer is what it had always been before the eruption of the welfare state in the progressive era of the early Twentieth Century.  We cared for our poor, but we generally made them participate in their own care, and we did it to scale of our own consciences and to the extent our own senses of discomfort permitted.  Under this arrangement, we had many fewer in desperate poverty, because in the main, those in poverty saw the utility in improving their own lot by industrious efforts.  Even when being cared-for by a church or a community group, they were active participants in the [re]construction of their own lives.

This approach worked, and the country grew, and yes there were hard times, just as there are hard times now, but the difference is that among the broadest population, there was every incentive to move again forward and upward.  In our current malaise, too many of our citizens have no vested interest in improving their own lots, since they now subsist in part or in whole on the efforts of others.  Why get out and help to push the wagon, when it is so much more comfortable lying in it?  Sure, one can’t afford the finest things the world may offer, but after all, free is free, right?

The most important reason that the left hates the notion of private, volitional charity and prefers the all-powerful, coercive, compulsory welfare-state is that they consider it “more fair,” because of its general uniformity.  Our welfare state doesn’t ask the applicant for Aid to Families with Dependent Children how they came to be in their plight.  “Fill out the form. Sign here. Next!”  In this way, no judgment is ever made about the manner in which a person came to be in their “disadvantaged” state.  We mustn’t attach any stigma, after all, because we don’t want any to feel badly about themselves, you know.

In contrast, private charities can and do, for reasons of moral import, and also simply in order to actually help people recover from their state of poverty by constructive means.  A private charity might require the people they help to submit to drug counseling, or similar, but the welfare state does not.  It is very much a “come one, come all” affair, and it pays the same whether an applicant is truly the victim of a string of tragic misfortunes, or the victim of their own self-destructive decisions.  The welfare state doesn’t care whether you arrive at its door because through no fault of your own, your world collapsed around you, or instead because of your own mindless sloth.

This is why the question is always shifted to the collectivized context of what “we” had ought to do about the poor.  Once it’s “we,” who are you as an individual to pass judgment?  Once it is compulsory, there is no question of your volition, and any lingering matter of your moral objections are erased and nullified out of all existence.  In addition to collectivizing the effort, the expenditures, and the responsibility, it is critical to remember that they always collectivize the poor too, as if every person in poverty is interchangeable with any other, all having arrived in their state by morally equal means.  These are the shoddy lies inherent in their question, constructed to hide from your mind the real questions you ought to ask before you’re goaded into submission.  Their efforts at collectivization are the product of a single motive:  They seek absolution for the day when they will demand your help, and they have every reason to anticipate that they will.  Whenever I am confronted by those who demand to know “what we should do about the poor” in accusatory tones, my answer is always the same: “I will do what I judge proper, and you may do the same.”

 

Republicans in Congress Shafting Us Again

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Mmmm, Pork!

We shouldn’t even be having this conversation.  It shouldn’t be possible that with all our efforts in 2010 that the Republican majority in the House is even considering this bill.  We wanted Congress to get the spending under control, but instead, it seems as though many of the members we elected on the basis of getting the nation’s financial house in order are instead using the occasion of the Obama administration’s spendthrift ways as cover for more of the same.  The new farm bill is a scorched-Earth policy that heaps new debt upon the nation, reaching forward a whole decade(as if somebody could possibly know what will be needed in farming ten years in the future,) and makes pay-outs of subsidies invisible to the public.  In addition, it locks in Obama’s Food-stamps spending at nearly $80 billion per year.  Why would any Republicans, never mind alleged “conservatives,” go along with this? H.R. 6083 promises nearly one-trillion dollars in spending over ten years.  As an excellent article on Breitbart details, we’re shafted if this is the answer of Republicans.

Agricultural subsidies are popular in farm states, so that it’s easy to understand what’s going on.  This is the same sort of welfarism that the Democrats employ, and it’s clear that no small number of the farm state Democrats will join in the vote in favor of the bill. It’s also clear that a large number of Democrats will vote for the bill due to the locked-in SNAP/Food-Stamps spending levels.  For those less than perfectly familiar with the sort of thing government does in agriculture, consider the ethanol subsidies as one, but also consider the crop insurance program as another.  Both are harmful to our general economy, and both take from tax-payers to redistribute to others, but what they do most of all is to make our farmers dependent upon big government. More, by tying it up with the Food-Stamps/SNAP program, it Congressional “leaders” help to assure easy passage.

The crop insurance program is designed to basically pay farmers if the invest in planting subsidized crops that are ruined by weather, drought, or other natural condition that prevents them from recovering their investment in the planted crop.  This is a terrible idea because it does something nobody else in the market can rationally expect: It removes all risk from the activity, and actually encourages extraordinary risk-taking.  Fields that perhaps shouldn’t be put in production, or should be planted in something else are instead planted with a crop that the farmer may even expect to fail, but is indemnified because it is one of the insured crops.  Worse, the crop “insurance” isn’t really insurance, since in actuarial terms, the small “premium” isn’t near what the mathematics would demand in a free market for such an “insurance” if that were to be its actual goal.  It’s a scam, and the biggest beneficiaries are agricultural giants and politicians.

