Poverty  and  Dependency  in  America


This page is the first in a series of pages about poverty and dependency in America.  If you arrived here from a search engine, you might want to start at the index page.

Subtopics on this page:

Overview of the welfare state

The enormous cost and scope of anti-poverty programs

Politicians use handouts to buy votes

Lies about welfare programs

Barack Obama reverses the welfare reform law of 1996

Politicians perpetuate poverty and dependence

Food stamps have been de-stigmatized

Welfare-to-work programs

Why work when you can ride the gravy train?

Welfare-to-work programs

Welfare recipients are in the habit of making unwise choices

Waste and abuse

Fraud

The total cost of the War on Poverty



Overview of the welfare state


Introduction by the Editor:
Roughly half of the residents of the United States pay taxes, and half do not.  The people at the lowest end of the income scale pay less than nothing:  The government sends out cash rewards to those who do not work and can't seem to avoid illegitimate annual pregnancies.  And yet, if you support welfare restrictions, reforms, reductions or cutbacks, you'll be accused of racism.*  Call me names if you will, but here are my proposed solutions:  (1) Mandatory sterilization (or revocation of benefits — take your pick) for anyone who gives birth after one year or more on welfare benefits, and (2) Suspension of the right to vote for anyone receiving government handouts.  Neither of those things will ever happen, of course, but the implementation of both ideas would immediately put the brakes on the self-perpetuating system of unmerited handouts that we now have.  As someone whose paycheck is reduced by involuntary "contributions" to the current system, I have no sympathy for people who are too lazy to work and who have the morals of alley cats.

The Problems With a Welfare State.  Welfare comes from government revenue, which is collected in various ways.  Some sources for government revenue include income taxes, social insurance taxes, etc.  For the year 2015, as a whole the United States allotted 8% of its total spending budget to welfare.  In this country, there are several programs that serve the purpose of welfare, such as food stamps, unemployment, Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and Women, Infants and Children (WIC).  It is designed to help those in need — but how much good does it really do?

Revolt of the California 'Freeloaders'.  When normal people talk about "freeloaders," they usually are referring to the assorted welfare dependents, scammers and, yes, public employees who game the system to do as little productive work as possible and receive as many taxpayer-supplied benefits as they can muster.  In California, freeloading is an art form, but the term is largely verboten.  We don't want to be accused of insensitivity or other retrograde attitudes, after all.

Why Democrats keep losing elections.  In cities and towns where Americans are most on the dole — thanks to factory and mine closures and easy access to social security disability pensions, food stamps, free health care through Medicaid and the like — suicides, opioid addiction and general disintegration of civic institutions are most epidemic.  What Mrs. Clinton and liberals on the two coasts refuse to acknowledge is that the U.S. government already aggressively redistributes income — entitlement spending already consumes two thirds of the $3.6 trillion federal budget.  This is financed by a profoundly progressive tax structure — the top quartile earns about 69 percent of the income but pays 89 percent of the income tax and some 45 percent of Americans pay no income tax at all or receive payments through the earned income tax credit.  Moreover, most folks are comfortable with some measure of after-tax inequality if based on hard work and genuine accomplishment.

Three Things President Trump Can Do to Reduce Dependency.  First things first:  The Trump administration should not allow states to continue waiving food-stamp work requirements.  These requirements have been a part of the food-stamp program (for non-disabled childless adults) since the Clinton-era welfare reforms of the 1990s.  However, federal regulations allow the Department of Agriculture to grant waivers if states request them.  Although federal law authorizes waivers only when the state unemployment rate exceeds 10 percent or a state has insufficient employment opportunities, states with unemployment rates as low as 4.5 percent are currently waiving work requirements.  With waivers in effect, food stamps quickly trap their recipients in dependency.  What incentive do struggling Americans have to find employment and raise their standards of living when they face no time limits or requirement to work?

The Runaway Entitlement Train.  In its latest long-term budget outlook, the Congressional Budget Office warns that our budget is seriously out of whack and endangers our nation's future.  While the report will likely be ignored in Washington by politicians who like spending your money, American taxpayers would be wise to heed its message.

Obama Was First President to Spend More on Welfare Than Defense.  Barack Obama was the first president of the United States to spend more on "means-tested entitlements" — AKA welfare — than on national defense, according to data published by his own Office of Management and Budget.  Historical tables that the OMB posted on the Obama White House website, include annual totals for both "national defense" spending and "means-tested entitlement" spending going back to fiscal 1962 — which is three years before President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation creating the Medicaid program, a means-tested entitlement that together with the Children's Health Insurance Program enrolled 74,407,191 beneficiaries as of November 2016.

Before and After Obama: 10 Signs of a Diminished America.  Poverty unquestionably grew worse under Barack Obama, leaving his apologists to hilariously claim that the poverty rate doesn't look so bad after you throw in the skyrocketing value of the welfare benefits that grew explosively under his administration.  Note to everyone peddling this talking point:  spending more on welfare benefits is a bad thing, especially when those expenses are soaring at the same time Obama partisans claim the economy improved.  How can anyone wave off a 10.7 million increase in the number of food stamp recipients, at a cost to taxpayers exceeding $16 billion, at a time when employment was supposedly getting better?

Homelessness is apparently now a human right.  Do homeless people have a "right to camp" wherever they find it most convenient?  That's the discussion taking place in Seattle right now, where hordes of homeless individuals have set up makeshift tent cities (for those able to come up with a tent) on public property.  As you might expect, this has led to increased problems with violent crime — including two murders this year — as well as drug and alcohol abuse, theft and sexual assaults in these essentially lawless enclaves.  There's also the issue of public land being overrun and left in an unsightly mess.



"Any alien who, in the opinion of the consular officer at the time of application for a visa, or in the opinion of the Attorney General at the time of application for admission or adjustment of status, is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible."



How The Cloward-Piven Strategy Is Driving The United States To Collapse.  The Cloward-Piven Strategy was born in the midst of the fiery and violent leftist protests of the 1960s, as the brainchild of two sociology professors from Columbia University:  Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven.  Dissatisfied with the Antonio Gramsci style of cultural marxism, they sought a quicker and more explosive method of destruction that would cause America to collapse within a matter of years as opposed to decades.  In a paper entitled The Weight of the Poor:  A Strategy to End Poverty, Cloward and Piven argued that the only way to end poverty was to enroll as many individuals as possible in government welfare programs.  In doing so, the massive influx of new recipients would cause the system to collapse, at which point leftist activists would take to the streets and demand the establishment of a government that could address their "grievances". In the mind of people like Cloward and Piven, the ideal government was a totalitarian one that would implement Marxism and crush any and all opposition.  While the Cloward-Piven strategy was initially created to specifically address the issue of poverty, it also resulted in an effective 3-step process that others could use to destroy any advanced civilization.

The Useless Left.  Who supports Republicans?  Principally folks do work of value, like producing food, healing the sick, growing cotton, drilling oil, building houses, mining coal, protecting us as policemen and soldiers, healing the sick.  Productive people.  Who supports Democrats?  Principally those sloths whose "work" has nothing of real value to ordinary Americans at all like sociology professors; government bureaucrats; public school administrators; blood-sucking lawyers; and, of course, that vast army of leftists who live off welfare and other entitlements and who do not even pretend to do any work at all.

Mission Accomplished:  Record Number of Tent Cities Springing Up Around the Country.  It has been reported that that the number of homeless children in this country has risen by 60 percent since the last recession, and Poverty USA says that a total of 1.6 million children slept either in a homeless shelter or in some other form of emergency housing at some point last year.  Yes, the stock market may have been experiencing a temporary boom for the last couple of years, but for those on the low end of the economic scale things have just continued to deteriorate.  Tonight, countless numbers of homeless people will try to make it through another chilly night in large tent cities that have been established in the heart of major cities such as Seattle, Washington, D.C. and St. Louis.  Homelessness has gotten so bad in California that the L.A. City Council has formally asked Governor Jerry Brown to officially declare a state of emergency.

Is Personal Responsibility Obsolete?: Part II.  Too many social problems are conceived of in terms of what "we" can do for "them."  After decades of massive expansions of the welfare state, the answer seems to range from "not very much" to "making matters worse."  Undaunted, people in a number of countries are coming up with new proposals that are variations on the theme of government-provided income — which amounts to relieving people from personal responsibility.  Yet even some conservatives and libertarians are coming up with proposals for more "efficient" versions of the welfare state — namely direct cash grants for life to virtually all adults, instead of the current hodgepodge of overlapping bureaucratic programs.  Charles Murray recognizes that "some people will idle away their lives" under his proposal.  "But that is already a problem," he says, and therefore is no valid objection to replacing the current welfare state with a less costly alternative.

Poverty accompanies Democrats
The Worst Cities For Poverty All Have One Thing In Common.  Each of these places has been Democratic for many decades, some even longer.  And what do each of these places have in common?  That's right, they're all run by Democrats.  Big government, high taxes, lots of regulation, and plenty of welfare and poverty.  Yep, that's Democratville for ya.


How Our Welfare System Actually INCREASES Poverty Among All Americans.  Liberals understand economics when it's convenient for them.  Want to fight obesity?  Tax sugar or trans fats, because liberals realize that when you tax something, people buy less of it.  Want to encourage green energy?  Subsidize it and you'll get more of it.  When it comes to the question of redistribution, liberals abandon this logic.  Are we supposed to forget the laws of economics and not realize that by taxing work you'll get less of it, and by subsidizing poverty you'll get more of it?

The 35.4 Percent: 109,631,000 on Welfare.  109,631,000 Americans lived in households that received benefits from one or more federally funded "means-tested programs" — also known as welfare — as of the fourth quarter of 2012, according to data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau.  The Census Bureau has not yet reported how many were on welfare in 2013 or the first two quarters of 2014.  But the 109,631,000 living in households taking federal welfare benefits as of the end of 2012, according to the Census Bureau, equaled 35.4 percent of all 309,467,000 people living in the United States at that time.  When those receiving benefits from non-means-tested federal programs — such as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and veterans benefits — were added to those taking welfare benefits, it turned out that 153,323,000 people were getting federal benefits of some type at the end of 2012.

Record number of New York families living in shelters.  The number of families living in shelters in New York City set a new record this April, according to data of the Department of Social Services published Saturday in the local press.  Last week a total of 12,302 families with children spent the night in shelters around the Big Apple, more than the previous record of 12,281 families in December 2014, the Daily News said.

The City of Homeless Love.  The city of brotherly love has been overrun with broke bruthas asking for some love and it's so depressing, you tend to forget the incredibly rich history of the place.  While we waited for a walking tour to begin a vacuous black man stared at us nonstop as he stuffed potato chips in his face and rode a parked Citibike backwards (they're called Indego bikes there).  His jacket must have been prison-issued because it said "State Property" on the back.  Moments later, as we walked toward the sightseeing tour bus, we literally had to step over another black bum who had passed out next to his dinner on the street.  The woman running the service pitched us like he wasn't there.  I asked if he was included in the tour and she said, "Oh, we can't do anything about him."  This was the attitude of the place:  The homeless are here to stay, move on.

Obama, Redistribution, and Jobs: Always Wrong, Never in Doubt.  [Scroll down]  Though at some point we have to ask whether it really matters whether people are being lured out of the labor force by food stamps, disability payments, unemployment insurance, Obamacare, or any of the many other redistribution programs in Washington.  What does matter is that we have a malignant welfare state that is eroding the social capital of the country.  The entire apparatus should be dismantled and turned over to the states.  But not everyone agrees.  You probably won't be surprised to learn that the White House is impervious to data and evidence.  Indeed, notwithstanding the evidence that the left was wildly wrong about the impact of ending extended unemployment benefits, the White House is proposing to expand the program.

Government Welfare Programs are Crushing America's Economic Growth.  [D]on't let anyone fool you about the economy of the last seven years.  Barack Obama was set up for success, as he took office on the heels of a sharp economic downturn that had a limited, specific cause.  The economy should have come roaring back as it did under Ronald Reagan, only if anything even more so, since the government errors that gave rise to the 2008 financial collapse were relatively easy to correct.  Instead, the Democrats' left-wing policies inhibited economic growth and produced the worst recovery of modern times.

15 Stats That Destroy Liberal Narratives.  [#9] Officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, the food-stamp program has become the country's fastest-growing means-tested social-welfare program.  Only Medicaid is more expensive.  Between 2000 and 2013, SNAP caseloads grew to 47.6 million from 17.2 million, and spending grew to $80 billion from $20.6 billion, according to the Agriculture Department.  SNAP participation fell slightly last year, to 46.5 million individuals, as the economy improved, but that still leaves a population the size of Spain's living in the U.S. on food stamps.

Homelessness Is the Fault of Liberals.  Every major city in the country has seen a dramatic uptick in homelessness and the common denominator are always leftists.  Whether it is at the federal, state or local level, liberals in government are the cause of the homeless disaster.  In downtown Los Angeles, the famous homeless area known as Skid Row now spans 50 city blocks.  Reverend Andy Bales is the chief executive of the Union Rescue Mission, who help those on Skid Row.  He says what is happening there is, "the worst man-made disaster in the U.S."  The Reverend is indeed correct.  Rampant homelessness is entirely man-made.

Why the War on Poverty Is So Unwinnable.  Recall that the first war on poverty, begun by Lyndon Johnson in 1964, fell far short.  In 2014, the official poverty rate (the share of people under the government's poverty line of cash income) was 14.8%, up slightly from 1966's 14.7%.  By some other measures, which include non-cash government benefits (food stamps, Medicaid), poverty has declined.  But clearly, there are still lots of poor people.  In general, the group wants to make work more attractive to the poor.  It proposed expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (the EITC is a wage subsidy, providing payments for workers up to designated income levels).  It also backed a higher minimum wage.

The Surging Anti-American Sentiment of the Left.  As one of the former leaders of the New Left who has now turned into a fierce proponent for conservatism, David Horowitz, explains that the Democratic "party apparatus feeds off the entitlements of the welfare state:  social workers, university intellectuals, trial lawyers, bureaucrats, and government unions are all clients of the big-government programs the party promotes".  The more the individual is given entitlements, the longer the individual is kept dependent upon the program in which the party promotes.  Today it has resulted in more than 23 percent of Americans being dependent on some form of welfare while the American workforce has become demoralized as millions have given up searching for jobs.  Moreover, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the percent of Americans in the workforce — either working or seeking work under the Obama presidency has plummeted from 65.7 percent the month he took office in January 2009 to just 62.8 percent in November of 2014.  That translates to more than 7 million fewer workers in the workforce.

NYT Amazed that Democrat Welfare State Is Collapsing At Its Own Hand.  The truth is that any state-operated welfare system is a form of forced charity imposed on workers in favor of those not working.  It is Robin Hood acting as an entire government program.  Folks will tolerate a certain level of mandated "charity" when it supports those whom they think worthy of such support.  This will likely not include supporting Cousin Bobby's opiate addiction.

Homelessness in Hawaii grows, defying image of paradise.  [Scroll down past the sob story.]  Homelessness in Hawaii has grown in recent years, leaving the state with 487 homeless per 100,000 people, the nation's highest rate per capita, ahead of New York and Nevada, according to federal statistics.

Welfare chart
One Chart on Federal "Anti-Poverty" Programs Says It All.  This graphic was created by staff from the House Ways and Means Committee to represent the 80+ federal benefit programs and services for low-income people in the United States.  House Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee, November 3, 2015.  It was unveiled at a hearing yesterday on better coordinating welfare programs for families in need before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources.


US Safety Net Might Be Working Better Than We Think.  Program receipt in the CPS is missed for over one-third of housing assistance recipients, 40 percent of food stamp recipients and 60 percent of TANF and General Assistance recipients.  Dollars of benefits are also undercounted for reporting recipients, particularly for TANF, General Assistance and housing assistance.  We find that the survey data sharply understate the income of poor households.  Underreporting in the survey data also greatly understates the effects of anti-poverty programs and changes our understanding of program targeting.  Using the combined data rather than survey data alone, the poverty reducing effect of all programs together is nearly doubled while the effect of housing assistance is tripled.

Poverty Pimps Owe Middle Class $22 Trillion in Reparations.  In 2014, the Heritage Foundation released their findings on the cost of the War on Poverty.  As of 2013, U.S. taxpayers had spent over $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs.  What did we get for all of our hard labor 50 years later?  An ever-expanding welfare state instead of what LBJ described as an "investment" that would "return its cost manifold to the entire economy."  Not only are 100 million Americans receiving some kind of benefits from at least one government program, but those not on the dole are still paying for entitlements with no end in sight.

Welfare Is the Highest Paying Entry-Level Job in 38 States.  There are obvious problems with giving people "free" money.  We could list the fact that the money is taken from the people who earned it, or that the debt pyramid that funds the "free" money is unsustainable and will end in crisis.  We could point out that people drop out of the labor market because the free money makes it possible, thus lowering productivity at the same time that we are increasing obligations.  That is a looming economic disaster for the country.  But in my opinion the greatest evil of the system is how it degrades human beings and encourages them to decay into perpetual adult children. [...] Human beings, in their natural habitat, are designed to produce and thrive, not live by the work of others.  Being enticed into a system of welfare warps people.  It twists them away from their purpose as men and women who are supposed to take care of themselves and their offspring.

Mark Levin: Entitlement Programs Are Theft From Your Children.  In a recent interview discussing his book [...] Mark Levin described the ills of egregious government entitlement spending: [...] Levin's book focuses on America's youth and the massive impact entitlements will have on them.  The money won't be there for this financially endangered generation; it will exist as IOUs never to be settled, the money already spent.

Get'cha Honey for Nothin', Get'cha Chips for Free.  The quickest and surest way to make things more expensive for most of us is for someone in our government to attempt to make such things "free" for some.  As I noted earlier this year, the largest "charity" in the U.S. is government (which, of course, brags about it!).  Americans gave a total of approximately $3.4 billion (about $2.4 billion from individuals) to private charities in 2013.  In the same year, Americans received over $600 billion from means-tested (recipients required to be below a certain income level) government programs (housing, food stamps, WIC, Medicaid, and the like).  When non means-tested programs (Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, and so on) are included, the total is a shocking and staggering $2 trillion dollars.  In case you missed it, for over four consecutive years now, the number of Americans receiving food stamps (transactions are now done with an EBT card) surpassed 45 million.  About 20 percent of U.S. children receive food stamps.  Thus nearly one-fifth of our future electorate is being conditioned to the idea that it is government's responsibility to make sure they are fed.

Why the Welfare State Always Fails.  Every day, the independent media informs us of a new scandal involving the government's mismanagement of public funds associated with social programs. Waste, fraud, and corruption are commonplace in the so-called welfare state.  Even in the least corrupt countries, welfare programs remain controversial, given the large gap that exists between the state's purported goals and the actual results.  On a national scale, many rulers claim to want to improve the lives of the underprivileged through greater state intervention.  Yet they not only worsen the living conditions of these people in the long run, but leave the entire country in financial ruin.

Why Liberals are Dangerous.  Liberals define a compassionate nation as how long that line is of people showing up for their daily allotment of free fish.  In America today, 94 million Americans are unemployed.  And yet, they have all the necessities and many of the luxuries of working Americans.  Forty-seven million Americans are on food stamps.  Millions of capable Americans are receiving disability.

How Welfare Spending Hurts the People It's Supposed to Help.  Federal and state governments spent $1.02 trillion on welfare in 2014 — an increase of $274 billion, or 36 percent, since 2003 after adjusting for inflation.  At the federal level, the welfare bureaucracy spans numerous agencies and includes more than 80 different means-tested aid programs that provide cash, food, housing, medical care and social services to poor and low-income Americans.  These programs range from public housing and food stamps to direct cash benefits through the earned income tax credit (EITC) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

Generational Welfare, Exorbitant Minimum Wages Are Meant to Become the Permanent 'Living Wage'.  We currently live in a society in which welfare credit cards are given out to make recipients feel comfortable with living on the dole whether they need to or not.  They freely use them at gambling parlors, sex joints and they can be easily sold.  Non-descriptive terms are used, such as "TANF" or "workfare" in lieu of "welfare" and "SNAP" for "food stamps", so as to make the recipients feel comfortable instead of ashamed for taking assistance.  They also serve the purpose of deceiving folks.  Giving tax refunds to people who didn't pay taxes is called "Negative Income Tax" and includes Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), and the Child Tax Credit.  Notice the word "credit".  The safety net which almost everyone wants for our needy has been expanded to include the able-bodied non-working, foreigners, people working off the books, refugees who are actually illegal immigrants, and higher-incomed people.  That is not what was intended in the original bill.

War on Poverty? How about war against insanity!  Just in case I was wrong, I checked and found out that the federal government has "invested" $22 trillion fighting the War on Poverty in the 50 years since it was declared by President Lyndon Johnson (Source: Heritage Foundation).  According to my calculation, that's $440 billion per year on average.  Considering that spending on welfare and food stamps has steadily increased in recent years, not to mention the costs of Obamacare, I am confident we are spending well over half a trillion per year to rescue our impoverished members of society. [...] That's right, our $22 trillion investment went right down the rabbit hole, or more accurately the black hole, and we are left with inner cities in decay like Detroit, turmoil like Baltimore, and abject poverty like Watts.

The Food Stamp Pirouette.  You're not alone if you've ever wondered how the government at all levels can spend about $1 trillion per year on "anti-poverty" programs, while the poverty rate never goes down.  By the federal government's official standard, the poverty rate stood at about 15 percent when the War on Poverty began more than 50 years ago — and it remains about 15 percent today, despite more than $20 trillion of anti-poverty spending since then.  Could all that money really have had no effect?  The question puts government officials in a tricky position.  On the one hand, they feel duty-bound to defend the effectiveness of the spending; on the other, any major reduction in the official measure of poverty risks undermining political support for continued and increased spending.

A Trojan Horse Movement.  Consider: the welfare "rights" movement, founded by the notorious socialists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, was not established to guarantee welfare to the poor.  As they said, their purpose was to pack the welfare rolls with so many beneficiaries that the government would collapse of its own weight.  In the ensuing riots, they hoped policy makers would be driven to accept their socialist solution.  In short, they sought anarchy, using a militant poor as their foot soldiers.  They couldn't care less what happened to the poor in prosecuting this agenda, and they said so.  Doubt me?  Just look at the status of the poor today.  There are more people on welfare than at any time in history.  And the crime and degeneracy that accompany it are epidemic.

Christie's Entitlement Plan Is Honest But Doesn't Go Far Enough.  Few want to talk about entitlements during a presidential campaign.  Though it may no longer be the "third rail" of politics, it's still hazardous for any candidate.  Yet today, entitlements and interest spending gobble up 70% of our entire budget.  It's a sad delusion of public debate that we can cut discretionary spending and defense and balance our budget.  Sorry, no we can't.  As the New Jersey governor correctly notes, runaway growth in entitlements is bankrupting our nation.

A Marxist View of the Democrats' Entitlement Economy.  Karl Marx, considered the founding figure in the rise of communism, divided all persons into two classes: the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. [...] It is important to understand that Karl Marx never spoke of food stamps, welfare, and free health care as a remedy for the exploitation of the worker.  He held that workers should unite together and run the government so that all are treated equally and no one class exploits the other; that the wages and benefits to workers should be fair and equitable.  So when Democrats take the language of Marxism and use it to enable entitlement creation they are not following Marx's theory of class society.

What Makes Barack Obama Such a Bad President?  [Scroll down]  According to the narrative, Great Society welfare programs are a good thing.  They are framed (weren't they?) to help poor people (and, not incidentally, to make the people framing them feel better about themselves) ergo they cannot be a failure, not really.  Do they, as a matter of fact, institutionalize rather than abolish poverty?  Do they make an entire class of people more and more dependent on government?  Do they encourage a range of social pathology, from teen pregnancy and single-mother households?

Six Conundrums of Socialism.  In the United States of America:  1. America is capitalist and greedy — yet half of the population is subsidized.  2. Half of the population is subsidized — yet they think they are victims.  3. They think they are victims — yet their representatives run the government.  4. Their representatives run the government — yet the poor keep getting poorer. [...]

Government, not Racism, Is the Greatest Threat.  When King said, "Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism," he was talking about individuals rising up against the forces that had kept blacks down, not advocating for government intervention.  In fact, had he lived, Dr. King would have seen that government dependency has become a far more destructive force than racism.

Let's Get Government Out of the Charity Business.  The story is told that when Tennessee frontiersman Davy Crockett served in the US Congress (between 1827 and 1835) he voted for a bill appropriating $20,000 for relief for victims of a fire that broke out in Georgetown.  When he returned home, a constituent farmer chastised him for supporting the bill and for "giving what is not yours to give."  The farmer told Crockett the constitution does not grant Congress the power to give charity and if it did, "You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and favoritism and corruption, on the one hand, and robbing the people on the other."

Leftist organizers are using Ferguson to rehearse the Big Ugly.  "Unsustainable" is one of those Washington D.C. words with a history of meaning little — like Foggy Bottom's use of "unacceptable."  But unlike unacceptable, unsustainable, when applied to the Welfare State, is a derivative of mathematics — a major determinant of the wealth of nations.  The American Welfare State is unsustainable — destined for significant downsizing by cold, impassionate, apolitical Arithmetic. [...] Lies have long been a tool used by the tyrants of fascists, socialist, and communist ideologies.  In contrast, capitalism — an economic system in great distress in America — is inescapably tied to Arithmetic.  Real math doesn't lie.  It requires unbiased calculation.  Far-left community organizers don't traffic in unbiased calculation.

21 Facts That Prove Government Dependency is Out of Control.  With each passing year the number of Americans jumping on board "the safety net" continues to grow rapidly, and a lot of these people should be able to take care of themselves.  Today, the American people collectively receive more money from the government than they pay in taxes.  And remember, the federal government uses our money to build roads, inspect our food and fund the military as well.  So what does this say about our economy?  Could it survive without all of these debt-fueled transfer payments?  And what does this say about our society?  At one time, our nation was known for our Protestant work ethic.  What would our forefathers say about us today?

Ronald Reagan's Devastating Critique Of The Left's Addiction To Entitlements.  In his 1964 speech, Reagan warned, "37 cents of every dollar earned was the tax collector's share, and the government spent 17 million dollars a day more than the government takes in."  Think of how outraged he would be today with our current economy.  The Obama administration has racked up a national debt that now exceeds 17 trillion dollars, and more than 50 percent of Americans receive some type of government assistance.  Obama has said "We have not massively expanded the welfare state."  However, food stamp spending has surged under the Obama administration with more than 47 million Americans now on food stamps.

Here is the left's secret plan to turn America into Sweden.  Democrats continue to dream up new entitlements.  To Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, we now have Obamacare.  Next up on the wish list is universal pre-K.  After that, perhaps a universal basic income.  On taxes, some prominent left-wing economists are arguing the US economy would be just fine with sharply higher top tax rates of at least 70%.  Put it all together, and it seems like the left is quietly working toward a future America where government spends more, intervenes more, taxes more.  A whole lot more.

The War on Poverty Has Been a Colossal Flop.  Today, the U.S. Census Bureau will release its annual report on poverty. This report is noteworthy because this year marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson's launch of the War on Poverty. Liberals claim that the War on Poverty has failed because we didn't spend enough money.  Their answer is just to spend more.  But the facts show otherwise.  Since its beginning, U.S. taxpayers have spent $22 trillion on Johnson's War on Poverty (in constant 2012 dollars).  Adjusting for inflation, that's three times more than was spent on all military wars since the American Revolution.

The War on Poverty After 50 Years.  In his January 1964 State of the Union address, President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed, "This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America."  In the 50 years since that time, U.S. taxpayers have spent over $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs.  Adjusted for inflation, this spending (which does not include Social Security or Medicare) is three times the cost of all U.S. military wars since the American Revolution.  Yet progress against poverty, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau, has been minimal, and in terms of President Johnson's main goal of reducing the "causes" rather than the mere "consequences" of poverty, the War on Poverty has failed completely.  In fact, a significant portion of the population is now less capable of self-sufficiency than it was when the War on Poverty began.

Poverty In The Black Community Is The Result of Culture Not Racism.  A female relative of mine came to live with me for a short time.  One day when I came home from work, she asked me where everyone in the neighborhood was.  She said that during the day, she would go outdoors looking for someone to talk to and no one was around.  I told her that they were at work, and I asked her how she thought the neighbors could pay for their homes if they did not go to work (just as I was going to work every day).  She looked at me with a confused look on her face.  Up until that point (she was nearly sixty years old), she had lived in neighborhoods where everyone (including her) received some kind of government check and therefore did not work.  She always had someone to shuck and jive with because everyone was at home all day long.  She told me that she was bored living in my (middleclass working) neighborhood.

$213 million earmarked to track L.A. homeless by computer, house 1,400.  A coalition of public and private agencies announced Tuesday that it is funneling $213 million to house 1,400 homeless people and to expand a tracking and placement system it hopes will end chronic and veteran homelessness in Los Angeles County over the next two years.  The placement tool, called the coordinated entry system, is designed to replace a confusing patchwork of entry points to homeless housing and services with a single computerized portal that reaches every corner of the county.

The Editor says...
That's $152,000 per homeless person — enough to buy a house for each of them.

50 Things Barack Obama Has Done Wrong:  [#1]  Because of Obama's policies since he became President, 11,472,000 Americans have left the work force.  [#3]  The number of Americans on welfare has hit record highs.  [#4]  A record 20% of Americans were on food stamps in 2013.  [#5]  The almost 11 million Americans getting disability payments is now approaching the population of Cuba.

The 'Free Lunch' President.  On Monday [7/28/2014], Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew urged Congress to provide more resources for the exploding number of people on permanent disability.  It's part of the Obama administration's "give away the store" mentality, encouraging the masses to sign up for government programs at taxpayers' expense.  Even without Congress' complicity, the administration is doing everything it can to expand government dependence, getting people on Obamacare subsidies, food stamps, earned income tax credits and disability payments.  Federal workers routinely ignore — even blatantly violate — the laws that established these programs in order to maximize giveaways.

Land of the Free?  As far as the IRS is concerned, all men are not created equal.  In the land of the free, an individual has an inalienable right to his property, but not in the land of the IRS. Productive citizens became slaves to others, like indentured servants who can never buy their freedom.  The Founders abhorred such a concept.  Every April, some Americans quietly pay, while others collect their share of redistribution, as if it flowed from some eternal mountain spring.

Poverty Up 30.5% for Americans 18 to 64 Since LBJ Declared War on Poverty.  The percentage of 18- to 64-year olds who live below the poverty level has increased 30.5% since 1966, two years after Lyndon Johnson declared the War on Poverty, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau. [...] According to a House Budget Committee Report, the federal government spent $799 billion on 92 programs to combat poverty:  $100 billion on food aid; $200 billion spent on cash aid; $90 billion on education and job training; $300 billion on health care; and $50 billion on housing, in fiscal year 2012 alone.

The slow decline of America since LBJ launched the Great Society.  Fifty years ago this Thursday, at the University of Michigan, Johnson had proposed legislating into existence a Great Society. It would end poverty and racial injustice, "but that is just the beginning."  It would "rebuild the entire urban United States" while fending off "boredom and restlessness," slaking "the hunger for community" and enhancing "the meaning of our lives" — all by assembling "the best thought and the broadest knowledge."  In 1964, 76 percent of Americans trusted government to do the right thing "just about always or most of the time"; today, 19 percent do.  The former number is one reason Johnson did so much; the latter is one consequence of his doing so.

House Budget Committee to Hold Hearing on Poverty.  Is the federal government responsible for lifting millions of Americans out of poverty or trapping them in it?  That question has become a political Rorschach test this year, the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson's war on poverty.  On Wednesday, Representative Paul D. Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, is holding a third hearing on the government and the poor, featuring testimony from the "front lines."

Special Rules for Democrats.  Remember poverty?  It was once a chief preoccupation of the Democratic Party.  Lyndon Johnson made war on it.  An entire ecosystem of federal, state and local programs has been created over the course of the past half-century to combat it, costing taxpayers more than $1 trillion annually.  Yet the Democratic Party seems to have forgotten the poor.  The proposal to increase the minimum wage by a few dollars is trifling compared with the vaunting ambitions of the War on Poverty.  Sargent Shriver, Johnson's poverty czar, predicted that welfare state programs would eliminate poverty by 1976.

The Poverty Hoax.  As much as 75% of the money allocated to the poor is consumed by the vast bureaucracies that administer this aid.  These agencies are actually job programs for college graduates who would often find it difficult to find employment in the private sector.  The late William Raspberry wrote a column dealing with Gina, a 14 year old living in a group home, who had a caseworker, a psychotherapist and a court appointed lawyer.  These caregivers have to be supported by a number of clerical workers and supervisors who compose the vast helping bureaucracy.  If the "poor" were suddenly to disappear they would have to redefine their definition of poverty in order to maintain their sinecures.  And that is exactly what they have done.

Americans on Medicaid Exceed Population of UK.  The number of Americans who were enrolled in Medicaid at any time during fiscal 2013 exceeded the entire population of the United Kingdom, according to new data published by the federal government's Medicaid and CHIP Payment Access Commission (MACPAC).  Were Medicaid a nation instead of a U.S. entitlement program it would be the 20th most populous country on earth.

Ten Welfare-Reform Lessons.  New York City's welfare system is managed out of a boxy 25-story office building on Water Street in Lower Manhattan.  Approximately 5,000 employees work there, directing government programs that provide billions of dollars of taxpayer-funded assistance to the poor and near-poor.  A solid majority of the workers at 180 Water Street are African-American or Latino; their voter registration is almost certainly overwhelmingly Democratic; and all but about 300 of them are union members.  But from 1995 until this past December, the people who worked in New York's principal social-services agency were leading one of the most conservative and successful welfare offices in the country.

70% Of U.S. Spending On Writing Checks To Individuals.  Buried deep in a section of President Obama's budget, released this week, is an eye-opening fact:  This year, 70% of all the money the federal government spends will be in the form of direct payments to individuals, an all-time high.  In effect, the government has become primarily a massive money-transfer machine, taking $2.6 trillion from some and handing it back out to others.  These government transfers now account for 15% of GDP, another all-time high.  In 1991, direct payments accounted for less than half the budget and 10% of GDP.  What's more, the cost of these direct payments is exploding.  Even after adjusting for inflation, they've shot up 29% under Obama.

Govt aid pays more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states.  For those on welfare and other aid from the government in many U.S. states, getting back into the work force doesn't always make much sense financially.  In fact, welfare and other government benefits pay more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states and in 13 states, the payout is more than $15 an hour, according to a new study from libertarian think tank The Cato Institute.  The study found that the assistance — defined in the study as including government benefits such as food stamps, housing assistance and other programs — pays more than a first-year teacher's salary in 11 states, the starting salary for a secretary in 39 states and an entry-level job as a computer programmer in three states.

You Subsidize Leftist Anarchy.  The Economic Opportunity Act (EOA) of 1964 became the centerpiece of the new war.  It expanded the nation's social safety hammock, turning government resources into war materiel to be used against the American system of constitutionally limited government.  Many of the EOA-created programs still exist today, including VISTA (Volunteers In Service To America), now known as AmeriCorps VISTA, Job Corps, and Head Start.  Many more excuses for handouts were created afterward — so many, in fact, that it is difficult for poor people to pass through the minefield of government assistance unscathed.  The federal government now administers 80 different means-tested, largely stigma-free welfare programs.  Government blew $916 billion on these programs in 2012 alone, and about 100 million Americans accepted aid from at least one of the programs.  Federal and state welfare spending, adjusted for inflation, is now 16 times greater than when this war was declared, according to Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation.

Fact-Free Liberals: Part III.  What the war on poverty was intended to end was mass dependency on government.  President Kennedy said, "We must find ways of returning far more of our dependent people to independence."  The same theme was repeated endlessly by President Johnson.  The purpose of the "war on poverty," he said, was to make "taxpayers out of taxeaters."  Its slogan was "Give a hand up, not a handout."  When Lyndon Johnson signed the landmark legislation into law, he declared:  "The days of the dole in our country are numbered."  Now, 50 years and trillions of dollars later, it is painfully clear that there is more dependency than ever.

Record 20% of Households on Food Stamps in 2013.  A record 20% of American households, one in five, were on food stamps in 2013, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The numbers also show there was a record number of individuals on food stamps in 2013 and that the cost of the program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), was at an all-time high.

50 Years Later, The War On Poverty Is Lost.  Wednesday [1/8/2014] marked 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson asked Congress to wage "all-out war on human poverty and unemployment" — a war that's seen no end, let alone victory, to celebrate.  A record 46.5 million Americans are still counted as poor, and the share of those living in poverty — 15% and rising today vs. 19% and falling in 1964 — is close to what it was when Johnson sounded the trumpet.  More than 47 million Americans are now on food stamps — also a record high and representing roughly a 50% increase since the day Barack Obama was inaugurated after a campaign based on "hope."

The Fifty-Year War.  Trillions of dollars have been spent, and the number of Americans living in poverty is higher today than it was in 1964, while the poverty rate has held steady at just under one in five.  That contrasts unpleasantly with the trend before President Johnson declared his war:  The poverty rate had been dropping since the end of World War II.  That progress came to a halt as President Johnson's expensive and expansive vision began to be implemented in earnest, which coincided with the tapering of the postwar boom.  By the 1970s, the poverty rate was headed upward.

How the War on Poverty Was Lost.  LBJ promised that the war on poverty would be an "investment" that would "return its cost manifold to the entire economy."  But the country has invested $20.7 trillion in 2011 dollars over the past 50 years.  What does America have to show for its investment?  Apparently, almost nothing:  The official poverty rate persists with little improvement.

Washington is ignoring the most potent weapon in the War on Poverty.  Fiftieth anniversaries are typically joyful occasions that prompt deep reflection.  The "War on Poverty" reached that milestone this week and it definitely inspired a great deal of national reflection.  But absent from that reflection was discussion of the crucial role of the family in preventing and remedying poverty.  Considering the firmly established facts on this score, talking about poverty without talking about the family is analogous to discussing health without mentioning doctors.

Escaping the Rat Maze of the Welfare State.  The Heritage Foundation's Robert Rector estimates that we've spent $20 trillion on these programs — not counting Medicare and Social Security.  We spend $1 trillion to $2 trillion more every year, depending on how you do the math.  But, apparently for liberals, that's still too stingy.  Perhaps the problem isn't how much we're spending, but how we're spending it.

The Not-So-Great Society: Back to the Future?  Nothing so surely signals that liberalism has lost its mind than the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Great Society under way this week.  Has there been a greater self-evident social policy failure in American history?

Obama's rhetoric on fighting poverty doesn't match his policies.  Although the president often rails against income inequality in America, his policies have had little impact overall on poverty.  A record 47 million Americans receive food stamps, about 13 million more than when he took office.  The poverty rate has stood at 15 percent for three consecutive years, the first time that has happened since the mid-1960s.  The poverty rate in 1965 was 17.3 percent; it was 12.5 percent in 2007, before the Great Recession.

Escape Poverty: Graduate, Work, Get Married, Have Kids.  Fifty years ago today, in his State of the Union Address, President Lyndon Johnson declared an "unconditional war on poverty in America."  Over the next two years, he massively expanded the federal government, creating Medicaid, Medicare and the food stamp program, and increasing federal involvement in public education.  What impact did this have on poverty?

How to Fight Income Inequality: Get Married.  If President Obama wants to reduce income inequality, he should focus less on redistributing income and more on fighting a major cause of modern poverty:  the breakdown of the family.  A man mostly raised by a single mother and his grandparents who defied the odds to become president of the United States is just the person to take up the cause.

Health Care System Was Kinder, Gentler Before Gov't Stepped In.  While the concept of universal health care was proposed by Presidents Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman, it wasn't until 1965 when Lyndon Johnson's Great Society got the ball rolling and signed Medicare and Medicaid into law.  While there are many reasons for the exploding costs of medical care, the entry of government dollars into the system is by far the most potent.  Medicare and Medicaid, administrated by government employees not motivated by the cost restraints of for-profit entities, allowed individual doctor and hospital costs to balloon.

The Difference Between a Hand-out and a Leg Up.  Trillions of dollars have been wasted on the notion that people simply need a bit of help to get by, welfare is but a temporary solution to external injustices visited upon the hard-working poor, and that government assistance can only benefit families struggling to make ends meet.  Yet how many families must we shatter — how much sickness and disability must we incentivize — before we realize (to paraphrase an excellent book) that helping can (and does) hurt?

Barack Obama's Presidency Is A Complete Failure By His Own, Self-Imposed Standards.  [Scroll down]  Under the ultraliberal Barack Obama, and his "progressive" Democrats, poverty has soared while he has been President to nearly 50 million Americans, more than at any other time in the more than 50 years that the Census Bureau has been tracking poverty.  The poverty rate has also jumped by over 30% to 16.1%, about the same as when the War on Poverty started $5 trillion and almost 50 years ago.  We need "progressive" liberal Democrats for this?  Obama has also been the food stamp President, with the number on food stamps increasing during his Administration to an all-time record high of 47.7 million, up 80% over the past 5 years.

Don't Forget the Other Entitlement Monsters.  The continuing attention devoted to the blunders, incompetence, and lies surrounding the Obamacare rollout is much deserved.  But we shouldn't forget that the President's health-care monstrosity is merely the latest and biggest of scores of government entitlement programs suffering from the same flawed progressive assumption — that government "experts" armed with coercive power alone can solve problems better left to the states, civil society, and the free market.  In reality, such programs relentlessly metastasize, increasing as well fraud, waste, abuse, and costs.  One such program is SNAP, the kinder and gentler name for what we used to call food stamps.

Premeditated, Manufactured Chaos.  [Scroll down]  There is such a strategy; Obama has known about it for decades and is using it now.  It was developed in the 1960s by Columbia University professors Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, who published an article in Nation magazine titled "The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty."  By packing welfare rolls with new beneficiaries, they hoped to bankrupt local governments and foment a blazing revolution when benefits dried up.  It came to be known as the "Cloward Piven Strategy," or simply "Crisis Strategy."  The strategy helped explode welfare rolls in the 1960s and 1970s, and precipitated New York City's near bankruptcy in 1975.  Speaking of that crisis, New York Mayor Rudolf Giuliani accused the pair of economic sabotage.  Cloward and Piven created the organizations tasked with executing this strategy, most notably ACORN.

Is There a Way Out?  The fact that Congress has no resources of its very own forces us to recognize that the only way Congress can give one American one dollar is to first — through intimidation, threats and coercion — confiscate that dollar from some other American through the tax code.  If any American did privately what Congress does publicly, he'd be condemned as an ordinary thief.  Taking what belongs to one American to give to another is theft, and the receiver is a recipient of stolen property.  Most Americans would suffer considerable anguish and cognitive dissonance seeing themselves as recipients of stolen property, so congressional theft has to be euphemized and given a respectable name.  That respectable name is "entitlement."

The tyranny of bureaucracy.  [Scroll down]  Do not millions of people owe their allegiance to the government for the privilege of receiving food stamps, unemployment insurance, welfare, business or individual tax credits, college loans, agricultural subsidies, and now even health insurance?  Is there any branch or even twig of life through which the sap of federal subsidies does not run?  No wonder the Tea Party, with its insistence on turning off the federal spigot, is being painted by progressives as a danger to the national well-being.  The national well-being, after all, is a state of stuporific addiction to entitlements and congressionally approved benefits spooned out by thousands of federal bureaus and agencies that prove their worth by keeping the populace in what de Tocqueville called "perpetual childhood."

Questions Rarely Asked — and Never Answered.  If one gives more incentives to obtain government support while unemployed, why would not fewer people be working?  If the food stamp, unemployment, and disability rolls are markedly up, and if it is almost impossible to verify that recipients are also not working for unreported cash wages (we hear mostly of government efforts to add more to these programs, rather than to audit those already on them), why would one seek a "regular" job that would lose such subsidies and make all one's income reportable?

The Obama Facade Cracks at Last.  The Census Department reported this week that almost half (49 percent) of Americans (151 million) are on federal aid.  The U.S. has spent nearly $4 trillion ($3.7) on welfare over the past five years — that is five times greater than the money spent on transportation, education, and NASA, combined.  Further, more than 70 percent of all federal spending goes to assistance programs, and theCongressional Budget Office projects that welfare spending will rise 80 percent over the next decade.  Even with all that spending, though, 46.5 million Americans live in poverty and nearly half of all Americans pay absolutely no federal income tax.

House Republicans Expected to Reform Food Stamps Program.  The federal government paid more than $74.6 billion last year to provide 46.6 millions [sic] Americans with food stamps.  This is an astonishing increase, even for this era of rapidly rising federal spending.  Four years earlier the comparable figures were $34.6 billion in benefits for 28.2 million recipients.

Single Point of Failure.  Gerald Ford's observation that any "government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have" has often been used as an argument against tyranny.  What not many realize is that it is also a warning against creating a single point of failure.  If you depend on government for everything then you necessarily depend on government for everything.  The more 'progressive' and socially engineered a community becomes, the more herded together previously individualized and disparate systems become. [...] Nowhere is this truer than among the unfortunates who have come to rely on the EBT system for sustenance.

Food Stamp Nation: Child Homelessness Spikes in NYC.  Liberals advocate that welfare programs are designed to help the least fortunate and that they demonstrate a society's compassion.  However, sometimes too much compassion by the state can devolve into what recovering drug addicts would call "enabling."  Moreover, the "compassionate environment" provided by government often turns out to be wretched.

Confederacy of Slackers.  If you include the millions of part-time workers who want full-time work, and millions more who have despaired of finding jobs and so have dropped out of the labor market, the real unemployment rate jumps to 13.8 percent, or close to twice the official rate.  Out of a workforce of 154 million people, that's 21 million Americans who are under-employed, unemployed, or sitting on the sidelines — able-bodied but not even bothering to look for work.

Study: Food Stamps [are the] Most Rapidly Growing Welfare Program.  Food stamps are the most inefficient, vastly expanding social welfare program in the country, according to a new study.  Forty-seven million people participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, and costs have increased over 358 percent since 2000.

The Myth of Red State Welfare.  During the last few years, a key liberal talking point has been "red state welfare."  The argument is that the states that get more from the federal government than they pay in taxes tend to be red states, whereas the states that give more to the federal government than they pay in taxes tend to be blue states.  This "red state welfare" hypothesis falls completely apart when we look at the data.

Obamacare laid bare.  [Scroll down]  Obamacare is the largest transfer of wealth in recent American history.  But you can't say that openly lest you lose elections.  So you do it by subterfuge:  hidden taxes, penalties, mandates and coverage requirements that yield a surplus of overpayments.  So that your president can promise to cover 30 million uninsured without costing the government a dime.  Which from the beginning was the biggest falsehood of them all.  And yet the free lunch is the essence of modern liberalism.  Free mammograms, free preventative care, free contraceptives for Sandra Fluke.  Come and get it.

Going Around Congress, Again.  One of President Obama's favorite "big ideas" is universal pre-kindergarten.  It has long been a cherished liberal idea that the poor suffer from the absence of the advantages of the stuff that the middle class takes for granted.  If you give them free phones, free food stamps, free housing vouchers, and free pre-kindergarten with breakfast and lunch, then they will become happy middle class people.  Republicans believe in a safety-net for those in need, but believe that you can best help people to get out of poverty by offering opportunity.

Welfare Can Make More Sense than Work.  Most decisions in life are the result of a cost-benefit analysis. When residents in Connecticut consider getting a job, they assume they would be better off having a job than not.  They'd be wrong.  Because in Connecticut, it pays not to work.

Medieval Liberals.  [Scroll down]  Reactionary is a good adjective as well, since notions of wealth and poverty are frozen in amber around 1965, as if the technological revolution never took place and the federal welfare state hadn't been erected — as if today's poor were the emaciated Joads, rather than struggling with inordinate rates of obesity and diabetes, in air-conditioned apartments replete with big-screen TVs, and owning cell phones with more computing power than was available to the wealthy as recently as the 1980s.  Flash-mobbing sneaker stores is more common than storming Costcos for bags of rice and flour.

"I Am The Guilty Man".  You cannot eat your cake before you take the time to make it or earn the money to buy it.  To eat your cake first, you must become a leech and steal from the efforts of others... producing nothing yet expecting everything.  Society cannot prosper within this context.

Parasitocracy.  Loafing is a man's free choice; charity is yours.  A parasite, on the other hand, is a person who demands — and what is more, who believes — that others must provide for him what he cannot provide, or chooses not to provide, for himself.  This more precise definition is no mere academic exercise.  It reveals the subtleties of parasitism that have allowed it to evolve into the parasitocracy that has devoured most of the developed world.  For it is now clear that being unproductive, though often true of parasites, is not their essence.  What is essential is the parasite's presumption that the productivity of others — their toil, time, and achievement — ought to be at his or her disposal.

$3.7 trillion spent on welfare
Five times greater than the combined amount spent on NASA, education, and all federal transportation projects.
Report: U.S. Spent $3.7 Trillion on Welfare Over Last 5 Years.  "We have just concluded the 5th fiscal year since President Obama took office.  During those five years, the federal government has spent a total $3.7 trillion on approximately 80 different means-tested poverty and welfare programs.  The common feature of means-tested assistance programs is that they are graduated based on a person's income and, in contrast to programs like Social Security or Medicare, they are a free benefit and not paid into by the recipient," says the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee.

Under Obamanomics, America Morphs Into Welfare Nation.  Any lingering doubts about the deficiencies of Obamanomics can be dispelled with one piece of data:  The U.S. has spent $3.7 trillion on welfare in the past five years, with virtually nothing to show for it.  GOP members of the Senate Budget Committee reported that cumulative spending on welfare during the Obama years has been five times greater than what's been spent on transportation, education and NASA — combined.  Maybe that shouldn't be surprising.  Obama, after all, promised a "fundamental transformation" of America.  He's fulfilled that promise with a vengeance.

The Work versus Welfare Tradeoff:  If one looks at this as an hourly wage, it is easy to see that welfare pays more than a minimum-wage job in 33 states — in many cases, significantly more.  In fact, in a dozen states and the District of Columbia, welfare pays more than $15 per hour.

Hourly Wage Equivalent  ($)
Hawaii                  29.13
District of Columbia    24.43
Massachusetts           24.30
Connecticut             21.33
New York                21.01
New Jersey              20.89
Rhode Island            20.83
Vermont                 20.36
New Hampshire           19.11
Maryland                18.35
California              17.87
Oregon                  16.49


ConAgra, Walmart and JPMorgan Lounge In The Food Stamp Safety Hammock.  It turns out 49.7M or 16 percent of Americans are below the poverty line.  And yet the proponents of higher welfare spending will always beg the question of whether these policies actually reduce poverty by issuing statements such as "And one of the main things keeping the economy weak is the depressing effect of cutbacks in public spending — especially, by the way, cuts in public investment — all justified in the name of protecting the future from the wildly exaggerated threat of excessive debt.

Almost Half of U.S. Births Covered by Medicaid.  According to researchers from the George Washington University (GWU) School of Public Health, in 2010, almost half of all births in the United States were paid for by Medicaid, and that rate is only going to go up.  Medicaid was responsible for 48% of the 3.8 million births in 2010, an increase of 90,000 births from 2008, which was an 8% increase during that period.

America Is On Its Way To Becoming A Nation Of Welfare Dependents.  The U.S. achieved strong average annual growth of 3.3%, after inflation, from 1929 to 2012.  But from 2002 to 2012 that average growth rate fell to 1.8%.  Why the slowdown in growth?  Reasons include the uncertainty dumped on both businesses and individuals by ObamaCare and the unknown costs created by the Fed's unprecedented ultra-easy monetary policy.  The less obvious reason is the rapid growth in the value of transfer payments going to households over the past 30 years.

ObamaCare and Boiling Frogs.  When President Lyndon Johnson expanded America's welfare state with his Great Society programs, the legislation included a provision requiring business owners to withhold a slice of their employee's paycheck each week so they would hardly notice.  It was a masterstroke.  Taxpayers no longer had to write a huge check to Uncle Sam at the end of each fiscal year and boil, like the proverbial frog, at the sight of their massive tax bite.

'Welfare State' Doesn't Adequately Describe How Much America's Poor Control Your Wallet.  Many people choose to become Democrats when they are young because of a humane belief that government policies in America are stingy in providing resources to the poor. [...] Once such a decision is made, habits are formed, and many continue to vote reflexively Democrat, regardless of facts on the ground.  As people start busy careers, and take on family responsibilities, basic assumptions are never questioned, the effects of policies are never considered, identification with "their team" becomes hardened, and it is easy to burrow into like-minded media cocoons, where contrary facts and probing questions are never aired, or printed.

The Role of the Federal Government.  It is commendable to have compassion for the poor and to want to help them, but this is not the role of the U.S. government.  It would be wonderful if everyone in this country enjoyed the high level of healthcare afforded to the likes of unions and other groups, but it is not the role of government to provide it.  I'd like to see each American child educated to his fullest capacity, but this again, is not the role of the federal government.

A nation of beneficiaries.  A new survey from the Pew Research Center finds that 55% of Americans have received government benefits from at least one of the six most well-known federal entitlement programs.  Those would be Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, unemployment benefits, and/or food stamps.  About a third of all adults have received multiple benefits, with 15% using three or more programs.

NYC has largest farmers' market food stamp incentive program.  New York City has the largest municipal farmers' market food stamp incentive program making fruit and vegetables more affordable, officials say.  "Health Bucks are at the heart of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — helping New Yorkers in need supplement their diet with the foods that will benefit them the most," Robert Doar of the Human Resources Administration said in a statement.

The farm bill isn't really about farming.  It's about food stamps.
Might Congress actually split up the gigantic farm bill?  We call the large, deliberately convoluted, and $1 trillion/ten years legislation that recently crashed and burned in the House the farm bill, but in reality, the majority of the bill's monetary substance is all about providing funding for the ever-expanding federal food stamp program.

The Welfare State and Manhood.  The welfare state is nothing less than an assault on manly virtue.  It is no accident that in the welfare-dependent family, the position of father is obsolete.  Government entitlement programs simply apply that concept more broadly throughout society.

Bad behavior underserving of sympathy or support.  Like most Americans, I sincerely believe we have a moral and civic responsibility to help those who cannot help themselves as well as those who genuinely want to better themselves through productive employment.  But these "people who have left the work force" are something altogether different.  According to the experts, they are predominantly able-bodied men who have chosen to stop looking for work and are relying instead on the financial support of others.  And the others they rely on are more likely to be girlfriends than spouses and government programs rather than friends or community groups.

President Unleashes a Nationwide 'Community Organizing' Campaign.  Mr. Obama's recurring mantra is that he will focus on the "needs of the middle class," yet every single day nearly 12,000 people are added to the food stamp program, food and gas prices escalate, we are distributing billions of dollars worth of "Obama phones" to millions who do not qualify as needy, and we now have a record number of people who are declared "disabled."  That is not expanding the middle class or meeting the needs of the middle class.

20 Reasons America Is Becoming An Increasingly Nonfunctional Society.  [#4]  Leeching off more productive people has become much more acceptable.  To many people, taking welfare, food stamps, free lunches and anything else they can get the government to force someone else to pay for isn't shameful; it's deserved, presumably because they're doing everyone else in the country such a wonderful favor just by existing.

Entitlements: Washington's Official Lies About Spending.  How long can Congress take in $200 billion in revenue per month and spend $360 billion per month?  That means roughly 40 cents of every federal dollar spent has to be borrowed.  The undeniable fact of business is that a greater number of people are living off government welfare programs than are paying taxes.  That's what's driving Europe's economic problems, and it's what's driving ours.

America Needs a New Birth of Freedom.  It was under [President] Johnson, who championed the "Great Society" in the 1960s, that a good portion of the runaway government spending we are trying to get under control today originated.  Johnson signed into law Medicare, Medicaid, the War on Poverty programs, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. [...] So the Johnson administration years marked not just the beginning of many huge government programs that we can't pay for today, but they also marked a major cultural change where government began displacing family and personal responsibility.  It is no accident that as the American welfare state grew, the American family collapsed.

In Obama's America, Only Debt and Dependency Grow.  The Congressional Budget Office says the government is on track for another $1 trillion deficit year.  That's the bad news.  Worse is that most of it goes to programs that increase government dependency.

Does this sound familiar?
Britain can no long afford to pay the extortionate cost of the welfare state.  As we are more or less bankrupt as a country, such generosity is not noble but plain idiotic.  Yet we will not stop doing it.  Change is politically impossible.

20 Ways America Has Begun to Reap What It Has Sown.  [#11]  We reward people for not working with welfare, food stamps and countless other government programs; then we're surprised to have so many takers demanding that everyone else pay their way.

It's YOUR Constitution Obama is Shredding.  I must point out for our nations ill-educated, that by General Welfare, our founders did not mean food stamps or free cell phones.

Homeless return to debase Grand Central Terminal.  In celebration of its 100th birthday, the bad old days have returned to Grand Central Terminal.  Droves of homeless people are flooding the landmark again — even as workers prepared for last week's centennial celebration.  On a windy Wednesday, The [New York] Post spotted at least 40 hobos in search of free eats and a warm place to flop.

Unemployment Benefits are Becoming a Dependence Problem.  I suppose that if you have never had to earn a living you wonder why anyone should have to.  That's the problem with freebees.  People who get them never learn to appreciate the importance of being able to take care of themselves.  They think that their mere existence is their contribution to society.

War On Poverty As Senseless As War On Drugs.  Here in the United States, the 'War on Poverty' which was introduced by President Lyndon Johnson in his State of the Union address in Jan. 1964 has been as ineffectual as the government's war on drugs.  According to a study by the Cato Institute $15 trillion has been spent by the government on various welfare programs since then without budging the Johnson era poverty rate.  A 2013 report released last week found that sixty percent of children in Detroit live in poverty, per the "State of Detroit" report.  This represents a 64.7 percent increase in child poverty in the city since 1999.  But the word poverty utilized by the government bureaucrats is a misnomer for the sole purpose of engendering support for entitlement programs.

The Constitution? What's That?  Our republic is dying.  There can be no doubt of that.  She's dying because we (The People) have turned our backs on her.  We don't care anymore.  We have learned to rely on government for our existence — from the cradle to the grave — and we no longer feel that urge for freedom and liberty.  We don't really care what the government does just so long as they keep us safe and secure and keep the checks coming once a month.

A Different Kind of Welfare.  Welfare is by far the most troublesome element of our government, and it is one that could be easily improved.  We are slowly growing broke, and, as a country, we need to discern the truly needy from the abusers because we cannot afford to subsidize both of them.  Due to ultra-liberal guidelines in administering the welfare programs, we are reaching a point of critical mass in which the welfare class is growing beyond the tax paying class.  This will inevitably result in a collapse of the system because there will simply be no money left to fund it.

The dynamics of dependency: Family background, family structure, and poverty.  According to one view, government welfare programs of the last two decades (principally Aid to Families with Dependent Children, AFDC) have succeeded in aiding some groups but have left a residue of persons destined to perennial dependence on public support.  Made up for the most part of the adult children of "welfare mothers," this subgroup has sometimes been portrayed as deficient not only in earned income but also in moral character and social behavior.  They purportedly do not share society's accepted values, are often disruptive and violent, and are beyond the help of either private or public efforts to rehabilitate them.

Best Dog Whistles of 2012.  A majority of voters in Europe and America have come to believe that a shrinking class of employed or entrepreneurial can support a growing class of dependents, fiscal barnacles.  Neither government nor voters believe that they need to separate wants from needs anymore.  Yet the free lunch crowd has the vote; and may now have a quorum; enough votes to repeal common sense — or mandate suicide.

History suggests that era of entitlements is nearly over.  Nineteenth-century Americans went to war over expansion of slavery.  Early-20th-century Americans grappled with the collapse of the private-sector economy in the Depression of the 1930s.  We are seeing something like this again today.  The welfare state arrangements that once seemed solid are on the path to unsustainability.  Entitlement programs — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid — are threatening to gobble up the whole government and much of the private sector, as well.

The American Welfare State.  Throughout the presidential campaign, Republican candidates pointed to the number of food stamp recipients — increasing from 33 million people in 2009 to 43 million in 2012 — as a sign that poverty had skyrocketed under President Obama.  But a new study suggests that the reason there has been such an increase in food stamp recipients during the last four years is even more pernicious.  The study's authors, George Mason University's David Armor and Sonia Sousa, argue that the food stamp program can no longer be regarded as an anti-poverty program because nearly half of its recipients are above the poverty line, many of them substantially so.

Legislators Hope To Slip Farm Subsidies And Food Stamps Into Fiscal Cliff Deal.  Amidst a flurry of fiscal cliff negotiations, the leaders of the House and Senate agriculture committees are hoping to pull off a legislative sleight of hand.  Eager to pass a farm bill, which would set federal spending on agriculture subsidies and food stamps for the next five years, they have been negotiating privately to reach a compromise that could be easily approved as part of a larger fiscal cliff package.

The Message of Welfare: 'No, You Can't'.  We've all read the hard-luck stories of lottery winners who strike it rich only to lose their homes, spouses and health a few years later.  But there are now several scholarly studies to back up the devastating effects of not earning your success.  Martin Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, named the effect learned helplessness.  "We found that even when good things occurred that weren't earned, like nickels coming out of slot machines, it did not increase people's well-being," Seligman told the New York Times.  "It produced helplessness.  People gave up and became passive."

Give Obama what he wants.  Those of us who think, rather than feel, understand that Obama's course will end up with the United States going bankrupt, because there isn't enough money on the planet, much less the US, to pay for all the goodies the Democrats want to bestow on their favored constituents.

The new government report on "poverty" is merely an advertising tool for expanding the welfare state.
'Poverty' like we've never seen it.  The federal government now considers a family of four in New York City to be poor if its pre-tax income is below $37,900.  Even with full medical coverage.  The calculation helps explain why newly revised Census Bureau figures hike the number of poor Americans to 49 million as of last year, further widening an already yawning gap between ordinary perceptions of poverty and how the government sees it. [...] The typical TV news story on poverty features a homeless family with kids living in the back of a van.  But poverty as the federal government defines it differs greatly from these images.  Only 2 percent of the official poor are homeless.

The Cloward-Piven-Obama plan is working!
Doubt of the benefit: Why increasing unemployment aid is prolonging the recession.  The White House, and other believers in Keynesian policy refer to subsidies to the unemployed, poor and financially distressed as "automatic stabilizers" and insist that subsidies have a large positive effect on national income.  Yet when the subsidy spigots were opened wide in 2008 and 2009, labor market activity contracted sharply, and stubbornly refuses to rebound.

The Cloward-Piven way.  If the Cloward and Piven agenda were being implemented, would it look any different? [...] This explains the Occupy Movement, and the tacit approval of the Obama Administration.  This explains the gutting of the Clinton era Welfare requirements by the Obama administration.  This explains the lack of diligence by administrators in determining who exactly qualifies for Disability.  Encouraging people to get on unemployment, then when your 99 weeks are up, go to disability.  We won't check if you meet the requirements.  This explains why there is a concerted effort to get as many people as possible on Food Stamps, and the lack of oversight diligence here as well.

The Welfare State, No Matter What You Call It, Is Breaking Us.  If you doubt there's an American welfare state, you should read the new study by demographer Nicholas Eberstadt, whose blizzard of numbers demonstrates otherwise.  A welfare state transfers income from some people to other people to improve the recipients' well-being.  In 1935, these transfers were less than 3% of the economy; now they're almost 20%.  That's $7,200 a year for every American, calculates Eberstadt.  He says that nearly 40% of these transfers aim to relieve poverty (through Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment insurance and the like), while most of the rest goes to the elderly (mainly through Social Security and Medicare).

The Victim of a Crime.  The welfare state is our enemy's supreme masterwork, a miraculous machine that takes by force the cream of America's profit and processes it, magically, into an acidic, viscous substance that clings to people and destroys them.  It then pours that destructive substance over the American people, anesthetizing them while it kills.  Best of all, from the enemy's standpoint, America itself is financing the whole thing.

Cloward-Piven Obama link:  Richard A. Cloward and Frances Fox Piven published their blueprint for revolution in 1966.  Everyone has known about this "Cloward-Piven strategy" ever since.  Now, fresh evidence shows that Obama had a more direct link to Ms. Piven than he has ever let on.

Time for the Unthinkable: a Third-Party.  IRS statistics show that 50% of American citizens pay zero income taxes.  This has led to what is called, in economic parlance, "infinite demand for government services."  In other words, if services are free to large amounts of voters, they will want all they can get.  This is basic human nature.  So under our present tax system, 50% of the American voters want more government spending every election year.

The Age of the Welfare State Smashup.  With the re-election of Barack Obama and the confirmation of the mother of all entitlements, ObamaCare, the ruling class has welded into place the fourth wall of the administrative state, and we all now live in its iron cage.  We are now fully confined and controlled by the four-trillion-dollar iron fences of government pensions, government health care, government education, and government welfare, just as liberals want us to be.  For people in an iron cage, the path of gradual change is closed.  It will remain closed until the ruling class runs out of other peoples' money.

It's the Welfare State, Stupid.  A welfare state transfers income from some people to other people to improve the recipients' well-being.  In 1935, these transfers were less than 3 percent of the economy; now they're almost 20 percent.  That's $7,200 a year for every American, calculates [Nicholas] Eberstadt.  He says that nearly 40 percent of these transfers aim to relieve poverty (through Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment insurance and the like), while most of the rest goes to the elderly (mainly through Social Security and Medicare).

Golden State turns to lead, now leads poverty rankings.  The Golden State has reached a poverty rate that is now twice as bad as West Virginia's and substantially worse than the rates of poverty in Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas and Texas, according to a new measure of poverty developed by the federal Census Bureau.  Democrat-run California earned its last-place rank under the federal government's new measure of poverty, which incorporates more detailed analyses of welfare payments and the local costs of food, gasoline and housing.

Obama Voters Rewrite American National Anthem.  The punditocracy, like the oracles of old, has spoken.  Obama won because of various and sundry reasons, most of which can be debated and none of which is the single, sufficient cause.  But one reason, or unreason, was a definite and perhaps the single most important factor:  what became infamously known as "the 47%," who now suckle at the government teat.  While these people rationally, though selfishly, choose that it is better to receive than to give, they failed on Tuesday to choose the nation's best interest or even their own long-term interest on Election Day.  They fail to understand that the goose can run out of golden eggs.

The great handout society.  Obama all but bought Ohio and secured Michigan with the $25 billion auto bailout.  The biggest portion of the almost trillion-dollar stimulus went mostly to create dependents through expanded Medicaid, more food stamps and the hiring of more state government workers — with little to show for it from an economic growth standpoint.  Obama has created a new paradigm in America:  dependency politics.  When Ronald Reagan won in 1980, 29% of the country was getting a government check in the form of some sort of assistance.  This year, it is 49% and growing.  It'll get even bigger when Obamacare fully kicks in, student loans are expanded and welfare requirements are softened.

Real Leaders Don't Promote Dependency.  A sense of entitlement too often leads to ingratitude: why be grateful for that which one has been told is rightfully his?  Entitlement-societies seem to have little compassion for those who work hard and follow the rules, and see fairness as something due those claiming victimhood but not those who are straight-laced and buttoned down.  It corrupts moral language by imputing greed to those wanting to retain the fruit of their labor for family while whitewashing the actual greed of those who demand what belongs to others.

Welfare State of Mind.  A welfare state would not work if it did not inculcate, either by education, by mandated indoctrination, by incessant propaganda, or by cultural osmosis, the proper "state of mind" in a population, that is, to instill in men an individual's alleged duty or obligation to submit to a consensus propagated by a variety of authorities, especially government authorities.  A welfare state would evaporate almost immediately without first having pulled a fraud on the electorate.

Ron Paul: Election shows U.S. 'far gone'.  Rep. Ron Paul, whose maverick presidential bids shook the GOP, said in the wake of this week's elections that the country has already veered over the fiscal cliff and he sees no chance of righting ship in a country where too many people are dependent on government.

Food Stamp Growth 75X Greater than Job Creation.  With the latest jobs report, it is now the case that "Under Obama, Food Stamp Growth [Is] 75 Times Greater Than Job Creation," according to statistics compiled by the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee.  "For Every Person Added to Jobs Rolls Since January 2009, 75 People [Were] Added To Food Stamp Rolls."

More Beneficiaries Now Above Poverty Line than Below.  In the Fall 2012 issue of National Affairs, George Mason University Professor David Armor and post-doctoral fellow Sonia Sousa present astonishing but little-known data on the expansion of the welfare state under President Obama.  A glance at the data as they present it goes a long way in explaining our entitlement problem and how we might go about fixing it.  Armor and Sousa trace the growth of entitlements to the expansion of eligibility for them:  More Americans above the poverty line than below it are now receiving the benefits of our largest and most expensive welfare programs.

The Poor Tax.  Welfare spending is higher than ever but the money is going to people living above the poverty line — and this redistribution is actually hurting America's economic recovery, according to a new book.

Restoring a True Safety Net.  The Obama years have seen unprecedented growth in spending on what used to be known as the federal "anti-poverty" or "welfare" programs:  means-tested initiatives to provide food, health insurance, housing benefits, and income support to the poor. [...] The scale of these increases is staggering.  In three years, from 2008 through 2010, total annual spending on welfare programs (in 2010 dollars) increased from $475 billion to $666 billion — a 40% increase after accounting for inflation.  At a combined annual cost of two-thirds of a trillion dollars, these programs are now on the same scale as the defense budget ($693 billion), Social Security ($700 billion), and Medicare ($551 billion).

Too Many Fish And Not Enough Fishers.  Giving 15-year-old girls a check every month for having a baby and a bigger ones for having another one may sound compassionate, but in reality, those policies have created three ever-growing generations of government dependents who are now convinced that it is society's obligation to send them a check every month for as long as they live.

Illiberal Liberals.  Not since the days of slavery have there been so many people who feel entitled to what other people have produced as there are in the modern welfare state, whether in Western Europe or on this side of the Atlantic.

Obama's Homeless.  There are more homeless right now, at this point in Barack Obama's presidency, than there were at this point in Reagan's presidency.  That's significant because the homeless, at this point under Reagan, were used by liberals to torpedo Reagan's reelection bid.  And yet, today, liberals are completely silent about the homeless under Obama.  Liberals have not turned the homeless into a propaganda issue today, as they did in the 1980s.

Poverty Nonsense.  To say that "our society creates poverty" is breathtakingly ignorant.  In 1776, the U.S. was among the world's poorest nations.  In less than two centuries, we became the world's richest nation by a long shot.  Americans who today are deemed poor by Census Bureau definitions have more material goods than middle-class people as recently as 60 years ago.

The Nerve That Mitt Romney Struck.  The welfare state of the United States is now a massive entitlement state.  No longer can we indulge the fiction that welfare is only "for the most poor, and for temporary reasons."  Leaving aside whether such a minimal welfare state is justified or not as a function of government, there's no disputing the fact that this ship has long since sailed.  The massive welfare state is not simply for the poor.  Government has done its job, over the decades, to ensure that as many people and entities as possible are dependent on the federal government.  The poor and the needy?  They're the least of it.

Enrollment in Food Stamps, Medicaid, and Disability Far Outpaces Job Growth in Last 4 Years.  A new chart provided by the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee details the alarming fact that enrollment in federal social welfare programs like Food Stamps, Medicaid, and Disability have far outpaced job growth over the last four years.

Top 10 bad economic signs for Obama.  [#4]  Food stamps:  The one area of growth that Obama has presided over is the explosive increase in food stamp participation.  When he took office in January 2009, fewer than 31 million Americans received food stamps.  After an aggressive effort by the Obama administration to expand the program, now one-out-of-seven Americans, over 46 million, are receiving federal food assistance, an increase of 44 percent during his administration.

It's worse than Romney said: 49% on federal aid, 49% pay no tax.  While Romney suggested that 47 percent of Americans are dependent on government aid of some sort, the number is actually slightly higher.  Over 49 percent of Americans live in a household where somebody is dependent on federal assistance, according to federal statistics.  And the percentage of people who don't pay taxes is worse than Romney pegged at 47 percent.  According to the Heritage Foundation, it's over 49 percent.

Mitt's right: Handouts do win votes.  Mitt Romney's only mistake was lumping together all of the 47 percent who don't pay income taxes.  A lot of them are elderly, and many of them are voting for Mitt.  And there are some people who work, but just don't make a lot of money, or who would be working if they weren't legitimately disabled.  But the indisputable fact is, a huge percentage of Obama's voters are basically wards of the state.  There are millions of them, and they have no intention of voting for anyone who might want them to ever go out and work for a living — "no matter what."

The Editor says...
Wards of the state, or warts of the state?

The truth can set Mitt free.  A tape from a May fund-raiser is rocking the campaign because Romney was "caught" accurately outlining our political polarization.  As a defining principle, the almost-half the nation backing President Obama wants government to do more.  The other half backs Romney because it knows the government already does too much.  It is a financial fight, but also a cultural one.  The entitlement mentality isn't limited to those who earned or desperately need their country's help.

Mitt Romney is Right: Dependency Subverts Democracy.  The Republican challenger speaks an uncomfortable truth — that it's hard enough to beat an incumbent president without almost half the electorate feeling dependent on him for some kind of government benefit.

Freedom or Ruin.  [Scroll down]  I call these sons and daughters of what we know as the Greatest Generation, the Entitlement Generation, these people born between 1945 and 1960.  Many of them literally do not know where they are going or even why, they just know that whatever they have, they deserve it.  Whether they built it or not.  And unfortunately they are the ruling class today.  They are squandering our birthright.

With liberty and taxes for all.  [Some] Americans understand instinctively what a recent report from the Tax Foundation said:  "Aside from the revenue impact of not having 58 million Americans pay income taxes, economists worry about the social and political effects of having so many people disconnected from the cost of government — a phenomenon known as fiscal illusion.  The concern is that when people perceive the cost of government to be cheaper than it really is, they will demand ever more government benefits because they either don't feel the cost directly or believe that others will be paying those costs. [...]"

America's bread and circus society.  If we expect government to be our supplier, we cannot expect that it will not become our master.  Always remember this:  government has nothing to give except that it first takes it from someone else.  Every dollar and every job that government gives is first taken from someone else.  Furthermore, every job given to government is another freedom — and another dollar — taken from the citizenry.  Every government job brings with it a restriction, a prohibition, a regulation, an inspection, a fee, a tax, an assessment, etc.  As government grows, freedom shrinks.  As government spends, wealth shrinks.  And as government hires, opportunity shrinks.

Barack Obama: The welfare king.  "They'll turn us all into beggars 'cause they're easier to please."  So goes a Rainmakers song.  Beggars also are easier to control.  Just ask the drug dealer.  It is not compassion that motivates him to give away the first hits of heroin for free; it is the promise of control.  President Obama wants to give you free stuff.  Lots and lots of free stuff.  At least, he'd like you to believe it's free.  Free health care.  Free welfare checks.  Free food stamps.  But as the saying goes, free stuff or freedom:  Choose one. [...] In Mr. Obama's worldview, even families earning twice the nation's median income should receive welfare.

Black Conservatives Appear in New Documentary "Runaway Slave".  Former presidential hopeful Herman Cain and other black conservatives appear in the new documentary 'Runaway Slave,' which digs deeper into whether America's growth in entitlement programs has harmed and even "enslaved" African Americans to a permanent welfare state.

Meaningless Words and Phrases.  [Scroll down]  Or consider Social Security, welfare, Medicaid, and other bankrupt programs.  People on such "assistance" often put in little to nothing and take out a lot.  True, it doesn't seem much to the people getting the checks, but in terms of national scale, it's digging quite a debt hole.  But since that bill will be paid by someone else, there is no call to slow it.  Is it "fair" to make future generations pay for our irresponsibility?

The United States Of Dependency?  Here are just a few recent reports about the alarming growth in dependency:
  •   In the second quarter of 2011, 107 million Americans were receiving some kind of government welfare — not including Medicare or Social Security — according to a new study from the Senate Budget Committee.  That's up from 97 million just over two years ago.
  •   In the last three months, more people have applied for Social Security disability payments than found jobs in the private sector, federal data show.
  •   New Census data show 43% of all immigrants remain on welfare 20 years after arriving in the U.S., a stunning statistic suggesting the old model of immigration being a path to opportunity may have broken down in the Age of Obama.
  •   A new economic study says almost half of Americans die with less than $10,000 in assets — a sad comment on how government has displaced personal initiative and private savings in preparing for retirement.
  •   IRS data show that almost half of all Americans — 49.5% of us — pay no income taxes at all.

Will American Liberals Ever Wake Up?  America now spends 15 percent of its Gross Domestic Product on welfare.  Welfare is now the third most expensive government spending program.  Welfare spending has outpaced spending on Social Security, Medicare, education, and defense.  And welfare rolls and spending continue to expand.  Welfare spending increased on SNAP alone between FY2008 and FY2011 from $39.3 billion to $75.3 billion.  Over the next 10 years, welfare spending is projected to cost taxpayers $10.3 trillion.  The Obama administration is now working to expand welfare further, spending $2.5 million on an ad campaign to get more people on welfare. [...] But despite increased spending, the poverty rate that remains at nearly 15 percent, roughly where it was in 1965, when President Johnson declared his War on Poverty.

The facts about poverty in America.  The federal government operates more than 70 means-tested welfare or anti-poverty programs, among them Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), the earned income credit, Supplemental Security Income, Food Stamps, the Women Infants and Children (WIC) food program, Medicaid, public housing, low-income energy assistance and the Social Service Block Grant.  These programs provide cash, food, housing, medical care and targeted services to poor and near-poor Americans.

TANF and Federal Welfare:  The federal government funds a large range of subsidy programs for low-income Americans, from food stamps to Medicaid.  This essay examines Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which is a joint federal-state cash assistance program for low-income families with children.  When most people think of "welfare," they are thinking of this program.

Obama's Gotta Go.  Welcome to Obama's America:  nearly half the population is not represented on a taxable return — almost exactly the same proportion that lives in a household where at least one member receives some type of government benefit.  We are becoming the 50-50 nation — half of us paying the taxes, the other half receiving the benefits.

The Vagabond at the Intersection: The Consequences of Pooled Burden.  In a country where almost fifty percent of individuals live in a household that receives some form of federal assistance, perhaps the President was correct in stating that "If you have a business, you didn't build that.  Somebody else made that happen."  To be sure, "somebody else" is making all kinds of things happen for the large number of us receiving federal assistance.  Like the vagabond at the intersection who scrubs your windshield for change even after you've waved him off, our government has collected a trophy case of carefully planned gratuities force fed to us one at a time, all taking form as social programs, government funded infrastructure, etc.  They have been collected for purposes of later guilting us into a socialist disposition.

'There Have Never Been as Many Poor People in Our Country as There Are Now'.  The nation's homelessness czar in the George W. Bush administration says that programs enacted back then have had a dramatic effect on cutting the chronically homeless population, but warns that families are increasingly being left out in the cold as the economy struggles to recover.  "There have never been as many poor people in our country as there are now," Philip F. Mangano told PJM today, adding that the "highest number ever in the history of our country" are living in "deep poverty," which is 50 percent below the poverty line and under.

Choose your Poison, Communism or Other Dictatorship?  We are in a period of economic abundance and welfare dependency; Americans have not suffered economically since the end of World War II.  Under this administration, food stamp recipients are at an all time high, yet the government is advertising the giving of more food stamps, renamed to take away the stigma of being a perennial bum, waiting on handouts.  Economic abundance had lead to complacency, laziness, apathy, and dependence on government as a nanny state.  Who needs a family, mommy and daddy, when we have the government?

The more government we have, the less freedom we keep.  The individual who is dependent on government is not a free person, but rather a subject of what amounts to a modern-day monarchy.

The Progressive Assault on America.  For over a century, liberal-progressives have focused on replacing our Constitutional republic with a statist, social welfare state.

Obama to Spend $10.3 Trillion on Welfare.  Since the beginning of the War on Poverty, government has spent vast sums on welfare or aid to the poor; however, the aggregate cost of this assistance is largely unknown because the spending is fragmented into myriad programs.

Why the Welfare State Is Doomed to Fail:  A lot of money is being forcibly taken by the federal government from the pockets of those who worked hard to earn it and moved to those who have done nothing to deserve it yet feel entitled to it.  Why is the government allowed to do what private citizens are not allowed to?

The poor are not poor because the rich are rich.  The formula for more black wealth:  less government, more ownership and initiative.

The Welfare State and the Selfish Society.  In the contemporary world, where left-wing attitudes are regarded as normative, it is a given that capitalism, with its free market and profit motive, emanates from and creates selfishness, while socialism, the welfare state and the "social compact," as it is increasingly referred to, emanate from and produce selflessness.  The opposite is the truth.  Whatever its intentions, the entitlement state produces far more selfish people — and therefore, a far more selfish society — than a free-market economy.  And once this widespread selfishness catches on, we have little evidence that it can be undone.

How To Serve The Needy At A Fraction Of The Cost.  Our nation's entitlement programs, from Social Security to Medicare to ObamaCare to dozens of welfare programs such as Medicaid, are all based on simple, late-19th century tax and redistribution ideas.  Politically, we will never be able to solve the entitlement crisis by simply trying to cut people's benefits.

Turning a safety net into a hammock.  The purpose of welfare is to assist individuals in need and ultimately to help welfare recipients out of poverty and make them self-sufficient.  Medicare was originally designed in 1965 as a Great Society health insurance program for all Americans age 65 and older and for the permanent physically disabled, funded by payroll taxes.  Medicaid is the means tested health program created in 1965 as part of the War on Poverty for people with low incomes and resources, jointly funded by the state and federal governments, and managed by the states.  These social insurance programs have expanded well beyond their original intents, and the unintended consequences has been to grow dependence on government support, instead of a return to self sufficiency.

Gov't Welfare Widens The Wealth Gap.  Starting in 1964, when President Johnson launched the War on Poverty, a well-intentioned crusade to end poverty, the U.S. has spent an estimated $16 trillion trying to help the less well-off.  LBJ and other well-meaning Democratic politicians at the time also hoped that the burgeoning welfare state would make people more self-sufficient, a noble goal.  It didn't work.  Today, some 44 million Americans are on food stamps.  In 2007, it was 26 million.  Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner recently boasted that U.S. issues more than 80 million checks a month.  But while the U.S. has more than 70 means-tested welfare programs, the poverty rate today is higher than it was in the late 1960s.

The Democratic Party:  Keeping Blacks Down Since 1964.  Shortly after President Lyndon Baines Johnson announced an "unconditional war on poverty" in his State of the Union Address in 1964, his administration embarked on an expansion of bureaucracy rarely seen in American history.  Moreover, within two years of signaling the start of that war, LBJ interwove it with civil rights initiatives so that opposition to the War on Poverty could be branded "racism" by Democrats running against opponents of big government.  Time has shown that if there was any racism attached to the War on the Poverty it was the racism which Democrats brought to the table.

Dependency, the Liberals' Natural Resource.  A Heritage Foundation report shows that thanks to multiple government programs, the proportion of Americans in some way dependent on government largess has suddenly jumped by 31.2% since 2001 after decades of much slower increases.  Even in inflation-adjusted dollars, America now spends thirteen times more on public welfare than it did in 1965.  Dependency has snowballed in health care, public welfare, and housing, and the upward trend seems likely to continue as Obama's statist polices take hold and baby boomers retire.

Socialism is really cannibalism.  When I work, I use up hours of my life... my limited, mortal, human, physical life.  The money I am paid represents the life I expended to earn it.  My pay — my wealth — is my labor.  It is the expenditure of some of my body's short, precious life on earth.  So when someone takes my money, they steal my hours of labor.  They consume not only the fruits of my labor, but my labor itself, that labor which is the very expenditure of my life.  When someone loots and consumes the money I have earned, they consume the part of my life devoted to producing what hey have taken.

And Just A Closing Thought.  You may not realize it, but our country, the United States, is rapidly becoming nothing less than a giant economic support system for government.  We are so very close to the point where Americans will no longer exist to pursue and fulfill their own potentials.  We will exist for one purpose ... to support government and those who depend on government.

The cost of food stamps is well hidden.
Majority of Farm Bill funds food stamps.  The Senate Farm Bill should be renamed the Food Stamp bill.  A document released by the Congressional Research Service, shows that a staggering 78 percent of the $995 billion of the bill's budget authority over 10 years is dedicated to food stamps and nutrition program spending.  Only about $223 billion, 22 percent of the bill actually funds agriculture programs such as crop insurance, farm commodity supports, and conservation programs.

Playing Politics: Democrats Block Drought Relief Measures For Farmers.  On Thursday [8/2/2012], the House passed a short-term $383 million measure to provide immediate relief for farmers and livestock producers impacted by the recent drought.  Conservative groups urged Representatives to proceed with caution on a pork-laden farm bill, as roughly 80 percent of the bill dealt with items such as food stamps rather than actual farming issues.

Food stamps and America's cultural divide over shame.  Some 46 million people now get food stamps, or 15 percent of the US population, up 5 percent in the last year.  Arizona is the only state that requires finger imaging.  The numbers in New York City are even more dramatic — 1.8 million people on the rolls, about 22 percent, even as the city alone in New York requires finger imaging.  City food-stamp recipients have increased by 600,000 in four years.  Part of the spike stems from the recession, but also from an Obama administration decision to waive asset limits.  You can be a millionaire and get food stamps if your actual income is below the limits, which go up to $45,000 for a family of four with child-care expenses.  The average monthly food-stamp benefit for four is $624.

Food Stamp Spending Has More Than Doubled Since 2008.  In 2008, taxpayers spent $38 billion on food stamps.  In 2013, that figure will be $82 billion.  Since 2007, the number of Americans on food stamps has skyrocketed 70 percent to 45 million people — or one out of every seven people living in America.

CBO: Cost of food stamp program increased 135 percent over previous 4 years.  The cost of food stamps has increased in recent years as more people join the program, which will continue to expand through at least 2014, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report released Thursday [4/19/2012].  From 2007-2011 spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (the SNAP program, informally known as the food stamp program) increased 135 percent to reach a cost of $78 billion last year alone, the report reveals.

The Dead Road of Socialism.  It is no news to anyone that the world can often be unfair, that families lack the things they need and that people suffer and die unnecessarily in ways that could be avoided. ... The government centralized approach cannot be defended on the grounds of efficiency, because government programs are notoriously inefficient. ... The only defense for government programs is that they are comprehensive and mandatory.  People can choose whether to contribute to charity, but they cannot choose to pay their taxes.  This brings the element of wealth redistribution to the table, transforming voluntary contributions into mandatory entitlements.

The Overextended America.  We in America today live in a country circumscribed by entitlement policies devised by an America that has steadily been disappearing.  Those policies established over a generation ago cannot possibly in mathematical or demographic terms support the America of the present much less the America of the future.  That is the stark reality.  We need to reform those policies or we shall go bankrupt, and raising taxes on the so-called rich will not fix things.  Even raising taxes on the middle class will not fix things.

America's Ever Expanding Welfare Empire.  A fundamental misconception about America's welfare state misleads millions of voters to reflexively support ever bigger and more generous government.  William Voegeli fingers the attitude in his book, Never Enough: America's Limitless Welfare State:  "no matter how large the welfare state, liberal politicians and writers have accused it of being shamefully small" and "contemptibly austere."

Government Creates Poverty.  The U.S. government has "helped" no group more than it has "helped" the American Indians.  It stuns me when President Obama appears before Indian groups and says things like, "Few have been ignored by Washington for as long as Native Americans."  Ignored?  Are you kidding me?  They should be so lucky.  The government has made most Indian tribes wards of the state.  Government manages their land, provides their health care, and pays for housing and child care.

America's Spirit of Enterprise Must Not Be Replaced By a Nanny State.  The greatness of America will cease with the continuance of a "nanny state."  America was not built with her hand out.  America was built with her hands at work.

Is the Obama Administration Politically Manipulating the Poverty Data?  The Census Bureau's recently created "Supplemental Poverty Measure" (SPM) looks like a ruse to artificially show economic and poverty-reducing improvement in time for the 2012 presidential election.  Longer-term, it appears to be a rigged mechanism for demonstrating how ObamaCare, assuming it survives legal challenges and attempts at repeal, is a resounding success.  If I'm right, the press is doing a really good job of setting things up.

Socialism's Fundamental Flaws:  Unsustainability is the fundamental flaw of Westernized socialism.  The origin of this flaw resides in the all-too-common human failing — the desire to get something for nothing — or at least not at one's own expense.  This proclivity is one to which politicians shamelessly pander.  Having government offer "free" entitlements lures people into repeatedly voting for politicians who promise to deliver ever more of such.

Trimming the welfare state.  Seventy-seven different federal government programs simultaneously attempt to address the needs of the poor.  The cost of these programs is climbing faster than Social Security, Medicare or defense.  The welfare issue hasn't been touched in over 15 years, so it's past time to streamline this overlapping and wasteful mess.

Income Transfers Alone Won't Eradicate Poverty.  Almost all Americans already live far above subsistence poverty:  most because of their earnings, and the rest because of government transfer programs.  This decline in material poverty is obscured by weaknesses in how the official U.S. poverty measure counts income.  What is now called poverty is really "income inequality."  Reducing income inequality is also a vitally important social goal, but it cannot be accomplished through income transfers alone.

Slacker America.  America's work ethic comes from our Puritan past.  When we were an agrarian country, you either worked or starved.  In the 19th and 20th Centuries, we developed into an industrialized nation, led by men with a solid work ethic, that became the strongest economy in the world.  This attitude was essential to our victory in two world wars and our transformation into the globe's sole superpower.  Regrettably, cultural attitudes have changed substantially, and we now often see derision of our traditional principles.

Free Citizens or Tail-Wagging Pets?  The American people are not animals.  We are not content merely to be fed, walked, and taken care of.  Nor do we take joy in fetching sticks and sitting, heeling, and rolling over.  As freedom-loving human beings, we have needs far greater than food stamps, welfare checks, unemployment benefits, and government-run health care. ... Most liberals fail to understand and acknowledge that by providing for all of one's physical wants, government destroys the deeper meaning and purpose of man's life.

I Lost My Country.  There was a time not so long ago when people did not depend on government to bail them out of financial difficulty, a time when the nanny state bred apprehension, not affection.  Now, it seems, in the new America almost everyone wants a free ride.  The non-taxpayer wants a rebate from the taxpayer.  The poor man wants everything the rich man has and he wants the rich man to give it to him.

Moocher Society.  This growing trend can only lead to one thing:  crippling our society.  There comes a point when the few producers can no longer support the growing masses of moochers.

Taking, not making.  Slowly, almost imperceptibly, our economy has changed from a dynamic growth economy into a non-growth, tired and spent welfare state.  The implications of this change are enormous and should be recognized by investors, taxpayers and anyone else who will pay in one way or another for this change.  There are at least three reasons why our economy has reached this point.

Entitlements are not Endowed.  Man made 'entitlements'.  'Entitlements' are not Endowed By Their Creator.  'Entitlements' are not sacred.  Man can un-make 'entitlements'.  And stark reality says we had better hurry.

Capitalism is Peaceful, Socialism is Force.  Government wealth redistribution is force, plain and simple.  It's not a power authorized by the United States Constitution, and it's never moral.  It's the principle of the thing:  Initiating force against another is always wrong.  When you form an army, a police force and build jails to house people who don't obey you, and you threaten this loss of freedom (including death, should you try to escape) for not giving up a portion of your money to others, then this is force.  And it's wrong.

The Voyage of the Doomed.  The welfare state is coming face to face with the problem of how to fund its generous entitlement system with shrinking numbers of highly credentialed service workers who can't find jobs.

Getting America Back On Track.  [Scroll down]  In a sane society, market forces would be allowed to work: those who are no longer making mortgage payments would be foreclosed on; those who are underwater, but can afford to honor their mortgage agreements would continue doing so; and government would get out of the way and let nature take its course, however painful that would be for some Americans.  Unfortunately, we don't live in a sane society.  We live in one where "victims" abound, victims who feel entitled to live in houses they no longer pay for, or walk away from their freely-contracted obligations because it didn't work out as envisioned.  We have a government giving people $8000 in tax credits to buy houses in order to artificially shore up the market, and judges delaying foreclosures because banks have done a lousy job processing paperwork.

Unbundle the Welfare State.  The welfare system represents the majority of government spending in most modern, advanced nations.  Even in the United States, with its ideological commitment to capitalism, spending on pensions, health care, education, and welfare accounts for a majority of the primary public budget across the total of federal, state, and local governments.

This article includes a lot of useful background information:

Teachers, Then and Now.  [Scroll down]  Thomas Lifson recently wrote [an article] about the enormous salaries of teachers in Illinois, a state where 14,000 teachers make more than $100,000 a year.  Do you think such well paid public employees could chip in 2 percent to help those less fortunate than themselves, people who are their neighbors?  Or has the habit of having the government administer aid sapped them of their charitable inclinations?

The Century-Old Gravestone With Current Appeal (To Some).  I don't know if the Democrats are genuinely sincere about their position or just plain dumb, but the idea that this country needs to extend unemployment benefits for those who've been getting checks for nearly two years has no merit at all. ... [T]he Democrats insist that extending the unemployment benefits somehow will stimulate the economy.  They are either brain dead or malicious.

The Welfare State.  When we look at what the term Welfare State means we need to understand that it refers to a state or political entity whereby the state assumes primary responsibility for the welfare of its citizens.  To have a welfare state stay viable you need to have a burgeoning economy, without such you set up the forces for disaster economically.

Why Do the Poor Stay Poor?  Of the 6 billion people on Earth, 2 billion try to survive on a few dollars a day.  They don't build businesses, or if they do, they don't expand them.  Unlike people in the United States, Europe and Asian countries like Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, etc., they don't lift themselves out of poverty.  Why not?  What's the difference between them and us?

Liberalism's Moral Bankruptcy Has Bankrupted America.  President Reagan liked to tweak his liberal critics by saying, "some years ago, the federal government declared war on poverty, and poverty won."  His statement is truer now than ever.

The Fifty Years' War.  This war has been fought over what defines American freedom.  Are Americans freer when they can pursue their dreams without government interference?  Or are they freer when the government ensures that all their needs are provided for?

More Proof We Can't Stop Poverty By Making It More Comfortable.  On Jan. 8, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson delivered a State of the Union address to Congress in which he declared an "unconditional war on poverty in America."  Then, the poverty rate in America was around 19% and falling rapidly.  Last week, it was reported that the poverty rate this year is expected to be roughly 15%, and is climbing.  Between then and now, the federal government spent more than $13 trillion fighting poverty, and state and local governments added another couple of trillion.  Yet the poverty rate never fell below 10.5%.

Liberal Fantasyland.  From 1959 to 1964, the poverty rate dropped every single year, from 22.4% to 19.0%.  After that, President Lyndon Baines Johnson declared War on Poverty.  And indeed, the poverty rate continued to decline, reaching 12.8% by 1968.  But despite the War on Poverty continuing throughout, the poverty rate sort of stalled in the 12-15% range.  It would climb back above 12.8% by 1980, and stay there through 1997, when President Clinton ended Welfare.  In 2006 it was 12.3%, below where it was when Welfare ended and about where it was in 1968.

A Nation on Entitlements.  Efforts to tame America's ballooning budget deficit could soon confront a daunting reality:  Nearly half of all Americans live in a household in which someone receives government benefits, more than at any time in history.  At the same time, the fraction of American households not paying federal income taxes has also grown — to an estimated 45% in 2010, from 39% five years ago, according to the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan research organization.  A little more than half don't earn enough to be taxed; the rest take so many credits and deductions they don't owe anything.

Policy Of Poverty.  An estimated 14.3% of the population, or 43.6 million people, were considered poor in 2009, up from 13.2% the year before, the Census Bureau reports.  This is the highest share living in poverty since the government began keeping records half a century ago.  How can this be in the richest nation on Earth?  Since Democrats took power — Congress in 2007, the White House in 2009 — policies that punish the productive private economy have become the norm.

The Welfare Script.  America's welfare state has grown into an unwieldy hodgepodge of programs that provide various forms of assistance to tens of millions of Americans.  It costs taxpayers nearly a trillion dollars annually and experts predict that, absent reform, it will keep growing in the years ahead.  The welfare state acquired its girth by following a familiar script — over and over again.

The Left's Psychological Assault on Independence.  The strength of a nation reflects the character of its citizens.  While America was once considered a nation of individuals fiercely independent and self-reliant, her citizens are moving closer to a state of dependence, characterized by irresponsibility and ambivalence.  This change has been instigated by the politics of collectivism and the growth of the social welfare state.

Dependence on Government Growing in U.S.  America has reached a tipping point in its citizens' dependence on government, according to a new report by the Heritage Foundation. ... For the first time since the Great Depression, Americans are receiving more aid from the government than they are paying in taxes. ... More Americans are not paying taxes.  An estimated 34% of all taxpayers have zero tax liability, and the U.S. is approaching levels of one-third of taxpayers not paying taxes for federal benefits that they receive.  Housing assistance is at the second-highest level in history.

Subsistence as Freedom.  The Democrats' political endgame requires citizens to accept subsistence as the new definition of freedom.  Democrats created a political and socioeconomic system where citizens are divided into racial, social, and economic classes.  Democrats concoct government programs, sold under the guise of compassion and equality, to an unwitting but fully complicit populace addicted to handouts, freebies, and benefits paid for by the sweat and equity of others.  Welcome to the 21st-century definition of freedom according to the Democrats.

Some Pay, and Some Receive.  The news that the United States has become a two-class society — i.e., half of Americans pay federal income taxes and half don't — has bounced around the media and shocked Americans.  Most people had no knowledge of this appalling economic fact.  Even worse is the reality that 40 percent of Americans receive federal government handouts of cash and valuable benefits.  Those handouts are financed by the people who do pay federal income taxes.

Pelosi's Republic:  If liberal Boomers such as Nancy Pelosi insist on creating government incentives for a generation of people to be unemployed artists who nonetheless have their health care paid for by productive members of society, there will be fewer productive members of society.

Buffalo named third-poorest city in U.S..  Detroit is the poorest city in America, with 33.3 percent of its residents below the poverty level.  Cleveland comes second at 30.5 percent, and Buffalo is the only other major city above 30 percent.  Anchorage has the lowest poverty rate among the nation's major cities, defined as those with populations of 250,000 or more.  Just 6.4 percent of Anchorage's residents were living in poverty a year ago.

Peanut Farmer Allergies.  Many of America's largest cities have been controlled by the Democrats for decades and now lay in ruins.  Look at the condition of cities such as my beloved hometown Detroit, Baltimore, St. Louis and so many others.  Our cities are sometimes as violent as what many of our soldiers face in war.  Industry and jobs have moved to the suburbs for any number of reasons.  And our fearless leader is using the most devastated cities in America as models for his hope and change.  Phenomenally stupid.

The More Given, the Less Earned.  The more the state gives to its citizens, the less they have to earn.  That is the basic concept of the welfare state — you receive almost everything you need without having to earn any of it.  About half of Americans now pay no federal income tax — but they receive all government benefits just as if they had paid for, i.e., earned, them.  America became a great civilization thanks to a culture based on the value of having to earn almost everything an American got in life.  As it abandons this value, it will become a mediocre civilization.  And eventually it will not be America.  It will be a large Sweden, and just as influential as the smaller one.

Uncle Sam's First Name Isn't 'Daddy'.  America did not become great by being a permanent daddy who keeps children ignorant and supports their every need cradle to grave.  Such a father would not simply be misguided; he would be evil.  We still have a republic.  If we intend to keep it, a great number of Americans need to give up the idea that Daddy will take care of them.

A Nation of Thieves.  Edgar K. Browning, professor of economics at Texas A&M University, has a new book aptly titled "Stealing from Each Other."  Its subtitle, "How the Welfare State Robs Americans of Money and Spirit," goes to the heart of what the book is about.  The rise of equalitarian ideology has driven Americans to steal from one another.

Wealth Solves, Rather Than Creates, The Poverty Problem.  Class warfare is alive and healthy in elite parts of America today.  Yes, elite.  Only elites — a tiny fraction of a fraction of the American public — are able to camp in public parks denouncing businesses, while other elites in high government offices and the media discuss them.  The rest of us have to work.

Is America Ready for a Christian President?  For anyone with eyes to see, there is a moral movement now spontaneously arising in America to fight the injustice of the authoritarian welfare state.  The enthusiastic Christian churches, the Tea Party ladies, the conservative movement, and at least half of the Republican presidential candidates are part of it.

Toll-Free Entitlements.  Since fiscal year 2001, the number of monthly federal SNAP participants has nearly tripled to 45 million, with corresponding costs over the same time period quadrupling to just under $80 billion, the GAO reported.  The increase in overall SNAP participation and cost at the state level derives partly from the recent recession, but also substantially from an increase in eligibility triggers that have added to the number of program participants.  "Since the federal government pays for 100 percent of the cost of food stamp benefits, state governments have a financial incentive to enroll as many individuals as possible in the program," wrote Heritage's Robert Rector and Katherine Bradley last week in a paper that outlined needed reforms to the program.

Reforming the Food Stamp Program.  The farm bill is due for reauthorization, including the food stamp program, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  The food stamp program is very large and growing rapidly.  President Barack Obama plans to spend nearly $800 billion on food stamps over the next decade.  Yet as large as it is, this program is only part of a much larger system of means-tested government assistance:  79 programs that provide cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to poor and low-income Americans.
[Emphasis added.]

Meet Hillary's Welfare Queens.  The standard liberal narrative about how uncaring, racist and evil conservatives are usually begins with the welfare queen.  That would be the supposedly apocryphal tale of a Cadillac-driving women on welfare who was fraudulently collecting multiple government benefits.  It was said to be the ultimate dog whistle.  Never mind that the story turned out to be substantially true, though some liberals had a hard time coming to terms with it.

Ron Paul: Black Caucus Only Against War Because They Want That Money For Food Stamps.  Former Republican Rep. Ron Paul, the father of potential presidential candidate Rand Paul and a former presidential candidate himself, said the Congressional Black Caucus does not support war because they want that money for food stamps.  "I was always annoyed with it in Congress because we had an anti-war unofficial group, a few libertarian Republicans and generally the Black Caucus and others did not — they are really against war because they want all of that money to go to food stamps for people here," Ron Paul told Lew Rockwell in early February during a discussion on sanctions.

The joy of welfare funded holidays in the sun.  Here are some of the jaw-dropping details from a report in the Daily Mail.  "A single mother on benefits has admitted spending £3,000 of taxpayers' cash on a dream round-the-world trip to far flung destinations with her 10-month-old baby daughter.  ...she still receives more than £8,500 a year in child benefit, income support and tax credits as it is considered that she has a low income.  ...she visited places such as Australia, Bali and Dubai.  Miss [Kay] Bird says she could work but chooses not to...


"If you want total security, go to prison.  There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on.  The only thing lacking...  is freedom."
Dwight D. Eisenhower          


The enormous cost and scope of anti-poverty programs


33 Percent of American Welfare Recipients Live in California.  The liberal state of California is a prime example of why liberal policies must not be adopted anywhere around the country as one-third of America's welfare recipients reside in the state.

74,531,002 Enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP.  As of April, there were 74,531,002 people enrolled in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program as of April, according to the latest data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  That is up 16,705,235 in the 49 states that reported their Medicaid/CHIP enrollment numbers for both the July-to-September period of 2013 (the last quarter before the Obamacare exchanges opened) and this April.  The 74,531,002 enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP as of April includes the numbers for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Nobody Works in One in Five U.S. Families.  No family member was employed in 16,069,000 U.S. families in 2016, or 19.6 percent of families, according to newly released data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The number of families with nobody employed increased by roughly 19,000 from 2015 to 2016, although the percentage slightly declined from 19.7 percent to 19.6 percent.  For the purpose of the study, the bureau counts a family as households headed by a married couple or by unmarried women or men.  The definition includes households with children under 18 years old and households without children.  There were 82,092,000 families in the United States in 2016, according to the bureau.  The number of families with no workers has remained relatively steady since 1995, when the bureau began compiling the data.

In 24 States, 50% or More of Babies Born on Medicaid; New Mexico Leads Nation With 72%.  In 24 of the nation's 50 states at least half of the babies born during the latest year on record had their births paid for by Medicaid, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.  New Mexico led all states with 72 percent of the babies born there in 2015 having their births covered by Medicaid.  Arkansas ranked second with 67 percent; Louisiana ranked third with 65 percent; and three states — Mississippi, Nevada and Wisconsin — tied for fourth place with 64 percent of babies born there covered by Medicaid.  New Hampshire earned the distinction of having the smallest percentage of babies born on Medicaid.  In that state, Medicaid paid for the births of only 27 percent of the babies born in 2015.

The 35.4 Percent: 109,631,000 on Welfare.  109,631,000 Americans lived in households that received benefits from one or more federally funded "means-tested programs" — also known as welfare — as of the fourth quarter of 2012, according to data released Tuesday [3/7/2017] by the Census Bureau.  The Census Bureau has not yet reported how many were on welfare in 2013 or the first two quarters of 2014.  But the 109,631,000 living in households taking federal welfare benefits as of the end of 2012, according to the Census Bureau, equaled 35.4 percent of all 309,467,000 people living in the United States at that time.

Los Angeles votes to tax itself to raise billions to support the homeless.  Homelessness advocates in America's second largest city were savoring a seeming double victory after Los Angeles voters appeared to choose to tax themselves to raise more than $3.5 [billion] for homeless services over the next decade, and comprehensively knocked down a second measure that would have slammed the brakes on many housing developments.  Tuesday's [3/7/2017] election was the second in a row in which voters aligned with LA's political leadership in calling for a massive funding effort to move tens of thousands of homeless people into permanent housing and provide the "wraparound" services they need to overcome addiction, mental health and other challenges.

California's 12,209,605 Medicaid/CHIP Enrollees Outnumber Populations of 44 States.  In the fall of 2013, the Obamacare exchanges opened to enroll people in health insurance plans for 2014.  The average number of Medicaid/CHIP enrollees in California in July-September 2013 — the last quarter before the Obamacare exchanges opened — was 7,755,381, according to CMS.  By November 2016, the latest month for which CMS numbers are available, the number of Medicaid/CHIP enrollees in California was 12,209,605.  That is a three-year increase of 4,454,224 — or 57.43 percent.

Number Of Homeless People In New York City Reaches All-Time High.  The number of homeless people living in New York City has reached a record-high.  The Department of Homeless Services reported there were 60,252, up 200 in two weeks.  Now, some are saying the city's current plan to combat homelessness isn't working.

Quality Inn in Bellerose said to eye severing ties with city homeless agency as crisis on streets hits new record.  "I can do the math — we are going backwards."  This is City Council member Barry Grodenchik's assessment of the homeless crisis since Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Steven Banks nine months ago.  Banks finds himself in one of the most volatile chapters of his career.  Protestors from Maspeth, Queens have been demonstrating on his Brooklyn doorstep as the commissioner deals with a homeless population that has hit record highs nearly 10 times in the past 23 days.  As the historic homeless population sits on the brink of exceeding 60,000, the agency is now also relying on commercial hotels to house homeless families.  PIX11 News reported last week that the city is using nearly 70 commercial hotels to house the homeless right next to paying guests.

70% Of Obama's Budget Is Writing Checks To Individuals.  What is the federal government's most important function these days?  Based on the Obama budget released today, it's not defense, or roads, or education, or the environment.  It's cutting checks.  Buried deep in the president's annual budget are a series of tables that few ever notice, but that are incredibly illuminating when it comes to understanding the size and scope of today's federal government.  The table shows how much money the federal government spends on what budget officials describe as "payments to individuals."  Obama's budget puts the figure for next year at a mind-boggling $2.9 trillion out of a $4.1 trillion budget.

Census Bureau: 21.6% of U.S. Children — 15,931,000 of them — on Food Stamps in 2014.  Of the approximately 73,623,000 children under the age of 18 in the United States in 2014, 15,931,000 — or 21.6 percent — were in households that received food stamps, according to data released today by the Census Bureau.  The information comes from Table C8 in the Census Bureau's Families and Living Arrangements data, which is derived from the Current Population Survey's 2015 Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) and which the Census Bureau says reflects 2014 numbers.  (The ASEC survey asks respondents about the receipt of food stamps in the previous year.)

Spending on NYC's homeless to reach close to $1B in 2015: study.  The staggering number includes all money spent on the city's 271 shelters from city, state and federal funds, according to the Independent Budget Office report released Thursday [10/15/2015].  In 2007, the three government entities spent a total of $604 million on Big Apple shelters.  That will rise to an estimated $976 million this year.

Food Stamp Beneficiaries Exceed 45 Million for 50 Straight Months.  The number of beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps, has exceeded 45 million for 50 straight months, according to data released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).  In June 2015, the latest month for which data is available, there were 45,510,153 beneficiaries of the food stamp program, an increase of 14,869 between May and June.  Beneficiaries of this program now exceed the population of Canada, which totals 34,834,841, according to a widely used source for such figures.

California's Medi-Cal explosion.  California is coming face to face with the reality of one of its biggest Obamacare successes:  the explosion in Medi-Cal enrollment.  The numbers — 2.2 million enrollees since January — surprised healthcare experts and created unforeseen challenges for state officials.  Altogether, there are now about 11 million Medi-Cal beneficiaries, constituting nearly 30% of the state's population.

Illinois Is Now the Biggest Food-Stamp User in the Midwest.  In March of this year, Illinois bumped off Michigan to become the Midwest's No. 1 user of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.  For the past several years, Michigan had a higher percentage of its residents on food stamps than any other Midwest state.  But not anymore.  Illinois now has a higher portion of its population on food stamps than any state in the Midwest.

Homelessness and empty stores becoming the new normal in NYC.  The urban streetscape is degrading. Take a walk down Broadway on the Upper West Side from the 100s to the 70s, as I did Sunday, and you'll see it everywhere.  It seems every barren storefront with a rental sign in the window has become impromptu outdoor housing for a homeless person. [...] The number of people living on the street in the neighborhood, or at least taking up daytime residence to beg for change, has skyrocketed from a mere handful to several dozen or more.

One in Five Americans Participates in Government Assistance Programs Each Month.  "Approximately 52.2 million (or 21.3 percent) people in the U.S. participated in major means-tested government assistance programs each month in 2012," according to the Census Bureau's report.  Means-tested programs include Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and General Assistance (GA).  The number of beneficiaries of these means-tested programs has increased significantly over the last decade.  According to the Census, in 2004 there were nearly 42 million monthly recipients of these programs.  Between that year and 2012, monthly participation increased by 24.9 percent.

America's Coming Transfer of Wealth.  According to the CBO's annual Long-Term Budget Outlook, if current laws were to remain unchanged, government spending as a share of gross domestic product would reach 22.2 percent in fiscal 2025, up from 20.5 percent today.  By then, even under a very rosy GDP growth scenario, the debt would amount to 78 percent of the economy. [...] The deterioration comes fully from the explosion of major health care programs, Social Security and escalating interest on debt costs.  More precisely, Medicare, Medicaid, Affordable Care Act subsidies, and Social Security are the drivers of our future debt.  Spending on these programs alone could reach 11.8 percent of GDP in fiscal 2025 and 14.2 percent of GDP in 2040, up from 10.1 percent today.

Feds Spent $100 Billion on Food Assistance Last Year: 109,930,090 Americans participated in overlapping programs.  The federal government spent $100 billion providing food assistance to Americans last year, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  The lion's share of spending comes from the food stamp program, which gave benefits to an average 46 million Americans in 2014, at a cost of $74.6 billion, according to a testimony from the GAO's Director of Education, Workforce, and Income Security Kay E. Brown before the House Subcommittee on Nutrition Wednesday [5/20/2015].  The national school lunch program was second, costing $11.3 billion, followed by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) at $7.1 billion.  Other spending included $1.9 billion for nutrition assistance for Puerto Rico, and $10.7 million for the "Special Milk Program."

America is a food stamp nation.  The gospel according to Wall Street, the White House and propaganda media is that the U.S. economy is recovering just fine. [...] Yet as of January 2015, the number of Americans receiving food stamps, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP, had topped 46 million for 41 straight months, according to data released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).  Every month now for more than three years, going back to September 2011, 14.5 percent of the American population received food stamps.

Homelessness up 12% in L.A. city and county.  The homeless population jumped 12% in the last two years in both the city and county of Los Angeles, driven by soaring rents, low wages and stubbornly high unemployment, according to a report released Monday [5/11/2015].  In one of the most striking findings, the number of tents, makeshift encampments and vehicles occupied by homeless people soared 85%, to 9,535, according to biennial figures from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.

The Editor says...
High rent and low wages can be blamed on illegal aliens who should have been stopped at the Mexican border instead of being welcomed in.  High unemployment can be blamed on Obamacare and other red tape and regulations imposed by Barack H. Obama and his minions.  In other words, left-wing liberals are entirely to blame.

Memo: 353,000 Refugees on Food Stamps, 55,000 Receiving Supplemental Security Income.  More than 350,000 refugees in the United States are on food stamps, according the Congressional Research Service (CRS).  In a memo to the Senate Judiciary Committee released Thursday [4/23/2015] but dated April 14, CRS offers data on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — or food stamps — and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) use among refugees.  It also provided refugee benefit usage statistics for medical assistance, cash assistance and public housing.  In Fiscal Year 2013, there were about 353,000 refugees on SNAP.  As of December 2014, 55,000 refugees, asylees, and other similar populations receiving payments from SSI, the memo reveals.

$56B: EITC Payouts Hit Record.  The "refundable portion" of Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) payments hit a record $56,189,578,000 in 2012, the latest year for which the Internal Revenue Service has made data available.  A total of $64,128,627,000 in Earned Income Tax Credits was claimed in 2012.  Of that, $56,189,578,000 was the "refundable portion" — paid out if the Treasury in excess of the net taxes the recipient owed.  That means that only $7,939,049,000 — or 12.4 percent — of the total Earned Income Tax Credit amount in 2012 was used for a tax reduction.

Michigan Has More Food Stamp Recipients Than Students.  Michigan, which announced on Friday [12/26/2014] plans to begin drug testing some welfare recipients, currently has 1,679,421 individuals on food stamps (known officially as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP), according to the U.S. Agriculture Department.  According to the Michigan Department of Education, the state's total pupil count for K-12 is 1,564,114. [...] [In 2014], Michigan's food stamp program cost taxpayers $2,576,165,148.

65 Percent of Children Live in Households on Federal Aid Programs.  The Census Bureau reported in a study released this week that 65 percent of American children lived in households taking aid from one or more federal program as of the fall of 2011.  "Almost two-thirds (65 percent) of children," said the Census Bureau, "lived in households that participated in at least one or more of the following government aid programs:  Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Medicaid, and the National School Lunch Program."  How to be dependent on government is now one of the earliest life lessons America is teaching nearly a supermajority of children.

Federal Spending by the Numbers, 2014.  In FY 2012, the total cost of federal and state means-tested welfare programs reached nearly $950 billion, an all-time high.  Welfare spending has increased 16-fold since the federal government began the "War on Poverty" in the 1960s and is projected only to increase.  This does not include spending on Social Security or Medicare.  Today, there are roughly 80 federal means-tested welfare programs, including major programs like Medicaid, food stamps, the refundable Earned Income Tax Credit, public housing, Supplemental Security Income, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.  Food stamps are one of the largest and fastest-growing means-tested welfare programs.  Costs have doubled in inflation-adjusted terms since 2008.  In 2012, more than 46 million Americans received food stamps every month.

Nearly 1 in 5 Households Will Celebrate Thanksgiving on Food Stamps.  Nearly one in five U.S. households will celebrate Thanksgiving on food stamps this year, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on participation in the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program.  Back in fiscal 2000, there were 106,061,000 households in the United States and, according to a USDA report published in November 2012, there was a monthly average of 7,335,000 households — or 6.9 percent — getting food stamps that year.

Food Stamp Recipients Top 46 Million for 36th Straight Month.  The number of beneficiaries on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — food stamps — has now topped 46,000,000 for 36 straight months, according to new data released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).  From September 2011 through August 2014, the latest month for which data is available, the number of persons participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has exceeded 46 million.

Nearly 68,000 Florida Students Using Tax Credit Scholarships.  The scholarships, worth $5,272 apiece this year, are limited to families who qualify for free- or reduced-price lunch, meaning family incomes below 185 percent of the federal poverty level.  Partial scholarships are available for renewal students in households up to 230 percent of poverty.  This year's preliminary data shows the average income of participating families is 5 percent above poverty.  Nearly 70 percent of scholarship students are black or Hispanic.

Alaska, West Coast lead U.S. in receiving welfare.  Alaska has the highest rate of residents receiving welfare of any state.  The Census Bureau reported Tuesday [9/2/2014] that almost 7 percent of people in the Frontier State receive public assistance from the federal or state government, more than a percentage point more than the state with the next highest rate.

The Editor says...
The seven percent figure is surprisingly low because it includes only those who receive TANF/AFDC, and excludes the recipients of food stamps or disability insurance.

Data shows more than a THIRD of the U.S. is on welfare handouts.  New census data has revealed that around 110 million Americans are receiving government assistance of some kind.  The number includes people receiving 'means-tested' federal benefits and subsidies based on income.  Those receiving food stamps, subsidised housing and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families are also included in the total.  At the end of 2012 around 83 million were collecting Medicaid and 51.5 million were on food stamps, with some benefitting from multiple programs.  Analysts have raised concerns that the programs are encouraging people to stay at home rather than work.

That bad, huh?
Retailers want food stamp data secret.  Retail chains that accept food stamps are fighting a regulatory initiative to make public store-by-store data on their participation in the $80 billion government program.  How many food stamps — known officially as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program — are redeemed at which stores has long been viewed by the companies and the Department of Agriculture as a commercial trade secret and thus exempt from disclosure.  But a recent federal appeals court decision on a Freedom of Information Act request by a South Dakota newspaper has forced USDA to reconsider that stance.

Census figures show more than one-third of Americans receiving welfare benefits.  Newly released Census data reveals nearly 110 million Americans — more than one-third of the country — are receiving government assistance of some kind.  The number counts people receiving what are known as "means-tested" federal benefits, or subsidies based on income.  This includes welfare programs ranging from food stamps to subsidized housing to the program most commonly referred to as "welfare," Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.  At the end of 2012, according to the stats, 51.5 million were on food stamps, while 83 million were collecting Medicaid — with some benefitting from multiple programs.

The 35.4 Percent: 109,631,000 on Welfare.  109,631,000 Americans lived in households that received benefits from one or more federally funded "means-tested programs" — also known as welfare — as of the fourth quarter of 2012, according to data released Tuesday [8/19/2014] by the Census Bureau.  The Census Bureau has not yet reported how many were on welfare in 2013 or the first two quarters of 2014.  But the 109,631,000 living in households taking federal welfare benefits as of the end of 2012, according to the Census Bureau, equaled 35.4 percent of all 309,467,000 people living in the United States at that time.  When those receiving benefits from non-means-tested federal programs — such as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and veterans benefits — were added to those taking welfare benefits, it turned out that 153,323,000 people were getting federal benefits of some type at the end of 2012.  Subtract the 3,297,000 who were receiving veterans' benefits from the total, and that leaves 150,026,000 people receiving non-veterans' benefits.

Americans Got $2 Trillion in Benefits from Federal Government in 2013.  The treasury statement summarizes the financial activities of the federal government, including data on government receipts, outlays, and surplus and deficit totals.  The September 2013 monthly treasury statement calculates these metrics for the entire fiscal year of 2013, which began on October 1, 2012 and ended on September 30, 2013.  According to the statement, the federal government's total outlays, otherwise known as spending, for means-tested and non-means tested government programs — not including administrative expenses — totaled $2,007,611,200,000 in fiscal year 2013.

Homeless People Shower on New Bus in San Francisco.  In May, San Francisco introduced the "Hook-up Truck," providing intimate space for couples on the go.  Now, the city is welcoming the "Lava Mae," a public shower on a bus, aimed at the city's large homeless population.  San Francisco has been fighting a losing battle with homelessness for decades.  City officials concede that they have made little progress over the years despite massive spending, amounting to $34 per homeless person per day.

Food Stamp Recipients Outnumber Women Who Work Full-Time.  People participating in the food stamp program outnumbered the women who worked full-time, year-round in the United States in 2012, according to data from the Department of Agriculture and the Census Bureau.  In the average month of 2012, according to the Department of Agriculture, there were 46,609,000 people participating in the food stamp program (formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).  That contrasts with the 44,059,000 women who worked full-time, year-round in 2012, according to the Census Bureau's report on Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States.

Obama proposes billions more for job training despite spotty track record.  Despite spotty evidence that the billions of dollars spent on dozens of federal job training programs are delivering results, President Obama is proposing to spend billions more as part of his $4 trillion budget plan.  On the federal level, the government already spends about $18 billion a year to provide multiple services to unemployed workers on everything from career counseling to job training and searching.  About half that money goes to Labor Department programs.

Welfare In America: A $1 Trillion Tab And Rising.  Republicans in Congress are being accused of fighting a "war on the war on poverty," in part because of a tiny cut in the food stamps program last week.  Democrats charge that these "cuts" will take food from the mouths of hungry children, and they claim this is an example of how Congress has shred the safety net for the poor.  Never mind that this is the food aid program that has tripled in cost and doubled in participation in just the last decade.  Even during the economic recovery, the number of recipients — one in seven Americans — continues to grow.

Pork in the Farm Bill.  The farm bill will cost taxpayers about $950 billion over the next ten years.  Lawmakers are calling this a $23 billion cut.  But as Veronique de Rugy and my colleague Chris Edwards have pointed out, this is a cut only in the Washington sense of spending less than previously predicted.  In reality, it represents an inflation-adjusted $258 billion increase over the ten-year cost of the last farm bill, in 2008.  That's a whopping 37 percent jump in real spending!  The largest part of this spending is not for farm programs but for food stamps.  The bill provides approximately $756 billion in funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) through 2023.

Seven Devastating Economic Facts.  [#3]  47.4 Million Americans Now Rely on Food Stamps.  The Department of Agriculture, which oversees the food stamp program, says that 47,415,895 Americans — roughly one out of every six Americans — now receives food stamps.  Indeed, for the last fifteen consecutive months, the number of individuals has consistently stayed above 47 million, a first in U.S. history.  Food stamp enrollments, which are considered an indicator of economic distress, have skyrocketed in recent years as the Obama administration has loosened eligibility requirements and aggressively promoted enrollments.

CRS: 'Likely Take Several Years or More Before Poverty Rates Recede'.  The number of people living in poverty in the United States hit a record last year, according to Census Bureau data cited by CRS, and the poverty rate remained stuck at its highest level in two decades.  "The 46.5 million persons counted as poor in 2012 is the largest number counted in the measure's recorded history, which goes back as far as 1959, and the 2012 poverty rate of 15.0% is the highest seen since 1993," said CRS in the report, which was published in November.

Only the Self-Reliant Remain Free.  The Census Bureau recently published some remarkable data.  As of the end of 2011, it said, there were approximately 151,014,000 who received one or more benefits from the federal government.  That was 49 percent of the population of the country, which then stood at 306,804,000.  Some of the people receiving federal benefits had paid payroll taxes their entire working lives in return for the privilege of living in government dependency during their retirement.  49,901,000 were on Social Security, according to the Census Bureau, and 46,440,000 were on Medicare.  Others, however, were simply on the dole.  108,592,000 people in the United States as the end of 2011 were enrolled in one or more federal means-tested welfare programs, according to the Census Bureau.

Obama Trashes America to Save ObamaCare.  The U.S. is hugely generous to those who can't afford to pay for health care.  Hospitals spend more than $40 billion a year doing so.  Doctors generously provide billions of dollars worth of free or discounted care to those who need help.  There are various philanthropies that raise billions each year for charity care.  And that's to say nothing of the existing government programs.  Taxpayers fork over $415 billion a year so Medicaid can provide health care for the poor, and another $500 billion for Medicare.  There's the VA for veterans and various state-run programs as well.  So, no, the health care system isn't now and never has been the cold, cruel, heartless disaster that the Obamas make it out to be.

Grand Theft Obama: The Biggest Heist in U.S. History.  [Scroll down]  The consequences of welfare state policies are evident everywhere.  Consider the following statistics:
  •   49 percent of Americans receive some kind of public assistance.
  •   More people collect means-tested benefits today (108.6 million) than there are full-time workers (101.7 million)
  •   1.2 million homeless children attend public school, up 72 percent since the recession began.
  •   46.6 million people receive food stamps, the highest number in recorded history.
  •   46.5 million Americans live in poverty.  This is the first time the poverty rate has remained at or above 15% three years running since 1965.
  •   Median household income is 9% below what it was in 1999.

Nation's poor at 49.7M, higher than official rate.  The number of poor people in America is 3 million higher than the official count, encompassing 1 in 6 residents due to out-of-pocket medical costs and work-related expenses, according to a revised census measure released Wednesday [11/6/2013].

Much-Abused Food Stamp Program Can Be Cut Responsibly.  The $5 billion reduction set to hit in November is a drop in the ocean for a nearly $80 billion-per-year program serving nearly 47 million people, especially considering how the program has exploded in the last five years, more than doubling from $34.6 billion to $74.6 billion.  Moreover, that relatively small $5 billion cut is a return to normal after a "temporary" increase enacted in 2009 as part of President Obama's and the Democratic Congress' massive stimulus-that-never-stimulated.  By now, you see, Obamanomics was supposed to have left the U.S. economy enjoying a Keynesian cavalcade of prosperity.  Instead, in spite of the weak Obama "recovery," the number of food stamp recipients soared from 28.2 million in 2008 to 46.6 million last year.

Welfare, Not Full-Time Work, Is Now America's No. 1 Occupation.  CNSNews.com's indefatigable data hound, Terence P. Jeffrey, dug into a few routine Census releases recently and discovered something shocking:  More people in America today are on welfare than have full-time jobs.  No, that's not a misprint.  At the end of 2011, the last year for which data are available, some 108.6 million people received one or more means-tested government benefit programs — bureaucratese for welfare.  Meanwhile, there were just 101.7 million people with full-time jobs, the Census data show, including both the private and government sectors.

Census Bureau: Means-Tested Gov't Benefit Recipients Outnumber Full-Time Year-Round Workers.  Americans who were recipients of means-tested government benefits in 2011 outnumbered year-round full-time workers, according to data released this month by the Census Bureau.  They also out-numbered the total population of the Philippines.  There were 108,592,000 people in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2011 who were recipients of one or more means-tested government benefit programs, the Census Bureau said in data released this week.  Meanwhile, according to the Census Bureau, there were 101,716,000 people who worked full-time year round in 2011.  That included both private-sector and government workers.

US poverty rate remains stuck at 15 percent.  The nation's poverty rate stood still at 15 percent last year, the sixth straight year that it has failed to improve.

Census: 49% of Americans Get Gov't Benefits; 82M in Households on Medicaid.  In the fourth quarter of 2011, 49.2 percent of Americans received benefits from one or more government programs, according to data released Tuesday [10/22/2013] by the Census Bureau.  In total, the Census Bureau estimated, 151,014,000 Americans out of a population then estimated to be 306,804,000 received benefits from one or more government programs during the last three months of 2011.  Those 151,014,000 beneficiaries equaled 49.2 percent of the population.

More Than Half of U.S. Fast Food Workers on Public Aid.  The Los Angeles Times, in its effort to support the unionizing of the fast-food industry, quotes a report by economists at UC Berkeley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign that asserts more than half of families of fast food workers get financial aid totaling $7 billion yearly from the federal government.

U.S. Report Makes Case for Food Stamp Increase.  The Obama administration blew an astounding $80 billion on food stamps last year but it wasn't enough to put a dent in the national epidemic of "food insecure" households, according to a new government study that aims to justify pouring larger sums of taxpayer dollars into the bulging welfare program.  It's like there's no end to the madness!  In 2012 a record 47 million people got food stamps, according to the government's own figures.  Uncle Sam spent an unprecedented $80 billion on the program, marking an unbelievable $2.7 billion increase from the previous year.

Food-Stamp Use Rises; Some 15% Get Benefits.  Food-stamp use rose 2.4% in the U.S. in May from a year earlier, with more than 15% of the U.S. population receiving benefits. [...] The number of recipients in the food stamp program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is at 47.6 million, or nearly one in six Americans.

101M Get Food Aid from Federal Gov't; Outnumber Full-Time Private Sector Workers.  The number of Americans receiving subsidized food assistance from the federal government has risen to 101 million, representing roughly a third of the U.S. population.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that a total of 101,000,000 people currently participate in at least one of the 15 food programs offered by the agency, at a cost of $114 billion in fiscal year 2012.

101 million! Recipients of govt. food aid outnumber workers in US.  There are now more Americans receiving assistance from the federal government to eat than there are full time workers in the country.  The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture estimates that the number of people participating in at least one of the 15 food assistance programs offered is now at 101 million, CNS News reported.

U.S. Gives 1/3 of Puerto Rico Food Stamps.  As if it weren't bad enough that a record 47.7 million people — and growing — get food stamps from the U.S. government, federal records reveal that a whopping 1/3 of Puerto Rico's population receives them.  This cost American taxpayers an astounding $2 billion last year, according to figures released by the government agency — the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) — that distributes the benefit.

Government Dependence In U.S. Reaches Absurd Levels.  Government dependence in the United States has reached a level never seen before.  50 years ago, the federal government handed out about 10 cents for every dollar that American workers earned.  Now, the federal government hands out about 35 cents for every dollar that American workers earn. [...] If you can believe it, more than 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program, and more than 70 percent of all spending by the federal government goes to "dependence-creating programs".  If we really are "the greatest economy on earth", then why is the number of people dependent on the government absolutely exploding?

Food Stamps Don't Stimulate Economic Growth.  First, food stamps are intended to serve as a temporary safety net for those who face economic hardship, not as an economic stimulus.  To justify food stamps as a stimulus to raise government revenue ignores the long-term economic consequences of welfare spending.  Total government welfare spending has reached nearly $1 trillion annually, and the food stamps program is one of the largest of the government's approximately 80 welfare programs, costing taxpayers roughly $80 billion a year.

Congress is getting closer to passing the $1 trillion farm bill, and it is a piece of work.  Despite the Obama administration's continual insistence that the economy is on the mend, the USDA's food-stamp program has exploded by approximately 70 percent since 2008 alone.  There are a record of almost 49 million Americans on food stamps these days, both because the Obama administration's persistent relaxation of the program's requirements and because of the administration's failure to move-and-shake the economy out of stagnation mode with their directly counterproductive big-government policies.

Record 10,978,040 Now on Disability; 'Disability' Would Be 8th Most Populous State.  The total number of people in the United States now receiving federal disability benefits hit a record 10,978,040 in May, up from 10,962,532 million in April, according to newly released data from the Social Security Administration.  The 10,978,040 disability beneficiaries in the United States now exceed the population of all but seven states.

The Editor says...
The hypothetical State of Disability would probably have the highest per capita income and the lowest GDP, too.

72,600,000: Record Number on Medicaid in 2012.  A record 72,600,000 were enrolled in Medicaid for at least one month in fiscal 2012, up from 71,700,000 in fiscal 2011, according to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), which provides an annual report to Congress on Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.  The 72,600,000 enrolled in Medicaid in the United States in 2012 was more than the 65,630,692 people who lived in France last year, according to data published by the Census Bureau, or the 63,047,162 people who lived in the United Kingdom.

Unsustainable and Unconstitutional General Welfare Spending.  Obviously, there is a spending problem in Washington, D.C., and the reason for it is no mystery.  The largest expenditure in Obama's budget — and the largest federal outlay in every budget since 1970 — is an expense item labeled "payments for individuals," which includes spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment benefits, disability payments, and other federal welfare subsidies.  These payments constituted 65 percent of all federal spending in 2012 and are expected to grow to 70 percent in 2016.  (By contrast, national defense spending was 19 percent of the federal budget in 2012 and will decrease to only 14 percent in 2016.)

Record Number of Households on Food Stamps- 1 out of Every 5.  The latest available data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that a record number 23 million households in the United States are now on food stamps.  The most recent Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP) statistics of the number of households receiving food stamps shows that 23,087,886 households participated in January 2013 — an increase of 889,154 families from January 2012 when the number of households totaled 22,188,732.

The Great Society needs to be replaced by the Free Society.
America On Welfare.  Nearly two decades ago welfare reform briefly captured political attention and won bipartisan support.  The effort was a great success.  But most welfare programs remained untouched and the gains have been steadily eroded.  Today nearly 48 million people, almost one out of every six Americans, receive Food Stamps.  Outlays on this program alone have quadrupled in just a decade.  Indeed, the government actively promotes the program, encouraging people to sign up.

Nearly two million NYC residents are on food stamps.  They've fallen through the cracks:  millions of jobless or underemployed New Yorkers whose daily struggle is to find work and food.  They certainly don't show up in the 9.1 percent unemployment rate for the city, since they have exhausted those benefits.  But the number of city residents on food stamps is on pace to jump this year from just above 1 million in 2007 to a breathtaking 2 million sometime this summer.

Obama's plan hatched at Columbia University.  Under Obama, 660,000 Americans dropped off the job rolls... just last month.  90 million working-age, able-bodied Americans are no longer in the workforce.  90 million.  The workforce participation rate is the lowest since 1979.  For men it's the lowest since 1948 (when record keeping began).  Almost 50 million Americans are on food stamps (20% of all eligible adults).  14 million are on disability.  Millions more are on welfare, unemployment, housing allowances, aid to dependent children, or 100 other free government programs.

Foodstamp Recipients Hit Record, Alongside Record Dow Jones And Record Debt.  According to the USDA, an all time high of 47,791,966 Americans closed 2012 in possession of the highly desired Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card, managed by who else but JPMorgan.  And with a civilian non-institutional population of 244.4 million in December, this means that a record 19.56% of eligible Americans are on Foodstamps.

New York's homeless population reaches record high of 50,000-plus: report.  The number of homeless people recorded in city shelters each night has topped 50,000 for the first time, a new report has found.  An average of 50,135 people — including 21,034 children — slept in shelters each night in January, the Coalition for the Homeless said.

CBO: Entitlements, ObamaCare To Make Up 53% of Federal Spending.  According to projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), entitlements and ObamaCare spending will comprise 53 percent of all federal spending over the coming decade, totaling $24.9 trillion.  In its updated Budget and Economic Outlook report released on Tuesday, the CBO projects that Social Security will account for $11.149 trillion in spending from 2014 to 2023 while federal health care entitlements, including Medicare, Medicaid, and ObamaCare, will spend $13.85 trillion.  (That total includes TRICARE, CHIP, and "other" spending listed by the CBO under healthcare.)

First Term: Food Stamp Recipients Increased 11,133 Per Day Under Obama.  During President Obama's first term, the number of persons taking federal food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP), increased by approximately 11,133 persons per day.  When Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, the number of SNAP recipients was 31,939,110.  By October 2012, the latest month reported, they had jumped to 47,525,329.  That means the food stamp program grew by an of approximately 11,133 recipients per day from January 2009 to October 2012.

Federal Welfare Spending to Skyrocket 80 Percent in Next Decade.  Federal welfare spending will skyrocket 80 percent over the next decade, according to new analysis by the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee.

Obama's New Economic Normal: Seven Devastating Facts.  [#2]  All-time record food stamp participation:  As of last month, for the first time in American history, 47,710,324 individuals — roughly one out of every seven people living in the United States — now receive food stamps.

Obama's America Will Become Detroit.  The Census Bureau estimates there are 563,055 people age 16 or older in the city [of Detroit] who could potentially work and be part of the labor force.  But only 54.3 percent of these — or 305,479 individuals — actually do participate in the labor force, meaning they either have a job or are looking for one.  Another 257,576 of Detroit residents age 16 or older — 45.7 percent of that demographic — do not participate in the labor force.  They do not have a job, and they are not looking for one. [...] There are 264,209 households in Detroit, and 91,204 of them — or 34.5 percent — get food stamps.

One million Americans entered poverty in the last two months.  It will take a while for Americans to get used to the new normal; having to work two or three part time jobs instead of a full time job because basically, there aren't any.  But as we discovered from observing people who live in totalitarian communist states, people can get used to anything.

United Welfare State of America: US Now Spends Over $1 Trillion on Welfare.  On Thursday [12/6/2012], the Senate Budget Committee released a startling welfare spending report based on a new Congressional Research Study.  According to the report in 2011 the United States spent $1.028 trillion dollars on welfare, which is more than the states and federal government spent on Social Security, Non-Military Defense or Medicare.  The federal spending on welfare entitlements now accounts for one fifth of the federal budget and consumes over 5% of the GDP.  This is almost a 30% spending increase since the start of the Obama Administration.

We Spend HOW MUCH On Welfare?  According to the US Census, individuals below the poverty line have increased from just under 40 million in 2008 to over 46 million in 2010, an increase from 13.2% to 15.1% of our population.  In other words, we've thrown WAY more money at the problem, which has paradoxically only made the problem worse.

Food stamp use reaches another high in September: 47.7 million participants.  Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, reached another high in September, according to new data released by the United Stated Department of Agriculture.  The most recent data on SNAP participation were released Friday [12/7/2012], and showed that 47,710,324 people were enrolled in the program in September, an increase of 607,559 from the 47,102,765 enrolled in August.

'Welfare Spending Equates to $168 Per Day for Every Household in Poverty'.  The amount of money spent on welfare programs equals, when converted to cash payments, about "$168 per day for every household in poverty," the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee finds.

A Nation of Takers Hurtles Toward the Fiscal Abyss.  The on-going negotiations over avoiding the tax hikes and spending cuts we call the "fiscal cliff" are the simply the latest act in a farce of self-serving political denial.  For decades now both parties have overseen and nurtured the expansion of the entitlement state all the while ignoring the slow-motion economic implosion whose predictable end can be seen today in a bankrupt Greece currently surviving on EU handouts.

Exclusive: Food Stamp Recipients Outnumber Populations of 24 States Combined.  Since January 2009, the number of individuals on food stamps has skyrocketed from 31.9 million to the current record high 47.1 million.  By comparison, in 1969 just 2.8 million Americans received food stamps.  Also benefiting from the rapid rise in food stamps are companies like JP Morgan who administer Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards.  A recent report by the Government Accountability Institute found that since 2004, JP Morgan's 24 state EBT contracts have totaled at least $560,492,596.02.  Last year, the food stamp program (officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP) cost taxpayers $72 billion, more than double the $30 billion spent four years ago.

5 Signs Of Societal Degeneration In America.  There are 47 million Americans on food stamps, which is an all-time high.  That's more than 1 out of every 7 Americans.  Since 2008 more Americans have gone onto Social Security disability than the net number of jobs that have been created in that same time period.  Within the living memory of some Americans there was no Social Security or Medicare in this country; yet we've gone from 16 workers for each retiree in 1950 to 3.3 today to an estimated 2 workers per retiree in 2025.

Foodstamps Surge to All Time High.  The Obama administration has finally released its report on the number of Americans receiving food stamps.  This report was released days after the 2012 election, nine days past its traditional release date.  The numbers show that Americans on food stamps is at an all time high.  Worse, the report shows the highest one month jump ever recorded.

Foodstamps Surge to All Time High.  You may recall that just before the election, the Obama administration announced that Hurricane Sandy was going to delay the release of October's jobless numbers. [...] While the unemployment report was ultimately released on schedule and before the election, now we find out about another report, the food stamp report, delayed for nine days after its traditional release date.  This report was also supposed to have been released before the election.  This report is devastating.

Foodstamps Surge By Most In One Year To New All Time Record, In Delayed Release.  [Scroll down]  There was, however, another closely tracked number which perhaps is far more indicative of the economic "growth" in the past 4 years, which certainly had a delayed release.  The number of course is that showing how many Americans are on foodstamps, and usually is released at the end of the month, or the first day or two of the next month.  This time the USDA delayed its release nine days past the semi-official deadline, far past the election, and until Friday night to report August foodstamp data.

Record 70.4 Million Enrolled in Medicaid in 2011: 1 Out of Every 5 Americans.  A record 70.4 million people were enrolled in the Medicaid health care program for the poor in fiscal year 2011, according to government figures provided to CNSNews.com.  That figure equals about 22 percent of the population, which means there was one person on Medicaid for every five Americans in 2011.

Government Welfare Payments Top $1 Trillion for the First Time.  In response to a request from the Senate Budget Committee, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) reported that federal welfare spending reached three-quarters of a trillion dollars last year.  When added to what the states spent on welfare, another $300 billion, total government welfare payments in 2011 hit $1.03 trillion.  More unnerving is that the report from the CRS didn't include spending on Social Security or Medicare.  Putting it all together, federal spending on welfare greatly exceeded spending on the military ($540 billion), Social Security ($725 billion), Medicare ($480 billion) as well as the Departments of Justice ($31 billion), Transportation ($77 billion) and Education ($65vbillion).

Welfare spending jumps 32% in four years.  Welfare spending has grown substantially over the past four years, reaching $746 billion in 2011 — or more than Social Security, basic defense spending or any other single chunk of the federal government — according to a new memo by the Congressional Research Service.  The steady rise in welfare spending, which covers more than 80 programs primarily designed to help low-income Americans, got a big boost from the 2009 stimulus and has grown, albeit somewhat more slowly, in 2010 and 2011. One reason is that more people are qualifying in the weak economy, but the federal government also has broadened eligibility so that more people qualify for programs.

America Won't Survive Another Four Years of Obama.  20% of Americans received some kind of means-tested government check in 2008, when George W. Bush left office.  Now 32% of Americans get some kind of means-tested support — food stamps, disability, welfare, and so forth.  That's a third of the country.  Transfer payments are now fully one-fifth of personal income, as I observed in an essay last year.  Obama's arbitrary and perhaps illegal changes in welfare work requirements create a cycle of dependency, as the Romney campaign has warned.

It's Not Really a Farm Bill: It's a food stamp behemoth.  This week, Congress is under pressure to pass the 2012 farm bill before the current legislation expires on September 30.  About every five years, Congress pushes through a farm bill, ostensibly a big bundle of agriculture subsidies that also funds food stamps.  But the name is misleading.  Nearly 80 percent of the $1 trillion the 2012 bill would spend over the next 10 years would go to the food stamp program.

Food-Stamp Use Climbs to Record, Reviving Campaign Issue.  Food-stamp use reached a record 46.7 million people in June, the government said, as Democrats prepare to nominate President Barack Obama for a second term with the economy as a chief issue in the campaign.  Participation was up 0.4 percent from May and 3.3 percent higher than a year earlier and has remained greater than 46 million all year as the unemployment rate stayed higher than 8 percent.

Food-stamp folly.  [S]pending on the food-stamp program (also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) has been growing rapidly for some time now, from $19.8 billion in 2000 to $84.6 billion in 2011.  Under the president's budget, this trend would continue, with nearly $800 billion in food-stamp spending over the next decade.

165 Million Americans Are Dependents of the State: Is Tyranny Next?  New research from Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee Jeff Sessions (R-AL) reveals that this reality may already be here, with more than 107 million Americans on some form of means-tested government welfare.  Add to that 46 million seniors collecting Medicare (subtracting out about 10 million on Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, and other senior-eligible programs already included in Sessions' means-tested chart) and 22 million government employees at the federal, state, and local level — and suddenly, over 165 million people, a clear majority of the 308 million Americans counted by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2010, are at least partially dependents of the state.

Over 100 Million Now Receiving Federal Welfare.  "The federal government administers nearly 80 different overlapping federal means-tested welfare programs," the Senate Budget Committee notes.  However, the committee states, the figures used in the chart do not include those who are only benefiting from Social Security and/or Medicare.  Food stamps and Medicaid make up a large — and growing — chunk of the more than 100 million recipients.  "Among the major means tested welfare programs, since 2000 Medicaid has increased from 34 million people to 54 million in 2011 and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) from 17 million to 45 million in 2011," says the Senate Budget Committee.  "Spending on food stamps alone is projected to reach $800 billion over the next decade."

More Than 100 Million Americans Are On Welfare.  There are more Americans dependent on the federal government than ever before in U.S. history.  According to the Survey of Income and Program Participation conducted by the U.S. Census, well over 100 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government.  Many are enrolled in more than one.  That is about a third of the entire population of the country.  Sadly, that figure does not even include Social Security or Medicare.

SNAP statistics:  Apparently updated regularly.

The U.S. Economy By The Numbers:
  5,400,000 — When Barack Obama first took office there were 2.7 million long-term unemployed Americans.  Today there are twice as many.
  16,000,000 — It is being projected that Obamacare will add 16 million more Americans to the Medicaid rolls.
  46,405,204 — The number of Americans currently on food stamps.  When Barack Obama first entered the White House there were only 32 million Americans on food stamps.

Food Stamp Rules Change Adds $460 Million to Cost in Fiscal 2010.  Nearly 3 percent of the households that receive food stamps in United States would have been ineligible to receive them if the income eligibility rules had not been changed, the Government Accountability Office has reported.  According to the GAO, in fiscal year 2010 the government spent an extra $460 million on the food stamp program — $38 million per month, or about $1.26 million per day — because of relaxed limits on the amount of income a household may have and still receive the assistance. [...] About one in seven Americans are now on food stamps.

This is why we can't build that.  In 2009, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the top 1 percent of income earners earned 13.4 percent of income in the U.S., but paid 22.3 percent of all federal taxes.  Given that the government collected $2.1 trillion of revenue in 2009, this would translate into roughly $468 billion in taxes paid by the top 1 percent.  That same year, according to the CBO, the federal government spent $87 billion on transportation and water infrastructure.  Put another way, the taxes paid by the top 1 percent in 2009 were more than five times what the federal government spent on infrastructure that year — which includes some stimulus spending.  The reason the federal government couldn't spend more than $87 billion on infrastructure was that most tax dollars were tied up paying for major entitlement programs.

The Welfare State — You Didn't Build That.  The welfare state is the single biggest financial problem we face, annually consuming more than the combined cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars plus the TARP bailouts.  Like The Blob, it grows by devouring everything in its path, requiring us to borrow $41,222 per second just to keep government running.

8,753,935: Workers on Disability Set Another Record in July; Exceed Population of 39 States.  The number of workers taking federal disability insurance payments hit yet another record in July, increasing to 8,753,935 during the month from the previous record of 8,733,461 set in June, according to newly released data from the Social Security Administration.  The 8,753,935 workers who took federal disability insurance payments in July exceeded the population of 39 of the 50 states.

80% Of Trillion Dollar 'Farm Bill' Spent On Food Stamps, Not Farmers, Senator Says.  Last night, radio host Mark Levin interviewed Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) about the recent U.S. Department of Agriculture agreement with the government of Mexico to "help educate eligible Mexican nationals living in the United States about available nutrition assistance," which includes the US food stamp program.  Sen. Sessions explained that the funding for this program came from a "farm bill" in 2002, which allocated $800 billion over 10 years for the entire US food stamp program — meaning that 80 percent of this trillion dollar "farm bill" program is spend on food stamps, leaving only 20 percent to go to farmers.

More Texas seniors receiving food stamps.  The fastest-growing group of Texans receiving food stamps is the 60-64 age bracket.  In the past six years, those residents receiving food assistance — now issued in the form of a benefit debit card — has jumped by 106 percent to 85,000 as of this month, according to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.  The total number of recipients from all age groups has increased 58 percent.

6 charts that show the Welfare State run amok.  The original purpose of Medicaid was to provide improved healthcare access for poor people, while not turning the safety net into a trap.  Under President Obama's Affordable Care Act, Medicaid will be greatly exapnded beyond what Congress originally intended. [...] A few scary factoids:
  •   In the 1960s, there were 18 workers per Medicaid recipient.  Today that number is 2.5.
  •   The number of Americans on disability has risen 19% faster than jobs created during this recovery.
  •   There are just 1.2 private sector workers per 1 person on welfare or working for government.
  •   There are now just 1.65 employed persons in private sector per 1 person on welfare assistance.

Some 15% of U.S. Uses Food Stamps.  Nearly 15% of the U.S. population relied on food stamps in August, as the number of recipients hit 45.8 million.  Food stamp rolls have risen 8.1% in the past year, the Department of Agriculture reported, though the pace of growth has slowed from the depths of the recession.

Study: More Than Half a Trillion Dollars Spent on Welfare But Poverty Levels Unaffected.  The federal government is not making much headway reducing poverty despite spending hundreds of billions of dollars, according to a study by the libertarian Cato Institute.  Despite an unprecedented increase in federal anti-poverty spending, the national poverty rate has not declined, the study finds.

The American Welfare State.  News that the poverty rate has risen to 15.1 percent of Americans, the highest level in nearly a decade, has set off a predictable round of calls for increased government spending on social welfare programs.  Yet this year the federal government will spend more than $668 billion on at least 126 different programs to fight poverty.  And that does not even begin to count welfare spending by state and local governments, which adds $284 billion to that figure.  In total, the United States spends nearly $1 trillion every year to fight poverty.  That amounts to $20,610 for every poor person in America, or $61,830 per poor family of three.

America's Ever Expanding Welfare Empire.  There are 184 additional federal, means-tested welfare programs, most jointly financed and administered with the states.  In addition to Medicaid is the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).  Also included is Food Stamps, now officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  Nearly 42 million Americans were receiving food stamps in 2010, up by a third since November, 2008.  That is why President Obama's budget projects spending $75 billion on Food Stamps in 2011, double the $36 billion spent in 2008.  But that is not the only federal nutrition program for the needy.  There is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which targets assistance to pregnant women and mothers with small children.  There is the means tested School Breakfast Program and School Lunch Program.  There is the Summer Food Service Program for Children.  There are the lower income components of the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Emergency Food Assistance Program, and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP).  Then there is the Nutrition Program for the Elderly.  All in all, literally cradle to grave service.

Welfare Spendathon.  Even without the extra spending in the stimulus bill, means-tested welfare spending is already at a historic high and growing rapidly.  In 2008, federal, state, and local means-tested spending hit $679 billion per year.  Without any legislative expansions, given historic rates of growth in welfare programs, federal, state, and local means-tested welfare spending over the next decade will total $8.97 trillion.  The House stimulus bill adds another $787 billion to this total, yielding a 10-year total of $9.8 trillion.

In a Welfare State, How Much Is 'Enough'?  California is imploding.  Public-sector unions there, and across the country, are swallowing budgets.  In California alone, pension costs have gone up 2,000 percent in a decade.  At the national level, Obamacare has done little to fix — and much to hurt — America's long-term entitlement mess.  Already, America's structural deficit has tripled since 2007.  Economist Price Fishback has just published a paper finding that America spends more on social welfare than socialist Sweden (though we spend it differently).

America's Ever Expanding Welfare Empire.  America's welfare state is not a principality.  It is a vast empire bigger than the entire budgets of almost every other country in the world.  Just one program, Medicaid, cost the federal government $275 billion in 2010, which is slated to rise to $451 billion by 2018.  Counting state Medicaid expenditures, this one program cost taxpayers $425 billion in 2010, soaring to $800 billion by 2018.  Under Obamacare, 85 million Americans will soon be on Medicaid, growing to nearly 100 million by 2021, according to the CBO.

More than 40m now use food stamps .  The number of Americans receiving food stamps in March topped 40 million for the first time as the jobless rate hovered near a 26-year high.  Recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program subsidies for food purchases totaled 40.2 million, up 21 percent from a year earlier and 1.2 percent more than in February, the Department of Agriculture said yesterday [6/2/2010] in a statement on its website.  The number of recipients has set records for 16 straight months.

Food-stamp tally nears 40 million, sets record.  The Agriculture Department said 39.68 million people, or 1 in 8 Americans, were enrolled for food stamps during February, an increase of 260,000 from January.  USDA updated its figures on Wednesday [5/5/2010].

Illinois' bad joke:  The state is three months behind in paying its suppliers and by spring it could be five months behind.  Keep this up and the state might bankrupt the businesses it needs for products and services.  If you were a doctor or a hospital, how long would you continue to give away your services under these conditions?  About 2.2 million people — 17 percent of the state's population — rely on Medicaid.  Most are children, low-income adults and low-income pregnant women.  But the elderly, disabled and blind consume the greatest proportion of aid.

U.S. Spending on Food Stamps at All-Time High.  The U.S. is now spending more on food assistance than at any time in its history, sparking a debate over whether the roughly 40 million people now receiving the latest version of food stamps at a cost of $73 billion a year are a symptom of a weak economy or are part of a long-term expansion in welfare and related programs.

Obstacle to Deficit Cutting:  A Nation on Entitlements.  Efforts to tame America's ballooning budget deficit could soon confront a daunting reality:  Nearly half of all Americans live in a household in which someone receives government benefits, more than at any time in history.  At the same time, the fraction of American households not paying federal income taxes has also grown — to an estimated 45% in 2010, from 39% five years ago, according to the Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan research organization.

America's Food Stamp Culture.  [Scroll down]  Nationwide, 6 percent of food stamp benefits are spent on sugary beverages, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, which administers the food stamp program.  The [New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg]'s tough-love approach to New Yorkers on the food stamp dole comes as a record 41.8 million Americans — including the children of illegal immigrants — are getting monthly food stamp benefits.  The average payout:  $133.36 per person.  News accounts about record levels of food stamp use invariably note that the jobless rate is at a 27-year high — yet curiously, food-stamp use has been in an upward spiral for years, with more than a few Americans becoming permanent users of the program, a fact that underscores the dangers of dependence.

Welfare State: Handouts Make Up One-Third of U.S. Wages.  Government payouts — including Social Security, Medicare and unemployment insurance — make up more than a third of total wages and salaries of the U.S. population, a record figure that will only increase if action isn't taken before the majority of Baby Boomers enter retirement.

Tax Day And The Future Tyranny Of The Non-Taxed.  Ah, April 15th!  I want you to consider that the date means absolutely nothing to 47% of US households as they will pay zero in federal income tax.  Yes, state, property and sin taxes still get them, but we are seeing a disturbing trend towards a tipping point where fewer than half of us pay any sort of income tax.

The Food-Stamp Crime Wave.  The Obama administration is far more enthusiastic about boosting food-stamp enrollment than about preventing fraud.  Thanks in part to vigorous federally funded campaigns by nonprofit groups, the government's AmericaCorps service program, and other organizations urging people to accept government handouts, the number of food-stamp recipients has soared to 44 million from 26 million in 2007, and costs have more than doubled to $77 billion from $33 billion.

For First Time Since 1936...
Government Handouts Top Tax Income.  For the first time since the Great Depression, households are receiving more income from the government than they are paying the government in taxes.  The combination of more cash from various programs, called transfer payments, and lower taxes has been a double-barreled boost to consumers' buying power, while also blowing a hole in the deficit.  The 1930s offer a cautionary tale:  The only other time government income support exceeded taxes paid was from 1931 to 1936.  That trend reversed in 1936, after a recovery was underway, and the economy fell back into a second leg of recession during 1937 and 1938.

10 States With Soaring Poverty Rates.  The poverty line is $10,830 per year, before taxes.  That single threshold remains the same for every American, whether he lives in Mobile, Alabama or the west shore of Maui in the Census Bureau's methodology.  To put it bluntly, that amount of money can go a lot further in Mobile than in Maui.  Where would you rather live with that lump sum, in Mobile, where a gallon of gas goes for $2.50 or in Maui, where it goes for $3.75?

What Do Liberals Have To Show For 50 Years Of Horrible Policies?  [Scroll down]  When President Lyndon Johnson launched his "War on Poverty," the poverty rate was trending down.  When he offered money and benefits to unmarried women, the rate started flat-lining.  Women married the government, allowing men to abandon their moral and financial responsibilities.  The percentage of children born outside of marriage — to young, disproportionately uneducated and disproportionately brown and black women — exploded.

Obama's HHS Is Bigger Than LBJ's Government.  Anyone who doubts that the trend toward socialism is pushing America toward ruin should examine the historical tables President Obama published Monday along with his $3.7 trillion budget.  In fiscal 2011, according to these tables, the Department of Health and Human Services will spend $909.7 billion.  In fiscal 1965, the entire federal government spent $118.228 billion.  What about inflation?  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' inflation calculator, $118.228 billion in 1965 dollars equals $822.6 billion in 2010 dollars.  In real terms, the $909.7 billion HHS is spending this year is about $87.1 billion more than the entire federal government spent in 1965.

Moocher Index
Go west, but not too far west, to find self-reliance.  The graph [in this article] was plotted by Cato Institute's Dan Mitchell from data assembled by the Center for Immigration Studies.  The horizontal axis represents the percentage of non-poor residents of each state signed up for government assistance — in other words, income redistribution programs.  Mitchell calls the measure the Moocher Index. ... Allow me to provide a few observations to assist you in seeing some staggering messages.
[#1]  6 of the top 10 (in fact, 4 of the top 5) states with the most moochers are in the Northeast.
[#2]  11 of the top 30 mooching states are on the East Coast.
[#3]  Fully half of the top 20 mooching states are on either the East of West Coasts.
[#4]  Half of the ten states with the lowest percentage of moochers are in the West, but not the West Coast.

Census: US poverty rate swells to nearly 1 in 6.  The ranks of America's poor swelled to almost 1 in 6 people last year, reaching a new high as long-term unemployment left millions of Americans struggling and out of work.

Expanding the Failed War on Poverty.  It is clear that President Obama is intent on not only continuing the failed war on poverty but expanding and growing the size of the welfare state.  President Obama's 2011 budget will increase spending on welfare programs by 42 percent over President Bush's last year in office.  Total spending on the welfare state (including state spending) will rise to $953 billion in 2011.

American reliance on government at all-time high.  Without record levels of welfare, unemployment and other government benefits as well as tax cuts last year, the income of U.S. households would have plunged by an astonishing $723 billion — more than four times the record $167 billion drop reported last month by the Commerce Department.  Moreover, for the first time since the Great Depression, Americans took more aid from the government than they paid in taxes.

Obama to Spend $10.3 Trillion on Welfare.  In his first two years in office, President Barack Obama will increase annual federal welfare spending by one-third from $522 billion to $697 billion.  The combined two-year increase will equal almost $263 billion ($88.2 billion in FY 2009 plus $174.6 billion in FY 2010).  After adjusting for inflation, this increase is two and a half times greater than any previous increase in federal welfare spending in U.S. history.

Obama to Spend $10.3 Trillion on Welfare.  Since the beginning of the War on Poverty, government has spent vast sums on welfare or aid to the poor; however, the aggregate cost of this assistance is largely unknown because the spending is fragmented into myriad programs. ... According to President Obama's budget projections, federal and state welfare spending will total $10.3 trillion over the next 10 years (FY 2009 to FY 2018).  This spending will equal $250,000 for each person currently living in poverty in the U.S., or $1 million for a poor family of four.

The War on Liberal Contradictions.  If one wants more government, the quickest way to such an end is to create a "crisis" that only government can solve.  After all, there is no way that we can fight obesity and hunger without the government, right?  Evidently not, because, again according to the ABC report, "a shocking 49 percent of all babies born in the U.S. are born to families receiving food supplements from the WIC program," which is operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  To qualify for WIC, women, or families, with children under 5 must have a household income that is less than 185% of the federal poverty guidelines.  Why not 175% or 150%?  What government bean-counter decided that 185% was the magic number?

Food stamp use rises to record 45.8 million.  Nearly 15% of the U.S. population relied on food stamps in May, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.  The number of Americans using the government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — more commonly referred to as food stamps — shot to an all-time high of 45.8 million in May, the USDA reported.  That's up 12% from a year ago, and 34% higher than two years ago.

America Becomes a Two-Class Society.  Income tax day, April 15, 2010, now divides Americans into two almost equal classes:  those who pay for the services provided by government and those who don't.  The percentage of Americans who will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009 has risen to 47%.  That isn't the worst of it.  The bottom 40% not only pay no income tax, but the government sends them cash or benefits financed by the taxes dutifully paid by those who do pay income tax.

Asians buck the trend as poverty rises in US.  According to a Census Bureau report issued Tuesday [9/13/2011], 46.2 million Americans, nearly one in six, were living in poverty in 2010, up from 43.6 million in 2009, representing the largest number of Americans in poverty in the 52 years.  In the case of Asians poverty levels remained at 12.1 percent.  Poverty among Hispanics increased to 26.6 percent; among blacks it rose to 27.4 percent; among whites it climbed to 9.9 percent.

Obama's poverty problem.  America is a poorer country under President Obama.  Since last year, the ranks of America's least well off grew by 2.5 million, according to the government definition of poverty, which includes a family with income of less than $22,314 a year or an individual making less than $11,139.  One-sixth of the country, 46.2 million, met this standard, according to figures released Tuesday.  That's the highest total since the Census Bureau began keeping track a half-century ago.

Expanding Federal Food Programs: Means-Tested Aid for Families with Children.  It is misleading to examine a few nutrition programs in isolation as if no other aid were given to low-income children.  This is particularly important since financial resources are fungible within each household. ... The federal government operates 71 different means-tested aid programs, providing cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to poor and low-income families.  In FY 2011, government will spend around $475 billion on means-tested aid for families with children.  This amounts to over $30,000 for each low-income family with children.

SCHIP: No Child Left Off Welfare.  Originally budgeted at $40 billion over 10 years, the program is on track to be reauthorized at almost triple the cost — topping $58 billion over the next five years.  And that would be only a down payment, if some in Congress prevail.  Currently, SCHIP eligibility is targeted to help only those households at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty line.  That's a $40,000 annual income for a family of four.  One bill now under consideration would double that cap — to 400 percent of poverty.  If approved, Uncle Sam would start paying the medical bills for kids whose folks earn as much as $82,600 a year (or more, for families larger than four).

Obama's Economic Record: The Worst Since Hoover.  The home ownership rate is the lowest since 1965.  The number of people in the U.S. who are in poverty has seen a record increase on President Obama's watch, with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty.  And government dependency, defined as the percentage of persons receiving one or more federal benefit payments, is the highest in American history.

Record number in government anti-poverty programs.  Government anti-poverty programs that have grown to meet the needs of recession victims now serve a record one in six Americans and are continuing to expand.  More than 50 million Americans are on Medicaid, the federal-state program aimed principally at the poor, a survey of state data by USA TODAY shows.

Food stamp use hit record 40.8 million in May.  The number of Americans who are receiving food stamps rose to a record 40.8 million in May as the jobless rate hovered near a 27-year high, the government reported yesterday [8/4/2010].

The Ballooning Welfare State.  According to USA Today, government anti-poverty programs serve a record one in six Americans, and that number is expected to rise as programs increase.  For example, the article reports that more than 50 million Americans are on Medicaid, more than 40 million receive food stamps, close to 10 million receive unemployment insurance, and more than 4.4 million remain on welfare.

Does America Deserve Obama?  Since the inception of Lyndon Johnson's "Great Society," we have had at least forty years of welfare programs designed to reduce poverty.  These programs have not worked.  The current U.S. poverty rate is the same as it was in the late 1960s.  So what do we do about it?  Instead of reversing course, we continue on the same path.

Americans 'Hooked' on Government Benefits.  A record 49 percent of Americans live in a household where someone receives at least one type of government benefit, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  And 63 percent of all federal spending this year will consist of checks written to individuals for which the government receives currently no services, the White House budget office estimates.  That's up from 46 percent in 1975 and 18 percent in 1940.

Income Inequality Myths Of Left Exposed Once Again.  Among the neglected or ignored factors [Diana Furchtgott-Roth] addresses are the role food stamps, Medicaid and housing allowances play in the statistics; the increase in both high-income two-earner households and low-income one-person households; and more small businesses shifting from corporate to individual tax schedules since the 1986 tax reform.  For instance, a higher percentage of low-income Americans — 26% in the poorest fifth of households and 31% in the second-lowest fifth — actually own their homes free and clear of mortgage debt than upper-income taxpayers.

Not One Penny More For America's Welfare State.  Here's the scorecard.  Spending on national defense, adjusted for inflation and population, was 42% higher in 2008 than in 1965, while housekeeping outlays were 76% higher.  Both, in other words, grew far less rapidly than the economy or federal revenues — both of which were about 150% higher in 2008 than in 1965.  But welfare-state expenditures were 583% higher.  In fact, the welfare state became the core of the federal government, growing from 26% of federal outlays in 1965 to 61% in 2008.  For years, the Democratic Party's raison d'etre has been to establish, defend and expand the welfare state.

49.5% of Americans Pay No Federal Income Tax.  The number of Americans on food stamps has risen to a record 45.8 million.  The previous record was 31 million in 2009.  Likewise, the number of people using free government-provided cell phones has shot up exponentially.  In 2008, the free cell phone program cost tax-payers $772 million, and in 2011 it cost $1.6 billion.  (Those free cell phones are expensive.)  Free school breakfasts and lunches have been complimented with free school dinners under Obama, and programs to provide meals to kids during the summer have even been added.  Moreover, jobless benefits have been extended to 99 weeks under Obama, and thanks to his new HHS mandate, contraception will now be free for nearly everyone as well.

Did someone mention school lunches?

1 In 6 Floridians Now Depend On Food Stamps.  Knowing government overlords and their cronies like the National Association of Realtors religiously double-count to disguise our nation's true unemployment rates, home sales figures, health care costs, national debt and the like, rest assured '1 in 6' Floridians on food stamps — when using government math — represents half of the actual statistic.

The takers weigh down the makers.  Here's a question of vastly more than theoretical importance to current and coming generations of Americans:  How much longer can the U.S. economy continue to produce enough wealth to sustain a growing class of people who depend on government for some or all of their daily necessities?  To pose the question another way:  Are we nearing a point when there are no longer enough taxpayers to support all of the tax consumers in America?

ObamaCare and American Power:  The United States currently spends roughly as much on defense ($661 billion in fiscal year 2009) as the rest of the world combined.  But that's a pittance compared to what we spend on three major entitlement programs — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Obama Will Spend More on Welfare in the Next Year Than Bush Spent on Entire Iraq War.  As a candidate for president, Barack Obama decried the financial toll that the Iraq war was taking on the economy, but Obama's proposed spending on welfare through 2010 will eclipse Bush's war spending by more than $260 billion.

Welfare Reform after Ten Years:  A State-by-State Analysis.  In an age when "reform" seems a tired slogan that seldom delivers what it promises, why did welfare reform apparently work so well?  PRWORA replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), a national entitlement program, with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), a collection of block grants for the states.  As a result, states gained greater flexibility in implementing reform:  They could implement time limits, work requirements, and family cap restrictions to encourage self-sufficiency.

Welfare in a Bad Way.  What most Americans identify as government "welfare" are payments to single mothers, food stamps and (perhaps) Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for the poor.  But that's not the half of it.  Since 1960, government has changed radically.  Then, 52 percent of federal spending went for defense, 26 percent for "payments for individuals" — the welfare state.  By 2008, 61 percent consisted of "payments for individuals," 21 percent for defense.  Social Security and Medicare — programs for the elderly — represented the biggest share:  $1 trillion in 2008.

U.S. Poverty Rate Rises to 11-Year High as Recession Takes Toll.  The U.S. poverty rate rose to the highest level in 11 years in 2008 and household incomes declined as the first full year of the recession took its toll, government data showed.  The poverty rate climbed to 13.2 percent from 12.5 percent, and the number of people classified as poor jumped by 2.6 million to 39.8 million, according to a Census Bureau report released today [9/10/2009].

Manufactured Healthcare Crisis.  Medicaid is funded roughly 50/50 by federal and state governments.  As an essentially free benefit to the poor, Medicaid has no tax associated with it, so it is covered by state and federal income tax revenues — that's you and me...   In 2006, Medicaid spending alone totaled $314 billion.  For perspective, this is roughly equivalent to the baseline defense budget (i.e. excluding war spending like for Iraq/Afghanistan).  State Medicaid programs are the largest single recipient of all federal grants, comprising 43 percent of the total.  In 2008, federal Medicaid and Medicare spending totaled $676 billion.  Comprising only 2 percent of the federal budget in 1967, these two programs today consume 23 percent of total federal spending.  This is the largest component of the federal budget, even exceeding total wartime outlays for national defense.

Welfare Reform after Ten Years:  A State-by-State Analysis.  On August 22, 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA). ... In the simplest of terms, PRWORA sought to promote work and marriage and discourage births to teenagers and unmarried women.  Most policy experts, liberal and conservative, agree welfare reform produced extraordinary results.  Welfare rolls dropped from 12.2 million in August 1996 to 4.1 million in December 2006, a national decline of 67 percent.  Studies show most former recipients left for work, proving wrong the predictions asserting homelessness would increase dramatically.  Other key measures, such as employment of never-married mothers, grew by 50 percent.  Employment changes of this magnitude over such a short period for an entire demographic group are unprecedented in Census Bureau records.

One in 10 Americans gets help to buy food.  A record 32.2 million people — one in every 10 Americans — received food stamps at the latest count, the government said on Thursday [4/2/2009], a reflection of the recession now in its 16th month.  Food stamps, the major U.S. anti-hunger program, help poor people buy groceries.  The average benefit was $112.82 per person in January.

Atlas shrugs, moves to Massachusetts.  Today's Wall Street Journal has an article on a drive to increase unemployment compensation benefits for New Yorkers.  The poor babies only get a maximum of $405 per week, whereas those in Massachusetts get $942.  Those fat cats get benfits which work out to be $48,048 on an annual basis.  The U S Census put median family income for all American families in 2006 at $49,207.

Low-Tax States Cut Poverty Rates:  Study.  Fiscally prudent states appear to be winning the war on poverty, according to a recent study by the Goldwater Institute, which found low-tax and low-spending states are more successful at reducing poverty than their high-tax, high-spending counterparts.  The 10 states with the lowest tax burdens saw a 13.7 percent decline in poverty during the 1990s (more than double the national average), according to the study.  Meanwhile, the 10 states with the highest tax burdens suffered an average poverty rate increase of 3 percent.  The poverty rate dropped nationwide during the decade, the report notes.




Politicians use handouts to buy votes

Welfare programs are permanent, because politicians want to stay in their offices permanently.  The recipients of unmerited payments from the government should not be allowed to vote, in my opinion, because they will obviously vote to keep the checks coming.  Exactly the wrong strategy is in place:  Government agencies actually encourage people to register to vote when they sign up for welfare programs.  That's because the bureaucrats and pencil-pushers like the system the way it is, just like the politicians.  Is there any way to break this cycle?  Yes, there is.  The idea is called term limits.

The Great American Rip-Off.  Ask a politician how he wants to balance the budget and, nine times out of ten, he'll give you a politician's answer:  cutting "waste, fraud, and abuse."  Normally, the correct response to this is contempt and mockery:  What drives federal spending isn't office supplies walking out the back door with a rogue secretary at the Merit Systems Protection Board — what drives federal spending is Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  And you know where there's a lot of waste, fraud, and abuse?  Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  Identifying small-ball efficiencies at obscure federal agencies would not do very much to get federal spending under control, but getting a grip on the shenanigans that plague the major entitlements — especially the health-care entitlements — could mean substantial savings, "substantial" here meaning hundreds of billions of dollars.

New Yorkers rally to subsidize MTA fare for low-income residents.  Sunday [3/19/2017] marked first day the newest MTA fare hikes took effect.  While the price of a single subway or bus ride has not increased, a coalition of New Yorkers said it was time to give low-income riders a break.  Activists, local officials, and community leaders came together to ask Mayor de Blasio to step in.  They want him to carve out a chunk of the 2018 city budget to subsidize MetroCards for New Yorkers below the poverty line.

The politics of envy behind 'white privilege' nonsense.  Many of those illegal immigrants trying to enter here come from circumstances much worse than any existing in our inner cities.  We live in a country with abundant resources available to all willing to work for them and that is why President Trump is pushing jobs for all as the real end to poverty.  15 TRILLION dollars have been spent in the war on poverty and yet liberals are still demanding more money for welfare programs so that the poor can vote and keep them in office.  Considering that most of these trillions did go to help the non-white, is it time to reflect that there might also be a black privilege?

Free rides on the subway:  Essentially an invitation to live on the train.
De Blasio:  MTA shouldn't hike fares because 'people are hurting'.  Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday the MTA should seriously reconsider its plan to raise fares for subway and bus riders next year.  "I am very concerned about any fare hike because I think people are hurting economically right now, and I think we have to be very, very careful about putting an additional burden on people's lives," the mayor said on his weekly radio show on WNYC.  "I think the MTA should be very careful on this fare hike issue."  Hizzoner also said he has yet to make a decision on a separate proposal by anti-inequality advocates calling for Metro Card discounts based on people's incomes.

Chelsea Clinton Blunder!  Admits Hillary Will Give Illegals ObamaCare!  As Hillary is also on board to continue to flood the country with illegal immigrants, this in itself could be the death of America as we know it!

Clinton offers Temple students debt relief, urges them to vote.  Hillary Clinton, campaigning Monday at Temple University, told college students — many of whom are drowning in debt — that she's the candidate to address their needs. [...] Clinton told the crowd of 300 at Mitten Hall that she has a plan that would offer debt-free public college for everyone, apprentice programs for those who opt to not go to college, and high-quality child care for every family.  The pitch was part of her campaign's push to get millennials involved and committed to voting for her in November.

California Dems Push For Obamacare For Illegal Immigrants.  California Democrats advocated for President Barack Obama to sign a waiver allowing undocumented immigrants to buy healthcare plans through the Obamacare exchanges Wednesday [9/14/2016], claiming the change would not be federally subsidized.  California's Democratic delegation sent a letter to the administration Monday pushing to make the state the first exemption from the Affordable Care Act's provision preventing illegals from purchasing plans.

Photos: Embarrassing Turnout For Hillary Clinton Keynote Speech At Baptist Convention.  [Scroll down]  Clinton repeatedly cited scripture during her speech, praising Baptist pastors around the country and promised increased government spending to assist their congregations.

Everybody's a victim.
Student loan bailout proposed for victims of university 'fraud'.  If that Ivy League philosophy degree doesn't result in the career of your dreams, cheer up:  You may be able to have your student loans forgiven by claiming you were misled by the university.  A broadly written rule proposed by the Education Department would allow students to discharge their federal loan debt if they can show that they were "defrauded or deceived" by a university's "substantial misrepresentation," an added layer of regulation that could leave universities and taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars.  "We do not need another federal bailout," American Commitment President Phil Kerpen said in a statement Wednesday [7/20/2016].

Food Stamps Across State Increase After John Bel Edwards Drops Work Requirement.  Louisiana residents receiving taxpayer-funded food stamps is on the rise in the state, even though the national average is dipping, thanks to a plan to nix welfare reform by Gov.  John Bel Edwards.  In an Associated Press (AP) report, some 19 percent of the state's 4.6 million residents are now on food stamps.  In just one year, the state has jumped 9 percent in food stamp dependency.

The Editor says...
There's only one reason for the Governor to make it easier to rely on food stamps:  Politics.

Obamacare Moves to Cover More Criminals.  White House officials on Thursday [4/28/2016] announced a new rule that would extend government-funded health care to most people living in halfway houses, providing coverage to nearly 100,000 additional people.  They also clarified for states that people on probation, parole or in home confinement were not considered inmates of a public institution and could also receive the government-funded coverage.  Medicaid, the program they will be covered under, extends to the poorest Americans under Obamacare and comes at little or no cost to patients.

This is Obama's America:  Everybody's a victim.
Obama administration to write off $7.8 billion of student debt for hundreds of thousands of disabled graduates.  The Obama administration is to forgive $7.8 billion of student debt for hundreds of thousands of disabled graduates.  Today [4/19/2016] the Department of Education announced a new process for identifying 400,000 borrowers with disabilities who are eligible for the federal loan-forgiveness program.  Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell said that too few people have been taking advantage of the program because they either weren't aware of it or felt it was too complicated.

The Editor says...
What counts as a disability?  Stress?  Unemployment?  No sound from the left stereo speaker?

Why Obama is forgiving the student loans of nearly 400,000 people.  Hundreds of thousands of student loan borrowers will now have an easier path to getting their loans discharged, the Obama administration announced Tuesday [4/12/2016].  The Department of Education will send letters to 387,000 people they've identified as being eligible for a total and permanent disability discharge, a designation that allows federal student loan borrowers who can't work because of a disability to have their loans forgiven.  The borrowers identified by the Department won't have to go through the typical application process for receiving a disability discharge, which requires sending in documented proof of their disability.  Instead, the borrower will simply have to sign and return the completed application enclosed in the letter.

Obama Admin Pushes Federal Funding to Fix Diaper Inequality.  The Obama administration has pushed some strange crusades before at taxpayer expense, but "diaper disparity"?  Apparently, yes.  The White House website features a plea for us all to "take action" on the country's "diaper divide."  This means pushing federal funding to the tune of $10 million U.S. tax-dollars to get "diapers to families in need."  "Nearly 1 in 3 families struggle to afford diapers for their babies," reads the March 10 post by Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.

With Every Other Problem Solved, Obama Makes Diaper Prices A Priority.  An official White House email alerts the public that while diapers "are basic necessities ... nearly one in three families struggle to afford them for their babies."  These families, the email says, are forced to choose among food, heat and diapers.  "That's a choice no family should have to make."  The email directed recipients to a White House Web page [...] wherein Cecilia Munoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, laments that while the lucky few can buy diapers by the truckload at Costco or order them for cheap on Amazon, "the benefits of the new economy aren't available to all Americans."

The Editor says...
Some luxuries are not "available to all Americans" because some Americans do not work, and some Americans are incurably stupid, and some Americans spend their money on cigarettes, beer, and scratch-off lottery tickets rather than spending it on diapers for their illegitimate children.

A Retrospective on the Obama Years.  [Scroll down]  Democrats have advanced two-tier drivers licenses, in-state college tuition, sanctuary cities, and all types of welfare benefits on behalf of illegal aliens for years.  For this, they have been handsomely rewarded at the polls — especially in blue states.  But that was prior to the mass child migration of 2014, high profile crimes committed by sanctuary city-protected offenders — and Donald Trump.  Put aside Trump's gratuitous insults and hyperbole for a moment, and even the inconsistencies and ad hominem attacks on his opponents.  His central premise is impossible to dismiss:  no sovereignty equals no country.

Colorblind America: A Malignant Fallacy.  Yes, African Americans are slightly more conservative than white Americans on social issues such as abortion and school prayer.  The problem is that African Americans do not vote on these issues.  They vote on one issue:  race.  Wealthy blacks are just as likely as poor blacks to vote for the Democratic candidate.  The reason is simple:  The Democrats are willing to give blacks more goodies.  Republicans should recognize that in the short term there is no way to win the black vote.  What they should do, therefore, is allow the Democratic Party to be the party of blacks and black demands.

Obama and the Insanity of the Liberal Mind.  Liberal economic policies like Keynesian taxing and spending and increased minimum wages are illogical and have failed.  Affirmative action and other forms of social manipulation will not produce more productive members of society but rather, more resentful minorities.  And bringing in untold numbers of indigent immigrants, whether Hispanic, Muslim, or otherwise, will only create more of a burden on government-run social welfare programs.  The illogic of liberalism has led to a doubling down of failed policies that are creating more poor, unemployed, and government dependents — and Democratic votes.

Feds' 'Welcome' Guide for New Immigrants Advises on Public Benefits — in 14 Different Languages.  The Obama administration has released an updated welcome guide for new immigrants in the U.S. featuring detailed sections about obtaining public benefits including food stamps, welfare, and Obamacare.  "You or members of your family may be eligible for other federal benefits, depending on your immigration status, length of time in the United States, and income level," the guidebook reads.

Loud and proud: The 'It's not fair' party makes it official.  Remember John Edwards speech about the two Americas?  In 2004, he gave a powerful speech about the two Americas:  the America of the privileged and the wealthy, and the America of those who lived from paycheck to paycheck.  Since I've always resided in that second part of the country, I was interested in hearing his solution and guess what?  I heard the same thing at the Dem debate weeks ago.  Take the money from the wealthy and give it to those like me who are struggling.  Only problem is, their plans always take the money away from me, the average taxpayer, to give it to someone who will vote for them even if they've never paid any taxes.

Welfare and race
Welfare and Race.  A single graphic explains why it is a waste of time for the GOP to try to challenge Democrat hegemony among blacks and Hispanics.


Obama program would give e-books to poor.  President Obama on Thursday [5/1/2015] will announce a strategy for providing 10,000 free e-books to children lacking financial resources.  Obama will announce the initiative from the Anacostia Library in Southeast Washington, D.C., according to Reuters.  It will feature $250 million in e-books committed by multiple publishers for the program.

The Editor asks...
What's wrong with ordinary books?  Too traditional?  Too American?  Too white?  The minute these "children lacking financial resources" get their hands on a new electronic device of any kind, they'll head for the nearest pawn shop.

Obama Is Not Hitler.  But if Obama continues to bring in people who have no interest in showing allegiance to American ideals and values, and all he does is entice them with goodies, is this not step one in transforming the country where the American Dream becomes the American nightmare?  After all, their first move was to break American law, aided and abetted by the con man in the White House.

Dropouts are the Real Problem.  "Give a man a fish and he'll eat today.  Teach a man to fish and he'll eat forever."  That old saying is one of the favorites of conservatives who see education as a path to a better future.  But that saying assumes that the proverbial "man" is willing to learn.  Therein lies the rub.  Too many men (and women) are content to "eat today" rather than "eat forever." [...] [T]he number of people receiving food stamps has, since 2009, increased from about 28 million to over 47 million, a 70% increase from 2009 to 2013.  Why is this important?  Because high school dropouts, those not willing to "learn to fish," make up nearly half the heads of households on welfare. [...] So what does Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama propose?  Another give-away program.

Landrieu flyer

Landrieu supporters papering town with threats of losing government benefits.  In the closing hours of the election, Landrieu supporters have been busy bees indeed.  One report coming in to Hot Air indicates that a very specific threat has been going around to anyone in several low income communities as to what will happen if they don't get out there and vote for the incumbent Senator.

Obamacare as Permanent Welfare.  President Reagan gauged the success of a welfare program by how quickly people were able to move off government assistance and into remunerative work.  Yet President Obama, the White House, and their allies are measuring the success of Obamacare by how many people can be enrolled in their new government entitlement programs.  The president celebrated the law's "success" in getting seven million people enrolled in Medicaid and eight million (or so) people enrolled in exchange coverage, 87 percent of whom are receiving government subsidies for their insurance.

Shrinking government and seeing a shrink.  Avik Roy at Forbes describes why he feels that Obamacare is unrepealable.  Once a government program starts sending out tax credits or welfare checks it is more firmly enshrined than the US constitution.

Dem Sen. Wyden: Give Every Child a $500 College Savings Account.  Sen. Ron Wyden, (D-OR) is intending to draft a law that would entitle every child born in the United States to a $500 savings account of their own.  Wyden stated that if there were universal savings accounts for newborns, it would "really put a dent in the poverty rate."

The Editor says...
This is nothing new.  Hillary Clinton had the same idea 6½ years ago, except her idea was to give every newborn $5,000.  The money wouldn't come out of her pocket, or Senator Wyden's pocket, so why not offer $50,000?

When the Have Nots Become the Haves.  New research from the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee shows that over the last five years, the U.S. has spent about $3.7 trillion on welfare.  "We have just concluded the 5th fiscal year since President Obama took office.  During those five years, the federal government has spent a total $3.7 trillion on approximately 80 different means-tested poverty and welfare programs. [...] The goal has always been to get enough people receiving benefits to out-vote the ones paying for the benefits.

Obama food stamps
Satire:
Amnesty Supporters Fast, Creates Glut Of Food Stamps!  A USDA spokesman reports that the glut is so severe that agency broadcasts (in Spanish) into Mexico to promote food stamps has been scaled back to just two shifts, leaving the graveyard shift and tens of millions of illegal alien wannabes in Mexico grossly underrepresented.  Domestically, food stamp gluts have become pandemic in California, Texas, and Georgia where millions of illegal aliens have joined the fast to protest the lack of respect for Mexican culture and tradition.

Who Are the 47 Percent?  When the federal government spends $3.8 trillion a year, it can buy a lot of votes.  Remember that every one of those 3.8 trillion dollars represents a check that someone cashed. [...] Democrats in Washington D.C. are euphoric because they believe that they have forged a permanent majority that will rule for the foreseeable future.  That is indeed a frightening possibility:  In today's world, with one in six Americans on food stamps and Kourtney Kardashian better known than Dwight Eisenhower, a coalition of the dependent, the uninformed and the rabidly partisan can easily constitute a majority.

3 million Californians could receive health insurance subsidies.  [A new] report estimates that nearly 3 million Californians could be eligible for generous insurance subsidies under the 2010 healthcare reform law, starting next year.  Anyone with an income between one and four times the federal poverty line — in other words, between $23,550 and $94,200 for a family of four — could receive a tax credit that reduces monthly premiums dramatically.

The United States is a Euro-Socialist Nation.  The unspoken and well-hidden reality is that the "West" has finally reached the point of saturation wherein its economies and societies can no longer afford to guarantee a certain standard of living for the citizens of these countries in exchange for their votes.  But that has not stopped the governing class in these nations from continuing on this disastrous path.

Washington Proposes $1 Trillion Bailout for Delinquent Student Loans.  America's now-nationalized student loan industry just reached a value of $1 trillion, according to Citigroup, growing at a 20 percent-per-year pace.  Since President Obama nationalized the industry (a tacked-on provision of the Obamacare bill), tuition has gone up 25 percent and the three-year default rate is at a record 13.4 percent.

Post-election surprise: A slew of bad news.  [For example,] Food-stamp enrollment hit a new record.  (Can anyone keep up with all the records Mr. Obama keeps achieving?)  In a mid-November Non-Surprise, nearly 500,000 Americans signed on for food stamps in the months just before the election.  In fact (and boy, are you going to be shocked at this), 47 million Americans now depend on the federal government just to eat (and — wait for it — that's a 47 percent increase under Mr. Obama).

Time to Let the Country Crash?  Perhaps these people forget that Roosevelt was re-elected three times during a depression that he helped prolong — a depression that featured soup lines and starvation in a population that actually wanted to work for a living and went on relief only as a last resort, and then with a sense of shame.  Thanks to food stamps, EBT cards, and other entitlements, Barack Obama actually had an easier time.  He just had to threaten that the evil rich would take away flat-screens and "crazy money" to get enough votes.  Imagine if people were really hungry.

What Did You Expect from Short Term Thinkers?  Obviously, what we've long suspected has been proven true.  The takers now officially outnumber the makers.  It's human nature to want what others have and not want to do what others did to get it, but Obama has taken that to a whole new level by fostering the belief that breathing is enough to guarantee you food, housing, education, and a cell phone.

Bleary Eyes, Broken Hearts, We Lost.  It is the leftist ideal world plus the lure of free stuff that brought Obama's vote back out in sufficient numbers to give him the win.  Free stuff and the promise of more free stuff is one of the few proposals that he actually ran on.

Is Obama buying the election with his welfare explosion?  With the unprecedented explosion of means-tested, welfare-related entitlements, does Team Obama think it can buy the election?

The Sure Cure for Voter Fraud.  The left already buys votes by the tens of millions using our tax dollars to elect toadies who will oppose our economic interests and moral beliefs.  The left creates a vast superstructure of taxpayer-funded public schools, libraries, and colleges to brainwash young minds into becoming robots of leftism.  The left does not need or want to buy or coerce individual voters; it does not even think of Americans as individuals.  So why does the left still need to steal votes?  The left needs voter fraud because at its core, the corrupt, vain, and dumb left is just that weak.  What can we do, though, if judges step in and stop laws intended to stop voter fraud from being enforced?

Free healthcare clinic at L.A. Sports Arena draws 4,800.  In addition to receiving medical treatment, patients were enrolled in a free coverage program to prepare for the federal healthcare overhaul that takes effect in 2014.

Obama Is Trying To Buy The Hispanic And Female Vote With Another Government Giveaway.  Now that the polls say that President Barack Obama's poll numbers with women and the Hispanics in the United States aren't as exceedingly high as they were previously, there is suddenly a new benefit to the farming — and rancher — community who are either female or Hispanic, who feel they were discriminated against in the not-so-distant past.  How ironic that this benefit to females and Hispanics is being offered right before President Obama's reelection date.  One might logically think that the timing of this benefit to these groups — who vote — is planned to sway their presidential election vote on November 6.  It's just one of the many, many methods in which an incumbent president can grab some extra votes in the eleventh hour.

Who Will Out the Outers?  Mitt Romney uttered an uncomfortable truth:  a large portion of the electorate has been bribed with government funds to vote for the party of government.  Noting aloud that the land of the free is slowly becoming the land of the freeloader isn't necessarily wrong.  It's just not the kind of thing polite politicians say in public — which, in defense of the too-polite Romney, he didn't.

Obama Saw Welfare Class As Major Voting Bloc to Push His Progressive Redistributive Agenda.  Now there is audio of Obama from 1998 where he said he saw a growing welfare class as a way to further his progressive agenda.

Buchanan: Obama 'drug dealer of welfare'.  President Barack Obama is a "drug dealer of welfare," conservative commentator Pat Buchanan charged in an interview with Fox News's Greta Van Susteren Tuesday night [9/18/2012].  "Barack Obama is a drug dealer of welfare," he said, speaking on "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."  "He wants permanent dependency, in my judgment, of all these folks... somehow getting benefits, benefits, benefits and paying no taxes."

Pat Buchanan: 'Fabian socialist' Obama 'is a drug dealer of welfare'.  "This is the great conflict of our time," Buchanan said.  "Are we going down the road?  Barack Obama, in my judgment, is a Fabian socialist.  You saw the 'redistribution,' and by that I mean he's not [Independent Vermont Sen.] Bernie Sanders, who is right out in the open and honest about it, but he's a Fabian socialist who wants to move through gradualism and reform, step by step, until a majority of Americans are dependent upon government.  When that happens, the party of government wins every election."

Why is the race close?  President Obama's re-election hopes should be growing dimmer by the hour.  His domestic policy has caused unprecedented suffering: high unemployment, gas prices that have doubled, and record numbers on food stamps and disability.  His foreign policy has emboldened our enemies.  Our embassies are under attack and Iran's genocidal leaders are closer to acquiring nuclear weapons.  And yet it is a tight race.  How can that be?  Perhaps the polls are wrong.  But it's more likely that decades of media propaganda and public school indoctrination, as well as growing dependency on government, are taking their toll.

Everybody is a victim under Obama Redistribution.  Not all of the 52.9% (69,456,897) Obama voters were government dependent, but the core that placed him in power certainly were, and still are.  How many of Obama voters then and now were then and now on food stamps?  How many of them sit it out month by month waiting for the postman to deliver their government checks?

"Buying the votes of welfare recipients in most blatant way."
Elizabeth Warren Dips into FDR's Bag of Dirty Tricks.  In an effort to stuff welfare recipients into voting booths in November, Warren's daughter Amelia Warren Tyagi is spearheading an effort to force the state of Massachusetts to send out voter registration forms to state residents who are on welfare.  The mailing will cost Massachusetts about $275,000. [...] But back in 1939, even leading Democrats saw the potential destruction of our political system if politicians could so blatantly buy votes.  In that year, Senator Carl Hatch (D-N. Mex.) sponsored a successful bill to bar relief officials from blatantly campaigning for candidates.

Feds: Too few Americans 'turn to government for assistance'.  More Americans rely on their families for assistance than the government, so federal officials have undertaken an effort to help people to apply for federal assistance.  "Given that only 15 percent of you turn to government assistance in tough times, we want to make sure you know about benefits that could help you," USA.gov announced today [8/27/2012].  The "government made easy' website has created a "help for difficult financial times" page for people to learn more about the programs.

Whistle-blower, documents: Illinois state workers forced to attend Pelosi, Jesse Jackson Jr. event on taxpayer dime.  Documents and a whistle-blower affidavit obtained by The Daily Caller charge that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Illinois Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., and Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., participated in an unethical — and possibly illegal — effort to force 76 employees of an Illinois state agency to engage in political activity on the taxpayers' dime.  According to the whistle-blower, Rev. Jackson also encouraged the government employees to load first-generation and low-income college students up with student loan debt — because Democrats in Congress, he allegedly promised, would eventually pass laws to forgive that debt later.  "[T]hose people will continue to vote Democratic," Jackson Sr. said, according to the whistle-blower.

Massachusetts Sends Voter Registration Forms to 500K Welfare Recipients After Warren Daughter Lawsuit.  This week, Mitt Romney ripped into Barack Obama's "culture of dependency" — and rightly so.  More people are now on food stamps than at any time in American history; Obama's administration has gutted welfare-to-work requirements.  There's a reason for that:  the Democratic Party relies on those to whom it signs checks to boost them back into office.

10 Concepts Liberals Talk About Incessantly But Don't Understand.  [#7]  Charity:  Contributing your own money or time to a good cause is charity.  Liberals view themselves as charitable if they take someone else's tax dollars and give them away to people they hope will vote for them in return.

If Obama wins, look for expansion of the federal dole.  First, on July 12, the Obama administration issued a directive that could result in the removal of the work requirement from the landmark 1996 welfare reform law.  The work requirement was the heart of that reform, and removing it would mean, in the words of conservative welfare expert Robert Rector, "the end of welfare reform as we know it."  It will likely also mean more people on welfare, should Barack Obama — who has opposed welfare reform from the very beginning — win a second term.  Second, the Obama administration has made a far-reaching effort to increase the number of Americans on food stamps.

U.S. Becoming a Nation of Dependents.  The Obama administration is rapidly pursuing its vision of a "transformed" America — an America in which most people are dependent on government, and therefore the party of government, the Democrats, will be dominant.  One of the administration's prime vehicles for stimulating dependence is the food stamp program, which [...] has exploded under Obama.  Food stamps now make up 80% of "agriculture" spending, and the Department of Agriculture has come under fire for aggressively building up the numbers of food stamp recipients.  The Department has put out literature explaining how to hold "food stamp parties" in one's home to get friends and neighbors into the program.  It also sponsored a series of Spanish-language radio ads encouraging illegal immigrants and others to get on the dole.

Obama's Kind of Immigrants.  Of course Obama wants illegal immigration.  Illegal immigrants will depend on the federal government for subsistence, if the federal government offers it.  That's the whole purpose of the Democratic Party in the first place:  To create dependents and enhance their own power.  But think about what this means.  The Democratic Party, and its standard bearer Obama, can only survive politically if millions of people depend on them for their livelihood:  Their food, their shelter, and what passes for medical care and education when run by the government.

They Mean Well. Really?  The war on poverty, that has so far cost $16 trillion, has beggared America while achieving results exactly contrary to those intended.  The lower-class black family has been all but destroyed, with 70 percent of children being raised in single-parent homes.  Millions of inner-city denizens have been sentenced to a lifetime of dependence and despondency, their self-respect demolished, their spirit crushed by the culture of handouts.  Meanwhile, the poverty level has not budged an inch.  If a racist enemy planned to destroy the black community, he couldn't come up with a more efficient strategy of achieving his objective.  Ah, but the deep thinkers who are responsible for this tragedy "meant well."

Roberts, Blankenhorn, and the Power of Liberal Intimidation.  Given how many more Americans define themselves as conservative rather than as liberal, let alone than as left, how does one explain the success of left-wing policies?  One answer is the appeal of entitlements and a desire to be taken care of.  It takes a strong-willed citizen to vote against receiving free benefits.

Government wants more people on food stamps.  More than one in seven Americans are on food stamps, but the federal government wants even more people to sign up for the safety net program.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture has been running radio ads for the past four months encouraging those eligible to enroll.  The campaign is targeted at the elderly, working poor, the unemployed and Hispanics.

The Editor says...
No, the campaign is targeted at the ignorant, the gullible and the lazy — especially if they are old enough to vote.

Magic Accounting.  Lots of Americans are conflicted and confused about our welfare state.  That's forgivable — its programs are numerous, enormous, and complex.  What's unforgivable is how conservative politicians, rather than disabuse people of these misconceptions, exploit them to win electoral victories.

Sessions: Reid unwilling to consider reasonable food stamp reform.  The Senate's final vote on the farm bill is expected next week, but according to Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, there will be no substantial reforms to the food stamp program due to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's obstructionism.  Eighty percent of the spending from the farm bill this year goes to the federal government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, constituting $770 billion in spending over the next decade.  According to Sessions, the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, Reid will not allow any of his reform measures — aimed at dealing with the swelling cost and growth of the welfare program — to even receive a vote.

It's Not a Welfare State, It's a Special Interest State.  The problem is that the concept of "welfare" has become an open, bottomless vessel into which every desire can be poured:  Government takeover of the entire health and retirement systems; detailed regulation of employment; manipulation of money; subsidies for housing, education, energy, food; or anything else that strikes the fancy of some segment of the public.  The "some segment" part is crucial, because today's welfare has ceased to be limited to that of the public generally, or to the welfare of any group that has a serious claim to special deserts.

California: America's Welfare Queen.  California is the nation's welfare queen:  The state accounts for one-third of America's welfare recipients, though it only contains one-eighth of the population, and there's no good reason for it. [...] The main reason that California is so dependent on welfare is its uniquely lax enforcement of the provisions of the 1996 welfare reforms.  As part of the creation of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, the federal government put in place a set of regulations on welfare payments to help or encourage recipients to return to work, such as the five-year lifetime limit on benefits.  California, however, is one of nine states that don't unconditionally enforce this supposedly nationwide provision.

Hope and Change ... the Constitution.  [Scroll down slowly]  We ignore history's numerous examples of how good intentions produce bad results.  Almost 50 years ago, another "transformative" president used government to launch a War on Poverty.  But for many welfare recipients and their families, poverty became "structural."  People became dependent on government.  After the government finally placed some restrictions on welfare, dependency declined.  Much to the surprise of those who denounced welfare reform as cruel, people changed their behavior.

The List Could Be Longer.  President Obama has been the worst president for business in my lifetime.  The result:  a stagnant economy where some half of American adults do not pay federal income taxes and almost half live in a household that received benefits from the U.S. government.  The President's rhetoric demonizing business and dividing the country, and the Administration's actions hurting the business environment or specific industries have dampened business hiring.

Dem Rep. Admits Party Expects Votes in Exchange for Gov. Handouts.  When Democrats are actually honest with the American people, they usually say things they wish they hadn't.  Like the time Michelle Obama told a Wisconsin crowd in 2008 that she was "really proud of her country ... for the first time in [her] adult life," or when John Kerry (D-Mass.) equated our military with terrorists, or more recently, when Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-Penn.) admitted that Democrats expect votes in exchange for all the free stuff that pass out to people via the government dole.

Government Efforts To Mix And Match Races Usually Fail.  Apparently the soaring national debt and the threat of a nuclear Iran are not enough to occupy the government's time, because the Obama administration is pushing to force Westchester County, N.Y., to create more low-income housing, in order to mix and match classes and races to fit the government's preconceptions.  Behind all this busy work for bureaucrats and ideologues is the idea that there is something wrong if a community does not have an even or random distribution of various kinds of people.

It's official: Obama, the Food-Stamp President.  A new report from the Congressional Budget Office states that there are now almost 45 million Americans getting food stamps — or, officially, the more genteel Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  That's one out of every seven residents.  The total yearly federal spending is $78 billion, which has something like tripled in the last 10 years.  The CBO estimates that the number of people SNAP benefits will continue to rise before beginning to decline at the end of 2014 — though, judging from the history of CBO forecasts, I'd say its guess is as good as yours.

The 'Obama Factor' and Unemployment Statistics.  The state-controlled Democrat Media Complex (DMC) loves to tout tiny improvements in the unemployment rate as evidence that the "President's plans are working".  I have to agree — those plans are working just fine — if what the President wants to do is reduce the number of makers, and boost the number of takers.  On that score, Obama has made undeniable progress from Day One of his administration.

7 Devastating Facts About the Obama Economy.  [#2]  Every seventh person you pass on the sidewalk now relies on food stamps.

Why Politicians Promise Heaven And Deliver Hell.  With all the talk about people paying their "fair share" of income taxes, why do nearly half the people in this country pay no income taxes at all?  Is that their "fair share"? Or is creating more recipients of government handouts, at no cost to themselves, simply a strategy to gain more votes?

The Entitled States of America: We Want More!  A record 46.5 million Americans rely on food stamps, and in 2010 the federal government paid out more money in the form of benefits than it collected in federal income taxes.  But perhaps the most striking measure of the success of the entitlement state has been the way it's eroded the stigma of being on the dole, while spreading dependency as a virtue as widely as possible.  In other words:  Everybody should buy everybody's free lunch.  And free breakfast too.

The Taker Nation.  [Scroll down]  At the end of the clip, an exasperated [Michael] Savage asked her what she did for a living, and she replied, "I'm on welfare."  Savage asked her where she thought welfare dollars came from, and she said, "From President Obama."  You could tell that Savage was getting angry, and he said, "Do you think Barack Obama makes your welfare payments out of his pocket?"  The woman was confused, but one thing was certain in her mind:  she was absolutely positive that Barack Obama was her benefactor.  In her world, the hardworking taxpayers who actually foot the bill for her indolence didn't even enter the picture.

Democrats sneak Uncle Sam into your bedroom.  [Scroll down]  Politicians are like drug dealers.  Once you're addicted to freebies, you suddenly realize the free lunch is not so free.  Like the drug dealers, the politicians want your money, to be sure, but what they really covet is your submission.  They love telling you what to do and they always claim it's for your own good.

Govt. Funds Campaign To Reduce Food Stamp Stigma.  The effort to boost the food stamp rolls was announced this month [October, 2010] in California, where more than 3 million residents benefit from the federal program each month.  Evidently, state and federal officials believe the number is way too low for the virtually bankrupt state with a population of about 37 million.

Govt. Agency Celebrates Rise In Public Assistance In 2011.  In its annual report to Congress the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) brags of an increase in the amount of public assistance it distributes and that it's leading a "cultural transformation to increase diversity, inclusion and accessibility."  The bloated agency also boasts of its work on "some of the world's most pressing problems, including food security, nutrition, food safety, climate change and sustainable bioenergy."

Food Stamps Become Lucrative Biz.  At stake are nearly $65 billion distributed annually to food-stamp recipients by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  The number has skyrocketed in the last few years (from $28.5 billion in 2005 to $64.7 billion in 2010) in part because the Obama Administration has spent millions of dollars to recruit more participants and reduce the "stigma" associated with food stamps, even as the number surged without taxpayer-funded publicity campaigns.

USDA Spends $5 Mil To Recruit Food-Stamp Recipients.  The number of food-stamp recipients has skyrocketed in the last few years yet the Obama Administration keeps wasting millions of taxpayer dollars to recruit more participants in the name of eradicating "food insecure households."

Obama's Food Stamp Fetish.  Unlike the sign at the zoo cautioning us not to feed the animals, Americans are being taught that distributing food to each other through the tax code is economically wise and socially just.  But, notwithstanding the attempts of the Obama administration to make us dependent on federal subsidies for everything from health care to energy to mortgages, we are not caged animals reliant on the generosity of the zookeeper for our very survival.

Rep. West: Democratic handouts an 'insidious form of slavery'.  Freshman Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) on Wednesday evening [2/15/2012] praised the Republican Party for consistently fighting for individual freedom over the last 150 years, and criticized Democrats for pursuing "handouts" to the less fortunate that he said are a modern form of slavery.  "Our party firmly believes in the safety net," West said in a late Wednesday floor speech.  "We reject the idea of the safety net becoming a hammock.

A nation of takers.  More than 67.3 million Americans rely on assistance from Washington for everything from food, shelter and clothing to college tuition and health care.  These benefits cost federal taxpayers roughly $2.5 trillion annually.  About those taxpayers:  Even as the number of Americans receiving federal aid rises, the number of federal taxpayers continues to drop:  Nearly half of all Americans — 49.5 percent — don't pay any federal income taxes.  If that strikes you as an equation that will spell trouble down the road, you have a better grasp of the problem than many politicians have right now.

On the Dole: A fifth of all Americans.  Skyrocketing food-stamp enrollments over the last few years have played a notable role in this year's presidential race, but it's not just food stamps that have exploded — it's entitlements, generally:  housing subsidies, Medicaid rolls, college loans and much, much more.  And the trend is threatening to chip away at the very pillars that keep America's civil society functioning.

Report: Government Dependency Increases 23 Percent Under Obama.  American dependence on government has soared to an all-time high under the Obama administration, growing 23 percent in just two years, according to a new study by the Heritage Foundation.  The conservative research group's 2012 "Index of Dependence on Government" revealed that 67 million Americans are now banking on some federal program, including programs related to healthcare, housing, welfare, education subsidies, and other government programs that were "traditionally provided to needy people by local organizations and families."

It's takers versus makers and these days the takers are winning.  If you tried to hold a series of potluck dinners where a majority brought nothing to the table, but felt entitled to eat their fill, it would probably work out badly.  Yet that's essentially what we're doing.  In today's America, government benefits flow to large numbers of people who are encouraged to vote for politicians who'll keep them coming.  The benefits are paid for by other people who, being less numerous, can't muster enough votes to put this to a stop.

Obama Administration Blocks Reform of Food Stamp Fraud.  As a Bloomberg News commentary notes, large numbers of people who are not poor are getting food stamps, due to perverse incentives that encourage states to deliberately classify people as eligible in order to draw federal money to their state.  People are eligible in some states even if they are not poor at all, but merely received an "informational brochure" for welfare, or a tiny amount of state money that the state deliberately gave them that they didn't even need, in order to qualify them for food stamps.

Is President Obama Creating A Nation Of Dependents?  This year, more than 46 million (15% of all Americans) will get food stamps.  That's 45% higher than when Obama took office, and twice as high as the average for the previous 40 years.  This surge was driven in part by the recession, but also because Obama boosted the benefit amount as part of his stimulus plan.

Obama Administration Offers $75,000 Grants to Sign Up More Food Stamp Recipients.  Over the last three years, the number of Americans on food stamps has skyrocketed by two-thirds and stands at a record-high 46 million citizens, or one out of every seven people in the United States.  Despite the historic rise in food stamp use, however, the Obama Administration believes not enough people are receiving food stamps who should be and is offering $75,000 grants to groups who devise "effective strategies" to "increase program participation" among those who have yet to sign up.

Takers Taking Over.  Like the socialists who govern Greece, Obama's left-wing administration depends on the support of left-wing activists, unionized government workers, radicalized students, and welfare recipients.  All of these groups have been pressing for more government spending, and Obama has not disappointed them. ... Ominously, the percentage of takers, those who collect benefits and pay no federal income tax, now sits at 49%.  Anything beyond that and the country is lost forever.

The truly dismal state of the union.  Some 48 percent of all Americans — 146.4 million — are considered by the Census Bureau either as "low-income" or living in poverty, up 4 million from when Mr. Obama took office; 57 percent of all children in America now live in such homes.  Since December 2008, a month before Mr. Obama took office, food-stamp use has increased 46 percent.  Total spending has more than doubled in just four years to a record high of $75 billion.  In 2011, more than 46 million people — about one in seven Americans — got food stamps.  That's 14 million more than when Mr. Obama took office.

Presidential nonsense:  Last week, President Barack Obama, at a Capital Hilton fundraising event, told the crowd, "We can't go back to this brand of you're-on-your-own economics."  Throughout my professional career as an economist, I've never come across the theory of "you're-on-your-own economics."  I'm guessing what the president means by — and finds offensive in — "you're-on-your-own economics" is that it's a system in which people are held responsible for their actions, that they take risks and must live with the results, that people can't force others to pay for their mistakes, and that they can't live at the expense of other people.

24 Stats To Crush Anyone Who Thinks America Has A Bright Economic Future.  [#21]  The number of Americans on food stamps continues to set new all-time records.  Just check out the following progression.... October 2008:  30.8 million Americans on food stamps
October 2009:  37.6 million Americans on food stamps
October 2010:  43.2 million Americans on food stamps
October 2011:  46.2 million Americans on food stamps

Nation's largest welfare state makes deep cuts.  Advocates of welfare reform in California often cite one, eye-popping statistic as they have pressed for cuts and changes to the program in recent years:  The state has one-eighth of the nation's population but one-third of all welfare recipients.

The Democratic Party's War on the Poor.  The day the American welfare system first made it more desirable to stay on relief than to move up to just the next notch upward — that was the day that the Democrats truly declared war on America's poor.  The right may not look like Santa Claus nearly as often as the left does, but the right is always the one with the best interests of the poor in mind.

A Different Kind of Hope and Change.  As America appears to edge ever closer to a disastrous economic tipping point — defined as the point at which the majority becomes dependent on the government — we find ourselves wondering if the downhill slide is inevitable and irreversible.

Obama's Poverty Politics.  [Scroll down]  Bill Clinton was prodded by a Republican House to reform welfare by imposing work requirements, time limits, and other measures that were geared towards helping those on welfare break free from depending on the government.  And it worked — millions of people left the welfare rolls and became productive and proud workers.  However, Barack Obama is all about "change," and he has been busy rolling back welfare reform.

Catch-22 on Poverty and Welfare.  The government's statistical sleight of hand when measuring poverty and inequality is no accident.  The Census Bureau's poverty report was created at the beginning of President Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty in 1964.  Bureaucrats designed the poverty report as an advertising tool for expanding the welfare state.  To justify increased government spending, the report exaggerates poverty.  For nearly 50 years, the Census Bureau has ignored actual living conditions and seriously miscounted income.  Measuring poverty is the welfare state version of Three Card Monte.  The taxpayers (known in the trade as rubes or marks) fork up hundreds of billions to help the poor through anti-poverty programs.  But when it is time to count the poor, the money magically disappears.

Another Load of Trickle-Up Economics.  It's the return of Trickle-Up Economics, an article of nearly religious faith on the Left these days, despite the rather stunning volume of evidence that it doesn't work.  Cast a flurry of government dollars across the deserving poor, and their rush to spend Big Government's largesse will cause businesses to pop up all over the place and begin hiring.  Obviously liberals are in love with this fantasy, because it means Big Government gets to exercise ever-greater control over the private sector.  Taxpayer money is seized and spent, while liberals get to posture as the selfless champions of the little guy.  The fact that it doesn't work is a feature, not a bug, because it creates ever greater demand for that compassionate welfare spending.  Dependent constituencies are the lifeblood of collectivist politics.

Nation Reporter: 'Deep Racism' at the Heart of Food Stamp Reform.  With a record 46 million Americans now receiving food stamps and rampant abuse resulting in what the Wall Street Journal calls a "food stamp crime wave," Nation reporter Lizzie Ratner believes that "deep racism" is "at the heart of conservative food stamp critiques".

Rats in the Kitchen: A Parable.  Once, there was a man who had to deal with rats when he had a major infestation in his home.  The rats' normal environment became unable to support them all, and they began coming down from the hills looking for new digs... and decided they liked the man's house.  They were perfectly happy to hunker down in the attic, garage and basement with free access to the goodies in the kitchen and pantry.  And once they had moved in and saw what rich booty was to be had, they were determined to take over.

The Welfare State Neutralizes Opponents by Making Them Dependent on Government.  As the ranks of those dependent on the welfare state continue to grow, the need for the rulers to pay attention to the ruled population diminishes.  The masters know full well that the sheep will not bolt the enclosure in which the shepherds are making it possible for them to survive.  Every person who becomes dependent on the state simultaneously becomes one less person who might act in some way to oppose the existing regime.

The 2010 Index of Dependence on Government.  The number of Americans who pay taxes continues to shrink — and the United States is close to the point at which half of the population will not pay taxes for government benefits they receive.  In 2009, 64.3 million Americans depended on the government (read: their fellow citizens) for their daily housing, food, and health care.  Starting in 2015, the Social Security program will not receive enough taxes to pay all the promised benefits — which will be hard for all job-holders, but devastating for roughly half the American workforce that has no other retirement program.

Lines Grow Long for Free School Meals, Thanks to Economy.  The number of students receiving subsidized lunches rose to 21 million last school year from 18 million in 2006-7, a 17 percent increase, according to an analysis by The New York Times of data from the Department of Agriculture, which administers the meals program.  Eleven states, including Florida, Nevada, New Jersey and Tennessee, had four-year increases of 25 percent or more, huge shifts in a vast program long characterized by incremental growth.

What Has Barack Obama Wrought?  What the Obama administration has produced is not the social-democracy or socialism it might have meant to move the nation towards, but rather a state-employment dependency sector that now dominates the economic structure of the nation.  A nation in which 17 percent of the employed work force depends on direct government employment — state and national — or government contracts, and entitlements ranging from retirement to housing allowances, education loans, welfare programs, food stamps, and the like.

Number on food stamps soars.  CalFresh, formerly the food stamp program, says that in September in Merced County, 51,343 people received CalFresh, a 70 percent increase since September 2006.  The average monthly CalFresh benefit is $146 a person.  In Merced County, 35,000 low-income adults are estimated to be food insecure.  That means that within the county, 40 percent of all adults with incomes of less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level (less than $36,000 a year for a family of three in 2009) struggle to afford adequate, nutritious food, CalFresh said in a news release.

The Editor says...
Why is the line drawn at 200 percent of the poverty level?  Why not reserve this expensive program for those who really need it, like those below the poverty level?

The United States Can't Afford Four More Years of President Obama.  Soon, people who pay no taxes and receive the lion's share of the benefits will be the majority in this country, and you can expect them to vote in their own self-interest.  They will support candidates like Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid who promise to continue funding programs that funnel money to them and to tax the rich to pay the bills.  In the process, they will destroy this nation.  They're doing it now.  Our deficit and debt problems make that perfectly clear.  We may have reached the point of no return, and if Barack Obama is re-elected, the end of the United States as we know it may be in sight.

Quit Coddling Everybody.  Everyone should pull their own weight.  And anyone who does not should feel horrible about leeching off this great society.  Instead, however, Washington has encouraged this belief that government is the answer to all our problems.

Ben Franklin Skewers Obama's Jobs Proposal.  Ben Franklin's essay, "On the Price of Corn and the Management of the Poor," directly responds to President Obama's jobs proposals:
I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means.  I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.  In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer.  And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.
Barack Obama has formed his entire platform of social justice on the very opposite principle.

The Great Obama Welfare State.  As it stands now, Obama appears headed toward an economic legacy that may very well surpass Jimmy Carter in its level of failure.  We have seen under this president an expanding number of citizens who are partially or wholly dependent on the government for their very livelihood, as the data show that the U.S. has become an ever-growing welfare state under Obama.

USA becomes Food Stamp Nation but is it sustainable?  Altogether, there are now almost 46 million people in the United States on food stamps, roughly 15 percent of the population.  That's an increase of 74 percent since 2007, just before the financial crisis and a deep recession led to mass job losses.  At the same time, the cost doubled to reach $68 billion in 2010...

Obama Baits the Dependency Trap.  An [Obama] administration program will expand free school meal coverage to millions of young people who are not even supposed to be eligible. ... Here's how the program works:  if 40% of students at a school qualify for public assistance, then every student in the school will get free food.  That's free breakfast, lunch, and a snack.  If that sounds like arbitrary welfare waste, it is.  Sixty percent of the student body could be above the poverty line, ineligible for welfare, or even upper-class — it doesn't matter.  Every student magically becomes entitled.

The 70-Million-Check Constituency.  Obama and the left have a massive constituency of tens of millions who do not comprehend the true meaning of money, only caring that the government check is in the mail.

Big Government Means Small People.  While liberals are certain about the moral superiority of liberal policies, the truth is that those policies actually diminish a society's moral character.  Many individual liberals are fine people, but the policies they advocate tend to make a people worse.  Here are ten reasons:  [#1] The bigger the government, the less the citizens do for one another.  If the state will take care of me and my neighbors, why should I?

Liberal Frankensteins.  Indeed, what makes this Fourth different from recent celebrations is the ongoing repudiation of almost everything antithetical to the Founders' views — the redistributive, all-powerful welfare state, the therapeutic arrogance that believes human nature can be altered by an omnipotent well-meaning government, the postmodern notion that nationhood and borders are passé, and the utopian idea that war can be declared obsolete and the need for defense transcended.  From Greece to California such dreams are dead.

Welfare nation.  The latest economic indicators suggest America's sputtering economic engine may conk out once again.  Disappointing service-sector and job-growth figures released Wednesday [5/4/2011] are signs of rough times ahead.  With a weak dollar and stratospheric gasoline prices, millions more could find themselves seeking government assistance.  The administration appears to be just fine with that.

If Our 'Food Stamp Recovery' Persists, Obama Will Lose Big.  I have noticed something unsettling in my own life lately: I know a lot of people who are on food stamps or some kind of extraordinary government assistance.  The count right now stands around 10 people, which is a lot for a small town denizen such as myself.  That is a personal reminder of a very serious, yet rarely discussed economic, social, and indeed political problem:  the fact that better than one out of seven Americans today requires government help to put food on the table.

The Obama administration is using (mostly black) churches to expand the welfare state.
Michelle's Machine:  [Scroll down]  Religious leaders are prodded to work with schools to "create a wellness club for teachers with volunteer instructors from the congregation" and to "help your local school install a salad bar in its cafeteria."  Most worrisome, though, are the administration's efforts to have congregations place themselves in the service of government as recruiters for the welfare state.  Congregations are told to "encourage eligible families to enroll their children in [government-subsidized] school meal programs"; if organizations operate day-care or after-school programs, they are advised to pursue reimbursement for meals and snacks through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (a federally funded, state-administered welfare program).  Places of worship are asked to serve as feeding sites for the Summer Food Service Program — another federally funded, state-run welfare project.

The Editor says...
Where are the "separation of church and state" people now?

America, the Dependent.  In New York, Philadelphia and a total of 30 sites across the country, AmeriCorps and the Department of Agriculture are funding the "National Anti-Hunger and Opportunity Corps" to "increase access to food stamps."  National Affairs managing editor Meghan Clyne reports that the administration is roping in left-wing churches to aggressively promote food stamps.  With institutional support from first lady Michelle Obama, the FoodStampCorps will train church members to apply for food stamps after religious services...

Top 10 Spending Cuts Thwarted by Democrats:  [#9]  Legal Services Corporation:  Long before Hillary Rodham was first lady (and before she started using her husband's name), the Rose Law Firm lawyer was named by President Jimmy Carter to serve on the Legal Services Corporation board.  During her tenure as chairwoman, she was able to triple the budget for the agency, which aids poor people with their legal problems. ... Obama wants to add $30 million to its budget, while the GOP wants to cut $100 million.

The Welfare State of the Union.  What we hear, again and again, is the fantasy that government creates jobs, government drives the economy, government feeds kids and sends them to bed happy.  The facts are just the opposite.  In fact, the Department of Agriculture has just reported that 43.6 million Americans are now receiving food stamps.  Significantly, in 2006, near the height of the historic Bush economic expansion, the number of Americans receiving food stamps was just over 20 million.  Since then, the number of recipients has more than doubled, with nearly all of the increase coming under the presidency of Barack Obama.

Stop the Fraud — Freeze the Debt Ceiling.  Cuts are not politically viable in our democratic welfare state.  Generations have been conditioned to "gimme" politics.  As a result, no politician can run and win on a platform of "vote for me and this is what I will take away from you."  That is why cuts never come and spending rises inexorably.  That is why the debt limit will be raised again (and again and again) until the dollar and economy collapse.

Back on Uncle Sam's Plantation.  Six years ago I wrote a book called "Uncle Sam's Plantation."  I wrote the book to tell my own story of what I saw living inside the welfare state and my own transformation out of it. ... I talked about government programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS), Emergency Assistance to Needy Families with Children (EANF), Section 8 Housing, and Food Stamps.  A vast sea of perhaps well intentioned government programs, all initially set into motion in the 1960's, that were going to lift the nation's poor out of poverty.  A benevolent Uncle Sam welcomed mostly poor black Americans onto the government plantation.  Those who accepted the invitation switched mindsets from "How do I take care of myself?" to "What do I have to do to stay on the plantation?"

The government usurps the role of churches and private charities:
City puts a stop to homeless outreach.  Bobby and Amanda Herring spent more than a year providing food to homeless people in downtown Houston every day.  They fed them, left behind no trash and doled out warm meals peacefully without a single crime being committed, Bobby Herring said.  That ended two weeks ago when the city shut down their "Feed a Friend" effort for lack of a permit.  And city officials say the couple most likely will not be able to obtain one. ... Anyone serving food for public consumption, whether for the homeless or for sale, must have a permit, said Kathy Barton, a spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services Department.

The Editor says...
Obviously the government's goal is to have as many people as possible dependent on it rather than the local churches or generous individuals.  It's a not-so-obvious means of buying votes:  If you depend on the almighty government for your daily bread, you'll naturally vote for the political party that will perpetuate that arrangement.

15 states get bonuses for adding uninsured children to Medicaid rolls.  Even states can get performance bonuses, at least when it comes to moving kids from the "uninsured" to the "insured" list.  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that 15 states will be getting a little something extra in their end-of-the-year stockings for their effectiveness at providing health insurance to kids through Medicaid.

The Editor says...
In other words, the federal government is bribing the states to get more people dependent on welfare.

Behind the broccoli: Liberalism's war on liberty.  What this country needs is a crop of healthy, hunger-free kids — and now, thanks to the hectoring of Michelle Obama and the terrible swift presidential pen of her husband, it has one:  the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. ... ObamaCare and the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 are the things that expose modern liberalism for the iron fist in the velvet glove.  Can't feed yourself?  Dinner's on us.  Out of work?  We'll pay you to stay unemployed.  After all, you're too stupid to make your own best decisions in what used to be personal matters.  All we ask in exchange for your freedom is your vote.

Food Stamp Nation.  "The lessons of history ... show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber.  To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit."  These searing words about Depression-era welfare are from Franklin Roosevelt's 1935 State of the Union Address.  FDR feared this self-reliant people might come to depend permanently upon government for the necessities of their daily lives.

Obama Underwrites Irresponsibility — Again.  The Obama administration has announced another plan to help between 500,000 and 1.5 million American homeowners who owe more money on their mortgages than their homes are currently worth.  The "short finance plan" is simple:  creditors write down mortgages to a number less than the value of the property — and then handoff the reduced loan to the American taxpayer via the Federal Housing Administration.  In other words, all taxpaying Americans are on the hook for the irresponsible behavior of a minority of their fellow Americans — again.

Dallas Rep. Jeb Hensarling wants to eliminate Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac.  For years, conservatives inveighed against government-backed mortgage firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  The complaints began with their dominance of the market and ended with a warning that taxpayers would bail them out one day.  Now that critics have been proven right, they're on the spot to show they know what's best for the future.  Among the questions:  Should Fannie and Freddie be privatized?  Abolished?  And how would government support the housing market without them?

The Editor says...
Oh, dear.  The hack writer at the Dallas Morning News can't understand how anybody could buy a house without government help.  President Obama's goal is to maximize the number of people who are dependent upon the government.  The sooner Fannie and Freddie are buried, the better off we the people will be — at least those of us who pay taxes and purchase our own food and housing with money we have rightfully earned.

A Food Bill We Don't Need.  Feeding a child is one of the most basic parental responsibilities, yet first lady Michelle Obama wishes to liberate parents from this fundamental role by urging them to rely on the public schools to feed their children.  In [an] op-ed in the Washington Post, the first lady pushes for congressional passage of the Child Nutrition Act, a bill that would not only increase funding for the already-wasteful and badly managed school-lunch program but relax eligibility requirements so that more children can be enrolled.  It's clear that Michelle Obama, like her husband, sees government as the great fixer.

How Jobless Aid Became Dysfunctional.  Ever watch a parent lecture a demanding child about self-discipline — then give him everything he asks for?  That's the pattern Congress is falling into.  Beleaguered governors and advocates for the jobless are pleading with Congress to extend unemployment insurance, for at least the sixth time since 2008.

The Parade of Bleeding Stumps.  As public spending becomes an increasingly important issue for the November elections, be prepared to see the left engaging in hysterical scare-mongering about the potential effect of spending cuts.  This has been seen recently in Britain, where such scare-mongering already has its own label — "The Parade of the Bleeding Stumps."  This unsavory phrase originates in British government bureaucracy and darkly refers to the Civil Service's clever response to the threat of spending cuts.

Stop me before I spend again!  Illinois Comptroller Daniel Hynes says the state owes billions to schools, rehabilitation centers, child care, state universities and he told The New York Times, "it's getting worse every single day."  He calls the state's inability to pay for essential services "obscene."  The real obscenity — in Illinois, California, New York and especially Washington, D.C. — is an inability to live within the means taxpayers provide.  Despite record high taxes in these states and more coming at the federal level, government never has enough of our money.  But it isn't all government's fault.  Too many Americans have come to rely on government to take care of them, and government has passed the point where it can do so any longer.

Government Dependency Surges; Addiction To Get Worse.  Today the conservative Heritage Foundation released its 2010 version of the Index of Dependence on Government. ... Americans' dependence on government grew by 13.6% in 2009.  That's the biggest increase since 1976 and the fifth largest going back to 1962, when Heritage began tracking dependence.  The index measures federal government programs that can crowd out or constrain private sector or local government alternatives.

Dramatic Spike in Dependence Projected.  Year after year, The Heritage Foundation's Index of Dependence on Government documents the ever-growing number of federal aid programs and the ever-growing number of Americans who rely on government subsidies for their existence.  The number of Americans who now pay no taxes has passed 35 percent.

Jobs:  Too Many Riding, Too Few Pulling.  The one thing that economists seem to agree on is that any economic recovery will be an uphill battle for some time to come.  But if you've ever pulled a heavy wagon up a hill, you know what happens if your fellow pullers decide to become riders instead and jump on the wagon.

We're too broke to be this stupid.  In any advanced society, there will be a certain number of dysfunctional citizens either unable or unwilling to do what is necessary to support themselves and their dependents. ... When Michelle Obama turned up to serve food at a soup kitchen, its poverty-stricken clientele snapped pictures of her with their cellphones.  In one-sixth of British households, not a single family member works.  They are not so much without employment as without need of it.  At a certain level, your hard-working bourgeois understands that the bulk of his contribution to the treasury is entirely wasted.  It's one of the basic rules of life:  if you reward bad behaviour, you get more of it.

Slaves to the government dole.  Throughout our history, politicians and pundits have often said "America is at a crossroads."  Sometimes it was true, as in the final convulsive years leading up to the Civil War when we decided to end slavery.  New data on personal income, taxes and dependency makes clear that the country is again at a historic crossroad and another form of slavery is the central issue.  There are no iron chains involved this time, but dependence on government for economic sustenance is no less an enslavement.

What Exactly is 'Social Justice?'  Social justice is the complete economic equality of all members of society.  While this may sound like a lofty objective, what it really means is that wealth should be collected by the government and evenly distributed to everyone.  In short, social justice is communism.  It is rooted in the Marxist idea that the money people make, and the property they own, do not rightfully belong to the people who make the money and own the property.

The Ugly Side of Social Justice.  Although [Glenn] Beck has been adamant in expressing that his objections are solely concerned with how — not whether — the needy should be assisted, Wallis nonetheless seems content in portraying him as antagonistic to the plight of the poor.  And because of this unfair portrayal, Beck has been painted in the media as a monster for simply emphasizing his belief that it is better for individuals to donate their assistance to the downtrodden by choice rather than by dictate.

Jobpocalypse now.  This week, the Senate is expected to extend jobless benefits to more than 5 million Americans through the end of the year.  It is the sixth time in nearly two years that they've expanded or extended unemployment benefits — putting off, again, a day of reckoning our political leaders seem unwilling to face.

Has Obama "Stimulated" the Economy Yet?  In the past sixteen months, Mr. Obama's immediate, short-term political need has produced a lot of public policy that positions the President to appear as though he's rescuing people — rescuing them from the economic downturn, from "greedy bankers" and "rich executives," from the threat of home foreclosure, from credit card debt, and so forth.  And part of the political calculus involved with this kind of policy is the assumption that as long as the President gives away enough "things" to the American electorate, and appears as though he's doing enough to "protect" them, the electorate will continue to vote for him and his party, regardless of what the economy does.

Preparations for Reparations.  When the government decides what kind of light bulbs one can buy, what size toilet tank one can install, or how much salt can be added to one's food, then there is no limit to the depth and detail of government intrusion into one's life.  When every aspect of existence is decided or dictated by another, that is not freedom.  That is slavery.  Lest you think that only the half of Americans who actually pay taxes are slaves, let me hasten to address the rest.  Those who exist on the public dole, on welfare and subsidies and federal aid, are also slaves.  They are kept healthy, kept solvent, and just plain kept because they are vital to the whole system of slavery.  Every couple of years, this growing group of dependents is harvested for their votes.

Stimulus Bill Abolishes Welfare Reform and Adds New Welfare Spending.  A major public policy success, welfare reform in the mid-1990s led to a dramatic reduction in welfare dependency and child poverty.  This successful reform, however is now in jeopardy:  Little-noted provisions in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate stimulus bills actually abolish this historic reform.

Looking At Democracy.  Every time I use the word "democracy" to describe the process by which Americans elect their representatives, someone leaps to their computer to inform me that America is a "republic" and not a democracy.  I am well aware of this, but it does not change the process.  It got me thinking about Alexis de Tocqueville's trip throughout America in 1831-1832. ... Presciently, Tocqueville wrote, "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."  That day has arrived.

Socialism Vs. Capitalism:  Illustrated on Film.  [Scroll down]  Governments don't produce, they consume.  They take from the people who create things and convert some of those resources into "benefits".  These benefits are, more often than not, bribes to ease us into letting them keep spending our money like mad.  At some point, a long time ago, they stopped caring about wanted and started telling us what was good for us.  They began taking more and more tax dollars and bribing the least productive citizens so they'd have voters who can override the productive citizens if they complained too much.

The Land of Entitlements.  [Scroll down]  To put this in context, one must realize that there are no Medicare recipients alive today who have firsthand knowledge of being without Medicare while elderly.  Some may remember their parents or grandparents surviving well into old age without Medicare, but not themselves.  Very few alive today remember a time without Social Security. Within the space of a human lifespan, our society has become a culture conditioned to accept (and expect) entitlements as the norm without questioning the consequences.  It has been a very effective strategy to enlarge government.

Denying the Truth at all Costs.  The facts are well known.  Government at all levels has grown faster than any other segment of the economy.  Government, also, pays far more than corresponding workers in the private sector and has lavish benefit packages unmatched by any private worker.  As the Cato Institute detailed in their January, 2010 Tax & Budget Bulletin # 59, the compensation scales and benefits of government are simply unsustainable.  They cannot continue; there must be an adjustment.  But blocking that "adjustment" is the primary goal of labor unions.

The state and local governments are actively trying to get more people dependent on them.
Food bank will qualify applicants for stamps.  Houston's food bank will begin helping qualify eligible Texans for food stamps today [3/1/2010] under special authority from federal officials designed to shorten long wait times.  The waiver will allow food banks in Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth to handle food stamp applications directly.  Food bank officials in those cities will have access to state computers to make sure applicants are eligible and not already receiving food assistance.

The Grasshopper and the Ants.  Once upon a time, there was a happy-go-lucky grasshopper who lived only to have fun.  All through the long summer days, he would sing and dance, and laugh at the industrious ants who were busily preparing for winter.  But then cruel winter came, and the grasshopper was starving.

Freedom is Hard Work.  When wealth redistribution occurs in the false name of compassion, liberty is damaged for everybody.  Meanwhile, the seeds of class warfare, resentment and discontent, are sown from coast to coast.  The very fact that we have a literal "dependency class", a class that is convinced it will perish if not directly supported by government action, is a national outrage.

Workers Against Lazy Non-producers United Together.  We can no longer sit back and let our government spend our hard earned money on those who choose to be non-producers of society.  We must stand united and let our voices be our weapon.  We The People must remind our elected officials, that those who have put them in office, can & will take them away. ... Non-producers will no longer be given life and prosperity but forced to earn it as we have!

How Liberalism Exploits The Vulnerable.  Not knowing that she was on camera, this "community organizer" gave away the dirtiest of the dirty secrets of the left.  Herein lies the explanation of how and why major segments of America, particularly in urban areas, upon becoming increasingly liberal over the past several decades, have become more lawless, more hopeless, and more helpless.  While claiming to "help the little guy," liberalism has a vested interest in keeping the "little guy" oppressed and dependent.  Only in such a state can he fulfill his intended role as a "resource" of the liberal machine.

These Dis-United States.  The liberal/progressive movement has convinced modern man that to satisfy his material needs it is not necessary to labor exhaustingly in pursuit of said needs; but much more beneficial to modern man to simply reallocate resources from those who can afford to do so.  The foundations of the welfare state having been laid, the free market struggles to provide for its legitimate members as well as those of a lesser inclination.  The mixed economy may go on for years before the weight of redistributive legislation finally brings the golden goose to a prone position.  The tipping point, however, has finally been reached.  Better than 50% of the class of lesser inclination now feed at the trough of Federal largesse.

Activist Blames Poverty on Liberalism.  Blaming poverty on liberalism and the federal government, a conservative activist on Friday [9/14/2007] said:  "It is very sad what the liberals have done with their war on the poor in this country."  "After 40 years of failure, they still insist that they want to expand this war, that they think they should pour more money into this war," said Star Parker, president of the Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education.

East Berlin, D. C.  Increasingly, visiting our nation's capital can only be likened to visiting a distant dystopia, with problems that don't seem quite at home in America.  Criminals are the most obvious malefactors, but surely part of the problem is government.  The seat of our own government is run as if it were the reductio ad absurdum of government everywhere … Whole segments of the population are now snared in the trap of government assistance.  Call it "welfare," if you must … but how much of this money increases the actual welfare of those caught in the cycle of poverty?

Slaves to the Welfare State:  Obviously not everyone in New Orleans is a slave to the welfare state.  But on balance its residents have drifted since 1927 into the entitlements mentality:  abandonment of personal responsibility and individual initiative.  The socialist welfare state is a form of slavery, or more accurately, a sort of neo-feudalism in which the individual has no rights independent of the figurative "piece of ground" to which the political state has assigned him.

Is It Wrong to Require Work in Exchange for a Welfare Check?:  "It's too bad that Congressman Rangel sees getting something for nothing as being more noble than having to put in an honest day's work for it," said Project 21 member Michael King.  "As opposed to sitting on their hands and doing nothing, residents are asked to give a portion of one day in exchange for receiving housing.  What's the problem?  Oh, I forget — this gives Congressman Rangel and his compatriots something else to point to at election time."

Malnourished Muppets and the Indoctrination of America's Children.  After an extended interlude, America finally has another liberal buzz phrase to add to the country's politically correct vernacular:  "Food Insecurity."  Food Insecurity is right up there with "man-caused disaster," not to mention the long, ever-growing list of 'ities':  neutrality, inequality, inequity, accessibility and ethnocentricity.

Helping Low Income Earners Help Themselves.  "The minimum wage is a horrific example of the failure of politician's good intentions.  Several parties are proposing to further worsen unemployment by lifting the minimum wage up to $15.  The Maori party proposes a minimum wage of $16 an hour!  It doesn't take an over-optimistic Treasury forecaster to realise that this artificial wage level will price even more low skilled labour out of the market and trap more people on the benefit."

Why Are Republicans Supporting the Farm Bill?  The agricultural bills of both chambers of Congress are meant to do two things that fly against conservative principles.  First, about 80% of the Farm Bill is about funding the food stamp program over the next ten years.  Needless to say, the cost to taxpayers for the food stamp program has doubled during the Obama presidency, and is now up to $78 billion annually.  When the Senate was debating its version of the bill, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) observed that, compared to 2008 levels, the new farm bill will increase spending by 60%.  The hike is due to the fact that the new bill incorporates the Obama administration's baseline spending into entitlement spending forever.

If It Damages America, It's Good for Democrats.  In almost every area of American life, the better things are, the worse it is for the Democratic Party. [...] The more Americans depend on themselves or on their family or community, the more likely they are to vote Republican.  On the other hand, the more Americans depend on the government — whether for a job or for economic assistance — the more likely they are to vote Democrat.  Therefore, it is in the Democrats' interest to have more and more Americans depend on the state.

This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2017 by Andrew K. Dart



Lies about welfare programs

Despite What You've Heard, The Senate Bill Doesn't Slash, Gut, Or Even Cut Medicaid.  First, the Senate bill doesn't change Medicaid at all for three years.  That means spending on the program will continue to grow, just as it is slated to now — at an annual 5% clip — until 2021.  What does that mean in dollar terms?  Under the Senate's "shredding" reform, Medicaid's budget in 2021 will be $85 billion bigger than it is this year, and $209 billion (or 79%) bigger than it was in 2013.  What about after that?  Under the Senate plan, there'd be a three-year transition to a new way of financing Medicaid.  And then, starting in 2025 federal Medicaid spending would be capped each year, with the cap set to grow at the overall inflation rate.

How Food Stamps Subverted Democracy, Part 2.  I wanted to learn whether the expansion of food programs had fundamentally improved low-income diets.  I had learned how to analyze and interpret the raw data from national nutrient-intake surveys while running a typing business near Virginia Tech in the late 1970s.  Some of my favorite customers were graduate students in human nutrition and, while typing their term papers and theses, I became familiar with the methodologies and controversies in evaluating food-aid programs.  I visited the USDA to garner the latest unpublished nutritional data.  I went to the Library of Congress and carted armloads of dusty old studies from the stacks to peruse in the main reading room.  I found that government feeding programs had an abysmal nutritional record.  Nor was there any evidence of a dietary golden era during the Carter administration thanks to government handouts.  The reports on the programs' failures had vanished in the Memory Hole.  Instead, the government relied on "body counts" — looking solely at the number of people fed or meals shoveled out.  As long as politicians appeared benevolent, food programs were a roaring success.

Welfare is the new work.  The welfare/entitlement state of mind has spiraled out of control in America.  No one is lifting a finger of opposition.  The cost of welfare is now well over $1 trillion a year.  Food stamps are so ubiquitous that they have replaced dollars as the new standard currency in many inner cities in America.  Even in affluent areas with upscale grocery stores, food stamp recipients fill their carts with everything from cakes to lobster.  Liberals love welfare.  It was only a few years ago that Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi opined that putting more people on food stamps and unemployment insurance is one of the "best ways to stimulate the economy."  Which is more astonishing?  That she believes this lunacy or that she would be dumb enough to say it out loud.

Transportation Secretary: Inequitable Distribution of Sidewalks Is Obstacle to American Dream.  Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told a crowd in North Carolina Tuesday that "only 49% of low-income neighborhoods have sidewalks" while more affluent areas have near 90%.  In order to have a society where "everyone has a shot at the American Dream, than it's imperative that we acknowledge these challenges."  Foxx made the comments to the Charlotte Rotary Club where he discussed the ways that infrastructure should connect people to opportunity.

The Editor says...
Opportunities are not confined to the sidewalks in rich neighborhoods.

The Number Of Americans Living On $2 A Day Or Less Is Zero.  There's an interesting new book out talking about how many Americans are absolutely poor.  It's being taken seriously too:  the New York Times runs a review of it today.  Sadly, the central premise of the book, $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America is, depending upon how you want to look at it, either not true or a piece of little more than statistical trickery. [...] For the truth is that there just isn't, to any reasonable approximation, anyone at all living on less than $2 a day in the United States.  Yet the general reaction to this book is that the authors' estimates of 1.5 million families living in this sort of poverty are true.  I'm sorry, but it simply isn't true.  Firstly because of the details of the measures that they're using and secondly because they're not actually looking at the right measure at all to decide upon living standards.

Obama's Soothing - And Toxic - Opiate About Entitlements.  Speaking at the annual White House Conference on Aging, the president had nothing but spoonfuls of sugar for the attendees on the fiscal condition of Social Security and Medicare.  "Now, we're often told that Medicare and Social Security are in crisis.  We hear that all the time.  And usually, that's used as an excuse to try to cut spending on those bedrock programs.  But here's the truth.  Medicare and Social Security are not in crisis, nor have they kept us from cutting our deficits by two-thirds since I took office," the president said.  He didn't go into details, and probably for good reason:  The numbers don't support his claim.

Obama Blames Rich People Like Him For The Country's Poor.  President Obama talked this week about poverty, a subject he should know a lot about, since he's done such a good job of expanding it.  Instead, he offered only fact-challenged and badly misguided ideas.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow: SNAP Beneficiaries Who Buy Fruits and Veggies Double Value.  "If you use food assistance," and "you're buying fruits and vegetables for your children, for yourselves, we'll give you double value," Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) announced on Thursday [3/26/2015] at the Washington Post's "Changing the Menu" forum in Washington, D.C., focusing on healthy eating and wellness.  "In the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, in SNAP, we have for the first time taken things that have been done locally, and Michigan I'm proud to say is one of the leaders in this," said the senator.

Are government statistics deteriorating?  [Nick] Eberstadt decries in particular the government's "hastily devised 'federal poverty measure' unveiled in 1965," which he characterizes as "not merely a bad yardstick" but "an awful one."  It misstates actual poverty by measuring income rather than consumption (most American lower-income people consume more than they earn) and is based on an assumption, not wholly unwarranted in 1965 but antique now, that households spend about one-third of their incomes on food. [...] There's also reason to worry about whether the institutional culture of the government's statistical agencies — a culture proud of its statistical rigor and freedom from political influence — is being undermined by the Obama administration.

Poverty Causes Crime?  When people say this, there are only two possibilities.  One is that, on some level of consciousness, they think that if they were poor, they would commit violent crimes.  My hunch is that this is often the case.  Just as the whites who say all whites are racist are obviously speaking about themselves, those who claim that poverty leads to violence may well be speaking about themselves, too.  The other possibility is that they are not speaking about themselves, in which case they would have to admit that poor Americans who rob, rape or murder are morally inferior to themselves.  Which, of course, happens to be true.

Democrats: 1% Cut In Food Stamp Funding Is "Stealing".  Elected Democrats and movement progressives are up in arms over the meager cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP — commonly known as food stamps). [...] The overall SNAP program costs $70 billion per year.  Hipster congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said "Congress has lost its way" and described the farm bill as "reverse Robin Hood legislation that steals food from the poor."

Scientists Decide Americans Are Too Stupid to Understand Global Warming.  Welfare states never work because the material needs of society's most vulnerable will always be a moving target.  There will never be enough and for every dollar spent in welfare, there is an equal loss of freedom and liberty.  It will be no different, or better this time around, no matter how appealing it sounds or convincingly it is presented.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee: Change the Word 'Welfare' to 'Transitional Living Fund'.  In a brief speech on the House floor Wednesday [1/8/2014], Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) hailed the war on poverty, endorsed government welfare programs, and said the "safety net has to be something for all of us."  "Maybe the word welfare should be changed to something of, 'a transitional living fund.'  For that is what it is — for people to be able to live," she said.

Government health-care diagnosis: Dependency.  The claim:  The United States is the richest nation in the world, and as a matter of decency should pay for the health care of all Americans who can't afford to pay for their own.  The truth:  The United States is not the richest nation in the world; we are the richest debtor nation in the world.  We literally owe trillions of dollars — not just in the national debt, but also in unfunded liabilities for various entitlements.

Pelosi: GOP Failure to Extend Unemployment Benefits Practically 'Immoral'.  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says the Republican refusal to include unemployment benefits in the Ryan-Murray budget deal is immoral.  "It's interesting to note that they rejected unemployment insurance — this is so unconscionable, it's practically at the level of immoral to do.  The people who work hard, play by the rules, lose their job through no fault of their own, are not able to get — continue to get an unemployment insurance check."

The New York Times' 'homeless' hooey.  If a five-part opus in The New York Times by Andrea Elliott is to believed, we live in a hard-hearted city.  But if you read closely, it suggests just the opposite.  Begin with the family at the center of this story.  The mother, father and eight kids aren't really homeless at all.  True, they live in housing meant for "homeless families."  But their 540-square-foot unit gives them a solid roof over their heads, in addition to city-provided meals and services.

Food Stamps Fund Left-Wing Media.  Not surprisingly, in recent months Mother Jones has published several odes to food stamps.  One, "The Hidden Benefits of Food Stamps," makes the preposterous claim that food stamps improve the health of Americans and the U.S. economy.  The article cites the discredited Keynesian "multiplier" effect, arguing that every $5 in food stamps generates $9 in economic activity.  By this reasoning, America should be able to spend itself into prosperity if governments add a few more trillion dollars to their welfare programs.

WH: Food Stamps 'Are Boosting the Economy'.  People who depend on the government to buy their food using food stamps are boosting the economy, the White House says.  A Thanksgiving message posted on the White House website says the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — AKA food stamps — helps millions of Americans put food on the table and keeps millions out of poverty.  In the last five years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of Americans on food stamps has gone up 67.7 percent.

Obama: 'We're Not Lavishly Spending on a Whole Bunch of Social Programs'.  President Obama told a gathering of business executives on Tuesday [11/19/2013] that the federal government was not "lavishly spending" on social programs.  "What we know is, is that our — our fiscal problems are not short-term deficits.  Our discretionary budget, that portion of the federal budget that isn't defense or Social Security or Medicare or Medicaid, the entitlement programs, is at its smallest level in my lifetime, probably since Dwight Eisenhower.["]

Food Security Junk Science.  With the release of the USDA's latest report on household food security in the United States, we get another example of junk science, government largesse, and a social engineering Trojan horse. [...] Apparently, "children were food insecure at times during the year in 10.0 percent of households with children.  These 3.9 million households were unable at times during the year to provide adequate, nutritious food for their children."  Where does this data come from?  Unaudited voluntary population surveys.  This means the underlying data cannot be verified and may be subject to significant bias.

The Myth of Red State Welfare.  During the last few years, a key liberal talking point has been "red state welfare."  The argument is that the states that get more from the federal government than they pay in taxes tend to be red states, whereas the states that give more to the federal government than they pay in taxes tend to be blue states.  This "red state welfare" hypothesis falls completely apart when we look at the data.

First Lady: Barack's Working to Free Americans from 'Any Form of Public Assistance'.  In an e-mail to supporters, First Lady Michelle Obama says she grew up in a family that didn't need help from the government, and that her husband is working to make Americans free from dependence on government once again. [... But] The Obama Administration's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has arranged to pay a public relations firm $8 million to promote dependence on government-run health care — enrollment in ObamaCare's health insurance exchanges.  In Pennsylvania alone, HHS is spending $4 million to promote Obamacare at state health clinics.

How The Welfare State Stole Christmas.  "We Could End Homelessness With The Money Americans Spend On Christmas Decorations," announces a headline from Think Progress blogger Adam Peck. [...] According to Peck, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says it could end "homelessness" if only its annual budget to fight the problem ballooned from $1.9 billion to $20 billion.  That's dubious — financial reasons seldom account for why a person ends up living on the street or under a bridge.

President Unleashes a Nationwide 'Community Organizing' Campaign.  Mr. Obama's recurring mantra is that he will focus on the "needs of the middle class," yet every single day nearly 12,000 people are added to the food stamp program, food and gas prices escalate, we are distributing billions of dollars worth of "Obama phones" to millions who do not qualify as needy, and we now have a record number of people who are declared "disabled."  That is not expanding the middle class or meeting the needs of the middle class.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker: $80.4B Food Stamp Program 'Not a Government Handout'.  Newark, N.J. Mayor Cory Booker says the federal government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), which spent $80.4 billion in fiscal 2012, is "not a government handout."  "I hope and understand that people are getting a better recognition that this is a program that really helps America, helps families in need," Booker said on Friday, while describing his fourth day of living on a SNAP budget.

Not News: Food Stamp Participation Jumped by Over 600,000 in September; Last Pre-Election Number Revised Up.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its latest report on food stamp program participation through September today [12/7/2012].  I received the email alerting me to the release at 5:17 p.m., so it seems reasonable to believe that USDA and the Barack Obama administration wanted the new data to get as little attention as possible.  If so, they have two probable reasons for wishing to minimize its impact.

Schumer: Jobless Benefits 'The Best Stimulus There Is'.  Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that extending long-term unemployment benefits would be the "best stimulus there is" for the economy, saying it would create the most jobs for the money.  "At the end of last year, there were 5 million people receiving emergency UI [unemployment insurance].  This year, there are only 2 million.  It's working," Schumer said at a press conference Thursday [12/6/2012].

The Editor says...
Paying people not to work is an incentive to stay home, not an incentive to get a job.

Federal Entitlements Prevent U.S. From Being Third World Country, Lawmaker Says.  Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) chided Republican efforts to reform entitlements during a floor speech Tuesday [12/4/2012], saying certain federal programs prevent the United States from being a third world country.

The Editor says...
Exactly the opposite is true, of course.  Massive spending on unconstitutional payments to individuals is building the national debt at an (apparently) uncontrollable rate.

Kirsten Powers: 'Complete and Utter Myth' That Illegal Aliens Receive Welfare, Other Benefits.  Illegal immigrants get little in the way of welfare or other taxpayer-funded largesse, according to Kirsten Powers.  And she's adamant about it.  The liberal columnist and Fox News contributor appeared on Geraldo Rivera's KABC radio show out of Los Angeles yesterday [8/23/2012], at the same time Rivera invited GOP strategist George Ajjan.

Hoyer: Food Stamps, Unemployment Insurance are the two 'Most Stimulative' Things for Economy.  House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday [7/17/2012] that food stamps and unemployment insurance are the two "most stimulative" things you can do for the economy.  During a pen and pad briefing with reporters on Capitol Hill, Hoyer was asked if any Democrats are "reconsidering the wisdom" of letting the Bush tax cuts expire at year's end for the top income earners given the still struggling U.S. economy.

Feds Encourage Food Stamps: Helps Local Economies, 'Everyone Wins'.  The federal government has been making the case that, with food stamps, "everyone wins," according to literature meant to promote the federal social welfare program.  The argument is that accepting food stamp benefits helps to promote economic growth for the communities hosting those recipients.  "Each $5 dollars in new SNAP benefits generates almost twice that amount in economic activity for the community," states the federal government pamphlet.

The Editor says...
If that were true, and it isn't, we should all be on food stamps.

A Political Glossary.  [Scroll down]  People who make no provision to feed themselves, but expect others to provide food for them, are those whom politicians and the media refer to as "the hungry."  Those who meet this definition may have money for alcohol, drugs or even various electronic devices.  And many of them are overweight.  But, if they look to voluntary donations, or money taken from the taxpayers, to provide them with something to eat, then they are "the hungry."

SNAP Questions & Suggested Answers.  Read the government propaganda for yourself:  "Everyone wins when eligible people take advantage of benefits to which they are entitled."

The Editor says...
That's a lie.  Everyone receiving the benefits is dependent on Big Brother, and the rest of us have money taken from our wages, under threat of imprisonment, to be given to the shiftless parasites who will probably find a way to spend the money on beer and cigarettes.

Liberals and Magical Math.  Nancy Pelosi has made what could quite possibly be the most imbecilic utterances ... regarding job creation and stimulating the economy:
 •  Unemployment benefits "injects demand into the economy."
 •  Unemployment benefits "is a job creator."
 •  "Unemployment insurance, the economists tell us, return $2 for every $1 that is put out there for unemployment insurance."
 •  It creates jobs to help reduce the deficit.
 •  "This is one of the biggest stimuluses to our economy.  Economists will tell you this money is spent quickly.  It injects demand into the economy, and is job creating."
 •  Unemployment insurance "creates jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name because, again, it is money that is needed for families to survive, and it is spent.  So it has a double benefit.  It helps those who have lost their jobs, but it also is a job creator."
 •  "It is the biggest bang for the buck when you do food stamps and unemployment insurance.  The biggest bang for the buck."

We should all use food stamps.  That would solve everything!
Obama Agriculture Secretary: Food Stamps Create Jobs.  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack repeated the White House claim that food stamps and other forms of government welfare are stimulus programs in disguise, stating that when government gives out money, it is creating jobs.

Obama Ag Secretary Vilsack: Food Stamps Are A Stimulus.  Obama's Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack:  "Well, obviously, it's putting people to work. ... I should point out, when you talk about the SNAP program or the foot stamp program, you have to recognize that it's also an economic stimulus.  Every dollar of SNAP benefits generates $1.84 in the economy in terms of economic activity.  If people are able to buy a little more in the grocery store, someone has to stock it, package it, shelve it, process it, ship it.  All of those are jobs.  It's the most direct stimulus you can get in the economy during these tough times."

Gingrich: "Obama Is The Most Successful Food Stamp President In American History".  ["]We need a program to put 14 million Americans back to work.  We are committed to creating jobs.  The Democrats are committed to killing jobs.  You decide which future you want, paychecks or food stamps?["]

Obama's charity state.  President Obama made a big to-do about a big speech about his allegedly big new plan to reduce the really big deficit and fix the country the way a president is supposed to.  Predictably, he dusted off old far-left mantras as tired as Joe Biden at an Obama speech, spouting yet again that the way to end deficits is to raise taxes.  The rhetoric on the left is getting more shrill by the minute, with accusations of Republicans wanting to "steal" from poor people, women and senior citizens.  Yes — "steal" — as if there is money that is theirs and mean old Republicans want to break into their homes in the middle of the night and lift it from their wallets.

Nancy Pelosi: A Ruler of Fools.  Nancy Pelosi doesn't have much longer as Speaker of the House.  But if there's one constant in our ever-changing world, it's that Pelosi will remain unconscionable until the gavel is wrested from her hand.  During a recent speech on the House floor, she expressed opinions about unemployment insurance and tax policy that seem irrational even for her.  Pelosi supports extending unemployment insurance beyond the current 99-week limit.  To substantiate her position, she touted unemployment benefits as a burgeoning economic catalyst.  All we need do is and tap into their power.  Pelosi informed Congress that "[u]nemployment insurance ... returns two dollars for every one dollar that is put out there."  A two-dollar return for every one invested is a lofty promise.

Black Republican: Black Caucus preaches victimization and dependency.  Congressman-elect Allen West (R-Fla.), who said he plans to become the only black Republican in the Congressional Black Caucus, accused the organization of failing the black community by promoting dependence on government welfare programs.  "The Congressional Black Caucus cannot continue to be a monolithic voice that promotes these liberal social welfare policies and programs that are failing in the Black community, that are preaching victimization and dependency, that's not the way that we should go," West said on Fox News Friday [11/19/2010].

Why Do Blacks Still Buy The Government Plantation Lie?  Blacks still by and large see government dependence as the remedy rather than the disease, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  They still choose to listen to left wing black political leadership and media who have careers in keeping it all going.  Consider that it was welfare state government policies that caused this economic collapse to begin with.  And that it was community activist groups claiming to represent the interests of minorities who lobbied for these policies.

Obama Battles Reagan.  Every major Obama initiative from Obamanomics to ObamaCare is inevitably attempting to transform America just as Obama promised:  taking the prosperous America Ronald Reagan saw as The Shining City Upon a Hill and turning it into a Society of Beggars.  Sending Americans begging — literally.  Turning Reagan's "Morning in America" into what Rush Limbaugh has termed Obama's endless Dark Night of the Soup Kitchen.  All of this based on the idea that building the American economy (or for that matter any economy), as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said, must be done based on the philosophy that "the biggest bang for the buck [comes] when you do food stamps and unemployment insurance — the biggest bang for the buck."  This is, of course, straight from Marx.

Pelosi Advocates Food Stamps to Help Economy.  Seriously.  There is a great danger here.  What she's talking about is right out of Karl Marx's socialist playbook.  Allegedly a devout Catholic who somehow manages to get around the Church's stand on baby killing via legalized abortion, she has ignored the warnings of numerous popes about socialism.

Poverty Is Up, Crime Is Down. Is That Possible?  [Scroll down]  Here is a curious thing about that increasing poverty, though — and it's something that has received very little press attention:  It has not resulted in a higher crime rate.  In fact, according to the FBI, even as unemployment was spiking during 2009, the rate of murders, rapes, robberies, and aggravated assaults declined by 4.4 percent compared with the previous year.  As even the Washington Post acknowledged, the conventional wisdom for many decades has been that "economic trouble breeds lawlessness."

Poverty and the Democrats.  The Associated Press reports that Census Bureau data due next week will show a record increase in the poverty rate. ... The Democrats, of course, are like the arsonist who works for the fire department.  They will argue that soaring poverty demands more government spending.

Words sugarcoat politicians' bad ideas.  [Scroll down]  Take the simple phrase "rent control."  If you take these words literally — as if they were money in the bank — you get a complete distortion of reality.  New York is the city with the oldest and strongest rent control laws in the nation.  San Francisco is second.  But if you look at cities with the highest average rents, New York is first and San Francisco is second.  Obviously, "rent control" laws do not control rent.

A country of 'third rails'.  Since the inception of Social Security, there has been an unspoken rule in politics:  When campaigning for national office or running for re-election, a candidate could never pledge to touch, cut spending for, dismantle, or otherwise look crossways at Social Security unless it was to raise the payouts to its recipients.  Social Security has always been referred to as the "third rail" in politics.  You simply never touch it.  It would now appear that the US is riddled with a plethora of untouchable third rails and holy grails.

Expansion of the welfare state disguised as environmentalism.
Earth Day:  An Assault on Man.  [Scroll down]  The American Clean Energy and Security Act passed by the House proposes green economic schemes that should frighten us greatly.  For example, buried on pages 1014-1016 of the bill is the "Monthly Energy Refund."  According to this trick, for those with a gross income that "does not exceed 150 percent of the poverty line ... a direct deposit" of an undisclosed amount of money will be sent "into the eligible household's designated bank account[.]"  On pages 502-503 we find the "Low Income Community Energy Efficiency Program," whereby grants will be issued "to increase the flow of capital and benefits to low income communities, minority-owned and woman-owned businesses and entrepreneurs[.]"

Obama's Quiet War on Red States.  [Scroll down slowly]  The admonition goes that the poor will always be among us, but today's poor needn't become a permanent underclass, which has happened in big cities, especially those in blue states (think Newark, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Detroit).  These poor — mostly black and Hispanic — are the prisoners of big-city Democratic machines, which, allied with leaders in minority and poor communities, have stymied the "up and out" dynamic that was once a feature of poverty in America.  The poor are always with today's Democrats because in exchange for subsidizing the poor, Democrats get whole blocs of votes in return — votes that perpetuate their political power.

The Welfare State of America.  Even before Obamacare and this year's spending increases take effect, Americans have to accept that our government already has gotten to be as big as the biggest welfare states.  Socialism is not just somebody else's problem anymore.

President Obama Makes Poverty Permanent.  If "poverty" is defined as earning less than 75% of other people (or 60%, or whatever number you like) then the poor will always be with us and there is nothing anybody can do to change this.  Omnipotence itself cannot change this.  Yet President Obama thinks he can. ... How?  His administration will create a new index of poverty, one which slides upwards as all income increases.  This guarantees "poverty" will always be with us.  This act of will creates an eternal class of the "poor" from which there can be no relief.

Let It Burn.  If Republicans take control of the House and Senate, and if they repeal the health care bill, then they will not be able (or likely even try) to reform Medicare or Social Security.  These programs alone will bankrupt our nation.  Yet they are untouchable because a large number of Americans have come to depend upon these benefits.  They have become unknowingly hooked.

What It's Really About:  Insurance Reform Was Never About Health Care.  Past liberal administrations began the march toward socialization, expanding government control and provision, demonizing capitalism, and shifting responsibility away from individuals and onto government.  ObamaCare will take its place in the liberal cavalcade of massive government growth initiatives alongside Welfare, Social Security, and a multitude of entitlement programs.  Democrat Senator Dick Durbin said the massive taxes and vast expansion of government required to run the program would simply be, "The cost... of having the kind of America we want to have."  What kind of America was he referring to?

Ignorance is strength and...
Food Stamps Are Not Welfare.  With the help of the statist media, Big Government is making progress in its drive to corrode our culture to the point that dependence on coercively funded handouts is both socially acceptable and ubiquitous.

Michelle Obama, Liberal Government and Obesity:  First Lady, Michelle Obama, has decided to take a whack at solving the American obesity epidemic.  Splendid.  She should start by looking at one of the biggest roots of the problem:  liberal government and its most favorite project of the past 40 years, the welfare state.

Recession Shatters Myth of Poverty Causing Crime.  The sound you should be hearing right now is that of a myth exploding.  And given the long duration and wide acceptance of this myth, the noise should indeed be deafening.  But, no, as when many cherished notions of the left are revealed as fallacious, the current reaction is a hushed, embarrassed silence.

Texas' program for food stamps called the worst.  Texas has the worst-performing food stamp program in the nation, the federal director for food assistance told state officials here Tuesday.  It ranks last among the 50 states and U.S. territories in processing food stamp applications and also does a poor job getting eligible low-income people to apply, Kevin Concannon, a U.S. Department of Agriculture undersecretary, said in an earlier meeting with reporters.

The Editor says...
That's great news!  Why should the state encourage people to apply for welfare?

Crisis of the Government Party.  Democrats are the Party of Government.  They feed it, and it feeds them.  The larger government grows, the more agencies that are created, the more bureaucrats who are hired, the more people who become beneficiaries, the more deeply entrenched in power the Party of Government becomes.  At the local, state and federal level, there are 19 million to 20 million government employees.  And if one takes only Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and earned income tax credits, we are talking of scores of millions who depend on government checks for the necessities of their daily life.

12 Policies that Undermine Civil Society.  [#1]  Massive Expansion of the Welfare State.  Within his first two years in office, President Obama will have increased spending on means-tested programs for the poor by 30 percent, and over the next decade he will spend $10.3 trillion on welfare programs alone.  These are programs such as food stamps, Medicaid, housing, and Head Start that are targeted at low-income people.  In addition to increased spending, the President and Congress are widening eligibility for the programs so that more people will qualify.  Government-sponsored welfare programs do little to actually help move families from a position of dependence to self-sufficiency.

The Fruits of Labor.  We now have a government that considers it public policy to take from those who are productive and give to those who they believe are less productive (or unproductive).  Although this is nothing new with respect to politics, it is more blatant now than at any other time in our history.

The Myth that Liberals Care About the Poor:  Almost every program the Left supports to "help" the poor in this country is surreptitiously designed to de-motivate them and keep them dependent on the government.  The Left saps their will to work with welfare and food stamps, the Left reduces their income and puts them out of jobs by encouraging illegal aliens to enter the country, and the Left fights voucher programs that would allow poverty-stricken students to go to the same schools as the rich Americans.  Liberals incessantly ramble on about how much they care about the poor — and they do, the same way a Venus Flytrap cares about a random bug that happens to fly into its maw.

Poverty?  It's just a lie the Left uses to destroy the middle class.  The propaganda gives it away.  Those ridiculous claims about abolishing child poverty are a huge warning sign.  Why 'child' poverty, by the way?  It's partly to make us all go gooey and say 'aah'.  It's also because the children in our most deprived households have no responsibility at all for the conditions they live in.  But the Government does, by encouraging the creation of single-parent families on welfare.

Cap-and-Tax:  Government vs. America.  There is still time to stop the legislative monstrosity known as the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill before the Senate approves it.  But for that to happen, Americans must learn how bad it is. ... As noted, the bill contains a hidden provision establishing unemployment benefits for up to three full years for workers displaced as a result of this "job creations" bill, as well as health insurance premium subsidies and $1,500 each for job search and relocation expenses — all at taxpayers' expense.

Social service advocates predict disaster if budget cut.  Armageddon, disaster, nightmare, obscene, devastating.  Those are just a few of the words some people use to describe the fallout if deep cuts in Illinois' budget become a reality.  "This budget would be a disaster.  We are talking about decimating programs that help the most vulnerable," said Diana Rauner, spokeswoman for the Ounce of Prevention Fund, a poverty relief organization.

Obama's Stimulus:  LBJ's Great Society welfare was probably the worst of all liberal policies because it was directly responsible for destroying marriage by subsidizing illegitimacy and divorce, thereby creating a matriarchy dependent on government handouts.  It wasn't poverty that destroyed marriage in the lower-income classes, it was the liberal policy of giving taxpayers' money to women, thereby making the husband and father irrelevant and even an impediment to the flow of easy money.  By setting limits on government handouts, the 1996 welfare reform encouraged welfare recipients to get jobs or job training, to make themselves self-sufficient and to end their long-term dependency on government.  The Obama stimulus plan increases the taxpayers' money that the federal government gives to the states for welfare, and reverses incentives by giving bonuses to states that put more people on welfare.

Gospel of dependence from National Urban League.  Shouldn't it embarrass black Americans that one the nation's largest and most prestigious civil rights organizations offers a long list of proposals to improve black life in our country, and every single proposal is a government program? ... There's not a single proposal that I could find in a several hundred-page report about improving black life that does not start with government.  The civil rights movement once was about freedom and liberation.  Now it's about government dependency.  We should be ashamed.

Why Team Obama Hates Poor People.  Democrats, and the progressive left in particular, exploit the poor, they use the poor, they write speeches about them, and manipulate their "unrepresented voices" in debates.  But one thing is increasingly clear from the Obama administration and the popular left in America, they don't have any interest in helping them.

Top 10 Poverty Cities:  What do the top 10 cities with the highest poverty rates all have in common?
 1. Detroit, MI... hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1961;
 2. Buffalo, NY... hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1954;
 3. Cincinnati, OH... hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1984;
 4. Cleveland, OH... hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1989;
 5. Miami, FL... has never had a Republican mayor;
 6. St. Louis, MO... hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1949;
 7. El Paso, TX... has never had a Republican mayor;
 8. Milwaukee, WI... hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1908;
 9. Philadelphia, PA... hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1952;
 10. Newark, NJ... hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1907.

The Editor asks...
Do poor people reflexively elect Democrats to avoid being cut off from public assistance, or do Democrats actively encourage people to be dependent on big government?  I think both.

The poverty of Democrats' ideas for cities:  Perhaps nothing illustrates that better than what's been happening in Detroit, Michigan, and Buffalo, New York.  According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly a third of the residents in those cities are living beneath the poverty line, the highest rates among large cities in the entire country. ... Detroit, whose mayor has been indicted on felony charges, hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1961.  Buffalo has been even more stubborn.  It started putting a Democrat in office back in 1954, and it hasn't stopped since.

The Magic of Barack Obama.  [Scroll down]  Ten out of 10 radicals surveyed agree that America must be remade via spreading the wealth around.  That means confiscating increasingly more money from society's hard-working wage earners and job producers and redistributing or "reinvesting" the booty in liberal programs and bureaucracies.  No matter that the welfare state has been an abject failure, having destroyed the traditional family and shipwrecked tens of millions of lives.  "The welfare system just needs more taxpayer money and then it will finally succeed," dreams the radical left.

Priceless politics:  Among the many rationales used to defend the welfare state, the most powerful is that it is necessary, in order to take care of the poor and the downtrodden.  But the amount of money required to bring every poor person in the country above the official poverty line is a fraction of what is spent by government on the welfare state.

Not Everyone Should Own a Home.  Maybe only a friendly foreigner could say this.  But America needs to realize that not everyone can own a home.  The American Dream of home ownership for all is a fraud.  Politicians who pimped this dream created an unsustainable mortgage industry whose collapse is only surprising because it didn't happen earlier.  America's mortgage industry will not recover, nor deserve to recover, unless it is prepared to challenge this politically unpalatable reality.

Houston Zoo will offer free admission to poor.  Despite record crowds, officials with the Houston Zoo are looking for ways to attract more low-income families.  Starting Aug. 1, families that use the Lone Star card to receive food stamps and other benefits will have unlimited free admission for themselves and up to eight others.

The Editor asks the obvious question...
How will that help the poor improve their situation?

A poor way to measure poverty.  The official poverty measure counts only monetary income.  It considers anti-poverty programs such as food stamps, housing assistance, the Earned Income Tax Credit, Medicaid and school lunches, among others, "in-kind benefits" — and hence not income.  So, despite everything these programs do to relieve poverty, they aren't counted as income when Washington measures the poverty rate.

Poverty Does Not Cause Crime.  In all my years covering court, I don't ever recall a defence lawyer claiming that his or her client committed a particular crime because of poverty.  All sorts of explanations crop up during sentencing submissions, including addiction, mental illness, childhood abuse and abysmal coping skills.  Defence lawyers, however, do not pin their hopes for a light sentence on the poverty-causes-crime argument.  It's untrue and judges won't buy it.




Barack Obama reverses the welfare reform law of 1996

Did Welfare Reform Increase Extreme Poverty in the United States?  Two decades ago, on August 22, 1996, President Bill Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, popularly known as welfare reform, into law.  At the time, liberals proclaimed that the bill would slash the incomes of one in five families with children and push 2.6 million people into poverty.  Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously predicted that the bill would leave children scavenging in the streets, "sleeping on grates, picked up in the morning frozen."  In fact, reform cut welfare caseloads by over 50 percent, employment of the least-skilled single mothers surged, and the poverty rates of black children and single-parent families dropped rapidly to historic lows.  Doomsday prophets were utterly discredited.  Reform was very popular with the public.  Remarkably, 20 years later, Moynihan's alarm about "children sleeping on grates" has been revived.

Obama edict repealed 1996 welfare reform's work requirement.  When the Republican Congress and Democratic President Bill Clinton reformed welfare in 1996, among the many changes was to add a work requirement to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly known as food stamps.  Liberals always hated the work requirement, and the stimulus was a perfect opportunity to repeal it.  The results have been entirely predictable.  A 2012 Congressional Research Service report found that the number of able-bodied American adults on food stamps has more than doubled, from 1.9 million in 2008 to 3.9 million in 2010.

Obama edict repealed 1996 welfare reform's work requirement.  There were plenty of reasons why President Obama's $787 trillion economic stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, received no Republican votes in the House of Representatives.  But one rarely mentioned reason was tucked away in the more than 1,000 pages of crony capitalist spending — a provision ending the work requirement for the food stamp program.

5 Ways Obama Has Trampled the Constitution.  [#4]  Waiving welfare work requirements:  In July 2012, the Department of Health and Human Services gutted the work requirements out of the welfare reform law passed in 1996.  It notified states of Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's "willingness to exercise her waiver authority" so that states may eliminate the work participation requirement of Section 407 of the 1996 reforms.  This flatly contradicts the law, which provides that waivers granted under other sections of the law "shall not affect the applicability of section 407 to the State."  Despite this unambiguous language, the Obama Administration continues to flout the law with its "revisionist" interpretation.

Welfare: Obama Wanted to Gut Work Requirements in 2009.  President Obama had been seeking ways to circumvent the 1996 welfare work requirements since coming to office, according to a 2009 memo released Tuesday [5/7/2013] by Representative David Camp (R-MI) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT).  "From the first year the Obama Administration took power, it was trying to find any legal and policy justification to permit the weakening of welfare reforms that demand work in exchange for government benefits," said Hatch in a press release on Tuesday [5/7/2013].  "They used states' desire for flexibility as a stalking horse to justify this massive executive branch power grab."  Last July, Obama's Department of Health and Human Services released an official policy directive effectively gutting work requirements from the successful welfare reform of 1996.

Food stamp rolls explode after Obama loosens rules.  You will recall that during the last election there was a big controversy over whether the Obama administration had acted to "gut" — to use the Romney campaign's term — the work requirements under welfare reform. [...] The programs have simply been made more efficient, the White House argued.  If by "more efficient" the Obama team meant getting unprecedented numbers of people on the rolls and keeping them there longer by relaxing the old rules, then, yes, the administration's reforms have been a roaring success.

Obama's Latest Political Slander.  During the Obama years, in fact, the ranks of America's poor have climbed to levels unseen in nearly half a century.  In addition, Obama was opposed to the 1996 welfare reform bill, which was arguably the single best policy reform to help poor Americans, and his administration has taken steps to weaken welfare work requirements.  Yet the president feels like he's in a position to lecture Republicans about caring for the most vulnerable members of the human community.

Obama's Palace Guard.  [Scroll down]  This isn't a closely guarded secret.  Key personnel under Sebelius at HHS have a lengthy track record of opposing the 1996 welfare reform.  Doug Steiger, for example, the deputy assistant secretary for legislation for human services at HHS, plays a significant role in shaping Obama administration welfare policy.  Rector notes that Steiger used to work for Max Baucus, the Senate Finance Committee chairman, "and when TANF was going to be reauthorized in 2002, they put up a bill that manifestly had no federal work requirements in it at all.  And he was very explicit that was their goal — there were to be no federal work requirements."

Welfare Reform as We Knew It.  It's hard to remember now, but this summer Mitt Romney opened a useful debate about "dependency" — concerning President Obama's regulation to rewrite the 1996 welfare reform.  Democrats deny any such intent, but as early as this week the House plans to hold a vote to override the new rule.  So it's a good moment to dissect what the Administration is really trying to do, because in this case Mr. Romney is right:  The Administration has made welfare's work requirements far weaker, and for ideological reasons that the press corps has failed to report.

CRS report: number of able-bodied adults on food stamps doubled after Obama suspended work requirement.  Obama administration officials have insisted that their decision to grant states waivers to redefine work requirements for welfare recipients would not "gut" the landmark 1996 welfare reform law.  But a new report from the Congressional Research Service obtained by the Washington Examiner suggests that the administration's suspension of a separate welfare work requirement has already helped explode the number of able-bodied Americans on food stamps.

Media Blackout: GAO Says Obama's Welfare Waivers Illegal.  On Sept. 4, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) made a startling assertion saying that Obama circumvented the law when he summarily waived the work requirements in the welfare law.  Perhaps not as shocking, few news outlets seem interested in the story.

Obama Administration Welfare Waivers Violated Law, GAO Finds.  Did the Obama administration, in waiving work requirements for welfare recipients, violate the law?  According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress' investigative arm, the answer is yes.  In response to a request from Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, the GAO examined whether the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) July 12 Information Memorandum concerning the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program violated the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

How Obama has gutted welfare reform.  The 1996 welfare reform law required that a portion of the able-bodied adults in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program — the successor to the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program — work or prepare for work.  Those work requirements were the heart of the reform's success:  Welfare rolls dropped by half, and the poverty rate for black children reached its lowest level in history in the years following.  But the Obama administration has jettisoned the law's work requirements, asserting that, in the future, no state will be required to follow them. In place of the legislated work requirements, the administration has stated, it will unilaterally design its own "work" systems without congressional involvement or consent.  Any state will be free to follow the new Obama requirements "in lieu of" the written statute.

Gutting Welfare Reform: Ending Welfare as We Know It.  Today, the federal government operates nearly 80 welfare programs at a total cost to state and local governments that is approaching $1 trillion annually.  Now the Obama Administration is attempting to boost government dependence by removing work requirements from one of only two welfare programs that include work requirements. [...] The Obama Administration's directive strangles welfare reform and threatens the principle of personal responsibility.  Instead of rolling back welfare reform, work requirements should be strengthened in TANF and added to programs like food stamps and public housing to help those in need become self-reliant and free from government dependence.

Welfare Reform's Work Requirements Cannot be Waived.  Under the guise of providing states greater "flexibility" in operating their welfare programs, the Obama Administration now claims the authority to weaken or waive the work requirements that are at the heart of welfare reform. But Congress intended that those requirements be absolutely mandatory in all instances and specifically withheld any authority to weaken or waive them.  Waiving the work requirements that are at the center of the 1996 welfare reform is not only terrible policy, but also a violation of the President's constitutional obligation to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed."

No wonder I'm so tired.  I've been working two jobs!
New York Times Fact Checkers: Bed Rest Is Work!  The non-Fox media have formed a solid front in denouncing Romney's welfare ad for daring to point out that Obama has gutted the work requirements of the 1996 welfare reform bill.  The New York Times claims that Romney's ad "falsely" charges Obama with eliminating work requirements.  CNN rates the ad "false."  Underemployed hack Howard Fineman says Romney's ad "is just flat out wrong on the facts" and "that every fair analyst, every fact checker" has said it's "just factually wrong."  When a campaign ad induces this much hysteria, you know Romney has struck gold.

Obama Sabotages Welfare Reform.  Obama's goal, as he has said, is to "fundamentally transform the United States" and to "spread the wealth" to produce more dependency on government.  As he probably learned at the Socialist Workers conference he attended while at Columbia, and then as a student of Chicago radical Saul Alinsky, the best way to do that is to load more people onto the welfare rolls.  In gutting the Republican welfare reform, Obama ignored the fact that the work requirement written into the TANF law is "mandatory."  He just went ahead and issued a waiver anyway, claiming it is OK under Section 1115 of the Social Security Act.  However, the TANF law states that waivers cannot be issued unless they are specifically listed in Section 1115.  Welfare's "work" requirement" is not listed.

Obama Ends Welfare Reform As We Know It.  Welfare reform replaced the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children with a new program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).  The underlying concept of welfare reform was that able-bodied adults should be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving welfare aid.  The welfare reform law was very successful.  In the four decades prior to welfare reform, the welfare caseload never experienced a significant decline.  But, in the four years after welfare reform, the caseload dropped by nearly half.  Employment surged and child poverty among blacks and single mothers plummeted to historic lows.  What was the catalyst for these improvements?  Rigorous new federal work requirements contained in TANF.

Obama Ends Welfare Reform as We Know It, Calls for $12.7 Trillion in New Welfare Spending.  Last Thursday [7/12/2012], the Obama Administration quietly issued new bureaucratic rules that overturned the popular welfare reform law of 1996.  This was an illegal move, and it completely undoes years of progress that helped millions of Americans.  The 1996 reform replaced the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program with a new program called Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).  At the core of the TANF program were new federal work standards that required able-bodied welfare recipients to work, prepare for work, or at least look for work as a condition for receiving aid.  Welfare reform turned "welfare" into "workfare."

Obama is buying his reelection, one entitlement at a time.
Food stamps for votes.  Welfare to work is the cornerstone of a reform passed in 1996 by a Republican Congress and signed by Bill Clinton.  The Obama administration on Thursday [7/12/2012] announced it was taking steps to gut this landmark law.  The theory behind welfare reform was people on government assistance not only should work towards getting a job but actually want one.  The law is credited with shrinking the welfare caseload by over 2.8 million, making them productive members of society.

Obama takes the Work out of Welfare.  Yesterday afternoon [7/12/2012], President Obama's Department of Health and Human Services issued a directive effectively waiving work requirements that have been the fundamental component of the 1996 welfare reform law.  The law, hailed by both Republicans and Democrats as an extremely successful piece of legislation, cut the number of people on welfare in half.

'Add Welfare Reform to List of Laws Obama Refuses to Follow'.  The Obama administration today [7/12/2012] issued a waiver for work requirements under the 1996 welfare reform law, prompting the chairman of the conservative caucus in the House to accuse the president of "hurting the very people he claims to help."  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent an "information memorandum" to states this afternoon exercising waiver authority under the Social Security Act for the provision that "parents and caretakers receiving assistance under the [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)] program engage in work activities."

The Editor says...
What percentage of the people receiving "Temporary Assistance for Needy Families" are actually needy, and receiving the money temporarily, and part of an actual family?

Obama, after gutting welfare reform: Americans can't be looking for handouts'.  "Americans can't be looking for handouts," Obama said during a campaign stop in Virginia.  "There are some folks you can't help if they're not willing to help themselves."  Moments later, he invoked former President Clinton as a model for economic leadership:  "Bill Clinton did it, and we ended up having 23 million new jobs," Obama added.  But he was referring to Clinton's tax policy, not the welfare reform bill undermined by his Department of Health and Human Services yesterday [7/12/2012].

White House approved reversal of welfare reform.  Both OMB and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius approved the new rules, Kenneth Wolfe, the department's deputy director of public affairs, told The Daily Caller.  The department will not be holding a press conference about the rules, which remove a core element of the successful reform that halved the taxpayers' welfare caseload.

Republicans accuse HHS of gutting welfare reform with quiet policy change.  Republicans are accusing the Obama administration of unilaterally gutting welfare reform after the Department of Health and Human Services quietly notified states that they may seek a waiver for the program's strict work requirements.  HHS made the announcement in a policy memo Thursday [7/12/2012], news that slipped well below the radar amid a raucous day on the presidential campaign trail.  But a few prominent GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill picked up on the change, and accused the administration of overhauling one of the most important bipartisan agreements of the past several decades.

Obama hacks away at America's foundation.  Barack Obama's out of control presidency plunged deeper into outlaw territory this past week.  Obama's lawless band gutted the nation's successful 1996 welfare reform law by issuing a bureaucratic directive that (illegally) does away with the work requirement at the heart of the bipartisan reform adopted under Bill Clinton's presidency.  The directive, issued by Obama's Department of Health and Human Services, allows states to waive the work requirement to receive welfare.  But the reform law clearly does not allow for that specific waiver, according to Robert Rector of the conservative Heritage Foundation, who helped draft the 1996 reform.

The Latent Function of Welfare Un-Reform.  There has been much gnashing of teeth over the fact that the Obama Administration's recent decree on welfare reform means that practicing yoga or bed rest would count as work for purposes of admitting people to welfare rolls, but there well may be another purpose of the action — intended or unintended. [...] So, clearly, a latent function, or goal, of the actions is the reduction of the unemployment rate — if you're not seeking work but engaged in the "work activity" of bed-rest and are collecting welfare because of that status, you are no longer unemployed.

Orrin Hatch introduces bill to block Obama power grab.  Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) introduced a bill Wednesday to block President Obama's controversial changes to work requirements in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families law.  Sen. Hatch introduced his bill, the Preserving Work Requirement for Welfare Programs Act, on the Senate floor by saying, "This bill halts last week's unprecedented power grab from the Obama administration whereby unelected bureaucrats unilaterally granted themselves the authority to waive federal welfare work requirements ... to put this another way, unelected bureaucrats ignored the law passed by Congress, the elected representatives of the American people."

The Misgovernment Campaign.  The Republic has survived, and probably can continue to survive liars, misguided ideologues and incompetents in high office, but Obama does not stop at flawed logic or false assertion.  He has shown himself so irresponsible and so heedless of the best interests of our economy, social fabric, and security that he has unleashed recently a wave of destructive policies and administrative practices aimed at manipulating and mobilizing the frightened, the dispirited, the resentful and the ignorant to help return him to office.

Obama's Illegal and Risky Welfare Policy.  Until this week, the Obama campaign's strategy of interest-group payoffs and demonization of Romney seemed, if tawdry, at least a possible route to reelection.  The president's promises to deliver more and more "free" stuff for carefully selected grantees — adorned in the language of sticking up for the "middle class" — appeared to have a chance of success.  But the decision to embrace one of the least popular Democratic positions of the past 100 years — opposition to the work requirement for welfare recipients — is inexplicable politically.  It's also illegal and imperious.

Obama Flouts the Rule of Law.  Mona Charen had a characteristically great column Tuesday [7/17/2012] about President Obama's illegal welfare policy.  The president purports to be unbound by federal welfare law, which imposes work requirements on welfare recipients.  The Washington Times reports that "such activities as motivational reading, housework, weight loss, and journaling" will now qualify for exemption from work requirements.

So Much for the 'Dignity of Work'.  [Scroll down]  The Obama administration has also destigmatized welfare through a series of ads targeted at middle- and lower-income Americans in both English and Spanish.  In the English versions of the radio ads, which the Tatler first noticed back in April, food stamps are re-branded SNAP, and the ads encourage Americans to call a 1-800 number to find out if they qualify.  The ad's positive, peppy tone notes that it is possible to qualify even if you have a job and own a car and a home.

Obama Puts Democrats Back in Welfare Reform Trap.  Political controversy over welfare is back after a 16-year hiatus.  As with the fight that started earlier this year over whether Catholic organizations should be forced to provide contraceptive coverage to their employees, a rule change from the Department of Health and Human Services started the dispute.  And once again, the Obama administration is on shaky ground as a matter of both law and politics.

Obama Admin.: Journaling, motivational reading count as work for welfare.  In 1996, Republicans forced through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) bill, also known as welfare reform.  It incentivized states to create welfare-to-work programs, trying to transition Americans from government dependency to financial solvency. But states quickly acted to poke holes in that legislation, calling the following activities "work" for purposes of the statute:  bed rest, personal care activities, massage, exercise, journaling, motivational reading, smoking cessation, weight loss promotion, participation in parent-teacher meetings, or helping friends or family with household tasks and errands.  This was idiotic.  So in 2005, Congress closed the loophole, over the objections of then-Senator Obama.  Now, Obama has walked back the 2005 legislation, using his Department of Health and Human Services to unilaterally waive those work requirements.




Leftist politicians perpetuate poverty and dependence
... by encouraging people to get hooked on welfare benefits and food stamps.

City offering to pay homeless a year's worth of rent if they leave town.  The city wants the homeless to get out of town — and is offering to pay a full year's rent to those willing to abandon the five boroughs.  Under a pilot program quietly launched last month, shelter residents who have been in the system for at least 90 days and have a source of income can get 12 months of rent paid up-front virtually anywhere they can find an apartment.  Their travel expenses to vamoose would also be paid under a program already in place known as Project Reconnect.

Santa Ana creates homeless czar position as it works to combat growing issue.  As Orange County municipalities take steps to address growing homeless populations within their borders, the city with one of the largest concentrations is doubling down on its efforts to keep the issue from getting even more out of hand.  Santa Ana council members on Tuesday, Sept. 19, unanimously approved a homeless prevention, intervention and mitigation plan and created a city homeless services manager position.

Costa Mesa considers adding 'spartan' restrooms to deal with growing homeless issues.  Faced with continuing issues with the local homeless population, officials in Costa Mesa have again floated the idea of installing new public restrooms that would provide a hygienic and safe place for transients to use.  City Councilman John Stephens broached the topic during Friday's meeting of a liaison committee made up of representatives from the city, Costa Mesa Sanitary District, Mesa Water and Newport-Mesa Unified School districts.  The agencies, he said, could consider a pilot project to install one or two new restrooms away from parks where families gather.  No specific locations were mentioned during the meeting.

Houston school district will give students 3 free meals a day for an entire year in wake of Harvey flooding.  The Houston Independent School District announced Wednesday [8/30/2017] all students will eat all school meals for free during the 2017-2018 school year.  The approval came from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Texas Department of Agriculture to waive the required application process for the National School Lunch/Breakfast Program.  HISD says the free meals come in the wake of flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey.  "Despite the federal waiver, HISD is still asking parents and guardians to complete and return the application," HISD stated in a press release.

'Tenant rights' for the homeless: an absurd new low in NYC liberalism.  Blue York City liberalism can get so nutty, the laws and rights turn outright fratricidal — such as in a suit from the Legal Aid Society demanding equal tenant rights for the homeless.  As Carl Campanile reported in Monday's Post, the LAS wants homeless whom the city houses in regular apartments to have full protection under the rent laws — even though they pay no rent.

Public defenders push more DAs to ease up on turnstile jumpers.  The movement to stop prosecuting subway fare-beaters, announced recently by the Manhattan district attorney and soon to be adopted in Brooklyn, must be expanded citywide, public defenders argue.  The Legal Aid Society, the Bronx Defenders, Queens Law Associates and other groups have joined efforts to pressure prosecutors in Queens and the Bronx to get onboard with the cause, which advocates say will help unclog the courts.  Advocates say arresting turnstile jumpers unfairly disadvantages the city's poor population.

Turnstile Jumping Okay in New York.  Good news for fare-beaters on the New York subway system.  It has been discovered that enforcing the law against jumping turnstiles disadvantages the poor.

The soft bigotry of Denver's public pooping laws.  'The Denver City Council has voted unanimously to decriminalize a number of offenses, including defecating in public.  Also, urinating in public.  Camping on public or private land without permission.  Panhandling.  And lying across public rights-of-way, such as sidewalks.  Democrat Mayor Michael Hancock and city officials explained the new ordinances are designed to protect immigrants — legal and the other kind — from "unintended consequences."  These consequences were fines and longer jail terms, as has been customary in most places for violating the behavioral norms of civilized American society.

How Food Stamps Subverted Democracy, Part 1.  The federal government is now feeding more than 100 million Americans.  The vast increase in dependency fundamentally changes the relationship of Washington to the citizenry.  The more Americans rely on handouts, the more difficult it becomes to roll back politicians' power over those who do not.  There was no good reason for the vast expansion of dependency.  The history of the federal food-aid boom is a story of political conniving, bureaucratic bungles, and media collusion.  Forty years ago, when the "hunger revolution" in American politics began, average people would have scoffed at the notion that the government must intervene to supply so many meals.  But in the subsequent decades, politicians captured new prerogatives to take over far more lives.

Legalized marijuana turns Colorado resort town into homeless magnet.  From his sidewalk vantage point in front of an outdoor equipment store in downtown Durango, Colo., Matthew Marinseck has seen a transformation in this mountain resort town.  The picturesque town near the New Mexico border, once a vibrant, upscale community dotted with luxury hotels, is being overrun by panhandlers — thanks, in part, to the legalization of marijuana.  The town suddenly became a haven for recreational pot users, drawing in transients, panhandlers and a large number of homeless drug addicts, according to officials and business owners.  Many are coming from New Mexico, Arizona and even New York.

Sacramento public housing residents just got free Zipcars.  Residents at three public housing areas now have a mini-fleet of free Zipcars to make their way around Sacramento.  On Friday, Sacramento launched a pilot program that put eight shared electric Kia Souls at public housing sites.  Up to 300 residents can apply for on-demand access to the vehicles, with no charge for maintenance, insurance or juicing up the battery.  The program is funded through a $1.3 million grant from the California Air Resources Board using cap-and-trade funds that businesses pay to offset their carbon emissions.

Chicago approves IDs for illegal immigrants.  The Windy City has a whole host of issues to deal with these days, many of them centered around the fact that you're more likely to be murdered there than in Fallujah on any given day.  But rather than worrying about pesky little problems like that, the city council has decided to go after the really big ticket items on the agenda.  One of these is to begin creating and distributing special municipal ID cards for various "underserved" groups including illegal immigrants.  What could possibly go wrong?

A homeless family needed shelter.  D.C. gave them bus tickets to North Carolina.  The nation's capital is one of the few places in the country that guarantee homeless families a right to shelter.  So when Chanda Davis faced eviction last winter from the apartment in Southeast Washington she shared with her four children, she thought she could count on D.C.'s Department of Human Services for help.  Davis got help she wasn't expecting.  Instead of putting a roof over her family's head, the city put bus tickets in their hands — and sent them on a one-way trip to North Carolina.

These are the 30 posh hotels where NYC places its homeless.  The city has used 30 Manhattan hotels to house the homeless, including the iconic New Yorker, the upscale Excelsior and the tourist-friendly The Manhattan at Times Square.  The city's use of Manhattan hotels shot up 58 percent in the last year as bookings expanded from the outer boroughs to prime tourist destinations in Midtown and Soho.  And the homeless lodging has reached beyond fleabag flophouses to boutique hotels and brand names sought by visitors who don't necessarily want to mingle with the down-and-out.  "We rode the elevator up to our room with homeless people who were barefoot," one guest at the Art Deco New Yorker hotel griped on the site Trip Advisor in August.

What Has Obama Done to Us, and How Was He Able to Do It?  Undoubtedly, one reason why so many people vote left is because, for this or that reason, they are dependent upon some sort of government largesse.  As Mitt Romney noted in 2012, 47% of the American populace receive some kind of government benefit, and are therefore unlikely to react favorably to the prospect of that beneficence being curtailed or eliminated.  After four more years of Obamaism, that percentage may actually be higher.  Republicans will find it hard to wean people from the government benefits bestowed during Obama's presidency.

Democrats, crime and poverty
You'll never guess which political party leads in poverty and crime.  I'd be more a lot more snarky if the human toll wasn't so devastating.  The sad fact remains:  progressives don't get it and never will.  Their policies are based on emotion, not facts.  Feelings, not human experience.  Their policies are those of a cult, not a real political party.


41,000 Welfare Recipients Just Received Brutal News.  Many Americans have long advocated for welfare reform, to prevent people from being able to spend their entire lives on welfare without ever looking for a job or attempting to better their situation.  Liberals fight this tooth and nail, because Democrats typically aren't looking to help people improve their lives — they want to keep them reliant on the government.  But unfortunately for liberals, Missouri enacted welfare reform and tens of thousands of people are no longer eligible.

Hope and humility.  Politicians promote faith in themselves because it helps their careers and feeds their egos.  When was the last time you heard a politician say only you can make your life better by the choices you make?  Have you ever heard a politician say, "We are clearing the field of liberty as much as we can so that you have the best opportunity to succeed at whatever you believe your gifts qualify you for"?  If politicians started talking like that people might have more faith in themselves and politicians would see their influence and power decline significantly.

Living on the welfare cliff.  A single parent in Lake County who earns $12 per hour brings home just over $22,000 in net pay.  However, that same single parent is eligible for an array of welfare benefits as follows:
  •   Refundable tax credits from the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, the Additional Child Tax Credit, and the Illinois Earned Income Tax Credit
  •   Food assistance, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, food packages for the Women, Infants and Children program, or WIC, and the National School Lunch Program
  •   Housing assistance from the Housing Choice Voucher Program
  •   Subsidized child care services
  •   Medical assistance for both the parent and her children
When you add up the value of those potential benefits, it comes to an astounding $39,534, bringing the total net receivables — in terms of earned income and benefits — to $61,655.  In comparison, suppose you earn $18 per hour, bringing home about $33,000 in net pay.  That is a gain of about $11,000 in earned income.  However, your potential welfare benefits will drop drastically to $5,236 from $39,534, for a loss of more than $34,000.  Why would any sane person voluntarily give up $34,000 in benefits to gain only $11,000?

New York City to pay residents who house their homeless relatives or friends almost $2,000 a month in 'Home for the Holidays' campaign.  The city of New York is willing to pay friends and families of homeless people thousands of dollars to let them stay in their homes over the holiday season.  The city rolled out its 'Home for the Holidays' program this week, which will be offered to 5,000 families who have been living in homeless shelters for at least 90 days.  Every family chosen for the program will be placed with friends or relatives, and given a $500 voucher to 'help them get settled'.

Low-income families going upscale at taxpayer expense.  The Obama administration is changing the program through which very low-income families are paid rent subsidies at taxpayer expense so they can live in more upscale neighborhoods.  HUD Secretary Julian Castro recently confirmed the plan to raise the rent subsidies.  "Today, we embark upon a new approach to offer more choice and greater opportunity for families struggling to find a decent place to call home," Castro said.  "Moving to this approach will offer these voucher-holding families more opportunities to move into higher opportunity neighborhoods with better housing, better schools and higher paying jobs."

HUD Gives Poor More Rent Money to Live in "Higher Opportunity" Areas With "Lower Poverty".  To help "very low-income families" live in better neighborhoods, the Obama administration has issued a sweeping order requiring the government to pay more for their housing so they can move to areas of higher opportunity and lower poverty.  The final rule was announced in the federal register this month by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the agency that annually spends tens of billions on rent for the poor.  A chunk of the money, an estimated $18 billion according to the Congressional Budget Office, goes to a program called Housing Choice Voucher (HCV), which is funded by HUD and administered by local public housing agencies.  It allows recipients to choose housing in the private market and pays a set amount based on fair market rent for a metropolitan area.  Under the new rule, which goes into effect in January, fair market rents will now be calculated by ZIP code so Uncle Sam will pay a lot more for people to live in nicer areas.

Medieval America.  Today, a fifth of American households have zero or negative net worth.  The shrinking middle classes struggle to service trillions of dollars in consumer and student debt to big banks — in the manner of medieval peasants.  In the medieval world, impoverished serfs pledged loyalty to barons in exchange for their food and housing on the manor.  In the modern world, progressive government is the bastion that distributes entitlements on the expectation that the masses show their political fealty at election time.

Locked In.  Let me tell you about "lock-in" — a practice at Pine Ridge, the Indian reservation in South Dakota.  One weekend a month, a particular school has lock-in.  Literally, they lock the children into the school, where they play games and so on.  Lock-in is timed for the arrival of government checks.  Why?  Because when adults receive the checks, they have money to booze up, and when they do, they are likelier than ever to abuse the children.  Hence, lock-in, for the kids' protection.  And, frankly, they could use this every other day of the month, too.

$15 hammer.  I am angry at the continued (seeming) acceptance of the new normal of Obamanomics. [...] The unemployment rate is a sham.  Obamanomics has produced perverse incentives which are accelerating decline and dependency.  Where an employee today had a paycheck and insurance, tomorrow, they'll have unemployment and ObamaCare.

$10 Mil to End "Diaper Disparity" after Free Diaper Laws Fail Twice in Congress.  The multi-million-dollar initiative is being promoted by the White House as essential to eradicate a national "diaper divide" and the goal is to abolish "diaper disparity" by expanding access to affordable diapers for America's poorest families.  Behind this high-priced mission is Cecilia Muñoz, the White House Domestic Policy Director.  A renowned open borders lobbyist in Washington D.C., Muñoz was vice president of National Council of La Raza (NCLR) before Obama brought her on as White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs.  A few years later the president promoted her to the more powerful and prestigious post of top advisor on domestic issues.  Muñoz wields tremendous power, coordinating the policy-making process and supervising the execution of domestic policy in the White House.  If she wants Uncle Sam to give poor families free diapers, it's safe to bet that it will happen even if Congress has twice nixed the scandalous idea.

Dumb, Dumber and Democrat.  The Democrats purposely created a narrative of nasty and divisive class envy, destroyed our educational system particularly through Common Core, and wildly helped millions of people become addicted to a life of entitlement.  These do-gooders demonically created a dependent constituency who will obediently be there when it is time to pull the voting lever, whether legal or not.  The two pillars sustaining today's Democratic Party are the elites and the losers.  Remember the so-called and once important "middle class"?  Although occasionally still referenced in stump speeches, these hard-working blue-collar factory laborers, veterans, police and fire-fighters have been relegated to the back of the Democrats' busload of newly-found victims.  "Black Lives Matter," men in dresses and harboring dangerous illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities are the new protected class and assured Democrat voters.

Hawaii may bring back traditional grass huts for homeless.  Hawaii lawmakers are considering a unique solution to the housing crisis:  They want to make it possible for people to live in traditional Hawaiian grass huts.

The Danger of a 'Right' to Live on the Streets.  Across the United States, temperatures are plunging, making it deadly for the homeless who refuse to go into shelters.  Each year, hundreds of these vagrants die from exposure on the streets.  Yet blinded by progressive ideology, so-called "advocates" for the homeless — including the Obama administration — are defending a "right" to stay on the streets.  Even if it means freezing to death.

The Editor says...
It's called survival of the fittest.  A homeless person should be locked up year-round if he or she is truly incapable of making competent decisions about his or her self-preservation.  On the other hand, in the absence of any criminal activity (such as tresspassing or vagrancy), one should have the freedom to live wherever one pleases, at one's own risk.

New Louisiana governor to undo welfare reform.  Hope and change is coming to Louisiana after the defeat of David Vitter last month. John Bel Edwards swept to victory by a double digit margin and let everyone know that he was going to start changing up the game.  Now, well before he's even taken the oath of office, Edwards is prepping for some of his first big reforms in the financially troubled state.  One of the top items on his docket is getting rid of the work requirement for able bodied food stamp recipients.

Obama's Real Legacy: Ten Ticking Time Bombs.  [#7] A "food stamp" nation.  Over the past decade, the food stamps program has nearly doubled in size from 26 million to 46 million recipients (one in seven Americans) and more than doubled in cost from $29 billion to $64 billion a year.  When the next recession hits, these figures will swell to historic highs.  Democrats oppose common-sense reforms.  Prognosis:  more dependency.

The 7 Keys To Trapping As Many Americans As Possible In Poverty.  You want to make as many Americans poor as possible?  Then start by... [#2] Encouraging Dependency:  You want to keep people poor over the long haul?  Then get them dependent on a government payment that will always keep them poor.  Start them young!  Get as many kids as possible used to taking handouts with free breakfast and lunch programs.  Then when they're adults, make it as easy as possible to get on the dole and stay on it.  In fact, you should spend millions on advertising campaigns letting people know that they're eligible to become dependent on the government.  This keeps people stuck in a no man's land where they're still poor, but they're just comfortable enough that they don't feel compelled to work to get more.

Hawaii declares state of emergency for homelessness crisis.  Hawaii Gov. David Ige has declared a state of emergency to deal with the state's homelessness crisis just days after city and state officials cleared one of the nation's largest homeless encampments.

Hawaii Declares State of Emergency for Homelessness — Guess What Their Solution Is.  Hawaii [...] now has the worst homeless problem in the country.  What do you suppose causes that?  With the highest cost of living in the nation, it is small wonder that if someone falls on hard times that they wind up on the street.  It's also a magnet, climate wise, for those who know they will be on the streets.  The Hawaiian government is notoriously controlled by Democrats.  Their progressive policies have created this mess.  But, never fear, they've come up with a solution!  Yep, they are going to take real estate that no one else wants and put what they call 'transitional housing' on it.  This 'housing' is made up of shipping containers, divided in half to form a duplex of sorts.

Poverty Pimps Owe Middle Class $22 Trillion in Reparations.  Who are the poverty pimps?  Any politicians who have ever voted for legislation that took money out of Americans' pockets and put it in failed programs in the manufactured War on Poverty.  Any activists, including clergy, who have lobbied for more funding for failed programs.  Any progressive radicals who have called for an end to capitalism in favor of creating a majority of low-income workers.  Any nonprofits that have brought in billions over the last 50 years in the name of eradicating poverty.

Some People Choose to Be Homeless.  The Obama Department of Justice argued last week that a Boise, Idaho, law against "public sleeping in a city without adequate shelter space constitutes criminalizing homelessness itself, in violation of the Eighth Amendment."  In a statement of interest filed in federal court, the Obama administration asserted that banning sleeping and camping in public places constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment."

The Tragic and Complete Collapse of Racial Relations.  Obama in recompense for favoring the aristocratic elite feels that by expanding food stamps, disability insurance, housing, legal, and education subsidies, etc., the lower classes will be satisfied in lieu of a high-paying job on a fracking rig, in construction, or welding on the Keystone pipeline.

Bernie Sanders: Pathetic and Outdated.  People need to work. People need to contribute to the improvement of society.  The old leftists like FDR still had some element of the work ethic in their worldviews.  But the leftists of our generation are now locked into a hopeless political schizophrenia where they promote state-managed giveaway programs and at the same time call for vast work programs.  The work ethic core value is the polar opposite of the entitlement mentality. [...] Additionally, manual labor is no longer considered a fit activity for citizens who are used to instant food, instant information through the Internet, and instant money through the welfare system.  Manual labor takes time, and, well... it is laborious.

Food banks struggle to meet surprising demand.  Food banks across the country are seeing a rising demand for free groceries despite the growing economy, leading some charities to reduce the amount of food they offer each family.

Politicians are insulated from the bums in the street:
Cops keep de Blasio in a bum-free bubble.  No wonder he doesn't think there's a problem.  The police have been laboring to keep Mayor de Blasio in a bum-free bubble — clearing nuisance-causing vagrants from his view at Gracie Mansion and as he travels in the city.  On Wednesday [7/15/2015], two hours before de Blasio was due to walk through Washington Square Park, cops arrived en masse to clear out the quality-of-life-ruining bums who drink from paper bags, sprawl on benches and pee in public.

Bums think de Blasio is the best mayor ever.  Bums across the city hailed Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday for relaxing enforcement against homeless panhandlers, saying it hasn't been this good for them in years.  "I want to thank de Blasio for taking it easy on us.  It's easier for me to get by.  Because of him, nobody bothers me," said Phil Zasel, 63, who was hanging out near Bellevue Hospital with several sacks of belongings.  "It's better out here now.  It's the best time to be homeless.  The weather is nice.  I feel like I'm in California.  So I'd rather be out here until it gets cold."

Government Crushes People — Then Writes Them Checks.  [Scroll down]  The 2008 global economic collapse was caused just about entirely by government.  Banks were forced for decades to make hundreds of thousands of home loans to people everyone knew couldn't pay them back.  The bad papers mounted and mounted — and when the market teetered ever so slightly, the Everest of government garbage avalanched down and buried the planet.  Our government's response — was to cut checks for hundreds of billions of dollars to the institutions they forced to make the loans.  Getting mad at the banks is like shooting someone — and then getting mad at them for bleeding on you.  This was entirely government's fault.

Make people WORK for food stamps? New Mexico plan has libs WAILING.  Liberals usually just want to give you things, especially when they are paid for by other taxpayers, without expecting you to work for it at all.  It makes you dependent on them and keep voting for them.

The shrinking workforce of Obama's America.  Reagan gave us an enormous and highly productive work force, and that's why there was so much prosperity during his time in office.  Barack Obama has a very different idea about what life should be like in America.  And he's achieving his vision too.  Obama thinks it's a shame when people have to work too hard, and he wants the government to enact policies that give people more free stuff in exchange for less work.

Obama Has Officially Turned America Into Food Stamp Nation.  Since 2008 when Obama took office, the number of Americans relying on food stamps has doubled.  Now, one CEO is tired of seeing America being turned into a food stamp nation by the entitlement-happy liberals and says big changes need to happen to get Americans back to work.  Andy Puzder CEO of CKE Restaurants said the problem is that people actually are working less to keep their entitlements and even giving up promotions because they are afraid if they earn more they will lose benefits and won't be able to feed their kids.

Garcetti shifts stance, won't enforce tough new homeless measures.  [Los Angeles] Mayor Eric Garcetti backed off controversial legislation targeting homeless encampments, saying late Tuesday [6/30/2015] he would not stop the measures from becoming law but would block enforcement until the City Council softens some provisions.  Garcetti had originally said he supported the laws, passed by the council last week, which would make it easier to seize and destroy homeless people's belongings on sidewalks and in parks.

Obama: Low-income Kids Do Worse in School at Month's End Partly Because They're 'Getting Hungry,' Food Stamps 'Running Out'.  Kids in low-income communities statistically do poorer in terms of school performance near the end of each month, in part, because "they start getting hungry" as their food stamps "start running out," said President Barack Obama at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Santa Monica, Calif., on Thursday [6/18/2015].  "Too many of our kids still go hungry in this country," said Obama.  "I was looking at some statistics, because we're looking at policies around hunger and the SNAP program, and the performance of children in lower-income communities in school dips at the end of the month in a statistically significant way," he said, "in part because they start getting hungry as their food stamps for their family start running out which then affects how they perform in school."

The Editor says...
Yes, if you depend on the government for every bite of food, then you may get really hungry before your next government check comes in the mail.  (Do they still send checks through the mail, or is it done by direct deposit?  I'm happy to say I don't know.)  To keep from going hungry, you're supposed to get a job.

Los Angeles ranked #1 place to live by homeless people.  If it's Tuesday, you should hate the police; if it's Wednesday, you should hate white people; if it's Thursday, you should hate men; and if it's Friday, it's time for some good old-fashioned class envy.  And so, appropriately enough, the New York Times had an article talking about the enormous swelling population of the homeless in Los Angeles and its predictable causes.  And so what is responsible for this increase in homelessness?  The Democratic city council?  The Democratic mayor?  Decades of Democratic Party rule in Los Angeles?  The Democratic governor?  The Democratic president?  No, it's people who work for a living.  The Times is claiming that gentrification, the reclamation of old, dirty, dangerous neighborhoods, is pushing people into homelessness.

Ben Franklin Skewers Obama's Jobs Proposal.  [Scroll down]  Benjamin Franklin gives us his unabashed opinion on the matter:  ["]I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means.  I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it.  In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer.  And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.["]  Barack Obama has formed his entire platform of social justice on the very opposite principle.

Po-Po and the Missing Papas.  Police as father substitutes have been in the lives of ghetto boys from the first cha-ching on mamma's welfare card.  And ghetto is the correct term.  "Inner city" is a prog-speak euphemism.  People of all races and backgrounds live in inner cities, especially the very rich.  But every major American city has a section where the economy is controlled by two kinds of interrelated dependency — government and drug — and that is the black ghetto.  The left-wing leaders whose power and wealth derive from that self-reinforcing dual dependency manipulate the people to blame the in loco patres — the police — rather than question why all the billions poured into the hood don't help.

Liberals' petri dish laid bare in Baltimore.  All the mayhem unfolding in Baltimore is nothing short of an unspeakable American tragedy.  Laid bare are the failures of cradle-to-grave social policies held so dear by politicians in both parties, but embraced and celebrated most lustily by Democrats.  These self-proclaimed Robin Hoods and do-gooders have issued open and unashamed invitations to the most vulnerable in society to become completely dependent upon government for everything from food to cellphones to home heating oil.  Left in the wake is the utter annihilation of families and the destruction of cohesive neighborhoods.  Complete dependency comes at such a high and bitter cost.  All in return for what really amounts to a sad pittance of welfare payments.  It is a twisted mockery of the American dream.

Blacks, Hispanics reject Obama climate change agenda over concerns about poor.  The very same voters who helped put Barack Obama in the White House increasingly are turning against the president's climate change agenda, with influential black and Hispanic leaders warning that stiff regulations to limit carbon emissions will have a devastating effect on the poor and will further stifle economic opportunity for minorities.  Some of Mr. Obama's most ardent supporters say they simply cannot go along with the administration's increasingly ambitious program to combat global warming.  They argue that, contrary to the Environmental Protection Agency's claims, the carbon regulations will drive up utility bills for poor households and will stunt economic growth in low-income areas.

Baltimore riots: Who will protect rights, lives and property of city's residents?  For generations the residents of inner-city Baltimore have grown dependent on the government.  The government of that once great city and of the State of Maryland have kept large numbers of folks in Baltimore in near poverty by offering dependence in return for votes — not personal or economic freedom, not even safety; just dependence.  That lamentable state of affairs has been looking for a tipping point; and in the unexplained death of Freddie Gray it found one.

Why Are So Many Employers Unable to Fill Jobs?  [Reason #1] Government discourages work.  Welfare consists of dozens of different and overlapping federal and state income support programs.  A recent Census Bureau study found more than 100 million Americans collecting a government check or benefit each month.  The spike in families on food stamps, SSI, disability, public housing, and early Social Security remains very high even five years into this recovery.  This should come as no surprise given the vast majority of the federal government's roughly 80 means-tested welfare programs don't include any type of work requirement.

Let's End Means-Tested Benefits.  The Democratic establishment gets votes from the poor by locking them into poverty and government dependency.  But to win elections, they must also appeal to the middle class.

The Homelessness Problem Is Still With Us — and Growing.  The [Los Angeles] Times described The Jungle as a "68-acre shantytown," i.e., 3 million square feet. [...] Even though the camp has now been dismantled, one quite inconvenient fact, at least for the left, remains.  "The Jungle" didn't spring up until roughly the beginning of 2013.  In other words, the "makeshift community" and its "somewhat unprecedented growth" all occurred while Democrat Chuck Reed was the city's mayor, Democrat Jerry Brown was California's governor, and Democrat Obama was the nation's president.  If "the Jungle" had appeared while Republicans were in charge of any of these three governmental bodies, the nation's press would have treated it as a national scandal since at least the middle of last year.

Right to shelter cities
4 charts that expose the invisible side of homelessness.  New York City and Massachusetts are legally obligated to provide shelter to all homeless residents year-round, while Washington, DC must do so when temperatures fall below freezing.  In all three places, family homelessness increased by roughly 40% since 2011 in the midst a national decrease of 8%.  Major cities such as Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, Seattle and San Francisco saw no change or even a decrease in family homelessness.

Trust in Government is Pathological.  [Scroll down]  The Barnacles are the folks that have fixed themselves on the government teat. Whether they are lifer bureaucrats counting the days till they can retire on that government pension or single mothers on welfare or crony capitalists sucking up green subsidies, they have to believe in government.  Otherwise they'd have to get a life.  Then there's the liberal professor at a government university, or the diversity dean, or the trainers teaching men not to rape.  Of course they all believe in government.  They are Barnacles; they have to fix themselves to a host. [...] Every day in every way the liberal shills out on the midway invite Americans to become Barnacles and attach themselves to the free-stuff substrate.

The system discourages work, whether by design or by uncorrected flaws.
The Land of Entitlements.  [Scroll down]  He explained that essentially, his clientele comprises Spanish-speaking business owners, almost all of whom employ essentially 100% Spanish speaking workers.  They own firms such as restaurants, gardening services, custodial services, small grocery stores, painting companies, trucking companies, and so on.  But, he said, most of their employees who work only 20 to 30 hours a week, with only a very few who work the full traditional "full time" 40 hours a week.  As a result, my CPA client said, nearly all of his clients, the business owners, don't feel an obligation to provide benefits to these "part-time" employees.  When I asked why they had mostly part-timers instead of full-time workers, he explained that the employees don't want to earn too much money, or else they'll lose their government benefits.

Bring Back The Welfare Stigma.  There is strong evidence that welfare use is transmitted from parents to children; that is to say, a parent's using welfare significantly increases the likelihood that the child will use it, as well.  This makes Richmond's "free lunch" program all the more troubling, of course, for it essentially bypasses all parent involvement, at least in the children's eyes, and grants a government handout directly to the child himself.  So the welfare state has found itself wanting, and has determined that the most efficient transmission of its benefits, and thus its own continued existence, is directly into schoolchildren's mouths.  That's efficiency.

Poor Regulations.  According to the House Budget Committee majority staff, at least 92 federal programs purport to help lower-income Americans.  These include dozens of education and job-training programs, 17 food-aid programs, and more than 20 housing programs.  In fiscal year 2012, the federal government spent $799 billion on these programs.  Ryan is hardly alone in charging that some of these programs hurt the poor.  He cites Creighton University economics professor Diana Thomas, who says that Department of Transportation regulations requiring rear-view cameras will impact low-income car buyers, who prefer to spend their money elsewhere.

Diaper duty for Calif. taxpayers? Bill would create new welfare program.  California is weighing a first-of-its-kind welfare program that would subsidize diapers for needy families, though some lawmakers say the plan's a stinker.  Assembly Bill 1516, written by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, a Democrat from San Diego, would create the taxpayer-backed program within the state's existing welfare network, called CalWORKs (California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids).  Families that qualify for CalWORKS could be eligible for $80 a month to buy diapers for children under the age of 2.

The Editor says...
When the news media refer to "families," they are talking, by and large, about single mothers.  As long as politicians buy diapers and food for those who don't make sound decisions about their lives based on long-term thinking, the poor will always be around, waiting for the next handout and lobbying for even more programs of this sort.

The Progressive War on Hard Work Continues.  There is a movement to bump the minimum wage for tipped servers (often lower than the official minimum wage, because they are primarily compensated by gratuities), which has emboldened people who seem to disdain the performance-based nature of the service industry. [...] Because who in their right mind would embrace the idea of earning more for doing a better job?

Downtown bridge that would let tenants bypass homeless approved.  The Los Angeles City Council voted Friday to let a downtown developer install a pedestrian bridge over Temple Street, which had been sought as a way to protect tenants from homeless people who live nearby.

The Editor says...
A better solution, of course, would be to incarcerate all the homeless people so that normal, sane, law-abiding citizens can safely walk on the public streets.

1000 Days Left and Counting: Here's a Quick Snapshot of What Obama's Done So Far.  What jumps out is the unemployment rate, food stamps, and debt.  But Fact Check fails to account for:
  •   The labor participation rate of 63.2% being a low last seen in the 1970s;
  •   Nearly 50 million living below the poverty line;
  •   Income inequality being at its worst level since 1947.

Why Are The Poor, Poor?  Americans at every income level face a lifetime marginal net tax rate greater than 50 percent.  That is, for every dollar they earn, they will lose more than 50 cents in higher taxes and reduced transfer benefits.  Furthermore, the highest marginal net tax rates are not imposed on the highest-income families.  They are imposed on those with the lowest earnings.

SF Supervisor Breed: fix public housing for homeless.  Supervisor London Breed announced legislation Tuesday [4/15/2014] that would earmark $2.6 million to rehabilitate 172 public housing units that are too run down for people to live in — housing she wants used for homeless families.  Breed is asking the city to spend the money immediately and outside the normal budget process, possibly to circumvent federal housing law, which requires hopeful public housing residents to be called off a wait list that has been full, and closed, for four years. [... "] We have to ask for forgiveness instead of permission," she said.  "Let the federal government challenge us for being humane citizens.  I'm OK with that kind of lawbreaking — to prioritize people who live on the streets.  That's a chance the city needs to take."
[Emphasis added.]

Obamacare is a voter registration machine:
Obamacare as Election Turnout Machine.  A settlement between California and left-wing groups begins to reveal the political architecture of Obamacare. [...] Here's the simple version:  Obamacare requires millions of people to interact with the government who never would have done so before.  At the point of interaction, NVRA requires them to be pushed to register to vote.  Presto.  Millions of people are now touched by a political touch when they just wanted to see a doctor.

State to send voter registration cards to Obamacare applicants.  Heading off a lawsuit over compliance with a federal voting rights law, California officials have agreed to help millions of state residents register to vote.  Under a deal announced Monday by several voting-rights groups, the state will send voter registration cards to nearly 3.8 million Californians who have applied for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.  The move will ensure that many residents can complete or update their registration in time for the June 3 primary election, representatives of the groups said, and bring the state into compliance with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.  The law requires that certain state offices provide clients with registration opportunities.

Obama Policy Keeping Homeless People on the Street.  On May 20, 2009, President Obama reauthorized the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009.  It redefined homelessness and promoted all sorts of alleged benefits.  The real result is something quite different. [...] President Obama and the Democrats leading this country have decided that every homeless person in America is a cookie-cutter destitute Ken or Barbie who may enter one door only to be helped.  This is "central processing," where a bureaucrat assigns the person to a room somewhere, anywhere.  The Obama solution is to give every homeless person a room, as if mental illness and subsequent drug and alcohol problems have nothing to do with homelessness.

America in Decline.  [Scroll down]  Increasingly, America is becoming a nation of dysfunctional families.  41% of babies are born out of wedlock.  Under America's first black president, American blacks are increasingly unemployed, and 72% of black kids are born out of wedlock, a terrible indictment of American society.  The corrosive results of government hand-outs are now rampant in America.  A nanny-state produces a population of dependency, not independence or an entrepreneurial spirit.

Obama and The Democrats Plot To Control America.  The entitlement crisis has been a crisis that has not been allowed to go to waste.  Under Obama's feeble economy and sputtering "recovery" (the weakest in modern history), spending on welfare, food stamps, and disability payments have soared.  Hooking people onto the government IV line is an excellent way to increase dependency and the number of future dependable Democrats.  It is also an excellent way to bankrupt America. [...] [T]hey can then consider their mission accomplished:  the permanent weakening of America.  Obama and Congressional Democrats have handcuffed all future presidents and endangered Americans yet to be born.

Obama's Orwellian View Of Freedom.  President Obama wants Democrats to reclaim the word "freedom" as their own.  But what he describes as freedom is little more than deeper dependence on government.  Not exactly what the Founders had in mind.

'Gaming the system'? States use trick to undo food stamp cuts.  States are using what critics call a "perverse" legislative maneuver to partly undo congressional cuts to food stamps, despite efforts by some U.S. lawmakers to stop it.  The Washington Post reported Monday [3/10/2014] that three states so far are finding a way to avoid or minimize the cuts.  The bill passed by Congress last month was supposed to save $8.6 billion over the next decade in food stamps.  But New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania have figured out how to trigger additional spending anyway.  The trick, as many states have discovered, is for them to devote a relatively modest amount of funding to home-heating assistance.  Under the law, states that give a certain amount to families could then qualify those families for additional food stamp money.

Cheat and Eat Food Stamps.  One of the farm bill's ballyhooed reforms was closing the "heat and eat" loophole, which allows states to leverage federal funds from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (Liheap) to raise food-stamp eligibility and payments.  Fifteen states as well as Washington, D.C. participate in "heat and eat," and more may join once they realize how their liberal neighbors are milking Uncle Sam.  Under this classic liberal trick, Liheap beneficiaries automatically qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program's "standard utility allowance," which increases their food-stamp benefits.  They receive this deduction regardless of how much they spend on energy.  Many renters don't pay a dime.

Job Destroyer.  Does the president have a clue about what creates jobs and what kills jobs?  Based on the evidence from his five years as president, the answer is no, he doesn't. [...] Obama persists in advocating an extension of unemployment benefits for 1.8 million jobless.  Perhaps the president doesn't understand that subsidizing joblessness is a sure way to keep people out of work.

Sperling: Higher Minimum Wage Will Allow Some Americans to 'Work Less'.  Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016 will help "people who just want to work hard," but it also will help those who want to "work less," White House economic adviser Gene Sperling told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday [2/19/2014].  He argued that Americans support raising the minimum wage because it will lift "struggling" families out of poverty: [...] Sperling called an increase to $10.10 a "moderate increase," and he said it means people "will rely less on the government."

The Editor says...
Obviously, if you can't make ends meet at the current minimum wage, you're already dependent upon the government, so a minimum wage increase won't make you less dependent.

Obama's Two Americas: The Economy and How Democrats Win Elections.  President Obama is dividing America into two nations — one rich, the other increasingly poor, and both more likely to elect Democrats.  Americans growing richer support his policies, and those growing poorer are increasingly dependent on Democratic politicians for government handouts.

Obama's Loafer Nation.  Obama telegraphed his goal in 2008, making a Kinsley gaffe (a politician accidentally telling the truth) when he went off the teleprompter and told Joe the Plumber that his goal was to "spread the wealth."  How have Obama and his fellow Democrats achieved that goal?  Count the ways:  Endless extensions of unemployment insurance to anesthetize jobless Americans from the pain of reckless Democratic anti-growth policies; Record high food stamp usage; A record number on disability were getting the highest-ever monthly benefits; Labor Force participation rates have declined; people not in the labor force are at a record 91.8 million; Democrats are encouraging people to get on the government dole at an early age.  High-school students are constantly exhorted to go to college.

Federal Government Has Declared War On Work.  While 50 years ago the federal government declared war on poverty, I would submit that in recent years it has led an undeclared but real new war:  a War on Work. [...] While a vast number of government policies cause a decline in work, let me mention just six:
  •   Extended unemployment benefits.
  •   Expansion of food stamps.
  •   Higher taxes on workers, especially the most productive ones.
  •   Increases in Social Security disability payments.
  •   Increases in Pell Grants and other forms of federal higher education aid.
  •   Increases in minimum wage laws at local, state and federal levels.

Exploiting the miserable.  In an email Wednesday [1/15/2014] for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Mr. Reid urged supporters to sign a petition to "demand that Republicans extend unemployment insurance with no strings attached."  The "strings" are the eminently sensible requirements that the $6.5 billion cost of a three-month extension be paid for with cuts elsewhere in a federal budget the size of the Goodyear blimp.  To suggest, as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi did in September, that "the cupboard is bare" and there are "no more cuts to make," is beyond preposterous.

Study: Extending Unemployment Benefits Increased Unemployment by More than 3 Percentage Points.  The study's finding:  "Most of the persistent increase in unemployment during the Great Recession can be accounted for by the unprecedented extensions of unemployment benefit eligibility."  In the aftermath of the financial crisis, the federal government has dramatically expanded the length of the unemployment insurance program from the typical 26 weeks, the period states more or less have the funds to offer, to as long as 99 weeks.

Levin: Boehner, Cantor, Ryan Expanding Welfare State by Pushing Amnesty.  Radio's Mark Levin on Friday evening [1/10/2014] excoriated House GOP leadership, particularly House Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan, for their immigration policies that will end up aiding an increased welfare state.

GOP Is Right To Seek Cuts Before Extending Jobless Benefits.  Once again, Democrats are styling themselves as the party of compassion by spending money they don't have and forcing taxes on future generations of workers to pay for it.  It's phony, but they've gotten so good at this class-warfare schtick that hey, they just might get away with it again.  And not wanting to be seen as Scrooges, the GOP will no doubt eventually go along.  But Republicans would do the country and themselves a favor by insisting that Democrats at the very least agree to cuts elsewhere in the budget equal to the $6.4 billion they'll spend extending jobless benefits.

Obama [is] America's Clear and Present Danger.  Pure and simple, liberal progressives are advocating for wealth redistribution and trickle up poverty.  They believe instead of having tax, regulatory, and monetary policies that enable a thriving free market system, we should expand the welfare nanny-state.  It's purely political, and not as President Obama tries to persuade, moral.  The goal is to create such a state of depravity and hopelessness for a broad swath of Americans who are forced into the desperate state of grateful dependency upon Obama and his ilk.  It's the textbook Alinsky tactic of demonizing the opposition as heartless, uncaring, mean and evil.

White House pressures Congress on long-term jobless benefits.  The White House is ratcheting up the pressure on Congress to restore emergency long-term unemployment benefits when they return to Washington next week.  President Obama will be joined by people who have lost those benefits, which expired at the end of last year, when he delivers remarks on the issue at the White House on Tuesday [1/7/2014].

Obama adviser Gene Sperling pushes for unemployment benefits extension without offsets.  Top White House economic adviser Gene Sperling took to the Sunday morning talk shows to push for Congress to extend emergency unemployment benefits ahead of a key Senate vote Monday [1/6/2014].  Sperling, the director of President Obama's National Economic Council, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that Monday "is the day that 1.3 million Americans go to their mailbox and find that the check that they'd been relying on to put food on their table, put gas in their cars to look for a new job, will not be there."

The Editor says...
If the goldbricks were using their unemployment checks to hunt for a new job, it wouldn't take 99 weeks to do so.  On the other hand, if those unemployment checks are buying cigarettes, beer, and scratch-off lottery tickets, the job hunt probably isn't a priority.

How to Keep Workers Unemployed.  Maybe it's time to consider whether the big expansion of unemployment insurance has increased joblessness.  In 2009 the Obama Administration and Congress extended jobless benefits for up to 99 weeks.  The point was to help people through the recession, but now the jobless rate is 7%, down from 10%, and the White House still wants another extension.

Obama To Hold Photo-Op With Americans Who Lost Unemployment Benefits.  As part of an effort to pressure Republicans into extending federal aid for three more months, Obama will hold a photo-op at the White House with Ameicans who lost their unemployment benefits at the start of the year.

The Editor says...
We're apparently supposed to feel sorry for goldbricks whose 99 weeks of unemployment checks have come to and end.  The President wants to extend unemployment benefits even further — preferably until after the next election day.  Obviously, if unemployment checks lasted a lifetime, no Democrat would ever work again.  Here's my simplistic-yet-brilliant solution:  Send out 99 weeks of unemployment checks, but have the payments decrease by one percent every week.  The gradual increase in pressure will make a lot of people turn off the TV and hunt for a job — at least the few who understand what percentages are.

Obamacare could increase food stamp rolls.  Republicans have another reason to hate Obamacare:  It could grow the number of people on food stamps.  The Obama administration has ordered a study to determine whether the Affordable Care Act, by increasing the number of people eligible for Medicaid, will also increase the number of people enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program based on how states enroll people.

Food Stamp Independency.  Today [11/1/2013], the first-ever program-wide reduction in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ("SNAP"), also known as food stamps, will take place. [...] This increase in dependency is a specific goal of the Obama administration, with the USDA giving bonuses to states for "efficiency" in adding more people to the food stamp welfare rolls.  In 2011, Oregon bragged of a $5 million "performance bonus" for increasing SNAP recipients by 60 percent over three years.  Contrary to willfully ignorant reporting describing today's reductions as "a move by congress," these automatic "cuts" represent the end of a temporary boost of 13.6 percent in SNAP benefits enacted through President Obama's 2009 stimulus, which failed to stimulate anything other than the growth of government and dependency — again, precisely the goal of this administration.

Call 911! EBT benefits get cut.  I would hate to be a 911 operator around 1 or 2 this afternoon when the welfare recipients start rolling out of bed.  Stand by for a deluge of calls reporting thefts — from their EBT cards.  Their monthly dole just got cut this morning.  How can President Obama have let this happen to his most loyal voters?

When the Have Nots Become the Haves.  New research from the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee shows that over the last five years, the U.S. has spent about $3.7 trillion on welfare.  "We have just concluded the 5th fiscal year since President Obama took office.  During those five years, the federal government has spent a total $3.7 trillion on approximately 80 different means-tested poverty and welfare programs. [...] The goal has always been to get enough people receiving benefits to out-vote the ones paying for the benefits.

Is Healthcare.gov Designed To Register Dem Voters?  The crash-prone government health-care site asks applicants if they want to register to vote as they try to sign up for ObamaCare.  By sheer coincidence, a plurality of the uninsured are likely Democratic voters.

Obamacare Websites Encourage Voter Registration After Application Completion.  The Obamacare exchange website does more than merely register you for an insurance program.  According to a report from the MacIver Institute, once you complete the process, you are then immediately asked to register to vote — a propagandistic strategy designed to make government beneficiaries into lifetime Democratic voters.

Obamacaid.  Democrats do have one lament about [Obamacare's] implementation:  Some states are opting out of the Medicaid expansion.  Medicaid, the joint state-federal safety net intended for the poor, already covers more than one of five Americans and pays for two of five U.S. births.  And that's before ObamaCare dumps up to 20 million new dependents onto its rolls.

Obamacare's next round.  In his book "Crisis and Leviathan," [Robert] Higgs described how the state takes on massive new powers during a crisis, usually wars.  When the crisis subsides, the state relinquishes some of those powers, but it never gives them all back.  This is how the state grows over time.  But the concept has broadened in recent years.  On both the right and the left, there's agreement that once you give people a new entitlement, they won't want to let go of it.

Portland wants to put a homeless camp in a parking lot under a bridge.  One of Portland's trendiest areas might soon be home to a tent city.  If this were another town, the owners and developers of high-end homes and condominiums would scream to high heaven about diminished property values.  But this is Portland, where the citizens try their best to be tolerant of everything except intolerance — and gluten.

The Editor says...
Very obviously, if the City of Portland makes life more comfortable for vagrants and bums, their numbers will increase steadily.

How ObamaCare Wrecks the Work Ethic.  A new wave of redistribution will arrive in America on Jan. 1, primarily thanks to the Affordable Care Act.  The president's health-insurance plan forces those who hire, work and produce to pay full price for health care, while creating generous discounts for practically everyone else.  This second redistributionist wave of the Obama era will follow a first wave of tax hikes, additional unemployment benefits, food-stamp expansions, waived work requirements for welfare benefits, etc.

Weakness Does Not Make A Political Party.  [Scroll down]  The President wanted to change America.  He has succeeded.  Our national family income is down to 1989 levels.  This breeds more dependency and future Democrats.

GOP Food Stamp Bill Includes $125 Million to Fight Food Deserts.  The House Republican bill to reduce food stamp spending also creates a $125 million program to combat food deserts and orders the agriculture secretary to "review the public health benefits of white potatoes."  H.R. 3102, which narrowly passed 217-210 on Thursday [9/19/2013], was the subject of scorn from Democrats due to $3.9 billion in cuts per year over the next ten years to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps.  The cuts to a program that now spends $88.6 billion annually.

Florida official tells Christian charity to choose between Jesus and cheese.  A Florida ministry that feeds the poor said a state agriculture department official told them they would not be allowed to receive USDA food unless they removed portraits of Christ, the Ten Commandments, a banner that read "Jesus is Lord" and stopping giving Bibles to the needy.  "They told us they could no longer allow us to have any religious information where the USDA food is going to be," said Kay Daly, executive director of the Christian Service Center.

Should Austin spend $175K on statue honoring homeless ... or on the homeless?  This is a tougher question that it seems on the surface.  KEYE TV reports that the Austin city council is considering whether to replace a barely-visible tribute to the homeless who have died on the street with a more prominent statue for the same purpose, at a cost of $175,000.  One advocate for the homeless and the statue calls the cash "chump change" while defending the project.

The Editor says...
The best way to attract homeless people to your city is to make them feel welcome and honorable.  Homeless people who have died in the street were there, I believe, because of bad choices they had made months or years earlier.  Beggars and sponges are not honorable people and do not need to be commemorated.

The government wants a monopoly on benvolence.
Police Stop Effort to Feed the Homeless.  In Raleigh, North Carolina the non-profit religious group, Love Wins Ministries, makes an effort to feed and help the homeless every Saturday and Sunday.  But this weekend was different.  The group was attempting to hand out coffee and sausage biscuits when the police officers arrived.

The Rolling Student Loan Bailout.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau performed a genuine public service this week by alerting taxpayers to the tidal wave of student loan defaults coming their way.  Too bad the intention was also to alert student borrowers to ways they can avoid repaying those loans.  A new analysis by the bureau shows federal-backed student loan debt surpassing $1 trillion, which is nearly double what it was at the start of the Obama Presidency.

Busybody Politics.  San Francisco and New York are both plagued with large "homeless" populations today, largely as a result of previous housing "reforms" that made housing more expensive and severely limited how much housing, and of what kind, could be built.  The solution?  Spend more of the taxpayers' money making homelessness a viable lifestyle for more people.

Free air fare!
Hawaii lawmakers want to buy homeless one-way tickets off island.  Lawmakers in the Aloha State want to wave goodbye to their growing homeless population — by buying them a one-way ticket off the island.  Hawaii's controversial three-year "Return to Home" pilot program launches later this year and is being billed as a way to help the state's 17,000 homeless residents, while reducing the financial burden the state has in caring for them.  Under the plan, the state will pay for a one-way plane ticket for any homeless resident who can find someone on the mainland to take them in.

Hawaii sets aside $100,000 to offer its 17,000 homeless people one-way airfare back to their home states.  Hawaii is hoping to take the burden off its welfare system by saying aloha to its 17,000 homeless residents.  The state will offer one-way tickets home to any eligible homeless person to anywhere in the continental United States.  Hawaii has allotted $100,000 for a three year trial run of the so-called 'return-to-home' program, which could also even offer participants beds on cruise ships bound for their homes.

The Editor says...
If you're a tourist returning from Hawaii, you'd better hope the State of Hawaii hasn't packed your plane with undesirable bums.

Poverty: Americans Blame Welfare.  Americans say government welfare is the biggest reason for poverty, according to a new Wall Street Journal and NBC News poll.  "Given a list of eight factors and asked to choose the one most responsible for the continuing problem of poverty, 24 percent of respondents in the poll chose 'too much government welfare that prevents initiative,'" reports NBC.  Not surprisingly, only 4 percent of those in the survey stated lack of government funding as the top reason for persisting poverty.

Obama's 'Iron Curtain' descends on America.  Far more wily than Uncle Sam or Uncle Sugar, 'Uncle Satan' lures scores of U.S. citizens motivated by entitlement mentality with food stamps, free cell phones and unquestioned access to social security, into a trap from which they will never escape.  Comfortable with the guarantee the government will look after them from cradle to grave, few see the walls going up around them.

25 Reasons To Dislike Liberals.  [#10]  Liberals view hooking people on welfare and food stamps as a core part of their election strategy, which is terrible for the country, shows they have no character and requires more than a little hatred for poor people.

Jihad Bums.  Americans have an improper understanding of what welfare actually is.  Many among us believe it to be charity and have the naiveté to believe that it will be accepted by poor, beleaguered beneficiaries as such.  But welfare bestows entitlement, not charity — and its result is not gratitude, but resentment.  Democrats are all too willing to nurture those feelings of resentment, and the bulk of their constituents may be content with continued promises to grant them a pittance more in the next election cycle.  But that is not good enough for Islamic fundamentalists.

Creating Dependency, One Mouthful at a Time.  In a nutshell, receiving a temporary handout that depends on doing something worthwhile is wholly unlike receiving the identical assistance sans any obligation and for however long as the recipient remains legally eligible.

Government dependence
Index of Dependence on Government Jumps for the Fourth Year in a Row.  The Index tracks government spending on the federal programs that breed government dependency.  The Index rises 3.28 percent in next year's report, for which 2011 is the latest year the underlying data are available.  It is adjusted for inflation, so it rises or falls because of spending in real dollars.

Why Welfare is Working.  In reality, one of the main reasons the Republican's [sic] keep loosing [sic] is that we refuse to buy votes with the use of food stamps and welfare checks.  For this reason alone, welfare is working perfectly for those on the left.  The Democrats have done a great job of legitimizing these buyoffs for decades and with the use of various tools of propaganda, the primary issue with those on government assistance on Election Day is to protect their monthly entitlement.

Progressive Democrat Control Came Via Welfare State Voters.  This tragedy can be exposed via one rhetorical question:  What would happen to the Democrats if all the poor in this country suddenly became rich?  They'd never win another election, would they?  So the Democrats have a vested need to keep the poor down.  Our permanent welfare class is no accident.  Government incentives for people to stay poor may be well-calculated.  But with a repressed minority manipulated into believing that Democrats are on its side, now to be joined via immigration by a large number of Hispanics that the Dems see as captive voters, the new U.S. demographics make the liberal Democrats' scheme to finesse a permanent one-party government a near certainty.

'Dignity Mortgages': Welfare By Another Name.  Housing activists' new bright idea is approving home loans for people who have rebuilt their finances since losing their job and their homes during the crisis, but who still have bad credit.  Though required to make a down payment, inner-city housing groups could front them the money.

The Risk of Obama's Universal Daycare.  Heavy-handed state intrusion always beings innocuously, a "good idea" to cure a seeming intractable problem but as one intervention after the next falls short, state power expands and personal freedom slips away.  Obama's initiative is only emerging but its key elements are clear.  A state-federal partnership will guarantee a pre-kindergarten education to every family whose income falls below 200% of the poverty line ($38,000 for a single parent with two children).  Head Start will also be massively expanded (it currently consumes $7.6 billion).

Against the Ghetto Plantation.  If Frederick Douglass walked today's ghettos, he would witness a new-age style of slavery, plantations without the lash and chains.  He would soon be outraged that government overseers are perpetuating generations of dependency through policies designed to capture the votes of the ignorant.

Welfare Increases Poverty Instead Of Ending It.  Americans have now elected twice a man who said he wanted to spread the wealth around.  So how ugly is it going to get?  The Senate Budget Committee says welfare spending will nearly double in 10 years.

We're now one step closer to America's coming civil war.  Far from adding to people's standard of living, government is the number one cause of poverty in this country.  It forces those who depend on its largesse to live hand to mouth, with no time or money to plan for the future.  They become unable to fend for themselves — and increasingly resentful of those who can.  When the economy tanks and the government checks have to shrink, their only alternative is to take to the streets.  That's what happening in Argentina, and in Greece; [...]

Oh, good!  Now they have the right to urinate in the street.
California lawmaker proposes 'homeless bill of rights'.  California law protects its residents from discrimination based on sex, race, religion and sexual orientation.  Now a state lawmaker is pushing to add another category to the list:  homelessness.  New legislation titled the "Homeless Bill of Rights" by Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco is meant to keep communities from rousting people who have nowhere to turn.

The Editor says...
Somehow the writer failed to include words like vagrant and vagabond, and only the commenters used words like drifter and bum and panhandling.  Homeless people generally are homeless for a reason — usually a lifetime of bad decisions.  This makes them poor candidates for long-term employment, which is apparently the motivation for the proposed legislation discussed in the article above.  Please keep in mind that many of the chronically homeless who need protection are really in need of incarceration for their own good.  Street-corner beggars pay no taxes, so if they bring in $20 an hour, they're probably better off than you.  Even the ones who claim to be hungry will throw away food if someone gives it to them.  Give a couple of bananas to a "hungry" roadside beggar and see what he or she does with them.

Obama's Idea Of 'Balance' Is Higher Taxes To Fund A Growing Welfare State.  To paraphrase Churchill on the British Empire, Barack Obama did not become president of the United States to preside over the liquidation of the welfare state.  On the contrary, he is dedicated to its expansion.  He's already created the largest new entitlement in half a century (ObamaCare).  And he has increased federal spending to an astronomical 24.4% of GDP (the postwar norm is about 20%), a level not seen since World War II.  But this level of spending requires a significantly higher level of taxation.

Does the Left really want to end poverty?  The statistical evidence of the past twenty years has become overwhelming: that getting a job is by far the best route out of poverty, that benefit dependency tends to turn temporary hardship into permanent poverty, and that free markets can deliver mass prosperity more effectively than any other form of economic system.  It is time for the debate to move on.  The old fashioned socialist dogma — that only the state can "lift people out of poverty" — is not just wrong.  It is pernicious.

How much wealth do the poor in America have?  [Scroll down]  In America, poverty is self-inflicted.  But that doesn't mean that the Democrats don't help the poor to stay poor.  Democrats wants [sic] to raise minimum wage, which promotes higher unemployment among younger workers — and more dependence on government programs.  They want to subsidize single motherhood and enact no-fault divorce laws, to destroy marriage.  And they want to push gay history and green propaganda in the public schools, to diminish the economic value of a high school education.  They don't want the poor to lift themselves out of poverty so that they are independent of government.

Report: CFPB stifles 150,000 jobs after controversial 'recess' appointment.  President Obama's Consumer Financial Protection Board, led by a 'recess appointee' installed when the Senate was actually in session, has blocked 150,000 jobs and made it difficult for lower-income Americans to access credit, according to a new House report.

Per Household Welfare Spending Exceeds Median Income.  The tipping point is where so many people are gorging at the government teat that they will vote for whomever is most likely to keep the free money flowing, no matter how conspicuously awful that person might be as a leader.

Political Elites Keep Power By Blocking Change.  A couple of economists have determined that rulers around the world keep their subjects in poverty so they can maintain power.  What does this impart to us about where our country is headed today?

Fighting the Good Conservative Fight.  Susan Carroll of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University explains the obvious.  "The Democrats are much more supportive of the social safety net, the programs that help people who need financial assistance, whether it be unemployment insurance, child nutrition programs, Medicaid, the whole infrastructure of the social welfare state that helps people who financially are more in need."  Nothing keeps people "in need" better than the disintegration of marriage and the nuclear family.  As long as this trend continues to get worse, so will conservative electoral prospects.

The Republican Hispanic challenge.  Although Mitt Romney took flak for his statement that he lost the election because President Obama bestowed "gifts" on key parts of the electorate, what he said is basically true.  We're stuck in a deadly spiral where economic growth is retarded because the economy is larded with enormous and ever increasing government spending and debt.  Yet, more and more Americans want the lard.  President Obama got re-elected by promising to continue to serve it up.

5 Questions for Black Voters.  Democrats have been bribing people to vote for them with various social programs.  Since the 1960s, the government's welfare policies have been been decimating black families and keeping people mired in poverty and misery.  Furthermore, Democrats have a vested interest in keeping people poor and powerless so they can continue to offer them "goodies" in exchange for their votes.  How does it feel to know your vote is being bought and you're being taken for granted?

3 Windows into Obama's Dangerous Second Term.  What should have come out in late October didn't arrive until November 9, yet another Friday afternoon, three convenient days after the election.  It's now clear that Team Obama deliberately sat on it, as its contents would certainly have become a final-days election issue had they been known.  August enrollment exploded by over 400,000 to a record-shattering 47.1 million.  Revised data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us that the economy added 192,000 jobs during that same month.  Though that level of monthly job growth, symptomatic of the worst economic recovery since World War II, is still unacceptable, the food stamp rolls should be declining, and they're not.  That's because the program has morphed from being about temporarily helping the truly needy into a dependency-engendering, vote-buying enterprise.

House Democrats push for extension of jobless benefits.  House Democrats are beginning their push for an extension of expanded federal unemployment benefits before more than 2.1 million workers lose them at year's end.

Food Stamps — The Black Hole You Enter and Never Exit.  Why in the world is this welfare program administered through the Agriculture Department?  We have been arguing about agriculture subsidies since the beginning of time, yet a program that really has nothing to do with farming or ranching now swallows up most of the budget.  Just the idea that the Department of Agriculture (USDA) is running a $75 billion welfare program gives you a perspective of how screwed up this situation has become.

Obama's Class Warfare Rhetoric Is Preparation for Tyranny.  Mitt Romney was entirely correct when he alluded to the efforts by Obama and the Democrats to create a faction of people dependent upon the government, and therefore upon themselves, who therefore would form a reliable voting bloc.  Indeed, this has been the Left's modus operandi since FDR's time — lure Americans into the addiction of government handouts, continually make the income tax code more and more "progressive" so that greater and greater numbers of us in effect do not pay any income taxes while shifting the burden more and more to the capital-providing, jobs-producing rich.  By draining and driving out these victims of redistribution, the government then generates more "need" for hand-outs and assistance as jobs disappear and the economy systematically slows down.  Obama has been working for the last four years to accelerate these trends because he is making a concerted effort to grasp total power.

Depending on Dependency.  The theme that most seemed to rouse the enthusiasm of delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte was that we are all responsible for one another — and that Republicans don't want to help the poor, the sick and the helpless. [...] Belief in the superior compassion of the political left is a worldwide phenomenon that goes back at least as far as the 18th century.  But in all that time, and in all those places, there has been little, if any, effort on the left to check this crucial assumption against facts.

Administration: Bingo Games Can Promote Food Stamp Use.  The USDA wants to add to the record 46.7 million Americans who receive food stamps, including seniors the agency says could be convinced to sign up for the government program through parties featuring games like Bingo and crosswords.  The tips for recruiting food stamp recipients are part of the agency's 261-page tool kit issued in August 2011, which states the "campaign" is designed to increase the number of food stamp recipients, including seniors.  "The primary goals of the campaign are to increase enrollment in SNAP and to reinforce its role as a nutrition assistance program," the tool kit states.

USDA's new tactic to promote food stamps: Party!  Forget Tupperware bashes and toga soirees — the latest rage is food stamp parties.  The USDA is encouraging the nation's food stamp program to promote to the elderly using parties and games.  A series of guides currently posted on the USDA website promotes local offices of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — or SNAP, but commonly referred to as food stamps — to entice eligible seniors to enroll in the welfare program.  The promotional campaign has cost between $2.5 million and $3 million.

Obama Admin. Boosts Food-Stamp Participation by Targeting Seniors.  Despite already having record-breaking numbers of Americans on food stamps, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) continues to campaign for more, as the agency has been espousing the government welfare program through parties featuring games like Bingo and crossword puzzles.  Targeting the nation's seniors, the effort was touted in a pamphlet released on the USDA website earlier this summer, which provides tips for recruiting potential recipients to the program.

Civil Unrest: Do Our Rulers Actually Want It To Happen?  There have been several different predictions and scenarios involving how inflation and austerity measures in the U.S. could bring about food shortages and other shortages, food riots, looting, violent protests, flash mobs, and martial law. [...] But it seems that the U.S. government has been pushing hard to get as many people dependent on government as possible.  Food stamps spending has more than doubled since Barack Obama became President, although the number of Americans on food stamps almost doubled from 2001 to 2009 during the presidency of George W. Bush as well.

'Mountain Pride' versus the Welfare State.  The federal government is choking our economy while it degrades the character of a proud people.  The food stamp program is purposefully undermining "mountain pride" in Appalachian communities in order to create more wards of the welfare state.  It should be a scandal that the federal government is purposefully weakening a core principle of our value system:  self-reliance.  To wit, the feds are praising local bureaucrats for "counteracting" what they call "mountain pride."  These bureaucrats are convincing people who characteristically reject food stamps to instead embrace a culture of dependence.

The Drug Is Government, The Pusher Is President Obama.  The signature theme of Barack Obama's presidency is getting millions more Americans addicted to more government, often a little bit at a time.  Pushing the big government drug is everywhere in Obama domestic policy.  High joblessness from his own policies justifies an unprecedented level of extended unemployment benefits, an approach even Paul Krugman concedes "reduces a worker's incentive to quickly find a new job."

BBCE = broad-based categorical eligibility.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Improved Oversight of State Eligibility Expansions Needed.  Over the last 10 years, participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) SNAP, previously known as the Food Stamp Program, has more than doubled, and costs have quadrupled. Since 1999, USDA has allowed states to expand SNAP eligibility by adopting BBCE policies, which make households that receive services funded by Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, such as a toll-free number or brochure, categorically eligible for SNAP.  Under BBCE policies, states are able to increase federal SNAP limits on household income and remove limits on assets.

Big Government's Best Friends: Nontaxpayers.  The proportion of those paying no income taxes continues to hit higher highs — a trend that will ultimately make lowering taxes and reducing government impossible.

USDA moves to end questionable food stamp ads after criticism.  The Department of Agriculture moved Friday [7/13/2012] to "cease future production" of advertisements that encourage people to go on food stamps, FoxNews.com has learned, following criticism over what was described as an "aggressive" campaign to grow enrollment.  The department had come under fire for a 10-part series of Spanish-language "novelas" that trumpeted the benefits of the food stamp program.  The radio ads were produced in 2008, but continued to be available for use.  After those ads drew scrutiny, though, the USDA removed them from its website.

1-800-FOOD-STAMPS: How states expand eligibility for welfare program.  Getting food-stamp benefits can now be as easy as picking up an informational brochure or calling a toll-free number, according to a new report out this week from the Government Accountability Office.  More than 40 states have lowered eligibility requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, resulting in a vast expansion of the welfare state under President Obama.

A Guaranteed Minimum Income In The US?  We know from the records that the welfare rolls have increased exponentially under Obama.  Recently, changes were made by Presidential Executive Order to redefine "work" allowing even more applicants for welfare to be added to the welfare rolls.  Why?  Could it be the Obama Administration is deliberately attempting to "crash" the US welfare system?  If so, why?  I contend that is exactly what is happening.  If I an [sic] correct, then we are actually seeing the "Cloward-Piven Strategy" at work.  We are observing the foundation, the groundwork, if you will, for establishing a guaranteed annual (minimum) income for American citizens.

Fewer know independence from government.  This Independence Day we note an unfortunately accelerating trend toward government dependence.  This is tragically ironic in the land of the free, where the founders were brave enough to assert independence from the government of their day.  The genesis of the problem was when government's string pullers discovered how to offer something of value at little or no apparent cost to those receiving it.  Uncommon personal character is required to turn down such an offer on principle.  We long for a revival of the principle that set the United States apart two centuries ago — the principle of independence, rather than of dependence.

Government under fire for 'novela' ad campaign promoting food stamp enrollment.  The Department of Agriculture is coming under fire for its "aggressive" ad campaign, including a 10-part series of Spanish-language "novelas," to convince people to go on food stamps — at a time when one in seven are already enrolled.  The food stamp rolls have swelled since the recession, growing roughly 40 percent since 2009. As of April, more than 46 million people were in the program, which costs $80 billion a year.  Yet the USDA is engaged in an ongoing ad campaign to convince those not on food stamps — but still technically eligible — to let down their pride and sign up.

The Dictator in the Black Iron Man Suit.  Al Sharpton and a majority of the so-called black civil rights coalition define blackness as having an urban experience, solely dependent on government for survival, always voting Democrat, and being incapable of finding one's way to acquire a photo ID.  Sharpton and company consider self sufficient-blacks traitors to their race, trying to act white.  All of my life, I have fought to free myself and fellow blacks from the left's efforts to force blacks to live in their "black box."

The Great Destroyer.  In wholesale breach of his 2008 campaign themes, [President Obama] is zapping America of its optimism and hope, replacing those with despair and malaise.  He is using his bully pulpit to turn the American dream on its head, demonizing success and glorifying government dependency.

Trillions Have Been Wasted On Poverty Programs That Don't Work.  The federal government wants more Americans using food stamps.  To what end?  Washington has been fighting a war on poverty since 1964 and has gotten nowhere with it.  Unless of course establishing a culture of dependency is the goal.  If that's the federal government's real objective, then it's doing a fine job.

Does Government Want People to Be Poor?  Street vending has been a path out of poverty for Americans.  And like other such paths (say, driving a taxi), this one is increasingly difficult to navigate.  Why?  Because entrenched interests don't like competition.  So they lobby their powerful friends to erect high hurdles to upstarts.  It's an old story.  Now, growing local governments are crushing street vendors.  The city of Atlanta, for example, has turned all street vending over to a monopoly contractor.  In feudalist fashion, all existing vendors were told they must work for the monopoly or not vend at all.

Registering the Poor to Vote is Un-American.  Why are left-wing activist groups so keen on registering the poor to vote?  Because they know the poor can be counted on to vote themselves more benefits by electing redistributionist politicians.  Welfare recipients are particularly open to demagoguery and bribery.  Registering them to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals.  It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country — which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote.

Runaway Trains of Bureaucracy.  [Scroll down]  For example, according to the GAO report, 18 different programs across three federal agencies work to "ensure the needy have access to food," producing an estimated $62.5 billion in overlap.  Every one of these eighteen programs found an ample supply of needy mouths to feed, and set about requesting an ever-larger cornucopia from Congress.  None of the bureaucrats involved was going to spend his valuable time searching the massive federal flowchart to see if any other agency might already be working to assist prospective clients.  There was no incentive for them to make their agencies less useful, and less worthy of a funding increase in the next budget.

DOJ sting targets Bobby Jindal and ignores the law.  Attorney General Eric Holder's Justice Department has targeted Gov. Bobby Jindal's, R-La., administration as part of a rushed investigation into whether Louisiana is complying with federal voting laws.  Undercover investigators have flooded the state to interview welfare recipients to determine if state welfare offices are urging them to register to vote.  During a time when DOJ travel is purportedly frozen, these numerous DOJ staffers have been deployed for days in New Orleans and around Louisiana trolling for stories of state officials failing to urge welfare recipients to register to vote.

Ratio Of Takers To Givers Reaches A Tipping Point.  In America, nearly half of wage earners pay not one single dime in federal income taxes.  Many of them trudge down to the local polling place or vote via absentee ballot — and vote themselves a raise.

Keeping Poor People Poor.  In Houston, a less restrictive city, regulatory costs add about $13,200 to the price of an average home.  In San Diego, a multitude of regulations add $240,000.  These cost-increasing regulations have essentially priced many low-income residents out of the market for a private home, forcing them to turn to public housing instead.

Freeing Entrepreneurs to Provide Essential Services for the Poor.  Poor Americans face difficulties accessing many services that most Americans take for granted, some of which are essential to their ability to work and live in a safe environment.  Such services include transportation, child care, security, housing and health care.  Federal, state and local government programs exist to meet these needs, but they are often costly and do a poor job of meeting the needs of low-income families.  However, private entrepreneurs — individuals, for-profit businesses and entrepreneurial charities — could supplement government efforts or provide better alternatives.  Unfortunately, a host of government regulations bar or limit these potential entrepreneurial efforts.

These people want unlimited, perpetual welfare checks.
Welfare recipients file class-action lawsuit over benefits limit.  Several welfare recipients filed a class-action lawsuit Friday [9/28/2011] in federal court to block a stricter, four-year lifetime limit on benefits from taking effect Saturday.

Maybe this is why socialists hate the Boy Scouts:
Depending on the Government.  We are dependent on government, in scarier ways than Obamacare.  We haven't learned from the generations before us how to garden, and many city ordinances wouldn't let us grow our own food anyway.  We don't know how to build or craft many of our necessities.

A nation of sponges:
Nonpayers Complicate Republican Effort At Overhaul of U.S. Tax Code.  More than 45 percent of U.S. households won't owe federal income taxes for 2010.  That stems from decades of tax cuts and, in the minds of some Republican lawmakers, it's also a problem.  Policies designed to ease the tax burden of lower-income Americans and offer targeted tax incentives have pushed millions of people off the income tax rolls.  That has bolstered an argument that these households don't have enough of a stake in the political system because they don't pay income taxes.

Bureaucrats find ways to perpetuate their jobs.
Washington Sends $1 Food Stamp Checks to 250,000.  The state of Washington sent $1 food stamp checks to 250,000 households in order to raise state caseload figures and trigger $43 million in additional federal funds.




Food stamps have been de-stigmatized

Food stamps are now in the form of a debit card, which makes shopping more comfortable for the freeloader.  (It's called Electronic Benefits Transfer or EBT.)

When It Pays Not to Work.  Welfare is often described as a 'social safety net,' but when a recipient stays home today, he or she may be making more money than a neighbor who works hard for 40 hours a week.

Trump Gives Obama Project to Help Food-Stamp Recipients Eat More Fruit & Veggies $16.8 Million.  The Trump administration is throwing more money at a controversial Obama-era program that dedicated tens of millions of dollars to help food-stamp recipients eat more fruits and vegetables.  It was part of a project launched by the former president and his wife to provide low-income minorities — already getting free groceries from the government — with healthier foods, compliments of Uncle Sam.  In the last two years alone of the Obama presidency the initiative, known as Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grant Program, received an astounding $62.5 million.  This month, the Trump administration announced that the cash will keep flowing via the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the agency that administers the nation's monstrous food-stamp program.

Trump's Food Stamp Reform Would Close the Trap of Dependency.  President Donald Trump's newly released budget contains a proposed food stamp reform, which the left has denounced as a "horror" that arbitrarily cuts food stamp benefits by 25 percent.  These claims are misleading.  In reality, the president's proposed policy is based on two principles:  requiring able-bodied adult recipients to work or prepare for work in exchange for benefits, and restoring minimal fiscal responsibility to state governments for the welfare programs they operate.  The president's budget reasserts the basic concept that welfare should not be a one-way handout.  Welfare should, instead, be based on reciprocal obligations between recipients and taxpayers.

Food stamps 'SNAP' back into debate about spending.  The cost of Food Stamps, or SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), has ballooned the past two decades.  It went from having a price tag of $17 billion in 2000 to costing $71 billion last year.  That's why President Trump said he wants to clamp down on government-subsidy programs. [...] About 45 percent of households headed by immigrants with children use food-assistance programs, according to a study by the National Academy of Sciences.  Reports last month said Trump had drafted an executive order that would reduce the number of immigrants using government assistance.

How liberals undermine the food stamp program.  Congress created the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, or food stamps, "to alleviate ... hunger and malnutrition" and to "permit low-income households to obtain a more nutritious diet through normal channels of trade," in the words of the federal statute establishing the program.  It's a good goal.  Whether SNAP is optimally designed to achieve it is a separate question, to which the answer seems to be "no," according to new research commissioned by the Agriculture Department.

The Brainwashing of a Nation.  Did you ever wonder where the idea of giving awards and trophies for just showing up originated and why whiny millenials turned out the way they did?  The shame factor disappeared from entitlement programs that boosted the self esteem of those on the dole by substituting EBT cards for food stamp checks.  When I was raising our six kids on one paycheck, I signed up for food stamps but never re-registered because I loathed shopping with them and would have preferred the old distribution of basic food commodities program.  Why was that program eliminated?  While we weren't on welfare, my neighbors were and would give us the food distributed by the program; flour, rice, peanut butter, canned meat, cheese food, margarine, and more to sustain any family.  A recent survey showed that food stamp users were buying soda and junk food with their EBT cards so really how much healthier are the poor now?

USDA study reveals what food stamps are really spent on.  The food stamp program has been a fraud magnet from the start. [...] There are no doubt people who need help putting food on the table.  I wish the nannies would focus on those who eat at taxpayer expense in imposing limits like Bloomberg's soda cup and salt limits.  There is evidence that they need the advice more than people who pay their own way.  And financing a system as easy to cheat on as this simply invites predators.

Food-Stamp Recipients Can Order from Amazon, Other Online Retailers.  Food-stamp recipients can use their taxpayer-funded benefit to order online from retailers like Amazon under a new Obama administration initiative that aims to facilitate the shopping experience for rural and urban residents.  It marks the latest of many costly experiments by the administration to expand the fraud-infested program, which has seen a record-high number of beneficiaries under President Obama.  To eliminate the welfare stigma, the administration renamed food stamps Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the rolls swelled to an astounding 46.5 million in 2016.  This cost American taxpayers and eye-popping $70 billion, according to government figures.

Under Obama, 10.7 Million More Use Food Stamps — A 32 Percent Jump.  As President Obama prepares to leave office, his legacy will include an increase in the number of Americans using food stamps.  The number of food stamps recipients went up by 10.7 million people, a 32 percent jump, since President Obama took office in 2009, according to data released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).  In 2009, 33,490,000 people received food stamp benefits.  As of October 2016, the last month reported for FY 2016, 44,219,123 people received food stamp benefits, an increase of about 10,729,000.

Time for a Fresh Look at SNAP.  The House Agriculture Committee just released a lengthy report on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as Food Stamps.  The report — Past, Present, & Future of SNAP — is a comprehensive review of the federal government's costliest food program, which has a projected budget of $82 billion in 2017.  Republicans in Congress have been eyeing changes to SNAP, and President Trump may have the chance to sign the first major reforms to this program since 1996.  Under the Obama administration, participation in SNAP spiked from 26 million people in 2007 to almost 48 million people in 2013. [...] A morass of federal and state agencies that oversee 18 different food-assistance programs leads to overlap and waste, another problem the next Congress could tackle.  Although SNAP is federally funded, it's administered at the state level with little coordination between it and other public-aid offices, which sows fertile ground for fraud and misuse.

The Obama Legacy: 13 Million More Americans On Food Stamps.  Obama's legacy can be described as an epic failure.  Not for Republicans who have made historic gains during the eight years of failure.  But the American people have gotten worse under Hussein Obama.  Aside from doubling the national debt in eight years, another number that rarely gets mentioned is the amount of people on food stamps and welfare.  Under Obama, 13 million more Americans have gone on food stamps and welfare.  As bad as it was under Dubya Bush, it's worse under Obama.

Food Stamp Craze:  U.S. Spends $3.6 Billion to Give $70 Billion in Benefits.  Not only does the government spend a breathtaking $70 billion a year to give a record number of people food stamps, it wastes billions more to administer the bloated welfare program.  Some states spend a lot more than others to distribute the free food vouchers and the discrepancies are downright outrageous.  The government dedicates $3.6 billion annually just to administer food stamps (renamed Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [SNAP] to eliminate stigma), according to a federal audit that includes mind-boggling figures.  For instance, California, the state with by far the largest food-stamp roll, spends a lot more than the national average to execute the federal nutrition program.  The Golden State doles out an average of $34.06 a month for each of its 2 million food stamp cases while other states, like Ohio, spend only $9.55.  Some California counties are off the charts with administration costs.

Bureaucrats Take Fat Cut of Food Stamp Largesse.  What's in it for the government to take wealth from those who earned it and give to those who didn't?  Power, of course.  The money isn't given for nothing; it buys votes.  But also, Big Government takes a cut of the loot — a fat cut.

States Did Not Enforce Work Requirements for Food Stamp Recipients.  States did not always enforce work requirements for food stamp recipients before giving them benefits because doing so was "too burdensome" for them, according to an audit from the Department of Agriculture's Inspector General.  The Food and Nutrition Service established work requirements for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program participants who are able-bodied adults without dependents, fall in the age range of 18 to 49, and are not disabled.  These individuals are required to work 20 hours or more each week or participate in a qualifying work activity.  If an individual does not meet this work requirement, he can only receive benefits for three months in a span of three years.

Obama Admin.  Opens The Internet To Food Stamp Purchases.  The federal government is taking food stamp purchases to the internet, launching a two-year pilot program to experiment with allowing food stamp users to buy their groceries online.  Thursday the Obama Administration announced that it is looking for retailer volunteers to participate in the nationwide test program.  "Online purchasing shows great promise to improve access to healthy food for [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] participants living in neighborhoods and rural or tribal areas without grocery stores," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, said in a statement.

Right Now We Have Longest Soup Lines In History of America, You Just Can't See Them.  Factually, if the number of American people on EBT or SNAP welfare benefits had to line up for soup and meals (instead of just get money on an electronic card for use anywhere), there would be massive lines, miles-long lines, all day and all night in hundreds of thousands of soup kitchens nation-wide.  Such visibility would make the soup lines of the great depression seem insignificant by comparison.  The EBT and SNAP cards are exactly that, "Electronic Soup Cards".

Food Stamp Rolls Drop as States Decline Federally Funded Benefit.  Food-stamp enrollment in the U.S. is declining from record levels, in part because some states are ending benefits earlier than they have to.  Seven states, all led by Republicans, have decided this year to end waivers for some able-bodied recipients that were made available in the 2009 federal stimulus bill — even though the benefits are federally funded.  Enrollment in what's formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is still nearly twice the level it was before the recession.  But the most recent data, for May, showed 43.5 million people were receiving food stamps, down 9 percent from a 2012 peak and the fewest since 2010.

The Editor says...
Bias alert:  This Bloomberg writer apparently believes those evil Republicans are cutting off the gravy "even though the benefits are federally funded" — so they don't cost anything!.

7 States Are Ready To Cut Special Post-Recession Food Stamp Program.  Several states are unilaterally ending the waivers on work requirements for food stamps, which were part of the post-recession stimulus package, before federally required to end the waivers.  The 2009 stimulus allowed states to waive the work requirement for food stamps recipients, and gave federal money to cover the extra costs.  States had to request the waivers, and now Arkansas, Florida, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and New Jersey, join other states ending the program early, Bloomberg reports.

Welfare is the new work.  The welfare/entitlement state of mind has spiraled out of control in America.  No one is lifting a finger of opposition.  The cost of welfare is now well over $1 trillion a year.  Food stamps are so ubiquitous that they have replaced dollars as the new standard currency in many inner cities in America.  Even in affluent areas with upscale grocery stores, food stamp recipients fill their carts with everything from cakes to lobster.  Liberals love welfare.  It was only a few years ago that Democratic House leader Nancy Pelosi opined that putting more people on food stamps and unemployment insurance is one of the "best ways to stimulate the economy."  Which is more astonishing?  That she believes this lunacy or that she would be dumb enough to say it out loud.

As a Teen Cashier Seeing Food Stamp Use, I Changed My Mind About the Democrat Party.  [Scroll down]  I also learned how people gamed the welfare system.  They'd buy two dozen packs of soda with food stamps and then sell them at a discount for cash.  They'd ring up their orders separately, buying food with food stamps, and beer, wine, and cigarettes with cash.  They'd regularly go through the checkout line speaking on their cell phones.  I could never understand why our lives felt like a struggle while those living off of government largesse enjoyed trinkets that I only dreamed about. [...] Every two weeks, I'd get a small paycheck and notice the line where federal and state income taxes were deducted from my wages.  At least as often, our drug-addict neighbor would buy T-bone steaks, which I was too poor to buy for myself but was forced by Uncle Sam to buy for someone else.

Feds Spend $564,231 on Farmers' Markets for Refugees.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture is spending over $500,000 to start farmers markets for refugees on food stamps.  The International Rescue Committee (IRC) enrolls 10,000 refugees in the United States every year onto the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.  The group received the funding to provide "culturally-appropriate" corner stores and food markets.  "The IRC will expand and deepen the impact of its successful Fresh Fund incentive program over the next four years in seven refugee-rich neighborhoods across Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Baltimore, and Charlottesville," according to the grant, part of a $16.8 million effort announced by the agency last week to get food stamp enrollees to eat more vegetables.  The agency said refugees and immigrants in the United States are simultaneously at risk for "under-nutrition and obesity, and are highly dependent on SNAP to meet nutritional needs."

The Editor says...
I don't think I have ever seen a single article packed with so much Newspeak.  The "refugees" are Muslims.  They are "highly dependent on SNAP," which means they don't have jobs and will be a perpetual burden to the public, even if they aren't coming here to kill us.  The government is going to "provide 'culturally-appropriate' corner stores and food markets," meaning halal food will be provided at government expense exclusively and specifically for Muslims.

Obama Food-Stamp Free-for-All:  Feds Bust Largest Fraud Operation in U.S. History.  President Obama's expanded food-stamp program certifying flea market retailers as vendors to provide low-income neighborhoods with fresh produce has ripped open a Pandora's Box of fraud and corruption.  This week federal authorities in south Florida busted the largest food-stamp fraud operation in U.S. history.  Twenty-two defendants in the largely black and Hispanic areas of Miami-Dade County known as Opa-Locka and Hialeah swindled the government out of $13 million by fraudulently trading food stamps for cash.  The crooked vendors operated food and produce stands at a local flea market as part of First Lady Michelle Obama's initiative to eradicate "food deserts," common in poor, minority communities where fresh, healthy food is tough to find or often unavailable.

Food Stamp Beneficiaries Exceed 45 Million for 56 Straight Months.  There were 45,188,655 beneficiaries of the food stamp program in December 2015, the latest month for which data is available.  The number declined by 265,216 from November to December.  The USDA has been tracking data on participation in the program since 1969, when average participation stood at 2,878,000.  Since then, participation in the program has increased by more than 1,470 percent.  The number of food stamp recipients first exceeded 45 million in May 2011.  Since then, the number has consistently exceeded 45 million, hitting a record high of nearly 47.8 million in December 2012.

USDA: Retailers That Accept SNAP Must Expand 'Healthy Food' Choices; 168 Items Per Store.  The U.S. Agriculture Department on Tuesday [2/16/2016] announced a proposed rule intended to give food stamp (SNAP) recipients increased access to healthy foods, by requiring stores that accept SNAP to stock a wider variety of healthy food choices.  "USDA is committed to expanding access for SNAP participants to the types of foods that are important to a healthy diet," USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon said in a news release.  "This proposed rule ensures that retailers who accept SNAP benefits offer a variety of products to support healthy choices for those participating in the program."

The Editor says...
Instead of putting the burden on small businesses and dictating to the stores what they must put on the shelves, why not restrict the use of the food stamp card to the most basic staples, like bread, cheese, milk, and peanut butter?  And why not put sensible limits on the use of such a card, or food stamps in general, like a six month expiration date, and a maximum throughput of $150 a week?

Maine mayor pushing bill to post welfare recipients' addresses online.  A Maine mayor is proposing a controversial name-and-shame strategy for welfare recipients, saying he plans to push a bill requiring the state to publish the names and addresses and other details for "every individual on the dole."  Robert Macdonald, mayor of Lewiston, Maine, pitched the plan in his regular column for the Twin City Times.  He noted that a website already lists information on state pensioners, and complained that "liberal, progressive legislators" think similar information on welfare recipients should be private.  "Well, the days of being quiet are gone," he wrote.  "We will be submitting a bill to the next legislative session asking that a website be created containing the names, addresses, length of time on assistance and the benefits being collected by every individual on the dole.  "After all, the public has a right to know how its money is being spent," Macdonald said.

Food stamp chart
The Obama Recovery in 9 Simple Charts.



Most states waiving work requirements for food stamps, despite improving job market.  Most states still are waiving work requirements for those on food stamps, raising concerns that despite an improving job market the Obama administration is feeding government dependency — and all at the expense of taxpayers.  Forty-four of the 50 states have to some degree eased work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps:  30 states grant waivers state-wide, while another 14 issue partial waivers in areas of high unemployment.

Food Stamp Beneficiaries Have Exceeded 45 Million For 48 Straight Months.  The number of beneficiaries of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), otherwise known as food stamps, has exceeded 45 million for 48 straight months, according to data released by the Department of Agriculture (USDA).  In April 2015, the latest month from which data is available, there were 45,438,832 beneficiaries of the food stamp program.

Soon You Might Be Able To Receive Food Stamps Over The Phone.  Soon it could be possible to apply for food stamps over the phone, with proponents arguing that in-person interviews add too much extra administrative cost.  A report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) looked at whether it should get rid of in-person interviews for those who apply to receive benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which is commonly known as food stamps.  The program is the nation's largest food-assistance program.

How can you shame those with no shame?  People tell me stuff, and I print it or post it online — that's my job.  I thought this was called reporting, but now I find out that I am engaged in something called "EBT shaming."  Apparently posting supermarket receipts online is now a hate crime, at least in the trust-funded world of the moonbats.

Time To Go On The Offense Against Liberalism.  Perhaps I would be a bit more charitable if over the last week I had not been barraged with obscenities, death wishes, and threats for daring to opine that being on EBT is something you should be ashamed of.  But when progressives invite you to die because you'd prefer not to subsidize lay-about Democrat-voting losers, it clarifies things.  Leftists want you dead, or at least enslaved, and you can tell that because they can't keep themselves from telling you that.

46 Million on Food Stamps for 36 Months in a Row.  According to newly released numbers from the United States Department of Agriculture (which oversees the food stamp program), food stamp enrollments in September 2011 were 46,268,250 and never fell below 46 million up and through September 2014 (the most recent month for which numbers are available), when 46,459,998 individuals received food stamps.  The 36 unbroken months of food stamps enrollments above 46 million paints an economic portrait of a citizenry frozen in place.

Food Stamp Recipients Top 46 Million for 35th Straight Month.  The number of Americans on food stamps has topped 46,000,000 for 35 straight months, according to data from the Department of Agriculture (USDA).  From September 2011 through July 2014, the latest month for which data is available, the number of persons participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has exceeded 46 million.  As of July 2014, there were 46,486,434 beneficiaries of the SNAP program.

Obama's USDA to Spend $31.5 Million on 'Healthy' Food Stamp Program.  The Department of Agriculture, the agency that administers the food stamp program, has announced that it will spend $31.5 million on a new program that will promote a healthy diet for recipients of the assistance.  The National Institute of Food and Agriculture, a division of the Department of Agriculture, is developing the program to urge recipients of the SNAP food stamp program to choose more fruits and fresh foods.

Food Stamp Sign-Ups Outnumber Jobs Created in Obama's Illinois.  Among the many metrics that show Obama's home state is struggling to break the Great Recession, a new report shows that applications for food stamps in Illinois is greater than its creation of jobs.  Illinois has had the worst recovery from the recession of any state in the country, the Illinois Policy Institute reported this month:  "There are nearly 300,000 fewer Illinoisans working today than in January 2008, and 170,000 fewer payroll jobs.

Bring Back The Welfare Stigma.  "Once Stigmatized," the New York Times reported a few years ago, "Food Stamps Find New Acceptance."  One food bank employee told a gainfully-employed young man to sign up for the program because "there was enough aid to go around and that use would demonstrate continuing need."  Eight years into Mike Bloomberg's mayoral tenure, the number of residents on food stamps had hit over one-and-a-half million people; a stunning 20 percent of households nationwide were enrolled in SNAP. [...] [I]f there's one thing at which the Left truly bristles, it's an independent citizenry that can provide for itself without the Left's benevolent help.

Chicago Public Schools Now Phoning Home to Make Sure Kids Are Signed Up for Welfare.  Last week, parents of children enrolled in Chicago Public Schools received a recorded phone message encouraging them to sign up for low-cost health insurance and food stamps: [...] So many in our society are pushing more people to sign up for food stamps and are placing less importance on the need to create jobs.  Yet, how can anyone ever claim our nation is in a "recovery" when 47 million Americans depend on the government to feed them?

EBT buys fast food
Fast Food Restaurants Accepting Food Stamps.  Just when I thought I'd heard it all, now fast food restaurants want Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients to be eligible to use their food stamp benefit at selected restaurants.  Restaurants such as Taco Bell, KFC and Subway believe that there are certain types of SNAP recipients who are homeless or living in conditions that do not allow them hot meals and these people would benefit from being able to use their food benefit at fast food restaurants.  Seriously?  Fresno, Calif., officials are considering legislation that would permit SNAP benefits to be used at fast food restaurants in their area.  Arizona, Michigan and other parts of California already allow the practice and Kentucky is currently considering it.

Chicago Public School system pushing food stamps.  Chicago Public School parents received robocalls last week encouraging them to sign their children up for food stamps and free or low-cost health insurance.  "Currently there are 68,000 children in the Chicago Public Schools that are not enrolled in free or low-cost health insurance and SNAP also knows as food stamps," the recording, obtained by The Daily Caller, says.  "Your child may be one of them.  To find out more about your eligibility call the Children and Family Benefits Unit [...]"

Democrats are making income inequality worse.  Seventy percent of Agriculture Department spending funds food services.  Nearly 48 million people — almost as many live on the West Coast (in California, Oregon and Washington) — receive food stamps.  This dependency, inimical to upward mobility, is assiduously cultivated by government through "outreach initiatives" to "increase awareness" and "streamline the application process."  Between 2000, when 17 million received food stamps, and 2006, food stamp spending doubled, even though unemployment averaged just 5.1 percent.  A few states have food stamp recruiters.

Bill Would Make Food Stamp Recipients Show Photo ID.  A group of House conservatives have introduced legislation to require that people using food stamps show a photo ID whenever using them.  The bill, introduced by Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), would "amend the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to require households that receive supplemental nutrition assistance benefits to present photographic verification at the time food is purchased with such benefits."

Food stamps buy fried chicken
You Work, They Eat

House-passed farm bill bans gov't from food stamp advertising, promotion.  A new House-passed farm bill bans the Department of Agriculture from actively recruiting or advertising for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps. [...] The legislation further instructs the secretary of agriculture to issue regulations banning outside entities that receive funding from recruiting for SNAP.

White House Slam GOP's Food Stamp Reforms in Thanksgiving Message.  On Wednesday, President Barack Obama's White House politicized Thanksgiving to promote the reauthorization of the SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) or "food stamps" as part of the farm bill at a time when a record number of Americans are receiving assistance.  In an email, the White House urged Americans sitting down for Thanksgiving Dinner to remember:  "For decades, Congress has authorized SNAP in a bipartisan fashion through the Farm Bill.  They don't have to do it in a way that hurts children, seniors, veterans, and vulnerable families.  Learn more, and pass it on."

A Farm Bill in Name Only.  Hard as it may be to believe, 80 percent of the farm bill being hammered out by the Senate and the House of Representatives is made up not of agriculture programs, but of food stamps. [...] Why are food stamps rolled into the legislation? They're included "purely from a political perspective," Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), ranking member of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee, said earlier this year.  "It helps get the farm bill passed."  At least it used to.

Newspaper presses FOIA fight for food stamp payment data.  South Dakota's Argus Leader newspaper urged a federal appeals court Wednesday to reverse a ruling blocking the newspaper from receiving data on how much the federal government pays to stores that redeeem food stamp benefits.  Jon Arneson, an attorney for the newspaper, told a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit that a lower court judge misinterpreted the law by ruling that a confidentiality provision for retailer applications allowed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to withhold all data on payments to those retailers.

Obama's America: 7-Eleven Promoting EBT Pizza.  Mini-mart chain 7-Eleven is promoting $5.55 large pizzas which is nothing unusual, but what caught my eye is that 7-Eleven is promoting how to purchase the pizza.  7-Eleven is promoting EBT Pizza.  Food stamp usage has sharply increased since Barack Obama took office.  We've gone from 28 million Americans on food stamps at the end of George W. Bush's second term in 2008 to over 47 Million in President Obama's fifth year in office.  American's using food stamps has almost doubled in five years [...]

Senators full of reasons why EBT reform won't work.  They always have an excuse, the State House hacks do, for why their beloved welfare recipients are behaving badly.  It's never the layabouts' fault, of course.  And if you suggest doing anything to reduce the waste, fraud and abuse, well, there's always a reason the reform won't work — much like the welfare recipients themselves.

Congress likely to reduce food stamp funding in new farm bill.  The Senate on Monday opened debate on a $955 billion farm bill that would reduce federal spending by as much as $23 billion over the next 10 years by cutting funding for food stamps and eliminating some farm-support programs.  "This legislation will create jobs, cut taxpayer subsidies and reduce the deficit," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday [5/20/2013].

USDA spending $4 million to increase food stamp use at farmers markets.  The Department of Agriculture announced a $4 million dollar, expanded-eligibility plan to increase food stamp access at farmers markets this week.  Agriculture Undersecretary Kevin Concannon announced that in an effort to make more produce readily available to participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamp program, the agency is expanding the use of wireless point-of-sale equipment to farmers markets and direct marketing farmers who do not already have such equipment.

Thune: Food stamp participation has increased at 10 times the rate of job creation under Obama.  South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune and Indiana Republican Rep. Marlin Stutzman introduced legislation Thursday [4/18/2013] aimed at saving $30 billion in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program over a decade.  Thune and Stutzman said their "Streamlining the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Act" would eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse and close loopholes in a program that, under President Obama, has seen participation increase from 32 million to 47.8 million people and spending double to $80 billion in fiscal year 2012.

This is probably satire, but I can't be too sure.
US Financial Industry to Replace the Dollar with Food Stamps.  As experts ponder the implications of America's stepping-back from world political leadership, finance professionals are openly discussing what the world will be like without the US dollar as the primary unit of international and domestic trade.  In the meantime, American businesses are considering the benefits of a new economy based on food stamps.

Many think "welfare" no longer belongs in Pa. agency's name.  The name Department of Public Welfare was no doubt seen as an improvement when the state came up with it nearly a century ago, merging two older offices — the Board of Charities and the Committee on Lunacy.  But now, 90 years later, Pennsylvania is one of just two states in the nation that still use the word welfare in the name of the massive agency that serves mainly the elderly, disabled, and children.

Food stamp president: Enrollment up 70 percent under Obama.  Enrollment in the food stamp program — officially the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — has soared by 70 percent in the years since President Obama first took office, a new report finds.  The government said the recession ended in 2009, The Wall Street Journal reports, but enrollment in the food stamp program didn't wane, as would be expected in an improving economy.  Since 2008, it's been on a steady rise, The Journal reports.  A record 47.8 million people participate in the program, as of December 2012 — a figure that translates into a 70 percent rise since 2008, The Journal says.

Food Stamp Nation: R.I. Town Shows Leftism's Dead End.  A little town in Rhode Island shows where liberalism and all its talk of economic "security" ultimately leads — a stale economy and suffocating dependence on big government.

When stigma is replaced by a sense of entitlement, the result is arrogance.
Food stamp recipients, feds cast doubt on Haley proposal.  West Ashley [South Carolina] resident Shirley Wilson gets $32 a month in food stamp vouchers, and she said it's not the government's business to tell her what kind of food she should be able to buy with them.  "Nobody should tell me how to eat, except when I'm dying and a doctor puts me on restrictions," said Wilson, shopping at Save-A-Lot in West Ashley Tuesday afternoon [3/26/2013].  "Why are you going to tell me how to spend $32?"

Getting On The Gravy Train [is] Easier Than Ever — If You've Lost All Pride.  It's no mystery to explain the huge numbers of Americans filing for unemployment when it is becoming as easy as surfing the net for social networks.  Politicians are always trying to make it easy for people to file for food stamps, Medicaid, HEAP, and other benefits not because they give a whit for the needy but because they expect those entitled to keep them in office.  If the process is difficult for some, those who know how to work the system will find it a breeze.

Food stamps put Rhode Island town on monthly boom-and-bust cycle.  Three years into an economic recovery, this is the lasting scar of collapse:  a federal program that began as a last resort for a few million hungry people has grown into an economic lifeline for entire towns.  Spending on SNAP has doubled in the past four years and tripled in the past decade, surpassing $78 billion last year.

46,609,072 People on Food Stamps in 2012; Record 47,791,996 in December.  On Friday [3/8/2013], the United States Department of Agriculture quietly released new statistics related to the food stamps program, officially known as SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).  The numbers reveal, in 2012, the food stamps program was the biggest it's ever been, with an average of 46,609,072 people on the program every month of last year.  47,791,996 people were on the program in the month of December 2012.

Food Stamps: Policy or Political Payoff.  The [food stamp] program was intended to be supplemental; not a replacement for a family's entire food budget.  It follows that an increasing number of families might have difficulty putting food on the table.  A closer look at the situation, however, raises some concerns.  The first is that people are not necessarily "turning to" food stamps, as much as they are being recruited to receive them.  Since 2008, the USDA has produced Spanish language radio advertisements about SNAP, with the expressed goal of increasing the number of Spanish speaking individuals receiving food stamps.

The Facts on Food Stamps.  That SNAP, or food stamps, has expanded under "Dear Leader" Barack Hussein Obama is not debatable.  In fact, a report released in September 2012, by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) showed that about 45 million individuals are now enrolled in the food stamp program, more than double the number that were enrolled in 2003, when George Walker Bush was president.  We taxpayers spent, in FY2012, a record $80.4 billion on SNAP, or food stamps, an increase of $2.7 billion over FY2011.  Further, according to Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), food stamp spending has increased by 100 percent during the Obama reign.

The Wages of Unemployment.  There are over 30 million more Americans receiving food stamps today than in 2000. [...] Compare 2010 with October 2012, the last month for which food-stamp data have been reported. [...] Food-stamp usage should have peaked and probably even begun to decline.  Yet the number of recipients rose by 7,223,000.  In a period of falling unemployment and rising output, the number of food-stamp recipients grew nearly 10,000 a day.  Congress should find out why.

New data show 1 in 4 children on food stamps in FY 2011.  One in four children in America participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, in fiscal year 2011, according to data from the United States Department of Agriculture and U.S. Census Bureau.

Panic In California As Thousands Of Food Stamps Cards Suffer Brief Outage.  This past weekend, as part of a system update to the CalWIN software of California's Social Services department, HP accidentally cancelled EBT cards for some 37,000 Californians. [...] The OC Register reports that eighteen counties were affected in the CalFresh chaos (the 'friendly' name given to California's food stamp program — also formerly known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP).

Obama's Food Stamp Mania.  It was great when we started referring to Barack Obama as the "food stamp president"  — and such a fitting title for the current head of the White House.  Unfortunately liberals eat up government dependency, and they started wearing the new phrase as a badge of honor.

Foodstamps, Foodstamps, ...  A woman who argued with a grocery store manager about what is and is not paid for (with our tax dollars) by foodstamps was, she claims, humiliated by the store manager.  You simply won't believe this.  A woman argued, while in the check-out line, about what was and was not paid for by foodstamps.  The disputed amount was $10.  When the manager relented, the woman said, "'See, I told you it was covered by food stamps."  The manager responded, "Excuse me for working for a living and not relying on food stamps!"  The unbelievable part is that the grocery store manager was transferred to another store.

Food-stamp folly.  Do you know what Maryland gives its welfare recipients so they can access cash and food benefits?  An "Independence Card."  If that sounds a bit Orwellian, consider the perverse spending increases that the Obama administration has planned for food stamps and an array of other forms of welfare.  Why perverse?  Because the whole goal of the successful welfare reform of the 1990s was to reduce dependence.  And the president's budget would do just the opposite.

Welcome to the welfare state: Obama's 'badge of honor'.  Nancy Pelosi says President Obama should embrace the "Food Stamp President" label as a badge of honor — and he has.  Food stamp use has risen 100 percent in three years.  Welfare reform has been rolled back through work requirement waivers.  The USDA holds "food stamp parties" to hook seniors, and Obama's Ag secretary calls welfare "economic stimulus."

New American Food-Stamp Plantation is a SNAP.  Liberals tells us that this program's mind-boggling growth is explained by our foundering economy.  But, as Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama points out, spending on this program increased 100 percent from 2001 to 2006, a period over which there was no increase in the rate of unemployment.  From 2007 to 2011, spending increased 135 percent.  But CBO attributes only about 65 percent of the dramatic growth in program spending and the number of recipients to the recession.  Here's what else has happened:  It has become increasingly easy to qualify for SNAP benefits, the government has been spending more taxpayer funds promoting the program, and the stigma of SNAP, food stamps, being perceived as a welfare program has disappeared.

Hey, it all depends on the meaning of 'demeaning'.  Gov. Deval Patrick doesn't like "anecdotes."  You know, all those news stories that are so embarrassing for his most loyal supporters and the welfare programs that enable them to live high on the hog.  Like the convicted heroin dealer from Roxbury who used his EBT card for bail money. [...] John Adams once said that facts are stubborn things.  So are anecdotes, because they tend to be based on facts.  And so it was that this week the Democrat-controlled House voted 152-1 to override Gov. Anecdote's vetoes of certain mild reforms in the welfare program known as EBT cards.

USDA combats 'mountain pride,' self-reliance to boost food stamp rolls.  One in seven Americans are on food stamps, but the government is pushing to enroll more — in many instances working to overcome Americans' "pride," self-reliance or failure to see a need.  "Our common goal is to increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program," the United States Department of Agriculture explains on its "Outreach Toolkits" page.  "Our purpose is to ensure that those going through difficult times can feed their families healthy, nutritious food.  By working as a team, we can accomplish these goals."

Therese Murray taking us all for an EBT cab ride.  So we're not going to have a real crackdown on EBT card fraud after all. [...] It was clear that last week's 122-33 House vote to tighten the EBT rules was just a charade — to give taxpayers the illusion of doing something while the Democrats continued coddling their constituents in the non-working classes.

'Nothing to see' mantra costly.  EBT, of course, stands for Everybody But Taxpayers.  Anyone opposed to putting a halt to the fraud will be dismissed as mean-spirited, racist, xenophobic, or all of the above.

Gov, time to book these 'anecdotes'.  Another 32 EBT "anecdotes" arrested or cited yesterday [4/19/2012] and charged with welfare fraud. [...] One Vietnamese immigrant store owner in Quincy was charged with $700,000 in welfare fraud. [...] The average layabout collects $450 a month on his card.  And 20,000 cards are "lost" every month (and then replaced at no charge).  Do the math — could be close to $9 million a month in fraud, just on those "lost" cards.  Yet Deval's appointees claim it's too expensive to put the welfare recipient's photo on the card.

USDA suggests food stamp parties, games to increase participation.  While spending on the food stamp program has increased 100 percent under President Barack Obama, the government continues to push more Americans to enroll in the welfare program.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has embraced entire promotional campaigns designed to encourage eligible Americans to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps.  A pamphlet currently posted at the USDA website encourages local SNAP offices to throw parties as one way to get potentially eligible seniors to enroll in the program.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program:  The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides benefits to help people in low-income households purchase food.  In fiscal year 2010, households receiving SNAP benefits had annual income (other than those benefits) that averaged about $8,800; SNAP benefits averaged about $4.30 per person per day.  Nearly 45 million recipients, one out of every seven U.S. residents, received SNAP benefits in an average month in fiscal year 2011.  Total federal spending for the program was $78 billion.

USDA Spends $5 Mil To Recruit Food-Stamp Recipients.  The number of food-stamp recipients has skyrocketed in the last few years yet the Obama Administration keeps wasting millions of taxpayer dollars to recruit more participants in the name of eradicating "food insecure households."  The latest publicly-financed campaign to boost the food-stamp rolls — officially known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP — was announced this month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the agency that administers it.  The USDA is dedicating $5 million this year to "improve access to and increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program."

State Gets $5 Mil Bonus For Food Stamp Sign Up.  In its quest to promote taxpayer-funded entitlement programs, the Obama Administration has actually rewarded one state with a $5 million bonus for its efficiency in adding food-stamp recipients to already bulging rolls.  It's part of the administration's campaign to eradicate "food insecure households" by improving access and increasing participation in the government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  Incidentally, the program was recently changed to SNAP to eliminate the stigma that comes with a name like food stamps.

Food Stamp Millionaire.  If you have any uncertainty regarding the responsibility for the nearly bankrupt status of the state of Michigan and its cultural and philosophical epicenter, Detroit, take a gander at the state's food stamp program.

Michigan man still on food stamps despite winning $2M.  A man who won $2 million on a Michigan lottery show has told a TV station that he still uses food stamps.  Leroy Fick of Bay County admitted he still swipes the electronic card at stores, nearly a year after winning a jackpot on "Make Me Rich!"  He told WNEM-TV in Saginaw that more than half the prize went to taxes.

Update:
Lottery winner's luck running out.  The luck of Leroy Fick, Michigan's 59-year-old "Food Stamp Millionaire" — a lottery winner on government food assistance — appeared to be running out Wednesday [5/25/2011] as state officials worked to get him off the dole.

Grown-up babies.  Not from nowhere has this stubborn, self-destructive sense of entitlement sprung.  As I reported last month, a record-breaking 12 million Americans have been added to the federal food stamp rolls over the past two years, and the bloated $6 billion AmeriCorps social justice army has been converted into a publicist corps for the welfare machine.  Just this week, a Michigan man boasted that he's still collecting food stamps after winning a $2 million government-sponsored lottery prize.  "If you're going to ... try to make me feel bad, you aren't going to do it," he told a local TV reporter.  Embedded in his rebuke is the eternal refrain of the self-esteem-puffed teenager:  "You can't judge me!"

Somewhat related:
USDA Wants RFID Tracking Technology To Be Mandatory In US Food Stamp Program.  The USDA is now considering biometric identification for all individuals who will want to benefit from their Food and Nutrition Services.  The RFID chip may just soon be a must for everyone who does not want to starve!

More information about the demise of stigma.




Welfare-to-work programs:
Get back to work, or go hungry.

Food Stamps Take Nosedive in States with Restored Work Requirements.  Thanks to President Donald Trump, food stamps won't be handed out as easily anymore.  Now there are work requirements being put into play in order to receive welfare.  Under the Obama administration, less and less people worked while more and more landed on the list of food stamp recipients.  However, now that there are new rules to the game, not so many people want to play.

Food stamp rolls plummet in states that restore work requirements.  After the food stamp rolls swelled for years under the Obama administration, fresh figures show a dramatic reduction in states that recently have moved to restore work requirements.  States were allowed to waive those rules for able-bodied adults thanks to the 2009 economic stimulus.  As the rules loosened and the economy sputtered out of the recession, food stamp enrollment soared to record levels — peaking at nearly 48 million nationwide in 2013.  But while that number has dipped gradually in recent years, some states have moved aggressively to push recipients who can work back into the job market and, in due time, off the program.

Proposed Law Would Require Food Stamp Recipients to Show Proof of Job Search.  A Louisiana congressman introduced legislation that would strengthen work requirements for recipients of food stamps.  "By putting certain perimeters or requirements on the program where you have to actually do job searches and you have to go do interviews and you have to participate in certain job training activities, it is migrating people from dependence to the workforce and that is a win for everyone," Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., told The Daily Signal in an interview.

Steep Decline In Food Stamps In Georgia After Work Mandate Enforced.  Georgia sees a steep decline in the number of participants receiving food stamps.  The state recently reported a 62 percent drop in "snap" payments for residents living in 21 counties last month.  This came after a 2016 work mandate became enforced in those counties at the beginning of April.

13 Alabama counties saw 85 percent drop in food stamp participation after work requirements restarted.  Thirteen previously exempted Alabama counties saw an 85 percent drop in food stamp participation after work requirements were put in place on Jan. 1, according to the Alabama Department of Human Resources.  The counties [...] had been exempt from a change that limited able-bodied adults without dependents to three months of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits within a three-year time frame unless they were working or participating in an approved training program.

85% drop in food stamp recipients in AL counties where work requirement restarted.  The Alabama Department of Human Resources says 13 counties that reinitiated a work requirement for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamp program, saw an 85% drop in recipients.  The counties had been exempt from the work requirement due to high levels of unemployment.  But with the economy recovering, the state of Alabama restarted the work requirement on January 1 this year, which resulted in the massive drop in SNAP participants.

Trump budget saves taxpayer money by weeding out welfare freeloaders.  Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney delivered a tough message on Tuesday [5/23/2017] as he explained the cornerstone of the Trump administration's budget blueprint for fiscal year 2018; ween capable, low income Americans off of welfare programs and put them back to work.

Wisconsin's attempt to tie food to jobs pays off.  Wisconsin has announced that significant reforms of its statewide food benefits program have led to nearly 15,000 gaining meaningful employment, joining a national trend toward putting more food stamp recipients to work.  Republican Gov. Scott Walker led a campaign to require able-bodied adults without dependents who participate in FoodShare, the state's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, to work at least 80 hours a month or risk limits to their benefits beginning in April 2015.

Georgia Tells Able-Bodied Food Stamp Recipients to Work for 'Greater Good'.  Thousands of Georgia residents who depend on food stamps are losing their benefits because they have failed to meet the state's new requirements that force the able-bodied without children to find jobs.  These new work requirements have been rolled out in phases for the past year.  The latest round impacted approximately 12,000 people in 21 counties.  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported more than half of them, or 7,251, were dropped from the food stamp program because they were not working.

House Bill Would Strengthen Welfare Work Requirement.  Rep.  Jim Jordan introduced a bill Thursday [5/26/2016] that would reform food stamps.  "Welfare programs are meant to be a temporary safety net, but they have become a permanent way of life for millions of Americans," Jordan, R-Ohio, said in a statement.  "Instead of giving impoverished families and individuals a helping hand, the current system penalizes positive steps toward self-sufficiency."  According to a press release from Jordan's office, H.R. 5360, the Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act, is based on Maine's successful reforms and the welfare reforms of 1996.  The bill would, among other things, implement stricter work requirements for "able-bodied" adults without dependents receiving assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.  It would also help recipients with employment training and job searches to give recipients the tools needed to overcome poverty.

Is Personal Responsibility Obsolete?  Among the many disturbing signs of our times are conservatives and libertarians of high intelligence and high principles who are advocating government programs that relieve people of the necessity of working to provide their own livelihoods.  Generations ago, both religious people and socialists were agreed on the proposition that "he who does not work, neither shall he eat."  Both would come to the aid of those unable to work.  But the idea that people who simply choose not to work should be supported by money taken from those who are working was rejected across the ideological spectrum.

The Questions Liberals Never Have to Answer.  [Question #4]  Does it matter if anti-poverty policies work?  If programs don't work, shouldn't they be abandoned?  Is it good for people to be on welfare and food stamps long-term?  Does it matter that the number of people on disability is so historically high that a significant percentage of the people receiving it almost have to be doing so fraudulently?  Are we fulfilling our responsibility to the taxpayers to make sure their money is used to temporarily help people who really need it?

Why More States Are Requiring Work Requirements for Food Stamps.  Newspaper headlines have been bemoaning that more states will now have to require adults on food stamps — who are able-bodied and without dependents — to work.  Since 2009, nearly all states have been able to waive the modest food stamp work requirement.  But these waivers have gradually been expiring, and as of April 1, more states are once again required to enforce the modest food stamp work requirement.  The food stamps program is one of the largest government means-tested welfare programs. [...] The most rapid growth was among able-bodied adults without dependents, which jumped from just under 2 million in 2008 to 4.7 million in 2014.

The controversial reason tens of thousands of people just lost their food stamps.  As many as 1 million Americans will stop receiving food stamps this year, the consequence of a controversial work mandate that took effect this week in 21 states as the economy improves.  The revival of the mandate, which was hotly debated when adopted in the 1990s, is reigniting a discussion among policymakers and advocates for the poor about the fairness and wisdom of the social safety net in the new U.S.  economy.  The requirement, which generally stipulates that participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) who do not have children or a disability must find a job within three months of receiving the benefit and work an average of 20 hours a week, was suspended in most states following the mortgage crisis amid widespread unemployment.  Now, as jobs have returned, the work mandate was automatically reinstated in many states at the beginning of this year, and the three-month allowance for finding a job ended April 1.

States moving to restore work requirements for food stamp recipients.  States are moving to once again require able-bodied adults to put in work hours in exchange for food stamps, after the requirements largely were suspended by the Obama administration.  The slow-moving reversal follows the administration pulling back on Clinton-era changes that required recipients to work for government welfare benefits.  Signing the reform bill in 1996 alongside then-Speaker Newt Gingrich, then-President Bill Clinton said the goal was to make welfare "a second chance, not a way of life."  But during the last recession, President Obama allowed states to suspend a requirement that able-bodied adults without children work at least 20 hours per week or participate in a training program to receive benefits for more than three months.

Welfare System Is 'Anti-Work,' Researchers Say.  The war on poverty is a war on work, the authors of a new book that criticizes the nation's welfare system assert.  Phil Harvey, chief sponsor of the DKT Liberty Project, and Lisa Conyers, a policy analyst for the project, conducted a nationwide study of anti-poverty programs for their book, "The Human Cost of Welfare: How the System Hurts the People It's Supposed to Help."  "The present system is anti-work.  It's almost a war on work.  And that's insane; at the very, very least, we ought to be helping people get out of the system and into paid employment," Harvey said Monday as the authors discussed the results of their study at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank.  They said their research, illustrated by numerous interviews with welfare recipients, led them to conclude that the current benefits structure traps many enrollees in the very poverty they wish to escape.

Maine Ends Dependence On Food Stamps: How Did It Happen?  The number of childless, able-bodied adult food stamp recipients in a New England state fell by 80% over the course of a few months.  This didn't require magic, just common sense.  From December 2014 to March 2015, the caseload of able-bodied Maine adults with no dependents crashed from 13,332 recipients to 2,678, says the Heritage Foundation.  This is a remarkable change and needs to be repeated in government programs across the country.  How Maine achieved this is no mystery.  Gov. Paul LePage simply established work requirements for food stamp recipients who have no dependents and are able enough to be employed.  They must, write Heritage policy analysts Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield, "take a job" — just 20 hours a week — "participate in training, or perform community service" for a mere 24 hours a week.  Recipients who do none of those are stripped of their food stamp benefits after three months.

Maine Required Childless Adults to Work to Get Food Stamps. Here's What Happened.  One trillion dollars — that's how much the government spent last year on means-tested welfare aid, providing cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to poor and low-income individuals.  The food stamp program is the nation's second largest welfare program.  The number of food stamp recipients has risen dramatically, from 17.2 million in 2000 to 45.8 million in 2015.  Costs have soared over the same period, from $20.7 billion in 2000 to $83.1 billion in 2014.  The most rapid growth in the food stamp caseload in recent years has been among able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs).  These are work-capable adult recipients between the ages of 18 and 49 who do not have children or other dependents to support.

North Carolina Welfare Leeches Just Got Some Devastating News.  On Jan. 1, the Department of Agriculture eliminated an exemption that had allowed North Carolina to ignore "a federal requirement that able-bodied adults without children work or volunteer at least 20 hours a week to receive benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP," reported Wake County news station WRAL.  Specifically, it eliminated the exemption for 23 counties, including my county of Wake.  The exemption will remain in place for the state's 77 other counties until July 1.  This means that about 59,000 men and women who currently receive food stamps in N.C. will now need to make an effort to either work or volunteer, lest they lose their access to free food.

Britain's job-training regimen provides a remedy for welfare addiction.  Since his party's impressive election victory in May, Prime Minister David Cameron is moving quickly to fulfill his campaign promise to ensure welfare benefits are no longer a way of life for many of his fellow citizens.  Instead of open-ended benefits for the unemployed, the government, beginning in April 2017, will require young people between 18 and 21 who don't have jobs but are collecting welfare, to attend three-week "boot camps" to prepare them for work in a rapidly improving economy.  If they refuse, they will be denied benefits if they are unemployed for six months.

The Editor says...
This idea could never be implemented in this country, with the current crop of spineless politicians.  As soon as a work-or-starve law was implemented, the press would embark on a week-long series of sob stories featuring the saddest cases they can find — little old ladies who can't make ends meet any more because their welfare checks are about to stop.  By the end of that week, the Republicans would give up and reinstate everybody's handouts.

Foodstamps for able-bodied adults down 80% in Maine following minimal work requirement.  Foodstamp enrollment by able bodied childless adults in Maine (which has a conservative Republican governor) is down 80% after imposing a very modest requirement that recipients work at least 6 hours a week in a volunteer program.  Of course, the media portrays this as an exercise in cruelty. [...] Let's face it, 80% of the able bodied childless adults in Maine on Foodstamps didn't need it.  Truly hungry people would eagerly volunteer six hours a week for free food.

Food Stamps Have Exploded Once Work Requirements Were Gutted.  Started in the 1970s, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has just become another vehicle for the political left to increase dependency and further their agenda.  In all, there are 48 million Americans on food stamps, up from 17 million since 2000.  Additionally, millions more are being added to their states' respective food stamp rolls than they are finding full-time work; for every one person who found a job, two people are given SNAP benefits.  In terms of cost, we were spending $17 billion on food stamps.  It's now ballooned to an $80 billion program.

Foodstamps down 80% in Maine following 6 hr/week work requirement.  Foodstamp enrollment in Maine (which has a conservative Republican governor) among able bodied single adults is down 80% after imposing a very modest requirement that recipients work at least 6 hours a week in a volunteer program.  Of course, the media portrays this as an exercise in cruelty. [...] The Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program is intended to be a supplemental food pantry, but a growing number of clients here and at pantries around the state have little else to rely on because of a change in state policy this year.  These are the leeches who don't want to even work 6 hours a week for their check.

Oh no.  Not that!
Bills Would Require Michiganders To Work For Welfare, Pass Drug Test.  A bill has passed in the Michigan Senate that would require those receiving public assistance to do some "volunteer" work.  Another bill, which passed the House Commerce Committee, requires drug testing, revoking benefits for welfare recipients who refuse the test or who test positive.

Obama's Work to Welfare Program.  With the economy stuck in the doldrums, the unemployment rate mired in the mid 7% range and the U-6 rate, which measures those out of work along with those who have given up or who are working part time in lieu of full time work, lounging in the 14% range one has to wonder why there is no popular outcry to throw the bums out.  The answer would seem to be that many are discovering not working is more lucrative than their options in the workforce.

Many disability recipients admit they could work.  Recipients of federal disability checks often admit that they are capable of working but cannot or will not find a job, that those closest to them tell them they should be working, and that working to get off the disability rolls is not among their goals.  More baffling, most have never received significant medical treatment and not seen a doctor about their condition in the last year, even though medical problems are the official reason they don't work.

The Welfare Debate We're Not Having:  It turns out — apparently to the surprise of many on the left — that working for a living is better than subsisting as a parasite on government handouts.




Many recipients of welfare benefits are too lazy to work
Others are criminals intent on defrauding the taxpayers.

When their unemployment benefits run out, freeloaders by the thousands are switching over to disability benefits.  Apparently it isn't difficult to claim some sort of disability, and the pencil-pushing bureaucrats are happy to sign up everyone who applies.  Aside from disability claims, there is very little motivation to work when the "safety net" is so comfortable.

Guilty plea in huge Social Security disability fraud case.  Nothing quite brings out the genius in criminals like schemes that look to bilk the American taxpayer.  A lawyer in Tennessee signed a guilty plea in one of the biggest Social Security disability fraud cases in history.  Eric C. Conn acknowledged that he was the ringleader in a conspiracy to defraud the federal government of hundreds of millions of dollars in disability benefits.  Here's a crook who covered all the bases.

Small Businesses Lament There Are Too Few Mexicans in U.S., Not Too Many.  In Dallas, the King of Texas Roofing Co. says it has turned down $20 million worth of projects in the past two years because it doesn't have enough workers.  In the San Francisco Bay Area, Joe Hargrave is expanding his successful Tacolicious chain of restaurants, but says he is building smaller ones due to "a massive shortage of restaurant workers."  And in Florida, Steve Johnson, who harvests oranges for the citrus industry, says, "Right now, if I had 80 guys, I could put every one of them to work."

The Editor says...
The problem is not that Mexicans are rare individuals who are uniquely qualified to do difficult jobs.  The problem is lower-class American citizens prefer to stay home and live on welfare (and "disability") benefits than show up for work.

Ex-NYPD detective on $90G disability also draws salary as security boss, report says.  An ex-NYPD detective receiving $90,000-a-year in disability payments is also drawing a $50,000 salary as a U.S. Army security supervisor, The New York Daily News reported on Sunday.  Anthony Hernandez, 43, retired as a detective in January 2014, which is when he began receiving disability checks, according to records reviewed by The Daily News.  But Hernandez soon began working at the Brooklyn military base in Fort Hamilton.

Ex-cop with alleged 'back problems' reaps $90G from disability pension, works full-time as U.S. Army security boss.  A retired police detective earning a whopping $90,000-a-year in tax free NYPD disability payments is working full-time as a security boss for the U.S. Army, the [New York] Daily News has learned.  Anthony Hernandez, 43, of Staten Island, retired as a detective from the NYPD in January 2014 and began receiving $7,443.62 a month in coveted disability payments from the city, records show.  Within a few months, the former general manager of the NYPD's football team then began working as a security official at the sprawling Brooklyn military base in Fort Hamilton, making about $50,000 a year, records show.

The [Difficulty] of Applying for Government Benefits.  Massive budget cuts and hiring freezes in the last few years have turned the Social Security Administration into one of the most understaffed and overburdened agencies in the federal government.  As of June, it had a backlog of more than 1 million unresolved disability claims, the highest in the agency's history.  The average wait time to get one of these claims adjudicated is more than a year.

The Editor says...
I don't feel sorry for those who find it difficult to pick my pocket.  If it is difficult to get disability payments started, maybe that's because there are tens of thousands of others applying for disability payments, while their only disability is unmitigated laziness.  The government has made it too easy to get on the gravy train.

Trump Wins Big in Disability Country.  The $150 billion federal disability program is a mess.  It almost went broke (Congress had to give it an emergency infusion).  It discourages employment and can be gamed.  But woe to the office-seeker who tries to fix it.  No one understands this better than Donald Trump, who has defied Republican orthodoxy and courted Republican voters by opposing changes to entitlement benefits, which include the federal disability program that is part of Social Security and provides income to 11 million Americans.  The portion of the working-age population receiving benefits is 4.8 percent, up from 2.8 percent in 1994.  Applications are growing again, after leveling off last year.  Recipients are mostly non-college-educated, white, blue collar and middle-aged.  Trump voters, in other words.

In 1 in 5 Families in the U.S., No One Works.  There were one in five families in the United States in 2015, or 19.7 percent, in which no one in the family worked, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  "Families are classified either as married-couple families or as families maintained by women or men without spouses present," explains the bureau.  "Families include those without children as well as those with children under age 18."  There were 81,410,000 families in the United States in 2015.  Of those, there were 16,060,000 families in which no member was employed, or 19.7 percent of the total.  The number has remained relatively steady since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started tracking this data since 1995.

$11 Billion in Excess Disability Payments Found by GAO.  Congress is bailing out the financially troubled Social Security Disability Insurance program as part of a two-year bipartisan budget deal that received final approval on Friday [10/30/2015].  The costly program — which provides $143 billion annually to 11 million people unable to work because of significant illness or impairment — has undergone intense scrutiny by lawmakers and the Government Accountability Office.  It will undergo substantial reforms in the coming months in order to reduce wasteful spending and fraud that have jeopardized the program's financial stability.

Seattle sees fallout from $15 minimum wage, as other cities follow suit.  Seattle's $15 minimum wage law is supposed to lift workers out of poverty and move them off public assistance.  But there may be a hitch in the plan.  Evidence is surfacing that some workers are asking their bosses for fewer hours as their wages rise — in a bid to keep overall income down so they don't lose public subsidies for things like food, child care and rent.  Full Life Care, a home nursing nonprofit, told KIRO-TV in Seattle that several workers want to work less.

On The Brink Of Bankruptcy, Federal Disability Program Wastes Billions.  A government audit finds that the Social Security Disability Insurance program paid out $16.8 billion in disability benefits over the past decade to about four million people who either were working, made too much money, were in prison, were dead, weren't eligible or were no longer physically or mentally disabled. [...] Between 2003 and 2014, SSDI rolls climbed 44% — even though the Census Bureau reports that the number of actual working-age disabled has been climbing at a far lower rate.

Report: Social Security Overpaid Nearly Half on Disability.  Social Security overpaid nearly half the people receiving disability benefits over the past decade, according to a government watchdog, raising questions about the management of the cash-strapped program.

SSA Issued $16.8 Billion Disability Overpayments.  The Social Security Administration (SSA) made nearly $17 billion in disability overpayments in the last decade, according to an audit by the Office of Inspector General (OIG).  Some beneficiaries were able to receive disability benefits for 10 years, even though they were ineligible.  The OIG based its estimate of $16.8 billion overpayments on a sample of more than 1,500 Americans who received benefits since 2003, finding nearly half were overpaid.  "Our review of 1,532 beneficiaries in current pay status as of October 2003 found that over a 10-year period (from October 2003 through February 2014), SSA assessed overpayments for 44.5 percent of sampled beneficiaries," the audit said.

Social Security overpaid nearly half on disability, watchdog says.  In all, Social Security overpaid beneficiaries by nearly $17 billion, according to a 10-year study by the agency's inspector general.

The Futility of Jobs Programs.  Government work-related programs are designed to teach specific skills, not impart character traits such as showing up when you'd rather stay home.  How do you transform a youngster who has drifted through life with minimal self-control to one who without protest follows all instructions and otherwise performs as a valued employee?

Extending Unemployment Benefits Doesn't Work.  Congress passed the Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act of 2008.  [This] law dramatically extended the duration of unemployment benefits, from (typically) 26 weeks to as much as 39 weeks.  Democrats controlled both houses of Congress in 2008.  Then came the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, Dear Leader Barack Hussein Obama's famous "stimulus bill," that further extended the duration of unemployment benefits, so that by the end of 2013 the typical duration of unemployment benefits was 99 weeks.  Further, the ARRA expanded eligibility for unemployment benefits to part-time workers, and exempted the first $2,400 of unemployment benefits from taxation.  Economists criticized these extensions and expansions, saying that they encouraged people to remain unemployed, to stay out of the labor force.

The Shirking Man's Party.  Rand Paul accuses most recipients of Social Security disability payments of "gaming the system" and calls them "malingerers."  "What I tell people is, if you look like me and you hop out of your truck, you shouldn't be getting a disability check," the Kentucky senator told New Hampshire voters earlier this week.  "You know, over half the people on disability are either anxious or their back hurts.  Join the club.  Who doesn't get up a little anxious for work every day and their back hurts?  Everybody over 40 has a back pain."

Generous L.A. city policy rewards workers who take long injury leaves.  Los Angeles Police Department clerk Demeturius Matthews took a full year off for an on-the-job injury after she banged her elbow into a metal filing cabinet.  She didn't break any bones, city records show, but a chiropractor declared her temporarily disabled.  She took a second year off after smacking her knee into her desk.  A third yearlong leave began after she said she felt pain between her shoulder blades while reaching for her phone.  Matthews collected $170,000 in salary while on those leaves, and increased her take-home pay by thousands of dollars during the time off under an unusually generous Los Angeles city leave policy for civilian workers.

21 Facts That Prove Government Dependency is Out of Control.  [#10] Right now, more than 70 million Americans are enrolled in Medicaid.  [#11] The number of Americans enrolled in the Social Security disability program now exceeds the entire population of the state of Virginia.  [#12] If the number of Americans on Social Security disability were gathered into a separate state, it would be the 8th largest state in the entire country.  [#13] In 1968, there were 51 full-time workers for every American on disability.  Today, there are just 13 full-time workers for every American on disability.

Suit Filed to Halt Work Requirements for Food Stamp Recipients in New Mexico.  On October 27, the New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty, the Southwest Organizing Project, and a number of food stamp recipients filed suit to halt work requirements for food stamp recipients which are set to go into effect in November.  The Associated Press reports the changes would require "some childless adults [to] work in order to receive food stamps."  Other recipients would have to "search for a job or participate in community service or job training."

This item comes from Al Jazeera.  BYO grain of salt.
Maine residents to work for food stamps, governor says.  Maine's Republican governor on Wednesday [7/23/2014] launched a push to make more "able-bodied" people work for their food stamps.  "People who are in need deserve a hand up, but we should not be giving able-bodied individuals a handout," said Gov. Paul R. LePage. [...] About 12,000 of the state's residents receiving $15 million annually in food stamps are considered to be able-bodied by Maine's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), which administers the aid.  That means that they are between the ages of 18 and 49, have no dependents and are not pregnant or disabled.

Disability Beneficiaries Top 11 Million for First Time.  The total number of disability beneficiaries in the United States topped 11 million for the first time last month, increasing from 10,996,447 in April to a record 11,004,507 in May, according to new data released by the Social Security Administration.

11 Million On Disability: Why Are Rolls Rising So Fast?  More than 5.2 million workers have enrolled since President Obama took office, and enrollment is climbing faster under Obama than at any other time in the program's history.  An average 81,000 workers joined the Social Security disability program each month during Obama's years.  Under President Bush, monthly enrollment averaged 66,000, and the overall average since 1975 is 52,000.  While there is debate about the exact causes of the swelling ranks of workers on disability, it's clear that the sluggish economic recovery under Obama played an important role.

1 in 6 American Men Between Ages 25-54 Are Not Working.  "There are currently 61.1 million American men in their prime working years, age 25-54.  A staggering 1 in 8 such men are not in the labor force at all, meaning they are neither working nor looking for work.  This is an all-time high dating back to when records were first kept in 1955. [...]"

Nearly half of unemployed not looking for work, poll finds.  Some 47% of unemployed Americans say they've given up on looking for work, according to a poll commissioned by staffing firm Express Employment Professionals.  More than half say looking for work has been more difficult than expected; only 2 in 10 currently receive unemployment benefits.

10,996,447: Disability Beneficiaries Hit New Record.  The total number of disability beneficiaries in the United States rose from 10,981,423 in March to 10,996,447 in April, setting a new all-time record, according to newly released data from the Social Security Administration.  The number of Americans receiving disability benefits continues to exceed the populations of Greece, Tunisia and Portugal, and is approaching the population of Cuba, which according to the CIA World Factbook is 11,047,251.

BLS: In 20% of American Families, No One Works.  In 20 percent of American families in 2013, according to new data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), not one member of the family worked.  A family, as defined by the BLS, is a group of two or more people who live together and who are related by birth, adoption or marriage.  In 2013, there were 80,445,000 families in the United States and in 16,127,000 — or 20 percent — no one had a job.

USPS worker claimed $300k in disability checks for five years while fishing in Alaska.  A former U.S. Postal Service employee in Anchorage was arraigned Friday on charges he accepted at least $334,000 in disability and worker's comp payments while he spent his summers fishing.  The U.S. attorney's office says in a Friday release that 56-year-old Amacio Zamora Agcaoili Jr. was indicted by a federal grand jury on 18 counts, including theft of government funds.  They claim every summer between 2009 and 2013, he went dipnetting and fishing on multiple occasions despite being on disability.

Obama Democrats' troubling view on work.  America now has a government that views work as a trap and celebrates those who escape it.  That is the upshot of last week's remarkable exchange over ObamaCare.  It began when the head of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that the interplay of taxes and subsidies in the law "creates a disincentive for people to work."  The report predicted the mix would lead to fewer hours worked, costing the equivalent of nearly 2.5 million jobs.  In response, President Obama's spokesman pleaded guilty — with pride and pleasure.

Obamanomics: Tax The Rich, Punish The Working Poor.  Team Obama taxes millionaires who create jobs, while ObamaCare creates incentives not to work at those jobs.  No wonder recovery's so anemic.  The policy here is to create fewer jobs and induce people to work less at those jobs. [...] I thought the American Idea had something to do with work, family and opportunity.  But what I see from the Obama administration is policies that undermine these virtues.

Demonomics.  The CBO report projected that by 2021 under ObamaCare more than 2 million full-time workers will find it financially advisable to quit work entirely or switch to part-time jobs in order to get more subsidies for healthcare insurance.  To most of us who studied real economics or just paid attention to human nature, subsidizing indolence means you'll get more of it.

The Last Generation of the West and the Thin Strand of Civilization.  Over 90 million Americans who could work are not working (the "non-institutionalized" over 16).  What we take for granted — our electrical power, fuel, building materials, food, health care, and communications — all hinge on just 144 million getting up in the morning to produce what about 160-170 million others (the sick, the young, and the retired who need assistance along with the 90 million idle) consume.  Every three working Americans provide sustenance for two who are not ill, enfeebled, or too young. [...] Given that the number of non-working is growing (an additional 10 million were idled in the Obama "recovery" alone), it is likely to keep growing.  At some point, we will hit a 50/50 ratio of idle versus active.  Then things will get interesting.

Seven Devastating Economic Facts.  [#4]  A Record 10.98 Million Americans Now Receive Disability Checks.  Social Security data reveal that a record 10,988,269 Americans now receive a monthly check for an average $1,146.43.  Several recent studies and investigations have revealed that the nation's disability program is rife with fraud and abuse.  When health care for disabled workers is included, U.S. taxpayers now spend $260 billion a year funding the disability program — a figure that exceeds the amount spent on food stamps and welfare combined.

Disability Has Become A Long-Term Jobless Benefit Program.  The latest annual report of the Social Security Board of Trustees projects that the Disability Insurance (DI) portion of the program will run out of funds to pay promised benefits by 2016, or possibly even 2015.  That's because of a 22% increase in disability dependents on the program to 2 million since 2008.  America has not suddenly become subject to a rash of disability since 2008.  Disability insurance has effectively become a long-term unemployment assistance program enabled by the Obama administration's abandonment of rational qualification standards.

New York City's Disability Grifters.  More than a hundred people were indicted today for fraudulently obtaining Social Security disability benefits, constituting one of the biggest such fraud busts of all time.  At a news conference in Manhattan Tuesday afternoon [1/7/2014], federal and local officials described a 26-year-old scheme through which 102 people — including 72 New York City Police retirees and eight retired New York firefighters — allegedly collected Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) fraudulently.  A number of the 102 indicted have already been arrested.

I took the SNAP Challenge and scored 25 lbs. of bacon!  [Scroll down]  The question I keep asking myself is, "Why shouldn't I sign up?"  I qualify.  Maybe not for $1,137, but I'd get quite a bit of loot.  Other than my own set of beliefs, there's nothing stopping me.  It's an incredible temptation.  I can see how easy it would be to let the government pay for all my food.  I mean, if I were getting $1,200 a month for groceries, why would I get a job?

2013 Closes With Record Number on Disability Getting Highest-Ever Monthly Benefits.  The total number of people in the United States now receiving federal disability benefits hit a record 10,988,269 in December, up from the previous record of 10,982,920 set in November, according to newly released data from the Social Security Administration.  The average monthly benefit paid to a disabled worker also hit a record of $1,146.43 in December, up from a previous high of $1,130.34 in December of last year.

10,982,920: More Americans on Disability Than People in Greece.  The total number of people in the United States now receiving federal disability benefits hit a record 10,982,920 in November, up from the previous record of 10,978,040 set in May, according to newly released data from the Social Security Administration. [...] November was the 202nd straight month that the number of disabled workers in the United States increased.

Implosion of Social Security Disability Ponzi Scheme Accelerates.  Fresh data just released by the trustees of the Social Security Administration show that the number of people receiving benefits from the Disability Insurance Trust Fund has exploded over the last five years, reducing the surplus in that fund from $216 billion in 2008 to just over $100 billion in 2013.  There were 7.4 million recipients in January 2009, but as of October 2013, there are nearly nine million beneficiaries, not including another two million spouses and children of disabled workers who are also receiving benefits.  Simple math illustrates the inevitable:  If those receiving benefits for disability (real or faked) continues to increase, the trust fund will be bankrupt in less than three years.

Report: 881 million federal unemployment checks sent out during weak economy.  Those checks, tallied from July 2008 to July 2013, totaled $252 billion, or more than $200 billion in inflation adjusted dollars — more than any of the last four federal temporary unemployment benefit programs.  The committee reports that 24 million people in total have received benefits through the program and remained in the program for 38 weeks on average.

Widespread fraud reported in Social Security Administration's Disability Program.  A two-year investigation by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has found widespread fraud in the Social Security Administration's Disability Program.  The fraud is so rampant, and disability cases have so proliferated in recent years, that the Social Security's Disability Trust Fund may run out of money in only 18 months, says Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., whose office undertook the investigation.

Committee Reveals Widespread Disability Scheme.  A Kentucky lawyer made millions off Social Security disability programs, devising a scheme with a judge to approve fraudulent claims at an "assembly-line" rate.  A two-year investigation led by Sen. Tom Coburn (R., Okla.), ranking member on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, revealed a case of coordinated fraud responsible for the approval of billions in claims.

Why The Poor Don't Work, According To The Poor:  Why don't the poor, who make up the overwhelming majority of food stamp recipients, go to work?  In 2012, more than 26 million 18-to-64-year-old adults lived under the poverty line; about 15 million of them didn't have a job during the year.  Is the economy to blame?  Or are personal choices at fault?

Social Security makes $1.3 billion in overpayments.  The Social Security Administration has paid an estimated $1.3 billion in disability insurance payments to thousands of people who weren't eligible for the benefits, a government watchdog report finds.

Investigators: 36,000 game disability system.  Social Security made $1.3 billion in potentially improper disability payments to people who had jobs when they were supposed to be unable to work, congressional investigators said in a report Friday [9/13/2013].

The Obamanomics decline.  [Scroll down]  Faced with this reality, millions are being driven toward stopgap solutions that further a national economic decline.  Employees who are too old to find a new job but not old enough for Social Security have taken extreme measures such as seeking disability payments to make ends meet.  There are now 8.8 million working-age individuals claiming federal disability benefits.

Local governments cutting hours over Obamacare costs.  Many cash-strapped cities and counties facing the prospect of shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars in new health-care costs under the Affordable Care Act are opting instead to reduce the number of hours their part-time employees work.

Welfare pays pretty well
Obamanomics: Welfare Pays More Than Work In Most States.  A new study shows that in most states welfare programs pay more than a minimum-wage job, and in some states government aid can be more than the earnings from a regular, entry-level job.

Report: Welfare Pays More than Minimum Wage, Discourages Workers.  Welfare benefits and the loss of leisure time still act as disincentives to earning a salary despite improvements in the welfare-work tradeoff since federal reforms in 1996, according to a report published Monday [8/19/2013].  The report by the Cato Institute found that the equivalent wage value of welfare has increased in 33 states since 1995, when the think tank first released a report on the issue.  Benefits in the District of Columbia expanded by $6,850 to a total package equivalent to $50,820 in wages, the second largest increase behind Vermont.  Welfare "pays" more than $15 per hour in 13 states.

When welfare pays better than work.  Here's an offer for you:  $38,004 per year, tax free.  No work required.  Apply at your local welfare office.  The federal government funds 126 separate programs targeted towards low-income people, 72 of which provide either cash or in-kind benefits to individuals.  (The rest fund community-wide programs for low-income neighborhoods, with no direct benefits to individuals.)  State and local governments operate more welfare programs.  Of course, no individual or family gets benefits from all 72 programs, but many do get aid from a number of them at any point in time.

Record 8.9 Million Workers Now on Disability Benefits.  More than 76,000 workers went on the federal government's disability program in July, according to the latest data from the Social Security administration, bringing the total number of new enrollees this year to 534,038.  Although that is down somewhat from the same month last year, enrollment in the Social Security Disability Insurance program remains sharply higher than it has been historically.  Since 2009, an average of about 1 million workers have gone on SSDI annually — a 31% increase from the average enrollment over the previous 10 years.

Binder on Binder & Binder.  The Social Security Administration pays an awful lot of money to people who aren't — and never claim to be — disabled.  When a person applying for disability secures a legal representative, then is successfully awarded benefits, the lawyer or advocate who helped him gets a generous cut of the money, paid directly from the SSA's disability fund.  In the first six months of 2013, the SSA has already forked over $642.6 million to these claimant representatives, who have a significant financial interest in getting people on disability.

Inability to Speak English Helps Get You Disability Bucks.  If leftist quislings are able to ram through the amnesty bill with help from RINO traitors, 46 million mostly unskilled Third World peasants will be flooding the USA by 2033, according to the Congressional Budget Office.  It is doubtful that — as the economy collapses under the burden this will place on society — there will be that many openings for landscape workers and chamber maids.  But not to worry, your tax dollars provide special disability benefits targeted at those who don't speak English.

Food Stamps Up 39% Under Obama, Disability Up 13%.  An analysis by the former chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers finds that given today's sluggish job growth, it will take over a decade for employment to return to pre-recession levels.  Edward P. Lazear, now a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, says the nation's moribund economic growth only partly explains the static employment rate; America's new welfare culture is also a key driver.

10,962,532: U.S. Disability Beneficiaries Exceed Population of Greece.  The total number of people in the United States now receiving federal disability benefits hit a record 10,962,532 million in April, which exceeds the 10,815,197 people who live in the nation of Greece.  According to newly released data from the Social Security Administration, the record 10,962,532 total disability beneficiaries in April, included a record 8,865,586 disabled workers (up from 8,853,614 in March), 1,936,236 children of disabled workers, and 160,710 spouses of disabled workers.  According to its latest census, Greece had only 10,815,197 residents.

Disabled Nation: Small Fraction Leave Disability Because They Work or Get Better.  When President Dwight Eisenhower — a big-government Republican running for re-election — signed the federal disability program into law in 1956, he suggested this new form of welfare would increase government efficiency, rehabilitate the truly disabled and roll back government dependency. [...] In fact, the disability program predictably became a one-way street to government dependency — a street that gets wider, better paved and more heavily trafficked every year.

Record 8.9 Million People Now On Disability.  The nation's disability rolls continued to climb sharply, as 76,983 workers enrolled in the Social Security Disability Insurance program in April, according to new data from the Social Security Administration.  More than 300,000 have joined the program so far this year.  The number of workers on permanent disability is now a record 8,865,586, a net increase of one million in just three years.  Today, 6.5 workers are on disability for every 100 who have a job.  That's double the ratio from two decades ago.  The number of people on disability has climbed almost sixfold since 1970.

D.C.-area disability rolls grow as more opt out of job market.  The number of Washington-area residents turning to federal disability benefits is soaring as they seek to escape a weak job market in a region already dependent on government spending.  The amount of money spent on disability benefits for the 4 million residents in the District and its neighboring counties has more than doubled in the past decade, from about $25.8 million in 2001 to more than $55.7 million in 2011, according to Social Security Administration data.

Workers Stuck in Disability Stunt Economic Recovery.  The unemployment rate in Friday's [4/5/2013] report fell to a four-year low of 7.6%, which most times signals job growth.  This time it reflected workers leaving the workforce, a problem that could persist:  Economists say relatively few people are likely to trade their disability checks for paychecks, in part because the program doesn't give much incentive to leave.

90 Million Americans Are No Longer Looking for Work.  In March, the number of Americans who dropped out of the labor force increased by 663,000 which adds up to a record 90 million Americans who are no longer looking for employment.

Disability Ranks Continue to Surge Under Obama.  Last month, 81,804 workers left the workforce to join the Social Security Disability Insurance program.  So far this year, nearly a quarter million workers have joined the program.  Over the past four years, 4 million left the workforce to go on disability.  Even after accounting for those who dropped out of the program because of death or retirement, the ranks of the disabled have shot up more than 1.4 million under Obama.

Is Disability the New Welfare?  The government in Britain recently did something interesting.  It asked everyone receiving an "incapacity benefit" — a disability program slowly being phased out under new reforms — to submit to a medical test to confirm they were too disabled to work.  A third of recipients (878,000 people) didn't even bother and dropped out of the program rather than be examined.

Unwilling to Work.  A NPR report "Unfit For Work" notes the startling rise in those on disability.  Here are some interesting facts from the article.
  •   Every month 14 million Americans receive a disability check.
  •   In 1961 the leading cause of disability was heart disease and strokes, totaling 25.7% of cases.  Back pain was 8.3% of cases.
  •   In 2011 the leading cause of disability was a hard to disprove back pain, totaling 33.8% of cases.  The second leading cause was an equally difficult to disprove "mental illness" at 19.2%.  Strokes and heart disease fell to 10.6%.
  •   In West Virginia, a whopping 9% of the population collects disability checks. In Arkansas, 8.2% are on disability, and in Alabama and Kentucky, 8.1% collect disability.  In Alaska, Hawaii, and Utah, the figure is 2.9%.
  •   In Hale County Alabama 1 in 4 receive disability checks.
  •   One thing nearly every case in Hale County Alabama has in common is Dr. Perry Timberlake who defines disability in a rather creative way.

Soaring Social Security disability rolls headed for collapse.  Jim Pethokoukis, of the American Enterprise Institute, has calculated that if labor force participation had not declined so much since Obama took office, the unemployment rate for January would have been 10.8 percent.  What happens to the workers who drop out of the labor force?  Some retire, some become full-time parents, some go on welfare.  But here's an important answer that is often overlooked:  In 2011, on average, one net person has been added to Social Security's Disability Insurance rolls (and 3.3 to its retirement program) for every five net new jobs created.

Unfit for Work: The startling rise of disability in America.  In the past three decades, the number of Americans who are on disability has skyrocketed.  The rise has come even as medical advances have allowed many more people to remain on the job, and new laws have banned workplace discrimination against the disabled.  Every month, 14 million people now get a disability check from the government.

Food stamps vs employment
How Liberal Policies Create Poverty.  [Scroll down]  One strange phenomenon since President Obama launched his welfare state is that even as unemployment goes down, the food stamp rate goes up.  It's not as odd, however, when one considers the fact that more than 8 million Americans have left the workforce since January 2009.

Athletes cash in on California's workers' comp.  Over the last three decades, California's workers' compensation system has awarded millions of dollars in benefits for job-related injuries to thousands of professional athletes.  The vast majority worked for out-of-state teams; some played as little as one game in the Golden State.

The Illusions of Supplemental Security Income, from Someone Who Knows.  Advances in workplace and medical technology have reduced the number of people who are unable to work.  For that reason, SSI Disability rolls should be shrinking rather than exploding.  The illusions of disability are tearing down middle-class morals and values.  They are undermining individual and family responsibility and building in a payoff for temporary, treatable health problems to become permanent conditions.  Millions of middle-class people are forfeiting the moral code that honors work, and they are being deprived of the self-respect that comes from doing their best.  They are succumbing to the "government handout" mentality.

Not a 'nation of takers,' Mr. President? Check the numbers.  According to the most recent Department of Health and Human Services figures, more than 12 million working-age Americans are cashing government disability benefits:  a larger total than those cashing paychecks from the entire U.S. manufacturing sector;  Over twice as many Americans are obtaining "means-tested" anti-poverty benefits from the government as are receiving old-age pension paymets from Social Security.

Fraud And Disability Equal A Multibillion Dollar Black Hole For Taxpayers.  A parasite has insidiously invaded the body of America.  It has fed and grown large on nutrients from government handouts and now is enervating its host, our capitalist system.  Since our president entered the White House in January 2009 through September of this year 5.9 million people have been added to the SSDI or Social Security Disability program.  That compares with less than 2.5 million jobs created during the same period.  According to Social Security Administration data, currently including spouses and children, SSDI rolls have swollen to a bloated 10.9 million.

Obama's New Economic Normal: Seven Devastating Facts.  [#5]  All-time record number of Americans collecting disability:  Medical advancements and technological innovations have increased life expectancy and made workplaces safer.  Still, the number of Americans collecting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) has skyrocketed in the last four years.  Today, a record 8,827,795 individuals collect a disability check averaging $1,130.34 a month.

2013 Is the Year to Go to Work, Not Go on Disability.  There are now 8.8 million workers receiving disability payments from Social Security.  I find this number haunting.  The disabled are part of the far larger number of Americans who have left the labor force altogether since the recession, and who don't seem to be coming back. [...] Thirty years ago, there was a 40-to-1 ratio between the total labor force and those workers receiving Social Security disability payments.  Today that ratio is less than 18-to-1.

Social Security Ran $47.8B Deficit in FY 2012; Disabled Workers Hit New Record in December: 8,827,795.  The Social Security program ran a $47.8 billion deficit in fiscal 2012 as the program brought in $725.429 billion in cash and paid $773.247 [billion] for benefits and overhead expenses, according to official data published by Social Security Administration.  The Social Security Administration also released new data revealing that the number of workers collecting disability benefits hit a record 8,827,795 in December — up from 8,805,353 in November.

Okay, President Obama, Let's be Fair.  Let's be fair.  People who are taking money from the Social Security fund under the guise of being disabled, when they are not, are essentially stealing the money from the people who obediently paid into Social Security.

The welfare cliff
"Poverty" pays better than middle-class employment.  We can all agree that the only "happy ending" for any given welfare recipient is a return to the productive middle class, right?  Even the vast majority of liberal American voters would say that's the desired outcome.  But classical welfarism has mutated into something far more insidious and dangerous.  It is the great project of the organized political Left to destroy the "middle class" they pretend to venerate, by infecting it with government dependency.

Work is for suckers.  It looks like about half of us will continue to work no matter how many goodies the government dangles in front of us.  That won't last long. [...] Eventually, more and more of us will simply give in to the inevitable and allow government to take care of us.

When Work Is Punished: The Tragedy Of America's Welfare State.  As quantitied, and explained by [Gary] Alexander, "the single mom is better off earnings gross income of $29,000 with $57,327 in net income and benefits than to earn gross income of $69,000 with net income and benefits of $57,045."

Weak Incentives to Work in Entitlement America:  Not surprisingly, it is not only the richest and most audacious thieves that prosper — it is also the penny scammers at the very bottom of the economic ladder that rip off the middle class each and every day, courtesy of the world's most generous entitlement system.

Single moms getting a sweet deal in Pennsylvania.  Question:  When is it better to earn $29,000 than to earn $69,000?  Answer:  When you're a single mom living in Pennsylvania.  Why?  Because, thanks to our generous welfare system, a single mom makes out better that way.  When all the benefits are added up, the lower-paid single mom qualifies to receive $57,327 in net income and benefits, while the mom who earns $69,000 ends up with a net income and benefits of $57,045.

Collecting Disability Becomes A Career Choice For Men.  In 1960, some 455,000 workers were receiving disability payments.  In 2011, the number was 8,600,000.  In 1960, the percentage of the economically active 18-to-64 population receiving disability benefits was 0.65%.  In 2010, it was 5.6%. [...] Things have changed.  Americans have grown healthier, and significantly lower numbers die before 65 than was the case a half-century ago.  Nevertheless, the disability rolls have ballooned.

8,803,335: Another New Record for Disability — Up 975 Per Day Under Obama.  This month 8,803,335 disabled workers are collecting benefits, up from the previous record of 8,786,049 set in September.  In February 2009, the first full month after President Barack Obama took office, there were 7,469,240 workers collecting federal disability insurance.  Thus, so far in Obama's term, the number of workers collecting disability has increased by 1,334,095.

More Americans Dependent on Disability, Longer.  While looking into the reasons for the drop in labor-force participation, I stumbled upon this report by Senator Coburn called "Social Security Disability Programs: Improving the Quality of Benefit Award Decisions."  There he notes that "economists estimate that Americans added to disability rolls could account for as much as a quarter of the two percent drop in the labor force participation rate since 2007."

More Americans signing up for food stamps, disability than are finding work.  The Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee is out with new data showing that more Americans are joining the food stamp and disability rolls than are actually finding work.  From April to June of this year, 200,000 Americans found jobs, compared to the 265,000 who enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, and the 246,000 who were awarded disability payments.

8,786,049: Yet Another Record for Americans Collecting Disability.  The Social Security Administration has released new data revealing that 8,786,049 American workers are collecting federal disability insurance payments in September.  That sets yet another record for the number of Americans on disability.  The 8,786,049 workers taking federal disability in September is a net increase of 18,108 from the 8,767,941 workers who took federal disability in August.  Over the past 45 years, the number of American workers taking federal disability payments has increased four-fold relative to the number actually working.

Why Labor Force Participation Has Fallen During the Recession.  The drop in unemployment since 2009 is almost entirely due to the fact that those not looking for work do not count as unemployed.  Demographic factors explain one-fifth of the decreased labor force participation.  The rest comes from increased school enrollment and more people collecting disability benefits.  Six percent of U.S. adults are now on disability insurance.

Social Security Disability Has A Nice Program for Deadbeats.  Last April, Independent Sentinel reported on the easing of social security disability guidelines which now allows people, obviously people with no pride, to collect disability if they want to feign depression or a mood disorder. [...] For those who are wondering how it's working, just check the latest stats from the Social Security Administration which show that the numbers of those reporting mood disorders are increasing exponentially.  One-third of those claiming mood disorders are from Puerto Rico.  The entitlement system we have set up is destroying Puerto Rico along with the states.

1.3 Million Got Disability for 'Mood Disorders' — Including 33% of Beneficiaries in Puerto Rico.  The Social Security Administration released its annual statistical report on federal disability insurance last month, revealing that at the end of 2011 there was a then-record of 8,575,544 workers collecting federal disability benefits and among them were 1,304,851 doing so because they suffered from "mood disorders."  The incidence of "mood disorders" among disability beneficiaries was not proportionately distributed among the states and territories, according to the official SSA statistics.  Some locations had much higher percentages of disability beneficiaries diagnosed with mood disorders than other locations.

Social Security Disability Insurance's incentive not to work.  The Americans With Disabilities Act, passed with bipartisan support in 1990 at the urging of then-President George H.W. Bush, enshrines the notion that every American can and should hold a job regardless of physical or mental limitations.  Under the ADA, employers who refuse to hire or promote the disabled may be liable for money damages in federal court.  Social Security Disability Insurance, however, pays people who can show that they are too mentally or physically impaired to remain in the labor force.  In short, for many workers, SSDI creates a quasi-right not to work.

Stressed? Are You Disabled?
Government worker:  "Do you have a disability?"
Man:  "No."
Man's wife:  "What does he get if he's disabled?"
Government worker:  "His monthly payments will [double]."
Man's wife:  "Well, then he's disabled."
Government worker (to man):  "What's your disability?"
Man:  "I'm stressed."
An attorney friend of mine recently overheard the above conversation in a Florida government building.  The man, who had just turned 65, was signing up for retirement benefits while his wife stood over his shoulder.  I relay the story to illustrate how our government is expanding the definition of the term "disability."

The silent job killer: Our unemployment system.  The unemployment benefits system was built on a combination of wishful thinking, generosity, and skimpy funding during good times.  Today, it's likely impeding job growth.

8,753,935: Workers on Disability Set Another Record in July; Exceed Population of 39 States.  The number of workers taking federal disability insurance payments hit yet another record in July, increasing to 8,753,935 during the month from the previous record of 8,733,461 set in June, according to newly released data from the Social Security Administration.  The 8,753,935 workers who took federal disability insurance payments in July exceeded the population of 39 of the 50 states.

Disability Nation.  In the Age of Obama, Americans may be better off faking disability than trying to find a non-existent job.  Obamanomics reached the bottom of the barrel last month, when more Americans went on disability than found jobs.  That is, apparently, the end point of the welfare state.  In fact, though, the steadily rising number of "disabled" Americans predates the Obama administration.  Today, the Congressional Budget Office released a report on the Social Security system's disability program.  Its findings are grim.

Disability Ranks Outpace New Jobs In Obama Recovery.  More workers joined the federal government's disability program in June than got new jobs, according to two new government reports, a clear indicator of how bleak the nation's jobs picture is after three full years of economic recovery.  The economy created just 80,000 jobs in June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday [7/6/2012].  But that same month, 85,000 workers left the workforce entirely to enroll in the Social Security Disability Insurance program, according to the Social Security Administration.  The disability ranks have outpaced job growth throughout President Obama's recovery.  While the economy has created 2.6 million jobs since June 2009, fully 3.1 million workers signed up for disability benefits.

A Nation of Takers?  First, the labor force participation rate for U.S. males age 36-39 has decreased from more than 96 percent in 1979 to less than 93 percent in 2009. [...] Similarly, the labor force participation rate for males as a whole declined from 80 percent in 1979 to around 73 percent in 2009.  Looking further back, we find that the rate was 88 percent in 1948.  Some of this decline is, I assume, the result of women entering the workforce en masse.  But now consider this statistic:  the number of people receiving federal disability benefits per person age 18-64 in America grew from 0.05 in 1960, to 0.17 in 1970, to 4.6 in 2006.  This huge increase occurred, moreover, in the context of an ever-healthier American workforce.

8,733,461: Workers on Federal 'Disability' Exceed Population of New York City.  In June 1992, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 118,419,000 people employed in the United States, and, according to the Social Security Administration, there were 3,334,333 workers taking federal disability payments.  That equaled about 1 person taking disability payments for each 35.5 people actually working. [...] In May of this year, there were 142,287,000 people employed, and 8,707,185 workers taking federal disability payments.  That equaled 1 worker taking disability payments for each 16.3 people working.  The federal disability payments made to the record 8,733,461 workers in June averaged $1,111.42.

Farm bill showdowns go to wire.  A $1 or $5 annual heating payment can become a ticket for hundreds more in food stamp benefits.  And the cost to Washington is approaching $1 billion a year with at least a dozen states practicing some variation of the "heat and eat" policy.  The farm bill seeks to stem this tide by tightening the rules to save an estimated $540 million a year.

Bring back stigma.  Desmond Hatchett, of Knoxville, Tenn., has petitioned the state of Tennessee for relief of his child-support obligations.  It seems that the 33-year-old minimum-wage earner has to divide 50 percent of his earnings with the 11 women with whom he has fathered 30 children.  While some of his children receive as little as $1.49 per month, according to media reports, the sheer number of offspring add up to an oppressive burden.  You will never hear about the able-bodied Hatchett and his many progeny when liberals and progressives wail about the increasing poverty and disparity of incomes in the United States.

Memphis Man Owes Child Support to 15 Women; Has 20+ Kids.  Latoya Shields says she had to sit down when she heard the news, "During the whole relationship, I only knew of four children."  When a prosecutor told her that the father of her child had 20 other children she said her knees buckled, "At that time, three years ago, my child was the 21st child.  Yeah, that would be overwhelming for anybody."

ACORN's Calling.  The government has a new web site for Lifeline Assistance, a program to provide free phone service to "income-eligible consumers." ... The rules for being covered aren't all that onerous.  One must be a participant in a state or federal assistance program such as Federal Public Housing Assistance, Food Stamps of Medicaid, OR one's total household income must be at or below 135 percent of the poverty guidelines (that is, about $28,000) and the applicant must have a valid postal street address in the United States (sorry, no p.o. boxes).  If you're a resourceful ACORN worker and you don't meet those qualifications, heck, the application is just a piece of paper and who's going to check?

Food stamp fraud raising concerns in gov't offices.  Food stamp recipients are ripping off the government for millions of dollars by illegally selling their benefit cards for cash — sometimes even in the open, on eBay or Craigslist — and then asking the government for replacement cards.

Genuine EBT fix? Senate will cash out instead.  In the next 48 hours or so, we'll know how serious the Legislature is about ending EBT card fraud.  Not too serious, would be my guess, judging from the proposals in the Senate budget.  People who work sometimes ask the question, "Why don't solons want to crack down on welfare layabouts?"  The answer is, professional courtesy.

A Simple, Inescapable Fact:  If we continually enlarge the size and scope of the Federal government, already the largest dispenser of money in the world, it is not rocket science to forecast that every scoundrel in the world will be looking for ways to game the system or to steal money outright.

Michigan welfare recipients get hundreds for car repairs, clothing allowance.  Michigan's welfare recipients may get up to $900 from the state in car repairs every year, but the House of Representatives is trying to cut that to $500.  The car repair subsidies are part of a $6.4 million program the Department of Human Services has to help welfare recipients get a job and stay employed.  Among many approved expenses, the program also includes up to $1,200 for welfare recipients to buy a car, and up to $500 for clothing allowance for job interviews and work.

Labor Force Shrinks As Jobless Swell Disability Ranks.  The civilian labor force shrank in April by 342,000 workers, and remains below where it stood when the economic recovery started 34 months ago, according to data released Friday [5/4/2012] by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Had the labor force not declined, unemployment would have been 8.3% in April, instead of the 8.1% reported.  That same month, more than 225,000 workers applied for Social Security disability benefits, and nearly 90,000 were enrolled, according to new data from the Social Security Administration.

This Country is Committing Suicide.  It should be obvious to most people that this country is on a rapid path to ruin.  More than thirty cents of every dollar we spend is borrowed, much of it from the Chinese.  Nearly half of all adults pay no Federal income taxes and have no stake in seeing the country balance its budget.  Worse, a rapidly growing army of able-bodied adults have chosen to live off government handouts.  While most people still get up in the morning and go to work, there are too many who have decided it is too much trouble.

Are We Subsidizing Unemployment?  The stimulus plan may have actually worsened unemployment.  New data suggest a large share of those without jobs remain on the sideline because of increasingly generous jobless benefits.

The New Welfare Queen: Getting "Crazy" Checks.  It's an epidemic nobody talks about because it could bleed into the sensitivity associated with legitimate recipients of social security disability insurance payments.  The program provides money to people too young to get social security and unable to work.  The problem is that so many young people, especially men, are claiming they are nuts.  Yes, this is the biggest scam since the welfare queens of the 1980s, and it's getting worse.  They call it "the crazy check" and there are wide swathes [sic] of men playing the system for these checks.

How Many Votes Will a 70% Increase in Food Stamps Buy?  For nearly a century, Democrats have tended toward government expansion and finding ways to redistribute tax-payer dollars into the hands of their constituents.  And although this frequently looks less like a genuine attempt to help people and more like a bald attempt to buy votes, Democrats continually push for the expansion of these programs without so much as blushing.

5.4 Million Join Disability Rolls Under Obama.  A record 5.4 million workers and their dependents have signed up to collect federal disability checks since President Obama took office, according to the latest official government data, as discouraged workers increasingly give up looking for jobs and take advantage of the federal program.  This is straining already-stretched government finances while posing a long-term economic threat by creating an ever-growing pool of permanently dependent working-age Americans.

Cronyism 101:  The Perks of Being "Disadvantaged".  The "Disadvantaged Business Enterprise" program, run by the U.S. Department of Transportation and adopted by states and cities across the country, is one of the most atrociously corrupt government endeavors in existence.  Opportunists of all colors have used the racial set-aside law to win billions of dollars worth of federal contracts for themselves and their friends under the guise of being "victims."

Work pays!  Those for whom indignation is a way of life often inform us of the fact that families or households in the top 10 or 20 percent in income make far more money than people in the bottom 10 or 20 percent in income.  What they almost never inform us of are how much money they are talking about and how many people in these different brackets actually work.

The Missing Fifth.  As my colleague David Leonhardt pointed out recently, in 1954, about 96 percent of American men between the ages of 25 and 54 worked.  Today that number is around 80 percent.  One-fifth of all men in their prime working ages are not getting up and going to work.

Time to bail on EBTs.  State Auditor Suzanne Bump says the only evidence she's seen so far of EBT card abuse are "anecdotes." [...] Not every welfare recipient is using his EBT card to buy jewelry or tattoos or go on ship cruises.  Some of them are using their EBT cards for ... bail money.

Gov. Christie: Nation turning into 'people sitting on a couch waiting for their next government check'.  Gov. Chris Christie said the country is becoming a "paternalistic entitlement society" this morning [4/10/2012] in a speech at a conservative conference headed by former President George W. Bush.  Addressing Bush and other national Republicans, Christie said he hasn't seen a less optimistic period in the country in his lifetime.

The people who live at your expense don't mind stealing from you overtly.
Neighborhoods of CHA relocations experienced higher crime rates.  Crime was worse in neighborhoods where former Chicago Housing Authority residents used vouchers to move into private apartments, a new study found.  From 2000 to 2008, violent crime was 21 percent higher in neighborhoods with high concentrations of voucher-holding former CHA residents — when compared to similar neighborhoods without them, the Washington-based Urban Institute found.

Housing Project Mob Attacks Cops, Firefighters.  A number of police officers and firefighters were apparently lured to a public housing project where they were attacked by a huge mob armed with fireworks and bottle rockets.  "I'm so angry," Alton Police Chief David Hayes told The Telegraph.  "This type of conduct is not supposed to happen in civil society."

The Editor says...
Guess what, Chief.  This type of conduct does not happen in civil society.  You made the mistake of venturing outside of our civil society when you entered the projects.

An Ownership Society No More.  If you are not in need of a government subsidy to find a place to live, listen and heed.  Do not, whatever you do, rent an apartment in a complex that permits government-subsidized housing.  You do not want to live there.  You do not want to be living around a bunch of people who cannot carry their own load.  The crime rates will be high and the place will quickly fall into disrepair.

Nearly 10 Percent of N.H. Food Stamp Recipients Have Out-Of-State Address.  A new report shows that nearly 10 percent of non-Medicaid food-stamp recipients in New Hampshire actually live outside the state.

Alabama nightclub raises eyebrows with 'Food Stamp Friday' party.  A nightclub in Montgomery, Ala. is raising eyebrows by hosting a "Food Stamp Friday" party on April 6 that seems to glamorize life on the federal government's food assistance program.  An invitation for the April 6 party obtained by The Daily Caller tells patrons of the Rose Supper Club in North Montgomery that the Friday night cover charge will be just $5 if a "food stamp card" is shown upon arrival.

Obama Money.  Filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi's daughter, has unleashed a firestorm of social controversy by interviewing some welfare recipients who told her on camera that they believe they're entitled to "Obama money."  That is, welfare checks.  Some of those Pelosi spotlighted are young men who are not even looking for work.  They have plenty of excuses for that.

Welfare overhaul bill would require food stamp recipients to work.  Able-bodied recipients of food stamps would be required to work or seek work under a welfare overhaul bill introduced Thursday [3/17/2011] that U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett said "promotes self-reliance as a solution to poverty."

Welfare Un-Reform.  Normally the job vacancy rate goes down after a recession, as the job market stabilizes.  But January, the latest reported month, showed an 11% spike in unfilled jobs.  Vacancies are now at 2.1% — the highest since February 2009, the Labor Department says.  That means people are not taking jobs as expected at this point in the recovery.  Why?  Because many don't have to — thanks in part to 99 weeks and counting of unemployment benefits.

Food Stamps Exchanged For Drugs, Weapons, Contraband.  A record 46.3 million people — including some illegal immigrants — get taxpayer-funded food stamps at an annual cost of $76 billion, according to the agency that distributes the welfare benefit, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  This represents an increase of more than 16 million over the previous year, according to USDA figures.  That's because the administration is on a mission to eradicate "food insecure households."

House Oversight Hearing Shines Light on Food-Stamp Fraud.  Food-stamp fraud and the government's failed attempts to stop it were the focus of a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing yesterday [3/8/2012].  Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) called the hearing in response to a Scripps Howard News Service investigative report exposing widespread abuse.  The investigation revealed that retailers who lost authorization to accept food stamps were still conducting business despite their restrictions.

Welfare Debit Cards Used At Casinos, Strip Clubs, Disneyland, Universal Studios....  Consider this, our Federal Government is heralding its record number of food stamp distribution.  Meanwhile their Park Service department pleads "Do NOT feed the animals" because the animals will grow dependent on handouts and not take care of themselves.

$69 Million Of California Welfare Funds Spent Around The World.  In this case we examine $69 million in 'missing' California welfare money.  $11.8 million of it blown in Las Vegas casinos or withdrawn from Sin City's ATMs.  Additional related California welfare transactions were recorded in Hawaii, Guam, Miami, etc., prompting some folks to ask questions.  Officials responded, stating recent 'budget cuts hinder investigations.'  How convenient.

Convicted killer got unemployment while in LA jail.  Authorities say a convicted murderer made famous for having a murder scene tattooed on his chest received unemployment benefits while he was in Los Angeles County jail.

Rep. Issa: Obama administration not fighting food stamp fraud.  Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on Wednesday accused the Obama administration of being lax in going after food stamp fraud.  Speaking on Fox News, Issa cited a report that said of 4,600 retailers barred from accepting food stamps, 1,500 of them continued to do so at a cost of $750 million annually.  "[The investigators] didn't use rocket science, they used open source," Issa said.  "They compared two lists — the lists of those who were getting it and the list of those who were denied it.  This is something that at a basic level government should do.  It was government's own databases that they went to and discovered that there was no enforcement under this administration."

Newest Government Magic Trick: Disability Fraud Holds Down Unemployment Rate.  Looking for another reason for an artificially low unemployment rate?  Consider disability fraud, people claiming disabilities they do not have such as mental illness.  Prior to the great recession 33% of applicants claimed mental illness.  The number is 43% now.  There was fraud before, of course.  There is even more fraud now.

Why Should Anybody Work?  The young interracial couple moved into the garden apartments near my house, and, before long, neighbors were complaining about the noisy stereo blasting, the wild pot parties, and the gangster-type visitors to the complex.  Women expressed concern for the couple's young infant being exposed to the pot smoke and pondered calling Social Services to report them.  Others warned against this, afraid of retribution by the couple's scary looking friends who were overheard planning a robbery with a handgun. ... I later learned that the couple had come out of a Brooklyn shelter and were not only getting subsidized housing but also vouchers for furniture; food stamps; free health care from Medicaid, and, of course, welfare.

Texas grocer gets prison over food stamp fraud.  [Parviz Sheikh] Rezaei in August pleaded guilty in the fraud investigation involving swapping card benefits from participants in the food stamp program for discounted amounts of cash.

Food Stamp Fraud Costing Taxpayers Billions.  According to fiscal year 2010 data collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Maryland and Virginia distributed about $130 million in food stamps to individuals who were not eligible.  For every $100 in benefits, those two states doled out $6.11 and $5.04, respectively, to those not eligible.  The national average for that time was $3.05.  Inefficiency in the food stamp program spending is costing taxpayers billions.  Of the $64.7 billion spent on the program last year (a record high that is only slated to increase), an overall $2.5 billion was spent on improper food stamp payments.

Government fighting food stamp fraud.  [Scroll down]  It is also illegal to advertise the sale of SNAP or electronic benefits transfer debit cards on Facebook, Craigslist or other public places, Mr. Concannon said.  This policy change was sparked by incidents such as a Washington state woman telling her Facebook friends her SNAP card was for sale.  An undercover officer met the woman and gave her $100 for her card, which had $200 in benefits on it.  In another incident, a New Mexico woman put an ad on Craigslist to sell her $400 SNAP benefits for $200 cash.  "Half the price twice the food," she wrote before being contacted by a local TV station.  The ad was quickly removed.

House GOP seeks to bar the use of welfare funds at strip clubs.  House Republicans don't want Uncle Sam paying for any more lap dances.  A bill that GOP leaders are bringing to the House floor Wednesday would require states to prevent welfare recipients from accessing or spending their benefits at strip clubs, casinos and liquor stores.

Food Stamp Use Soars, and Stigma Fades.  With food stamp use at record highs and climbing every month, a program once scorned as a failed welfare scheme now helps feed one in eight Americans and one in four children.  It has grown so rapidly in places so diverse that it is becoming nearly as ordinary as the groceries it buys.

Midnight in the food-stamp economy.  At 11 p.m. on the last day of the month, shoppers flock to the nearest Walmart.  They load their carts with food and household items and wait for the midnight hour.  That's when food stamp credits are loaded on their electronic benefits transfer cards.

Michigan may be first state to issue food stamps twice a month.  Michigan could become the first state in the nation to issue food stamps twice a month, making fresh produce and meat more available and giving grocery workers steadier hours.  The state's 1.2 million food stamp recipients — the highest number ever — now have their benefits added to a debit card within the first 10 days of the month.  They then spend those dollars early in the month, typically in poorer, urban areas where residents may have limited transportation.  Each recipient gets an average $88 a month.

Ohio food stamp recipients have doubled since 2001.  Nearly one in 10 Ohioans now receives food stamps, the highest number in the state's history.  Caseloads have almost doubled just since 2001, with 1.1 million residents now collecting benefits, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Okay, Liberals: Let's Talk Inequality.  Is it any wonder that since the Great Society programs of the 1960s low-income women don't marry and the men don't work, as Charles Murray wrote in Coming Apart?  Why bother when you can get $25,000 for nothing and face a swingeing tax rate on any earnings from work?  And this mess is to be solved with a tax on "income from investment" and middle-class tax credits?  Because inequality?  In reality, the process of "getting off welfare" is not as simple as a 50 percent marginal tax rate.  That's because of welfare's mind-numbing complexity, e.g., at some point you have to get off Medicaid and switch to Obamacare and CHIP.  Probably you don't, not until your welfare caseworker or a lovely Lois Lerner lookalike at the IRS comes after you.

Expiration of Unemployment Benefits Drives Down Unemployment.  The unemployment situation is improving.  But you probably won't learn the primary reason from the leftist "mainstream" media. [...] Pay people not to work and many of them will not work.

Why Are So Many Workers Refusing To Apply For Jobs?  Since the end of the recession in June 2009, the number of job openings in the private sector has steadily climbed — just as one would expect to happen as the economy recovered.  But over those same years, the share of 25- to 54-year-olds who are active in the labor market has steadily fallen, to the point where just over 80% of this age group is either working or looking for work.




Welfare recipients are in the habit of making unwise choices

Would you hire this man?  Unemployed dad with enormous face tattoo can't get work.  Mark Cropp just wants to to get a job and support his family, but something unique is holding him back.  A giant tattoo saying "DEVAST8" covers half of his face, and, perhaps not suprisingly, it's off-putting for potential employers.  The Oamaru-born teenager told the New Zealand Herald he had it inked a few months ago, while drunk on homebrew in a jail cell in Christchurch.

Homeless man fights for his dumpster home.  Damian "Dean" Cummings is a homeless man who spent months living in a fake dumpster on Wooster Street in New York City's SoHo neighborhood.  Ever since the NYPD removed the makeshift house earlier this month, Cummings has been fighting to get it back.

Hawaii pols propose bill that would classify homelessness as medical condition.  As an emergency room doctor, Hawaii Sen. Josh Green sees homeless patients suffering from diabetes, mental health problems and an array of medical issues that are more difficult to manage when they are homeless or do not have permanent housing.

The Editor says...
Everything is medicalized these days to avoid the stigma of self-destruction and to justify a lifetime of government dependence.  Yes, people who live in the gutter are bound to have health problems.  (That's why it should be every person's goal to make prudent decisions about his or her long-term provisions.  Education is one thing, but a constant willingness to work goes a long way toward preventing destitution.)  But homelessness is a circumstance, not a medical condition.  There's no blood test or x-ray that can show whether a person has a permanent residence or not.

Sex predators living in public housing despite ban.  The law applies to all of those who have to register where they live with the police for the rest of their lives — a requirement typically reserved for the most serious sex offenders, those known in Illinois as sexual predators.  The law put Chicago Housing Authority units off-limits to them.  And they also were barred from living in privately owned apartments or houses where the rent is subsidized by taxpayers through Section 8 housing-assistance vouchers.  Two decades later, though, sexual predators are still living in public housing in Chicago, according to a Chicago Sun-Times investigation that found 20 sexual predators say they live in public housing despite the ban.

Accused panhandler arrested again in Nashville.  A familiar face is back behind bars in Nashville.  Paul Aniel was picked up after police say he was trying to scam people at the entrance ramp to Briley Parkway from Lebanon Road on Monday [1/2/2017].  Someone called in the tip to police after recognizing Aniel from the news.  Aniel is well known to police officers.

Walker asks Trump to allow Wisconsin to drug test food stamp recipients.  Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is asking President-elect Donald Trump to give his state the authority to drug test certain food stamp recipients.  Walker, a Republican who ran for president against Trump, made other requests to the president-elect, which would allow more state authority over federal policies.  "Too often, states have become mere administrative provinces of an all-powerful federal government in Washington," Walker said in a statement announcing his letter to Trump.  "Now is the time to reverse that trend.  These requests are the first of many my administration will make as Wisconsin leads the effort to restore balance between state and federal government."

People on food stamps spent $608 million of taxpayer money on soda pop.  Look, welfare is not a good place to be and we should be forcing people off it as fast as possible.  But why make it even worse by Nanny-Stating them on what they eat?  It looks like I'm in the minority as many states have introduced bills now that would have very strict guidelines for what those on EBT cards can and can't buy.  In Arkansas, Republican Rep. Mary Bentley is seeking to take items such as chips, soda and candy off of the list.  This all plays into the food deserts nonsense.  We want less government intervention, not more.  This sounds like a bunch of professional liberal nags that are also control freaks that want to force people to behave like drones and do what they are told.

Soft Drinks No. 1 Purchase by Food Stamp Recipients; $357,700,000 From 1 Grocery Chain.  Soft drinks were the top commodity bought by food stamp recipients shopping at outlets run by a single U.S. grocery retailer.  That is according to a new study released by the Food and Nutrition Service, the federal agency responsible for running the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as the food stamp program.  By contrast, milk was the top commodity bought from the same retailer by customers not on food stamps.

If you don't pay attention in school, you can expect to live on the street someday.
Letter from a white teacher.  I taught for one year in a black school.  I grew up in the South Bronx and never felt racism between the working class dads and moms of all colors who lived side by side.  In 2004, I had a rude awakening when my students called me "Cracker B----" and other unmentionable names on a daily basis, refused to let me teach them anything, and howled and carried on all day long.  I got them precious time in the computer lab to do the the state test tutorials, and they tried to get through the firewall to look up pics of "Lil Kim" and did a riot in the room destroying some equipment.  They did a sort of rap all day long and didn't want any knowledge seeping through.  Class treats turned into class chaos.  I was the enemy, no matter how hard I tried.  Finally a sixth grader threatened to kill me and explained how he was going to do it.  A meeting was called and the black VP told me I "didn't understand as I wasn't part of the community".  I replied that I thought we all lived in the same county and had the same goals for the kids to succeed and I was laughed out of the meeting.

Wi-Fi kiosks have become living rooms for vagrants.  Bums have been turning the city's free curbside Wi-Fi kiosks into their own personal living rooms, setting up chairs, watching movies — and guzzling liquor until they vomit.  One man set up a mini camp — complete with a couch, newspaper-bin footrest and umbrella ceiling — next to one of the high-tech huts in Murray Hill, gripped Christine Smith, 24, who lives near the Third Avenue location.  The plugged-in vagrant lived there for three weeks, she told The [New York] Post.

Maine Gov.  LePage threatens to halt food stamp program amid sugar crackdown.  Maine Gov.  Paul LePage is ramping up a battle over Mars bars and Mountain Dew, warning the Obama administration he'll move to ban food stamp recipients in his state from buying such sugary sweets with taxpayer money — or halt the program entirely.  The warning comes after the Obama administration shot down his request for a waiver to institute the ban on candy and sugary drinks.  The firebrand Republican wrote to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack objecting vociferously to the agency's decision.  In the June 17 letter, LePage called the ban "a commonsense proposition."

Bernie's Doomed Democratic Socialism.  [Scroll down]  Democratic Socialism also only flourishes where people gladly pay for their government services.  It's hard to imagine Democratic Socialism in a nation of tax cheats.  Then there are those "little" bills that make civil society possible:  water and electricity bills, promptly paid parking fines to avoid costly court proceedings, paying for public transportation and keeping up with property taxes.  Further add not overburdening government with poor civic habits:  "airmailing" garbage out the window, littering parks with empty beer bottles or otherwise forcing government to add unnecessary employees.

Service members discharged for misconduct have much higher rates of homelessness, study says.  Veterans whose behavior got them kicked out of the military have dramatically higher rates of homelessness than those who left under normal circumstances, according to a new study by researchers from the Department of Veterans Affairs.  Among VA patients who served in Iraq or Afghanistan between 2001 and 2011, 5.6% were discharged for misconduct.  Yet these patients accounted for 28.1% of veterans who had been homeless within their first year out of the military, the analysis found.  The type of misconduct that resulted in discharge typically involved drug or alcohol use.

Some People Choose to Be Homeless.  Homeless advocates have a mantra:  No one chooses to be homeless.  I'm sure that's true for some people, but there are homeless individuals who make a series of self-destructive choices that inevitably lead them to homelessness.  "We fundamentally disagree that people don't have a choice," quoth Journee.  Some "are choosing not to avail themselves of the services that are here."  They congregate in camps where "there's inevitably conflict.  There are inevitably public health issues.  There is also illegal activity."  That's why Boise police make arrests.

40% of People On Food Stamps Are Obese, Gov't Study Finds.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture looked at data from 2007 through 2010, then compared average weights of those on food stamps — officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — to those who weren't.  The findings, released on Tuesday [5/5/2015], are striking.  Food stamp recipients are far more likely to be obese than poor people who are eligible but don't take the help.  And they're even more likely to be obese than those with higher incomes.  Fully 40% of food stamp recipients are obese, the study found, compared with just over 30% of those who don't participate in the program.

Homeless Shelter Opts To Close Instead Of Accepting People On Drugs, Alcohol.  Faced with a state rule that links funding to the admission of people who are actively using drugs or alcohol, a group that runs a homeless shelter in Manchester, Conn., is choosing to close the 40-bed facility.  More than half of the shelter's budget reportedly comes from the state.  The Manchester Area Conference of Churches made the decision to turn away $174,000 from the state Department of Housing, the group's executive director, Beth Stafford, tells The Hartford Courant.

Tampa pair, asleep in dumpster, loaded into garbage truck.  A man and woman escaped injury this morning after they were dropped into the back of a sanitation truck while sleeping in a dumpster in Tampa. [...] Radmas Valasquez, the driver of the Progressive Waste Solutions truck, emptied the dumpster into his truck then discovered the pair after hearing yelling and banging from the back end of his truck while on his route, deputies say.

How to Make Sense of an Incoherent America.  Last week I saw the following: at the local Save Mart, the person ahead of me was grossly obese and in obvious poor health.  She had two piles of quite different sizes on the checkout conveyor belt:  one consisted of eggs, milk, bread, and diapers; she paid the small sum with her California WIC card.  Her other pile that followed had Cap'n Crunch cereal, bags of Oreos, chips, and lots of regular Pepsi supersize bottles.  She paid the far greater tab with three twenty-dollar bills.  As I exited, she left in a new Honda Accord, with customized rims.  Could she not have passed on the rims and the Oreos, and used the savings to spare the state the cost of her milk subsidy?

Rental America: Why the poor pay $4,150 for a $1,500 sofa.  [Jamie] Abbott had no access to credit, no bank account and little cash, but here was a place that catered to exactly those kinds of customers.  Anything could be hers.  The possibilities — and the prices — were dizzying.  At Buddy's, a used 32-gigabyte, early model iPad costs $1,439.28, paid over 72 weeks.  An Acer laptop:  $1,943.28, in 72 weekly installments.  A Maytag washer and dryer:  $1,999 over 100 weeks.

U.S. Eating Habits Have Improved, But Not Among The Poor.  American eating habits have improved — except among the poor, evidence of a widening wealth gap when it comes to diet.

Legalization of Marijuana Increases Homeless Population.  Officials at some Denver homeless shelters say the legalization of marijuana has contributed to an increase in the number of younger people living on the city's streets. [...] The Salvation Army's Men's shelter in Denver has seen an increase in the number of 18- to 25-year-olds.  An informal survey found that about a quarter of the increase was related to marijuana, including some who moved hoping to find work in the marijuana industry.

Man who used 'blowtorch' to kill spider is left homeless after burning down his house.  A Seattle man caused $60,000 in damage after using a homemade blowtorch to try to kill a spider in his rental home on Tuesday night [7/5/2014].  The 24-year-old, who lived in the house with his mother, had used a can of spray paint and a lighter to try to chase the spider from a laundry room, but the fire quickly took hold.  The man, who has not been named, tried to douse the flames with water but it soon spread to the attic.

If you spend your utility money on cigarettes and beer, this is what happens.
Nearly Half Of Detroit Water Customers Can't Pay Their Bill.  WWJ Newsradio 950 listeners have been sounding off on Facebook.  Posted Kathy Ward, "This is just insane.  If someone is that destitute that they truly cannot afford their water bill, there are already welfare programs in place for that.  I'm guessing those same people not paying their water also have a TV, cable, I-phone, etc.  People need to get their priorities straight, not expect another government handout."  Wrote Rodney Carter, "Call President Obama he has plenty of taxpayers cash to spend.  Wasn't that a campaign promise he made along with free rent and gas and payin' my car note...  Socialism only works if there is someone to pay for it."

Detroit has cut off the water supply to thousands of residents — and now activists have taken their fight to the UN.  Activists angered by the closing of water accounts for thousands of people behind in their payments have taken their fight to the United Nations.  In March, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) announced that it would start cutting off the services of homes, schools and businesses that were at least 60 days overdue or more than $150 behind.  It said it wanted to start recouping $118 million owed from unpaid bills and that a fierce approach was needed to coax money from delinquent accounts, which make up almost half of the city's total.

L.A. Welfare Recipients Threaten to Riot After EBT Card Outage.  Residents of Los Angeles' Skid Row threatened to riot this weekend because their Electronic Benefit Transfer cards stopped working temporarily.  The brief EBT card outage was the result of a routine back up check on the vendor's, Xerox Corp.'s systems.  The system began working shortly after it was restarted, however, California welfare recipients weren't happy about the inconvenience.  "My heart goes out to people who don't have food right now," one welfare recipient told the media.  Another man said, "We had to cancel a picnic today cause we were gonna use EBT cards to buy hamburgers and stuff."

The Editor says...
Those among us who live from one paycheck to the next are not planning wisely, but those who buy food at the last minute — at the expense of the taxpayers — are totally dependent on the government.  When the money runs out someday, and it will, they will be the first to riot in the streets and the first to starve.  They will have only themselves to blame.

Inside the hidden homeless camps on the outskirts of Baltimore.  On the edge of Baltimore's woodlands, dozens of the city's transients live in makeshift homes which they consider safer than homeless shelters.

'Food desert' fallacy shocks liberals.  It turns out that you can bring produce sections to poor neighborhoods, but you can't get poor people to eat healthier food.  This comes as a shock to liberals who believe in the comprehensive theory of victimology — that all problems afflicting people who fall into ethnic, sexual, or other identities regarded as victims are due to external factors, not to their own choices.

Homeless man hit by NYC subway train awarded $1.9 million.  A homeless man who was hit by a subway car in New York City in 2006 was awarded $1.9 million in damages Monday, according to a report from the New York Daily News.  Robert Obey, 59, wandered onto the tracks and severed his left foot as a result of being hit by a train at the 33rd St. Station in Midtown.  He had just left a methadone clinic prior to the incident, the report said.  "He could not remember how he wound up on the tracks," Obey's lawyer, Mark Bernstein, told the [New York] Daily News.

Income, IQ, and Effort.  Liberal media bon pensants are in a huff over remarks delivered by London's Mayor Boris Johnson suggesting that IQ and effort have something to do with income. [...] The time for left wing fantasies about social justice is ending.  It is time everyone admitted that talent and effort count.

Forced collectivization of the health care kulaks via single payer is inevitable under Obamacare.  I have met numerous doctors who tell me they either refuse Medicaid patients or restrict them because the reimbursements do not cover their costs.  They also double and triple book, because so many Medicaid patients who make appointments don't show up.

Why The Poor Don't Work, According To The Poor:  Why don't the poor, who make up the overwhelming majority of food stamp recipients, go to work?  In 2012, more than 26 million 18-to-64-year-old adults lived under the poverty line; about 15 million of them didn't have a job during the year.  Is the economy to blame?  Or are personal choices at fault?

The Hood Comes to Duncan, Oklahoma.  The nation's hoods and increasingly, barrios are modern-day reservations, where independence, initiative, self-worth, and self-respect have been stripped from residents.  Where family, community, and church have been debased in favor of the government handout machine... and minority leaders who pimp their own people for gain. [...] Gangs are replacements for families; they lend identity, security, and worth.

In Another Country.  [Scroll down]  But if you are a single parent with multiple children by multiple fathers, and a high school dropout, with a record, then chances are you are part of that culture.  If you move to a new rental every six months, yanking your kids out of school after school, and if you do drugs in front of your children, and sell your food stamps for cash, then chances are you are part of that culture.  If you are 20 years old, living with your grandmother, with no interest in ever getting a job, or getting married, or doing much of anything, chances are you are part of that culture.

Rise in gay homeless people threatens San Francisco's name as gay-friendly mecca.  Thanks to the equality rights work of pioneers such as the politician and activist Harvey Milk, San Francisco has a reputation as the gay capital of the world.  But as the city recovers from its 43rd gay Pride festival at the weekend, attended by more than 1.5 million people, it must confront an uncomfortable issue.

House Amendment: Drug Tests For Food Stamps.  The House Farm Bill, which cuts $20.5 billion over the next decade to food assistance programs, added a provision Wednesday night [6/19/2013] to keep drug users from getting food stamps.  The House approved an amendment that gives states the ability to administer drug tests before someone is approved for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.  The measure was approved by voice vote.  "My amendment to the Farm Bill allows states to determine the best method for administering drug screening programs for SNAP applicants," says Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C., who sponsored the amendment.

Big Government Can't Fix Immorality.  [Scroll down]  In other words, we can't have a government that encourages sexual immorality, be it through taxpayer-funded abortions, promiscuous sexual education, or the promotion of homosexuality, and then wants to pay for the consequences of such immorality with billions in taxpayer-funded welfare.  We can't have a government that seeks to cure poverty or violence with a godless secular education system. [...] In other words, we don't need a government that thinks that it can, through mere secular means, cure all that ails our culture.

Deadbeat dad has 22 kids with 14 women, sued for child support.  Orlando Shaw guessed he had fathered 18 children with 17 women, but he really has 22 children with 14 women, making him the "most expensive deadbeat dad" in Tennessee history.  Shaw appeared in court in Nashville when Child Support Services sued on behalf of the mothers for tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid child support over the years.

Terrorist welfare.  The Boston Marathon bombers hated America, but they loved the American dole.  The suspects in the scheme to murder and maim innocent men, women and children were living off the generosity of the American taxpayers they hated.  The Boston Herald reports that the "brains" of the operation, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was on the Massachusetts dole with his wife, Katherine, and their 3-year-old daughter, Zahara.  The parents of the Tsarnaev brothers received welfare and the accused brother, Dzhokhar, received benefits when he was a child.  Taxpayer generosity to the Tsarnaev family did not end there.

Oh-oh! The Tsarnaev narrative looks worse and worse for Obama.  The Obama administration and liberal policies look awfully bad in the face of the facts emerging about the Tsarnaev family's insertion into the United States.  The Boston Herald yesterday broke the story of the family having received welfare, after inquiries with the state government. [...] This is mighty inconvenient for the Food Stamp President who has overseen a vast increase in the number of people receiving government aid while subtracting millions from the workforce.

Boston bomber Tamerlan sat home collecting welfare benefits while plotting to bomb America.  Alleged terrorist mastermind Tamerlan Tsarnaev was receiving welfare benefits in the lead up to the deadly attacks at the Boston Marathon.  The Chechen immigrant lived off state aid while his wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, worked as a home healthcare worker, sometimes clocking as many as 80 hours a week while her unemployed husband stayed at home, Massachusetts welfare officials revealed on Wednesday [4/24/2013].

This seems quite sensible — which is probably why it's not being done.
Alabama Senate approves welfare drug testing.  The Alabama Senate is calling for drug testing of welfare recipients with a history of using illegal drugs.

Brownback signs bill that requires welfare, unemployment recipients to be tested for drugs.  Calling drug addiction a "scourge in Kansas," Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law Tuesday [4/16/2013] a bill to test welfare and unemployment recipients suspected of using illegal drugs.  "This is a horrific thing that hits so many people," he said.  "What this effort is about is an attempt to get ahead of it and, instead of ignoring the problem, start treating the problem."  The drug testing bill lets the Department for Children and Families require urine tests of any welfare recipient suspected of using illegal drugs.

Drug-testing of welfare applicants violates Constitution.  Today [2/26/2013], a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals voted unanimously to bar the state of Florida from forcing welfare applicants to undergo drug testing.

The Editor says...
It is peculiar that the judges came to that conclusion, since the Constitution says nothing about drugs or direct payments to individuals.  A more sensible ruling would be that welfare itself violates the Consitution.

Wisconsin Judge Orders Deadbeat Dad Of Nine (With Six Women) To Stop Procreating.  Meet Corey Curtis.  The Wisconsin man, who has fathered nine children with six women, was ordered yesterday [12/3/2012] to cease procreating until he can support his numerous offspring.  At Curtis's sentencing yesterday for bail jumping and failure to pay child support, Circuit Court Judge Tim Boyle told the 44-year-old Racine man that his frequent breeding was to be curbed as a condition of his three-year probation term.

'Anecdotes' continue to add up and multiply.  Anecdotes — that's how Gov. Deval Patrick always dismisses stories about alleged criminals on welfare.  So this morning, Governor, I'd like to introduce you to 11 more "anecdotes."  They are all from Haverhill.  Ten of the anecdotes are accused of distribution of heroin and the 11th for "sale of ammunition."

What Did You Expect from Short Term Thinkers?  One of the biggest voting blocks for Obama continues to be single women, many of whom are single mothers.  Why?  I have a very simple explanation.  Short term thinking.  Think about it:  single mothers are usually single mothers because they listened to some smooth talking guy who said all the right things and never followed through.

Why should food stamps pay for junk food?  Kudos to The [Washington] Post's Eli Saslow for a vivid story in Sunday's paper about the burgeoning federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and its impact on struggling Woonsocket, R.I. [...] What really caught my attention, though, were the photographs that showed what some SNAP recipients bought with their government-funded debit cards.

The Editor says...
In the article immediately above, a liberal columnist in the Washington Post has no problem with food stamps themselves, but he's horrified to see the food stamp sponges make bad choices when they spend other people's money.  Which is worse:  buying a candy bar, or taking someone else's money to make the purchase?

Food Stamp Fallout.  [I recall] a recent experience at the grocery store while standing in the checkout line behind my sparsely filled "non-food-stamp-patron" cart — one of the much smaller carts that stores now offer in the wake of skyrocketing food prices.  Fanning herself with a deck of food stamp booklets, the lady in front of me had two large carts completely filled with everything from pork chops to soda pops to a carnival variety of Little Debbie snacks.  She was so obese that walking while shopping was impossible, so she sat in an electric cart, and let her children manage the other carts.  Her purchases would have kept my cupboard filled for months!

Top secret: What food stamps buy.  Americans spend $80 billion each year financing food stamps for the poor, but the country has no idea where or how the money is spent.  Food stamps can be spent on goods ranging from candy to steak and are accepted at retailers from gas stations that primarily sell potato chips to fried-chicken restaurants.  And as the amount spent on food stamps has more than doubled in recent years, the amount of food stamps laundered into cash has increased dramatically, government statistics show.

Food stamp bills seek to restrict junk food.  Ronda Storms is a Republican state senator from Florida.  She is also a mom who buys the groceries for her family of four.  A few months ago, Storms, 46, started noticing that some fellow shoppers were using federal food stamp money to purchase a lot of unhealthful junk.  And it galled her — at a time when Florida was cutting Medicaid reimbursement rates, public school funding and jobs — that people were indulging in sugary, fatty, highly-processed treats on the public dime.  "If we're going to be cutting services across the board," she said, "then people can live without potato chips, without store-bought cookies, without their sodas."

The 'Hunger' Hoax.  Ironically, the one demonstrable nutritional difference between the poor and others is that low-income women tend to be overweight more often than others.  That may not seem like much to make a political issue, but politicians and the media have created hysteria over less.  The political left has turned obesity among low-income individuals into an argument that low-income people cannot afford nutritious food, and so have to resort to burgers and fries, pizzas and the like, which are more fattening and less healthful.  But this attempt to salvage something from the "hunger in America" hoax collapses like a house of cards when you stop and think about it.

Are We Fat Or Are We Starving?  Whose idea was it to give out food stamps instead of food?  Whose idea was it to then give recipients ATM cards to alleviate embarrassment at the supermarkets?  If we are so concerned with obesity why should food stamps purchase junk food?  How is it possible for local groceries and bodegas to accept food stamps for beer and cigarettes?

Federal Officials Reject City's Plan to Ban Food Stamps for Soda.  Federal officials on Friday [8/19/2011] rejected Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's proposal to bar New York City's food stamp users from buying soda and other sugary drinks with their benefits.  In October, the city proposed a two-year experiment to see if the prohibition would reduce obesity among people who buy their groceries with food stamps.  But in a letter Friday, an administrator of the food stamp program in Washington said the city's proposed experiment would have been "too large and complex" to implement and evaluate.

The Editor says...
That is a decision that should be left up to the 50 states, according to the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  My advice to Mayor Bloomberg:  Don't wait for permission.  Implement the program anyway.

American Cancer Society Declares Poverty A Carcinogen.  A report released Friday [6/17/2011] by the American Cancer Society echoes a 1989 statement by Dr. Samuel A. Broder, then director of the National Cancer Institute, who said that poverty is a carcinogen.  The society's report said that the lower a person's socioeconomic status, the greater the risk of cancer.  That's especially true for lung cancer, the report said, "for which death rates are 4 to 5 times higher in the least educated than in the most educated individuals."

The Editor says...
Nonsense.  Poverty and lung cancer are both symptoms of a lifetime of bad decisions and foolish choices.  With only a few exceptions, people who have lung cancer have brought it upon themselves.

No Pop for the Poor.  New York City's mayor wants the federal government to say food stamps can't be used to buy soda — a story that is less about the technicalities of welfare and more about political paternalism.  Now, there's a strong argument to be made that if the government is setting the table and preparing the dinner, it should be able to choose the menu.

NY seeks to ban sugary drinks from food stamp buys.  New Yorkers on food stamps would not be allowed to spend them on sugar-sweetened drinks under an obesity-fighting proposal being floated by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. David Paterson.

Cracking the Scratch Lottery Code.  While approximately half of Americans buy at least one lottery ticket at some point, the vast majority of tickets are purchased by about 20 percent of the population.  These high-frequency players tend to be poor and uneducated, which is why critics refer to lotteries as a regressive tax.  (In a 2006 survey, 30 percent of people without a high school degree said that playing the lottery was a wealth-building strategy.)  On average, households that make less than $12,400 a year spend 5 percent of their income on lotteries — a source of hope for just a few bucks a throw.

New USDA Effort Targets Link between Obesity and Food Stamps.  A growing number of local programs from Boston to San Diego are trying to make healthier foods more appealing and affordable for low-income families — the population of Americans who are most reliant on food stamps, and most likely to be obese.

The $450.00 purse.  Theirs weren't the only spending shocks, when the Obama stimulus checks arrived.  Students, who had attended every day of the first two weeks and had filled out their daily timesheets, and placed correct addresses on their W-2 forms, received a check for $640.00.  Cash in hand, one-hundred and twenty-five low income, low achieving, adult high school students went on a government furnished spending spree.

Obesity In America: The Potential Role Of Federal Nutrition Programs.  Today, as many as 70 percent of low-income adults are overweight, about 10 percent more than the nonpoor.  Adolescents from low-income families are twice as likely to be overweight (16 percent vs. 8 percent).  Racial disparities are even greater.  Almost 80 percent of African-American women, for example, are overweight — a third more than white women.  Even more serious, about 50 percent of African-American women are obese — two thirds more than white women.

Dallas NAACP Wants Texas Lottery Shut Down.  The Dallas chapter of the NAACP wants to stop seeing low income Texans pumping money into the state lottery by putting it out of business.  In poorer communities, though, the lottery seems to offer the chance at a life otherwise out of reach.

Man owes $80K in back child support; has 15 paternity cases.  Eric Holder changed his name in 2002 to Shekem Amsu Khnemu. [...] In Lancaster County, Khnemu owes nearly $80,000 in back child support in cases dating back to November 1984, according to county records.

They're trying to apply the brakes in England, and the brakes are squealing.
Why should the state pay for women on benefits to have more than two children?  As predictable as the first frosts of autumn, there are shrieks of rage over the proposal to restrict Child Benefit payments to the first two children in a family.  On the Left, it is axiomatic that all welfare recipients are virtuous, honest and decent, while all who want to limit benefits are cruel, callous and heartless.




Waste and abuse

Social Security pays millions to people VA says are dead.  The Department of Veterans Affairs knew they were dead, but the Social Security Administration kept paying benefits to hundreds of people anyway, according to a new agency audit released Friday [9/1/2017] that says at least $37 million in bogus payments were made.  Investigators compared the VA's record to Social Security rolls and found nearly 4,000 people who were listed as dead by the VA, but were still getting checks.  Some of those people listed as dead were in fact still alive, but others were deceased — and their checks never should have been paid, the Social Security inspector general said.

Obama's IRS doled out more than $24 billion in potentially bogus refunds.  The IRS doled out more than $24 billion in potentially bogus refunds claimed under several controversial tax credits in 2016, according to a new audit that said $118 million was even paid to people who weren't authorized to work in the U.S. in the first place.  Some $16.8 billion in payments were made on improper claims under the Earned Income Tax Credit, signifying a 24 percent error rate.  Investigators also estimated $7.2 billion in improper payments for the Additional Child Tax Credit, representing 25 percent of the total, and $1.1 billion in improper payments, or 24 percent, for a higher education tax credit.

Feds Subsidized Housing for 'Nonexistent Tenants'.  The Department of Housing and Urban Development spent over $500,000 on apartments for people who "did not exist," according to the agency's inspector general.  An audit released last month found that managers of Section 8 housing in Jefferson County, Texas, defrauded the government by stealing the identities of former tenants and falsifying incomes.  The government subsidizes the rent of 99 units at Beverly Place Apartments in Groves, Texas, and paid the complex $1.8 million between January 2013 and December 2015.

MN Police Make Stunning Discovery During Routine Arrest of Muslim Man Living in Public Housing.  Why is this Muslim man with multiple arrests on his record being allowed to leech off MN residents by living in public housing?

Corruption Resides in Aspen's Taxpayer-Subsidized Housing.  There's a crime wave here in Aspen, and local government is an accomplice.  I'm not exaggerating.  It's rooted in the taxpayer-subsidized housing program.  That's the program where locals with incomes as high as $186,000 get taxpayer-subsidized housing in Aspen for dimes on the dollar if they win a housing lottery (or if they are insiders who bypass the lottery).  Most economists say such schemes make housing less affordable overall, not more.  Indeed, four decades of taxpayer-subsidized housing in Aspen has produced the most expensive real estate in the country.  Economists also say these programs harm the intended beneficiaries by enabling employers to keep wages low, and that such schemes are rife with cronyism and inefficiency.

Wife Of DC Lawyer Worth $1.5 Million Arrested For Taking Food Stamps, Welfare.  An Arlington, Va., woman allegedly falsified welfare applications to receive more than $100,000 in benefits while her husband raked in $1.5 million salary.  Police say Helen Agbapuruonwu, mother of four, collected food stamps and Medicaid benefits from 2010 to 2016, while here husband, Fidelis Agbapuruonwu, was earning $1.5 million as a lawyer in Washington, D.C., NBC News 4 reports.  Helen Agbapuruonwu "fraudulently obtained public assistance in excess of $100,000 under false pretenses" police allege, and she has been charged "with felony welfare fraud and document forgery," according to a police report.

Millionaire Lawyer and Wife Rake in $100,000 in Welfare.  You often hear of welfare abuse all over our country, with common sense Americans like you and I crying out that it's destroying our culture, our families, and our economy, while the media and the Democrat Party turn a blind eye.  And then you see a story like this, that is so outrageous it can hardly even be believed.  You have a prominent immigrant lawyer who made over $1.5 million last year, and to most of us that's a life of unimaginable luxury.  So why was his wife filing for and getting food stamps and Medicaid benefits for over six years?

Your Welfare Dollars Feed State Budgets, Not Needy Families.  Prior to the TANF Act, families in need received cash assistance through the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, where federal funds matched half or more of every dollar of cash assistance that a state provided to a needy family.  The AFDC funding method didn't provide states with enough flexibility for the use of federal funds, thus the implementation of the TANF Act.  Proponents argued that states could shift the funds freed up when families left welfare to work or child-care programs, where the need would likely increase.  But that didn't happen.  Instead, states redirected a substantial portion of their state and federal TANF funds to fill state budget holes or to substitute for existing state spending.  Even when need increased during the Great Recession, states were often unable to bring the funds back to core welfare reform services and instead made cuts in basic assistance and work programs.

Public Radio's Incomplete Report on Aspen's Taxpayer-Subsidized Housing.  Taxpayer-subsidized Colorado Public Radio likes taxpayer subsidies.  I know from personal experience that they even like Aspen's taxpayer-subsidized housing program, where residents making as much as $186,000 receive million-dollar houses for dimes on the dollar.

1,300 Fugitives Were Living In Federally-Funded Housing, Now Grassley Demands To Know Why.  Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley thinks it's time for a federal watchdog to cough up some answers about a disturbing report it withheld from Congress and taxpayers on an estimated 1,300 wanted criminal fugitives living in subsidized public housing.  The Iowa Republican also wants to know why the Department of Housing and Urban Development apparently isn't enforcing the law against criminals living in federally subsidized housing.

IRS improperly paid $15.6 billion through Earned Income Tax Credit program.  The IRS erroneously paid out an estimated $15.6 billion in Earned Income Tax Credit payments in fiscal year 2015, according to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report.  A low-income worker can receive refundable tax credits from the Earned Income Tax Credit program when they meet certain requirements for income and age.  The $15.6 billion in improper payments identified by the inspector general represented 23.8 percent of total earned income credits paid out in that fiscal year.  According to the Office of Management and Budget, an improper payment is a transfer that should not have been made, was made in the incorrect amount, or was made to an ineligible recipient.

NYC's putting bums and junkies up at this swanky boutique hotel.  Dozens of homeless men are bunking in a new, boutique hotel in Brooklyn — despite Mayor de Blasio's pledge to end the practice following a triple slaying in a Staten Island hotel that was doubling as a shelter.  The BKLYN House in Bushwick — which offers "loft-style" lodging and "street-art-inspired" decorations — is renting out 44 of its 113 rooms to the Department of Homeless Services, officials said Friday [5/20/2016].  Taxpayers have been shelling out $168 a night per room to "temporarily" house 80 employed or job-hunting single men since late November, DHS said.

HUD Mandates 'Affordable Housing' in Affluent Baltimore Suburbs.  The Obama administration has started its push to expand low-income housing into "higher opportunity areas."  The Department of Housing and Urban Development last week announced a "landmark" settlement agreement with Baltimore County that will serve as a catalyst to "promote housing mobility" and "address residential segregation."  The goal is to move low- and very-low-income people out of the city and into the suburbs.  "Every person deserves a fair shot at opportunity, and that starts with a decent, safe, and affordable place to call home," HUD Secretary Julián Castro said in the March 15 announcement.  "This agreement sets Baltimore County on a path to stronger, more inclusive communities where everyone can enjoy equal access to opportunity."

The Editor says...
Opportunity is no guarantee of wealth, especially in the absence of hard work and common sense.  It is not the proper role of government to provide housing (affordable or not) to every citizen.

Welfare moms unhappy with free lodging, prepared meals, WiFi, maid service.  D.C. welfare moms are having to put up with lodging in hotels that give them prepared meals, cable TV, internet WiFi access, and maid service that don't meet their standards: [...] Isn't this shocking, how taxpayers are paying to prepare such low-class meals for welfare moms?  What kind of country is this that doesn't cook better meals for people on welfare?  By the way, if you're wondering why Tiera has four children and no daddies, here is that part of the story: [...]

Public Housing Units Getting Free Internet at Speeds Higher Than Most Homes.  Google Fiber and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have partnered to bring "ultra-high speed" 1 gigabit Internet to public housing units in many cities — a connection speed much faster than the average household in the United States.  West Bluff Townhomes in Kansas City, Mo., has become the first public housing development with a 1 gigabit or 1,000 mbps Internet connection through the ConnectHome Initiative.  Google Fiber said the speed has been provided free of charge and at no cost to HUD.  According to the most recent State of the Internet report, the average U.S. Internet connection speed was 11.9 mbps.

NYPD cop who retired with bad shoulder is now bodybuilding and collecting disability pension.  He's pumping iron — and squeezing taxpayers for $40,000 a year.  An NYPD officer who retired with a disability pension now regularly participates in bodybuilding competitions — and pension rules permit it.  Derek Huebner retired on Aug. 31, 1996 after six years on the force, according to the New York City Police Pension Fund.  He receives $40,885.20, tax-free plus benefits, every year from the fund, which has come under scrutiny following reports in the [New York] Daily News.

Gov't Watchdog: HUD's Financial Books Are Impossible To Audit.  A government watchdog says it can't audit billions in Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) spending because the agency's financial books are kept so poorly.  HUD's financial statements and systems are missing records, inaccurate and sometimes even violated federal laws, according to a HUD inspector general report released Monday [11/30/2015].  Included among the programs with useless financial accounting records is nearly $20 billion at the Government National Mortgage Association.

What Are Rich People Doing In Obama's Public Housing?  In Philadelphia, a local television station found that 181 families are far from poor while living in state housing intended for the indigent.  Thirteen families, in fact, make six-figure incomes.  This while more than 100,000 wait an average 10 years for public housing. [...] Philadelphia's isn't the only place where federal cash subsidizes wealthy tenants.  HUD has found 25,000 "over-income" families living off the taxpayer largesse.

Over-income tenants living in N.O. public housing.  A FOX 8 Investigation uncovers that even more public housing tenants making big money are cashing in on your tax dollars for rent.  Now, after seeing what we found, a state lawmaker is taking legislative action to put a stop to it.  More than a $140,000 a year.  That's what one public housing tenant living in New Orleans is making.  And — get this — that income supports just one person, yet your tax dollars are helping pay their rent each month.

Enabling fraud by the billions.  Ever heard of the Government Accountability Office?  The Obama administration wishes you never hear from the folks there after the truly astounding figures they just released.  The GAO is a key watchdog group and their numbers show the government is on track to waste an absolutely massive amount of money this year.  So what does the Obama's administration do?  Actively take steps to enable more fraud.  I wish I was kidding, but I'm not.  Here are the facts — the cold, hard numbers, because math is nonpartisan.  Numbers and cents don't lie and it doesn't take a Common Core math education to know that $125 billion wasted on fraud and improper payments is horrendous. [...] One billion is 1,000 million.  We lost 125 of those, most of which came from Medicare, Medicaid and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Boston Families Making Over $200,000 Living in Taxpayer Subsidized Housing.  According to a report by Boston CBS affiliate WBV's I-Team, there are currently 622 "overincome" families listed in the Massachusetts records, with more than half making $10,000 over the income guidelines.  Several of the families made $100,000 over, while one family brings in $200,000.

GAO: Safety net programs account for billions in improper payments.  Three health and safety net programs for the poor and elderly accounted for most of the federal government's $124.7 billion in improper payments in fiscal 2014, the Government Accountability Office reported Thursday [10/1/2015].  The figure, which represents improper payments across 124 federal programs, is up roughly 20 percent from $105.8 billion in fiscal 2013, according to a new GAO report.  Most of the $19 billion increase resulted from erroneous payments under the Medicare, Medicaid and Earned Income Tax Credit programs.  They account for more than 75 percent of the GAO's government-wide improper payment estimate.

HUD Allowing Wealthy Families To Live In Public Housing While Poor Families Linger On Waiting Lists.  Welfare benefits like food stamps and public housing are supposed to be a "safety net" to protect our poorest and most vulnerable citizens.  But does a family with a half million dollars in income really need a government-provided safety net?  According to a report by the Washington Post, an audit of the public housing assistance provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) found more than 25,000 "over income" families who earned more than the maximum income for public housing but were still allowed to remain.

A family in public housing makes $498,000 a year.  And HUD wants tenants like this to stay.  A family of four in New York City makes $497,911 a year but pays $1,574 a month to live in public housing in a three-bedroom apartment subsidized by taxpayers.  In Los Angeles, a family of five that's lived in public housing since 1974 made $204,784 last year but paid $1,091 for a four-bedroom apartment.  And a tenant with assets worth $1.6 million — including stocks, real estate and retirement accounts — last year paid $300 for a one-bedroom apartment in public housing in Oxford, Neb.  In a new report, the watchdog for the Department of Housing and Urban Development describes these and more than 25,000 other "over income" families earning more than the maximum income for government-subsidized housing as an "egregious" abuse of the system.

The Federal Government's 100 Billion Dollar Mistake.  As the bureaucracy dithers, our ship of state keeps leaking money.  The Government Accountability Office in a March, 2015 report found that the problem of improper payments is massive.  As the Washington Post reported, "the U.S. government forked over an estimated $124.7 billion to ineligible recipients in 2014, representing the first jump in four years.  The highest amount for the Obama administration occurred in 2010, with an estimated $125.6 million in losses.  Medicare reported the highest number of improper payments last year, with the program accounting for nearly $60 billion in incorrect disbursements.  Rounding out the top three were the Earned Income Tax Credit with $17.7 billion in lost revenue and Medicaid at $17.5 billion."  This is real money that is being wasted on an epic scale by federal bureaucrats as our nation sinks deeper into a debt that is over $18 trillion.

Cash-Strapped Kansas Moves to Limit ATM Withdrawals for Residents on Welfare.  Kansas is in trouble.  After slashing income taxes in 2012, the state faces a revenue gap of more than $400 million.  Republican Governor Sam Brownback and state legislators are debating how to make up the shortfall.  So far they've agreed on one way to control how state money is spent.  Starting in July, people on the dole will be limited to a single ATM withdrawal of no more than $25 per day.  The law also prohibits spending public-assistance cash at movie theaters, swimming pools, and video arcades.  Nail salons and tattoo parlors are out, too.

No Progress Since the War on Poverty Began Half a Century Ago.  [Scroll down]  The president assumes that after spending $22 trillion (in inflation-adjusted dollars) on federal and state anti-poverty programs since the Great Society's inception in 1964, a 40% reduction in the poverty rate would be some sort of victory.  But is this statistic even meaningful?  Has there really been a substantial reduction in the rate of American poverty since LBJ declared an "unconditional war" on poverty half century ago?  Has this incomprehensibly vast sum really gone to waste?  Yes, it has.

Brownback to sign bill with tighter restrictions on welfare recipients.  Gov. Sam Brownback will sign a welfare reform bill that has gained national attention Thursday morning [4/16/2015] at the Department for Children and Families service center in Topeka.  HB 2258 will restrict where welfare recipients can spend their benefits money and limit the amount of benefits money they can withdraw from the ATM to $25 each day.

Should Food Stamp Recipients Have Their Shopping Lists Limited?  Someone may soon have to teach people on welfare in Missouri how to fish because they may not be able to get a fish to eat for a day, if all they have in a wallet is food stamps.  Their peers in Kansas may also have new restrictions on what they can buy with food stamps, along with a prohibition on spending their federal assistance money on fun things like psychics, tattoos, or cruise ships — if one should ever dock in Kansas. [...] Missouri Rep. Rick Brattin not only wants to stop food stampers in his state from buying seafood — the Republican would outlaw the purchase of energy drinks, soda, cookies, chips and steak with federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) money.  This would not be the first time the Missouri Legislature has tightened regulations on what could or could not be purchased with food stamps and other federal money.

No movies, concerts, or tattoos: Kansas bill would limit use of welfare funds.  The bill would make Kansas the latest state to impose its own conditions on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) cash benefits, as state governments tighten public assistance programs in a bid to encourage employment.  The Kansas bill would also set the stage for a much broader range of restrictions on TANF funds which, as part of the Kansas Successful Families Program, is designed to help low-income residents who might be between jobs or are caring for a child or relative.

Kansas Legislation Bans Welfare Recipients From Spending Benefits on Cruises.  Kansas legislators have passed a bill that imposes a wave of new restrictions on how welfare recipients can withdraw and spend their money.  The bill, which was approved on Thursday [4/2/2015], still requires a signature from Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, who has supported the legislation in the past.  Welfare recipients will be limited to withdrawing a maximum of $25 a day and will be prohibited from spending the funds at certain businesses, including liquor stores, swimming pools and cruise ships, according to The Huffington Post.

Missouri Republicans are trying to ban food stamp recipients from buying steak and seafood.  In 2013, Fox News proudly broadcast an interview with a young food stamp recipient who claimed to be using the government benefit to purchase lobster and sushi.  "This is the way I want to live and I don't really see anything changing," Jason Greenslate explained to Fox.  "It's free food; it's awesome."  That story fit a longtime conservative suspicion that poor people use food stamps to purchase luxury items.  Now, a Republican state lawmaker in Missouri is pushing for legislation that would stop people like Greenslate and severely limit what food stamp recipients can buy.  The bill being proposed would ban the purchase with food stamps of "cookies, chips, energy drinks, soft drinks, seafood or steak."

Health agency for the poor spends $476,000 on meals, entertainment.  Los Angeles County supervisors chided officials with the L.A. Care public health plan after an audit found that the agency spent $476,000 on meals and entertainment between October 2013 and January of this year.  The audit released last week found that the health plan — an independent tax-exempt agency that has a $4.1-billion annual budget and provides managed healthcare services to low-income county residents — was in good financial shape and that administrative costs were lower than those of other similar plans.

HUD Paid $37 Million in Rent for Deadbeats.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) subsidized over 100,000 apartments for tenants who do not meet work or community service requirements, costing taxpayers at least $37 million.  According to an audit released by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) on Wednesday, the federal government is at risk of losing an additional $448 million worth of subsidies this year on "noncompliant tenants."

Welcome to the Welfare Store.  Colorado is stuck between a hookah and a hard place on preventing welfare recipients from using their EBTs to buy legalized weed: [...] Is there a way then to help the needy without enriching strippers, pot dealers, liquor stores, and under-the-table facilitators?  Yes there is.  Eliminate cash benefits.  Period.  If we must have a federal-level welfare program to feed and clothe the hungry, the worst way to do it is by giving away free cash money.

Colorado considers ban on welfare cards at pot shops.  Welfare money or food stamps for marijuana?  It's an urban legend that won't go away in Colorado, and state lawmakers this year are poised to pass a law clarifying that public benefit cards can't be used at dispensary ATMs.

IRS Gave $14.5 Billion in Low-Income Tax Credits to the Wrong People.  The federal watchdog tasked with keeping tabs on the Internal Revenue Service says the agency needs to do a better job of administering tax credits for low-income people.  The reason?  Billions of dollars each year are ending up in the wrong hands.  A new report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, reveals that nearly a quarter of the $63 billion worth of Earned Income Tax Credits distributed in 2012 were improper payments.  That's about $14.5 billion in erroneous payments that were either given to the wrong people or distributed to the right people in the wrong amount.

Congress frets as government misspent $5.3 billion this year year on 'improper' food-stamp payments.  The U.S. federal government spent more than $5.3 million that it shouldn't have on food stamps and other nutrition assistance programs during the 2014 fiscal year, according to an inspection report published this month.  The spending, called 'improper payments' in government-speak, were totaled up through the end of August and accounted for 11 months of the fiscal year that concluded on September 30.  The number is on pace to eclipse the total for 2013.  The government defines 'improper payments' as disbursements 'made to an ineligible recipient, a payment for an ineligible good or service, or a payment for goods or services not received.'

Colorado Welfare Recipients Withdrew Electronic Funds in Hawaii, Vegas, and Virgin Islands.  Taxpayers are apparently buying welfare recipients booze and cigarettes for the road — at times a very exotic road.  A Watchdog.org analysis of a Colorado Department of Human Services welfare ATM withdrawals database shows that $3.8 million was withdrawn by Colorado welfare recipients outside the state in the past two years.  There were withdrawals at out-of-state liquor stores and tobacco outlets, as well as vacation destinations like Hawaii, Las Vegas and even the Virgin Islands, data shows.

House Passes 'No Welfare for Weed' Bill.  The House has passed a bill that could make it a little harder for people to use government welfare payments to buy marijuana in states where the drug is legal.

HHS: Federal law allows marijuana purchases with welfare.  Responding to a query about the policy by Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, [HHS Secretary Sylvia] Burwell wrote in a letter that current law makes no mention of marijuana shops as establishments where people are prohibited from using benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.  Right now it's only an issue for the two states that have legalized pot, Colorado and Washington.

Poor families use 'supervouchers' to rent in city's priciest buildings.  The high-rise at 500 N. Lake Shore Drive is the second-most expensive in the city, with rents for a one-bedroom apartment approaching $3,000 a month, well beyond the reach of most Chicago residents.  But that's not too much for the Chicago Housing Authority, which has used federal tax dollars to pick up most of the tab for four lucky residents in the year-old building, with its sweeping views of Lake Michigan, a concierge and a dog-grooming center.  The tenants moved in over the past two years as part of a push by the CHA to expand its housing voucher program so that more low-income residents can leave the city's roughest neighborhoods and start a new life in places with low poverty and crime and close to good schools and jobs.

The Editor says...
They won't be good schools for long if the riff-raff move in.

Louisiana bans using benefits on tattoos, lingerie, jewelry.  Louisiana welfare recipients will be prohibited from spending the federal assistance at lingerie shops, tattoo parlors, nail salons and jewelry stores, under new limits enacted by state social services officials.

Oops! Was Section 8 a giant mistake?  One of the pillars of liberal social engineering is the belief that subsidies permitting poor people to move into nicer neighborhoods helps improve their life prospects.  The multi-billion dollar Section 8 rent voucher program is premised on this notion, providing taxpayer funding for poor people to rent apartments in buildings and neighborhoods that house wealthier people. [...] A huge amount of money is being poured into projects promoting the integration of poor people into middle class neighborhoods.  But a new large study funded by the federal government (who else?) has discovered that moving poor boys into richer neighborhoods is so disruptive that its effects are like those of PTSD.

Use of public assistance cards OK at pot shops.  Saying some neighborhoods have more pot shops than banks, Colorado Democrats on Wednesday [1/15/2014] rejected a proposal to ban the use of public assistance cards to obtain cash at marijuana-shop ATMs.

Nearly Two Thirds of 2013 Government Waste, Fraud Came from HHS.  The estimated amount of taxpayer-funded payments that the federal government doled out through fraud, waste, and errors slightly decreased in 2013 to $106 billion from $108 billion the previous year, according to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

FCC: Lifeline Program Fraud and Abuse Surpasses Two Million Subscribers.  In a continuing crackdown on the federal government's Lifeline program, sometimes known as "Obama phones," the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has revealed that fraud and abuse in the program exceeded two million subscribers.  New rules were established after it became clear that subscribers and providers were taking advantage of the system.

Another IRS Triumph.  The earned-income tax credit, or EITC, is a major welfare program intended to supplement the incomes of the working poor.  It is "refundable," which means you get the credit even if you pay no income tax.  In 2011, more than 27 million families received EITC payments of nearly $62 billion.  But here's the catch:  The IG report says that in 2011 at least 21% of those payments and as much as 26% were "improper."  The percentages in 2012 were 21% and 25%.  In other words, at least one of every five dollars, and maybe one in four, of EITC payouts were in some way undeserved.

U.S. Makes $1.2 Bil in Disability "Overpayments".  In a recent example of egregious government waste, the U.S. has doled out more than a billion dollars in disability benefits to tens of thousands of people who were not supposed to get it.  One recipient got $90,000 — nearly twice the median annual income in the U.S. — without being detected by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the agency that hands out the cash.  Others raked in $74,000 and $57,000 without raising any alarms.  In all, 36,000 people who didn't qualify for SSA disability money received an astounding $1.29 billion without getting caught, according to a federal audit.

Welfare ATM use raises questions.  Arizona's cash-assistance welfare program is intended to help the poorest of the poor feed and clothe their children, and for the most part, it does.  But a small percentage of recipients, who must earn no more than $4,164 a year for a family of three, are using the money to pay for booze, cigarettes, poker games, strippers and travel to places like Times Square, Disneyland and Hawaii, according to Arizona Department of Economic Security records obtained by The Arizona Republic.

GOP bill blocks food stamp users from buying junk food.  The Healthy Food Choices Act, H.R. 3073, reflects a long-standing criticism that the government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) allows people to buy billions of dollars worth of junk food.  A 2012 study found that food stamps enable about $2 billion worth of junk food purchases each year, and that more than half of the beverages bought using SNAP benefits are sugary drinks.  Efforts to curb these purchases have been opposed by anti-hunger groups.

Ohio to limit food stamps for some adults.  The administration of Ohio Gov. John Kasich plans to limit food stamps for more than 130,000 adults in all but a few economically depressed areas starting next year.

Millions Missing, Misspent at Texas Housing Authority: Auditor.  The Harris County (Texas) Housing Authority is a generous landlord, one that gave its tenants $8,500 in gift cards to Wal-Mart for Christmas in 2011.  But that sort of unrestrained spending — on tenants, on memorabilia, on failed real estate deals, on its own salaries, and especially on contracts with two firms connected to two former board members — has dissipated the agency's fund balances from $37.9 million to $1.6 million between 2009 and 2012, according to an audit recently published by the inspector general of the Texas Department of Housing and Urban Development.  The spending included more than $100,000 on a bronze statue of a winged angel designed by the authority's CEO at the time.

Golden hammer: Medicaid innovation programs ran up $32 billion tab, watchdog says.  When the government approved letting states experiment with new ways to deliver Medicaid services, it promised the innovations wouldn't cost taxpayers any extra money.  Somebody in the bureaucracy, however, failed to keep track.  A new report by the chief watchdog for Congress finds that the so-called demonstration projects have cost taxpayers as much as $32 billion more than if the program has just been left alone over the last five years.

This thug had EBT card?  Not everyone with an EBT card is a criminal, but it appears that every criminal has an EBT card.  Of course Gov. Deval Patrick would dismiss this as just another "anecdote."  Please don't ask why the state is supporting a guy who has 10 convictions at age 28, not to mention 52 citations on his CORI record.  His welfare records are sealed, you understand.

Millions Missing, Misspent at Texas Housing Authority: Auditor.  The Harris County (Texas) Housing Authority is a generous landlord, one that gave its tenants $8,500 in gift cards to Walmart for Christmas in 2011.  But that sort of unrestrained spending — on tenants, on memorabilia, on failed real estate deals, on its own salaries and especially on contracts with two firms connected to two former board members — has dissipated the agency's fund balances from $37.9 million to $1.6 million between 2009 and 2012, according to an audit recently published by the inspector general of the Texas Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Next scandal: Platinum EBT cards.  The next welfare scandal is going to be the huge balances on some of these EBT cards. [...] Last January a radio listener from Pittsfield sent me a receipt from a local convenience store.  Some loafer had run up a tab of $3.28, so he whipped out an EBT card to pay for it.  After paying his three bucks, he had $7,066.58 left on the card.  I kid you not.  Over seven grand on an EBT card.

Audit says 20,000 inmates were mistakenly paid nearly $24M in state and federal benefits.  While one inmate was locked up for more than a year for a drug offense, the unemployment benefits were coming in — all $39,000, and then some.  Another serving time for unlawful possession of a weapon started receiving unemployment only after spending three months in prison, and was paid more than $25,000 over a year.

People Making Over $100K Received Unemployment Benefits in 2011, Media Mum.  With all the media panic about sequestration, one would think a study finding billions of dollars of fraud in a government program would be national news.  Apparently not, for with few exceptions, a report published by the St. Louis Federal Reserve last week finding $3.3 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims in 2011 got almost no attention.

Florida Looks To Ban EBT Cards At Strip Clubs, Casinos.  The agency that issues EBT cards in Florida has said that it is not possible to track where the government assistance money is being used.

The Editor says...
Any government agency that dispenses money should be able to account for every dollar.  If the strip clubs and casinos are receiving money from the State of Florida, it should not be difficult to "track" the money and cut it off.

Still OK to withdraw welfare benefits at ATMs in Colorado strip clubs.  An attempt by Colorado lawmakers to ban welfare recipients from withdrawing their benefits at ATMs located inside strip clubs was killed by Democrats Thursday night [4/4/2013], even though the state House's third-ranking Democratic legislator supported the measure.

The Editor says...
It is not difficult to restrict the use of food stamp cards in specific ATMs, if the state government wants to do so.  Apparently the Democrats do not want to establish such restrictions.  The message is clear:  This is no longer a program to temporarily help hungry people.  It is an unmitigated handout which the recipients can use for anything at all, and it is provided by politicians who are shamelessly buying votes.

Food Stamps for Postage: USPS Accepts EBT.  A reader sends in [a] photo of a US Postal Service automated kiosk displaying a message that the machine accepts EBT to purchase postage.  Not only is this ironic, but it allows for use of EBT to purchase money orders and send money without the use of a bank.  Call it "governmentception" — like a dream within a dream, one government program inside of another.

"Huge problems" plague Georgia WIC program, cost taxpayers millions.  Georgia's WIC program has the highest per-participant food cost of any state in the nation, according to federal records, ranking above other states where the cost of living is higher.  A federal review found that WIC was paying up to $7 for a gallon of milk in Georgia because the state isn't doing enough to keep costs down at stores approved to accept WIC.  An outside consultant brought in by the state to assess WIC issued a scathing review.

Millions Improperly Claimed U.S. Phone Subsidies.  The U.S. government spent about $2.2 billion last year to provide phones to low-income Americans, but a Wall Street Journal review of the program shows that a large number of those who received the phones haven't proved they are eligible to receive them.  The Lifeline program — begun in 1984 to ensure that poor people aren't cut off from jobs, families and emergency services — is funded by charges that appear on the monthly bills of every landline and wireless-phone customer.  Payouts under the program have shot up from $819 million in 2008, as more wireless carriers have persuaded regulators to let them offer the service.

More about "free" cell phones.

The Truth Behind Our Entitlement Culture.  Entitlements are two-thirds of the federal budget.  Entitlement spending has grown 100-fold over the past 50 years.  Half of all American households now rely on government handouts. [...] When people see others on the take, they get the sense that it's okay for them to do the same thing.  There are people here in California living in million dollar homes and getting government handouts.

Welfare boss resigns in wake of $$ report.  The state's embattled welfare chief was forced to step down yesterday in the wake of a shocking internal report that found that a staggering 47,000 families receiving taxpayer-funded benefits are unaccounted for — and nearly $30 million in food stamp money went to recipients who were not eligible.

Proposal to ban welfare recipients from playing lottery.  North Carolina lawmakers are drafting legislation that would ban people on welfare or those who are in bankruptcy from buying lottery tickets.

The Editor says...
I'm not sure how this would work, since anybody over 17 can buy a lottery ticket with cash.  How would the store clerk know who's on welfare and who's not, unless every welfare parasite is somehow branded or tagged with an RFID chip.

EBT Abuse: The Cash-for-Drunkards Program.  From New York to New Mexico and across the dependent plains, welfare recipients are getting sauced on the public dime.  Drunk, besotted, bombed. But while politicians pay lip service to cutting government waste, fraud and abuse, they're doing very little in practice to stop the EBT party excesses.  Where's the compassion for taxpayers?

Welfare Fraud Alert: Let's Just Say its Rampant.  If your goal is to make more and more people dependent in the system, and therefore democratic voters, you can't let a little thing like eligibility and law interfere, can you?

Welfare recipients 'missing'.  Red-faced state officials admitted last night they are trying to find as many as 19,000 missing welfare recipients — after the controversial taxpayer-funded voter registration pitches the state mailed to their addresses last summer were sent back marked "Return to sender, address unknown."

Missing: 19,000 Massachusetts Welfare Recipients.  Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has a little problem on his hands.  It seems that 19,000 welfare recipients who were sent voter registration forms cannot be located.

Obama's food-stamp nation: 'We accept EBT' signs are everywhere.  Conservatives have been excoriated as racist for spotlighting the rise in food-stamp use under President Obama.  But on social media, Americans of all races and backgrounds have no problem pointing out the literal signs of dependency — especially when EBT (electronic benefit transfer) food stamp cards are used to purchase junk food, non-food, and other absurd items far beyond the basic dietary sustenance of the social safety net.

The dark side of the welfare state.  [Nicholas] Kristof reviews numerous ways in which Big Government welfare programs can be not only expensive drains upon the public treasury, but actually counter-productive because of the perverse incentives they offer.

Profiting From a Child's Illiteracy.  This is what poverty sometimes looks like in America:  parents here in Appalachian hill country pulling their children out of literacy classes.  Moms and dads fear that if kids learn to read, they are less likely to qualify for a monthly check for having an intellectual disability.  Many people in hillside mobile homes here are poor and desperate, and a $698 monthly check per child from the Supplemental Security Income program goes a long way — and those checks continue until the child turns 18.

Soul-crushing dependency.  "This is painful for a liberal to admit," writes liberal New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, "but conservatives have a point when they suggest that America's safety net can sometimes entangle people in soul-crushing dependency."  Kristof is writing from Breathitt County, Ky., deep in the Appalachian mountains, about mothers whose Supplemental Security Income benefits will decrease if their children learn to read.  Kristof notes that 55% of children qualifying for SSI benefits do so because of "fuzzier intellectual disabilities short of mental retardation," far more than four decades ago when SSI was just a new program.

$19 Billion in Pure Government Waste this Year and Growing.  Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) issued his annual report on government waste this week. [...] The massive abuse of food stamps is exposed.  They are being used to purchase alcohol, Burger King, soap operas, Starbucks frappuccinos, cigarettes and cars.  Some recipients received additional food stamps because they smoked marijuana.  An exotic dancer who made $80,000 in tips annually, spending $9,000 on "cosmetic enhancements," also collected $1,000 a month in food stamps.  2,000 dead people are still receiving food stamps.

Over $60,000 in Welfare Spent Per Household in Poverty.  The calculations are based on data from the Census, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Congressional Research Services.  "According to the Census's American Community Survey, the number of households with incomes below the poverty line in 2011 was 16,807,795," the Senate Budget Committee notes.  "If you divide total federal and state spending by the number of households with incomes below the poverty line, the average spending per household in poverty was $61,194 in 2011."

Report: $4.5 Billion in Food Stamps Benefits Improperly Spent.  According to a report published earlier this week, some $4.5 billion has been inappropriately applied to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, including benefits that were administered to 2,000 dead people in New York and Massachusetts.  Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-Okla.) new archive of government waste, entitled the 2012 "Waste Book," found that "7,236 people in these states are receiving duplicate benefits, while 286 are on state lists that should exclude them from receiving food stamps."

"Wastebook 2012":  Starbucks drinks, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, soap operas, and alcohol were all purchased this year with federal food stamp funds.  In Tennessee, food stamps paid for beer, diapers, and condoms.  In three states, some individuals received more food stamp benefits simply because they smoke marijuana.  About $80 billion will be spent to provide over 46 million Americans with federal financial assistance this year from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, previously known as "Food Stamps").

Illinois paid over $2 million in unemployment to jail inmates.  According to the Associated Press, the Illinois Department of Employment Security said one inmate in the Cook County jail in Chicago was able to collect nearly $43,000 in unemployment benefits, however most of the inmates were paid less than that.

GAO: $460M in food stamps went to households that shouldn't be eligible.  Federal officials spend $460 million annually on Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) food stamps for households only deemed eligible for the program because they already benefited from another safety net program, according to a new government report.  "Although SNAP households that had incomes over the federal limits made up an estimated 2.6 percent of the SNAP caseload in fiscal year 2010, this group received an estimated 0.7 percent of all SNAP benefits," the Government Accountability Office reported today [7/31/2012].  "These benefits totaled an estimated $38.3 million a month, or approximately $360 million annually."

Many Still Receiving Food Stamps Despite Not Being Eligible.  The number of Americans receiving food stamps has exploded and taxpayers are paying for it.  Just today [7/31/2012], the General Accounting Office found that as many as 473,000 households receiving food stamps in 2010 were actually not eligible for for [sic] the benefit.  About one out of every seven Americans is on food stamps, which is roughly about 50 million people.  Up until a few weeks ago, the United States Department of Agriculture aggressively recruited recipients with print and radio ads.

Trillions Have Been Wasted On Poverty Programs That Don't Work.  Although nearly 15% of Americans are already on food stamps, Washington still feels a need to pump the numbers.  CNN is reporting that "the federal government wants even more people to sign up for the safety-net program."  According to CNN, the Agriculture Department "has been running radio ads for the past four months encouraging those eligible to enroll" and "is spending between $2.5 million and $3 million on paid spots."

Department of Redundancy Department.  GAO found that there are 18 programs that provide food and nutrition assistance administered by the Department of Agriculture, Department of Homeland Security and Department of Health and Human Services.  Those who get freebie groceries from the Commodity Supplemental Food Program can also obtain goods from the Emergency Food Assistance Program and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as food stamps).  Children get food from the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Special Milk Program and the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

What I was able to buy with my food stamps:  What can you buy with food stamps?  Pretty much anything sold in a grocery store, other than tobacco, booze and hot food.  To find out what that really means, I took my November stipend to Whole Foods, a pricey organic food emporium that is as much a yuppie metaphor as it is a supermarket.

Food Stamps are easier to get than you think.  I'm on food stamps.  Last month, despite the fact that I'm middle class and have a job, the District of Columbia enrolled me in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.  For the next year, I'll be getting $105 a month in assistance, no strings attached.  You wouldn't think I'd qualify.  As a master's student at American University and a part-time reporter for The Daily Caller, I don't meet the traditional definition of a poor person, and in fact I'm not poor.  But that didn't matter to the District's Department of Human Services.  They approved me anyway.

'Frequent fliers' misuse ambulances.  One man last year called Rural/Metro Medical Services, the region's busiest ambulance company, 313 times for a ride to a hospital.  Two other people used the company's ambulances more than 180 times.  Still others received rides once or more a week.  Emergency medical technicians refer to these patients as "frequent fliers," people who frequently request ambulance service simply because they can.

The Editor says...
Obviously nobody takes an ambulance to the hospital on a weekly (or daily) basis unless someone else is paying for it.  Who do you suppose that would be?

Welfare card can be swiped for booze, slots.  Bay State welfare recipients can play the slots, pick up a six-pack of beer or nab a flat-screen plasma TV under loosey-goosey Bay State restrictions that allow those on the dole to treat taxpayers' wallets as their own personal ATM.

$69 million in California welfare money drawn out of state.  More than $69 million in California welfare money, meant to help the needy pay their rent and clothe their children, has been spent or withdrawn outside the state in recent years, including millions in Las Vegas, hundreds of thousands in Hawaii and thousands on cruise ships sailing from Miami.

The next day...
State officials cancel access to welfare benefits on cruise ships and at all casinos.  California officials are cutting off use of state-issued welfare debit cards at casinos across the country and on cruise ships, in the wake of Times reports that the aid cards have been used to spend or withdraw millions of dollars in benefits at popular vacation spots including the Las Vegas strip and on ships sailing from ports around the world.

Bangor food stamp scam dumps water for deposit using taxpayer funds.  Would you be willing to exchange $86.79 for $24?  A pair of men at the Shaw's supermarket on Main Street did just that on a recent Tuesday morning as they engaged in a food stamp scam funded by U.S. taxpayers.  After purchasing a reported twenty 24-packs of bottled water, on sale that week for $2.99 a case before taxes and redemption fees were added, the men went behind the store to the loading dock and poured the contents of each bottle on the ground.

Federal Government Helped Pay Home Air-Conditioning Bills for Prisoners.  According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the federal government helped pay the home air conditioning bills for more than 11,000 dead people, 1,100 federal employees, and 725 convicts in fiscal year 2009.  The payments were made by a $5 billion program known as the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

Feds wasted millions in utilities program for poor.  A federal program designed to help impoverished families heat and cool their homes wasted more than $100 million paying the electric bills of thousands of applicants who were dead, in prison or living in million-dollar mansions, according to a government investigation.

Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick vetoes ban on purchasing tattoos, manicures, porn with EBT.  Massachusetts Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick has vetoed the state legislature's attempt to ban the use of EBT cards — or food stamps — to purchase items such as tattoos, porn and jewelry.  Patrick vetoed the reforms Sunday while signing the state's $32.5 billion budget.  According to the Boston Herald, which first reported the veto, the governor berated the legislature's stab at banning the purchase of specific items like manicures, tattoos, guns, porn, body piercings, jewelry, and bail by saying the move was "political grandstanding" at a time when such reforms are already on track elsewhere.

If you try to reduce food stamp misuse, you will be severely criticized.
Baker story causes stir on the Internet.  A Walpole baker's controversial refusal to take EBT card payments for her gourmet pastries exploded into the national spotlight yesterday [8/15/2012], as her whoopie pie fight with a local farmers market emerged as the latest battle in the growing welfare policy war. [...] [Andrea] Taber has refused the market's request to all its vendors to take federally funded nutrition benefits for her sticky treats, saying welfare payments for essential foodstuffs are fine, but she doesn't think taxes should pay for pricey, fattening desserts.

Baker feels heat for denying EBT users from buying her sweets.  A Walpole baker — appalled that welfare abuse now seems almost as American as apple pie — is putting her whoopie pies where her mouth is in a dispute with the Braintree Farmers Market, refusing to take EBT cards for her baked treats.

Welfare abuse: As American as baseball, hotdogs and whoopie pies.  The national food stamp program was originally designed to provide nutritional foods for folks who can't afford to buy them on their own — fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, cheeses and similar products.  So when individuals wanted to use SNAP cards (food stamps) to purchase her whoopie pies at the local farmers market, Anrea Taber, owner of the Ever so Humble Pie Co in Walpole Massachusetts, balked.




Fraud

Tip of an Iceberg Glimpsed in South Florida.  Where you have massive government spending, you have massive fraud.  Welfare is the last place to look for an exception to this rule.  Like the one in a thousand cockroach that ventures out from inside the wall in the daytime and gets stepped on, some welfare grifters actually get caught.  A recent crackdown in South Florida involved over $13 million in fraudulent food-stamp transactions.

Muslim Bodega Owner's Probation Revoked, Sentenced to Prison in $1.1M Food Stamp Fraud.  [Scroll down]  Why didn't he get prison in the first place?  The court allowed an admitted food stamp fraudster to go back and operate his halal business where he robbed American taxpayers.  And he duped the court on top of it — he sold the business but was caught in the get-out-jail-scheme too.

Largest food stamp fraud bust in history, $20M, Muslim store owners arrested.  South Florida reached another fraud milestone for what the Justice Department called "the largest combined financial fraud loss for a food stamp trafficking takedown in history."  That dubious new record, federal prosecutors claim, is $20 million and resulted in a dozen charged with doing the government dirty via food stamp fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Massive food stamp fraud bust, Florida this time.  If you are a longtime reader, you know that following food stamp fraud cases is a side interest of mine.  Go here to my large archive on past cases.  I haven't written much lately on the topic because reporting on the refugee program is about all I can handle.  I continue to urge one of you to write a blog solely on the topic of immigrant fraud such as food stamp fraud and other welfare fraud — a topic that could keep you busy every day and do our country a great service.

What $20 million in alleged food stamp fraud bought these 12 people: prosecution.  South Florida reached another fraud milestone for what the Justice Department called "the largest combined financial fraud loss for a food stamp trafficking takedown in history."  That dubious new record, federal prosecutors claim, is $20 million and resulted in a dozen charged with doing the government dirty via food stamp fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. [...] Some of the defendants owned, worked at or operated stores authorized to accept Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program payments, known as SNAP.  Others worked at stores not authorized, but allegedly used the point-of-sale terminals for stores that were authorized.

Psychologist in massive Social Security fraud case gets 25-year sentence.  The psychologist who helped pull off the biggest Social Security fraud in U.S. history was sentenced Friday [9/22/2017] to 25 years in prison.  Alfred Bradley Adkins was part of the fraud ring orchestrated by Eric C. Conn, one of the country's most prominent disability lawyers, and David B. Daugherty, a Social Security judge who rubber-stamped at least 1,700 bogus applications for benefits.  All told, the scam would have cost the government at least $600 million in fraudulent lifetime benefits, according to the government's conservative estimate.  Some $93 million was already paid out before the scam was stopped, the government said.

Woman Caught Defrauding Food Stamps Gets Harsh News From the Judge.  Phyllis Tyler, 49, of Edgewood, Kentucky was on trial for defrauding the food stamp program out of nearly $410,000.  She was using her business to buy food stamp benefits at 50 cents on the dollar.  It is of course illegal to buy or sell food stamp benefits.  But usually these cases end up with a slap on the wrist and some amount of reimbursement.  Not this time.  Tyler has been sentenced to serve 66 months in prison and must serve 85% of the sentence before being eligible for parole.

Grifters Cash In on Subsidized Housing.  As if the breeding program known as the welfare state were not producing government dependents quickly enough, Big Government has been subsidizing housing for needy tenants who do not exist.

Whistleblowers fear for their lives while Social Security fraudster is on the lam.  Eric C. Conn, the convicted ringleader of the biggest Social Security disability fraud in history, was supposed to be sentenced Friday.  Instead, he's on the run, and the two whistleblowers who helped expose his scam say they fear for their safety.  Conn cut his ankle bracelet in early June and has evaded the FBI ever since, including seemingly taunting agents in repeated missives to newspapers and TV stations in Kentucky and West Virginia, as well as The Washington Times.  A man purporting to be Conn said in the messages that he's escaped the country, leaving behind a legal mess, hundreds of people who had been kicked off the disability benefits he helped them obtain, and the two frightened whistleblowers who helped expose the fraud.

'Largest medical fraud takedown in American history'.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday that federal prosecutors have charged more than 400 people in taking part in medical fraud and opioid scams that totaled $1.3 billion in fraudulent billing.  Sessions said that 412 individuals will be prosecuted by his office in what he called the 'largest health care fraud takedown operation in American history' during a press conference in Washington.  Sessions noted that the case involves doctors, nurses and pharmacists that 'have chosen to violate their oaths and put greed ahead of their patients.'

DOJ Charges Over 400 People for Combined $1.3 Billion in Health Care Fraud.  The Department of Justice on Thursday announced charges against 412 people in the largest combined health care fraud bust in the department's history.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price announced the bust in a press conference Thursday morning [7/13/2017].  Facing charges are 412 people across 41 federal districts, who the DOJ alleges have extracted $1.3 billion in false billings through a variety of unconnected schemes.  The defendants include 115 doctors, nurses, and other licensed medical professionals.  HHS has also initiated suspension proceedings against 295 providers, including doctors, nurses, and pharmacists.  The busts also constitute the largest opioid-related fraud charging in U.S. history — 120 of the defendants, including doctors, face charges for their role in prescribing and distributing opioids and other narcotics.

Four N.J. couples arrested in $1.3M welfare fraud investigation.  The FBI and New Jersey law enforcement agencies said eight people, including rabbi, have been arrested on charges of defrauding $1.3 million from state and federal public assistance programs.  The law enforcement agencies carried out the arrests on Monday [6/26/2017] in the Lakewood area.

Lawyer who ran $550 million Social Security fraud scam cuts monitoring device, goes on run.  Eric C. Conn pleaded guilty just months ago to bilking the government out of potentially $550 million in bogus Social Security disability cases.  He had been free on a $1.25 million bond since 2016, and had insisted to a federal judge that he was not a flight risk, even though authorities said he had repeatedly told his employees he had money stashed overseas and would flee to Ecuador or Cuba if he ever ended up legal trouble.

Is he wrong?
Home Depot co-founder believes people use food stamps to purchase marijuana and cocaine.  Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone used a recent television appearance to accuse those on food stamps of using them to buy drugs. [...] His comments came during an interview with Fox News' "Your World with Neil Cavuto," where he discussed the Trump administrations $4.1 trillion dollar budget, which includes a proposal to cut Medicaid by $800 billion over the next decade.  The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly referred to as food stamps, stands to lose nearly $200 million under the plan.

Doctor Connected to Democratic Senator's Bribery Case Convicted for $100 Million in Medicare Fraud.  Dr. Salomon Melgen was convicted on Friday for wrongfully billing the government more than $100 million in improper Medicare payments, the Palm Beach Post reported.  A West Palm Beach, Florida jury found Melgen guilty of 67 counts of Medicare fraud after a trial that lasted about two months, followed by three days of deliberations.  Prosecutors said that Melgen, an eye doctor, intentionally misdiagnosed patients in order to charge high prices to Medicare.  Defense attorney Kirk Ogrosky said about the outcome, "We're terribly disappointed.  He cares very deeply about his patients and he tried very hard to help them."  Melgen's other attorney, Matthew Menchel, told the jury during closing arguments that while Melgen did make mistakes over the course of his practice, he was not guilty of any crimes.  A sentencing hearing is set for July 14, and Dr. Melgen faces between 15 and 20 years in prison.

Illegal accused of $1.5 million food stamp scam cuts tracking bracelet, on the run.  Massachusetts State Police are on a manhunt for Martin Santiago, an illegal immigrant from the Dominican Republic accused of running a multi-million dollar food stamp scam.  Santiago, 49, failed to show up for trial Thursday [4/27/2017] to face charges related to a $1.5 million scam to sell food stamps and launder cash through three stores he owns in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and police soon realized he's on the run, The Boston Herald reports.

Feds Probe Massive Food Stamp Fraud at Portland Halal Market.  Federal authorities are investigating a Portland business owner in connection with suspected welfare fraud that they say cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Portland.  Investigators say Ali Daham, owner of the Ahram Halal Market on Forest Avenue, used his business to perpetrate a cash-back scheme that turned food stamp benefits into cash, and that he pocketed a portion of the funds.

Baltimore: Muslim Retailer Gets 18 Months in $3.5M Food Stamp Fraud.  U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Muhammad Sarmad, age 41, of Nottingham, Maryland, to 18 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to illegally redeem food stamp benefits in exchange for cash.  At the sentencing on March 27, 2017, Judge Bennett also ordered that Sarmad pay restitution of $3,550,662.

Liberals Angry as State Auditor Plans to Add Photos to Food Stamp Cards in Ohio.  Ohio State Auditor, David Yost, has found loopholes in the $2.5 billion food stamp program leaving the door wide open for FRAUD!  Yes, I know you're surprised that there could ever be fraud linked with the welfare system, but it's a sad SHOCKING truth.  They decided to fix that by requiring pictures on the actual EBT cards... actions like THIS will not sit well with Liberals.  It all started when Yost teamed up with two Republicans to create a plan to add photo ID to food stamp cards in hopes to prevent fraud.  The problem is, the Left won't even allow a photo ID requirement when it comes to voting, saying that it disenfranchises voters... so imagine what they're saying about this move to put pictures on EBT cards.

Ex-state worker sent to prison after stealing $82k in government aid.  A former state clerk will spend three years in prison for falsifying employment records to collect government assistance meant for poor people.  Tonia Ramaza-Williams, 40, collected more than $82,000 in benefits, Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino said in a statement.  Mercer County Superior Court Judge Timothy P. Lydon sentenced the Willingboro woman Friday [1/27/2017] to three years in prison.  Ramaza-Williams pleaded guilty Nov. 28 to theft by unlawful taking.

IRS Sent $46,378,040 in Refunds to 23,994 'Unauthorized' Aliens at One Atlanta Address.  The Internal Revenue Service sent 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 to "unauthorized" alien workers who all used the same address in Atlanta, Ga., in 2011, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).  That was not the only Atlanta address theoretically used by thousands of "unauthorized" alien workers receiving millions in federal tax refunds in 2011.  In fact, according to a TIGTA audit report published last year, four of the top ten addresses to which the IRS sent thousands of tax refunds to "unauthorized" aliens were in Atlanta.  The IRS sent 11,284 refunds worth a combined $2,164,976 to unauthorized alien workers at a second Atlanta address; 3,608 worth $2,691,448 to a third; and 2,386 worth $1,232,943 to a fourth.

GOP Shouldn't Be Intimidated by Democrats' Threats in Obamacare Fight.  TennCare was created by Democratic governor Ned McWherter, who in 1993 won a waiver from the Clinton administration allowing him to expand his state's Medicaid program for the poor.  "For the first time, we have the chance to provide affordable health coverage for every Tennessean without bankrupting our state," McWherter boasted back then.  His words eventually became as infamous as President Obama's "If you like your plan, you can keep it."  McWherter was right that TennCare expanded coverage.  The number of state residents getting Medicare nearly doubled in just seven years.  Services were expanded, and utilization rates predictably exploded.  But the quality of care deteriorated, the waiting times for doctor's appointments shot up, and fraud became rampant.  A 1999 state audit found that TennCare was paying the bills for 14,000 dead people and 16,500 people who lived out of state, and that 20 percent of all enrollees were ineligible for the program.

Food-Stamp Recipients Can Order from Amazon, Other Online Retailers.  Under the Obama expansion SNAP has suffered a multitude of serious problems.  Back in 2012 a federal investigation uncovered evidence that food-stamp recipients were using the benefit to buy drugs, weapons and other contraband from unscrupulous vendors.  A year later Judicial Watch broke a story, based on testimony and other evidence provided by a whistleblower, about the U.S. government knowingly giving illegal immigrants food stamps for decades.  That was followed by another disturbing scheme in which SNAP benefits were being sold online using social media such as Facebook, Twitter and ecommerce websites like Craigslist and eBay.  Earlier this year federal authorities in south Florida busted the largest food-stamp fraud operation in U.S. history.

'Injured' Worker Taught Kickboxing While Claiming $37K in Workers' Comp.  A Verizon worker collected more than $37,000 in workers' comp while teaching kickboxing in a Staten Island dojo.  Eugene Reems, 49, of Midland Beach, pleaded guilty Monday to stealing the workers' compensation while teaching classes at CKO Kickboxing in Westerleigh, Staten Island, state Inspector General Cathrine Leahy Scott and Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon announced.  Among evidence gathered was video showing him using his martial arts skills on a punching bag.

Elizabeth shopkeeper admits to $1M food stamp fraud.  The owner of an Elizabeth convenience store on Tuesday admitted to fraudulently collecting more than $1 million in federal Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program benefits, better known as food stamps.  Charles Silva, owner of the Checkpoint Mini Mart, was charged in October after investigators from U.S. Department of Agriculture said Silva and his employees repeatedly traded cash for food stamp purchases made by undercover officers.  Court records show Silva pleaded guilty Tuesday [11/22/2016] to a single count of theft of government funds under a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office.

2 accused in $3 million food assistance fraud.  An Oak Creek woman and her son have been indicted on allegations of stealing $3 million from the federal government through a benefits program intended to help the poor, according to court records.  The indictment, released late Wednesday, says the fraud was committed at Family Super Saver store, 2301 W. Hopkins St., from 2009 to 2014.  The indictment was handed down by the grand jury Tuesday [11/1/2016].  Elham M. "Brenda" Abdul Rahim and Ahmad Zaki Abdul Rahim were both indicted on a count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.  Elham Rahim also was indicted on counts of fraud and unauthorized use of food stamps, while Ahmad Rahim was also indicted on a count of lying to investigators from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Thousands of dead Pennsylvanians received public assistance benefits.  An audit of the Department of Human Services found thousands of dollars in state public assistance benefit funds were paid out to recipients who were already deceased, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said Thursday [9/29/2016].  According to the audit, 2,324 recipients who were already dead received $693,161 in public assistance funds on their EBT accounts between July 2013 and June 2014.

Meet a Family of Dirtbag Immigrants Who Deserve Quick Deportations.  Americans are wondering what do to about illegal immigrants who have been present and living in the country for years.  Here is one family of immigrants who should all be deported, post haste.  Meet Ahmed Alshami, the owner of the IGA Express Mart, a corner deli in Buffalo, NY. [...] Alshami, 37, is being held on $2 million bail after being charged with welfare fraud.  He's accused of criminal possession of public benefit cards, misuse of food stamps and criminal use of a public benefit card for defrauding the welfare system.  Alshami's little scheme consisted of buying food stamp cards (EBT cards) from people willing to sell them for cash, and would generally pay them half their worth.  He would then use the food stamps to purchase items from "big box" stores for use in his store.  He ran this scam between October, 2014, and March, 2016, making purchases that totaled a little over $3800.  But he didn't stop there.

Following arraignment on food stamp fraud, deli owner Muslim immigrant's wife and daughter [exhibit defiance].  Deli owner Ahmed Alshami is being held on $2-million bond in Erie County New York on multiple charges of food stamp fraud and burglary. [...] Of course, Ahmed is entitled to the presumption of innocence.  But his wife and daughter are already guilty of being anti-American immigrants who should not be here, but nevertheless are because we lack extreme vetting.

Food Stamp Fraud Continues to Subsidize the Hijrah.  It isn't just in Baltimore that colonists subsidize the hijrah with food stamp fraud. [...] Thanks to the government's generosity with our money, members of the "refugee" community have plenty of EBT benefits to sell.

Homeless hotel owner questioned:  NY state senator calls for federal probe.  PIX 11 News has learned that a state senator is asking the district attorney to investigate Mayor Bill de Blasio, the Department of Homeless Services and the owner of the Holiday Inn Express in Maspeth, Queens, to ensure there is "no illegal activity taking place" regarding the hotel that is set to begin housing homeless families in the near future.  The Holiday Inn Express, owned by Harshad Patel — a man who was involved in a 2011 bribery scandal — is being considered for use as a homeless shelter.  State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Queens) has asked U.S. Southern District Attorney Preet Bharara to investigate the issue.

Deli owner accused of accepting food stamps as payment for K2.  An East Harlem deli owner was arrested Thursday [9/1/2016] for letting New Yorkers use taxpayer-funded food stamps to buy illegal drugs and cigarettes, authorities said.  Yousif Mosleh, who operates a deli at 125th Street and Lexington Avenue and owns another one nearby, was charged in Manhattan federal court with distributing controlled substances and violating US laws governing food stamps.  He faces up to 45 years in prison.  The feds said he let government cooperators buy "K2," a synthetic form of marijuana, using their EBT cards, a type of debit card for low-income families.

Food stamp fraud bust in Baltimore, check out the names, see a pattern?  I swear this is connected to the Investor visa program and it makes me wonder if they have training programs abroad in how to buy convenience stores in the US and rip off the dumb (infidel) Americans!

Alabama: Massive food stamp fraud bust; some of your money went to Yemen.  Longtime readers know that the subject of food stamp fraud perpetrated by immigrant managers and owners of mom & pop convenience stores has been a hobby of mine here at RRW.  I have probably written a hundred posts on the topic over the years after I witnessed it happening near where I live in 2007 (at the same time the refugees were arriving here).  Recently, I haven't written much on the subject simply because there are not enough hours in the day.  And, it is a side issue because, although refugees are heavily using food stamps, most of the perps running these stores are not refugees but got in to the US through other mostly LEGAL means.

14 Arrested In Raids Related to $16 Million Food Stamp Fraud.  More than a dozen retail store operators in and around Baltimore have been charged in connection to a huge food stamp and wire fraud scheme.  The indictments allege the retailers received more than $16 million in federal payments for transactions in which they did not provide any food, a fraud scheme commonly known as "food stamp trafficking."  Retailers must apply to and be approved by the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service to participate in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, which helps low income families afford nutritious foods.

Why food stamp fraud is 'fairly rampant' at corner stores in some Chicago neighborhoods.  Since October 2014, more than 140 stores in Chicago and another 34 in suburban Cook County have been permanently disqualified from the $75 billion federal food stamps program, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.  All but one of them were kicked out for trafficking, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Alabama: Immigrant grocery store owner sentenced, ordered to pay $5.2M in food stamp fraud.  Like burqa bank robberies, the rise in food stamp fraud (click for more) coinciding with the growing Muslim population is likely just a coincidence.  In this latest case, Hasan Ahmed is a US citizen who apparently doesn't speak English.  That didn't stop him from running an elaborate scheme to rob taxpayers of more than $5.2 million dollars.

Worcester woman behind $3.6M food stamp fraud gets year in jail.  A federal judge Monday [7/11/2016] sentenced a local woman to a year in jail and ordered her to forfeit $3.5 million and pay restitution in what lawyers said was the largest food stamp fraud case in Massachusetts history.  Vida Ofori Causey, 46, owner of J&W Aseda Plaza at 753 Main St., pleaded guilty in December to charges of conspiracy to commit Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits fraud, SNAP fraud, and money laundering in a $3.6 million cash-for-benefits scheme.

Maine Entitlement Reforms, Audits Cut 'SNAP' Fraud.  Entitlement reforms in Maine have led to a decline in the amount of fraud occurring in the state's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), state officials report.  In February, state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Commissioner Mary Mayhew said the value of Maine Food Supplement Program transactions occurring in other states significantly declined between 2011 and 2015.  In 2011, individuals receiving SNAP funds, distributed to electronic benefit transaction (EBT) cards issued through the state's Food Supplement Program, improperly spent $15.9 million in other states.  In 2015, entitlement spending outside the state had declined by more than 44 percent, to $8.9 million.  Liam Sigaud, a policy analyst with the Maine Heritage Policy Center, says out-of-state SNAP transactions are a red flag indicating potential entitlement fraud.  "One of the big issues in the past has been the use of EBT cards out of state, in exchange for drugs," Sigaud said.  "The drug trade in Massachusetts and New York had several investigations into drug dealers.  They have revealed in the past that EBT cards are frequently used as a currency.  That was quite a shocker."

Dem who opposed welfare fraud measure indicted — for food stamp fraud.  An Arizona Democratic lawmaker who once voted against welfare fraud protections in her state has been indicted on felony charges of defrauding the food stamp program.  According to the indictment unsealed earlier this week, state Rep. Cecilia Velasquez was charged with three felony counts:  unlawful use of food stamps, fraudulent schemes and practices, and theft.  The Arizona Department of Economic Security began investigating Velasquez in 2014.  According to the Arizona DES, Velasquez fraudulently used $1,726 worth of food stamps between 2013 and 2015.

Florida: 3 Muslims Busted in Homestead Food Stamp Fraud, 4 at Large.  Three men are in custody, and four remain at large in connection to a food stamp fraud at a Save Way Food Market, Homestead police said.  The arrests happened Wednesday [6/22/2016] and are the result of a a three year investigation by Homestead police, the Florida Department of Financial Services and the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office.  The offices were investigating unlawful trafficking and fraudulent use of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, and electronic benefit transfer, or EBT cards at store, located in the 700 block of Southwest Eighth Avenue.  The scam would work by a food stamp recipient coming into the store and telling the owner or an employee that they'd like to trade their food stamp in for cash, police said.  The customers would then be offered 50 cents on the dollar, a police report said, and then the employee or owner would query the recipients EBT card to determine the balance.

Seven 'public servants' indicted for Food Stamp fraud.  It made barely a ripple in the national last week when initially reported, but seven state workers in Delaware were indicted for Food Stamp fraud totaling nearly a million dollars, with five arrested and two others at large. [...] The fraud was preposterously easy for the "public servants," whose work involved handing out free money to members of the public who may or may not qualify (Food Stamp fraud is rampant).

7 DHSS workers indicted on food benefit program theft.  A months-long investigation by state and federal agencies revealed that the former case workers defrauded the U.S. government of more than $959,000. [...] The Audit and Recovery Management Services unit found that seven employees created more than 100 fictitious SNAP cases to procure electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards that could be used to purchase food.  The EBT program is an electronic system that allows state welfare departments to issue benefits via a magnetically encoded payment card.

Commissioner says fraud from Obamaphone program approaching $500 million.  The federal subsidy known as the "Obamaphone" or "Obamanet" program could be losing nearly $500 million to fraud annually, according to a top Republican on the Federal Communications Commission.  Commissioner Ajit Pai made the accusation Wednesday in letter to the Universal Service Administrative Company, referring to the FCC's Universal Service Fund, which provides a monthly $9.95 subsidy for telecom service to low-income consumers.  The subsidy is limited to one per "independent economic household," or IEH, but telecom companies have the ability to override that restriction if applicants check a box stating they represent a separate household, even if they have the same address.

$13M food stamp scheme busted; 22 people charged.  Opa-locka Fruit and Produce Market didn't just sell fruits and vegetables.  Instead, owners Karla Rodriguez Diaz and Luis Marzo Machado allegedly used their produce market inside the Opa-locka Hialeah Flea Market to bilk the government out of $2.4 million, Wifredo A. Ferrer, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida, said Wednesday [5/18/2016].  Diaz and Machado were two of 22 people charged in 15 cases Wednesday in "Operation Stampede," organized to bust business owners and their employees who allowed customers to use their government-issued EBT food stamp card as a means to get cash, in exchange for a cut.  In total, Ferrer said there were more than $13 million in fraudulent food stamp transactions stemming from markets throughout South Florida, the largest food stamp fraud take-down in U.S. history.

Loophole Allows People to Receive Disability and Unemployment at the Same Time.  The Government Accountability Office's (GAO) comptroller general testified at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing Wednesday [4/13/2016] that the federal government can save over $1 billion over a few years if it closes a loophole that allows people who receive disability benefits to also receive unemployment benefits at the same time.

'Mr. Social Security' Indicted in $600 Million Disability Fraud Scheme.  Eric C. Conn, a flashy Kentucky lawyer who called himself "Mr. Social Security," was arrested for his alleged role in a $600 million federal disability fraud scheme, according to an indictment that was unsealed Tuesday [4/5/2016].  Conn, David Daugherty, and Alfred Adkins, a clinical psychologist who performed medical evaluations for Conn seven years, were charged in an 18-count indictment on Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky.  Conn was arrested on Tuesday, and the indictment was unsealed.  Conn's law firm was the centerpiece of a two-year investigation that concluded in 2013 led by former Sen.  Tom Coburn (R., Okla.), who found the lawyer was working with discredited doctors who provided phony medical evidence for thousands of disability claims, which were then signed off on by Administrative Law Judge David B. Daugherty.

Supreme Court Rules Against Freezing Assets Not Tied to Crimes.  The government may not freeze assets needed to pay criminal defense lawyers if the assets are not linked to a crime, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday [3/30/2016] in a 5-to-3 decision that scrambled the usual alliances.  The case arose from the prosecution of Sila Luis, a Florida woman, on charges of Medicare fraud that, according to the government, involved $45 million in charges for unneeded or nonexistent services.  Almost all of Ms.  Luis's profits from the fraud, prosecutors said, had been spent by the time charges were filed.

7th Ward corner store operators sentenced for food-stamp fraud.  A federal judge on Wednesday (March 23) sentenced three operators of a 7th Ward corner store in a food stamp fraud scheme that netted the trio of defendants $1.1 million, according to U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite's office.  Kenner resident Taysir Muhammad, 46, received a 34-month prison sentence.  Eugene Tums, 68, and his 45-year-old daughter Kathy Tumbs, both of New Orleans, received five years probation.  All three previously pleaded guilty.  Prosecutors say they allowed customers at the Frenchmen Meat Market to purchase ineligible products with federally funded food stamps, and to exchange the food stamps for cash.  They charged customers an additional fee for the service, prosecutors say, and then structured transactions to avoid currency transaction reporting requirement.

Man commits food stamp fraud, escapes jail time because he's an immigrant.  A Massachusetts store owner was reportedly given a reduced sentenced with no jail time Tuesday [3/22/2016] in a food stamp fraud case because he is an immigrant.  Julio Rodriguez used his position owning Bethania's Fish & Meat Market to trade benefits for cash.  He was able to scam the system for an estimated $46,000 between September and December, 2014.  Hampden Superior Court Judge Tina S. Page reduced the sentence to not include incarceration so Rodriguez would not be deported.  Rodriguez is in the country on a green card.  "Had he been a citizen of the U.S. he would in all likelihood be serving a substantial sentence," Page said, according to MassLive.com.

IG: Families fake disabilities to get $733 per month per kid.  The Social Security Administration approved disability payments to children with fake disabilities, giving families over $700 each month per child.  The agency's inspector general said families receiving cash benefits for multiple children raise red flags for fraud, identifying one case where a man was able to receive $77,000 a year in benefits claiming disabilities for all eight of his children.  The inspector general released an audit last week finding evidence that parents are "coaching" their children into pretending they are disabled in order to receive benefits.

Leaders of polygamous sect arrested in Utah food stamp fraud.  Several top leaders from Warren Jeffs' polygamous sect were arrested Tuesday [2/23/2016] on federal accusations of food stamp fraud and money laundering — marking one of the biggest crackdowns on the group in years.

Missouri: Seven Muslims plead guilty in $1.7M food stamp fraud.  Muslim migrants to the U.S. don't just pose a terror threat.  Muslim food stamp fraud is a multi-billion dollar enterprise.  Muslim Medicaid fraud is another.

Muslim food stamp fraud.  Dozens of anecdotes.

Muslim Medicaid fraud.  Dozens of anecdotes.

City workers steal more than $2 million in food stamps, use funds to buy Red Bull in bulk and resell it, Department of Investigation charges.  A pair of corrupt [New York C]ity bureaucrats ripped off more than $2 million in food stamps and public assistance over the last five years — even using stolen benefits to buy Red Bull in bulk and resell it, the city Department of Investigation announced Tuesday [12/1/2015].  Two Human Resources Administration workers were charged Tuesday with recruiting dozens of welfare recipients and others to game the system out of millions of taxpayer dollars between 2008 and 2013.  Eleven co-conspirators were busted as well.  HRA supervisor Cherrise Watson-Jackson, 44, created fake electronic benefit transfer cards to generate $120,000, which was used to buy cases of Red Bull from BJ's Wholesale Club, prosecutors said.

N.J. postal workers charged with stealing unemployment benefits.  State authorities have charged nine current and former U.S. Postal Service workers with each stealing $2,000 to $9,000 through fraudulent unemployment insurance claims. [...] According to the Attorney General's Office, the nine workers "purposely misrepresented their unemployment status, or their hours worked and income earned" to the state labor department.  Between 2010 and 2015, they collected a combined $49,564 in unemployment benefits, authorities said.

$11 Billion in Excess Disability Payments Found by GAO.  Congress is bailing out the financially troubled Social Security Disability Insurance program as part of a two-year bipartisan budget deal that received final approval on Friday [10/30/2015].  The costly program — which provides $143 billion annually to 11 million people unable to work because of significant illness or impairment — has undergone intense scrutiny by lawmakers and the Government Accountability Office.  It will undergo substantial reforms in the coming months in order to reduce wasteful spending and fraud that have jeopardized the program's financial stability.

Faked mental defects let Arlington family collect public funds for decades, feds say.  Doreen Mitchell's ploy worked for 37 years, despite investigators' suspicions that her behavior was a well-rehearsed hoax.  Authorities say Mitchell, 53, first applied for disability benefits in 1978 when she was 15 years old, "alleging visual and auditory hallucinations."  But examiners could not determine her intelligence level then because she answered most of their questions by just saying "I don't know."  Through this year, authorities say, Mitchell and her two sons — Michael Mitchell, 29, and Sonny Mitchell, 27 — have scammed the government out of $461,900 with their bogus disability claims.

Woman admits storing 93-year-old mom's corpse while she cashed checks for a year.  [Mary] Kersting admitted she stole more than $13,000 in Ruller's Social Security and pension benefits.

Man sentenced in food stamp and tax fraud; had sent money to family in Yemen.  The owner of a Southside Birmingham grocery store was sentenced Thursday [9/10/2015] to three years and a month in federal prison for his guilty plea to one count of tax fraud and one count of food stamp fraud totaling more than $1.6 million.  Sufyan Hazem Saleh, 33, of Birmingham, was ordered by U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor to serve three years on supervised probation after his release.  Saleh is to report to prison Dec. 9, the judge stated.  Saleh also was among those arrested in June in a state food stamp fraud roundup.  That probe, dubbed Operation T-bone, targeted those they law enforcement say cheated the food stamp system out of hundreds of thousands of dollars and sent at least some of the profits via wire transfer to Yemen.

Muslims are Busted in Massive Welfare Fraud Scam... Anyone Surprised?  What do illegal immigrants flooding our borders have to do with Muslims perpetrating welfare fraud? Well, as the southern border becomes more porous and it becomes easier to illegally enter the United States, more Muslims will undoubtedly come — and judging by the massive welfare fraud committed by Muslims in Michigan, that could be a big problem for taxpayers.

Sources: Nation's disabled work program mired in corruption, fraud.  The nation's premier federal program that provides work for people who are severely disabled is mired in widespread corruption, financial fraud and violations of the law, numerous sources tell CNN.  And instead of helping the severely disabled find work, the taxpayer-funded agency is at times allowing jobs to be taken away from the disabled, the sources say.

FCC Commissioner 'Outraged' At What CBS4 Investigation Revealed About Free Phone Program.  Federal Communications Commission Commissioner Ajit Pai says a CBS4 probe of a government cellphone program revealed fraud, waste and abuse in the government's Lifeline cellphone program that he called "shocking."  "The CBS4 story highlighted the fact that in places there are no safeguards, workers are signing up people using fraudulent certifications," said Pai, one of five FCC commissioners.

New Jersey man sentenced to 18 years in prison for role in stealing $1.5M in jobless benefits.  A Newark man was sentenced Friday [6/26/2015] to 18 years in prison for his role in an unemployment fraud scheme that authorities said was one of the largest in state history.

Feds announce nationwide health care fraud sweeps.  Health care fraud sweeps across the country have led to charges against 243 people, including doctors, nurses and pharmacy owners accused of bilking Medicare and Medicaid, the government announced Thursday [6/18/2015].

Feds shelled out $125B in bogus payments last year.  The government paid out $124.7 billion in potentially bogus payments last year, the government's chief watchdog said Monday [3/16/2015], blaming a controversial tax credit for the poor as well as increased bad payments in Medicare and Medicaid.  One major problem is tracking when Americans die — the Social Security Administration admitted last week that its rolls are filled with names of more than 6 million folks who are listed as 112 years of age or older.

New York, Louisiana, Texas top Medicaid fraud recoveries in 2014 ranking.  Law enforcement nationwide recovered more than $2 billion through Medicaid fraud investigations in 2014, with New York state representing almost one-fifth of the money.  The Department of Health and Human Services inspector general released a state-by-state breakdown of money recovered by Medicaid Fraud Control Units, law enforcement tasked to act against individuals or entities taking advantage of Medicaid.  New York had the most success with more than 100 convictions.  It also recovered $378 million, one and a half times more than Louisiana, which compiled the second highest total of recoveries.

Social Security IG probe turns up check-cashing Texas daughter's dead parents.  An ongoing Social Security fraud investigation that led authorities to dead bodies in a Kentucky storage unit and a Texas yard has also landed a woman behind bars for at least a decade.  Officials with the Social Security Administration's Office of the Inspector General discovered the remains of a long-deceased man who had supposedly been cashing his Social Security checks for decades while looking into a suspected case of fraud this January.  In April, DNA tests confirmed the remains were those of Luther Broughton, a Texas man whose daughter Judith had concealed her father's body since his death in 1990 in order to continue collecting his Social Security payments.

Food stamp fraud rampant: GAO report.  Americans receiving food stamps were caught selling and bartering their benefits online for art, housing and cash, according to a new federal report that investigates fraud in the nation's largest nutrition support program.  Complicating the situation is the fact states around the country are having trouble tracking and prosecuting the crimes because their enforcement budgets have been slashed despite the rapidly-rising number of food stamp recipients, according to the Government Accountability Office report.

Medical Transportation Company Owner Pleads Guilty to Billing Medicaid for Dead People's Rides.  Unfortunately for Cynthia Keegan, dead men do tell tales.  Keegan, 51, owns a van company that provided nonemergency rides for wheelchair-bound MassHealth patients.  Some of the patients she billed MassHealth for, it turned out, had not used the service.  Because they were dead.  In September, Keegan was indicted on seven counts of larceny and seven counts of making false claims to Medicaid for billing MassHealth for nearly 10,000 rides that never happened, using the names of a dozen nursing home patients and 47 people who had previously ceased to be.  Those rides never actually happened because Keegan's Cross Roads Trolley is a wheelchair van company, not a hearse company.

Police: Wilkes County restaurant owner bought food with food stamps.  The owner of a North Wilkesboro restaurant was arrested on suspicion of illegally using others' food stamps to buy food for his establishment.  Herbert Dean Carlton, 54, was charged Monday with 14 counts of illegal possession and use of food stamp cards.

Welfare Cash for Weed in Colorado.  For the past six months, welfare beneficiaries in Colorado have repeatedly withdrawn their cash benefits at marijuana retailers and dispensaries, according to a new analysis by National Review Online.  Such apparent abuses have caught the eye of Colorado's executive and legislative powers alike, and the state has launched an effort to curb them.  At least 259 times in the first six months of legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado, beneficiaries used their electronic-benefit transfer (EBT) cards to access public assistance at weed retailers and dispensaries, withdrawing a total of $23,608.53 in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash, NRO's examination found.

Unfathomable billions in government waste.  Improper payments result when people collect money from government programs for which they are ineligible.  For example, paying unemployment insurance to people who are secretly working is an improper payment, and needlessly adds to the already out-of-control deficit.  The GAO thinks it's likely the amount of improper payments is even higher than the $105.8 billion reported.  In its own words, "the federal government's inability to determine the full extent to which improper payments occur" represents a serious limitation on their estimates.  Some programs, such as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families welfare program, do not bother reporting estimates of improper payments at all.

Food Stamps Sold on Facebook, eBay; U.S. Spends $7 Mil to Crack Down on Fraud.  It's bad enough that the Obama administration has shattered records by spending a mind-boggling $80.4 billion to give a record number of people free groceries, now it's dedicating millions more to crack down on fraud that includes using social media to illegally sell and buy food stamps online.  It's an outrageous and senseless waste of taxpayer dollars to allow a government handout program to become so bloated that it requires such a huge allocation to counter corruption.  Judicial Watch has reported extensively on the fraud surrounding the government's scandal-plagued food stamp program in the last few years.  Under President Obama, the food stamp rolls are busting, with a record 50 million people getting free food from Uncle Sam.

Food Stamps Sold on Facebook, eBay; U.S. Spends $7 Mil to Crack Down on Fraud.  It's bad enough that the Obama administration has shattered records by spending a mind-boggling $80.4 billion to give a record number of people free groceries, now it's dedicating millions more to crack down on fraud that includes using social media to illegally sell and buy food stamps online.  It's an outrageous and senseless waste of taxpayer dollars to allow a government handout program to become so bloated that it requires such a huge allocation to counter corruption.  Judicial Watch has reported extensively on the fraud surrounding the government's scandal-plagued food stamp program in the last few years.  Under President Obama, the food stamp rolls are busting, with a record 50 million people getting free food from Uncle Sam.  Recipients include illegal immigrants thanks to a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the agency that distributes food stamps, and the Mexican government. Last year JW uncovered records that show the agency has teamed up with Mexico to promote participation by illegal aliens in the U.S. food stamp program.

Half a step in the right direction:
State begins producing photo ID EBT cards.  The state is now issuing EBT cards with a photo ID on them.  Governor Paul LePage says this will help stop fraud and abuse, but [D]emocrats say it's a waste of time and money. [...] Julie Parker is a clerk at Paul's Food Center on Congress Street in Portland.  Parker points out that store clerks can't refuse an EBT card even if the person using it doesn't match the picture on it, as long as that person knows the pin number.

A Heartbreaking Unspoken Consequence of Obama.  Decades of socialist/progressive indoctrination in our schools, media, and culture, plus six years of Obama, have yielded a devastating unspoken consequence. [...] An unprecedented 47 million Americans are on food stamps, which is riddled with fraud.  The Obama administration has added over 10,000 new oppressive job-killing regulations.  Consequently, 90 million are unemployed and on unemployment, which is also riddled with fraud.  Here's another first for America:  over 11 million are receiving disability benefits... riddled with fraud.  Clearly, many believe that working is for suckers when the government is handing out freebies.

Free school lunch fraud in NJ districts leads to charges against 6 across the state.  Six public officials face possible prison time after they were charged today [6/23/2014] with filing fraudulent applications for free school lunch for their children — accused of stealing $10,000 in benefits, despite household incomes that in some cases exceeded $100,000.  All six, charged with third-degree theft by deception, face up to three to five years in state prison and fines of up to $15,000, if convicted.  The charges come in a wake of a report by the Office of the State Comptroller, which found what it called "widespread fraud" in the National School Lunch Program throughout New Jersey school districts.

Atlantans charged in 'massive' food stamp fraud.  Just two months after Georgia reached an agreement to reimburse the federal government for over payments in a nutrition program for poor people, 36 metro Atlantans were indicted along with 18 others for alleged fraud involving the trading of more than $18 million in WIC vouchers and food stamps for cash through bogus grocery stores.  The defendants were charged in a federal indictment unsealed Tuesday [6/10/2014] in Savannah that the FBI called "massive" and said represents "one of the largest federal food program frauds ever prosecuted."

NJ grocer convicted in $2.5M food stamps scam gets 37 months in prison.  A New Jersey man who managed a grocery store is going to prison for 37 months for stealing more than $2.5 million through a food stamps scheme.

Louisville business owner accused of illegally obtaining food stamps.  The owner of a Louisville child care center has been arrested after police say she obtained public assistance under false pretenses.  According to an arrest warrant, 43-year-old Dalephonia Booker is the owner of the Big Happy Family child care center, which earned a gross income of $592,470 between Aug. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2012.  But during this period, authorities say Booker applied for and received food stamps, Kentucky Transitional Assistance Program (K-TAP) medical assistance benefits and Medicaid benefits for her household.

Feds Begin Fingerprinting 'High Risk' Medicare Providers and Suppliers.  Four years after Obamacare became law, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is notifying Medicare providers and suppliers of new fingerprint-based background checks. [...] The provision is part of the Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP Program Integrity Provisions (Title E) of the Affordable Care Act, and gives the HHS secretary broad discretion in applying the background check requirements depending on the potential for abuse, fraud, and/or waste.

Wealthy Minn. couple wanted for welfare fraud arrested in Florida.  Andrea Lynne Chisholm, 54, and Colin A.J. Chisholm III, 62, portrayed themselves to neighbors and business associates as Scottish royalty and to aid workers as paupers, authorities say.  They were charged in March with making $167,420 in fraudulent medical and food-stamp claims in Florida and Minnesota from 2005 to 2012, a time when they had several million dollars in bank accounts, owned a $1.2 million yacht and ran a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel pedigree breeding business that produced an award-winning dog at the Westminster dog show.

Welfare cheats lived on $1.2M yacht, lawyer says.  A nationwide warrant is out for a Minnesota couple who allegedly received over $167,000 in public assistance while living on a $1.2 million yacht in Florida, reports CBS Minnesota.  Colin Chisholm III, 62, and Andrea Chisholm, 54, are facing one count of wrongfully obtaining public assistance of more than $35,000, which is a felony charge.  The couple's whereabouts are currently unknown.

Louisiana Strips Food Stamp Fraud Suspects of Benefits.  On Monday [2/24/2014], Louisiana's Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) stripped six citizens of their food stamp benefits because they took advantage of an October glitch with EBT cards to overspend their monthly allowance.  DCFS added that 25 more people were going to be disqualified as well.  On October 11-12, in Springhill and Mansfield, Louisiana, cards indicated they had no spending limits, and more than 12,000 people took advantage to overspend.  One woman had an EBT card with a balance of 49 cents but still had $700 worth of goods in her shopping cart.  DCFS is targeting 500 of those people whom they call the "most egregious transgressors."

Heroin Kingpin Busted in Florida is an Illegal Alien on Food Stamps.  Yet another welfare and illegal alien insanity story — while amnesty pimps like Sen. Dick Durbin keep telling us "undocumented immigrants can't collect welfare".  The head of the largest heroin operation in Polk County, FL history, along with numerous others who work for him, are illegal aliens who collect foodstamps.  Four of the operation's women also collect WIC payments.  In addition to raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in drug money, the ringleader collected $900 every month from the government.

GOP senator wants to require photo IDs for food stamp purchases.  The federal government could prevent food stamp fraud by requiring Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program beneficiaries to show a photo ID when purchasing items with their benefits, according to Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter.  Moved by the October outage of the Electronic Benefits Transfer system in over a dozen states (including Louisiana) — which resulted in many EBT cards showing no credit limits and some beneficiaries reacting by purchasing well beyond their limits — Vitter introduced a bill Wednesday to require food stamp recipients to show a photo ID when making SNAP purchases.

Food stamps at pot shops banned under Colo. bill.  A bill proposed this week by several Republicans would add marijuana dispensaries to liquor stores, gun shops and casinos as places where recipients of public assistance payments and food stamps can't use their electronic benefits cards to access cash.

LePage says EBT card fraud 'far bigger' problem than he imagined, plans deeper investigation.  Using existing resources within the Department of Health and Human Services, Gov. Paul LePage will launch an investigation into potential fraud of EBT cards.  Speaking to State House reporters on Thursday, LePage said that initial conversations with DHHS officials and law enforcement have shown him the problem is "far bigger than I would ever, ever have imagined."  He said early indications reveal fraud that would be measured "not in the thousands" but in seven digits.

New York City's Disability Grifters.  More than a hundred people were indicted today for fraudulently obtaining Social Security disability benefits, constituting one of the biggest such fraud busts of all time.  At a news conference in Manhattan Tuesday afternoon [1/7/2014], federal and local officials described a 26-year-old scheme through which 102 people — including 72 New York City Police retirees and eight retired New York firefighters — allegedly collected Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) fraudulently.  A number of the 102 indicted have already been arrested.

Florida sheriff's undercover sting busts $2.8M welfare fraud scam.  A food stamp fraud scheme that accepted benefits cards that are supposed to help feed poor people was making some people richer by almost $3 million — at taxpayer expense.  The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office has broken up a ring that used electronic benefit transfer cards — EBTs — to convert payments that should have been used for groceries into cash, with one mom-and-pop store getting a 50 percent mark-up to make the payments.  The scam took the federal government for $2.8 million, television stations reported.

Don't Forget the Other Entitlement Monsters.  I have lived and shopped for food in socio-economically mixed neighborhoods for nearly 40 years, and have repeatedly seen people buying groceries with food stamps.  During that time, I have frequently seen people with the SNAP two-piles:  the goods food stamps pay for, and the other products like liquor, beer, and cigarettes.  In the food pile, I cannot remember ever seeing bulk rice, beans, meat, or the other groceries one would expect the poor to buy.  More typically, pricey products like processed foods, chips, snacks, sodas, cereal, and other nutritionally toxic items make up most of the pile.  I have stood in line behind people in $100 sneakers and expensive NFL jackets, and more than once followed such shoppers to the parking lot and seen them get into cars better than the one I was driving.

Obama using food-stamp cash to fund Michelle's 'Let's Move'.  On Nov. 1, sizable cuts were gouged into the federal food-stamp program (or, as it's now called, SNAP, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), which feeds 47.6 million people, or nearly one in six Americans.  In the city, 1.9 million folks get the bulk of their Jell-O and Campbell's Soup from stamps.  But news has spread among the poor, like leafy green vegetables, that it wasn't heartless Republicans who triggered the cuts.  Rather, some of the food-stamp cash was snatched to pay for Michelle Obama's pet project, Let's Move.

FL illegal on welfare for 20 years shows others how to milk [the] system.  Illegal immigrant Marita Nelson, 50, is a single mother of seven who collects $240 in food stamps, receives child support, and "government funded housing, medication and $700 a month in social security."  And she has been getting assistance for the last 20 years.  Twenty years.  Now Nelson wants others in her situation to know they can get the same help.  How she possibly collects social security isn't explained, but Harrigan reported on Florida's federal assistance recruiters who sign people — "clients" — up for "multiple federal aid programs at the same time."

Camden grocer admits role in food stamps scheme.  A New Jersey man has admitted stealing more than $2.5 million through a food stamps scheme.

Audit reveals half of people enrolled in IL Medicaid program not eligible.  [A] review of the Illinois Medicaid program confirms massive waste and fraud.  A review was ordered more than a year ago — because of concerns about waste and abuse.  So far, the state says reviewers have examined roughly 712-thousand people enrolled in Medicaid, and found that 357-thousand, or about half of them shouldn't have received benefits.  After further review, the state decided that the percentage of people who didn't qualify was actually about one out of four.

Craigslist makes turning food stamps into cash a SNAP.  Food stamp recipients are turning the government handouts into quick cash with ads on Craigslist, despite efforts to stem fraud.  The federally-funded grocery assistance coupons — which are issued by states in the form of debit cards under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — are being sold on the online bulletin board as well as auction sites like eBay.  FoxNews.com found several offerings at Craigslist sites around the country, where the sellers offered the welfare benefits at large discounts from face value.

Conn Job.  Stanville, a tiny town in eastern Kentucky, seems an unlikely place for a multimillion-dollar empire.  Yet for decades, an unscrupulous lawyer named Eric Christopher Conn has been working the Social Security disability system, securing benefits for even the most undeserving of clients, according to a new report from the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.  The report describes a lucrative scheme that involved not only Conn but also a disability judge and several doctors with bad reputations — all of whom may have profited substantially.

FCC says TracFone and other cell companies defrauded US program for the poor.  The Federal Communications Commission yesterday accused five wireless service providers of obtaining duplicate payments from a federal fund for low-income consumers.  The FCC wants the companies to repay the extra money and, in addition, to pay $14.4 million in fines.  The wireless providers allegedly violated rules of the Lifeline program, which has helped people afford basic telephone service since 1985.  It was expanded to cover pre-paid cell phone service in 2005 under former President George W. Bush.  "The violations involve thousands of consumers who had more than one Lifeline subscription from the same provider, resulting in duplicative support requests and payments," the FCC said.

American Dependency: "Give Me My Food Stamps".  As of this week fully 25% of American households — about 48 million people — are dependent on government food stamps to put food on the table.  The system is plagued with fraud on every level.  Food stamp scams are rampant, with recipients often off-loading their monthly electronic benefit transfer cards for cash value.  Mega lobbies spend tens of millions of dollars a year just to keep the pump primed and the funds flowing so that companies like Walmart and 7-11 can keep their revenues up.  Big banks, including behemoths like JP Morgan, are cashing in by providing the processing facilities to make it happen.  It's a racket.

Prison Inmates Collecting Millions in Unemployment Cash.  Overpayments in the unemployment insurance system cost taxpayers billions of dollars every year, including millions of dollars in benefits going to convicts in prisons across the nation, according to a House panel.  The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources held a hearing focusing on ways to "end cash for convicts" and improve the integrity of the unemployment insurance system.

Arizona AG: Arrests made in state's largest undercover food stamp operation seizure.  Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced the state's largest undercover food stamp fraud bust and the arrests of three individuals involved on Thursday [8/29/2013].  K & S convenience store employees Kameel Sweiss, 51, Ameer Sweis, 22, Faday Sweiss, 33, were arrested Wednesday for allegedly illegally conducting an enterprise, fraudulent schemes and artifices, money laundering, unlawful use of food stamps and computer tampering.

Feds: More Americans selling their food stamps for cash.  The percentage of Americans selling their food stamps back to stores for cash has increased by 30 percent over the past several years, according to a new Agriculture Department study. [...] The total amount of SNAP benefits is now at roughly $858 million, compared to $330 million annually in the 2006-2008 period.

Wisconsin Inmates Collect $616K in Unemployment Benefits.  Who says you can't collect unemployment in prison?  The law.  But that didn't stop hundreds of Wisconsin inmates from cashing in on hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal unemployment payments, according to information obtained by Wisconsin Reporter through an open records request.  There were 593 cases of "overpayments," or jobless benefits paid in the names of Wisconsin prisoners between July 2012 and July 2013 — to the tune of $616,248, according to state Department of Workforce Development records.

Jesse Jackson Jr. to Grab $8,700 Per Month in Disability, Plus Pension In Prison.  That generous $8,700 in disability comes thanks to Jackson's sudden development of a "mood disorder" as the federal government began looking to indict him.  Jackson, who was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison, had no history of mental illness during his prior 17 years in Congress.

N.J. comptroller's report finds HMO's fraud detection efforts lax in Medicaid.  An HMO that earned $1.7 billion from 2009 to 2010 by providing Medicaid coverage to 350,000 low-income and disabled New Jerseyans didn't try very hard to detect fraudulent billing — identifying only $1.6 million, or one-tenth of one percent in improper payouts, according to a report the Office of the State Comptroller released today.  UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of New Jersey failed to hire enough investigators and train them properly, in violation of the managed care company's contract with the state, according to the report.

NY food stamp recipients are shipping welfare-funded groceries to relatives in Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Haiti.  Food stamps are paying for trans-Atlantic takeout — with New Yorkers using taxpayer-funded benefits to ship food to relatives in Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  Welfare recipients are buying groceries with their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards and packing them in giant barrels for the trip overseas, The [New York] Post found.

Report: NY Food Stamp Recipients Shipping Taxpayer-Funded Groceries to Relatives Overseas.  Food aid is meant to help the poorest among us who do not have enough to eat.  But a report by the New York Post finds that food stamps aren't just helping Americans.

Feds Unwilling or Unable To Stop Illegal Checks.  A Long Island, N.Y., woman has spent nearly two years trying to convince the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Postal Service that persons with Hispanic-sounding surnames using her address to obtain tax refunds from the IRS are part of a fraud scheme.  She has not found a government agency that will stop the phony tax refunds from arriving in her mailbox.  Instead, federal and state authorities pass the buck.  The checks, including some offering payment for Hurricane Sandy "relief" to people who may not exist, keep coming.

This may explain why dead people vote for Democrats — to keep those monthly checks coming!
Audit finds 1,164 dead among Massachusetts welfare recipients.  A stunning $2.39 million in benefits were paid out to more than 1,160 people who were listed as dead, according to a scathing new audit of the Department of Transitional Assistance.  The report, released this afternoon by state Auditor Suzanne Bump's office, also showed where DTA failed to use technology that could have identified $15 million in questionable benefits and shelled out a $1 million more to those using fake Social Security numbers.

Deval as Holder's fill-in? That just wouldn't be just.  As governor, [Deval] Patrick has not enforced the commonwealth's laws.  EBT isn't just a mismanagement problem.  It's also a willful failure to abide by the law.  Last summer both the House and Senate overrode Patrick's veto of EBT welfare card reforms, forcing him to sign them into law.  Instead of admitting defeat and accepting the will of the Legislature, Deval announced that he would not implement them.  Deval didn't turn a blind eye to the fraud.  He opened the flood gates.

Food stamps for illegal aliens.  The dependent masses of Food Stamp Nation get a little credit card, called an EBT Card, which they can use in the checkout lines, just like people who pay for their own food.  In theory, this electronic processing of food stamp benefits should have provided a data-processing defense against abuse.  In practice, tales of outrageous abuse have only grown more common, as EBT cards are used to purchase everything from unhealthy groceries the Nanny State otherwise discourages — such as sugary carbonated beverages — to luxury foods, and even more creative uses like posting bail or tipping exotic dancers.  The latter incidents are among the many bizarre abuses that arise from the ability of EBT card holders to withdraw cash from ATM machines, at which point all public accountability for the money is lost.

Another IRS Scandal; Employees Lie to Get Welfare, Food Stamps.  On the heels of "Tax Day," 24 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees have been charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in government benefits, including food stamps, welfare and housing vouchers.  The story comes out of Tennessee, where federal prosecutors announced this month that the scheme fleeced U.S. taxpayers out of at least a quarter of a million dollars in government benefits.  The corrupt IRS employees did it by making false statements to fraudulently obtain the benefits, which also included unemployment insurance.

'Massive' Florida Food Stamp Scam Uncovered, Two Arrests Made.  A Florida food stamp scam has been uncovered, and a father and son have been arrested for allegedly purchasing EBT cards at a discount to their redeemable value and then using the benefits funds to stock store shelves.  The men arrested in the alleged Florida food stamp scam are Bassam Sale Abu Diab, 55, and son, Matthew Bassam Abu Diab, 22.  Investigators say the Diab men would pay 20 or 40 cents on the dollar for the cards, in turn using them at discount stores like Walmart to stock shelves at their own store locations.

Store owner arrested for using food stamps to stock shelves.  A convenience store owner in Daytona Beach, Fla. was arrested Monday [4/1/2013] for running a food stamp scam, using tax dollars to stock his shelves.  Bassam Abu Diab and his son Matthew were buying food stamp cards for 20 to 40 cents on the dollar and using them to shop at Walmart and Save-A-Lot stores for items they sold in their convenience store, police said, according the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Violations don't deter food stamp vendors' hunger for misuse.  Kenilworth Market, a bulletproof junk-food emporium just inside Washington, D.C.'s eastern border, sells ski masks in the dead of summer.  Its clerks steadily hawk "loosies," or illegal single-sale cigarettes.  In 2006, the federal government permanently banned its owner from accepting food stamps after it proved that the store was engaging in large-scale food stamp laundering — yet the store still does much of its business in food stamps.

Maine governor takes on USDA to fight food stamp fraud.  Maine Gov. Paul LePage blasted the United States Department of Agriculture for denying his request for a waiver to allow the state to require food stamp recipients to provide photo identification when using their electronic benefit transfer (EBT) cards as way to cut down on fraud.  "[USDA] denied our request, saying that the use of photo ID would be ineffective in reducing fraud and abuse," he said during his weekly radio address over the weekend.  "This is a shocking statement."

Store Owner Sentenced In $612,000 Food Stamp Fraud.  A federal judge has sentenced a Flint store owner to four years, three months in prison for participating in a $612,000 food stamp fraud scheme.

Labor Dept. Reports $5 Billion in 'Improper' Unemployment Insurance Payments.  The U.S. Labor Department's website includes a database that shows $5,159,629,434 in improper unemployment insurance payments for all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia for the period July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012.  The database also shows that 2.85 percent, or $1.28 billion, of the total unemployment insurance payments ($45.2 billion) in that timeframe were the result of fraud.

Welfare recipients take out cash at strip clubs, liquor stores and X-rated shops.  They're on the dole — and watching the pole.  Welfare recipients took out cash at bars, liquor stores, X-rated video shops, hookah parlors and even strip clubs — where they presumably spent their taxpayer money on lap dances rather than diapers, a Post investigation found.

D.C. says more than 300 city workers involved in unemployment scandal.  The District said Monday [11/19/2012] that hundreds of city workers took nearly $2 million in fraudulent unemployment benefits, a scandal that roiled the D.C. government earlier this year and prompted widespread firings and criminal charges.  Lisa Mallory, the director of the D.C. Department of Employment Services, told the D.C. Council that her agency had detected $1.9 million in overpayments to District workers who collected unemployment benefits while on the city's payroll.

Missouri to audit food stamp program after charges at casinos, strip clubs.  Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich is planning to review the Department of Social Services' administration of two assistance programs.

Five Brockton stores busted in EBT fraud sting.  Police on the hunt for EBT fraud raided five Brockton stores today [11/8/2012] and busted eight people — including one store clerk caught with cash in hand — in what authorities said were long-running scams to cheat the state by trading food stamps for money and in some cases, using EBT cards to buy discounted groceries that they sold at marked-up prices.

Fraud at the Checkout Line.  The expanding food stamp program that now "feeds" nearly 47 million Americans is rife with fraud, abuse and cronyism, according to a new study as reported by Breitbart.

Report: Illegal Underground Food Stamp Market Thrives Online.  Understaffed food stamp fraud prevention units and lax anti-fraud security on Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards have created a thriving underground market where food stamp recipients illegally sell and trade their taxpayer-funded benefits, often using online websites like Backpage.com, Craigslist, or social media.

U.S. Directly Deposited Welfare Payments to Person Using ATM — In Vietnam.  The federal government in 2011 directly deposited $5,262 in improper welfare payments into the bank account of a foreign-born U.S. citizen who was living in Hanoi, Vietnam — and who withdrew the funds via an ATM.  The improper Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits were discovered when the inspector general of the Social Security Administration (SSA) audited a sample of 250 SSI recipients who were foreign born citizens.

Welfare sponges buy one grape, throw it away, and get $24 cash back.
Why woman bought one grape with food stamps.  Victoria Baer, of advertising agency The Baer Edge in Jacksonville, Florida, received this email from her friend who lives in Gainsville, FL.  Snopes has not debunked this story and, as of October 5, 2012, claims their "research" on it is "in progress."

They lived in a $1.2 million home and drove a Jaguar after being on welfare for eight years.  A wealthy chiropractor and his long-time girlfriend are swapping their $1.2 million waterfront home for prison.  The Seattle couple were discovered to be collecting almost $2,000-a-month welfare benefits and even food stamps while living in the luxury property, driving a Jaguar and travelling the world.  A federal judge sentenced chiropractor David Silverstein, 60, and Lyudmila Shimonova, 53, to 18 months in prison Friday [9/21/2012].

GAO: $460 million food stamp benefits went to households ineligible under federal limits.  The Government Accountability Office has identified $460 million dollars in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamp, benefits that went to households with incomes over the federal SNAP eligibility limits.  The recently released report explains that for fiscal year 2010, states which have expanded eligibility for SNAP through broad-based categorical eligibility (BBCE) made 473,000 additional households eligible SNAP benefits, resulting in an estimated $38 million a month in extra costs, or $460 million in total.

Gov. Deval Patrick: EBT enforcement 'not feasible'.  A defiant Gov. Deval Patrick finally signed a welfare reform bill into law yesterday [7/27/2012] — only to say he won't enforce key parts of the measure, drawing the wrath of lawmakers working to crack down on widespread abuses of the system.  Patrick, in a letter to lawmakers, said it's "not feasible" to ban EBT purchases of frills such as liquor, cigarettes, lottery tickets and tattoos — and that "this administration will not enforce what cannot be enforced with respect to the use of EBT cards."

Overpaid unemployment benefits top $14 billion.  Don't spend that unemployment check too fast.  The government might ask you to pay it back.  Overpayments are a rampant problem in the unemployment insurance system.  The federal government and states overpaid an estimated $14 billion in benefits in fiscal 2011, or roughly 11% of all the jobless benefits paid out, according to reports from the U.S. Labor Department.

Firing squad ends clerk's EBT stand.  Jackie Whiton, age 65, had worked as a cashier at the Big Apple convenience store in Peterborough, N.H., for years.  But then a couple of weeks ago she committed a firing offense.  She refused to allow a welfare recipient to use his EBT card to buy a pack of smokes.  How dare a taxpayer say no to a member of the non-working class?  This is verboten in Obama's America.

Woman fired for not accepting EBT card for cigarettes.  Jackie Whiton, a six-year employee of the Big Apple, said she was fired after a dispute with her boss over accepting EBT cards as payment for cigarettes.  "I gave two weeks' notice and tried to bow out gracefully," said Whiton, of Antrim.  "But the next day, I was fired."

The $80B Food Stamp Program: Where's the Money Going?  [Scroll down]  Fox News reported last year that many SNAP recipients remain on food stamps and thousands of others are gaming the system, as was the case with a Michigan man who won two million dollars from a state lottery and was still eligible under the program. [...] In 2009, the Office of Inspector General investigated more than 2,600 food stamp complaints and identified over five million dollars in fraudulent benefits.  The fraud stems largely from lax administration rules, critics noted at the time, which have become increasingly permissive over recent years.

Food Stamp Fraud: Take Home Pay Is Key For Some State Employees.  Why would highly paid state employees apply for emergency food stamp benefits when it would appear they would not qualify?  The reason, veteran state employees said, might be the rules of the game.  The Department of Social Services workers who processed the benefits were told that they should look at the applicant's self-declared take-home pay, not their gross pay, according to a worker directly involved in awarding benefits.

Man pleads guilty to food stamp fraud.  A man charged in Florida with having ties to a terrorist organization pleaded guilty Friday [6/16/2006] to processing more than $1.4 million in phony food stamp transactions at a grocery store he once owned.  Hatem Fariz, 33, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering.  In exchange for his plea, federal prosecutors dropped eight other counts.

Food stamp fraud may steal $400M from stimulus funds.  Fraud has declined to between one-third and one-quarter of what it was in the early 1990s, according to the Government Accountability Office.  That's largely a result of the USDA's phasing out stamps and replacing them with ATM-like cards.  Rather than handing over pieces of paper, recipients swipe the card at the grocery checkout and the amount is automatically deducted from their monthly allotments.

Food stamp rule frustrates police in North Dakota.  [John] Schweitzer's misfortune should have been an open-and-shut legal case.  The thief was caught on video surveillance, and he used his own food stamp swipe card to pay for groceries before leaving with Schweitzer's wallet.  But a federal law prohibiting the disclosure of information about food stamp recipients — even to law enforcement, unless a specific name is provided — meant it would take months and a lot of legwork before an arrest was made.

3 in Seattle accused of trafficking food stamps.  Federal authorities and Seattle police have arrested three people and raided two grocery stores as part of what they describe as an undercover investigation into food stamp trafficking.

Brothers accused of stealing federal food assistance benefits.  At the same time Mohamed and Omar Sufi were stealing $381,467 in federal food assistance benefits, the mother of the men, Mana Ayat, accepted $18,000 in rental housing subsidies for a home she didn't live in, federal prosecutors say.

Food stamp 'water dumping' scam continues.  The USDA has taken a stand on water dumping — buying beverages with food stamps, dumping the liquid and returning the empties for cash — and in June proposed a new rule that could disqualify recipients who engage in the practice.

Police: Soda bought with food stamp card for can deposit.  A St. Joseph, Michigan teen allegedly bought soft drinks with food stamp money and planned to return the empty cans for cash.  But it's unclear whether his actions were illegal.

Fewer prosecuted in benefits program fraud.  People who defraud food stamps, Social Security or other benefits programs are less likely to face federal criminal charges.  In the two years since President Obama took office, data released by the Justice Department show the number of criminal prosecutions for defrauding those programs has dropped by about 20% to its lowest point in a decade.

My Time at Walmart: Why We Need Serious Welfare Reform.  I'm not against temporary aid helping those who truly need it.  What I saw at Wal-Mart, however, was not temporary aid.  I witnessed generations of families all relying on the state to buy food and other items.  I literally witnessed small children asking their mothers if they could borrow their EBT cards.  I once had a man show me his welfare card for an ID to buy alcohol.  The man was from Massachusetts. Governor Michael Dukakis' signature was on his welfare card.  Dukakis' last gubernatorial term ended in January of 1991.  I was born in June of 1991.  The man had been on welfare my entire life.

Man locked in cellar: I never saw my gov't checks.  A mentally disabled man says he didn't see his government benefit checks for 10 years after he began living with a woman who is now charged in a widespread fraud and abuse scheme.

Pols demand overhaul after EBT bust.  Beacon Hill Republicans are calling for a massive overhaul of the state's welfare system after a crew of alleged Lynn grifters was charged with scamming thousands from taxpayer-funded EBT cards — including some who allegedly took the public money as payment for crack. ... The latest example of alleged rampant abuse occurred in Lynn, [Massachusetts,] where authorities said four convenience stores let customers withdraw hundreds in cash while keeping half as a fee.

Poverty Doesn't Make Thieves — Liberalism Does.  During the Great Depression, levels of crime actually dropped.  During the 1920s, when life was free and easy, so was crime.  During the 1930s, when the entire American economy fell into a government-owned alligator moat, crime was nearly non-existent.  During the 1950s and 1960s, when the economy was excellent, crime rose again.  In Britain, where the social safety net is more like a social swaddling cloth, crime rates other than murder are significantly higher than in the United States.

Connecticut State Employees Fraudulently Filed for Food Stamp Benefits.  The legal counsel of Governor Dannel Malloy (D-CT) has reported that "many" Connecticut state employees may be involved in food stamp fraud, and is urging heads of state departments to cooperate with investigators and prosecutors on both the state and federal levels.  During a rather abruptly organized press conference last Sunday, Gov. Malloy revealed that 800 of the 23,000 people who obtained federal disaster aid, following Tropical Storm Irene, were state employees, some of whom may actually qualify for the assistance.  Thus far, 24 state employees appear to have fraudulently qualified for the disaster aid.

Midstate man pleads guilty in $4.6M food stamp fraud; could get probation.  A Wilkinson County man has pleaded guilty in what authorities said was the largest food stamp fraud investigation in Georgia's history.  Elbert Eugene Shinholster, the owner of Shinholster's Grocery and Meat Market in Irwinton, pleaded guilty to charges against him in U.S. District Court on Monday [10/24/2011].  Authorities said the food stamp fraud and money laundering charges involved a $4.6 million scam.

Three Former JFS Workers Accused Of Food Stamp Fraud.  Former Hamilton County Jobs and Family Services workers are accused of obtaining more than $100,000 in food stamps and other benefits for friends and relatives.  Deters said Savoy Walker, Jacqueline Ward and Tamikia Mosley obtained cash, food stamps and Medicaid benefits totaling about $130,000 for 12 people.  Those 12 people, as yet unnamed, are facing charges of receiving stolen property for accepting the benefits.

Store owner accused of massive food-stamp fraud.  After reporting low income and virtually no assets, the government says, Ahmed Sheikh Mohamed got help for food, housing, heating, medical treatment and college costs for his family.  He didn't disclose that his small Grand Rapids grocery store deposited $800,000 from 2006 to 2009.  Or, that he made $60,000 annually in food-stamp fraud.  Or, that he routinely moved cash in a business account to an account for personal spending, which included a $15,000 family vacation in Mecca, the government said.

Obama Gives Fraud-Infested Welfare Program $311 Mil.  Every year... the Department of Health and Human Services allocates billions of taxpayer dollars to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), despite documented waste and corruption that's been repeatedly exposed in congressional probes and the media.  So far this fiscal year, the Obama Administration has given LIHEAP $4.2 billion.

Give them an inch, and they'll take a meter.
Fraudulent tax returns surge 181%.  The IRS identified 335,341 tax returns claiming $1.9 billion in fraudulent refunds as of March 4, 2011, according to the findings of an audit conducted by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. ... The Earned Income Tax Credit, aimed at helping lower-income taxpayers, has been a large source of fraud, with people falsely lowering their income to qualify or claiming children they don't have.  The IRS estimates that 23% to 28% of EITC credits are wrongfully paid to Americans every year, totaling $11 to $13 billion.

A fool and his our money are soon parted.
California welfare cards can be used in many casino ATMs.  California welfare recipients are able to use state-issued debit cards to withdraw cash on gaming floors in more than half of the casinos in the state, a Los Angeles Times review of records found.

Welfare recipients withdrew $1.8 million from casino ATMs.  California welfare recipients withdrew more than $1.8 million in taxpayer cash on casino floors between October 2009 and May 2010, state officials said Thursday [6/24/2010].  Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger also issued an executive order Thursday requiring welfare recipients to sign a pledge that they will use their cash benefits only to "meet the basic subsistence needs" of their families.

Grand jury sees $500 million in fraud.  Calling Los Angeles County child-care programs an "ATM for thieves," the county grand jury on Thursday [6/29/2006] said welfare recipients and their friends and relatives are defrauding taxpayers of $500 million a year, much more than previously estimated.  Failure of the county Department of Public Social Services to verify that welfare-to-work recipients qualify for child care has resulted in about half of the $1.1 billion CalWORKS child-care program being lost to fraud, jurors wrote in their report.

Obama Administration Blocks Reform of Food Stamp Fraud.  As a Bloomberg News commentary notes, large numbers of people who are not poor are getting food stamps, due to perverse incentives that encourage states to deliberately classify people as eligible in order to draw federal money to their state.  People are eligible in some states even if they are not poor at all, but merely received an "informational brochure" for welfare, or a tiny amount of state money that the state deliberately gave them that they didn't even need, in order to qualify them for food stamps.

House Oversight Hearing Shines Light on Food-Stamp Fraud.  Food-stamp fraud and the government's failed attempts to stop it were the focus of a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing yesterday [3/8/2012].  Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) called the hearing in response to a Scripps Howard News Service investigative report exposing widespread abuse.  The investigation revealed that retailers who lost authorization to accept food stamps were still conducting business despite their restrictions.

Rep. Issa: Obama administration not fighting food stamp fraud.  Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on Wednesday accused the Obama administration of being lax in going after food stamp fraud.  Speaking on Fox News, Issa cited a report that said of 4,600 retailers barred from accepting food stamps, 1,500 of them continued to do so at a cost of $750 million annually.  "[The investigators] didn't use rocket science, they used open source," Issa said.  "They compared two lists — the lists of those who were getting it and the list of those who were denied it.  This is something that at a basic level government should do.  It was government's own databases that they went to and discovered that there was no enforcement under this administration."

Discarded children still bring in subsidy checks for the adoptive parents who tossed them aside.  They gave up on their "hard-to-place" adopted kids — but not on the government check intended for the discarded kids' care.  Hundreds of adoptive parents across the five boroughs who've sent their children to live elsewhere are continuing to pull in monthly checks of up to $1,700 per child while the city, state and feds look the other way, the [New York] Daily News has learned.  Because of a confusing tangle of bureaucratic rules and a lack of city oversight, the parents can continue receiving the government subsidies for months, and even years, until the child turns 21.

11 convicted and sentenced in $3.6 million food stamp fraud.  Eleven people who were arrested last fall following a two-year investigation into a $3.6 million food stamp fraud scheme have been convicted of federal crimes and sentenced to prison terms.  The convenience stores that the convicted felons worked from also have been disqualified from participating in the federally funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, otherwise known as SNAP.




Total cost of the War on Poverty

HUD Has Spent $1.6 Trillion Since Its Creation.  The federal government has spent more than $1.6 trillion in its war on poverty through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) since 1965.  Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R., Texas) noted the massive investment during a hearing on the agency Thursday [6/11/2015].  "HUD has already spent over $1.6 trillion in its history and is asking for a 9 percent budget increase," Hensarling said.  "$1.6 trillion is more than $13,000 for every household in America and is equivalent to the cost of feeding a family of four for an entire year."

The Great Society at Fifty.  Since 1964, the welfare state has devoted considerable resources to assuring or improving the public's living standards — something like $20 trillion in inflation-adjusted dollars through antipoverty programs alone, by one calculation.  What sort of effect have these programs had on deprivation and its attendant miseries?  If we were to judge the performance of our welfare state solely by the statistical measure invented to gauge national performance in the War on Poverty — the "poverty rate" — we would have to conclude the whole effort has been a miserable and unmitigated failure.

Clinton Vows To End Poverty.  [Ending poverty as we know it in America] seems to me to be a rather ambitious undertaking, especially when you consider America has spent upwards of four trillion dollars of taxpayer money in the "war on poverty" since it was declared by Lyndon Johnson in 1964.  The current poverty rate, by government standards is only slightly lower than it was in 1963, and that is only because the rate is an arbitrary figure set by government.

Why Not Abolish the Welfare State?  Since 1965 we have spent $5 trillion on the War on Poverty, measured in 1992 constant dollars.  Yet the poverty rate is higher today than it was the year the War on Poverty began.  How can we spend so much and achieve so little?  One reason is that most of the money we spend doesn't go to poor people.  It goes to nonpoor people who work in the welfare-poverty industry.  Medicaid dollars go to doctors and hospitals; food stamp dollars go to the agricultural industry; housing subsidies go to landlords; and legal service dollars go to lawyers.

Liberal emotion vs. Conservative logic:  It takes a lot more integrity, character, and courage to be a conservative than it does to be a liberal.  That's because at its most basic level, liberalism is nothing more than childlike emotionalism applied to adult issues. … Look at Lyndon Johnson's "war on poverty," which did nothing to reduce the poverty rate despite the trillions that were spent; however, it did help drive the illegitimacy rate among black Americans from 22 percent in 1960 to 70% in 2005.

Ammunition for poverty pimps:  Since President Johnson's War on Poverty, controlling for inflation, the nation has spent $9 trillion on about 80 anti-poverty programs.  To put that figure in perspective, last year's U.S. GDP was $11 trillion; $9 trillion exceeds the GDP of any nation except the U.S.  Hurricanes Katrina and Rita uncovered the result of the War on Poverty — dependency and self-destructive behavior.

Welfare State Continues to Grow:  When President Lyndon Johnson launched the War on Poverty more than 30 years ago, he announced it was an investment that would repay its cost to society many times over.  Since that time, the United States has "invested" $7.95 trillion (in constant 1999 dollars) in programs that provide cash, food, housing, and medical and social services to poor and low-income Americans.  By contrast, the cost to the United States of fighting World War II was $3.2 trillion (also in 1999 dollars).  The cost of the War on Poverty has been more than twice the price tag for defeating Germany and Japan in World War II, after adjusting for inflation.

$9 Trillion Didn't End Poverty — What to Do?  Nine Trillion dollars has been spent fighting the "war on poverty".  Yet, as the Census Bureau just reported, poverty in America is up.  So what do the candidates propose we do?  Isn't it time that one of the candidates admit we cannot spend our way out of poverty?

The "War on Poverty" Turns 40.  In his State of the Union address forty years ago this week, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared an "unconditional war on poverty in America."  Since then, the federal government has created vast new bureaucracies and raised taxes to a staggering level not seen since World War Two.  LBJ helped create welfare (AFDC), Medicare, Head Start, the Job Corps, and Medicaid.  Worst of all, most of LBJ's War on Poverty was a failure.

Taxpayers Have Spent $15 Trillion on 'War on Poverty'.  Since President Lyndon Baines Johnson declared "war on poverty," U.S. taxpayers have spent $15 trillion on so-called anti-poverty programs — a figure slightly less than the national debt.


How many trillions of dollars have been spent on Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty?"

Estimates below are from what appear to be reliable sources, as opposed to anonymous bloggers, letters to the editor, and other wild guesses by unknown authors.  This list was first compiled in April, 2008.

5 trillion:  Robert Sirico, 1995.
5 trillion:  John C. Goodman, Gerald W. Reed, Peter S. Ferrara, 1994.
5.1 trillion:  Robert Rector, 1993.
5.3 trillion:  Institute for Public Accuracy, 1999.
5.4 trillion:  William F. Lauber, 1995.
5.4 trillion:  John C. Goodman, 1996.
5.4 trillion:  Michael Tanner, 1996.
5.4 trillion:  Alice Klimkoski, 2007.
5.429739 trillion:  Jan Brauner, 2005.
6.6 trillion:  George F. Will, 2005.
6.6 trillion:  Rush Limbaugh.
6.98 trillion:  Leon Felkins, 2001.
7 trillion:  Anthony Salas.
7 trillion:  Adam Young, 2002.
8.9 trillion:  Jenifer Zeigler, 2004.
9 trillion:  Michael Hampton, 2006.
9 trillion:  Walter Williams, 2005.
9.1 trillion:  Harry Browne.
8 to 10 trillion:  Jerome R. Corsi and Kenneth Blackwell, 2006.
10 trillion:  Steven Malanga, 2004.
10 trillion:  Jerry De Angelis, 2006.
11 trillion:  Robert Rector, 2007.
Over 11 trillion:  Bill Steigerwald, 2007.
More than 13 trillion:  Investor's Business Daily, 2010.
15.9 trillion:  The Heritage Foundation, 2009.
16 trillion:  National Review, 2011.
16 trillion:  Investors Business Daily, 2011.
16 trillion:  American Thinker, 2011.
16 trillion:  Republican Study Committee, 2011.
15 trillion:  The New American, 2012.
15 trillion:  Breitbart.com, 2013.
16 trillion:  OnTheIssues.org, 2013.
20.7 trillion:  Wall Street Journal, 2014.
$20 trillion:  Weekly Standard, 2014.
$22 trillion:  The Daily Signal, 2014.
$22 trillion:  The Heritage Foundation, 2015.
$22 trillion:  American Thinker, 2015.



"For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat."

II Thessalonians 3:10        




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