Posted by: vicholdsforth | July 30, 2012

The Failed Policies of the Past (Part 4: Welfare)

In my last installment in this series, we looked at how a wide variety of Democrat policy initiatives have hobbled job growth in the United States.  The unemployment figure we usually hear on the news has been stuck at around 8 per cent for well over a year now (as compared to an average unemployment rate of just over 5 per cent during the term of Obama’s predecessor).  The Gallup organization also publishes figures that include not only those who are completely unemployed, but also those who have only been able to secure part-time work even though they want to be working full-time.  The shocking figures for this demographic have been fluctuating between approximately 18 and 20 per cent for well over a year and a half.  Coincidentally, one in 5 Americans is now receiving food stamps.  Regardless of which of these unemployment figures one consults, the troubling reality is, after three years of Obama rule (the first two of which Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress) unemployment has remained high, and the Congressional Budget Office projects that it will continue to do so until 2014.  When people can’t or won’t work, many turn to the federal government (i.e., those of us who do work) demanding “free” money (now also known as “ObamaMoney”).  Let’s turn our attention, then, to welfare.

Earlier this month, Barack Obama illegally rescinded the bi-partisan and wildly popular welfare work requirements and time limits signed into law by his Democrat predecessor, Bill Clinton.  These modifications to the law had reduced the welfare rolls by 70 per cent by the time Obama took office…and not because people were just timing out and getting kicked off, but because the overwhelming majority of them had found decent jobs.  Poverty was reduced by over 15 percent, and child hunger was cut in half.  One must wonder how a leader who claims to care for the plight of the poor would repeal the single most effective action the government has taken to ameliorate poverty in our generation.  Not only has Obama vacated work requirements, but his extension of unemployment benefits has made it possible for able-bodied people to delay looking for work for almost two years.  And after a half-century of medical innovation and technology enabling those with disabilities to function more independently, one would expect the number of persons collecting disability payments from the federal government to have dropped significantly since the 1960s.  Instead, it has tripled.  The question is, do we gauge the effectiveness of our social safety net by how many we are “helping,” or by how many no longer need help?  Social Justice FAIL!


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