God forbid, should Obama win re-election who will he have to blame for the mess he will have inherited? certainly not himself
The Bain attack has boomerang implications for anyone who stops to think. (See 2 below.)
Paul Harvey playing The Devil hit it all on the head eons ago:
This is sad and why we need less government.
The End of Welfare Reform As We Know It1)
The Obama Administration made yet another end run around Congress last week—this time, to gut the successful welfare reform law of 1996. If this is allowed to stand, it will mean rewinding years of progress that lifted millions out of poverty.
Before the 1996 reform, welfare was a one-way handout: Government mailed checks to recipients who did nothing in return. The new program the reform law established, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), changed all that. It required able-bodied welfare recipients to work, prepare for work, or at least look for work as a condition of receiving aid. Welfare reform turned "welfare" into "workfare."
At the time, liberals denounced the new law and predicted dire consequences for America's needy. They said the reform would do "serious injury to American children" and "substantially increase poverty and destitution."
There was "absolutely no evidence that this radical idea has even the slightest chance of success," they said, crying that "No piece of legislation in U.S. history has increased the severity of poverty so sharply."
In reality, the exact opposite turned out to be true.
After reform, the welfare caseload promptly dropped by 50 percent. As the caseload plummeted,employment and earnings among recipients experienced an unprecedented surge upward. As Heritage's Robert Rector reported:
As welfare dependence fell and employment increased, child poverty among the affected groups fell dramatically. For a quarter-century before the reform, poverty among black children and single mothers had remained frozen at high levels. Immediately after the reform, poverty for both groups experienced dramatic and unprecedented drops, quickly reaching all-time lows.
Still, the left fought the work requirements. But after legislative attempts to do away with them failed over the years, the Obama Administration decided to rescind the reforms without Congressional approval. This Administration has had no problem acting in an imperial way, rewriting law on its own, whether its new dictates are legal or not. In fact, Heritage legal scholars have determined this latest move is indeed illegal.
What did they hate so much? The reform simply reflected Americans' willingness to help their neighbors in need, on the condition that welfare recipients do what they can to help themselves as well.
Under the law, some 40 percent of adult TANF recipients in a state were required to engage in "work activities," defined as unsubsidized employment, subsidized employment, on-the-job training, attending high school or a GED program, vocational education, community service work, job search, or job readiness training. Participation was part-time, 20 hours per week for mothers with children under six and 30 hours for mothers with older children.
In the past, state welfare bureaucrats have attempted to define "personal care activities," "massage," "motivational reading," "journaling," attending Weight Watchers, and "helping a friend or relative with household tasks" as work activities. Expect far more of this in the future as no-strings-attached handouts again displace workfare.
Instead of helping people get back on their feet—from job training to obtaining employment—welfare will now go back to locking them in a cycle of dependence on the government.
President Obama has made no secret about his plans to expand the welfare state permanently. He has increased spending on federal means-tested welfare ("means-tested" benefits are doled out according to the recipients' income levels) by a third since taking office. And he plans to increase this even further after the current recession ends, calling for a permanent increase in annual means-tested spending from 4.5 percent to 6 percent of gross domestic product. Overall, President Obama plans to spend $12.7 trillion on means-tested welfare over the next decade.
The welfare-to-work provisions of the TANF law were a real bipartisan success story—which is rare in a federal government with more than 80 means-tested welfare programs that provide cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to poor and low-income people.
At the beginning of last week, only two of these programs had active work requirements. With Obama's latest order, the list is now down to one.
1a)Strassel: Obama's Imperial Presidency
The ObamaCare litigation is history, with the president's takeover of the health sector deemed constitutional. Now we can focus on the rest of the Obama imperial presidency.
Where, you are wondering, have you recently heard that term? Ah, yes. The "imperial presidency" of George W. Bush was a favorite judgment of the left about our 43rd president's conduct in war, wiretapping and detentions. Yet say this about Mr. Bush: His aggressive reading of executive authority was limited to the area where presidents are at their core power—the commander-in-chief function.
By contrast, presidents are at their weakest in the realm of domestic policy—subject to checks and balances, co-equal to the other branches. Yet this is where Mr. Obama has granted himself unprecedented power. The health law and the 2009 stimulus package were unique examples of Mr. Obama working with Congress. The more "persistent pattern," Matthew Spalding recently wrote on the Heritage Foundation blog, is "disregard for the powers of the legislative branch in favor of administrative decision making without—and often in spite of—congressional action."
Put another way: Mr. Obama proposes, Congress refuses, he does it anyway.
For example, Congress refused to pass Mr. Obama's Dream Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for some not here legally. So Mr. Obama passed it himself with an executive order that directs officers to no longer deport certain illegal immigrants. This may be good or humane policy, yet there is no reading of "prosecutorial discretion" that allows for blanket immunity for entire classes of offenders.
Mr. Obama disagrees with federal law, which criminalizes the use of medical marijuana. Congress has not repealed the law. No matter. The president instructs his Justice Department not to prosecute transgressors. He disapproves of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, yet rather than get Congress to repeal it, he stops defending it in court. He dislikes provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, so he asked Congress for fixes. That effort failed, so now his Education Department issues waivers that are patently inconsistent with the statute.
