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.

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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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Christianity and Social Justice, a False Comparison Re-Revisited

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There has been, in my opinion, a monstrous perversion of Christian teachings.  In order to promote Marxism, a variety of of Christian organizations and denominations have been infiltrated and influenced to promote an anti-Christian message- “social (in)justice.”   Many evangelical groups and the Catholic Church support it as well.   Just take a moment to let that thought percolate.  Would Jesus support Marxism?  Would he support a system that is openly resistant to any God but the state?  Mind you that social justice is nothing more than Marxism renamed, so I have a difficult time accepting that Jesus will support it.  It is neither social, nor just; it is simply the screwing down of everyone, outside the ruling elite, to the same level of government dependency/.

What I do know is that the Bible encourages charity in both Old and New Testaments.  Here’s a random selection of verses.

 

Deuteronomy 15:7
If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother.

 

Leviticus 25:35
‘If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you.

Psalm 37:25-26
I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed.

Psalm 41:1-2
Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble. The LORD will protect him and preserve his life; he will bless him in the land and not surrender him to the desire of his foes.

Matthew 6:1-4
“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

 

2 Corinthians 9:7
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Colossians 3:12
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

1 Timothy 6:17-18
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.

I will openly admit that I am by no means a theologian.  But what I gather is that charity is to be something personal.  God clearly wants us to be kind to the less fortunate.  I also think that he wants is to do that ourselves.  Note the verses from Matthew and 2 Corinthians; they seem to suggest that not only should giving be an individual decision-without coercion, but is should also be done in an anonymous manner.  Additionally, charity not only improves the status of the poor, but improves the condition of the giver’s soul.  Basically, it is good for all, and pleasing to God.

Let’s contrast that with the concept of social justice.  Essentially, the government, an agent of force, will confiscate from some, and give it to others (after wasting the majority of it in DC).  That, and the way in which it is done usually creates more of the problem it was meant to alleviate.  In a spiritual sense, how does being legally robbed by the government improve your soul, or you as a person?  How does a confiscatory policy help you please your God?  Can giving be defined as charity if you have no choice?  I don’t recall Jesus holding a gun to someone’s head, but Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro and Che certainly did, and in millions of cases, their minions pulled the trigger.

To me, the answer is simple.  Government taxation is NOT charity.  It does nothing for the “giver,” and, as history shows, we spent a trillion dollars in the “War on Poverty,” and ended up with more poor people!  I guess our government purchased a trillion dollars worth of poverty. No one bothers to mention that in the war on poverty, poverty won.  And, in fact, the government’s efforts helped poverty win, and will continue to do so.

Was that what Jesus had in mind?

Go forth, and pay people to not work.  Penalize them for being married.  And pay the more for having babies outside of marriage.  And, if they try and work to feed themselves, penalize them so sharply that they will give up.  Oh, and make sure democrats control education so they’ll never learn enough to escape you.  Do these things, and you will achieve social justice!

I somehow doubt that this is what the Lord had in mind.

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Government Spent Enough on Welfare in 2011 to Give Each Family in Poverty Over $59,000 Each

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A long term criticism of social programs, especially the entitlements, has been the massive waste associated with them.  Recently, a report was released that shows that if Welfare spending was concentrated, each family in poverty over $59,000 each.  CNS News has more…

According to a report from the CRS produced for Sen. Jeff Sessions(R-Ala.), $1 trillion was spent on federal welfare programs during fiscal year 2011 – with $746 billion in federal funds and $254 in state matching funds.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that there were approximately 16.8 million households living below the federal poverty level of $23,000 per year for a family of four in 2011. ( See:  2011 Households Below Poverty 2011.pdf)

If each of the estimated 16.8 million households with income below the poverty level were to have received an equal share of the total welfare spending for fiscal year 2011, they each would have received $59,523.

