When Reason Takes A Vacation

I just returned from a vacation spent with people who hate President Trump for no apparent reason. It was an educational experience. They were not willing to give President Trump credit for any of the economic growth the country has experienced in the past two years. There was no acknowledgment of the President’s efforts to deal with the crisis on our southern border. All they knew was that ‘Trump was a bad man.’ That is so sad. That is what our media has done to Americans who depend on them for their news.

Townhall posted an article today about the attacks on President Trump and how the mainstream media and members of Congress are altering the facts to suit their purposes.

The article states:

The most significant take-away from my college education was learning to rely on evidence over opinion, hearsay, and rumor. “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion,” said Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “but not his own facts.” Never in a million years did I suspect that political correctness would come along and overrule Senator Moynihan’s famous dictum. That’s right—the geniuses of the Democratic Party Brain Trust are attempting to create their own facts.

We have a clear statement of two pertinent facts from the Mueller Report: (1) There was no Trump-Russia collusion; and (2) There is no basis for a charge of obstruction against the president. This comes after 2,800 subpoenas, 500 search warrants, and 500 witnesses over two years of investigation. Thanks to the mainstream media’s penchant for fake news, Mueller’s conclusion was the opposite of what the Democrats were anticipating. Trump was correct when he tweeted, “No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION.”

The article then goes on to cite examples of the Democrats telling us things that totally contradict that report as if what they were telling us were true.

Some examples:

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler, interviewed by Chris Wallace after Mueller’s finding of no collusion, had the gall to insist, “We know there was collusion.”

…Similarly, Democratic presidential candidate “Beto” O’Rourke tweeted, “You have a president, who in my opinion, beyond the shadow of a doubt, sought to collude with the Russian government.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, speaking on ABC’s This Week, insisted there is “ample evidence of collusion in plain sight.” In fact, he added, “Every act that I’ve pointed to as evidence of collusion has now been borne out by the [Mueller] report.”

…Senator Elizabeth Warren, another deluded member of Congress, continues to insist that the Mueller Report justifies impeaching the president. “We cannot be an America that says it is OK for a president of the United States to try and block an investigation into a foreign attack on our country or an investigation into that president’s own misbehavior—so I have called on the House to initiate impeachment proceedings.”

The report is public. Are these people simply assuming people will believe them rather than the report of the summary of the report? This is irresponsible, dishonest,  and divisive.

Ending Poverty In America

The War on Poverty has been a massive failure. Mostly because it never got near the root of the problem. Yesterday The Daily Signal posted an article that might help us successfully fight poverty and also grow the economy.

The article stated:

States with the highest share of married-parent families are better off than states with the lowest share of such families. They have $1,451 more in per capita GDP, 10.5 percent more upward mobility for low-income children, a 13.2 percent decrease in child poverty, and $3,654 more in median family income. (The researchers controlled for factors such as education, a state’s racial composition, tax policies, and education spending.)

This is the graph included in the article:

WilcoxReport_Chart1_Sheffield

The numbers are convincing. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan stated his concerns about the disintegration of the black family in 1965. Since then, welfare programs have a negative impact on families of all races by limiting benefits to two-parent families. The way out of poverty is not giving away more money–it is reasserting the value of the family and creating a culture that encourages intact families.  Television and movies could play a positive role in that if they chose. Until Americans begin to support families and encourage marriage and monogamy, we can expect to spend more money on social programs and get less results.

Truth Doesn’t Change–Even When Society Does

Today’s Wall Street Journal posted an article about next month’s 50-year anniversary of Daniel Patrick Moynihan‘s report on the black family. At the time the future Senator was serving as assistant secretary in Lyndon Johnson‘s Labor Department. Senator Moynihan (he was first elected to the Senate in 1976) was concerned about the increasing number of fatherless homes in the black community.

The article in the Wall Street Journal reports:

“The fundamental problem is that of family structure,” wrote Moynihan, who had a doctorate in sociology. “The evidence—not final but powerfully persuasive—is that the Negro family in the urban ghettos is crumbling.”

For his troubles, Moynihan was denounced as a victim-blaming racist bent on undermining the civil-rights movement. Even worse, writes Harvard’s Paul Peterson in the current issue of the journal Education Next, Moynihan’s “findings were totally ignored by those who designed public policies at the time.” The Great Society architects would go on to expand old programs or formulate new ones that exacerbated the problems Moynihan identified. Marriage was penalized and single parenting was subsidized. In effect, the government paid mothers to keep fathers out of the home—and paid them well.

This, of course, made the problem of fatherless families worse–not better.

The article reminds us that we are also approaching the 50-year anniversary of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which ensured that the black minorities were able to vote.