Similarly, when Mr. Obama wants a new program and Congress won't give it to him, he creates it regardless. Congress, including Democrats, wouldn't pass his cap-and-trade legislation. His Environmental Protection Agency is now instituting it via a broad reading of the Clean Air Act. Congress, again including members of his own party, wouldn't pass his "card-check" legislation eliminating secret ballots in union elections. So he stacked the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with appointees who pushed through a "quickie" election law to accomplish much the same. Congress wouldn't pass "net neutrality" Internet regulations, so Mr. Obama's Federal Communications Commission did it unilaterally.
In January, when the Senate refused to confirm Mr. Obama's new picks for the NLRB, he proclaimed the Senate to be in "recess" and appointed the members anyway, making a mockery of that chamber's advice-and-consent role. In June, he expanded the definition of "executive privilege" to deny House Republicans documents for their probe into the botched Fast and Furious drug-war operation, making a mockery of Congress's oversight responsibilities.
This president's imperial pretensions extend into the brute force the executive branch has exercised over the private sector. The auto bailouts turned contract law on its head, as the White House subordinated bondholders' rights to those of its union allies. After the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Justice Department leaked that it had opened a criminal probe at exactly the time the Obama White House was demanding BP suspend its dividend and cough up billions for an extralegal claims fund. BP paid. Who wouldn't?
And it has been much the same in his dealings with the states. Don't like Arizona's plans to check immigration status? Sue. Don't like state efforts to clean up their voter rolls? Invoke the Voting Rights Act. Don't like state authority over fracking? Elbow in with new and imagined federal authority, via federal water or land laws.
In so many situations, Mr. Obama's stated rationale for action has been the same: We tried working with Congress but it didn't pan out—so we did what we had to do. This is not only admission that the president has subverted the legislative branch, but a revealing insight into Mr. Obama's view of his own importance and authority.
There is a rich vein to mine here for GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Americans have a sober respect for a balance of power, so much so that they elected a Republican House in 2010 to stop the Obama agenda. The president's response? Go around Congress and disregard the constitutional rule of law. What makes this executive overreach doubly unsavory is that it's often pure political payoff to special interests or voter groups.
Mr. Obama came to office promising to deliver a new kind of politics. He did—his own, unilateral governance.
2)The Obamas' Bain Connections
Among the ironies of President Obama's attack on is that the investment firm has spent much of its 28 years enriching Mr. Obama's voters. Bain clients tend to be government-employee pension funds, foundations, trusts and elite universities. According to LP Source, investors in Bain funds have included both Mr. Obama's alma mater, Columbia, as well as 's Princeton. A 2008 Journal story noted that Harvard, where the Obamas received their law degrees, has also invested with Bain. All three schools decline to discuss their investments in detail.
Dow Jones LP Source collects data on the limited partners (investors) in various private-equity funds and has data on Bain funds going back to the 1990s. Since then, Dow Jones finds that Bain partners have included not just the Obamas' favorite universities, but also pension funds for government workers in their home state of Illinois, as well as in Iowa, Maryland and elsewhere.
Mr. Obama likes to say on the campaign trail that entrepreneurs owe their success to teachers, and it turns out that Bain has been making money for teachers, too. Teacher retirement funds in California, Indiana and Ohio have also been limited partners in Bain funds, according to Dow Jones.
It seems unlikely that Mitt Romney founded Bain with the goal of enriching public-school teachers or the faculty at private colleges favored by the Obamas. But government workers and Ivy League professors aren't the only beneficiaries of Bain's success. Think how much deeper the taxpayer hole would be at America's pension funds if Bain and other private-equity funds hadn't been delivering market-beating returns on behalf of state and municipal retirees.
As for Mr. Obama's political attack on Bain, if he really believes that Bain made its money by firing people and destroying businesses, it raises an interesting question. Does the president believe that universities and public-school teachers should give back their Bain money?
4)Alexander's Essay – July 19, 2012
4)Alexander's Essay – July 19, 2012
Socialism v Free Enterprise: Translating ObamaSpeak
What He Said v What He Meant
"Here comes the orator! With his flood of words, and his drop of reason." --Benjamin Franklin (Poor Richards Almanack, 1735)
Barack Hussein Obama never so much as operated a corner lemonade stand, but his perspective on free enterprise is certainly getting some traction.
Invoking the two pillars of his re-election campaign, tax "fairness"and class warfare, Obama first focused on the tax piece, asserting, "I'm not going to see us gut the investments that grow our economy."
In ObamaSpeak, "gut the investments" translates as "cut taxes," and "grow the economy" translates as "grow the government." This remark was a smokescreen in regard to Democrat efforts to let the across-the-board Bush tax rates expire, which, in effect, will raise taxes on all Americans who earn a living rather than live on the dole.
To that end, Obama's Senate lap dog, Patty Murray (D-WA), served up this ultimatum: "If we can't get a good deal -- a balanced deal that calls on the wealthy to pay their fair share -- then I will absolutely continue this debate into 2013 rather than lock in a long-term deal this year that throws middle-class families under the bus."
