A Common Sense Approach To Saving Taxpayer Money

Welfare was meant to be a safety net–not a career choice. Unfortunately we have lost the war on poverty started by President Lyndon Johnson in the 1960’s. According to the social work degree center website, in the 1960’s, 22 percent of Americans lived below the poverty line. In 2014, 14.8 percent of Americans lived below the poverty line. In January 2016, The Daily Signal reported:

First, the War on Poverty has failed to achieve Johnson’s goal: to “strike at the causes, not just the consequences of poverty.” Since he declared “unconditional war,” poverty has thumbed its nose at its would-be conquerors.

The official poverty rate has hovered between ten and fifteen percent for 50 years. But that is only a part of the story. Since the 1960s, the institutions that contribute to self-sufficiency—namely, marriage and work—have declined. Today, more than 40 percent of children are born outside marriage; in 1964, only 7 percent were.

…Robert Rector, senior research fellow in domestic policy studies at the Heritage Foundation, writes that “taxpayers have spent $22 trillion on Johnson’s war. Adjusted for inflation, that’s three times the cost of all military wars since the American Revolution.” It’s time to change course. We need a new strategy against poverty.

The changes in our culture are part of the problem, but there is another increasing problem–people who come to this country to take advantage of our generous welfare system.

Breitbart posted an article today stating:

President Trump is set to save American taxpayers billions of dollars as his administration announces a new rule on Monday that will essentially ban welfare-dependent legal immigrants from permanently resettling in the United States.

A new regulation set to be published by the Trump administration will ensure that legal immigrants would be less likely to secure a permanent residency in the U.S. if they have used any forms of welfare in the past, including using subsidized healthcare services, food stamps, and public housing.

Below is a chart of current welfare expenditures:

I have no problem with having a safety net, but it seems that our priorities are out of order. The first group of people that we should be helping are our veterans. Too many of them come home and need help to get on their feet when they separate from the military. I would like to see that as our first priority in welfare spending.

The article at Breitbart concludes:

Currently, there is an estimated record high of 44.5 million foreign-born residents living in the U.S. This is nearly quadruple the immigrant population in 2000. The vast majority of those arriving in the country every year are low-skilled legal immigrants who compete against working and middle-class Americans for jobs.

If we don’t get a handle on immigration, we are going to bankrupt America.

Ignoring The Root Of The Problem

Thomas Sowell posted an article at National Review today about how government policies since the 1960’s have hurt the black community and are partially to blame for much of the unrest we are seeing now. As the article states, most of those policies are favored by the Democratic Party. One can’t help but remember that it was Democrat President Lyndon Baines Johnson who stated, “I’ll have those n—–s voting Democratic for the next 200 years” as he confided with two like-minded governors on Air Force One regarding his underlying intentions for the “Great Society” programs.

The article at National Review reminds us:

In 1960, before this expansion of the welfare state, 22 percent of black children were raised with only one parent. By 1985, 67 percent of black children were raised with either one parent or no parent.

A big “favor” the Obama administration is offering blacks today is exemption from school behavior rules that have led to a rate of disciplining of black male students that is greater than the rate of disciplining of other categories of students.

Discipline is part of the process of becoming an adult and a responsible citizen. We are not allowing children to develop properly when we refuse to discipline them. That is a very large part of the problems with youth we are having today.

The article further notes:

Kids from homes where they were not given behavioral standards, who are then not held to behavioral standards in schools, are on a path that can lead them as adults straight into prison, or to fatal confrontations with the police.

The article notes that one of the things that has helped children in the ghettos is the emergence of Charter Schools. Oddly enough, Democrats and the NAACP both oppose Charter Schools.

The article concludes with the explanation:

The Democrats’ special interest is in serving the teachers’ unions, which oppose charter schools and support Democrats financially.

The NAACP’s special interest is in serving the same donors — and in keeping ghetto schools controlled by racial activists, as part of their turf.

Unless the black community wakes up to the damage the ‘generosity’ of the Democratic Party has done to their culture, they will not survive as a community. There are a number of black churches in the city where I live in that are working to bring a healthy culture back to the black community, but it is an uphill battle. Theoretically life in America means that we are all pulling the same wagon together. Those that seek to divide us so that they can climb into the wagon and get a free ride need to either help pull or get out of the way.

The Current American Welfare System

Yesterday The Daily Signal posted an article about the current state of American welfare spending. It seems that those leaders who believe that we should become more like Europe and Scandinavia in our welfare spending practices might want to take another look.

The article reports:

The U.S. Census Bureau has released its annual poverty report. Conventional wisdom holds that the U.S. has a small social welfare system and far more poverty compared with other affluent nations. But noted liberal scholars Irwin Garfinkel, Lee Rainwater, and Timothy Smeeding challenge such simplistic ideas in their book “Wealth and Welfare States: Is America a Laggard or Leader?”

Garfinkel and his colleagues examine social welfare spending and poverty in rich nations. They define social welfare as having five components: health care spending, education spending, cash retirement benefits, other government cash transfers such as unemployment insurance and the earned-income tax credit (EITC), and non-cash aid such as food stamps and public housing.

The authors find that in the U.S., social welfare spending differs from that in other affluent countries because it draws heavily on both public and private resources. By contrast, in Europe, government controls most of the resources and benefits. For example, in the U.S., government health care spending is targeted to elderly and low-income persons; the American middle and working classes rely primarily on employer-provided health insurance. The U.S. government health care system is, therefore, more redistributive than the systems of most other developed nations.

Note to Bernie Sanders–we are already redistributing wealth.

The article goes on to explain that ‘poor’ families in America usually have air-conditioning, a car, and cable or satellite television. Poverty in America looks very different than poverty in many other parts of the world.

The article concludes:

It is, of course, a good thing that left-wing claims of widespread deprivation in the U.S. are inaccurate. But government welfare policy should be about more than shoveling out a trillion dollars per year in “free” benefits. When President Lyndon Johnson launched the War on Poverty, he sought to decrease welfare dependence and increase self-sufficiency: the ability of family to support itself above poverty without the need for government handouts. By that score, the War on Poverty has been a $24-trillion flop. While self-sufficiency improved dramatically in the decades before the War on Poverty started, for the last 45 years, it has been at a standstill.

A decent welfare system would return to Johnson’s original goal of reducing poverty by increasing self-sufficiency. It would require able-bodied recipients to work or prepare for work if they are to receive benefits. It would reward, not penalize, marriage. In other words, it would be the exact opposite of the welfare behemoth we currently have.

We have lost the War on Poverty. We are spending billions of dollars to create generational dependency rather than to create economic independence. It is time to refocus and encourage working instead of collecting money from the government. This process was begun under President Clinton (with the assistance of Newt Gingrich), but halted under President Obama. It’s time to bring a work requirement back into the welfare program. Please  follow the link and read the TopRightNews article about what is happening in Maine to bring welfare programs back under control.