The article points out:

With a twice-elected black man now occupying the White House, it might be difficult for younger Americans to appreciate this milestone. However, in 1964, three years after Barack Obama was born, black voter registration in Mississippi was less than 7%, the lowest in the South. By 1966 it had grown to 60%, the highest in the South.

Today black voter-registration rates in the South, where most blacks still live, are higher than in other regions of the country, and for the first time on record the black voter-turnout rate in 2012 exceeded white turnout.

So what have The Great Society and the Voting Rights Act accomplished?

The article concludes:

But even as we note this progress, the political gains have not redounded to the black underclass, which by several important measures—including income, academic achievement and employment—has stagnated or lost ground over the past half-century. And while the civil-rights establishment and black political leaders continue to deny it, family structure offers a much more plausible explanation of these outcomes than does residual white racism.

In 2012 the poverty rate for all blacks was more than 28%, but for married black couples it was 8.4% and has been in the single digits for two decades. Just 8% of children raised by married couples live in poverty, compared with 40% of children raised by single mothers.

One important lesson of the past half-century is that counterproductive cultural traits can hurt a group more than political clout can help it. Moynihan was right about that, too.

The country needs voters of every ethnic group–but they need smart voters–voters who will vote for things that will strengthen the family and foundations of society–not voters who support the undermining of those things.

Misplaced Anger

On Friday, CNS News posted a story quoting Black Entertainment Television (BET) founder Bob Johnson as saying that America would “never tolerate white unemployment at 14 or 15 percent” and yet unemployment for the black community has been double that of white Americans for over 50 years. That statement is true, and that fact is evidence of something wrong with our education and employment system as it currently exists. However, before we yell racism, let’s look at some of the things that surround black unemployment.

In 1962, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Senator from New York who was very concerned about how American welfare programs were impacting the black family, noticed that because of the changes made to the welfare system, the number of black households without fathers present was increasing dramatically (City Journal Summer 2005). Before then, welfare was provided to families below a certain income whether or not the husband and father was living in the house. Welfare was changed in the 1960’s so that it was financially advantageous for a husband and father not to be living in the home. At that point, the black culture changed from one of strong families to one of single mothers. (Just for the record, much of the white culture is following the same path). Single-parent families are statistically much more likely to live below the poverty level than two-parent families.

High unemployment rates for blacks are a problem. High unemployment rates for anyone are a problem. If Bob Johnson is truly concerned about black unemployment, he needs to move within the black culture to support families, family values, and good education from kindergarten through college. One attempt at this, the Head Start Program, has yielded unimpressive results. We can do better.

On July 11, 2007, Time reported:

It is now 45 years later. We spend more than $7 billion providing Head Start to nearly 1 million children each year. And finally there is indisputable evidence about the program’s effectiveness, provided by the Department of Health and Human Services: Head Start simply does not work.

According to the Head Start Impact Study, which was quite comprehensive, the positive effects of the program were minimal and vanished by the end of first grade. Head Start graduates performed about the same as students of similar income and social status who were not part of the program. These results were so shocking that the HHS team sat on them for several years, according to Russ Whitehurst of the Brookings Institution, who said, “I guess they were trying to rerun the data to see if they could come up with anything positive. They couldn’t.”

So how do we change the black unemployment numbers? Actually, the place to start is the government. First of all, Obamacare is having a negative impact on employment for everyone–repeal it. Second of all, we need to take a good look at welfare programs and how they impact the people who receive the money (and while we are at it, examine the administrative cost). Third, we need community leaders who support black families and encourage black children to speak proper English, get a good education, get married after they finish school, and have children after they get married–not before. We then need to revise our welfare programs so that they promote intact families, and do not promote dependence upon the government. We need workfare programs–first of all to make welfare less attractive, and secondly to provide the experience (and expectation) of getting out of bed every morning and going to work. Workfare also provides experience in doing some sort of work–whatever it is. We need to re-educate both the black and white communities on the free enterprise system to allow those who can be entrepreneurs to do so (we also need to modify our tax system so that it pays to be an entrepreneur).

We need black leaders who do not preach dependence. We need black leaders who do not preach hatred and blame. We need black leaders who want to bring the black community into equality with the white community in the areas of education, housing, opportunities, and success. That can be done by promoting responsibility, patriotism, cooperation with authority, and basic values. Racism, hatred, and blame will get us nowhere. We need a positive approach.

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One Of My Favorite Democrats

Tevi Troy posted an article at the City Journal entitled “The Last Sane Liberal” describing former New York City Mayor Ed Koch. Mayor Koch became mayor of New York City in January 1978. I left New York City after finishing school in 1967, but I visited on a fairly regular basis after that. There were times when it was not considered safe to ride the subways if you were a woman alone.