Of course, EVERY aspect of her classist rhetoric requires a secret decoder ring.
"Good deal" means "raising taxes" and "balanced deal" means "more spending." If the Demo-gogues were serious about balancing anything, they'd do precisely what "middle-class families" do during tough times: cut expenses.
"The wealthy" means "tax payers rather than tax consumers." As for paying their "fair share," the producers and job creators who earn $250,000-and-above (which is the target for Obama's looming tax increase) while constituting just two percent of the population already pay 43.6 percent of all federal income taxes. Obama is also keenly aware that the top 25 percent of income earners already pay more than 84 percent of income tax revenues and the top 50 percent of earners now pay almost 98 percent of all income tax revenue collected -- which means he's all but created a voting majority who pay little or no federal income tax.
Clearly, Democrats don't represent the "99 percent." Instead, they pander to the 50 percent who are the beneficiaries of confiscated and redistributed wealth from the other 50 percent. I invoke again the timeless words of George Bernard Shaw: "A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul."
Continuing with the translation exercise, Murray says Senate Demos won't "lock in a long-term deal," meaning "extend tax relief for tax payers," and "throwing middle-class families under the bus" is what Obama and his Socialist Democratsdo best.
Every dollar paid into the bloated federal coffers is one less dollar to be spent or invested in the private sector -- where all those "middle-class families" Obama and his cadres use for cannon fodder -- are barely making ends meet.
After pitching his plug for tax increases, Obama then got way off his teleprompted script with the most pointed classist and collectivist rhetoric he has yet to regurgitate: "If you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own. ... If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."
Of course, in the context of his socialist agenda, "somebody else" is his collectivist euphemism for "government," a.k.a. Hillary Clinton's "village."
Finally, he asserted that collectivism is responsible for the existence of the middle class: "So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together. That's how we created the middle class." (As a half-truth, he may be partially correct. More middle-class folks could be wealthy if socialist government taxes and regulation weren't holding them back.)
According to Obama, then, we owe all that we are and all that we own to government.
Notably, after having presided over four years of a flat-lined economy, despite spending trillions of dollars with nothing to show but trillions of dollars in debt, Obama's chronic Narcissistic Personality Disorder enables him to completely ignore reality.
Every time he diverts from his ObamaPrompter, as he did with his assessment of free enterprise, he exposes his ultra-Leftist agenda. Some memorable examples include his recent assertion that, "The private sector is doing fine," but we need more government jobs. Then there was his infamous comment to Joe the Plumber that we need to "spread the wealth around." My personal favorite, however, was when an open mike caught his whispered assurance to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev: "After my election I'll have more flexibility."
Contemplate those words again: "After my election I'll have more flexibility."
As if he hasn't yet done enough damage to our economy, culture and world standing in his first term? One wonders just what other damage he'd do with "more flexibility" in a second term.
Obama leads his lemmings to believe that business owners are millionaires driven by greed who don't care about the jobs they create and the families those jobs support. In fact, the vast majority of small businesses -- those which make up the foundation of our economy -- are owned by men and women who put in long hours for not much more money than their managers and supervisors. But that's during a healthy economy.
In a failing economy, like the current one under the Obama regime, small business owners who are personally liable for the debt required to operate their businesses, are taking out second home mortgages, maxing their credit cards, and borrowing from relatives and retirement savings in order to keep their businesses solvent.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wasted no time returning fire in defense of free enterprise.
"The idea to say that Steve Jobs didn't build Apple, that Henry Ford didn't build Ford Motor, that Papa John didn't build Papa John Pizza, that Ray Kroc didn't build McDonald's, that Bill Gates didn't build Microsoft -- you go on down the list ... to say something like that is not just foolishness, it is insulting to every entrepreneur, every innovator in America and it's wrong," Romney said.
He continued, "[Obama's] logic doesn't just extend to the entrepreneurs that start a barber shop or a taxi operation ... it also extends to everybody in America that wants to lift themself up a little further ... [Obama] would say, 'Well, you didn't do that ... you are not responsible for that success.' Obama exposed what he really thinks about free people and the American vision, and government, what he really thinks about America itself. I find it extraordinary that a philosophy of that nature would be spoken by a president of the United States. We have seen what Obama's political philosophy brings and we don't want any more of it!"
Romney closed by asking, "Do we believe in an America that is great because of government, or do we believe in an America that's great because of free people allowed to pursue their dream? Obama attacks success and therefore under Obama we have less success. And I will change that."
National Review's Rich Lowry summed up Obama's theory of economics: "Behind every successful businessman, there is a successful government. Everyone is helpless without the state, the great protector, builder, and innovator. Everything is ultimately a collective enterprise. Individual initiative is only an ingredient in the more important work when 'we do things together.'"
Ronald Reagan observed, "Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States."
We still are, and Obama and his Leftists despise nothing more than self-sufficiency, which is the antithesis of the government dependency they promote.
Pro Deo et Constitutione — Libertas aut Mors
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis