Community Action @50

Featured image As Roger Simon has observed, the events playing out in Ferguson, Missouri right now are a distinct echo of the failures of the Great Society of the 1960s, and today happens to be the 50th anniversary of LBJ’s signing of the Economic Opportunity Act, which set in motion the infamous Community Action Program and was the cornerstone of much subsequent Great Society legislation.  The idea of “maximum feasible participation” was »

The Not-So-Great Society: Back to the Future?

Featured image 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?  More importantly, are today’s young liberal journalists completely ignorant of the fact that even liberals despaired of the Great Society by the end of the 1960s—that it completely shattered liberal optimism?  (Don’t bother »

The year of lying dangerously

Featured image Two thousand and thirteen proved to be the year that the foundational lies of Obamacare blew up in the president’s face. With the pending implementation of the Obamacare regime, it is a historic moment. Even when it comes to the smallest details of implementation — the status of the Web site, the open security issues, the relevant numbers — the Obama administration jealously guards the truth from disclosure. Applying Occam’s »

The Welfare Queen: Reagan Vindicated Again

Featured image Few things got—and still get—under the skin of liberals more than Ronald Reagan’s famous use of the term “welfare queen” in his 1976 campaign (he didn’t much use this theme in 1980, curiously enough).  Paul Krugman thinks it was a “minor” case of welfare fraud, while between the foam flecks of Chris Matthews you can make out that Reagan was a raaaccist for mentioning the subject. So kudos to Josh Levin »

Surprise: People like free stuff

Featured image The Washington Post reports that, so far, “the vast majority of Obamacare sign-ups are in Medicaid.” Indeed, some states report “a crush of people applying for an expansion of Medicaid and a trickle of sign-ups for private insurance.” In Maryland, for example, more than 80,000 people have signed up for Medicaid, compared to the 3,000 or so who have signed up for private health insurance. In Washington State, the corresponding »

Welfare nation

Featured image It was a long time coming, but we appear to have reached a tipping point. Terry Jeffrey picks up the news buried in Census Bureau data: 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 »

If the Lights of L.A. County Were Diamonds In the Sky…

Featured image …they still wouldn’t be enough to pay the tab for the county’s illegal immigrants. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich announced the latest figures yesterday: A projected $650 million in welfare benefits will be distributed to illegal alien parents in 2013, county officials said Monday. Approximately $54 million in welfare payments are issued each month, consisting of nearly $20 million in CalWORKs and $34 million in food stamp issuances, according to the »

What’s the Matter With Poor Voters? A Reconsideration

Featured image The great but frustrated hope of liberals is that people will vote their supposed class interest, that is, that people of modest incomes will vote for higher taxes (on others) and bigger government.  It is a matter of frustration for liberals when the working class doesn’t vote for Democrats: see Thomas Frank’s famous What’s the Matter With Kansas?  (Actually, don’t see it; it’s stupid; one can just as easily ask, »

The welfare angle

Featured image The Boston Herald seems to have struck a nerve in its efforts to uncover the public support that sustained Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his family over the years: The Patrick administration clamped down the lid yesterday on Herald requests for details of Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s government benefits, citing the dead terror mastermind’s right to privacy. Across the board, state agencies flatly refused to provide information about the taxpayer-funded lifestyle for »

NPR goes rogue

Featured image Reader EC advises: We interrupt this forum for a special bulletin: *****NPR HAS GONE ROGUE***** They just broadcast an hour-long episode of “This American Life,” which was a devastating critique of the disability program. Devastating. They called it the new default welfare program, pointing out that it costs the taxpayers vastly more than all other welfare programs put together. They went on and on and on and on and on »

Senate Democrats Block Welfare Reform

Featured image We have written several times about the extravagant budget offered by Patty Murray and Senate Democrats, and will return to that topic in the days to come. For the moment, one significant point that has received hardly any publicity relates to welfare. With welfare now the biggest item in the federal budget, one would think that any sane budget would look for ways to control burgeoning welfare costs. But no: »

Why Are We Bribing Welfare Recipients to Come to the US?

Featured image For more than a century, the law has been that any application for a visa to enter the United States must be denied if the applicant is likely to become a “public charge” on the American people. (“An alien who…is likely at any time to become a public charge is inadmissible.”) Yet the Obama administration has not only ignored this aspect of our immigration laws, it has actively recruited immigrants »

How the Obama Administration Defies Federal Law on Immigration and Welfare

Featured image Immigration is in the news, and legislation is being proposed that relies on the Obama administration to execute, in good faith, the nation’s laws. But the Obama administration doesn’t do that. Instead, the administration arrogantly ignores laws it doesn’t like, in violation of Barack Obama’s constitutional duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” This is most notoriously the case with respect to immigration and welfare. We have »

Not a Nation of Takers? Roll Tape Please

Featured image Obama rejects the idea that we’ve become or are becoming a “nation of takers.”  Someone tell it to the folks at the Food Stamp office in East St. Louis: Here’s the local TV news report on the fracas, “Brawl Erupts at Food Stamp Office.” »

A nation of takers

Featured image Nicholas Eberstadt is the author of A Nation of Takers: America’s Entitlement Epidemic. The book, it should be noted, includes dissenting essays by Yuval Levin and William Galston. President Obama seems to have been responding to Eberstadt in a key passage of his second inaugural address: “The commitments we make to each other through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, these things do not sap our initiative, they strengthen us. »

Living On Welfare in the U.K.

Featured image Welfare has become a major political issue in the United Kingdom. During the 13 years when Labour was in power, it seems not to have occurred to most Britons that Labour’s open-door immigration policy, combined with the U.K.’s liberal welfare benefits, were likely to lead to abuse. Now, people are starting to notice. The Sun, a tabloid published in London, is the U.K.’s largest-selling newspaper. It focuses mainly on soccer »

$weet Charity…

Featured image (and Destiny, Crystal, Bambi…) That’s the headline on this New York Post expose of the food stamp/TANF program in New York. Federal welfare spending has exploded under the Obama administration, now accounting for nearly as much as defense spending. The food stamp and TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, i.e., cash) programs are among the largest. EBT (electronic benefit transfer) cards are issued to participants in these federal programs; EBT »