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  • Morning Bell: How Many Trillions Must We Waste on the War on Poverty?

    Which American politician said the following? “The lessons of history, confirmed by the evidence immediately before me, show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fibre. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit.” Had to be a mean-spirited Tea Party conservative, right? Wrong. President Franklin Roosevelt included these words in his 1935 State of the Union Address.

    Twenty-nine years later, the American welfare state was still relatively small, consuming only 1.2 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). The American family was also still intact, with 93 percent of children born into stable families. But then President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty happened. Forty-five years and $16 trillion later, thanks to big government, poverty is winning. Thanks to over $900 billion a year (over 5 percent of GDP) of spending on over 70 means-tested welfare programs spread over 13 government agencies, more than 40 million Americans currently receive food stamps, poverty is higher today than it was in the 1970s, and 40 percent of all children are born outside of marriage.

    Since he moved into the White House, President Barack Obama has only doubled down on the War on Poverty’s failure. His fiscal year (FY) 2011 budget would have increased spending on programs for the poor 42 percent above FY 2008 levels. Looking past the current recession, President Obama’s budget would spend over $10.3 trillion on means-tested welfare programs over the next 10 years.

    But didn’t we already “end welfare as we know it” in the ’90s? No. As successful as the 1996 welfare reform law was (and it did decrease welfare rolls and child poverty rates), it reformed only one of the more than 70 federal anti-poverty programs. Worse, President Obama’s failed economic stimulus bill completely gutted the 1996 welfare reforms. If conservatives are serious about reducing federal spending in a way that protects families and encourages self-reliance, it is high time they turned their attention back to welfare reform. A common-sense approach to reform would include:

    • Account for welfare spending. Congress should require the President’s annual budget to detail current and future aggregate federal means-tested welfare spending. The budget should also provide estimates of state contributions to federal welfare programs.
    • Get costs under control. The next step in welfare reform is to control the explosive growth in spending. Once the current recession ends (when unemployment reaches 6.5 percent), aggregate welfare funding should be capped at pre-recession (FY 2007) levels plus inflation. This could save Congress $1.4 trillion over the next 10 years.
    • Promote work, not government dependence. Building on the successful 1996 model, welfare reform today must continue to promote personal responsibility by encouraging work. For example, food stamps, one of the largest means-tested programs, should be restructured to require recipients to work or prepare for work to be eligible to receive benefits.

    Today the chairman of the Republican Study Committee Representative Jim Jordan (R–OH) will introduce a bill that incorporates many of these principles. Among other items, it would require disclosure of total means-tested welfare spending, place an aggregate cap on welfare spending, and extend work requirements to the Food Stamps program. If we want to avoid becoming a European-style welfare state, we must abandon President Obama’s War on Poverty surge and return to the type of common-sense welfare reform that proved so successful in the ’90s.

    Quick Hits:

    • Almost 30 months after TARP’s birth, more than 550 banks, AIG, GM, Chrysler, and others still owe taxpayers more than $160 billion.
    • U.S. banking regulators have paid out nearly $9 billion to cover losses on loans and other assets at 165 failed institutions that were sold to stronger companies during the financial crisis.
    • The House on Wednesday passed legislation that would terminate $1 billion in slush funds for local government real estate speculating.
    • Union thugs are ripping up recall petitions and threatening arson in Wisconsin.
    • The headquarters for the Washington, D.C. Republican National Committee was shot up early Wednesday morning.
    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    84 Responses to Morning Bell: How Many Trillions Must We Waste on the War on Poverty?

    1. charles labounty says:

      Of course we have to spend more on poverty!

      It is part of the restribution of wealth.

      "Unions and redistribute the wealth" is the mantra of our communist administration.

      Doesn't HF listen?

    2. Mary............WI says:

      I agree with everything stated in this article. However, I doubt there is an elected official that will propose these reforms for fear of losing the vote… and that goes for both parties. So many people are screwing the government with false applications for welfare programs. These "phonies" need to be weeded out….. qualification applications need to be reformed, corporate taxes should be reduced hopefully luring businesses back to the USA putting people back to work.

      But none of this will be done because elected officials DON'T HAVE THE GUTS to put it into law. Taxpayers are tapped out!!

    3. BetAnn, Media, Pa. says:

      Back in the 80" when then President Reagan was asked about the War on Poverty, he eloquently and succinctly replied: Poverty won. How true.

    4. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      My son is back from three years in the Peace Corp in Ukraine. My son is young and a "liberal" but is realizing the consequences of government dependency. He reports the lack of self reliance in FSU (Former Soviet Union) countries and the dependency on government programs. He reports the dual economies for people to exist. One set of books for the government (income tax rate of 50%) and an underground economy with which to live. Anyone in a perceived position of power must stamp a document for the citizen to assume it is legal. A smiley face is fine.

      This, my fellow citizens, is the path we are on and it is not a good one. Detroit is our window into the future.

    5. toledofan says:

      There is so much work to do to get America back on track and the lack of leaders to get it done. It's becoming more obvious by the day of what the root cause of most of our problems are or what needs to be fixed, but, without the will, desire or incentive to do it, basically the lack of leadership, we'll slip closer to the edge of the cliff. I think that one way to harness some of this entitlement spending and get people back on the job or at least create the incentive for them to do something; how about private enterprise welfare zones and the people within those zones have to clean the streets, pick up trash, shovel the side walks assist the elderly by helping to manage their property, etc. Getting the government out of the business of managing this would be an enormous saving in itself.

    6. Don Vander Jagt, Gra says:

      This march towards the welfare state could and should be stoped, but we have a problem Washington, the Right has no voice to articulate the proper message over the air waves.

      For the most part the Republicans appear to look like a bunch of clowns with their sheepish grins and incoherent ways to address the problem being addressed.

      They rarely look serious and never address the damage being done to a segment of America.

      They need to hire someone with wit to be a spokesman for them or map out talking points that anyone can and will relate to, so as to show the foolishness and often the damage of the Democrat efforts.

      Almost everything coming from the left is or will destroy America, but the Right has no one willing to call a spade a spade!

    7. John Eley, Nashville says:

      I am rereading T. Lowi's End of Liberalism. He has a lot to say that his directly relevant to the challenge of reducing our welfare state. As long as we see the poor as simply another interest group to be included in the list of those getting benefits from the government, we will never get out of the welfare mess.

    8. charli coon, washing says:

      Some articles that I have read say that more people with salaries high enuf for them to pay for their own food. If this is true, this "gaming" of the system be stopped.

      Likewise, it is unlikely that the right hand knows what the left hand is doing given the number of agencies that run poverty programs. Why not consolodate and eliminate agencies with programs that are duplicative.

      The actual programs need a "hard" look to examine whether they are even needed. Or, be consolodated as suggested above. I cannot believe that each and every agency and each and every program activities are ESSENTIAL to run these programs.

      Just some thoughts. I apologize for my lengthy comments,

    9. Ken Allison, Tyler says:

      Tinkering around the edges of the welfare state programs will never end the madness. The Federal government was not empowered to act as a charity no matter how "compassionate" redistribution is claimed to be. Bastiat described accurately as, "legal plunder"; the taking by force the property of the person who earned it and giving it to another who has no rightful claim to it. If we are to restore the Republic, all such nonsense must stop and Congress be returned to the limits of Article I, Section 8 as it was intended to be applied and not rewritten by nine statists in black robes.

    10. Stirling, Pennsylvan says:

      Here's a novel idea, lets cut all the Welfare and see if those who are sucking on the "Tit" of the government can actually survive on their skills and ability alone. I would guess that they would realize that they have been lulled to sleep with the promise of a "Utopian Society." In the "Real World" they are the freeloaders of society who are un-willing to take responsibility for their own lives, or claim to be victims that are "Owed" or "Entitled." Those that succeed in life take responsibility, and don't blame others for their situation they just "man up" and do what is required. Welfare creates dependents rather then empowering the people to take the risks that provides the reward of a better life.

    11. Perry,Oklahoma says:

      Our family is tired of carrying the top 2% and the bottom 30%. So let us put them together and the rest of US can get on with preserving our country. The Motto of America should include "You work, You Eat", if we need to explain that one there are a lot of streets that need swept.

      Your welfare check and food stamps equal an hourly wage. You only get what you earn. That is a start on the road to recovery of our welfare state. You can bet when mom has to wire brush tags from overpasses, Jr. will be less inclinded to claim his art skills, much less show them.

    12. Frank, Florida says:

      The "common-sense approach to reform" of Federal anti-poverty programs would be a nice first step, but I think this whole Federal anti-poverty approach is fundamentally flawed and should be PHASED OUT. Our Founding Fathers would never have wanted it! This is another Federal over-reach to re-distribute the nation's wealth. If the States want to copy the Federal anti-poverty plans themselves, fine. Let the taxpayers in those States do it. Those taxpayers who refuse to pay the higher taxes in welfare States with high taxes can then "vote with their feet" & move to lower tax rate States with smaller or no welfare programs. But right now with sky high debts in all forms of government (Federal, States & Local), these welfare programs are simply unaffordable. The huge amount of money saved from elimination of these costly programs can be targeted to debt reduction in an attempt to avoid either default on the debt or the run-away inflation that will eventually kick in from all the printing up of "funny money" to "pay" for our continuing deficit spending.

      Let there be more competition between the States for willing populations & taxpayers to live in them. You might be surprised which States wind up with the highest overall standard of living & the lowest number of people in poverty. My guess: the States with the lowest taxes & fewest welfare programs would do the best. Not because the poor people in low tax States with little welfare moved to big welfare & high tax States, but because the general economy in the low tax States would be so much better that the poor people would find better jobs & get out of poverty on their own without having to move out!

      This is exactly the kind of competition between the States our Founding Fathers would have wanted as long as we keep our Federal Government small & limited.

      Let's have MASSIVE FEDERAL BUDGET CUTS & phase out/eliminate all the Federal entitlement programs (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, food stamps, the 70 Federal welfare programs, etc), Then, REDUCE EVEN MORE FEDERAL TAXES while starting to MASSIVELY PAY DOWN THE FEDERAL DEBT year by year with the money saved from the elimination of or phase out of costly Federal entitlements.

      The transition might be rough at times, but who knows, we might avoid an economic collapse that now seems inevitable with one of two scenarios: a default in the debt payments or run-away inflation.

    13. RONALD BOGGS, 2296 I says:

      The writing is on the wall, in fact, it's all over the walls, (The elites in congress, the White house and the Federal Reserve) along with the uber rich controlers who operate behind the scenes are plunging us into some type of New World Order (A Super State) that will destroy America. What do we do about it, complain or orginize and take back our country? We organize and take back our country! Person by person: County by county: State by state: No violence just determined numbers of Americans who are fed up. Doctors, Lawyers, Merchants, Farmers, PhD's anyone and everyone who want our REPUBLIC back. That's my thoughts, but we better not wait much longer.

      Kind Regards,

      Ron Boggs

    14. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      We still don't get it. Please everyone, read Cloward & Piven along with Saul Alinsky. Whey you do, you will understand this is exactly what Obama is

      attempting to do. These radical leftist devised plans in the '60s to overload our system of government so that the entire system wouldcollapse. They reasoned the people would then turn to a socialist form of government. This is the reason Obama and his ilk in the Democrat Party will not support any common sense reduction in spending by reducing welfare intitlements.

    15. Chris Iowa says:

      “One of the consequences of such notions as "entitlements" is that people who have contributed nothing to society feel that society owes them something, apparently just for being nice enough to grace us with their presence.” Thomas Sowell

    16. Lauren, Annapolis, M says:

      Another approach to transparency in welfare spending would be to apply the 85-15 rule to the 70 welfare agencies similar to that imposed by the Obama Administration on the insurance companies. This would require that 85% of all revenue allocated to the frail elderly, the disabled, the mentally ill, and the destitute be directly spent on services and only 15% on overhead, in this case bureaucracy and growing the Democratic Party. that would downsize the Federal government considerably!

    17. Betty, Texas says:

      Being a older great grandmother, born into the Great Depression, I have seen all of the big government poverty solutions. None work. I wonder how many illegals are counted into these numbers? Plenty is my guess. I'll bet that if we cutoff all the welfare programs the immigration problems would start curing themselves, too. Back in the 1980's a small town I lived in gave away big 5# (or larger) blocks of cheese. I had an elderly friend who bragged (but it was true) that she had $200K in the bank. Back then–the Carter years–interest was 15% and she earned that for 3 solid years, compounded. Nevertheless she was first in line for the free cheese and no one questioned her. Everyone knew about her big bank account. This woman could well afford to buy her own cheese. Whenever responsibilty is given to the government, citizens take the "low" road. We need to get government out of EVERYTHING.

    18. Teresa Trujillo, La says:

      Here is my answer to your question:

      Instead of Entitlement, Empowerment– http://tinyurl.com/4b7bj5j

      The "War on Poverty" was never a war the liberal proponents meant to win. It was a tool of enslavement to engender votes from those dependent on a government too willing to transfer wealth from those that create it to those who are all too happy to take it.

      There is an old Chinese proverb–it is better to teach a hungry man to fish than to feed him for one day.

      Instead of cash handouts in the form of Electronic Benefit Cards, why not give those on food assistance the means to feed themselves with the sweat of their brow? Give them vegetable seeds and the education and training to plant, harvest, and preserve their harvest. Set up community gardens and let them work for their healthy food. Teach them the skills to prepare their food. Today, EDT cards can be used at the local fast food restaurant–not exactly healthy eating.

    19. Roger TN says:

      Perry from OK is right on the mark. When the recipients are required to work for any and all largesse from local, state or Federal government, people will start looking for real jobs. We have developed a community of citizens that feel they have a right to my income by being in the US. There are a small number that we have to take care of, but that is a very small number. That doesn't mean a living up to the standards of one who has worked for 40-50 years and earned a decent retirement.

    20. t irvine, sab diego, says:

      Welfare like Foreign aid is a "grant". The federal government borrows money to fund these grants – give the money away. Like Warren Buffet borrowing money to give it away with no strings.

      I believe to stop the growth we should do five things:

      1, Eliminate the federal role in poverty and let the states administer (borrow) – no more election promises.

      2. After a minimal grant amount and period, recipients would have to borrow added funds (with time and dollar limits), would be means-tested and be required to provide a co-signor, Just like all the rest of us.

      3.The state would b require two things as a condition of funds: 1. Remedial education and 2. Three hours a day of work at home activity ( minding childres does not count,

      4. The grants would have no relationship to family size – one size fits all

      5. States would pay fat rewards to individuals that demonstrate how the system can be "gamed" and repair it.

      Finally, the concept of borrowing money to give away is not just repugnant, it's felony stupid.

    21. Robert, North Richla says:

      Bravo! Go Jim Jordan. In addition, there were 94 million welfare recipients in the last part of 2008 with 16 million people added to the food stamp rolls in 2009 (though a few were already included in the 94 million figure). These people do not work; and they have zero responsibility for accepting the handouts. Shouldn't we (the working taxpayers) get something in return? Secondly, a family of six receives $952 per month in food stamps, while our family of six has never spent over $750 in one month on food (average $600). While the rest of the nation faces job losses, pay cuts, benefit reductions, loss of housing value and increased fuel costs the welfare recipients have actually seen increases in their income. One thing is for sure we cannot afford runaway welfare programs on top of runaway social security and medicare. Which would you choose to cut?

    22. Linda,Dallas, Texas says:

      Check out WalMart for a good view of how our tax dollars are being used. Many of their patrons are covered in tattoos (which are not cheap), gold teeth, the lastest cell phone, expensive tennis shoes but can not buy food without the Lone Star card. I guess we know why now. Disgusting I am forced to pay, while they are free to spend on expensive bling.

    23. Scott says:

      How many families out there are on the generational plan of welfare? How many kids are there that have parents, grandparents, even great grandparents who lived on welfare. And we expect them to become productive citizens and contributors to society? Why would they? They know that one can live on welfare handouts without ever lifting a finger.

      What we need to do is to declare this the last generation of welfare. Anybody currently on welfare will see a gradual reduction of benefits over a period of twenty years. Over that same period of time, recipients will be required to attend job training programs, and acquire employment.

      At the same time, no new welfare enrollee's will be accepted unless they meet the criteria of being mentally or physically unable to hold down a job. And I'm not talking about some lame doctor's excuse that they are depressed, or to stressed out to work. I'm talking about people with genuine physical deformities or injuries that preclude them from working, and people with IQ's too low to be able to work a job. These are people we need to take care of, not the lazy S.O.B.'s that only live to collect their next government handout.

      To do this will require a joint effort between government and industries. Basically, government needs to get the hell out of the way, and let industries create the jobs for these people to have. Industries need to create jobs training programs to train people in specific skill sets within their own industries. We've been doing that in the low-tech industries for years. Right now in the oilfields of Montana and North Dakota, if you are WILLING TO WORK, you can hire on for a job starting at $23/hr+. They will train you to do the job. That's how American Industry should work.

      The great welfare programs of the past need to be just that, the past. We don't need workfare, welfare, or any other government handouts. What we need are jobs to do, and employeers who are willing to train people to do them. Lose the Unions. Create a system where the employeer can pay a decent wage without going bankrupt. Create a system where hard work and ingenuity are rewarded before seniority, and create a system where American goods aren't undercut by foreign imports.

      They system needs to be fixed from the top down. We need to get rid of legislaitors that have made a career out of government service, and replace them with people who actually know what is happening in the real world. We need to bring our schools and colleges out of the liberal stone age, and make them institutions of learning and inovation instead of indoctrination. We need to trade unions that only exist to perpituate their own existence, and replace them with employee unions that follow the old apprentice model. Experienced people train people to fill thier spot when they retire.

      At least, that's what I think needs to be done.

    24. William Downey, Worc says:

      I agree wholeheartedly with your article and suggestions. But one has to ask why are so many Americans on food stamps?

      From my perspective it is simply that many cannot afford the cost of trying to live in today's economy. For example a 2/br 1 bath apartment minimally goes for $750.00 and that does not incclude utilities, so add in a minimum of 3

      $300 per month for those. Add in the cost of auto payments, fuel and maintenance as well as insurance. By the time you are done adding up those costs per minth plus building in costs for other everyday expenses, such as clothing, co-pays on insurance, school expenses and taxes (federal and state), apartment or house insurance and soon the money is gone.

      I'm sorry but the vast majority of U. S. citizens have suffered greatly over the last 3 years, and are suffering from increasing expenses due to rising costs.

      You work you eat in an economy with reasonable employment rates may work. However, "unemployment rate" has slipped below 9% (mariginally), this is based on claims filed in a given period; the actual rate hovers around 15%. That is one heck of a lot of unemployed.

      Also remember that the some people collecting food stamps are not on welfare, unless you consider unemployment to be welfare, which it is not. Unemployment does not equal and hourly paycheck even if you inlcude food stamps.

      Do I particularly like the idea of a welfare state? No. But if you lived through or know about the Great Depression you can understand that a safety net, either state or federal is necessary. We have seen on an international scale what happens when poverty and disenfranchisement can lead to. We should never forget these lessons or the lessons from the history of this country. The United States was born from revolution. It can happen again, hopefully at the ballot box, but first we need to have DC back out of our lives with the more instrusive programs and ideas like telling us what we can eat, what we and our kids can say, and rules (E-15 for instance) that add costs with little or no benefit.

    25. Paul St George, UT says:

      My greatest worry is that we have passed the point of no return and that the Republic is, indeed, toast. This week, Time magazine's feature article has the country in a downward spiral and "experts" offer little hope we can survive as a viable country and economy.

      Meanwhile, Obama is vacationing in Rio while disaster looms everywhere. Japan faces extraordinary natural and man-made disasters. Khadafi, a true terrorist, is on the verge of eliminating the rebels, while we make no effort to help set up a no fly zone. The nation appears to be powerless and the president is oblivious or perhaps he wants our collapse to happen. Would that be the ultimate "crisis" authorizing him to declare martial law and eliminate freedom for all?

      The Pubbies appear to be hopelessly immersed in endless rhetoric and show little inclination to action. They could stop the spending fast by defunding Obamacare, and ending many useless, duplicative government programs. They should also attack SS, Medicare, and Medicaid before they go further into the red. Will they have the guts to do it? We do not appear to have any real leaders and now is the time they are most needed.

    26. John S. Houston TX says:

      If you want to get a good look at federal spending, look at the new govt housing project Kennedy Gardens I think it's called, that opened here in Houston. Granite counter tops, microwave ovens, garages with automatic garage door openers! I'm not opposed to providing gov't assisted living, but we need to get reasonable, this is way over the top.

    27. Paul F. says:

      Excellent post, as always. I look forward to every morning post — they are without fail some of the best reading I do on a daily basis.

      Suggestion for a future column: I think we all know that the vast majority of America shares conservative beliefs, but many don't REALIZE those beliefs are conservative because liberalism is like sugar and seems so appealing because it seems to help the needy.

      I would appreciate an article that explains what entitlements really are. Do entitlements differ from true and necessary poverty programs? Where should we draw the line between important programs that help the truly needy, and how far are we currently from that line? I know we're far, but I'd appreciate an exploration of this topic.

    28. John, Dallas Texas says:

      Let's help the Japanese people by allocating one half of the welfare money currently going to our overpaid welfare recipients and helping those in Japan who really need the help. Why should we be funding welfare housing in suburban North Dallas when people in Japan have lost their homes and jobs? This would have a neutral effect on our US budget and would actually do some good.

    29. Kevin H, college par says:

      If you read the rest of the speech, you can be sure Conn and Heritage and most conservatives would be up in arms over what the President says – to create emergency public employee program to boost jobs – sounds like ARRA, huh – you know what republicans all screamed about.

      Funny it's in the speech and is main point of the speech that you cite. Without a doubt, the teapartiers would be screaming about government takeover and squeezing out the private sector, and as usual, their economic principles would prove to be extremely misguided.

      'It is my thought that with the exception of certain of the normal public building operations of the Government, all emergency public works shall be united in a single new arid greatly enlarged plan.

      As a result of these studies I have arrived at certain very definite convictions as to the amount of money that will be necessary for the sort of public projects that I have described. I shall submit these figures in my budget message. I assure you now they will be within the sound credit of the Government.

      The work itself will cover a wide field including clearance of slums, which for adequate reasons cannot be undertaken by private capital; in rural housing of several kinds, where, again, private capital is unable to function; in rural electrification; in the reforestation of the great watersheds of the Nation; in an intensified program to prevent soil erosion and to reclaim blighted areas; in improving existing road systems and in constructing national highways designed to handle modern traffic; in the elimination of grade crossings; in the extension and enlargement of the successful work of the Civilian Conservation Corps; in non-Federal works, mostly self-liquidating and highly useful to local divisions of Government; and on many other projects which the Nation needs and cannot afford to neglect.

      This is the method which I propose to you in order that we may better meet this present-day problem of unemployment.'

    30. Jim O'Connor says:

      I would guess you are under 55 years old!

      You know how I can tell?

      Your naivety!

      We have all been where you are.

      When we get older we see things very differently.

      Survival of the fittest that we bought into when we were in that age group made sense

      Time teach us a realistic lesson. We are no longer one of the fittest!

      When age sets in and we realize we can not make things happen and we can not control our destiny like we possibly once did.

      This is a very rude awaking.

      There so many people who have to depend on help, because events have taken us out of being able to fend for our selves. It happens and it takes the wind out of our sails.

      For many even younger this has happen. During the Great Depression my parents had lost everything. I remember how bad they struggled. Now we live in the Great Recession!

      Without the government helping during the Depression this county, under Roosevelt, could exist. We face the same possibility today.

      Small government has “no social conscience” without the government picking up the ball that business’ have dropped, we will fade away like just like the Roman Empire!


    31. Tom Georgia says:

      The war that was declared by LBJ–a war on poverty–has never been fought by our federal government. There has been no chance that the war would be won.

      However, over the past 46 years or so, our federal government has fought an incredibly costly war. We are now very near to the time and the economic conditions when victory can be declared in the war that was actually fought: A war on the prosperity of the working people of The United States of America.

      Will the dichotomy of governments ever be resolved? We need governments, yet governments, by their nature, are parasitic institutions who must have a value producing host population that is capable of providing for the needs of governments. Then to compound the catch-22 into a catch-33, democratically elected governments tend to express suicidal tendencies because political parties find it politically profitable to "culture" and grow a "crop" of voters who are dependent upon governments for their survival. The short term harvest may be a harvest of votes but the long term harvest will inevitably be the collapse of the parasitic institutions who culture their own secondary and tertiary parasitic populations.

      We have now arrived at the point that the primary political divide in The United States is between those who are dependent upon governments for their survival and those who make up the value producing and providing host population upon whom governments must depend for their survival.

      Those are not chickens coming home to roost. Those are buzzards.

    32. Judith in Michigan says:

      Poverty will never be completely irradicated because of the element of human nature. Common sense measures to improve and reform assistance to help the truly needy will never be implemented because of the nature of a politician.

      Where would a candidate gets his/her votes if there is no one depending on the candidate for their livlihood? Especially if the candidate is incompetent and is only in it for personal power and the power to control. It amounts to pure bribery.

      Scruples? Integrity? Not in the equation. Power is quite an aphrodisiac

    33. Steve Cafaro Fort My says:

      It would be wonderful if America could produce enough living wage jobs that would provide for the basic needs of her citizens. Barring that, I fear that the government will continue to subsidise low wage employers with housing , welfare, food and medical assistance to those unable to provide for their own needs. I believe the majority of Americans desire to work and make their own way, but too many are unable to accomplish this basic task and become reliant on government for basic needs.

      Americans must begin producing for their own needs if we are to survive as a free, self-sufficient and independent Country. As we continue on the hapless march to globalsim, businees and job opportunities in the USA continue to evaporate, drawing more Americans into dependence on government handouts.Until our Country recognizes that her first capitalistic obligation is to her own citizens, I fear America will continue to degenerate.

    34. Berridge - Apple Val says:

      All good points. But what is missing is that these programs are now with generational participants who have no or little concept and/or no frame of reference as to what it might be like to be self supporting. To simply pull the financial rug out from underneath them will only invite trouble. But this doesn't mean nothing should be done, just don't be surprised if everything doesn't go back to as it was at the beginning of the 20th Century.

    35. ThomNJ says:

      A few years ago or so, I went on line and looked at the federal budget. I wasn't looking for it specifically, but I noticed a trend. There were lots and lots of allocations for Indian Tribes, and while I don't recall the numbers, I recall my uimpressin from looking at them. My impression was with the amount of money thrown at Native Americans on an annual basis versus the number of them in the land, it seemed they should all be rich. The problem with ANY government program is the fact that most of the money seems to go to support the bureaucracy. The so-called war on poverty is nothing more than redistribution of our wealth to government employees and a smidgeon to people who too often become welfare slaves.

    36. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      The Bible tells us that the "Poor will be with us, lo! until the end of the earth" but no where does it say that goverment needs to take from those who work to give to those that don't. I know for a fact that many are able to work, a good many do and get paid under the table, they collect food stamps, rent assistance and free medical, then they buy things I cannot afford. The fraud needsto stop, welfare to illegals needs to stop. Someone said and I agree the assistance needs to go back to the churches and neighborhoods, we have a group called "ACTS". I am not without sympathy for those who fall on hard times, I was there after my husband died, but I went back to school and worked hard to keep my family afloat, we may not have had a lot of extras but I had my pride.

    37. Robert H. Davidson says:

      These troubles are all derived from the 16th Amend. 02/03/1913, allowing the Fed. Govt. to tax the citizens putting the power in one central location. Nullify the 16th Amend. put the power to tax back with the states where it should have been left and you will have nipped the problem in the bud.

    38. Al from Fl says:

      It's not about helping the poor, it's about keeping democrat votes and demonizing the republicans when they try to fix it. The democrat party has rounded up as many miscreants as they can, knowing that the policies are bad for the people and America but it brings them votes. Real question is why the minorities continue to believe the democrat party is good for them.

    39. Doug Whaley, Lake Ha says:

      Making healthy people work for their welfare check would eliminate the majority of people on welfare. As long as they are collecting a check they should have to show up for a 40 hour work week. This would help state, county, city and township governments save money as welfare recipients could do much of the scut work that needs to be done. As soon as they realize their checks aren't free anymore many of them will figure if they have to work they might as well get a real job and get off the welfare rolls on their own.

      Drug tests for welfare collectors would be another good thing. After all many people who are paying for them have to take a drug test in order to get and keep their jobs so they can donate their tax dollars to be wasted on the welfare state. Seems only fair to me.

      If these people have to work they will get their dignity back after awhile and beccome useful citizens instead of being parasites living off the backs of working people.

    40. Olivia, NY says:

      Charity is a voluntary heartfelt act of giving not forced redistribution of wealth. Confiscation and redistribution of wealth leads to bitter feelings, class warfare, a sense of entitlement in the reciever, a disrespect for property rights of the givers. It is too easy to abuse such a system and for the expectation of entitlements to expand to include wants instead of needs. Most people without coersion will give freely to the truly needy. According to my personal belief I should help those neighbors who are truly in need of food, water, shelter, and basic clothing. Unfortunately those who have come to depend on government handouts have come to expect much more than their basic needs being met by others. A truly poor person would be thankful for rice and beans and a roof over their head, not expecting a free cell phone and ipod (Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.recently suggested ammending the constitution to include an ipod as a guaranteed right)

    41. Fletcher, SC says:

      Means-tested, 'eh?

      I got your means-test right here: A clean drug screen.

      That's right, if you pick up a regular welfare check, and/or you get food stamps, then you should have to show a clean drug screen since your last check or batch of food stamps. You don't test clean, you don't get your money or your stamps.

      This is not rocket science.

    42. MJF, CT says:

      The War on Poverty has been going on for 45 years and there is no winner. If this were a REAL war, the Left would be blowing a gasket – considering the Left has no stomach for a REAL war that lasts more than 6 months!

    43. Craig, Chicago says:

      Like many of us, I’ve been arguing these points for over 30 years. Today, I no longer believe any amount of tinkering will be effective, or even last long. (BTW, food stamp work/training requirements have been in place for many years) Charity begins at Home…the Welfare Culture is what must change.

      It will likely take several generations and more than a few riots in the streets to reverse the damage already done. Seems almost impossible to get there from here, but I suppose the best place to start would be to abolish public unions – cap income on any position to…$100K. Term Limits & maximum jail terms for graft/corruption, and most importantly, we need to completely over-haul our schools and begin teaching American Values…morality, freedom, self-reliance and responsibility. All communist/fascist/socialist ideologies begin with the vision of utopia…a free ride to all. Sounds good, ends badly

    44. B. Eric, Syosset N.Y says:

      The only war the US has won in the last 60 years was WW2. Korea was a stand off, Vietnam a failure, and Iraq in sitll ongoing and so is Afganistan. The war on drugs is a disaster, poverty is still growing. My father taught me that you don't fight battles that you can't win. And if you fight do everything in your power to prevail. In New York a program to cut back on welfare had disastrous unintended consequences. Many able bodied men headed families on welfare,in order to qualify for welfare they didn't work. So the City changed the system so that these families would not get welfare benifits if there was a man in the family who was able to work.. So what happened? All these men left so that the women and children would qualify for welfare. This led to a tremendous number of unwed mothers as well fatherless kids. Then because of the disintegration of the family crime rose astromically and drugs took over. So much for good inentions. This is the problem with almost all liberal programs. The unintended consequences doom feelgood legislation.

    45. Bernard Rosenberg says:

      How many more trillions?

      As long as Americans have the attitude that the government has to do this or that, or pay for this or that, and the politicians ( or prostitutes as I call them , they both start with the letter P) are very happy to comply.

      It is quite obvious that the Democrats AND Republicans want to get re-elected, and both rely on political support by large groups will rely on Unions and their members who really feel that they are entitled to everything and its coming to them. Non-Union wages are NOT living wages as one politician commented on the radio.Hence, this generation has been nurtured, raised and fed this attitude with extending their hand for a handout to the goverment. We can see this also from the attitude of college students ( the future Americans). It is not a privelage to be in a university, it is an entitlement.

    46. rosemarie douglass says:

      Ben i`m agreeing with i know how it work in europa, taxes over the roof, i`m from there

      I just dont understand the young people , havent the no mind of there one , those profesers the just put hi idealogy in ther mushed brain,thos college student`s are so

      o well ,

      party pparty is ther vormost accupation, what a waste of live, stand up for the USA

      take hold of your country ,and get it back to wath it was, yes there are young rebles out there , the think how smart the are , O BOY OBOY the have a lot to learn ,

      get OB out and put america back were it belongs

    47. RUTH SC says:

      It never stops amazing me, how many people are truly addicted to handouts. When I grew up there was a town agent with a fund to pay for a month's rent, in case of an emergency, never any cash, only a voucher, it it was for food, it went to the grocery store for certain items only. There were commodities, which poor people could apply for, rolled oats, cheese, powdered milk, flour, beans, and two kinds of canned meat. there were powdered eggs and pearled rice. If you were hungry enough you would mix flour milk and eggs and make muffins, or cook rice to go with the can of beef and gravy, The other meat was chopped ham and really went good on scrambled eggs with cheese, I made biscuits and milk gravy also. I would feed someone hungry. There were no frills, no cash, and it was not abused. IT WORKED! Now on welfare day women go to bingo, and the liquor stores, the tobacco stores or the store that sells lottery tickets. The hand outs give people low rent, and it sometimes includes electricity, Food stamps to buy soda, cookies, steak, shellfish, and lots of other luxury items. The kids of these parents get free breakfast and lunch in school but carry cell phones to text friends all day, instead of learning. They go home at night and are called latch key kids because there is no parent at home, although in most cases they are not at a job. Is it any wonder the entitlements in this country are killing the country? Welfare should never have been a generational way of life, If it had stayed a helping hand up and not a hand out for life, we would see more parents working together to raise the kids in homes with married loving parents trying to teach their kids to be good people and not a drain on society. God Help Our Country, if we don't get back to basics.

    48. Jim-MN says:

      Everyone in Congress knows that the only way to save the USA is to distroy it first with letting the financial system due to debt colapse [bankrupcy] with no value to the dollar and then blame world wide forces out of their control for the cause.

      But keep voting for us as we refix the country. Hows that bark from the trees tasting?

      We are heading for armed struggle folks before we see 2015. It will be the have vs. the have nots who have just lost their [as Ron Paul said so elequantly last night] goverment checks.

      Unless true Statesmen / Statewomen that only care about 1 term in office to save this great country and make the hard choices, we are just wasting our time waiting for the Republicans to do what they promised.

      Steep budget cuts mean steep loss in jobs and subsidy payments. That means no growth economy and ultimately the riots of the have nots now taking from the haves.

      Have you noticed that the Adminstration is trying to do a run a round the second amendment with an Executive order on gun restrictions, and ultimately making owning a gun a crime.

    49. Thor H. Asgardson says:

      "I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country."

      - Thomas Jefferson

      No discussion of "welfare reform" is complete without mentioning the fact that this nation pays "corporate welfare" to the tune of 600 BILLION dollars a year in interest payments, to the international bankers of the Federal Reserve, so they can create money out of thin air.

      The nation was forced into the taxpayer bailout of the banks and insurance companies, which engineered their own meltdown. The American people were assigned the role of serfs, in paying off this Dane geld against their will.

      Congress also talked of Social Security for illegal aliens, instead of proposing a wholesale deportation plan for the Mexican occupation army, which infests American soil.

      Then there is the history of foreign aid for despots, like deposed Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, who left office with billions of American taxpayer dollars in his personal piggy bank.

      The United States is a big contributor to the phony storefront of the international bankers; the United Nations.

      So if we account for usury, paid by this nation to the robber barons, under a fractional reserve banking system and foreign aid; two of the biggest welfare programs could receive the budgetary axe and the country would be a whole lot better off.

      America has served as a safety valve not only for Mexico, but the 150 countries around the globe, where we have troops stationed under our defense umbrella.

      It is time for these nations–which gouge us in trade wars– to start paying for their own defense.

      America's banking system and foreign policy are all predicated on welfare payments to those who are NOT defined as the American people.

      True "welfare reform" is the release of the stranglehold imposed over our government, which has been under hostile corporate takeover since the inception of the Federal Reserve in 1913.

      Our alleged "public servants" will not directly address the massive deficits, but prefer instead to "raise the debt ceiling," instead of doing their job.

      Congress has abdicated its most sacred trust and is ripe for regime change.

      These realities scream for a military coup, to restore the republic to the American people, who find themselves in the midst of the Second American Revolution.

      It is NOT an elective war, but a contest for our national survival. This great struggle envisioned by Thomas Jefferson has now approached critical mass.

    50. David Bess, Carson C says:

      While a small percntage of those being supported by the war on poverty truely need our help, most don't.

      There should be a minimum work requirement to obtain benifits. Our country could use a good cleaning,improved infrastructure, and real accountability. Our parks, roadways, and structures could be taken to the next level with no additional cost to the tax payer.

      Prisoners now do alot of the work to improve our country's aperance, but it is expensive to provide their supervision.

      If welfare receiptants had to work, or get an education to receive their checks several good things would happen. First we could get the tasks done that are not currently funded. Second, Many of the derilicks on welfare would quit rather than work and third, pride and self worth would be gained by those who participated.

      In the future many of the people involved in the workfare program would leave for better jobs. The values of work ethics, dignity and self pride that they learned in the program would translate to better a work force for america.

      This is a WIN-WIN situation for both the country and progran particapants. Imagine walking into a park that was clean and safe, where you didn't fear for your childs safety. This could and should happen

    51. Don Smith, Somerset, says:

      Wasting money on the war on poverty is but one instance where Congress wastes our money. I am a senior citizen and have paid into Social Security for almost 30 years. I keep hearing Social Security is bankrupt and it makes me angry. What ever happened to the half-trillion dollars Congress took from Social Security funds. Do you think they will ever pay it back?

    52. Pingback: Morning Bell: How Many Trillions Must We Waste on the War on Poverty?

    53. Michael Boston, MA says:

      How would the food stamp reform affect people with disabilities, who are waiting for a claim to be approved? I have multiple sclerosis, among other problems. But at least I'm not sitting on my ass, doing nothing. I'm attending college for a graphic arts degree. Would people like me be denied food stamps?

    54. Kaydell Bowles @Brig says:

      I believe James Madsion said it best: "If Congress can employ money indefinitely to the general welfare,they may take the care of religion into their own hands; they may appoint teachers in every state, county and parish and pay them out of their public treasure;they may take into their own hands the education of children, establishing in like manner schols throughout the Union; they may assume the provision of the poor……Were the power of congress to be established in the latiitude contended for , it would subvert the vey foundations, and transmute the very nature of the limited Government established by the people of America. (quoted in D L Newquist, Prophets, Principles, and National Survial.)

    55. Henry , Illinois says:

      The republicans in congress should drink more milk so that their spines would absorb the calcium therefore giving them stronger spines and then,maybe, they will show strenght ( which they have now) and accomlish something meaningfull instead of negotiating and debating with the democrats.

    56. John Arizona says:

      Why would Obama want to reduce the welfare state – all those poor, unfortunate, child bearing souls vote for…………oh ya, now I know whay he wouldn't want to reduce the welfare state.

    57. Hermes C LIBERTY New says:

      The real problem is not the so called communists, but those behind them, who control them and push resolutly towards America's downfall. Once more one of Conservative tasks in this particular time in the History of the Nation is to reduce considerably the leftists armies by going to those most open and letting them see the National Urgency to face together what is an attack on America disguised under the mantle of a far-left movement. Let us lead now and work for a new r-Evolution; the only way to really save America and surge a Renaissance of a fading faded glory.

    58. Pingback: How Many Trillions Must We Waste on the War on Poverty? : USACTION NEWS

    59. /r,vandeusen, East B says:

      Worse than you think. We allow convicted felons, even sex-offenders with crimes against children, to collect ssi the federal welfare that initially was set up to help people with real disabillities- if they didn't have enough vested into the system. How does that sound? That is a crime in of itself….

    60. Ron W. Smith, Provid says:

      Correct, Conn Carroll, in much of what you say. You might also ask how many trillions are we to splurge on National Security? $1 trillion a year is our total for National Defense, Homeland Security, Nation Building, Foreign Aid designed to gain the cooperation of other countries, and Veterans Affairs. There's plenty to be trimmed there since we outspend the world on the total of five and, in each of the five, have examples galore from around the world on how not to spend as much. What is more, as the world's biggest debtor nation, we have an excuse to call time out while we regroup and open up for discussion and debate the foreign policy decisions behind our extravagance on national Security.

      By opening those up for discussion, I'll bet quite a can of worms will be found, don't you?

    61. Chroma41, California says:

      The "War on Poverty" and the "War on Drugs" were designed to fail as both attacked the symptoms rather than the cause. It is impossible to win with that (lack of) strategy.

    62. alan aszkler says:

      Simple federal budget math to explain to the people what we are facing

      If you pay $50 per month ($600 per year) on $14,000 loan at 2% it will take 30 years to pay the debt. However, you have to borrow $100.00 per month to meet expenses how long will it take you to pay back the debt, forever.

      Congress Pays $17 billion per month $207 billion per year on the $14,000 billion national debt and borrows $100 billion per month to meet expenses at this rate we cannot sustain the spending or pay the debt.

      To pay the national debt and runaway and spending, How muchin new taxes will need to collected over and above every dollar currently collected and what is the effect on every American taxpaying family?

      300 million American at $500 per month = $150 billion per month or $1.8 Trillion in new taxes, Every year for the next 30 years.

      Half the population pays no income tax. So, every taxpaying family will have to pay $1000 per person per month to fund the government at the current level every month for the next 30 years.

      Every taxpaying family of 4 will have to pay $48,000.00 per year in new taxes annually in addition to all the other taxes paid. This is not sustainable.

      Does this define the scope to everybody!

    63. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      Communism is poverty for everyone, that is the design. The War on Poverty backfired no end because it is spiritually indefensible to deny people the knowledge of how to get out of poverty! Americans used to get out of poverty on average, two or three times in their lives! You don't learn this, how be be enterprising! So really, these Progressive Liberals are all crazy, and they are doing irrepairable harm to the American People! But now it is too late! We no longer have the Free Enterprise that might support the Republican ideas of self sufficiency! Yeah, it might have worked a few decades ago! Welfare Reform worked fine, but today the Progressive Public Policies have driven those jobs overseas! Work doesn't work anymore, and it is LBJ's fault for destroying more Capital with his programs than he ever generated!

      We have worked all our lives with the neo Socialists taking every bit of cash we might have saved. They knocked us flat with Union Contracts that took away the best paid years, then every cotton pickin' thing was taxed like no tomorrow! We American peasants have been prevented from ever saving, ever investing, ever getting out of the Rat Race! They paid us five percent of the Retail Value of our Production, and they taxed us six ways from Sunday. Income Tax stole our Capital before we could ever accumulate it! The War on Poverty Policy was "Never let the People get ahead!" You will be punished if you even try to save! No investments allowed! (No fathers either.)

      Restore American Free Enterprise or else there can never be a recovery from Poverty! You have to get rid of the Socialism! It is exactly what you say, Moral Disintigration of the very fibre of our Nation! But that's why I call these Dummycrats DINOs. Real Democrats care about Liberty, they don't hate the Job Creators. DINOs just hate Entrepreneurs, and it is the exact Evil that slaughtered Jews last Century. It is a fact that Progressives have mouth foaming hatred for Business. That is why Hate Speech is wall to wall on the Left! They HATE us! It is a murderous hatred, so nobody say both Parties are the same! They aren't. If anything the Republicans are too decent for their own good.

      I say the Graduated Income Tax is the very cause of Greed! They won't let rich People (Americans, understand) ever feel secure! Consumers pay for Everything! The poor pay most of all, percentage wise, but never get the credit! It makes me sick just knowing about it!

    64. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      None. During the Vietnam War, I think it was Senator Everett "Ev" Dirksen, of South

      Dakota, who said that "we should declare victory in Vietnam, and then go home."

      Instead, for the past forty-six years, we've had the Charlie Sheen approach to the war

      on poverty, we keep saying we're winning.

    65. Michael Guy, Canonsb says:

      Didn't Julius Caesar start this welfare idea with Bred , wine and circuse for the Roman mob with the implicit understanding this was a qui pro quo for the suort of the Caesars' policies over that of the Patrician Senate and the plebeaen tribunes? And Caesars decrees and dictates paid ostensible homage with pretentious humilty with a SPQR attached. So today our President, Congress and non-elected bureaucrats ostensible proclaim their own "For the Senate and the People of Rome"

      If you rob peter to pay paul, you alwys get Paul's vote. Welfare is the bread that feeds the Democratic machines, especially the big city, Tammany hall, ones.

    66. Yankee says:

      It would seem the idea is that people with low or no income should have some help to survive. That help should have requirements attached and should leave people with a strong incentive to get to the point where they no longer need help. These last two points, however, the current system completely fails at. This needs to be reformed. The other change I believe necessary is that it should be primarily charitable organizations that serve the needy–organizations dedicated to helping people again become self-sustaining, not keeping them dependent–and not the government.

    67. Dr. Henry Sinopoli says:

      The largest welfare payment we make each year is to support the lifers in Congress, Republicans & Democrats. Heritage can write all the papers you want, lunch & dine with the lifers, but in the end they will find a way to sustain their position. Adaptibility…just like a cockroach has adapted to survive -to politicians survival is their only interest.