The effect of this program is to confound the free market, results in higher prices for consumers, and generally causes an expenditure of government funds that is not necessary or proper in any respect.  At the same time, other programs like the ethanol subsidy drive more corn into ethanol production, rather than into food production, meaning that consumers who want a can of corn or a sack of corn-chips are going to pay much more for them because the government is subsidizing the conversion of the food crop to fuel.  It’s extraordinarily wasteful, and yet if you tour those states and poll the farmers who benefit, you will have the virtues of ethanol extolled in such a manner that you will be led to believe it’s the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and it is, for those in the program.  For tax-payers and consumers, it’s an unmitigated disaster.  Add to this the fact that the supposed driver for ethanol, “environmentally friendly fuels,” is nothing but another inefficient scam and what you have is a program with no factual merit, even if it were permissible under our constitution, which it is not.

As a farmer myself, I raise a non-governmentally-preferred crop, and as a result of various government tinkering in the marketplace as I’ve detailed elsewhere, it’s making my farm an untenable proposition.  While I and other non-favored farmers pay taxes, other farmers of favored variety consume them, and borrow from the future besides, as they join other welfare moochers at the government teat.  Of course, like any other welfare program, there is no pay-back, ever.  Temporary assistance becomes permanent subsidy becomes a way of life.  Now, so ridiculous has it become that in this bill, they are actually going to make the recipients secret so you can’t know whose bread is being buttered from the public trough.

I don’t know about you, but ladies and gentlemen, if this is the kind of country we want, we will soon have it in full as this is nothing more or less than naked socialism.  Some will hang upon the strict definition of the term, arguing that government doesn’t own the means of production.  Don’t they?  It seems to me that the most important features of ownership are use and disposition, and that responsibility follows naturally along with the two.  If the government takes all risk away, alleviating responsibility, and it chooses how the resources will be subsidized, effectively determining their use and disposition, though the deed to the farm may be in some citizen’s name, who is in fact running the farm?

Farmers were once a proud and independent lot, but many of them are now merely proud without the independence to support the pride they fiercely claim. Don’t get me wrong: There are still many farmers who produce unsubsidized crops, and who take their lumps accordingly, but that number is shrinking as the number of unsubsidized crops gets smaller and the number able to stand against the leviathan withers.  More, large agri-businesses are lined up at the trough, feasting more thoroughly than any, and there are interests now buying up huge swaths of land along and in flood-plains so they can profit from the crop insurance too.  Why do you think this is being made secret?  Do you think it’s so that Farmer John’s little claim isn’t public?  No, it’s so that Congressman So-and-so’s claim won’t be revealed, and so that Corporate Agriculture’s take from the system won’t be seen publicly.  If you wanted crony capitalism combined with the welfare state, you now have it in full even in agriculture.

That Republicans you elected in 2010 to fight all of this are now supporting it is terrible enough, but when we see freshman members like Kristi Noem(R-SD,) herself a rancher, joining hands with Democrats to further such legislation, you must know we are in terrible shape.  I can’t imagine how a person can campaign for office as a constitutional conservative, but then immediately ignore that when it comes to their own pet subsidies.   Doesn’t the hypocrisy bother her?  Dr. Susan Berry, writing for Breitbart, wrrote:

“A more constructive task for Rep. Noem, and other House Republicans, would be to work out a way to disentangle the food stamp program from the agricultural policies, and then begin to promote free market principles in agriculture. “

This may be optimistic because  the fact of the matter is that none in Congress want the matter disentangled.  By having it entangled and inseparable, members are able to seek cover behind their pet portions of the bill while swallowing the rest.  It is precisely the goal of these sorts of “bipartisan” acts of Congress to create a voting bloc larger than any particular interest in order to get them all through.  Welcome to “compromise,” DC-style.  Conservatives should be livid, and the large number of ostensible conservatives in the agriculture fields should be raising Hell, but many will not because they want to be able to queue up at the trough in secret too.  In 2010, or in 2012, if this is the answer our Republican Congress provides, I’d just as soon have Democrats.  At least they don’t pretend to be conservative.

It’s True: Bush Did It; Obama’s Finishing the Job

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

He Signed a Lot of Liberal Laws

As Senator Jeff Sessions(R-AL) made plain on last Thursday’s Mark Levin Show, George W. Bush in 2002 signed into law an act that made foreign nationals from Mexico eligible for food-stamps. That’s some damned-good “compassionate conservatism,” don’t you think?  What this reveals is more evidence of what I’ve been arguing right along:  What is killing our country is the unwillingness of conservatives to stand on strict principle, and the intentional undermining of conservatives by establishment Republicans at every turn.  I listened to Dr. Levin launch a tirade aimed at the policies of the former President and those like him, as well as at the government of Mexico for several minutes.  He was right in virtually every detail, and he was right to feel betrayed and put-upon by the people who are supposed to be on our side, but with all due respect to the radio giant and conservative beacon, he missed a few things.  I do not intend here to criticize Levin, but I want instead to show conservatives how he had erred, not in his appraisal of the facts, but instead regarding what we ought to do about them.  Dr. Levin’s error is the inevitable result of the contradictions too many conservatives accept,  even those with the intellectual clarity to have known better:  There is no compromise possible between liberty and tyranny, whatever one’s excuses for the latter.

