Good News For Taxpayers

Yesterday The Daily Signal posted an article about a new bill in Tennessee. On April 9, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed a bill that ends state taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in the state.

The article states:

The bill will direct TennCare, the state’s Medicaid program, money to health care facilities instead of Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

“This money is a form of supporting abortions,” state Rep. Jimmy Matlock said last month, reported The Tennessean. He fought to remove state funding from Planned Parenthood, saying that in the last six years, nearly $1 million has been paid to abortion clinics in Tennessee out of TennCare reimbursements.

…Monica Burke, a research assistant in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email that no state should use taxpayer dollars to fund abortion.

“The government should not be entangled with Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry,” Burke said. “Taxpayers should not be forced to fund abortion. In order to provide women with quality health care, public funding should be directed to qualified health care centers instead.”

Abortion is legal in America, but there is no reason taxpayers should be forced to pay for it. I am not a doctor, but my understanding is that there is sometimes a medical need to do an abortion. I have no problem with that, but abortion should not be a million dollar industry. In 2015, Breitbart reported that Planned Parenthood reports more than $127 million in excess revenue, and over $1.4 billion in net assets. The majority of that money comes from performing abortions. I am sure that I am not the only person who finds that offensive. It’s time for Americans to step up to the plate–teach abstinence in our schools, help teenage mothers who do get pregnant, and adopt the children of teenage mothers. We also need to look closely at those government programs that encourage having children without benefit of marriage. We are looking at the future predicted by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan in 1965. We can change that future, but it will take time and serious effort.

Changing The Welfare Paradigm

On Tuesday The New York Post posted an article about President Trump’s Executive Order on welfare reform. The article notes that America currently has a very low unemployment rate and a very high number of people on welfare. That really does not seem to compute.

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial today on the subject.

The editorial reminds us of some of the history of welfare reform:

Although it was President Clinton who signed that sweeping welfare reform bill into law, plenty of Democrats were furious. Marion Wright Edelman, then head of the Children’s Defense Fund, called it a “moment of shame.” Illinois Sen. Paul Simon declared that “this isn’t welfare reform, it’s welfare denial.” Even now, many Democrats want to get rid of it.

And that’s despite its proven track record of success.

“In the past decade, welfare rolls have dropped substantially, from 12.2 million in 1996 to 4.5 million today. At the same time, caseloads declined by 45%. Sixty percent of mothers who left welfare found work, far surpassing predictions of experts.”

That was how Bill Clinton himself described the reform’s success a decade after he signed it into law.

The reforms that President Clinton put into effect were greatly loosened under President Obama, and welfare rolls soared. Part of that was due to the sluggish economy under President Obama, and part of that was due to the changes in the reforms.

The editorial concludes:

In Trump’s executive order, he makes the compelling case for expanding work requirements:

“Many of the programs designed to help families have instead delayed economic independence, perpetuated poverty, and weakened family bonds.

“While bipartisan welfare reform enacted in 1996 was a step toward eliminating the economic stagnation and social harm that can result from long-term government dependence, the welfare system still traps many recipients, especially children, in poverty and is in need of further reform and modernization in order to increase self-sufficiency, well-being, and economic mobility.”

Well said. But to make that happen, Republicans need to keep hammering away at this theme until it sinks into the public consciousness. And they need to turn around the metric used to define success to one that counts declining enrollment as a victory.

That’s the only way we will ever be able to turn the tide on what seems like a relentless and unstoppable expansion of the welfare state.

Senator Daniel Patrick “Pat” Moynihan wrote a report in 1965 predicting that the War on Poverty would destroy the African-American family. He was right. The welfare programs under the War on Poverty have also destroyed the white family. It is time that generational welfare becomes a bad memory of the past–not a present problem. Hopefully, President Trump has just taken the first step in that direction.,

Lying With False Statistics

When I heard the mainstream media claim that there had been eighteen school shootings this year, I wondered where I had been. It’s only February, and I just don’t remember anywhere near eighteen incidents of school shootings in the last month or so. Well, maybe my memory isn’t as bad as I thought–there haven’t been eighteen school shootings this year.

Investor’s Business Daily is one of many alternative news sources that debunked the claim.

The article explains what the real facts are:

One of the “school shootings” on the list, for example, involved a Greyson College, Tex., student who accidentally discharged a weapon at the school’s Criminal Justice Center during a class supervised by a police officer on how to use handguns.

Another on the list involved a third grader who accidentally pulled the trigger of a police officer’s holstered weapon.