Um, that’s more than my salary.  Not only that, does the assistance that they receive equal that amount?    I doubt it.  However, I think the following, from the same article, sums it up nicely…

In other words, if the government were to discontinue its myriad federal welfare programs, such as housing vouchers, food stamps, and Medicaid, and instead just wrote every poor household a check, it would nearly quadruple their income: increasing it from at most $23,000 per year to nearly $83,000 per year.

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Student in My Classroom: “Parents grew up in Communism and it is not good”

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Last week we were talking about different political systems in my government class (this is a common topic of the first week or two of most government classes) and the class got into a discussion on communism. These discussions usually are pretty theoretical with students- many haven’t had a job where they have produced anything at all, most pay little in taxes, and all of them have been heavily steeped over years of public school experience in ‘fairness’ and ‘redistribution of wealth.’ Even those students who believe in capitalism and freedom and protection of property are forced to mostly rely on theory and logic (which they do have on their side).

But this year the battle against communism is personal for one of my students- he stood up and said the following:

“Both of my parents grew up on communist Poland where people had nothing. I don’t mean ‘like nothing’- I mean they had nothing. And I saw first hand what it means to ‘spread the wealth around’ and to ‘share everything’- there ends up being no wealth and there is nothing to eat. My parents came to America and worked hard, and now they have a lot- and so I believe that what matters the most in this country is working and encouraging people to work and protecting the property that people earn through their work.”

We live in a great nation and I think that sometimes people lose sight of how great it is and how it became great. It became great because we had a limited government that did not rescue people or provide a cradle-to-grave safety net for them, and this made them take responsibility for themselves and it made the community or civil society take responsibility for others.

Our nation became great because politicians encouraged people to work and to work hard- even into this generation Democrats encouraged hard work, before Obama led the party into a radical left direction. And our nation became great because people knew that their property that they worked so hard for would be protected and looked at proudly- class warfare and envy of the rich was frowned on by our society, taxes were low and not designed to just punish people for their hard work, and people aspired to be successful more so than to get a government job for the purposes of tearing down wealth.

What made America great was a government that protected peoples’ lives, liberty, and property so that they could pursue happiness- and we have lost sight of that as a nation.

Students like the one that spoke in my class the other day remind us of this fact by providing a comparative view of what is really going on in nations that practice communism. He also remind us of that one of the positives of immigration is that we get to hear from other people who have lived in nations’ where they have implemented a ‘spread the wealth’ or ‘government built that’ philosophy. Perhaps Barack Obama in his upbringing came to know and love the way they do things in other nations and perhaps a lot of people out there still look to Europe as a source of inspiration and guidance- but that’s not how we have traditionally done things in America and it is about time we remember that and celebrate what it means to be an American.

Original Post:  A Conservative Teacher

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10 Million More in Poverty Under President Obama

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In 2008, the last year of the last Republican President, the poverty rate in our nation was at 13.2%- in human terms this meant that 39.8 million individuals lived in poverty. In 2012, the last year of the current Democrat President, the poverty rate in our nation has risen to an estimated 15.7%- in human terms that means that 49.3 million individuals now live in poverty. Let’s not lose sight of this fact- after 4 years of President Obama as our Chief Executive, of which his party controlled the Senate the entire time and the House half of the time, the number of Americans living in poverty has gone up a stunning 9.5 million individuals.

Over the next coming months there is going to be a lot of fake controversies and the media and Obama is going to predict the worst possible results of Romney and Ryan’s policies. I wonder though- one doubts that even if Romney and Ryan were really really awful and their policies were an utter disaster that they would be able to increase the poverty rate in our nation as much as President Obama and the Democrats already have.

10 million more individuals in our nation now live in poverty as a result of Democratic policies which remove individual responsibility, discourage liberty and freedom, attack life, and do not respect private property rights. President Obama is promising to increase the size and scope of the national government, centralizing more decision making process and money in the far-distant capitol, where unelected bureaucrats who are bought off by special interests will play games with the fruits of your labor while you hope to someday get the scraps thrown back your way.

