And So I Go: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Archive for the ‘Black community family’ Category

I imagine my Readers have been watching the circus going on in Washington as Obamacare does its predicted  nose dive  dropping  the  nasty  little factoids as it goes.   Everyday wqe learn another way this law will hurt Americans.  Here is just a couple more for you all to consider.

You may also want to check out some of the “Quick Hits” at the bottom of the page.  Like who is paying for all those “Obamaphones” being passed out all over the country?  How good is that CANADIAN company whom our government paid to build the Obamacare website and are paying to fix it now? BB

From Heritage:

How Obamacare Discourages Work and Marriage

While President Obama and his fellow liberals may have held the best of intentions while ramming Obamacare through Congress, the law’s policies are far from compassionate toward the uninsured and Americans with low and modest incomes.

In fact, the law perpetuates some of the country’s worst trends that trap people in poverty. It includes disincentives for individuals to marry and for Americans of low and modest incomes to work. Discouraging work and marriage will only perpetuate poverty and income inequality, not alleviate them.

Discouraging Work

The way Obamacare calculates federal premium subsidies and cost-sharing subsidies includes several “cliffs.” A person might qualify for a hefty subsidy at his current income, but if he gets a raise and makes a little more, that Obamacare subsidy disappears.

At these cliffs, individuals and families will actually benefit more by working less because additional earnings could cause them to lose thousands of dollars in taxpayer-funded subsidies.

Families facing these kinds of poverty traps may ask the obvious question: If I will lose so much in government benefits by earning additional income, why work?

Rather than encouraging hard work, initiative, and entrepreneurship, Obamacare instead undermines these essential American values.

Discouraging Marriage

Obamacare contains not one, but two penalties on marriage—one for families with low and moderate incomes and another for families with higher incomes. By continuing failed policies that undermine the institution of marriage, Obamacare will accelerate a root cause of income inequality in the United States.

Here’s an example. A 50-year-old non-smoker making $35,000 per year would qualify for a sizable insurance subsidy, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s insurance subsidy calculator. The individual’s premium would be capped at 9.5 percent of income, resulting in an insurance subsidy of $2,065 paid by the federal government.

However, if this 50-year-old is married to another 50-year-old who also makes $35,000 per year, the couple would receive no insurance subsidy at all. This couple would incur a marriage penalty of $4,130 in one year—equal to the $2,065 that each individual could have received if they were not married.

As Urban Institute fellow Gene Steuerle has said: “Our tax and welfare system thus favors those who consider marriage an option—to be avoided when there are penalties and engaged when there are bonuses. The losers tend to be those who consider marriage to be sacred.”

Obamacare sends a clear message that reliance on government is preferable to these traditional American values—work and marriage.

Our health care policy should not be undermining these foundations of society. For a more commonsense approach to health care reform, check this out.

obamacare-alternative

Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.

Quick Hits:

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Lyndon Johnson started the War on Poverty that simply pushed further the destruction of the United States started by Franklin Roosevelt.  When people are given their daily bread they will stand with their hands out and refuse to work for their daily bread.  This is where our government has been heading thru this century and has  finally found the ultimate destroyer of human dignity in Barack Obama.

The Bible days to teach a man to fish, not give a man a fish!   the War on Poverty gave a man a fish and required nothing of him but to eat the fish and grow lazy while demanding more and more from others.

One of the most egregious sins committed by Johnson’s war on poverty was the destruction of the Black family which of course lead to the total destruction of the Black culture and community.   One of the requirements for a family to get help was that there be no man in the household.  This caused the men to leave the family in order for the wife and children to get some form of welfare.  After  50 years we see the Black b babies born to single mothers going from 23% in 1965 to 70% in 2010!  We see the prison population at 72% Blacks while they are only 28% of the total population.  We see Black on Black murder and other crimes to the point where Black communities are actually war zones.  Go to any city in the United States and look at those cities Black communities before 1965 and  Johnson’s War on Poverty and you will see  vibrant active communities with many Black businesses and culture and LIFE.  Today you find slums.   ALL of this can be traced back to welfare and handouts from the government.

The following article is a brief history lesson on the programs that have destroyed  the initiative and  dignity of the American public.  BB

How Are We Losing the War on Poverty?

August 7, 2013 at 10:36 am

After trillions of dollars in welfare spending, “we’re losing the War on Poverty,” said Representative Paul Ryan (R–WI) last week.

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson launched the famous “War on Poverty,” putting into place a multitude of government means-tested welfare programs and kicking off what has come to a five-decade total of nearly $20 trillion in federal and state welfare spending.

What has been the result? A poverty rate that has remained basically stagnant since the War on Poverty began.

Part of the reason welfare doesn’t have much impact on the poverty rate is that hardly any of the welfare benefits households receive are counted when calculating a household’s income. The poverty measure doesn’t really tell us very much about poverty. However, it does provide a good measure of self-sufficiency. While welfare has no doubt boosted living standards for recipients, self-sufficiency rates have remained virtually stagnant since the mid-1960s.

Eloise Anderson, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, testifying before Congress, touched on the human cost of a welfare system that fails to promote work:

Their talents and gifts are lost to the larger community. And what’s important is the spirit of the human, and if we have people just taking, they lose their spirit; they don’t become integrated into the community. So the giving of programs and money is not the answer to human dignity.