Here’s the clip:

Alternative content

Nearing the conclusion of his justifiable tirade, Dr. Levin began to speak of Mitt Romney.  He offered:

“I sure as Hell hope that if Romney is elected President, that he doesn’t pull these stunts.”

As Dr. Levin said this, in my own mind, there issued a challenge to the Great One:

“What if he does pull these stunts, Mark?  What will you do?  Not vote for him in 2016?”

Yeah, right…

You see, this is emblematic of why we conservatives have lost much(if not all) of our power within the Republican party.  They’ve called our bluff too many times, and on far too many of those occasions, we have gone along despite our protests.  We always rationalize it in terms of “saving the country” from this liberal demon or that leftist monster, but the fact is that when it comes down to it, we are the ones who have blinked, time and time again.  Anybody who had been confused about the matter should see it plainly now:  Conservatives have been neutered in this manner because we have largely demurred from carrying out our threatened walk-outs.   We lose our spines, the walk-outs never materialize, and therefore, we are seen by the party establishment as mere paper tigers to be managed, but never respected, let alone feared.

You might say to me “but Mark, really, we simply must win, because we won’t survive four more years of Barack Obama. The country won’t survive.”  You may be right, but then again, you may not be.  It could be argued that the country is already dead in constitutional and cultural terms, and Levin is among those who has effectively articulated that very argument.  In 2000, I was assured by establishment Republicans that if Al Gore won the presidency, the country would be over, but I told the person with whom I argued that if George W. Bush was elected, it wouldn’t be much different.  Yes, Gore would have pushed the enviro-fascist agenda harder, but then at least the Republican Congress would have opposed him.  Yes, Gore would have tried some of the same tactics of executive fiat that Obama has tried, but again, at least the Republican majority in both Houses of Congress at the time would have been more inclined to do battle with him.  They didn’t oppose George Bush as he extended the power of the presidency through ever more extra-constitutional power grabs.  Instead, we had a Republican President who had a majority Republican Congress for six of his eight years, and he did immeasurable damage to our republic, whether you’re willing to acknowledge it or not.  Yes, he defended the country after 9/11, and yes, he commanded honorably in his role as commander-in-chief, but he had many failings, and the weight of those failings multiplied by the gargantuan multiplier of Obama now smothers us.

To have signed into law a bill that provided for food-stamps benefits to illegal alien Mexican nationals was a crime against every tax-paying citizen in this country, and to all those who will be forced to pay for it over the next several generations, assuming the country survives as a political compartment.  He expanded other social programs as well, created vast new bureaucracies, and otherwise set the stage for everything Barack Obama has done to further the damage ever since he assumed the presidency in 2009.  One might argue that Bush had been well-meaning, but as you know by now, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and it doesn’t much matter whether they’re born in the mind of somebody with an “R” or a “D” after their names.  This is perhaps the single greatest contradiction faced by conservatives like Dr. Levin, who also have good and honorable intentions, and who usually are able to see the folly in pursuing them.

Levin lamented the fact that this isn’t a mere safety net any longer.  He implied that it was instead something monstrous, and he’s right, but let me say to the good Dr. Levin, certainly one of the most talented advocates for our constitution:  There is no rational place in which to draw a line once you begin to build a publicly-funded safety net.  The march of Progressivism throughout the 20th and 21st centuries has proven it, if you needed evidence.  In the early days of our republic, some of our early Presidents drew a firm line when Congress would undertake to create some compassionate measure intended to provide relief to this class or that, always on some construction of the concept that somehow, it could be limited, and that it could be justified in moral terms.  I am here to tell you that it cannot be true that safety nets can be limited and specific, because the primitive nature of pre-humanity is to seek the path of least resistance, or to exercise the least possible discomfort for the greatest comfort available at ease. At its founding, America had the greatest prospects in all of the world precisely because this notion was frowned-upon, and banished in a socially scathing manner, and we tended to consider the purveyors of easy money and easy solutions as con artists and frauds.

Social Security began as a program for widows and orphans.  How long did it remain as such?  The space of a generation had not elapsed before it was extended to wider and wider groups of recipients.  The entire welfare state, from the first bits of Medicaid and Medicare, to AFDC and Food-stamps have all undergone similar transformations, at first for a very limited group, to a broadened eligibility that encompasses vast segments of the American people.  This is what happens, always, once this chain of destruction commences.   It works this way: I say there should be no public safety net. Dr. Levin admits there should be a small, limited one.  His argument is based on his own subjective evaluation of what is the proper level of compulsory compassion.  George W. Bush comes along arguing for food-stamps for foreign nationals.  Levin cries foul, but after all, why is his subjective limitation on compulsory compassion any more valid than the one proposed by President Bush, or President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, or some future statist politician? Simply, it is not.