Two were suicides that happened to take place on school grounds. One of them was a 31-year-old man who shot himself while parked in his car, which happened to be on a school lot— at a school that had been closed for seven months. Another was a student who shot himself in the head in the school’s bathroom.

Three “school shootings” involved fights that broke out between either adults or students in school parking lots — one of them at a college in North Carolina — in which one of the people arguing pulled a gun on the other.

Another student was shot by a robber, during a robbery that happened to take place in a school parking lot.

One involved a gun that a 12-year-old brought to school, which accidentally went off inside her backpack.

In fact, of the 18 “school shootings,” only five occurred during school hours, and only four — including the latest — are what most people would consider a school shooting; in which someone brings a gun to school with the intent of shooting students.

Of those three previous shootings, only one resulted in deaths, when a 15-year-old boy armed with a handgun opened fire inside a Kentucky high school and killed two fellow students while injuring 14 others. The two others resulted in two injuries.

Obviously one school shooting is too many, but it would be nice if the mainstream media at least tried to get the facts straight.

I would like to mention at this time some history about guns in school. I have friends from Ohio that tell me that their senior parking lot was filled with pick-up trucks with guns in the gun racks during hunting season. This was during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The parking lot was filled with guns and no one used them to shoot at students. My husband tells me that during the early 1950’s when he was in elementary school right outside of New York City, the school provided gun safety classes. The junior high had a shooting range and the high school shop allowed students to work on their guns. Obviously guns were brought into the schools and no one was shot.

So maybe the problem goes deeper than guns. What has happened to our society since the 1950’s? We took prayer out of schools in the 1960’s. At some point we removed the Ten Commandments from our schools. The value of both prayer and the Ten Commandments in the schools was that these two things promoted the idea that there would eventually be a higher authority that students would have to answer to. We have lost that idea–our current children believe that they are a law unto themselves. We taught children (and adults) that it was okay to kill a baby if it was inconvenient. We devalued the family and particularly the role of husbands through media and through government policies (See Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan‘s comments on the War on Poverty programs). Our media has mocked Christianity, one of the things that historically provided unity in our nation and provided moral clarity. Maybe we need to look at restoring some of the things we have lost since the 1950’s.

We can’t change our culture overnight. It is also obvious that there are many people who do not want to bring back the Christian culture of the 1950’s. Because of that, it may be necessary to harden the security in our schools. There needs to be absolute control as to who enters our schools–the shooter in Florida had no reason to be inside the building. There also should be random (unidentified) teachers with concealed carry permits scattered throughout our schools. That way if an unfortunate incident unfolds, it can be dealt with quickly. Making schools ‘gun-free zones’ simply means that the targets of a shooter will be unarmed. That policy needs to end quickly.

 

I Don’t Think We Are All On The Same Page Here

For whatever reason, we seem to have returned to the racial tensions of the late 1960’s. I don’t quite understand how, when we have positive models of success in the black community, race relations have deteriorated, rather than improved. I suspect the following interview, posted at Breitbart.com might give us a clue.

The article states:

Babu Omowale, the so-called national minister of defense for the People’s New Black Panther Party, says his group and allied organizations have their sights set on establishing “our own government in a nation within a nation.”

…Omowale used the interview (“Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and News Talk 990 AM in Philadelphia) to claim five states as belonging to the “Black Nation”: Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama, and Georgia.

 The revolutionary stated: “We just need to start migrating back to those states and taking control of the economics in those states. If black people move in, most definitely white people will move out. So it’s not a hard process for us to have our own country within a country.”

Omowale is also co-founder of the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, a black militant gun group named after Black Panther Party founder Huey P. Newton. According to reports, Dallas shooter Micah X. Johnson “liked” the Huey P. Newton Gun Club and Omawale has said that he recognized Johnson from black community events in Dallas.

…There is no way that we can totally separate ourselves in the United States of America and we are aware of that. We know that we are owed land, we are owed monies, we are owed restitutions and we are owed reparations. That’s going to be a continuing process. What we are saying right now is we want to control the economics in our community. We want to control the black dollars. The money that goes in, the money that goes out.

We want to control the politics in our community. If a politician is not bringing anything to the table for the betterment of that community, we are not going to vote for these particular people. And we most definitely want to control the education. What our people are learning in what we call the public fool system, not school system, where they are teaching and misrepresenting the true history of the black man here in the United States.

That does not sound like a leader who is interested in peaceful coexistence–that sounds like someone who feels entitled to what other people have earned. I have no problem with building the black economic community by helping black people start and run businesses within their communities. Recently I heard a black businessman state that in many cases, people in the black community do not frequent businesses run by black businessmen in their communities because somehow they have gotten the idea that the products or services offered by those business are somehow inferior (although generally they are not). Frankly, there is a local black businessman who runs some of the best car washes in our city.