10 million more individuals in our nation now live in poverty as a result of President Obama and his policies- employers are discouraged from hiring employees, especially those who do not have experience or education, because of increased costs on employers for hiring people put in place by President Obama. Paperwork, healthcare, taxes, increased potential for litigation, regulations- President Obama and liberal Democrats have piled these on employers through poorly-conceived policies and now employers are being discouraged from hiring people, leaving more in poverty.

President Obama and liberal Democrats believe in collecting more wealth from individuals and businesses and then distributing it to those who are politically powerful and connected to them- this sort of perverse ‘trickle-down’ economics does not reach those at the bottom of the system and leaves many more in poverty than would otherwise be there if President Obama and his liberal Democrat allies in Congress were not passing any sort of laws at all.

Things were bad in 2008, and we added ‘Obama’ and ‘Democrat’ to the equation- and the result is 10 million more individuals living in poverty, struggling to put food on the table and shelter over their heads.

10 million more individuals are poor and hungry and weak and suffering because of President Obama.

Make a difference in 2012.

Original Post:  A Conservative Teacher

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Statism is Killing the Middle Class

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The liberals love their meme THE RICH GET RICHER and THE POOR GET POORER.  Sorry liberals but that is just not true. The truth is that the poor, because of entitlements and welfare largess, are getting richer. It is the middle class that is getting poorer.

The Poor are Richer Than the Middle Class

One of my favorite bloggers, Bunkerville, wrote an excellent piece that contained the following table that he borrowed from Zero Hedge . Please click on this table to get a full view and you will see that a family of four earning only $3,625 has almost as much economic benefit as a family earning $60,000 and a family earning $14,500 has a greater economic benefit than the family earning $60,000. This is what American statism has done. This is the result of the liberal’s idea of wealth redistribution.

 

The Middle Class is Getting Poorer

The following graph comes from a recent CNN Money article that I hope you will take the time to read.  The article contains a really  excellent video  called Why it sucks to be middle class,which I am unable to embed here. Please watch the video.

 

Middle-class income fell 7% in the last decade, adjusted for inflation.

The message of the graph is that middle class income has fallen 7% in the last decade. Folks, this is very serious. We have intuitively known things were not good for the middle class; but now we have the proof. No country can progress without a strong and vibrant middle class. So, what can be done to help the middle class?

One thing is for sure, Obama’s American Jobs Plan and how he proposes to pay for it will end up making things worse for the middle class. But, we conservatives must also understand that our desire to make government smaller and get our deficits and debt under control could do even more harm to the middle class if we don’t first do something that will allow for private investment which will in turn create jobs. We have resigned ourselves to the reality that there is little we can do until after the 2012 elections. But there is something on the horizon that would be just what the doctor ordered. It is something I have harped on for the last year. I’m talking about the Keystone Pipeline Project.

Redstate reported yesterday that Obama’s State Department has finally given its blessing to the Keystone Project:

Next week will begin public meetings regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline, which will be a pipeline connecting Alberta, Canada with Gulf Coast refineries.

As the article points out, the environmental groups will do every thing they can to stop this project. WE CAN NOT LET THEM DO IT.  America needs this project. Here are just some of the benefits:

  • Will create over 20,000 high wage manufacturing and construction jobs
  • Will contribute over $20 billion to the U.S. economy
  • Will deliver over 700,000 barrels of American and Canadian crude to refineries in the Gulf Coast to help America with the over 19 million barrels of oil a day that we consume

You can help! If you belong to a local Tea Party or if you belong to some other conservative action group, get them to take part in the public comment process along with your individual participation. Don’t allow the environmentalists to be the only voices that are heard.

Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

Original Post:  Conservatives on Fire

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Obama Thinks "Unneeded" Income Belongs to Government?

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Commentary Magazine has a great article by John Steele Gordon.  I think it is quite revealing.

President Obama’s press conference yesterday—in which he only took questions from left-leaning reporters apparently–contained an amazing statement. It should be noted the first two instances of the first person singular pronoun in the sentence refer to Barack Obama, President of the United States. The second two refer to Barack Obama, taxpaying citizen:

And I do not want, and I will not accept, a deal in which I am asked to do nothing, in fact, I’m able to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income that I don’t need, while a parent out there who is struggling to figure out how to send their kid to college suddenly finds that they’ve got a couple thousand dollars less in grants or student loans. (emphasis mine)

But, unlike Scrooge McDuck, the rich do not put the excess in a vast money bin and frolic about in it. They invest it. What a concept! Where does Obama think new capital comes from, the tooth fairy? It’s nothing more than the excess of income over outgo. Take away the income the rich “don’t need” and spend it on social programs, and capital formation in this country drops to zero.

Gordon nails it completely.  In the absence of experience, or for that matter, reality, Obama takes to the leftist mantra that wealth is unfair, and that government is the arbiter of who gets what, or who keeps what.

Government, under the liberal vision, confiscates wealth, and spends it as they see fit.  And, we see the results every day; an expanding dependent class,  increased poverty, and decreased economic activity.  The economic pump is not “primed,” as FDR put it, it is instead buried, and sealed in concrete.   The left fails to realize that without the enticement of profit, businesses do not spend.  If businesses do not spend, they cannot be taxed.  When they cannot be taxed, government revenues goes down.  And then, the left’s precious social programs, which exacerbate the very problems that they are meant to ameliorate, are underfunded.

The fact that history teaches this again and again, without exception, is  irrelevant to the left.  Steele goes back in time to show that reality bounces right off of Obama…

So determined is Obama to deprive “the rich” of excess income–as defined by him, of course–he is even willing to adversely impact government income in order to do so. Read this colloquy between Obama and ABC’s Charlie Gibson in a 2008 debate with Hillary Clinton:

MR. GIBSON: And in each instance, when the [capital gains tax] rate dropped, revenues from the tax increased. The government took in more money. And in the 1980s, when the tax was increased to 28 percent, the revenues went down. So why raise it at all, especially given the fact that 100 million people in this country own stock and would be affected?

SENATOR OBAMA:  Well, Charlie, what I’?ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.

MR. GIBSON:  But history shows that when you drop the capital gains tax, the revenues go up.

SENATOR OBAMA: Well, that might happen or it might not. It depends on what’?s happening on Wall Street and how business is going.

Actually, it doesn’t. Every time capital gains tax rates have gone up, revenues have gone down and vice versa. High capital gains tax rates, because the tax liability is only incurred when an asset is sold, have the effect of locking in capital, which is economically pernicious, preventing capital from flowing to its most productive, i.e wealth creating, use.

Again, he knocks it right out of the park.  The ignorance of economic reality, and the effort to destroy the rich, no matter the fact that they will destroy the economy in the process, means nothing to Obama and his ilk.  His statement about “fairness” is frankly asinine, as it not only unfair to steal what others have legally earned, it will eventually hurt everyone.  The government will be underfunded, jobs will be lost, and everyone will be poorer.  But then again, socialism doesn’t build people up equally, it screws everyone down equally.

We call socialism “trickle up poverty” for a reason.  Because it is.

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Classic Conservative Hideout: Government Intervention Leads To Further American Dependency

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A Note From Matt: Since the Conservative Hideout started, we had have some great contributors, that for one reason or another, decided to stop blogging altogether.  However, they left some great work behind, and much of it is just as relevant today as when it was first written.  Here is a post written by Matthew from November of 2009.

I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer. – Ben Franklin

There are many types of people who we come across throughout life, most of those to my good fortune have been hard-working, good-natured individuals that are bent on doing right and making an honest living. But on occasion, especially in the recent years, I have met some who are perfectly happy living off of others, or as I use to know it, being freeloaders. I have heard many times over, “Why go get a job when welfare pays more?” Or, “I’m not going to look for a job until my unemployment is almost up because it pays better.” And of course other similar remarks have come about too.

