Skip to comments.The Myth of Liberal Compassion
Posted on 08/20/2013 5:12:50 AM PDT by Kaslin
What will it take for the country to wake up to the destructive ravages of liberalism -- and finally do something about them?
Liberals continue to masquerade as exclusive proprietors of compassion, but their policies stubbornly undermine their possessory claim. Indeed, Obama's "fundamental transformation" of America is nothing less than America's decline and destruction in the name of compassion and fairness.
You can't scan a day's news without seeing proof of this. Let's look at just two items in today's news digest.
The Cato Institute has released a report documenting that in Obama's America, "welfare pays better than work." Cato's Michael Tanner concludes that the federal government funds 126 programs targeted at low-income Americans, a shocking 72 of which involve the transfer of cash or in-kind benefits to individuals. This does not include the many assistance programs provided by state and local governments.
The Cato study examines the state-by-state value of welfare for a mother of two children. In the state of New York, for example, "a family receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, food stamps, WIC, public housing, utility assistance and free commodities (like milk and cheese) would have a package of benefits worth $38,004, the seventh-highest in the nation."
Because welfare benefits aren't taxable, a New York wage earner would have to earn in excess of $21 per hour to do better than his welfare recipient counterpart, which is more than a beginning teacher makes. Though benefits vary among the states, for many recipients, especially long-term dependents, welfare pays substantially more than an entry-level job.
Ponder the powerful disincentive this constitutes to work -- just like the endless extension of unemployment benefits over which Obama is always willing to shut down the government.
How can a society that embraces the work ethic not shudder in horror at this development? Yet a great portion of our society and political class doesn't.
Obviously, this state of affairs threatens America's fiscal integrity and is punitive to those in the workforce. Perhaps what's not so obvious, at least to bleary-eyed utopians, is that such excessive transfer payments ultimately harm the recipients in the long term. So do punitive taxes on the "rich." A powerful piece in The Wall Street Journal on Monday demonstrates that "targeting the wealthy kills jobs." In other words, folks, liberal compassion is not compassionate.
Cato posits that the best cure for poverty is still a job. And contrary to what the compassion snobs doubtlessly believe, even minimum-wage jobs can launch people out of poverty.
A specific remedy is to strengthen work requirements in welfare programs. In fact, we've done it, and it worked. But Obama didn't like it and reversed it because he is trapped in his radicalized worldview, a narrow-minded ideology that misinforms him that we have a closed economy with a fixed amount of income -- a finite, zero-sum pie that offers the opportunity for individual growth only through redistribution. Is it any wonder he has given us perpetual economic malaise?
In our next news item of the day, we read about the enormous expansion of the regulatory state under Obama and how it will outlast his term in office.
In my most recent two books, in which I chronicled President Obama's ongoing assault on America, I substantiated the frightening growth of the regulatory state under Obama, which has since become even worse -- by Obama's design. Just as he lied about increasing domestic oil production, he falsely claimed he has streamlined our regulatory climate.
He's frequently huffed that he will use all tools at his disposal -- many of them regulatory -- to advance his agenda when Congress won't bend to his will. He has acted unilaterally on immigration, labor, energy, gun control, cybersecurity, sentencing guidelines for drug offenses and the environment, to name a few.
The Hill reports that in Obama's first three years in office, the Code of Federal Regulations increased by 7.4 percent, almost twice the rate of President George W. Bush's first term. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, asserts, "It would be difficult for anyone to pretend that this isn't a high water mark in terms of regulation."
These rules and regulations are not only smothering our economy but also destroying our individual liberties and threatening our constitutional framework because they are promulgated and enforced by unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats.
You don't need to be an economist to understand that Obama's massive taxing, spending and regulations are causing America's economic decline. You don't need to be a sociologist to grasp that his runaway welfare schemes are robbing people of their dignity while doing little to alleviate poverty.
At some point, Obama and his fellow liberals need to be judged for the effects of their policies, not the grandiosity of their self-congratulatory rhetoric.
It's often said that there is nothing compassionate about being charitable with other people's money. It's not said often enough that arrogant liberal experiments in forced "fairness" are affirmatively cruel because they comprehensively destroy wealth and prosperity and greatly harm the people they promise to benefit.
Ever watch a young group of teenage girls express fake sympathy or insincere compassion for someone they don’t know just so it makes them look like a “good” person? That’s liberal compassion. You just want to slap ‘em...
Wow. That is more than four times my entire yearly income. I get none of those benefits. All I need is two kids and a compass?
Oh, it's New York. Fuggetaboutit!
When my grandparents came here, with no skills and they couldn't even speak English, they went to work at jobs NO ONE could envy! They worked in factories where the environment was dark, dirty and dangerous...AND the pay was low.
There were strikes and lay offs on a routine basis.
Both my grandfathers worked in these places AND then had OTHER work once they left the factory.
They never became independently wealthy... but in the end were proudly self-supporting and assured that their children and grandchildren would have a fighting chance in life.
Of course ... when they arrived in America, they WANTED to work and had a dread fear and shame of EVER being under obligation to ANYONE!!! Any work at all was good and worlds better than the dole! Maybe that is the character that people don't possess now days...they have lost their shame and pride.
Yes we have very generous welfare benefits here. And our state parks are a mess, the roads suck, our cities are eyesores full of minorities with zero respect for anything, here isn’t a public utility box, overpass, bridge abutment, anywhere that hasn’t been “tagged” with graffiti.
Yep....the Empire State...Pfft.
You’re probably familiar with the term, “white flight.” Well, for some reason I don’t presume to understand, white flight seems to have tapered off, and here in the wilds of Pennsylvania I am seeing minorities arrive in urban flight, including African-Americans and Asians who may or may not be Americans of any hyphenage.
For a retired person I have contact with a great number of people, especially newcomers, due to various volunteer positions, so I am fairly sure the demographic here is changing dramatically. Ten years ago a non-white person was as common here as a non-white swan.
Where are all the white people? /Brooks
They also had to work since there was no “safety net” which is what this article states. Fairly soon with the oncoming U.S. bankruptcy we will be back to those days. As other peoples money has run out.
You don't understand. Being under no obligation is the entire beauty of welfare. Except to pull the lever for the Dimmicrat.
You don't even have to do that. It's just that the evil Republicans will take away your benefits.
You see ... they were overjoyed to be Americans and until their dying day, they always felt they had to prove their worthiness and gratitude. They felt they should NEVER become a burden to the country which had been so generous and fair to them, when they arrived without anything and needed a home.
For them, it was like being the welcome guest in the home of a wealthy and generous relative. They believed they must never never take more than they were honestly entitled to and they must NOT embarrass their host!!
It's not like that now, with the people who arrive here as guests of the American taxpayers.
Sorry. I was being a little ironic.
My parents came to America after fleeing tyranny in post-war Eastern Europe. They worked their backsides off to rebuild a life and provide for our future. Our extended family was ripped apart by world events, and now we’re scattered across the continents. I’m both sad and livid to see what is happening to my family’s adoptive home. After 63 years, it’s really too late to go back, especially for my elderly parents. These things run in cycles, and the family that stayed behind in Europe is prospering once again, and they are together. I believe America will ultimately reject this idiocy, but the longer it takes, the more damage is done, and the harder it is to change.
You’d be hard pressed to name one, just one liberal organization that feeds the hungry, clothes the naked or finds shelter for the homeless.
It’s all about social standing with these types.