This is how it gets out of control, and it’s really quite elementary: Once it begins, there is no way to reduce it for long.  You might curtail it a little here or there, but eventually people will come to power who will advance it again, and then still more.  This is why our earliest Presidents, fresh from our post-revolutionary travails, did all they could to oppose the encroachment of any of this redistribution under the guise of “compassion.” James Madison, eventually our third President, and the man thought by many to be the father of our constitution, offered this, as he served in Congress debating a bill providing for some sustenance and relief for French refugees from the Haitian revolution.  He said:

“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” -3rd Congress, Annals of Congress

This makes the matter plain.  There is no room in that statement for a public safety net of any description or purpose, and being one of the authors of the Constitution, one would suspect he understood its intended limits.  Madison would not be the last to make this sort of delineation, and subsequent Presidents actually stated the same sentiment in vetoing legislation proposing various forms of relief for this group or that.  It was not until the rise of the Progressives, in both parties in the early 20th Century that the first great transgressions of this principle began in earnest.

I would argue that Dr. Levin is right insofar as his evaluation of the Bush enactment of the law permitting the provision of food-stamps to illegal alien Mexican nationals, but I must also suggest in the strongest possible terms that Dr. Levin, and those like him of apt reverence for the constitution ought to consider the contradiction implicit in their protestations on behalf of any public safety net. Once it begins, it will not easily be stopped, and usually terminates with the death of the country in the upheaval of bloody revolution.  Only by rapidly undoing it all are we to avoid such mortal discomfort, though the time-frame to undo it all needn’t be overnight, still it mustn’t exceed much more than a half-decade.  We are living with the necessary result of the contradiction explicit in trying to create some firm boundary along the lines of flexible, subjective criteria, perpetually open to reinterpretation by whomever holds the reins of power. Our constitutional principles are fixed, but it is only our adherence to them that has been flexible.

In a letter to Edmund Pendleton, James Madison also wrote:

“If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.”

Is this not now the state our republic has attained?  We have undergone precisely the reversal here-described by James Madison, and it will be our undoing.  I am certain that a constitutional scholar with the precision and vigorous intellect of the sort made plain by Dr. Levin’s long history in service to that document and to the republic it had authored must see and be convinced of the fatal dangers of this contradiction harbored so widely, even among our greatest minds.  It is time that we decide if we are going to live in a constitutional, representative republic, or if we prefer instead to be subject to the indefinite power of a colossal government.  It is the choice made plain in the great book Ameritopia, and as a complete work in defense of our liberty, one would expect that with the fullness of time, its author will ultimately embrace the full wisdom of that which he so magnificently defends.

For we conservatives, it is long past due that we should embrace the meaning of Madison’s admonishments.  He didn’t offer exceptions to the principle, but it is only because no exceptions are rationally feasible.  The danger implied was grievous enough that Madison would not countenance its passage, despite surely being as compassionate and charitable a man as any.  He understood that the only manner in which to draw this line was to make it absolute.  He also understood that any less a proscription would lead inevitably to the national turmoil into which we are now sliding.  This is our true challenge as conservatives, because we mustn’t merely begin the already seemingly impossible chore of diminishing the size and scope of the festering blight of the welfare state, but we must begin the process of excising it from our country altogether.   This may seem a fantastical, practically impossible proposition, and yet if we are to restore the republic to the land of possibilities it had been at its beginning, no less will do.

We must undo Obama-care, rolling it back to 2009, but we must roll back to 2002, and then to 1982, and eventually to 1964, and to the 1930s.  We must keep going until it is gone, replacing government with private, volitional charity of the sort that had permitted us to take care of the truly unfortunate persons among us, but that left no room for graft of any sort at taxpayers’ expense.  One-hundred-forty-four million or so Americans now rely upon the welfare state in all its various forms.  That number is exploding, and will soon top half our population, and when it does, there will be no rolling it back, and surely no salvaging of our republic.  Our desire to help others must be restrained from the realm of government.  The contradiction explicit in attempting to have a system that regards the wealth of citizens as one part private property and one part public loot must be abolished, even if there is some temporary pain.  It’s our last chance, time is quickly running out, and I dare say time is a good deal shorter now than any of our public officials dare admit. It’s time to draw an indelible, solid line.

Government Gone Wild!

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Bing Results

GovernmentGoneWild has put out a new video, detailing what happens if you surf over to your favorite search engine and watch what it auto-suggests when you begin to type:

“how do I qualify for”

It works, and the video is right.  What’s stunning is that in the top ten suggestions, I don’t see:

“how do I qualify for a job?”

There’s really not much I need to add here.  The video says it all, and it’s not good.  I urge you to watch this and send it to your friends and family.  You may wonder why our country is in decline, but  if you want to know one of the big reasons why our country is mortal danger, this video holds the answer. (H/T CutiePi2U on Twitter)

 

Can Romney Win on Fears Over Higher Taxes?

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Do Enough Voters Care?

I’ve heard it said in a number of places, by countless commentators, so much so that I think it’s become part of the script.  It goes along with those who tell us that the Roberts treason has a silver lining, because it makes plain that Obama is imposing new taxes all over the place.  This, along with the economy, is said to be the reason Mitt Romney can win.  I have given this a bit of thought, because it’s been conventional wisdom for so long that most now accept it as something of a truism.  Mitt Romney, they say, now has the biggest tax increases in history against which to run, a veritable “taxmageddon,” they’re calling it, scheduled to being hammering tax-payers in 2013.  The so-called Bush tax-cuts will expire, and of course, all of the new Obama-care “taxes” will begin to phase in.  The problem most Republicans seem not to have noticed, and the reason Romney is in far worse shape than many understand:  Many don’t care that taxes are going up.  As Joe Biden might say, “BFD!” It may not matter if taxes were doubled.  It may not matter how much the Federal Government under the leadership of Obama raises taxes. Taxes may no longer matter as an election issue, and there are two compelling reasons to take this seriously.

The first glaring reason that many voters won’t take this seriously is that even among the few who pay attention, they’re accustomed to hearing outrageous claims by campaigns against their opponents.  Most of the claims boil down to some form of “If you vote for my opponent, a plague will descend upon you, and your children will be carried off by the bogeyman, and the country will melt into the fires of hell and there will be starving people in the street, and you’ll be homeless, naked, and penniless.”  Voters have heard this from both sides so often that whether one side or the other may actually speak plainly about it for a change, most of the relatively low number of voters who pay attention only within the six weeks preceding the election(at best) will feel as though they’ve “heard it all before,” and chances are, they’re right.  The problem is that politicians inflate things all the time.  It’s the norm.  The last time a presidential nominee explained the facts and had no need to embellish, and could merely point to the complete disaster at hand was Ronald Reagan, because all the evidence supported everything he said.  People were living it.

This ought to weigh in Mitt Romney’s favor, and it would, if we were living in 1980 America.  The problem is, we are living in 2012 America, and it’s a very different country.  Consider that we have millions who have spent 99 weeks on unemployment.  Consider that we have roughly fifty million people receiving foodstamps.  Consider that we have a total adult workforce that constitutes fewer than one-fourth of the total population.  We may have passed that critical point at which more people are now beneficiaries of big government than are paying for it, and if this is the case, the economy could become a good deal worse, and it wouldn’t matter because Mitt Romney’s tax arguments, if he were to make one, would fall on the deaf ears of those who have a net tax rate less than or equal to zero.  If we’ve passed that tipping point, Romney can make the tax argument until he’s blue in the face, but it won’t matter to the outcome.  More, with Obama-care now uninterrupted in its implementation by the court, there is now one more inducement to the non-workers, and that is why Democrats were willing to walk the plank in 2010 when the law was passed: They knew once it was in place, we would never be rid of it without revolution.

Of course, it’s not as though all tax-payers will side with Romney, because you can count on the unions to show up and support Obama.  You can bet that the education establishment will support Obama.  The trial lawyers will be there.  In short, all of the usual Democrat constituencies, even those who actually earn a living, are likely to support Obama over Romney because they are either doctrinaire leftists, or because they’ve accepted the language of class envy.  Either way, Romney doesn’t stand a chance in hell of getting their votes.  When you consider this together with the legion of dependency-bound persons who live in large measure or entirely from the system, without effort, you’re looking at what appears to be a majority of voters, or something very close to it.  Romney is going to need to become creative, and find other ways to convince voters, because I no longer have confidence that taxes are a winning issue with the majority of the electorate any longer.

After all, if you say to the millions upon millions of government dependents that you will now reduce the size of government, what they hear is “I’m going to cut your subsidy.”  That’s a disaster they can believe in, and it’s the only one they are inclined to see as relevant.  After all, they’re not paying the bills, and they don’t have any moral compunction whatever about robbing those who do.   Romney can’t rely upon this as his line of attack because for so many voters, it’s now ineffective.  Not only are they carefree about taxes because they’re not paying them, but also because they know that the taxes are supporting them through various federal programs.  Romney’s fifty-nine point economic plan is irrelevant to many, because apart from siphoning off the economy, they’re not participants in it, and have no intentions of changing that sad fact.  Knowing this, I’m not certain why anybody makes the argument any longer, but in Romney’s case, it may be even less effective, as Democrats now make the case that he sheltered millions offshore.

Taxes have sadly moved into the same realm as the deficit and the debt as election issues.  Everybody pays these the appropriate lip service, but the truth is that our system of taxation has become so lop-sided that too many Americans don’t care.  There are simply too few with “skin in the game,” as Barack Obama would say, because they simply don’t pay for any of the government expenditures, and probably never will.  Our massive welfare-state needs a massive overhaul, but we may have passed the point at which we could expect to have popular support to do it.  Mitt Romney may campaign with taxes as his prime issue with which to drive support at the polls, but it seems as though it may no longer be enough as the traditional Republican strategy loses effectiveness.  This is made worse by the fact that for many of those who have heard this talk, and actually want something done about it, they may have low expectations that Romney or any establishment Republican would do the first thing about it.  They have every reason to be doubtful.

If Obama-care Is Overturned, Then What?

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

What Happens After They Rule...

The  question has been asked here on this site, and on others what will become of the state of health-care if Obama-care falls.  I’ve heard the gnashing of teeth among those who think we need some kind of health-care reform, and while I agree, I doubt most would agree with my own prescription. Cold-hearted.  Selfish.  Greedy.   These are all the terms that would be used by statists to describe my own visions of health-care reform.  Even a few alleged conservatives can’t quite bring themselves to endorse my view because at heart, they’re not free market capitalists.  You shouldn’t be surprised, as there are many self-proclaimed “conservatives” who are really nothing of the sort, and who would just as readily inflict and impose their vision of “fairness” as any left-wing socialist radical.  The difference is that they claim to be motivated by other ideas, or beliefs, but what remains universally true is that to impose them, they too must destroy liberty.  I oppose any such plan, plot, or program, irrespective of the source, and I think it’s time we had this little talk lest there be some confusion: I don’t support government involvement in any aspect of healthcare.  None.

The first thing one must know about the free market is that it is destroyed the moment government becomes involved.  If you want to destroy innovation, efficiency, and industry within any segment of any market, introduce government as a buyer.  This is because government is a terrible consumer because it is not spending its own money, but instead yours.  It’s also because the government has undue leverage in a market where it is not the ultimate consumer.  Of course, there will be those of you who will demand to know the fate of the poor, with the stabbing of a pointed finger against my chest, since the poor, by definition, don’t have a good deal of money with which to purchase health services.  As ever, those who wish to control others rely upon the poor to furnish the excuse for their power.  The question is not “what should we do about the poor,” as Ayn Rand famously observed, but “should we do anything about the poor?” This is where the compassion-fascists show up to berate free-marketeers, claiming that the advocates of this viewpoint are heartless and mean-spirited and greedy.  Balderdash!

In order to have any sort of system in which various “necessities” are provided, it is first necessary to obtain them.  Once government is placed in this role, it is inevitable, and in fact a prerequisite that the government employ cruelty against others, from whom the necessities (or the money to purchase them) will be taken.  Ladies and gentlemen, there is no escape from this, and when I observe statists of either left or right political persuasion making this argument, I remind them first of the inescapable, inexorable moral breech:  Government has only force and on that basis, government becomes a murderous villain in the hands of a statist.  Pay, or die. There are those who enjoy shading the black and white behind a curtain of gray fog, but the simple, undisguised fact is that for any such program to exist, government must become evil.  That’s right, I wrote it: Evil.  I take it as an act of evil whenever one initiates force against another, or threatens force, in order to make material (or other) gain.  If one is an advocate of a government-funded, implemented, or regulated healthcare system by any name, one must admit from the outset that one is in favor of robbery through an agent.

Call it third-party theft.  Call it whatever you will, but when government, on the behalf of some citizens, extorts money from the pockets of other citizens, government  has assumed the role of a mafia protection racket.  One can dress it up in all the Sunday’s finest of “compassion,” or “brother-love,” but what one is doing is to attack one person for his wealth on the basis that it should be provided to others on the basis of their needs.  That’s Marxism, and if one supports this in any measure, he or she is  not a conservative. One can claim it.  One can prefix it with words like “compassionate” all one pleases, but the simple fact is that to threaten one’s fellow man with injury and death; violence and expropriation; robbery and slavery is as abominable and un-Christian as one can be.  There is no mitigation.  There is no excuse.  There will be a long line of those accustomed to robbing their neighbors who will come forth to claim that they possess some right – yes, they’ll actually claim a right – to do through government what they would never consider doing themselves for fear of eating a shotgun:  Robbing their neighbors willy-nilly, and with abandon.

Yes, this is the ugly nature of statism, and it’s why I cannot support any health reform that doesn’t get government out of the health-care business altogether.  It is at this point that some will ask me: “But what of veterans?”  To the degree veterans have been injured in the performance of their duties, just as with any worker injured or maimed on the job, the employer must carry that cost, and since we are the employers of soldiers, yes, it is proper for us to pay for that healthcare necessary to make them well, to rehabilitate them, and to compensate them for permanent loss/injury.  That does not mean we need a vast and inefficient system of providing care to veterans.  While it is true that certain afflictions and injuries are not common in the civilian sector, nevertheless, to the degree we can, we should job this out through private providers.  Speaking as a veteran myself, and having seen what have been deplorable conditions at VA hospitals when I’ve volunteered my time there, I cannot but think that most of the veterans I saw would have been better served in the private sector.