There are a few things that need to be constantly restated. There is no American alive today that owned slaves. Many of the Americans in the country today are descendants of people who arrived after the Civil War. No one is entitled to anything another person has worked for unless personal responsibility for some harmful act has been legally established. Part of our current race problem was predicted by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (my favorite Democrat ever). Senator Moynihan felt that the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) Program passed by Congress encouraged women to kick their husbands out of the house. He predicted that this would destroy the black family. It did.

It is time for everyone to get out of the boat and start rowing in the same direction. There will always be inequality of outcome, but we need to do all we can to create equality of opportunity.

 

The Story Behind The Problem Of Income Inequality

Jeff Jacoby posted an article at Townhall.com in November of this year entitled, “The Real Cause of Rising Income Inequality.” Income inequality has increased under President Obama, and Mr. Jacoby points out a few reasons why.

Before I get to Mr. Jacoby’s article, I want to refer to Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s 1965 report on “the breakdown of the Negro family.”

Senator Moynihan’s report stated:

The Breakdown of the Negro Family Has Led to a Startling Increase in Welfare Dependency.

The majority of Negro children receive public assistance under the AFDC program at one point or another in their childhood.

At present, 14 percent of Negro children are receiving AFDC assistance, as against 2 percent of white children. Eight percent of white children receive such assistance at some time, as against 56 percent of nonwhites, according to an extrapolation based on HEW data. (Let it be noted, however, that out of a total of 1.8 million nonwhite illegitimate children in the nation in 1961, 1.3 million were not receiving aid under the AFDC program, although a substantial number have, or will, receive aid at some time in their lives.)

Again, the situation may be said to be worsening. The AFDC program, deriving from the long established Mothers’ Aid programs, was established in 1935 principally to care for widows and orphans, although the legislation covered all children in homes deprived of parental support because one or both of their parents are absent or incapacitated.

In the beginning, the number of AFDC families in which the father was absent because of desertion was less than a third of the total. Today it is two-thirds. HEW estimates “that between two-thirds and three-fourths of the 50 percent increase from 1948 to 1955 in the number of absent-father families receiving ADC may be explained by an increase in broken homes in the population.”10

A 1960 study of Aid to Dependent Children in Cook County, Ill. stated:
“The ‘typical’ ADC mother in Cook County was married and had children by her husband, who deserted; his whereabouts are unknown, and he does not contribute to the support of his children. She is not free to remarry and has had an illegitimate child since her husband left. (Almost 90 percent of the ADC families are Negro.)”11

The steady expansion of this welfare program, as of public assistance programs in general, can be taken as a measure of the steady disintegration of the Negro family structure over the past generation in the United States.

I would argue that the ADC program has actually encouraged the breakdown of families of all races. When the government subsidizes a behavior (in this case, fatherless families), that behavior increases. The welfare programs as currently written are a perfect example of this.

Now, back to Mr. Jacoby. The article states:

One report, aptly titled “For Richer, For Poorer,” is by sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox of the American Enterprise Institute and economist Robert I. Lerman of the Urban Institute. It documents the profound links that connect family structure and financial well-being, and underscores what decades of empirical data have shown: Families headed by married couples tend to be much stronger economically than those headed by unwed single parents.

“Anyone concerned about family inequality, men’s declining labor-force participation, and the vitality of the American dream should worry about the nation’s retreat from marriage,” the authors write. The steady fall in the percentage of married two-parent households — from 78 percent in 1980 to 66 percent in 2012 — goes a long way toward explaining why so many ordinary families have trouble climbing beyond the lower rungs on the economic ladder. Correlation isn’t proof of causation, of course. But there is no refuting the strong association between growing up with both parents in an intact family and achieving higher levels of education, work, and income as young adults.

Basically, intact families are economically stronger than broken families.

The article at Townhall.com concludes:

Income inequality may or may not be “the defining challenge of our time,” as Obama and others have proclaimed. But the most significant driver of that inequality — the biggest impediment to upward economic mobility — isn’t hard to identify. The higher the fraction of children not being raised by their married parents, the more of our fellow citizens for whom the American Dream is likely to remain beyond reach.

The family is one of the building blocks of our society. Unless we strengthen that building block, our society will crumble. Our compassion needs to be combined with wisdom. Children from broken families are more likely to commit crimes and less likely to finish their education. The government needs to find a way to strengthen marriage–not undermine it.