Of the roughly 80 federally funded means-tested welfare programs, only a handful include any type of work requirement. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, created under the 1996 welfare reform act, did insert a work requirement into the largest cash welfare program. But the Obama Administration took it upon itself last year to bypass the lawby allowing states to waive work requirements. The Administration has also been issuing waivers to allow states to bypass work requirements for able-bodied adults receiving food stamps. Anderson continues:

I’m pleading with you: don’t waive the [TANF] work requirement. It is so vital for when people are coming in to know that something’s expected out of them. I don’t think that we can go back to the notion that when you come in to get a service, nothing’s expected out of you.

Welfare should be based on the principle of self-sufficiency. It should encourage opportunity rather than government dependence. Instead of continuing the same failed path of anti-poverty policies, lawmakers should reform welfare to encourage work.

“We should focus on results,” stated Ryan at the hearing. “We should focus on how many people get off public assistance—because they have a good job.”

Posted in Family and Religion [slideshow_deploy]

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The following article is from the Heritage Foundation and is a listing of studies made by various groups on the state of our government and social programs.  I found many of them informative and felt that perhaps my Readers would also.  Just check out the listings and click on the topics that interest you.   You may also wish to subscribe and have the Insider Online newsletter delivered to your home page.  sincerely, BB

 

Updated daily, InsiderOnline (insideronline.org) is a compilation of publication abstractshow-to essaysevents, news, and analysis from around the conservative movement. The current edition of The INSIDER quarterly magazine is also on the site.


June 22, 2013

Latest Studies: 38 new items, including a Manhattan Institute report on the student debt problem, and an American Legislative Exchange Council report on environmental overcriminalization

Notes on the Week: Not even low-income workers can count on benefiting from ObamaCare, things to know about the CBO’s immigration scoring, and more

To Do: Keep an eye on Russia

Latest Studies

Budget & Taxation
• Four Tenets to Less Government Spending – e21 – Economic Policies for the 21st Century
• The Municipal Government Debt Crisis – Heartland Institute
• Proposed New Farm Programs: Costly and Risky for Taxpayers – The Heritage Foundation
• Soaring National Debt Remains a Grave Threat – The Heritage Foundation
• Taxing Online Sales: Should the Taxman’s Grasp Exceed His Reach? – The Heritage Foundation
• The Big Choice for Jobs and Growth: Lower Tax Rates Versus Expensing – The Heritage Foundation
• The Many Real Dangers of Soaring National Debt – The Heritage Foundation
• The Simple Economics of Pro-Growth Tax Reform – The Heritage Foundation
• Turn Down the Heat, Switch On the Light: A Rational Analysis of Tax Havens, Tax Policy and Tax Politics – Institute of Economic Affairs
• The Best Solution from Both Budgets: “Reverse Logrolling” Shows the Best Option for Government Spending and Tax Reform – John Locke Foundation
• Creating a Fair Property Tax System: Is it Possible? – Public Interest Institute
• Kansas 2013 Tax Reform Improves on Last Year’s Efforts – Tax Foundation
• New Zealand’s Experience with Territorial Taxation – Tax Foundation
• A Review of the 83rd Session of the Texas Legislature – Texas Public Policy Foundation
• Virginia Economic Forecast 2013-2014: State to Add Jobs Despite Sequestration – Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy

Crime, Justice & the Law
• Ignorance of the Law Is No Excuse, But It Is Reality – The Heritage Foundation
• Comeback States Report: Reducing Juvenile Incarceration in the United States – Texas Public Policy Foundation
• Scientific Evidence in State Courts: Florida Reform as a Model – Washington Legal Foundation

Education
• Beyond Retrofitting: Innovation in Higher Education – Hudson Institute
• College Credit: Repairing America’s Unhealthy Relationship with Student Debt – Manhattan Institute

Foreign Policy/International Affairs
• Beyond the Border: U.S. and Canada Expand Partnership in Trade and Security – The Heritage Foundation

Health Care
• The Right Way to Fight Obesity – Hoover Institution
• An Analysis of the Proposed Medicaid Expansion in Michigan – National Center for Policy Analysis
• Veterans Affairs Fails to Curb Suicide Epidemic – National Center for Policy Analysis

Immigration
• Advancing the Immigration Nation: Heritage’s Positive Path to Immigration and Border Security Reform – The Heritage Foundation
• Senate Immigration Bill Does Not Require Payment of All Back Taxes – The Heritage Foundation

Information Technology
• FCC Must Maintain Open Eligibility for Incentive Spectrum Auction – Free State Foundation

Monetary Policy/Financial Regulation
• Rethinking the FHA – American Enterprise Institute
• Recent Arguments against the Gold Standard – Cato Institute

National Security
• Obama’s Wish to Cut Nuclear Arsenal Undermines National Security – The Heritage Foundation
• Preventing the Next “Lone Wolf” Terrorist Attack Requires Stronger Federal–State–Local Capabilities – The Heritage Foundation

Natural Resources, Energy, Environment, & Science
• Efficiency Policy – American Action Forum
• Five Solutions for Addressing Environmental Overcriminalization – American Legislative Exchange Council
• Improving Incentives for Federal Land Managers: The Case for Recreation Fees – Cato Institute
• Denial of Supreme Court Review Leaves Ninth Circuit ESA Case Intact – Washington Legal Foundation
• Ohio Court Limits Localities’ Authority over Energy Exploration – Washington Legal Foundation

Transportation/Infrastructure
• Paint Is Cheaper Than Rails: Why Congress Should Abolish New Starts – Cato Institute
• Moving the Road Sector into the Market Economy – Institute of Economic Affairs

 

 

 

Notes on the Week

Rector on CBO on immigration: The Congressional Budget Office told us this week that letting large numbers of immigrants into the country and changing the status of those currently here illegally will be great for the economy and the federal budget. Robert Rector has a few things to say about the CBO’s scoring of the Gang of Eight immigration bill. Here are the highlights:

[T]he immigration coming in under this bill looks like previous immigration in the sense that its predominantly lower-skilled plus the fact that you’re taking 11 million illegal immigrants and giving them access to the welfare and entitlement states. They have an average education of 10th grade, so it’s very difficult to imagine that those households would somehow pay enough in taxes to equal their benefits […] .

The trick is the CBO 10-year budget window. […] For mysterious reasons, when an amnesty bill is written, the amnesty recipients become eligible for everything under the sun in about the 11th year. So that they pay taxes in the first 10 years and they don’t get additional benefits for some mysterious reason until you move outside the CBO budget window. […]

[T]he federal government, because of Social Security and Medicare, inherently transfers from the non-elderly to the elderly. State and local governments kind of do the opposite. If you just look at state and local governments you would find that they transfer from the elderly to the non-elderly to pay for education. The elderly pay a lot of property tax; they don’t get any education benefits any more. […] Of course immigrants are not elderly themselves. For a limited period of time they pay in but then they take out more than they have paid in. It’s important to put both flows together because the opposite process is happening down at the state and local level. […]

One of the interesting things that CBO does tell us is that the number of illegal immigrants who will enter the country over the next 20 years goes down by only 25 percent. There would have been, they estimate, 10 million illegal immigrants entering over the next 20 years. They estimate that that will drop to 7.5 million illegal immigrants entering the country […] . The net cost of those illegals alone would be about $400 billion over that period. […]

When you look at the Gang of Eight explain their bill they always say: Oh, we’re shifting from low-skill immigration to high-skill immigration. You can trust us. That’s what we do. But in fact the numbers from CBO show exactly the opposite. Roughly 80 … 85 to 90 percent of the individuals getting green card status are not skill-based. [The Foundry, June 21]

 

 

Turn on, tune in, pay up. Online learning may transform higher education someday, but right now it serves mainly as a prop in the familiar university system, say Andrew Kelly and Frederick Hess:

Many online programs generate large revenues because most colleges charge the same price (or more!) for students enrolled online as for those on campus. A survey of 199 universities by the educational technology arm of the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education found that 93 percent of universities charged the same or higher tuition for their online programs. This is bizarre, given that online courses are less costly to deliver than in-person courses. But instead of competing on price (meaning that cost savings get passed to the student), institutions have maintained in-person prices for online courses—even as the cost of delivery has fallen.

What do colleges do with that extra revenue? They cross-subsidize activities on the brick and mortar campus: unfunded research, student life, institutional aid programs, and so on. Put more genteelly, they “reinvest” it in their traditional campus.

Real innovation, as Kelly and Hess point out, is about unbundling the research-based university, and that’s not going to happen until the government regulations, subsidies, and accreditation policies that protect that model from competition are reformed. [“Beyond Retrofitting: Innovation in Higher Education,” by Andrew P. Kelly and Frederick Hess, Hudson Institute, June 2013.]

 

 

Not even low-income workers can count on coming out ahead under ObamaCare. Some low-income workers could end up paying a lot more for health insurance than they paid before ObamaCare became law, reports Jillian Kay Melchior. ObamaCare requires employer-provided health insurance to cover at least 60 percent of health-care costs while not costing employees more than 9.5 percent of their household incomes. Since low-income households may have multiple sources of income, it can be difficult for companies to figure out if a particular plan is sufficient to avoid penalties. The federal government has proposed “safe harbor” standards in order to provide clarity: Companies offering plans that have a $3,500 deductible, a $6,000 cap on out-of-pocket costs, and premiums of $90 or less per month would put companies in the clear of any penalties. Under those standards, says Melchior, a low-income worker not eligible Medicaid has few good options:

He could take the employer’s plan — but if it’s a safe-harbor plan, it would cost, at minimum, $1,080 a year. And that’s before the deductible is even factored in. For someone who earns $28,725 a year, falling at 250 percent of the poverty level, these costs are sizeable.

Option two: He could shop around on the health exchange for an alternative. But because his employer provides a sanctioned plan, he’s disqualified from any subsidy he might have received to help offset costs. Even a very basic plan would cost up to $2,316 a year in premiums alone.

Option three: Forgo insurance altogether and pay the steadily increasing penalty to the federal government. In 2014, for an individual, that’s $95 for the year or 1 percent of household income, whichever is greater. But by 2016, it will rise to either $695 or 2.5 percent of household income. And that’s not even factoring in whether the worker has kids. In that case, he could face an annual penalty of $2,085 or more by 2016. […]

Before, many employers who paid by the hour offered limited medical plans. These policies often got a bad rap because of their lack of catastrophic coverage. But to their credit, they were inexpensive and contributed to health-care costs immediately, without workers needing to first meet a deductible.

Now, these low-wage hourly workers would be forced to spend at least $5,300 before their coverage really begins to benefit them. [National Review, June 17]

 

 

Who elected those guys? ask teachers in Kansas. Last week, teachers in Deerfield, Kansas, did something that almost never happens, report James Sherk and Michael Cirrotti: They voted to decertify their union:

Unlike most public officials, unions do not stand for re-election, so their members cannot regularly hold them accountable. Workers can remove an unwanted union only by filing for decertification. But bureaucratic obstacles make it difficult to hold a vote on decertification. The hoops Deerfield’s teachers had to jump through illustrate this problem.

Joel McClure, the teacher who led the effort, submitted the appropriate paperwork to the Kansas Department of Labor in November 2012. But Kansas teachers can request a vote only in a two-month window every three years. KNEA officials contested the petition by claiming that the teachers missed the December 1 deadline. (The Department of Labor had misplaced the initial petition paperwork.) Then the KNEA objected that the teachers’ attorney was not certified in Kansas and that they did not have enough signatures. However, the teachers prevailed and voted out their union—in June, just eight months after the initial submission.

When asked why they went through such protracted effort, the teachers said their union ignored their concerns. They wanted instead to be actively involved in negotiations and work collaboratively with the school district. “The desire is for teachers to participate at the [bargaining] table, to have free access to information,” McClure said. “In our little school district, there’s no reason we can’t sit down at the table and work out our issues.” [The Foundry, June 18]

Did we mention that next week is National Employee Freedom Week?

 

 

The death panel is coming. Last week, a federal judge in Philadelphia blocked the enforcement of an age-limit rule on lung transplants, thus allowing a very sick 10-year-old girl to obtain a new set of lungs. Doctors had said the girl, who suffers from cystic fibrosis, would live only three to five weeks without new lungs. Earlier, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius had said she would not to intervene in the case by overturning the rule.

When the ObamaCare-created Independent Payment Advisory Board is up and running in two years, it too will make decisions on matters of life and death, but unlike Sebelius’s decision on lung rules, the decisions of the IPAB cannot be reviewed by courts. Those decisions are also protected from politics in some extraordinary ways. As David Rivkin and Elizabeth Foley explain, the IPAB set-up is certainly unconstitutional, but likely not challengeable in the short run because no one would have standing to sue:

Once the board acts, its decisions can be overruled only by Congress, and only through unprecedented and constitutionally dubious legislative procedures—featuring restricted debate, short deadlines for actions by congressional committees and other steps of the process, and supermajoritarian voting requirements. The law allows Congress to kill the otherwise inextirpable board only by a three-fifths supermajority, and only by a vote that takes place in 2017 between Jan. 1 and Aug. 15. If the board fails to implement cuts, all of its powers are to be exercised by HHS Secretary Sebelius or her successor. […]

The power given by Congress to the Independent Payment Advisory Board is breathtaking. Congress has willingly abandoned its power to make tough spending decisions (how and where to cut) to an unaccountable board that neither the legislative branch nor the president can control. The law has also entrenched the board’s decisions to an unprecedented degree.

In Mistretta v. United States (1989), the Supreme Court emphasized that, in seeking assistance to fill in details not spelled out in the law, Congress must lay down an “intelligible principle” that “confine[s] the discretion of the authorities to whom Congress has delegated power.” The “intelligible principle” test ensures accountability by demanding that Congress take responsibility for fundamental policy decisions.

The IPAB is guided by no such intelligible principle. ObamaCare mandates that the board impose deep Medicare cuts, while simultaneously forbidding it to ration care. Reducing payments to doctors, hospitals and other health-care providers may cause them to limit or stop accepting Medicare patients, or even to close shop.

These actions will limit seniors’ access to care, causing them to wait longer or forego care—the essence of rationing. ObamaCare’s commands to the board are thus inherently contradictory and, consequently, unintelligible.

Moreover, authorizing the advisory board to make rules “relating to” Medicare gives the board virtually limitless power of the kind hitherto exercised by Congress. For instance, the board could decide to make cuts beyond the statutory target. It could mandate that providers expand benefits without additional payment. It could require that insurers or gynecologists make abortion services available to all their patients as a condition of doing business with Medicare, or that drug companies set aside a certain percentage of Medicare-related revenues to fund “prescription drug affordability.” There is no limit. [Wall Street Journal, June 19]

 

 

What is candy? Depends on which state wants to tax it online. Forcing online retailers to remit sales taxes to the state where the purchaser resides, as the federal Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) does, is not going to level the playing field between online and bricks-and-mortar retailers. Rather, as James Gattuso explains, it will tilt the playing field heavily against online retailers—especially smaller ones:

While the legislation does require states to provide retailers with free software for managing tax compliance, that software need only cover the individual state. Retailers are left on their own to get nationwide software, unless they want to integrate 46 individual software packages. No compensation is offered for recurring costs incurred by retailers, such as accounting services or online tax management services.

In addition, internal staff time would be needed for an array of tasks, including handling claims by tax-exempt customers, fielding inquiries from tax authorities, and addressing the inevitable glitches.

Even the simple act of classifying the item being sold can be problematic, with thousands of idiosyncratic distinctions and definitions through each state’s tax code. In Wisconsin, the Wisconsin flag as well as the U.S. flag is not subject to tax. All other flags are taxable. Unless they are bundled with flagpoles, in which case the rules change yet again.

Similarly, candy is defined—under the “streamlined” sales tax agreement, as “a preparation of sugar, honey, or other natural or artificial sweeteners in combination with chocolate, fruits, nuts or other ingredients in the form of bars, drops, or pieces.” But sellers beware: “‘Candy’ shall not include any preparation containing flour and shall require no refrigeration.” Thus defined, states still vary on whether the concoction is taxable or not.

The problems do not end with the sale. Each of the 46 state tax authorities with which retailers would have to deal directly require tax returns to be completed, on an annual, quarterly, or even weekly basis. To ensure that it is all done correctly, sellers would be subject to audits from each of 46 states. (If tax authorities on Indian reservations are included—as they are in the MFA as passed by the Senate—the number of tax forms and potential audits jumps to the hundreds.) [The Heritage Foundation, June 19]

 

 

Carbon taxers forget the externalities of not using cheap, abundant energy. One reason putting a tax on carbon in order to price its negative externalities is not a free-market idea:

[E]ven if SCC [social cost of carbon] estimates were not assumption-driven hocus-pocus, their use by activists, policymakers, and agencies would still be biased and misleading, because proponents of “climate action” always ignore the social costs of carbon mitigation.

As Cato Institute scholar Indur Goklany explains in a recent study, fossil fuels are the chief energy source of a “cycle of progress” responsible for the amazing improvements of the past 250 years in life expectancy, health, nutrition, safety, comfort, human capital formation, and per capita income. The cycle of progress is to no small extent a “positive externality” of fossil fuels. Thus, policies that suppress the extraction, delivery, and consumption of fossil fuels, or that make fossil energy less affordable, have social costs in addition to whatever compliance burdens and economic losses the policies entail.

For example, the more stringent the carbon mitigation scheme, the more severe the impacts on household income and job creationNumerous studies find that poverty and unemployment increase the risk of sickness and death. Carbon tax advocates never acknowledge this side of the ledger.

Given the continuing importance of fossil fuels to human flourishing and the undeniable connection between livelihoods, living standards, and life expectancy, carbon taxes can easily do more harm than good to public health—even if one accepts the IPCC’s version of the science.

That’s from Marlo Lewis’s excellent summary of the recent R Street-Heartland Institute debate on the carbon tax. [GlobalWarming.org, June 16]

 

 

Progressives make use of rights that progressives think should not exist. It’s a good thing for progressives—and everybody else—that one particular progressive idea hasn’t been adopted, observes Wendy Kaminer:

If progressives had their way, the ACLU’s latest challenge to the NSA’s domestic surveillance would easily be dismissed.ACLU v Clapper, filed in the wake of the Snowden revelations, is based on the ACLU’s First and Fourth Amendment rights, which, according to progressives, ACLU should not possess. It is, after all, a corporation, and constitutional amendments aggressively promoted by progressives would limit constitutional rights to “natural persons.”

“The words people, person, or citizen as used in this Constitution do not include corporations, limited liability companies or other corporate entities,” the popular People’s Rights Amendment declares. [The Atlantic, June 17]

Arthur Koestler’s protagonist in Darkness at Noon referred to the first-person singular as a “grammatical fiction” because it conflicted with the logic of self sacrifice demanded by the party. Today’s real progressives are now trying to subvert the plural form. By insisting that only individuals, not corporations, have rights, they elide the fact that corporations are made up of individual people. Individuals can’t fully exercise their rights if the things they choose to do cooperatively with others do not have the same protections as the things they choose to do alone. Maybe the American Civil Liberties Union can spread the word.

 

 

To Do: Keep an Eye on Russia

• Find out what Russia is up to with its efforts to construct a Eurasian Union. The Heritage Foundation will host a half-day conference on June 27 in Washington, D.C.

• Reflect on the Battle of Gettysburg and its meaning for the nation, which happened 150 years ago this July. Allen Guelzo of Gettysburg College will make remarks at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., at 4:30 p.m. on June 26.

• If you are a young, professional, conservative woman, come meet other young, professional, conservative women at the Network of enlightened Women’s National Conference. The conference will be held June 27 – June 28 at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. Christina Hoff Summers will deliver a keynote address.

• Request a free copy of the movie Amazing Grace, which tells the true story of William Wilberforce’s fight to abolish slavery. The offer is part of the Foundation for Economic Education’s Blinking Lights Project, which educates about the importance of personal character as a vital element of free society. Be sure to check that out, too.

• Don’t forget that next week is National Employee Freedom Week, “a national effort to inform union employees of the freedom they have regarding opting out of union membership and making the decision about union membership that’s best for them.”

• Save the dates! These events are no longer classified, are they?
—The annual IEA Hayek Memorial Lecture, delivered this year by Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, talking on “The Leave Us Alone Coalition vs. The Takings Coalition: The On-going Struggle” at 6:30 p.m. in London;
—The 42nd National Fourth of July Soiree, featuring barbeque, blue grass, balloon artists, and more at Bull Run Regional Park in Centreville, Va., on July 4 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.;
—The Heritage Foundation’s annual Scholars & Scribes review of the Supreme Court’s 2012-2013 term, July 11, in Washington, D.C.;
Freedom Fest, the largest gathering of free minds, July 10 – July 13 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas;
—and Cato University, July 28 – August 3 at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.

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I thought I was pretty well up on what is happening in our country because I really try hard to keep up and do a lot of reading, but now way was I even close to knowing what is happening to everyday people just like me and you.  This article from the Heritage Foundation is an eye opener and a blood pressure raiser. Be sure and go to all the referred sites for all the information.  The time for We the People to act is now when we have the momentum with the Tea Party and other groups up and moving.  Time for you to get involved too before it has gone too far for the United States and Americans to turn the tide towards tyranny around and defeat those who would imprison us in a country no American wants to live in.  Sincerely, Brenda Bowers  BB

The Government vs. YOU

06/14/2013

Every day, more Americans get trapped by big government. In addition to groups targeted by the IRS, upstanding citizens going about their normal lives are suddenly targeted by law enforcement authorities and charged as criminals. Just a few examples:

 

 

 

USA-v-YOU

These are only a few of the shocking incidents The Heritage Foundation chronicles in our new project, USA vs. YOU. Experts at Heritage’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies reveal the stories of 22 people from all backgrounds, races, and income levels victimized by carelessly written laws.

Get the FREE e-book USA vs. YOU now >>

When criminal laws are created to “solve” every problem, punish every mistake, and compel the “right” behaviors, this troubling trend is known as overcriminalization. Ultimately, it leads to injustice for honest, hard-working Americans at every level of society.

Public interest groups from across the political spectrum recognize how this flood of criminal laws violates our basic liberties. Diverse organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, the American Center for Law and Justice, and Right on Crime, among others, have joined with Heritage to reaffirm the true purpose of America’s justice system: to ensure public safety and protect the innocent.

When was the last time you saw the ACLU work together with a faith-based group like Justice Fellowship? WithUSA vs. YOU, the problem is grave enough to bring together unlikely allies. And we’re delivering this bipartisan message just as the House of Representatives has launched a task force aimed at correcting this issue.

This morning, Heritage Senior Legal Fellow John Malcolm will testify at the first hearing of the Overcriminalization Task Force—shining a spotlight on the scope and severity of this threat to our liberties. Ending the practice of trapping our citizens with unnecessary laws will be no easy task, with an estimated 4,500 criminal law offenses and 300,000 criminal regulations on the books.

Experience the stories of Americans like you treated unjustly – download the FREE e-book now >>

Over the next six months, Members of Congress from both parties will study this issue in depth, hold hearings, and—with the right encouragement—take steps to enact real reform.

This new effort includes tools for you to raise your voice and make a difference in defending our liberties. So explore the documented stories in USA vs. YOU, follow the links, and take real action today to help turn the tide.

Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.

Quick Hits:

  • President Obama has changed his policy on Syria, saying that Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons and that the U.S. will provide military support to the rebels.

 

 

 

  • Investigative journalist James O’Keefe has produced some shocking stories of corruption. In a new book, hedetails his undercover work with Project Veritas.

 

  • For decades, inappropriate IRS behaviors have been revealed. Each time, the agency has assured the public that it takes these breaches “very seriously.”

 

When Americans choose to live off the backs of others instead of taking care of themselves it is a national disgrace.  i am NOT talking about the poor, I am talking about dead-beats and just plain thieves who see a chance to get something for nothing and therefore they do.  Anyone who wants to can now get food stamps because a program that was to help the poor is so easy to qualify for.  Why is this program so full of fraud and abuse?  One reason is that it is administered by the Department of Agriculture and the funding is always a part of the farm bills (This outrageous rip-off for another day!!).  Anyhow since the funding for food stamps is part of the farm bill the city representatives vote for it to keep the food stamps for their inner city poor and the rural representatives vote for it in order for their city colleagues to vote for farm subsidies.   Each group pats the others back!  Time is long overdue for We the People to take both groups in hand and shake some sense into the programs they give each other.  Under Obama the food stamp programs has doubled!!  YES MORE THAN DOUBLED!    The following article exp[lains very well what the problem is and how we need to fix it.  BB

The Facts about Food Stamps Everyone Should Hear

 and 

May 27, 2013 at 12:00 pm

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Newscom

Newscom

A recent US News & World Report article set out to unveil the “facts” about food stamps.

What are the so-called “facts”?

For one, the article claims that the food stamps program is not “bloated,” but rather, the surge in participation and spending is a result of the program “doing what it’s supposed to do.”

But what is it “supposed to do”?

Food stamps (or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), as it is now called) were designed to ensure that Americans without the ability to provide for themselves are able to receive basic nutrition. However, application loopholes and policy changes over the past decade or so have allowed recipients to bypass income and asset tests, meaning many people are receiving food stamps who would not have been eligible under the program’s original purposes.

One of the changes in eligibility requirements is “broad-based categorical eligibility.” This type of eligibility means that an individual who receives any service under another welfare program, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)—even something as small as a TANF brochure—can be deemed eligible for food stamps. A full 50 percent of all food stamp recipients now enroll in the program through this broad-based categorical eligibility procedure. As Heritage welfare experts Robert Rector and Kiki Bradley write:

In states using this loophole, a middle-class family with one earner who becomes unemployed for one or two months can receive $668 per month in food stamps even if the family has $20,000 in cash sitting in the bank. Because of this, food stamps has been transformed from a program for the truly needy to a routine bonus payment stacked on top of conventional unemployment benefits.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has operated substantial outreach programs to pull more people onto the food stamp rolls. Some states have gone so far as tohire food stamp recruiters, tasked with filling a monthly quota of new food stamp enrollees.

Another “fact,” according to the author, is that much of the growth in food stamp costs is due to the recession and is temporary.

That’s partially true. Food stamp spending has roughly doubled in the past four years, and part of this is clearly due to the recession. However, food stamp spending has been on an upward climb since the program began back in the 1960s. In the decade prior to the recession, total government food stamp spending nearly doubled, from $19.8 billion in 2000 to $37.9 trillion in 2007.

Bfoodstampreform2012chart1

Moreover, according to Obama’s budget plans, food stamp spending will not return to pre-recession levels when the economy improves. “For most of the next decade, food stamp spending, adjusted for inflation and population growth, would remain at nearly twice the levels seen during the non-recessionary periods under President Bill Clinton,” note Rector and Bradley.

What’s more, food stamps are just one of roughly 80 federally funded means-tested welfare programs. The total cost of government welfare spending has been on a nearly continual climb over the past five decades and has increased 16-fold, to nearly $1 trillion annually, since the 1960s. Welfare is the fastest growing part of government spending, and under Obama’s fiscal year 2013 budget, total welfare spending will permanently increase from 4.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to 6 percent of GDP.

US News & World Report also suggests as a “fact” that most food stamp recipients work.

However, a significant portion of able-bodied recipients of food stamps perform little to no work. Of the roughly 10.5 million households receiving food stamps containing an able-bodied, non-elderly adult (there are approximately 20 million households receiving food stamps total), more than half—5.5 million—performed no work during a given month in 2010. Another 1.5 million to 2 million performed fewer than 30 hours of work per week. This isn’t unique to the recession, but is typical even during good economic times.

The food stamp program is just one of dozens that comprise the complex system of federal means-tested welfare programs. Instead of continuing to pour more dollars into these programs, which have failed to promote self-sufficiency, policymakers should roll back aggregate spending on means-tested welfare to pre-recession levels when employment recovers. Likewise, programs like food stamps should be reformed to promote self-reliance through work, empowering individuals and families to become free from government dependence.

Posted in Family and Religion [slideshow_deploy]

Rachel Sheffield

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Comments

Here is an interesting article from American Thinker I would like to pass on to my Readers.  I lived thru all of the events the author writes about.  It is a short article and names only a very few of the “causes” I can tell you that his assessments are correct and would be correct for all those he doesn’t name.  All of the “causes” were originally proposed and  fought for with the best of intentions; then they all somehow went wrong.  They went wrong because they were taken over by those who would destroy us. And while those who were the most fervent believers in their particular “cause” were lied to and play with and conned into believing the destroyers were with soul-mates the majority of us were sleeping thru it all and going our own silly, passive, pampered ways.  Fiddling while Rome burned so to speak.

Obama is the last link in the chain that will enslave us to the rule of a soulless group of subhuman thugs, otherwise known as sociopaths.   I am suggesting this article to you simply as a history lesson for those of you too young to know, or remember, some of the beginnings  that have brought us to this point.  BB

May 13, 2013

Barack Obama and the End of an Era

By Steve McCann

The re-election of Barack Obama is the high water mark and the end of an era.  The period 1960 to 2014 will go down in American history as the era of never-ending crusades leading to the decline and potential downfall of the United States.   During this time frame America has been inundated with one cause after another.   The essential civil rights movement and the tragically successful Viet Nam protests spawned numerous causes, among them: feminism, environmentalism, global warming, and gay rights.

 

For each generation born after 1940 it has been a rite of passage to take up the mantle of protest concurrent with mindless dedication to oftentimes absurd and erroneous beliefs, which have, in nearly all cases, resulted in disastrous societal and economic consequences.

 

With the backdrop of unimaginable prosperity and lack of any national adversity since the end of the Great Depression, far too many have sought so-called meaning in their lives and for a cause to wholeheartedly and fervently embrace.  To countless Americans these movements became their religion and reason for being.  This mindset is unique among western democracies and it has been easily exploited by the American left — a major factor in their rise to power and domination of the culture and government.    

 

As the left stealthily hijacked these causes, they were able to convince the True Believers in all these various movements that they stood with them; but more important was their ability to ingrain the conviction that anyone who opposed any of these evolving crusades was the incarnation of evil and must be defeated at all costs.  Political Correctness and its companion, unrestrained demonization of political opposition, was born.

 

The Civil Rights movement begun with best of intentions, and long overdue, achieved many of its original goals in breaking down the barriers to equality; however it soon degenerated into a battering ram as the liberals, in order to create a vast national dependency class, demanded, in the name of civil rights, innumerable and ever-expanding welfare programs as well as unending affirmative action for ever-evolving “minorities” (including women, a numerical majority).  The nation now faces a tsunami of unsustainable welfare and entitlement spending emanating from programs begun in the 1960’s.

 

The Viet Nam war protests, while perhaps justified in light of the ham-handed manner in which the war was prosecuted, unleashed far more than just a demand for an end to the war.  Those that blamed America for all manner of alleged sins in the past and determined to transform the United States into a socialist nirvana were able to step out from behind the shadows and enter the mainstream of national legitimacy.  This swarm of locusts soon enveloped the higher levels of academia spawning countless clones to further infiltrate all levels of society — most notably the mainstream media and entertainment complex as well as primary and secondary education.   These vital segments of the culture are now instruments of indoctrination and propaganda.

 

The feminist movement originally initiated to ensure workplace equality was quickly taken over by the self-described “Progressives” and transformed into a vehicle to alter American society primarily through the legitimization of abortion on demand under the rubric of “women’s rights.”   Since 1973 the nation has witnessed the killing of over 54.5 million children, which has eventuated in a grotesque disregard for human life, as exemplified by Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia.  This catastrophic erosion in respect for the uniqueness of each individual has resulted in American society inexorably losing its moral compass.  Thus the people have become more susceptible to accepting deviancy and abandoning all pretexts of honor and integrity in themselves and in particular their national leaders.

 

As with other causes, the environmental movement began with the best of intentions: to clean up the air and water polluted through years of neglect.  However, it quickly evolved into an anti-capitalist crusade with the avowed intent of promoting socialist big government as the savior of the planet and the only means of curbing the evil and greedy capitalists.  Man-made global warming, perhaps the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on mankind, became the penultimate dogma to those dedicated to things “bigger than themselves” and who turned out to be ideal useful idiots for the left.   Today the free market is shackled by a Niagara Falls of regulations, mandates, taxes and oversight thus devastating the ability of the economy to create wealth and jobs.

 

While the nation slumbered, content in its prosperity, the American left, during the past fifty plus years of never-ending crusades, has succeeded in creating:

 

A)   a vast army of voters made up of:  1) those dependent on government largess, 2) low-information voters — the natural outgrowth of the current education system, and 3) the easily manipulated and myopic single issue zealots.  The election of Barack Obama is a testament to the success of this strategy. 

 

B)    national leadership devoid of character and integrity who, in their determination to seize and hold power, are guided by only one principle: the end justifies the means.