Everybody else?  You’d better figure it out.  One has no entitlement, natural or otherwise, to the contents of his neighbors’ wallets.  Since the administration of Franklin Roosevelt, too many Americans have adopted the notion that it is okay to steal from one’s neighbors, or to steal from one’s grand-children so long as government acts as the agent and instrument of that theft.  To steal remotely, through a third party is no less a theft, but it is at once doubly cowardly.  Imagine walking next door to one’s neighbor, and demanding a meal, or an aspirin, or a dollar, or to move in.  In any civilized society, one making such demands would be laughed at, and if he tried to obtain his demands by force, he would be short-lived indeed.  For many millions of Americans, this has become the all-too-common procedure, except that they have the middle-man of government doing their dirty work, never casting the first thought in the direction of the absolute tyranny they’re inflicting on their neighbors, or dismissively concluding that “everyone does it,” which is not only a falsehood, but also a psychological confession of one’s ill intent.

As Rand explained more eloquently, and succinctly, one can do anything one pleases for the poor, out of one’s own pocket, and out of one’s own sense of charity or compassion, and there is naught but good to be born of that approach, be it food, clothing, healthcare, housing, or education.  What one must not do is force others to do one’s will in terms of charity or compassion, because it becomes neither, it breeds contempt, and it is a grave evil of its own in the first instance, for which there can be no ethical justification, despite endless rationalizations born of statist delusion.

I’ve been asked what we should replace Obama-care with, if it’s overturned.  My answer is simply:  A system in which government has no say, and no money in the distribution or provision of health-care, of any sort, as an entitlement for citizens who have done nothing more than breathed.  It is only because of governmental involvement that such shameless thugs as the current dictator of New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, can claim to be acting in the public interest when he bans soft-drinks larger than 16 ounces, or table salt in restaurants, or any of the myriad other tyrannical dicta he puts forth, all “for your own good.”  That sort of monstrous conduct by a public official is just the beginning, and it’s also why I wait along with millions of other Americans to see whether the United States Supreme Court will do its duty, or whether it will enable the advance of tyranny.

There are those who argue that Obama-care must be replaced by something, and my answer is that it should be: The US Constitution.  There exists no entitlement to the wealth of others, whether that wealth is to be taken in order to finance beans and rice or blood transfusions and open heart surgery.  Some will ask where is my compassion, but I maintain that my compassion is with those whose property and wealth is expropriated in the name of the compassion of others.  Unless and until the United States returns to the rule of Constitutional law, the country will continue inexorably downward.  There is no compromise between good and evil, yet what all of this redistributionism endorses is plainly evil.  None of my readers would walk next door and demand from their neighbors such provisions as they might from time to time need, but too many Americans are all too comfortable sending a government agent in their stead.   That’s not liberty.  That’s not freedom.  That’s not right.

 

 

Disability: The New Welfare

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Giving You All You Want

This has been the trend since the end of the 1990s, when “welfare reform” was enacted by a Republican Congress and President Bill Clinton.  Rather than remaining stuck in a system that pays in commodities and benefits, more and more people have been moved into a permanent welfare class defined by disabilities.  Some are legitimate disabilities, of course, but as I suspected then, much of it is trumped-up nonsense.  One of the biggest has been the growth among psychological disabilities, with vast numbers of people receiving benefits on the claim of ADD/ADHD.  This has created whole families who receive monthly stipends, each, as individuals, and a whole cottage industry of attorneys specializing in winning these claims has come into being.

According to one Fox News report, the number has ballooned even more in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008. In fact, according to the source article in the New York Post, many people are applying for disability just as their unemployment benefits are running out. This is simply another case of people seeing the public trough, and figuring out ways to get access to it.  Sure, there are certainly disabled people, but the numbers now applying for benefits as permanently disabled people defies credulity.  This has become the new permanent welfare subsidy, and most of the people who now receive it are able-bodied, but claim disabled minds.  If you wonder how the Obama administration is managing to bring down unemployment, this is part of the formula.  As people’s claims to the Social Security administration are approved, they drop off the roles of jobless, thus rigging the numbers a bit more in favor of the Obama administration.  All the while, disability claims have hit a record $200billion, as of January.

Everybody is entitled to their opinion, but I’ll gladly tell you mine:  I’ve said since the early 1990s that had I been born three decades later, I’d have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD and pumped full of Ritalin, if my parents would have been gullible enough to fall for it.  Most of the kids diagnosed as such are just normal kids who need a little stern discipline, and while there will be those of you who will argue I am a Neanderthal for the suggestion, I’ve seen this up close, and I know what nonsense lies behind most of it.  Now, that diagnosis is being carried over into adulthood, and adults are likewise being newly diagnosed with these dread afflictions of the psyche.