This seems to be an epidemic in our country now. Gone is the “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” attitude. It has been replaced with the notion that the government owes you something, if not everything. That you are somehow entitled to things you have never even worked for or tried to achieve. We have become a nation of many who are far too dependent on government for their needs and too selfish to care about the freedoms they give up in place of an easy mediocre life. And so, when big government rears its head as “help” and “hope” they immediately leap onto the train without a thought as to where is it’s true destination.

Once again, as we have seen numerous times in the previous months, Washington is seeking to expand what it seems to be a generous arm to help the people by extending unemployment benefits by up to 20 weeks and also extending the home buyer tax credit. In a 98-0 vote, the Senate passed the $24 billion Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009 plunging our nation further into unnecessary and unprecedented debt. Will this help the issue with job loss? No, it will only pay those who are unmotivated to stay that way for 20 more weeks at the expense of the taxpayers who are still working. Will it help the economy? No, it will make those who are working hold on to their money that much more knowing that tax increase is inevitable to pay for the multiple bailouts backed by insufficient funds.

All the while it may help few that really are trying desperately to find a job, but it is increasing national debt, enabling freeloaders, and allowing more government control of business. What is needed right now is less spending and less government to get America back on track. This is a bipartisan step in the wrong direction. And with the Obama administration crushing American’s faith in capitalism, ruining the U.S. dollar, implementing unnecessary programs, and pushing to pass more government take over, you can bet that the dependency on the government will only grow at an accelerated pace. It is ironic that those who are in majority at Washington right now are called Progressives because we as a country are clearly regressing. We are moving away from a free society and towards socialism.

Half of US kids will get food stamps, study says.

Pay attention to the response of the people being interviewed in line for stimulus money in this video.

Also posted in Unconstrained Truth

Matthew

Patriotism is as much a virtue as justice, and is as necessary for the support of societies as natural affection is for the support of families. -Benjamin Rush

 

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A Tale of two Stories: Teachers Unions Fights for Failed DC School System

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Michelle Rhee, the Chancellor of the Washington DC school system has spent the last several years creating quite a storm.  Hired by Mayor Adrian Fenty, she’s cut costs, closed crumbling schools, and worse yet, she has acted to terminate failed teachers.  Considering that the DCPS spends more money per pupil than any system in the country, and yet has the worst results, you would think that any effort to improve it would be applauded?

Not so much.

The Mayor Fenty, was defeated in the Democratic primary by Vincent Gray, the Chairman of the DC Council.  Gray will run virtually unopposed (There is, apparently, not a GOP presence there).

Here is one story of the election, from The Atlantic.

The urban education reform movement just got a much-needed reality check as D.C. Democratic primary voters fired Mayor Adrian Fenty, and effectively along with him one of the movement’s biggest superstars, District schools chief Michelle Rhee. Chancellor Rhee was as a key, polarizing figure in Fenty’s reelection campaign, which ended when he was defeated in the Tuesday primary by his challenger, D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray.

Rhee brazenly politicized her job as Schools Chancellor in a way that may be unprecedented for education bureaucrats. Back in the spring, the charitable arm of Wal-Mart and other corporate foundations threatened to yank millions they had donated to break the teacher’s union if Rhee was not retained. Then Rhee not so subtly hinted to a reporter that she would not work for Gray. Finally, the weekend before the election, Rhee hit the campaign trail along with Fenty to round up votes in the wealthiest ward in Washington.

D.C. voters responded with a resounding rejection of her, her boss and their education policies. (Gray, who has no Republican challenger in this overwhelmingly Democratic city, has not said if he would retain Rhee.)

So, the author here views the election as a referendum on Rhee, and her reform efforts.  However, like most “progressive” commentaries, there are some absent details.