    68. Bob, San Antonio, Tx says:

      Texas issues to welfare recepients a card for food purchases called the LONE STAR CARD. I was in a local food store and was in line behind a young lady. I watched as my tax money was spent on only one item, a 18 pack of BEER! I have no idea how beer contributes to her families health or nutrision but it did cause my blood presure to rise. Is there any rule or law determining how MY money is spent?

    69. Dave W. Provo. UT says:

      When I was a grade school child and wanted school lunch with out paying for it you could work for it; serve, clean tables, wash dishes, scrub the floors. peel spuds, etc. No child who did this learned to depend on the government but on our own two hands. We have a local county jail where inmates can earn their room and board or end up with a hefty bill if they just want to lay around in their cells. For some inmates its the first time they have ever worked for room and board in their lives. Mu grandpa used to tell us the reward for hard work is more hard work so learn to like it.

    70. Crystal Quiring, Cha says:

      I am so glad to hear someone addressing Welfare! When spending cuts are discussed, Social Security is always mentioned. I have written so many resources (including Heritage) about Welfare and never has anyone bothered to answer me. The politicians always say, "Everyone wants spending cuts until it comes to their program." There has to be cuts across the board! Not only have those of us on Social Security paid into it all our hard-working lives, but we paid taxes at the same time to support the Welfare System.

    71. BJ Ft. Myers Fl says:

      There have been several great suggestions on the welfare issue. I for one feel that everyone should be eligible for welfare for 5 years of their life as an adult (age 18). This is only because everyone can fall into a troubled time in their life. The lose of a job or forclosure, etc., but you only get the welfare for just 5 years of your life after that your on your own.

      Furthermore, while you are on the welfare program you will be required to work for community service for the 40 hours a week in order to recieve your check. This was mentioned in several of the comments above to a certain degree. It is my belief that there are some in need that do need help for a short time and then there are many who have been on the dole for a lifetime and never had to do anything to earn what they are recieving in federal payouts. If they had to do community service for their checks, i think that many would opt to actually prefer to go back to work and make some actual wages.

    72. Trent Anson, Phoenix says:

      The fact is what we, or some of us, consider to be poverty in this country isn't poverty by any means. Other countries consider poverty to be not having running water. But the liberals in this country want our definition to be, oh, they only have on car for a family of three and the 10 yr old doesn't have his own cell phone. no matter how much the liberals want it to be, thats not poverty!!!!

    73. Turtle- Hartford, Al says:

      I am becoming less and less enamored with the many conservative appeals to former Prez FDR's words as justification for our strong belief that individual responsibility should trump excessive spending in the never-ending "war on poverty". FDR's progressive agenda spending determined and deepened our decline into the state socialism eating away at our economic vitals today.

    74. Bobbie says:

      Tax paid resources for tax paid resources to find tax paid resources for tax paid welfare services are services of accommodation. If people need help they will find it on their own.

      Free market regarding financial programs as government exemplifies themselves as irresponsible and wastefully costly, so those in attendance of these programs will fail at the cost of the tax payers. Free market! Personally accountable. .

      States welfare- when food costs go up so do the food stamp accommodations.

      Food shelves used to be for the desperate and always had food donations from citizens, are now using tax dollars to accommodate "culturally appropriate" food? That makes food shelves an accommodation, not a desperation.

      Wherever there are resources outside of government (library, friends, family, charities, businesses) government shouldn't be one of them.

      It's not the role of government to be accommodating to a people living in freedom.

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    76. Richard Ahern says:

      Our forefathers warned us against the "welfare state" where government endeavors to take care of everyone from cradle to grave.

      Jefferson wrote:
      "If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people, under the pretense of taking care of them, they must become happy."
      (The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, vol.x. p 342)

    77. Mike, Chicago says:

      Too many people use public aid to supplement their income. They could pay for food, health care, housing, etc., but don't because they know the government will.

    78. Scottsdale, AZ says:

      Your commentary is right on.

      Here's what is missing: 1) why these programs don't work. The conservative voter will love you, but we still need to help the left understand why these programs proliferate the 'poverty' issue instead of resolve it. 2) Why helping folks, in anyway form, isn't a federal responsibility and should be the responsibility of the many states to test ideas of helping those with the most need.

      My take, on 1, these are fish programs. There are no number of fish that will create a great American and that must be our aim. On 2, it shouldn't be a one-size fits all solution from the monopolist, command and control, federal government. These kind of solutions don't even work well for dictators, so why are we doing them.

      Article is right on in terms of identifying the problem, we just need to deliver something to the conservatives so they have a brilliant message to bring to the American people about how to change the culture of our government.

    79. Al Alfonso says:

      This IS the addiction that totally drives the Democratic Party…once unleashed it is very difficult to control. It is never how much money you spend but HOW you spend the money. This is becoming the premiere country in the world for corruption and graft. Thanks to the politicians we continue to elect…wake up.

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    82. Silverpoodle,Ca says:

      Let's call welfare what it is…WELFARE

      It is not aid,

      It is not assistance,

      It is definitely not entitlements.

      It is most certainly not meant to go on several generations.

      It encourages out of wedlock, multable babies because 'you get more'.

      It is not meant for illegals who cross the border for anchor babies.

      This money comes from each and every tax payer, and from the taxes you pay on your investments for your old age. The government has NO money without taking it from YOU!!!

      When they pay bonuses to government employees for putting more people on welfare, you know something is drastically wrong with the system.

    83. br lowe says:

      There is no war on poverty, only a quest to cause poverty. "When the wicked rule the people suffer." We are over taxed and the taxes are over spent and we continue to be over taxed. The money system has fallen back upon itself and we are caught in a deadly circle. What more can I or anyone say when our representatives no longer serve the people. They only serve themselves. .

    84. DC Sniper says:

      A simple illustration is what occured in GA this past week. Probationers were offered jobs to work in the fields, picking cucumbers and other vegetable. Jobs, that had been abandoned by "migrant" workers due to new Immigration law and enforcement in GA. Probationers, would not work in the heat; took repeated breaks to sit in shade, answer/or make calls from thier cell phones, drink water. They came ill prepared to work in the fields, and walked off. As long as they are paid more to sit on their butts than work, Welfare will never be defeated. As long as they get foodstamps, WIC, free breakfast/lunch etc., monetary incentives for attending school and behaving, free cell phones, free internet, free computers, rent and utility assistance, they have no motivation to work. Add to that, those who get SSI benefits for a variety or reasons, as well as, other entitlements, it will never end. It's not "redistribution of wealth", it is the growth of entitlement. If it were the redistribution of wealth, the government could give every man, woman and child in this country $100,000 and see where it ends up.

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