Let me tell you the truth: Most of the people thus diagnosed as adults actually suffer a different affliction, and it’s called “Needaswiftkickaritis.”  In short, they’re children in the bodies of adults who are avoiding responsibility for the conditions of their lives, and passing on the duty to fund their materials needs to those of you who work.  I know a person who is part of this profile, right now, not one mile away, and that’s only because he brags about it.  He knows he’s scamming the system, and he’s actually proud of it.  Somebody at the SSA actually challenged his claim, I believe denying it, and then he went out and found himself one of the ambulance-chasers who specializes in these matters.  Bingo!  He won the lottery, and now, at 26 years of age, he will spend his days being fed, clothed, and housed by you because he “won’t hit a lick at a snake,” as goes the central Texas colloquialism.

This is one more instance where a big government program has been taken from its early intended purpose to something it was never intended to do, and we wonder why we’re going broke?  Where I work, we’ve even had people who came in, applied, went through our extensive training program, and then as they should commence work, announced that they would not be working for us after all, because their claims of disability have been approved.  Ladies and gentlemen, we cannot permit this sort of thing to go on.  When we reformed welfare in 1996, we failed to reform other programs to close loopholes that were even then being habitually abused.  Many of those who went off the welfare rolls in the intervening period have merely found another teat on the giant sow of government at which to nurse.  It’s time we wean some of these piglets, as they’re now milking the sow to death, and us with her.

Romney Still Doesn’t “Get It”

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

"Safety Mitt"

In Romney’s response on CNN Wednesday morning, in which he said he wasn’t “concerned about the very poor,” he went on to make another remark we ought to examine.  I realize what he was trying to say, but what his full statement revealed is that he doesn’t understand why the country is on the verge of total collapse.  In stating his lack of concern, he mentioned that “we have a safety net” and that if it’s broken, he’ll “fix it.”  This is the problem with Romney:  We don’t need to “fix” the safety net.  Instead, we need to dismantle it.  What his reflex reveals is what conservatives have known about Romney from the outset:  He is a big government Republican who wants to “patch” the system, but he has no vision for overhaul of a welfare state that dehumanizes, and converts Americans into a permanent underclass, rather than to help them restore their dignity.

Conservatives understand that the welfare state “safety net” cannot be maintained in its current form because it functions too well as a hammock, but not so much as a trampoline. This difference is something Gingrich well understands, and was at the heart of his rebuke of Juan Williams in the Fox News Debate in South Carolina two weeks ago. Taking the approach of Gingrich was a stunningly successful rebuke of the leftist talking points that will predominate in the general election when the Republican nominee squares off against Barack Obama.  Romney doesn’t seem to grasp this, and it’s because he’s part of the Northeast liberal Republican establishment that tends to view the underclass as the object of their own well-intended welfare statism.  They think that people in poverty cannot lift themselves, and they concede the matter by collaborating on the growth of the welfare state with all the other liberals.

It is this fact that should worry you about Mitt’s alleged “electability,” and it further demonstrates why Mitt simply doesn’t get it.  He can’t identify this thinking, because his blue-blooded reflexes are in agreement with lefties’ views of the poor.  He sees them as the inevitable victims of life’s lottery, and not as people who should be launched into productive, self-sustaining lives of prosperity.  In effect, he sees them with the same underlying contempt as liberals actually feel, and expects them to remain a perpetual burden, with no hope of re-training, education, growth, development, or anything that would lead them to an earned prosperity.  If you want to understand the failings of Mitt Romney, it is here you must begin your journey, because what this small slip-up helps you to understand is that at his fundamental root, he suffers all the same moral and philosophical failings of a leftist.  He is one of them.

This is where his tendency toward allegedly benevolent big-government programs is born, and it is here that he aborts conservatism.  In his first reflex, when it counts most, his response is to push people toward a safety net built not of voluntary private actions by citizens in outreach to others among their own number, but to reckless big-spending government programs that convert individual poor people with momentary life issues into a permanent, institutionalized underclass that will never escape, and can never prosper, and must forever be a burden to their fellow men.  It is a hopeless, wilting view of humanity that surrenders to the notion that some people are helpless, from birth, by virtue of their environment, or both.  It assumes that people may be left in such circumstances until doomsday, with no expectations that they will ever lift themselves from that condition.

This giant hole in Mitt Romney’s understanding of conservatism is one of the larger reasons he cannot win in November 2012, because what it admits is a view of the poor much in line with Barack Obama’s, and it pays homage to the same faulty preconceptions about those who languish in our welfare system, where opportunities are seldom recognized, much less pursued.  It explains his inability to connect with conservatives too, because in this view of the poor, Romney prescribes precisely that which will not help those so-afflicted.  He’s admitting that he will be another governmental enabler, like the government programs in which the methadone substitutes for other chemicals, keeping the user strung out in lifelong stupor, but yielding no rehabilitation, either in addiction, or dignity. This is Mitt Romney, and it’s why after more than a half-decade in pursuit of the presidency, he still doesn’t “get it.”