 

C)    an entrenched and unrestrained de facto oligarchy in Washington D.C.

 

D)   economic circumstances wherein, for the first time in American history, a succeeding generation will be far worse off than the one preceding it.   Meanwhile the ruling class is insistent on adding untold millions to the labor force by legitimizing, for political purposes, those in the country illegally.

 

E)    a deliberately ill-educated and fractured society destined for internal strife and chaos.

 

The prosperity that allowed this stealth war on United States to occur is no more.  This nation is subsisting on the residue of its past glory with no hope of regaining its former lofty status as long as it is governed by the most dangerous and radical regime in its history.  The American people, as their day to day lives continue to deteriorate, are becoming increasingly aware of the nation’s precarious situation.

 

Beginning in 2014, as Benghazi and a myriad of other scandals combined with a rapidly declining standard of living for a vast majority of Americans marginalizes the Obama cabal, the focus of the nation will no longer be on bumper sticker platitudes and movements.  Instead it will, by necessity, be on individual survival as well as desperately finding a way, before the nation descends into chaos, to recreate what made the United States the most successful nation in the history of mankind.  (The author holds out hope in this last paragraph that We the People tho hurt badly and demoralized will at last wake up and see where we have been lead and somehow drag ourselves back from the brink.   I personally wonder if it is possible.  Obama has so many entrenched allies and  blind fools who are all willing to throw themselves on the sword point in order to save him.  Will Benghazi take him and Hillary down?  Will the Clinton’s throw Obama “under the bus” as is their nature when  they are threatened?   And if Obama goes does the damage he has done go with him starting with Obamacare?   I don’t know.  BB)

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/05/the_re-election_of_barack_obama.html#ixzz2TC7NJFvn
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook

As many of you may remember I saw red when Obama cut the work requirement from the welfare programs.  Actually of the 30+ welfare programs there are only a measly 2 that require the recipient to work!  This is evil!!!!  People should never ever be given something for nothing! with the exception of children, the disabled elderly and the truly disabled.  A side note here: I do NOT consider being obese a disability that tax payers should pay the person for and yet 12% of those on disability are there using their obesity as the “disability” that allows them to sit on their fat asses  and eat on your dollar!  I am fat and have been a good bit of my life but it never stopped me from working.  It was something I alone was at fault for.)

Now to get back on topic:  President Obama in his rush to get more people on government dole and therefore willing to vote for those who are willing to give them more and more for nothing, cut the work requirement from Clinton’s 1996 workfare welfare program.  Obama even made “reading library books” a replacement for actual work to get welfare!  Considering I read at least three books a week and have most of my life, as well as perhaps a dozen newspapers and newsletter daily  I wonder just how much Obama would consider my contribution to society worth?  Anyhow, there are some in Congress who are trying to reverse with legislation the ill advise actions of the evil we now have in the White House.  Please support these efforts and keep the letters going to you congressmen and women.   And remember to get out the vote in 2014 to get the Republicans in both houses of congress.  Harry Reid will allow nothing to happen of any good to the country as long as he and his Democratic cohorts control the Senate.   BB

Welfare Reform Is Back  (from the Heritage Foundation Newsletter)

Last summer, the Obama Administration gutted the successful 1996 welfare reform law by offering to waive its work requirements. Now the debate is back, as several Members of Congress are trying to restore the reforms that helped so many out of poverty.

The work requirements were the heart and soul of the historic welfare reform signed by President Bill Clinton. As a result of “workfare,” welfare rolls declined by half within five years, and employment rates among low-income individuals increased.

Some of the biggest winners from workfare were children. Millions of children were lifted out of poverty. In 2003, the nation had the lowest level of poverty among black children in its history.

The Obama Administration’s undoing of this program threatens to set back America’s children and families. Conservative Members of Congress introduced legislation last week that would overturn the Administration’s plans to allow states to waive work requirements from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. At a hearing last Thursday, Representative Dave Reichert (R-WA)said:

It is critical for us to review the damaging effects of waiving TANF work requirements, which could result in less work and earnings, and more poverty and government dependence.

The reforms need to be restored and strengthened. However, TANF is just one of several welfare programs operated by the federal government to provide cash, food, housing, and health care assistance to poor and low-income Americans. Today, taxpayers fund roughly 80 different programs at a cost of nearly $1 trillion a year for these purposes. These include:

12 programs providing food aid;
12 programs funding social services;
12 educational assistance programs;
11 housing assistance programs;
10 programs providing cash assistance;
9 vocational training programs;
7 medical assistance programs;
3 energy and utility assistance programs; and,
3 child care and child development programs.

How many of the government’s 80-plus welfare programs include a work requirement? Just two.

While Americans are a compassionate people who want to help our neighbors truly in need, the overwhelming majority also understand the importance of promoting self-reliance and a better future through work. Regardless of political affiliation, more than 90 percent of individuals say that able-bodied adults should work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving cash, food, housing or medical care from the government.

Work requirements should not only be restored to the TANF program but should also be expanded to other government welfare programs, such as food stamps, one of the largest and fastest-growing welfare programs.

At a hearing last month, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) highlighted the critical need to reform the nation’s massive welfare system. He noted:

It is time to return to the moral principles of the 1996 welfare reform. That reform was guided by the principle that, over time, unmonitored welfare programs were damaging not merely to the Treasury but to the recipient.

Thanks to the 1996 welfare reform, people’s lives were changed for the better. Americans were lifted out of poverty. We need to expand these ideas, applying principles that help reduce dependence and allow more Americans to pursue the path of upward mobility to other government assistance programs.

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