Mr. Troy does a very good job of explaining the appeal of Ed Koch:

But ego doesn’t fully explain Koch’s appeal. If he’d simply been selling himself in those TV appearances, New Yorkers would have seen through it. Rather, Koch conflated his mayoral success with New York’s success. As the New York Times wrote in 1989, “Edward Irving Koch has personalized the mayoralty with such delight that the line between Mayor and city blurred during the 12 years he has led New York.” What appealed to New Yorkers was the sense that Koch was out there selling the city, both to itself and to the rest of the world. The I, Koch team writes that Koch was “New York’s tireless, most optimistic cheerleader. No matter what the problem, the city was wonderful.” According to the late New York senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Koch had “given New York City back its morale.” Or, as Koch himself put it: “I gave the people back their spirit.”

The article concludes:

Koch became mayor at New York’s nadir and, using his signature mixture of media smarts, pluck, and sheer determination, managed to bring the city back from the brink. It surely doesn’t detract from Rudy Giuliani’s deeply impressive reign, which began in 1994, to suggest that Koch deserves credit for getting Gotham to the point where Giuliani could tackle the job. The renaming of the Queensboro Bridge after Koch in 2010 may be an imperfect way to honor a man who once said that going to Queens gave him “nosebleeds.” But it’s clear that Koch deserves a place of honor in the pantheon of New York’s most successful mayors.

Over the years Ed Koch has taken positions that put him at odds with the Democrat Party. He tends to speak his mind and form his opinions based on the facts as he sees them–not the party line. He is not afraid to stand alone when he thinks he is right. We need more people like him in both parties. I need to explain that I agree with Ed Koch on very little–but I respect him for his willingness to form his own opinions.

I strongly suggest that you follow the link above and read the entire article. Ed Koch is a fascinating man.

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A Rising Star In The Republican Party

Marco Rubio, Florida Republican & former speak...

Image via Wikipedia

Senator Marco Rubio was elected in 2010 to represent Florida in the Senate. He was born in Miami to parents who had fled the dictatorship of Fidel Castro after the Cuban revolution. Senator Rubio’s recent speech at the Reagan Library is an amazing mix of wisdom and common sense.

Power Line posted the following excerpt:

[W]e must begin by embracing certain principles that are absolutely true. Number one – the free enterprise system does not create poverty. The free enterprise system does not leave people behind. People are poor and people are left behind because they do not have access to the free enterprise system because something in their lives or in their community has denied them access to the free enterprise system. All over the world this truism is expressing itself every single day. Every nation on the Earth that embraces market economics and the free enterprise system is pulling millions of its people out of poverty. The free enterprise system creates prosperity, not denies it.

The second truism that we must understand is that poverty does not create our social problems, our social problems create our poverty. Let me give you an example. All across this country, at this very moment, there are children who are born into and are living with five strikes against them, already, through no fault of their own. They’re born into substandard housing in dangerous neighborhoods, to broken families, being raised by their grandmothers because they never knew their father and their mom is either working two jobs to make ends meet or just not home. These kids are going to struggle to succeed unless something dramatic happens in their life.

These truisms are important because they lead the public policies that define the proper role of government. On the prosperity side, the number one objective of our economic policy, in fact the singular objective of our economic policy from a government perspective is simple – it’s growth. It’s not distribution of wealth, it’s not picking winners and losers. The goal of our public policy should be growth. Growth in our economy, the creation of jobs, and of opportunity, of equality of opportunity through our governmental policies.

Now often when I give these speeches, members of the media and others get frustrated because there is nothing new or novel in it. We don’t have to reinvent this. It’s worked before and it will work again and they are simple things. Like a tax code that’s fair, predictable, easy to comply with. Like a regulatory framework that doesn’t exist to justify the existence of the regulators, that doesn’t exist to accomplish through regulation and rulemaking what they couldn’t accomplish through the Congress.

And it is the proper role of government to invest in infrastructure. Yes, government should build roads and bridges, but it should do so as part of economic development as part of infrastructure. Not as a jobs program.

And government should invest in our people at the state level. Education is important, critically important. We must educate and train our children to compete and succeed in the 21st century. Our kids are not going to grow up to compete with children in Alabama or Mississippi. They’re going to grow up to compete with kids in India, and China, all over the world; children who are learning to compete and succeed in the 21st century themselves.

These are proper roles of government within the framework of creating an environment where economic security and prosperity is possible.

The concepts in the speech need to be shouted during the current debate about our budget deficits. The first is the idea that free enterprise does not create poverty–it provides a vehicle for people to escape poverty, and the second is that poverty does not create our social problems–it is the result of those problems.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan understood what the war on poverty would do to America when Lyndon Johnson began the program:

The steady expansion of welfare programs can be taken as a measure of the steady disintegration of the Negro family structure over the past generation in the United States.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan

It’s time to examine how we spend money to fight poverty in America. Free money is not a solution to poverty. Free money destroys self-esteem and ambition–both of which are needed to overcome poverty.


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