The Death Of The American Dream In 22 Numbers

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lady liberty cryingHat/Tip to Doug Ross @ Journal.

A very interesting, but sobering article on the American Dream by Michael Snyder and posted over at Doug Ross @ Journal.

 

The “American Dream” has been transformed into a very twisted game of musical chairs. – Michael Snyder

 

Here it is, posted in it’s entirety:

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We are the generation that gets to witness the end of the American Dream.  The numbers that you are about to see tell a story.  They tell a story of a once mighty economy that is dying.  For decades, the rest of the planet has regarded the United States as “the land of opportunity” where almost anyone can be successful if they are willing to work hard.  And when I was growing up, it seemed like almost everyone was living the American Dream.  I lived on a “middle class” street and I went to a school where it seemed like almost everyone was middle class.  When I was in high school, it was very rare to ever hear of a parent that was unemployed, and virtually every family that I knew had a comfortable home and more than one nice vehicle.  But now that has all changed.  The “American Dream” has been transformed into a very twisted game of musical chairs.  With each passing year, more people are falling out of the middle class, and most of the rest of us are scrambling really hard to keep our own places.  Something has gone horribly wrong, and yet Americans are very deeply divided when it comes to finding answers to our problems.  We love to point fingers and argue with one another, and meanwhile things just continue to get even worse.  The following are 22 numbers that are very strong evidence of the death of the American Dream…

#1 The Obama administration tells us that 8.69 million Americans are “officially unemployed” and that 92.90 million Americans are considered to be “not in the labor force”.  That means that more than 101 million U.S. adults do not have a job right now.

#2 One recent survey discovered that 55 percent of Americans believe that the American Dream either never existed or that it no longer exists.

#3 Considering the fact that Obama is in the White House, it is somewhat surprising that 55 percent of all Republicans still believe in the American Dream, but only 33 percent of all Democrats do.

#4 After adjusting for inflation, median household income has fallen by nearly $5,000 since 2007.

#5 After adjusting for inflation, “the median wealth figure for middle-income families” fell from $78,000 in 1983 to $63,800 in 2013.

#6 At this point, 59 percent of Americans believe that “the American dream has become impossible for most people to achieve”.

#7 In 1967, 53 percent of Americans were considered to be “middle income”.  But today, only 43 percent of Americans are.

#8 For each of the past six years, more businesses have closed in the United States than have opened.  Prior to 2008, this had never happened before in all of U.S. history.

#9 According to the New York Times, the “typical American household” is now worth 36 percent less than it was worth a decade ago.

#10 According to one recent report, 43 million Americans currently have unpaid medical debt on their credit reports.

#11 Traditionally, owning a home has been one of the key indicators that you belong to the middle class.  Unfortunately, the rate of homeownership in the U.S. has now been falling for seven years in a row.

#12 According to a survey that was conducted last year, 52 percent of all Americans cannot even afford the house that they are living in right now.

#13 While Barack Obama has been in the White House, the number of Americans on food stamps has gone from 32 million to 46 million.

#14 The number of Americans on food stamps has now exceeded the 46 million mark for 38 months in a row.

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#15 Right now, more than one out of every five children in the United States is on food stamps.

#16 According to a Washington Post article published just recently, more than 50 percent of the children in U.S. public schools now come from low income homes.  This is the first time that this has happened in at least 50 years.

#17 According to the Census Bureau, 65 percent of all children in the United States are living in a home that receives some form of aid from the federal government.

#18 In 2008, 53 percent of all Americans considered themselves to be “middle class”.  But by 2014, only44 percent of all Americans still considered themselves to be “middle class”.

#19 In 2008, 25 percent of all Americans in the 18 to 29-year-old age bracket considered themselves to be “lower class”.  But in 2014, an astounding 49 percentof all Americans in that age range considered themselves to be “lower class”.

#20 It is hard to believe, but an astounding 53 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.

#21 According to one recent survey, 62 percent of all Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck.

#22 According to CNN, the typical American family can only “replace 21 days of income with readily accessible funds”.

The key to the recovery of the middle class is jobs.

The truth is that without middle class jobs, it is impossible to have a middle class.

Unfortunately, more middle class jobs are being offshored, are being replaced by technology, or are being lost to a slowing economy every single day.  The competition for the jobs that remain is incredibly intense.  Just consider the following example

In 2012, Eric Auld, an unemployed 26-year-old with a master’s degree in English, decided to find out what was on the other side of the black hole. He created a fake job ad as an experiment:

Administrative Assistant needed for busy Midtown office. Hours are Monday through Friday, nine to five. Job duties include: filing, copying, answering phones, sending e-mails, greeting clients, scheduling appointments. Previous experience in an office setting preferred, but will train the right candidate. This is a full-time position with health benefits. Please e-mail résumé if interested. Compensation: $12-$13 per hour.

If you have ever applied for a job like that, I offer my condolences. You have better odds at the casino. Auld received 653 responses in 24 hours. 10% of the applicants had more than 10 years of experience, and 3% of them had master’s degrees. Presumably, one of them would get the job. But what does that mean? It means that all the other experienced applicants and master’s degree holders would remain unemployed. That is about 64 experienced workers and about 19 workers with master’s degrees.

So how can we get this turned around?

How can we start to increase the number of middle class jobs in America once again?

Please feel free to share your solution by posting a comment below…

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Welcome To Obamaville: Where 1 In 5 Children Are On Food Stamps

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This past weekend I had an Obamabot angrily inform me that his Dear Leader has finally fixed George Bush’s mess, and our economy is now roaring along like never before. “Just look at the stock market!,” he sneered.The irony of him working 3 part-time jobs (with no benefits) instead of the much higher-paying full-time 9-5 job he had during the Bush Administration was lost on him.

So I guess he won’t believe his lyin’ eyes today when he reads the latest news out of the Census Bureau. Or he’ll blame Rethuglicans for sabotaging The One’s munificence again.

Sixteen million children were on food stamps as of last year, the highest number since the nation’s economy tumbled in 2008.

Numbers released by the Census Bureau Wednesday as part of its annual look at children and families show that one in five children were on food stamp assistance in 2014. The survey was taken last spring.

The number of people receiving food stamps — now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP — spiked through the recession and has stayed at a higher level since. In the 2007 Census survey, 9 million children received SNAP assistance.

So Obama managed to put 7 million additional children on food stamps. Yeah, that’s how I measure a successful economic recovery, how about you?

Around 46.5 million people received food stamps last year, according to the Agriculture Department, which oversees the aid, up from around 26 million in 2007.

Twenty million more Americans living on the dole. Wow, I never knew Obama was such an economic genius!

The Obamabots, soon to be Hillary’s horde, are deluded. They live in a fantasy universe, where progressive policies don’t fail because they’re wrong, they fail because they weren’t progressive enough. If they could only tax a few more rich people (but not George Soros or Tom Steyer!) then everything would magically be perfect. Rachel Maddow said so! And she’s smart!

Meanwhile, children in America go hungry. But well-fed liberals say they care, honest!, so there’s that. The thing is, the more they care, the worse off the rest of America gets. Oops.

UPDATE 29 Jan 2015 11:49:
Oh look, the CBO predicts tepid economic growth, rising deficits for the foreseeable future.

I guess it’s somehow George Bush’s fault.

Comrades! Pay no attention to the Reality behind the curtain. MSNBC is truth!

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Dependency Nation: More Than One Third of Americans On Government Assistance

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Let’s say Obama has a plan to build a permanent Democrat majority. A plan that will guarantee Hillary Clinton wins the White House in 2016. A plan which takes precedence over all other concerns, no matter what the cost to America’s short-term well-being or long-term prospects for security and prosperity.

I suspect he (well, actually, Valerie Jarrett) does, and I’d say it looks something like this.

Newly released Census data reveals nearly 110 million Americans — more than one-third of the country — are receiving government assistance of some kind.

The number counts people receiving what are known as “means-tested” federal benefits, or subsidies based on income. This includes welfare programs ranging from food stamps to subsidized housing to the program most commonly referred to as “welfare,” Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

At the end of 2012, according to the stats, 51.5 million were on food stamps, while 83 million were collecting Medicaid — with some benefitting from multiple programs.

Though the programs were created to help those in need, some analysts worry that the way they’re designed is, increasingly, incentivizing people not to work. They note that when recipients combine several government assistance programs, in many cases they pay better than going to work.

The Cato Institute’s Michael Tanner said that in the eight most generous states, the benefits can be tantamount to a $20 minimum wage — which would exceed the $7.25 minimum wage in most states.

“So in many cases people could actually do better on welfare than they could in an entry level job,” Tanner said.

When people are beholden to the government for sustenance, they tend to vote for the politicians who promise them more of that sustenance.

And nobody is better at promising unlimited Free Stuff than today’s Democratic Party. Remember the woman who said Obama was going to pay her mortgage? The entitlement mentality is seductive, and contagious.

It’s also ridiculously easy to make promises, and then blame “evil Republicans” when you don’t deliver. The goal isn’t to help people; the goal is to keep people dependent, and voting your way.

In other words, the goal is Power. Power at any cost.

Barack Obama never intended to govern.

Barack Obama is a permanent campaigner, skilled at drumming up primal emotions, and then focusing them for the benefit of his Party. The incongruity of his Class Warfare rhetoric is lost on the guilty white liberal donors who pour millions of dollars into his coffers at every opportunity. And all that matters to Obama is that the money flows into electing, and re-electing Democrats.

Hence he eschews policies which might jeopardize their hegemony.

Building the Keystone Pipeline might piss off the econuts, and he needs their cash.

Fighting Islamic terrorists might piss off the kumbaya crowd, and he needs their cash too.

Promoting private sector job growth might dilute the culture of dependency, and he needs every vote he can get.

Helping businesses succeed might make the unions wonder why he isn’t raising taxes instead, and he needs their votes too.

Stopping the invasion on our southern border might upset La Raza, and he needs their anger and envy to keep them from wanting to embrace what we used to call The American Dream.

You know, there’s the really sad legacy of Obama and the Democrats.

Once upon a time it was said that the business of America is Business.

They’ve turned that old saw on its head. The business of America is dependency. Wealth transfer. Class envy. Business is a dirty word.

Why work? Vote Democrat and somebody else will do that. Then, as your reward, the government will mail you checks.

You gotta admit it’s a sweet deal.

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. — Alexander Tyler

Or, as Lady Thatcher put it, sooner or later they’ll run out of other people’s money.

Then what?

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The 7 Pieces of Advice by Trotsky for Obama, found in the 1934 Chicago Tribune Cartoon ‘Planned Economy or Planned Destruction’

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This image is taken from the 1934 Chicago Tribune cartoon ‘Planned Economy or Planned Destruction?’. It focuses on the character of Leon Trotsky, who is laying out a series of policy goals for the United States. The Chicago Tribute suggested in its latest reprint of this cartoon that we take a look at this cartoon and see if it rings true in today’s political and economic climate.

Whereas others have focused on simply analyzing the larger cartoon to identify all the characters in it (for the best analysis see this post), today I am going to attempt to see if this cartoon sheds some understanding on the economic and political challenges facing today and whether it gives us as voters of a free nation any sort of guidance on how to vote in upcoming elections or which way to pressure our public officials:

  1. Motivations.

    Leon Trotsky was the founder of an ideology called Trotskyism, which is an extreme left-wing political ideology that believed that although the ‘working class’ had seized power in Russia, true socialism could not be established unless there was a global and permanent revolution led by vanguard parties of the smartest and best workers who would take control of society and achieve real change that would transform society. His vision of progress forward was defeated because even the communists saw that his economic and political theories were flawed and ignored the realities of of the world and did not lead to positive results as determined objectively. It is stunning how closely his ideas and thoughts mirror those of Obama.

    Although in specific there are differences that will arise from current US President Barack Obama’s general lack of referencing specifics and although Obama is by no means is a committed follower of Trotsky (I’ve suggested previously that Obama may in fact be a fascist), in the general Obama appears to echo the same ideas and beliefs of Trotsky. During his campaign he talked often about fundamentally transforming society by giving more power to bureaucratic elites, and one of the reasons why he was initially so popular overseas is that he translated his message of change and hope for workers and the working class to make it a call for an international and permanent struggle.

    Both Obama and Trotsky appear to be motivated by a sincere belief that their economic and political policies will indeed make the world a better place- but sadly, Obama is facing the same realities and objective results that Trotsky faced. One can only hope that he doesn’t end up some day with an ice pick in his back put there by a more committed Stalinist who works in his Politiburico.

  2. Spend Spend Spend.

    Soviet economic policy, as pushed by the most progressive and idealistic of the communists, advocated for higher and higher government spending. From a low of 8784 million rubles in 1928, Soviet government spending skyrocketed 106238 million rubles by 1937 (spending)- and the Soviet economy crashed, millions of people starved to death, the ruble fell heavily in value, and the standard of living fell. Even though the government spent more and more money, things got worse, which might be shocking to those who think that more government spending is good, but is perfectly understandable to those who see unelected and accountable bureaucrats taking money and property from those who earn it and blowing it on politically connected businesses in an inefficient manner.

    President Obama also has attempted to increase the wealth of society and make people more free by increasing government spending, and the United States has seen similar results to those experienced by FDR and the Soviet Union in the 1930’s- economic depression. And the worse is yet to come- unlike past spending programs which were structured in the immediate time frame, President Obama’s spending programs are paid for through debt, promises, and IOU’s, a ticking time bomb which is going to destroy the prosperity of future generations. It simply does not work to take property from others, either via taxes or fees or through borrowing money paid for with interest or future payments, and then have it spent by politically connected bureaucrats. It destroys wealth and property because this property and wealth is spent inefficiently and in a manner that violates the unseen supply-and-demand hand of God.

    Both the rulers of the Soviet Union and President Obama may sincerely believe that their economic policies of spending more money will indeed stimulate the economy and lead to a more prosperous people. President Obama has completely unhinged from reality on this, and his reply to mounting staggering debts and deficits is to borrow more money from foreign nations and spend that as well. Sadly, these policies have led to a long and lingering recession, matched only by the Great Depression that occurred the last time these ‘spend spend spend’ economic policies were employed.

  3. Under the Guise of Recovery.

    The main reason that the people of Russia went along with the economic plans put forth by Lenin and later Stalin were that they were desperate to recover from the effects of various calamities. World War One destroyed the Russian economy and so the people desperately empowered Lenin to implement his communist policies. The results of these early communist policies proved to be devastating economically, and so everyone looked forward to Lenin’s New Economic Policies. These more-capitalistic policies proved to be successful, but took power away from the elites and politically-connected, and so as soon as Lenin was dead, the tyrant Stalin proclaimed them failures and implemented his own economic policies, which turned into even worse failures. It was by disguising these various policies as responses to some sort of crisis that made the people willing to go along with them, willing to sacrifice seeing objective positive results, willing to sacrifice their property, liberty, and eventually their lives.

    In the United States, our nation has also gone along with the ‘under the guise of recovery’ swindle, giving up freedoms and property in a desperate attempt to recover from the Bush years, which we are all told were awful but are increasingly looking good in comparison to the lingering Obama recession. In response to various crisis’, many of them provoked by Obama’s very policies or policies which he supported during his short time in elected office, our nation is embarking on a historic redirection towards more government control over industries, more government control over our lives, and more divisive class warfare and bitter partisanship. It’s a crisis, we are told, and the only response is more cowbell, and so our nation continues to empower the very man who is pushing the very policies that are making the crisis worse.

    Same excuses used in both communist Soviet Union in the 1920’s and 1930’s and those used by President Obama and the Democratic Party today. And sadly, both groups appear to be supported or intimidated or fooled by the public that they are making poorer and less free.

  4. Bust the Government.

    A little history lesson for you- with the death of Lenin in 1924, the Russian political system was in flux. Before 1924, the Politburo and other communist institutions had run the nation, which Lenin having a great amount of power but Stalin and Trotsky also having big roles to play. Lenin’s death led to a power struggle won by Stalin, who eventually excited Trotsky. Later problems in the Soviet Union were blamed on Stalin’s political enemies, who were killed off in the Great Purges of the late 1930’s. The key to understanding what was happening this time is that the government and political structures were continually being broken by the very men who were promising to fix them- Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin.

    And today, President Obama is stunning in his disregard for the historical political system that is established by the Constitution. In many instances he has violated passages of the Constitution, if not legally according to the letter of the law than in dozens of instances realistically according to the spirit of the law, from recess appointments to ignoring the War Powers Act to governing without budgets to drone attacks to appointed czars. At perhaps no point in the last century has our political system been as broken and busted as it is today, with the nation increasingly sharply divided and bitter and partisan attacks commonplace. The Democrats in the US Senate, Obama’s allies, are even going so far as to seriously contemplate removing the filibuster so that they can jam legislation past the minority because they allege that the old historic political ways of doing things in our nation need to be broken.

    Breaking government and busting society, whether you call it permanent revolution by the proletariat or the forward march of progressives, destroys property, makes people less secure in their rights, and eventually causes death. It happened in the past- and it is happening today.

  5. Blame the Capitalists for Failure.

    Trotsky blamed capitalists for both the political and economic problems facing humanity, arguing that the economic boom and bust cycle that led to the destruction of so much wealth was caused by capitalists and that the lack of political power held by workers was also their fault. He believed that private ownership of the means of production and the creation of goods or services for profit was at the root of the problems facing society, and that the solution to this was a genuine workers’ state where the working class controlled all the political power and the state owned and controlled the means of production. His desire was for the workers to really rule and the government to run industries for their good. But in reality what Soviet Russia ended up with was a nation ruled by a bureaucratic caste, where decisions were made by special interest groups and labor unions that controlled these various bureaucracies and made economic and political decisions to reward their supporters and not benefit the nation as a whole (or even ‘the workers’).

    The modern day Democratic Party, led by Barack Obama, has apparently subscribed to these very same ideas, and is reaping the very same results of the implementation of these ideas. Running in 2008 President Obama promised to be able to smooth out the boom and bust cycle of capitalism- especially the banking industry and investment of capital- by empowering government agencies to have stronger oversight over them. In another example, he argued that government ownership of healthcare, a major industry in the United States, would prevent healthcare costs from rising. And it was his belief that by having the government take over major automobile companies and then turn over that ownership to ‘the workers’ that both the automobile industries and the workers would benefit. And everywhere that his Trotsky-like ideas have been implemented, the results have been economic and political failure. Industries have failed to prosper- even General Motors is only profitable right now because it was bailed out by billions of dollars and given billions more in government support- and politically power has shifted farther away from the workers and increasingly towards the bureaucrats. The gulf between the rich and poor has widened, not narrowed, as as result of Obama’s Marxist policies, and this has been bad for America.

    And through all the failures of Trotsky and Obama, even as their own policies resulted in more failures, they have blamed ‘the capitalists’, ‘the rich’, ‘the bourgeoisie’, or ‘the 1%’. Deficits skyrocketed, currencies collapsed in values, the world became more unstable, civil unrest became more common, individual liberties were less protected, unemployment went up, and GDP stagnated- and yet still Trotsky and Obama blame capitalists.

  6. Junk the Constitution.

    A constitution is a body of fundamental laws that set up the principles, structures, and processes of government- and although I’ve been reading about the Soviet system of government over the last couple days, honestly I can’t really figure out how it works, especially during the 1920’s and 1930’s that are addressed in the cartoon. The principles of government appear to be ‘junked’ by the 1930’s- no longer holding to idealistic communism but instead succumbing to the reality of human nature. The structures of governing appear to be junked as well- the various political structures that Lenin may have used like the Politburo appear to have become merely tools for the people in power instead of actual structures of governing. And the process of creating laws to govern the actions of men appear to have been junked so much that in the Soviet system it really became all about decrees and directives from the ruler, whether it was Lenin or Stalin.

    And in America over the last couple of years under President Obama and his allies in Congress, we are seeing the same junking of our governmental principles, structures, and processes. The process on how the Affordable Care Act became law still confuses me- my students always ask me “just how did it get through the filibuster in the Senate” and my explanation, even though I explain it correctly, still rings hollow and untrue. In discussing how our nation is going to put in place laws to avoid the fiscal cliff or sequestration, I’m forced to spend a lot of time talking about ‘secret negotiations’ and backroom discussion between government elites, wondering the whole time where the time-honored processes involved in creating legislation through Congress and committees went. During President Obama’s run for the President, one can’t help but notice that his campaign was devoid of governing principles and that Democrats who ran for Congress also seemed to lack governing principles as well- they didn’t talk about their economic philosophies, or the politicians that they would emulate in office, or the latest political philosophies that they were students of, preferring instead discussions about power and demonetization of their opponents. And the czars and other bureaucrats who appear to be gaining more in power outside of the traditional structures of government are clearly similar to the bureaucrats and czars who ruled Soviet Russia.

    Principles, structures, and processes- look at how these are increasingly becoming junked in our nation as our nation moves away from the founding principles, the structures established in the written Constitution, and the processes of making laws and executing those laws that governed our nation for the first several hundred years. Just like the Soviets junked their Constitution as Trotsky recommended, Obama and the Democrats are junking ours today.

  7. Declare a Dictatorship.

    The last piece of advice that Trotsky wrote to Obama all those many years ago was to declare a dictatorship. This is the last step on the path to tyranny and injustice and the final attack on property and those people who create property, and is the end goal of all tyrants. Although Trotsky might have been suggesting that the dictatorship should be some sort of ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ where the political and economic power was controlled by the worker class within a democratic system, the reality is that his allies and friends and supporters and fellow Marxists eventually established a classical ‘dictatura’ where a small group of undemocratic elites control the economic and political power in the nation.

    And although President Obama sees himself as some sort of transformative community activist who is going to empower the workers or middle class or whatever he calls them, the reality that we are seeing is where an smaller group of appointed individuals are increasingly gaining in economic and political power. Trotsky saw himself as a fighter for the community too, but much like his experience, the reality that the Tea Party on the right and the Occupy Wall Street on the left can both plainly see is that political and economic power is moving father away from the common man, the middle class, or the worker and increasingly being concentrated in the hands of those who have the right political connections, who are the union bosses, those who have control over the bureaucracy, and those who have families and inherited wealth. The political classes enrich themselves while the workers become poorer, all due to President Obama and the Democratic Marxist policies which are supposed to due the opposite.

    President Obama is not declaring a dictatorship in the sense that he is going to announce that he is some sort of dictator for life- rather he is going to declare that the America and the world should embrace a new arrangement of economic and political power which empowers a smaller elite to make decisions for everyone based on some sort of notion of fairness or social justice. It’s a sneaky sort of declaration of dictatorship, but is one none-the-less, and the results will be that you personally will have less power over your own property, less power over decisions regarding your own healthcare, less choice in your own actions, and less protection of your life. It’ll be a dictatorship different than the sort that Trotsky advised, softly declared by a smooth-sounding teleprompter reading tyrant.

President Obama is not an evil person or a conspiracy theory or a giant plant or someone who is secretly planning on the destruction of the United States. He is just a guy who spews rhetoric that some people believe in, and he does it so well and campaigns so effectively that he has become the President of the strongest and most influential nation in the world. From this position, he is in place to implement his economic and political theories, which are proven failures that have driven nations into depression and war in the past, but which he is ignorant of because of his overall ignorance of economic and political history combined with his stunning conceit and confidence.

The advice and truths that Trotsky is writing in this cartoon are advice and truths on how to establish a tyranny and destroy life, liberty, and property, and it appears from an objective standpoint over the last several years that President Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress (and some Republicans too) are following this advice and believing these truths. They are rejecting other truths on which our nation was built- that all men are equal, that all men are endowed with certain inalienable rights, that the purpose of government is limited to protecting these rights from men who would take them away, that these rights are the right to live and live in freedom and earn and keep property, and that governments that abuse any of these rights are tyrannical and deserve to be abolished so that men may put in place better governments to protect these rights.

America is playing out some sort of Greek play, where our main character in his hubris thinks that he can achieve positive results by implementing the same policies in the past that only achieved negative results. Opposition to him and his agenda should be motivated by knowing that history, morality, and truth are on our side and not with him, and that where he is taking our nation and the world is to a place where life is less secure, liberties and freedoms are broken, and property and wealth are not protected.

Original Post:  A Conservative Teacher

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A Bushel Of Bad News

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It gets worse by the hour.  Four more years of Obama and the Democrats, and America will be a place only a fool or a Marxist would want to visit, let alone live.  A potpourri of recent news items to prove the point:

Why Did Obama Name Far-Left Bureaucrat To Head The Bureau Of Labor Statistics?

Five months ago Barack Obama nominated union backer, liberal economist and Federal Reserve bureaucrat Erica Groshen to lead the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) — the agency best known for calculating the nation’s unemployment rate each month … Groshen’s background is more explicitly linked to overt anti-American ideologies than any Obama appointee since his infamous “green jobs czar” Van Jones … One of the most glaring ideological markers in Groshen’s background is her choice to send at least one of her children to Camp Kinderland — a communist-founded institution that used Soviet symbols and sang Soviet anthems during the mid-20th century while urging its members to “vote communist.”

Obama Ends Welfare Reform As We Know It

This afternoon, President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an official policy directive undermining the welfare reform law of 1996. The new policy guts the federal work requirements that have been the foundation of that law — one of the most successful domestic policy reforms in the 20th century.

In the past, state bureaucrats have attempted to define activities such as hula dancing, attending Weight Watchers, and bed rest as “work.” Welfare reform instituted work standards to block these dodges. Now that the Obama administration has abolished those standards, we can expect “work” in the TANF program to mean anything but work … Obama’s new welfare decree guts sound anti-poverty policy. The administration tramples on the actual legislation passed by Congress and seeks to impose its own policy choices — a pattern that has become all too common in this administration.

New in ‘gay’ parade: U.S. troops in uniform

In what appears to be an extraordinary reversal of military policy, members of the U.S. armed forces say they have been given permission by their commanding officers to march in a “gay pride” parade Saturday – while wearing their service-issued uniforms… The top echelons of the U.S. Air Force approved a request by a senior recruiter based in Arizona to join “a uniformed, active-duty military contingent” in a San Diego homosexual pride event, the San Diego Union Tribune reported … The move appears to be the latest by Obama’s administration to normalize homosexuality in the U.S. military, a campaign highlighted by Congress’ decision to overturn the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and allow open homosexuality in the ranks.

The military earlier declared June “Gay Pride Month” and held events to mark the occasion. Military officials attribute the motivation behind the event to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s desire to single out and honor homosexual military personnel for their service …

“To accomplish this political objective [of normalizing homosexual behavior in the military], Pentagon officials utilized rigged public opinion polls, leaks of false information and muzzling of combat commanders who opposed the repeal,” the [Thomas More] law center reported in a public statement.

Obama’s obsession with control

In the event you missed the Friday news dump, Barack Hussein Obama issued yet another executive order. Titled “Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions,” it may be read in its entirety on the White House website here. At first blush, it appears that the order modernizes previous communications functionality, particularly as it relates to the continuity of governmental communication during wartime or national crisis as defined by Obama.

… When viewed in the broader context of the NDAA, supported legislation such as SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA, and his infamous National Defense Resource Preparedness order of March 16, 2012, a discernible pattern of complete control and takeover of all aspects of our infrastructure is emerging.

UN gun control treaty will reveal gun laws Obama really supports

Sometime later this week, the UN will finally unveil its Arms Trade Treaty. The exact date the treaty will be released is a secret. Russia, China, France — with its new Socialist government — Britain and the Obama administration are writing the treaty behind closed doors … The treaty will give Americans yet another insight into the types of gun control laws that President Obama really supports. The good news is that the US Senate will almost certainly prevent him from getting the treaty adopted here. Most of the rest of the world won’t be so lucky.

Cultural Equivalency

I have never seen an entire nation so eager to give away and destroy their country and their American exceptionalism in exchange for the progressives’ cultural Marxism promoted in American textbooks and taught by academia’s promise of equality … According to educators and writers of Nebraska social studies standards, all “cultures are equivalent.” … Because there is no accountability in education, the agenda of the few progressives and the National Education Association trumps the truth and the wishes of parents. The writing is done behind closed doors in a few large states such as Texas and California. The historical truth falls victim to the cultural Marxists’ agenda …

The draft standards included manmade global warming as a fact, not theory; it advocated for global government, the linchpin of the environmentalists’ UN Agenda 21; the draft standards failed to emphasize American exceptionalism, and diminished the role of the U.S. Constitution and of our Founding Fathers.

Hoyer: Food Stamps, Unemployment Insurance 2 ‘Most Stimulative’ Things for Economy

“If you talk to economists, they will tell you there are two things that are the most stimulative that you can do — one’s unemployment insurance, the other’s food stamps, okay?”

USDA partnering with Mexico to boost food stamp rolls

[…] USDA has an agreement with Mexico to promote American food assistance programs, including food stamps, among Mexican Americans, Mexican nationals and migrant communities in America.

Report: Political correctness aided Fort Hood shooter

The FBI was too concerned about political correctness and did not launch an investigation into a man who was later charged with killing 13 people in a 2009 attack at the Fort Hood military installation in Texas, despite significant warning signs that he was an Islamic extremist bent on killing civilians, according to a lawmaker briefed on a new report about the terrorist attack … the FBI was concerned about investigating an American Muslim in the military, and that is why an investigation was not pursued.

REPORT: Obama Spends More Time on Golf Than Economy

An eye-opening new report by the Government Accountability Institute reveals that President BarackObama averages just eight minutes more a week on economic meetings than the average dog owner spends walking their dog …  When it was recently reported that Mr. Obama had played his 100th round of golf, the president said that playing golf was “the only time that for six hours, I’m outside.”  Therefore, by his own estimate, the president has spent 600 hours playing golf, as compared to just 412 hours in economic meetings of any kind throughout his presidency.

Bulgaria official: Suspected suicide bomber carried fake Michigan license

A bombing that killed at least seven people and injured dozens on a bus full of Israeli tourists was most likely a suicide attack, Bulgarian officials said Thursday. The suspected attacker was carrying a fake Michigan driver’s license, they added.

“We have established there was a person who was a suicide bomber in this attack (on Wednesday),” [Interior Minister] Tsvetanov told reporters.“This person had a fake driving license from the United States, from the state of Michigan. He looked like anyone else — a normal person with Bermuda shorts and a backpack.”

Bulgarian media reported that former Guantanamo Bay detaineeMehdi Ghezali was beleived to be the suicide bomber.

Michigan … the same state where, coincidentally, “our” president, Barack Hussein Obama,touted his middle name to a crowd of Muslims. Elections do indeed have consequences.

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Get Your Free Obama Phone

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“Call me; I need campaign money.”

He never delivered on the Obamamaniac’s desires for him to pay for their mortgage and gas, but Barack Obama  can give you a free phone. (Question: Since when does a government program have a .net address?)

Predictably, if you’re already sucking on the government teat, you automatically qualify for a phone:

If you, or members in your household are, receiving the following benefits you automatically qualify for the Lifeline program. Those interested in the program must have an income of less than 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. (For example in the 48 Contiguous States and D.C the income level is $22,350 per year for a family of four.)

  • Food Stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income – commonly known as SSI
  • Health Benefit Coverage under Child Health Insurance Plan (CHIP)
  • The National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program.
  • Low-Income Energy Assistance Program – LIHEAP
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance ( Section 8 )
  • If you are a low-income Eligible Resident of Tribal Lands
  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families – TANF

Last year, the federal program paid out $1.6 billion to cover free cell phones and the monthly bills of 12.5 million wireless accounts. Naturally an audit showed that many people getting you to pay for their phones were taking more than their “fair share.”

269,000 wireless Lifeline subscribers were receiving free phones and monthly service from two or more carriers.

You can imagine the number of participants is only going to climb. I mean, it’s not like that money could be used to create jobs jobs jobs, or something.

But jobs have never been Obama’s top priority; getting re-elected has. Does he really think giving someone a free phone will buy their vote?

Oh. Wait.

H/T: Weasel Zippers

Original Post:  Feed Your ADHD

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Rewarding Dependency? Oregon gets bonus money for signing more people up for food stamps

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It has often been a dual claim from Conservatives that government assistance encourages dependency, and that this dependency is a desired outcome.  Considering that any efforts to reform welfare are resisted by the left, and that these programs did indeed foster dependency, I think we can safely state that the said dependency is not a flaw, but a feature.  After all, why else would they not stop a program in the face of overwhelming evidence of it’s failures?  Also, when large numbers of people are dependent on government assistance, why would they vote against their own benefits?  In a real sense, why would the political left set their dependent constituents  free?  If people could take care of themselves, why would they vote Democrat?

So, how might government get even more on the government drug (besides keeping the economy in the tank)?  Why not encourage states to sign more and more people up for government programs?  Apparently, that’s what the Obama administration is doing.  For an example, consider the following from Michelle Malkin…

“If you want more of something, subsidize it; if you want less of something, tax it.” — Ronald Reagan
*****

And if you want an absolute s*#tload of something, give bonuses on top of the subsidies.

From Judicial Watch:

In its quest to promote taxpayer-funded entitlement programs, the Obama Administration has actually rewarded one state with a $5 million bonus for its efficiency in adding food-stamp recipients to already bulging rolls.

It’s part of the administration’s campaign to eradicate “food insecure households” by improving access and increasing participation in the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Incidentally, the program was recently changed to SNAP to eliminate the stigma that comes with a name like food stamps. Just a few months ago the federal agency that administers the program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), launched a multi-million-dollar initiative to recruit more food-stamp participants even though the number of recipients has skyrocketed in the last few years.
[…]
Could this be why the number of food-stamp beneficiaries in Oregon has increased dramatically in the last few years? Since 2008 the state has seen a 60% boost in the number of food-stamp recipients, which means that more than 780,000 people (one out of five Oregonians) get groceries compliments of Uncle Sam.

What more can be said?   It’s almost like the drug lord rewarding his dealers for getting so many new addicts.  Come to think of it, is this different than ACORN rewarding their workers for registering more and more fake voters?  Consider the quote from Reagan. The administration is doing all it can to prevent businesses from hiring. At the same time, they are paying states to sign more people up for food stamps.  Could it be incompetence, or intentional expansion of the dependent classes?  I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that it just might be intentional.

Image H/T:  AmpedStatus

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Nanny State Alert: NY City Wants to Ban Soda for Food Stamp Recipients

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It’s been said many times that government assistance comes with strings attached-that when you let the government do something for you, you cede control to them. That has been accelerating under our newest set of would-be “progressive” overlords, and here is the latest example.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg sought federal permission on Wednesday to bar New York City’s 1.7 million recipients of food stamps from using them to buy soda or other sugared drinks.

Scoff if you will, but if they can tell people that they can’t buy soda, what can’t they tell people?

So Obama voters, how ya likin that “change?”

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Evidence of Democratic Success! Record Number Enroll in Government Anti-poverty Programs!

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One measure of success for Democrats is the number of people that they have helped save from starvation and poverty. It is a worthy measure of whether a policy is successful or not, and Obama, Peters, and all the other Democrats often campaign about how hard they have worked to expand the ‘safety net’ and ‘feed the starving masses.’ In their speeches they talk about how they are setting a goal for themselves of getting as many people who need help into the right government programs. And on their watch, under the Democratic Congress and a Democratic President, they have been successful in destroying an economy and driving record numbers of people to accept the forced charity of the governments dependence programs.

Democrats have been successful in ruining the private economy, of killing jobs with high taxes and regulation, of drying up private charities through taxes and regulations, of bankrupting businesses with regulations and taxes, and of setting up legal and regulatory barriers so that that private individuals are increasingly unable to help others. Barack Obama has done his job- under his watch and guidance, more and more people are forced to swallow their pride and accept the forced charity that is government welfare. Gary Peters has done his job well- money has been taken from businesses and individuals who worked hard for it, some of those businesses and individuals are unable to pay that money and go out of business or into bankruptcy, the money that is collected is cycled through several government agents who are well paid and have great benefits and retirement funds, some of that money is transferred to people and businesses who have friends in government and use those political connections to take some of that money, and then what little of that money is left given those people who need it. Success! And under Obama and the Democrats, that number has gotten bigger and bigger!

More than 50 million Americans are on Medicaid, the federal-state program aimed principally at the poor, a survey of state data by USA TODAY shows. That’s up at least 17% since December 2007, the month that Democrats enlarged their majorities in the House and Senate and captured the Presidency. One out of every six people in the United States have been driven to beg for aid from the government, creating a mass of dependent wards of the state who are stuck on the dole but reliably deliver votes to those people who promise more benefits with less obligations and time limits. The remaining five out of every six people in the US are forced to work increasingly harder to provide for themselves and for the other who are not working.

Even worse is that last year Obama and Democrats in Congress like Gary Peters passed Obamacare, which is scheduled to add a minimum of 16 million new people to Medicaid, starting in 2014. This massive expansion in taxpayer funded welfare is sure to drive increasing numbers into bankruptcy and job losses, driving the numbers on welfare up even higher, all thanks to the success of Democrats policies.

More than 40 million people get food stamps, an increase of nearly 50% since the election of Obama in December of 2007, according to government data through May. The program has grown steadily for three years, ever since the Democrats captured Congress in 2006, as Democrats policies have increasing taken their toll on Americans and driven more to beg government agents for food.

Close to 10 million receive unemployment insurance, nearly four times the number from 2007. Benefits have been extended by Congress eight times beyond the basic 26-week program, enabling the long-term unemployed to get up to 99 weeks of benefits.

One last success for Obama and the Democrats- more than 4.4 million people are on welfare, an 18% increase during the recession.

(Source data comes from USA Today’s Record number in government anti-poverty programs)

Original Post: A Conservative Teacher

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