For the flipside, here is an article on the same event, from the POLITICO.

The American Federation of Teachers spent heavily to unseat Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty and to put the breaks on his aggressive efforts to shake up the city’s schools system.

The national union spent roughly $1 million in contributions to a labor-backed independent expenditure campaign — also supported by the public workers union AFSCME — and on its own extensive political operation, a Democratic political consultant familiar with the details of the spending told POLITICO. The spending suggests that the vote — while not a referendum on Fenty’s attempt to shake up the school system — was deeply shaped by that policy. And while the teachers union has been careful not to claim the scalps of Fenty and his schools chancellor, Michelle Rhee, the election may serve as a political shot across the bows of other urban officials considering similar policies.

So, the status quo was defended by the teacher’s union.  As we have seen across the country, the teacher’s unions have resisted any change or sacrifice in the face of financial hardships faced by state and local governments.  They have resisted every effort to contribute ANYTHING to health benefits, or have resisted pay freezes, and have resisted efforts to remove failed, or even criminal teachers.  How many of us in the private sector have the opportunity to do any of these things?  In the private sector, we have to live in reality.  No one in the real world can long keep unproductive employees.  We can’t demand that a private employer keep in paying insane rates for health insurance and pay raises that do not match economic reality.  Private sector unions have tried, but think about the bankruptcy of GM, why so many things we buy are made in China, and why Detriot is a decaying ruin, and you see the results.

At any rate, the unions must have spent enough money, and the voters chose to keep their terrible schools, condeming their own children to illiteracy, poverty, and crime.

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Obama to set new Poverty Guidelines

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An announcement from the Obama administration this week heralds a brand new way to measure poverty. American families will be considered poor if their income falls below a certain specified income level. This is nothing new; in fact that is how we measure poverty presently in this country. But let’s get a little perspective on the poverty measurement system, shall we?

Originally, poverty measurements were developed in 1963-1964 by Mollie Orshansky of the Social Security Administration. This, from the HHS.gov website explains how we first officially defined poverty in the United States:

“The poverty thresholds were originally developed in 1963-1964 by Mollie Orshansky of the Social Security Administration.  Orshansky took the dollar costs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s economy food plan for families of three or more persons and multiplied the costs by a factor of three. She followed somewhat different procedures to calculate thresholds for one- and two-person units in order to allow for the relatively larger fixed costs that small family units face.  (The economy food plan used by Orshansky is included in a 1962 Agriculture Department report.)

Orshansky used a factor of three because the Agriculture Department’s 1955 Household Food Consumption Survey found that for families of three or more persons, the average dollar value of all food used during a week (both at home and away from home) accounted for about one third of their total money income after taxes.

In May 1965, the U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity adopted Orshansky’s poverty thresholds as a working or quasi-official definition of poverty.  In August 1969, the U.S. Bureau of the Budget (predecessor of the Office of Management and Budget) designated the poverty thresholds with certain revisions as the federal government’s official statistical definition of poverty.”

Okay, that makes sense. I mean using an average food budget for a family of four and going from there does seem reasonable. But as with most things that seem reasonable, our government used a different method. After that first year, the Consumer Price Index was used to aid in the poverty threshold valuation.

All of this is well and good, and some would say even needed. For how can our Government redistribute the wealth without deciding who is living at or below the poverty level? In fact, here are the governmental agencies that use the poverty guidelines:

  • Department of Health and Human Services:
    • Community Services Block Grant
    • Head Start
    • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
    • Community Food and Nutrition Program
    • PARTS of Medicaid (31 percent of eligibles in Fiscal Year 2004)
    • Hill-Burton Uncompensated Services Program
    • AIDS Drug Assistance Program
    • Children’s Health Insurance Program
    • Medicare – Prescription Drug Coverage (subsidized portion only)
    • Community Health Centers
    • Migrant Health Centers
    • Family Planning Services
    • Health Professions Student Loans — Loans for Disadvantaged Students
    • Health Careers Opportunity Program
    • Scholarships for Health Professions Students from Disadvantaged Backgrounds
    • Job Opportunities for Low-Income Individuals
    • Assets for Independence Demonstration Program
  • Department of Agriculture:
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly Food Stamp Program)
    • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
    • National School Lunch Program (for free and reduced-price meals only)
    • School Breakfast Program (for free and reduced-price meals only)
    • Child and Adult Care Food Program (for free and reduced-price meals only)
    • Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program
  • Department of Energy:
    • Weatherization Assistance for Low-Income Persons
  • Department of Labor:
    • Job Corps
    • National Farmworker Jobs Program
    • Senior Community Service Employment Program
    • Workforce Investment Act Youth Activities
  • Department of the Treasury:
    • Low-Income Taxpayer Clinics
  • Corporation for National and Community Service:
    • Foster Grandparent Program
    • Senior Companion Program
  • Legal Services Corporation:
    • Legal Services for the Poor

But fast forward to today and the new definition of poverty takes on an entirely different meaning. No, this latest affront from our Pretender-In-Chief is yet another tool in his arsenal to, yep you guessed it, “spread the wealth.” As I said above, American families will be considered poor if their income falls below a certain specified income level. But under the new Obama guidelines, there will be an “escalator clause” built into the equation. Really and honestly, I am not making this up. The “escalator clause” will rise directly in proportion to rises in the living standards of average Americans.

What exactly does this mean? Well, presently poverty is measured in how much purchasing power you have. In other words, how many groceries you can buy. Obama’s new system measures comparative purchasing power; or how many groceries you can buy relative to other citizens. As the nation gets wealthier, (when it finally does start to get wealthier, it won’t be under this President) the poverty standards increase. So that means that we will always have poverty in America! This should come in handy to help perpetuate the “War on Poverty.” Remind me, how long have we been fighting that one? Let’s see, wasn’t it since the early ‘60s under LBJ? Good news, the war can continue indefinitely! Poverty will always be with us, even if the poor become much better off in actuality.

What does this mean? It means that if Obama waved his magic wand and immediately doubled the incomes of all Americans (yes, I know how patently absurd this idea is on SO many levels, but go with me on this) then the poverty rate would have stayed the same. Huh? Everyone in America has twice as much money and there are still poor among us? The only way for the poverty rate to decrease under Obama’s new system is if the incomes of the poorest Americans rise faster than everyone else’s.

It gets better. Think about our poverty rate under Obama’s new system compared with other countries that use conventional measurement systems. Third world countries. Poor countries. Yes, America would have HIGHER poverty rates than many third world, destitute countries because Barack Hussein Obama (mmm, mmm, mmm) wants to spread the wealth here in America.

Just since 1967 the median household income in the US has gone up 31%. Yet under Obama’s system, the poverty level would remain no matter how much better off people are. To further elaborate on this Robert Rector of The National Review Online said:

“The government’s own data show that the typical American defined as poor (according to the traditional, pre-Obama poverty measure) has two color televisions, cable or satellite service, a VCR or DVD player, and a stereo. He also has a car, air conditioning, a refrig­erator, a stove, a clothes washer and dryer, and a microwave. He is able to obtain medical care. His home is in good repair and is not overcrowded. By his own report, his family is not hungry, and he had suf­ficient funds in the past year to meet his family’s essential needs. While this individual’s life is not opulent, it is far from the stark images conveyed by the mainstream media and liberal politicians.”

But under Obama’s new system, the poverty level would remain constant. Talk about your class warfare. Why is it the liberal always wants to pit class against class? And this only exacerbates the situation by maintaining a poverty level instead of providing an index so that when people climb the ladder of success, they have a benchmark to measure their progress. But then again, a permanent poverty class ensures that entitlements and the entitlement mentality will be alive and well in this country.

I just thought you should know.

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