No surprise here, but worth noting. All the money that Barack Obama and his Marxist friends have thrown down the social welfare rathole hasn’t reduced poverty. From CNS News:
“[S]ince President Obama took office, federal welfare spending has increased by 41 percent, more than $193 billion per year.” the study says.
Federal welfare spending this year now totals $668 billion, spread out over 126 programs, while the poverty rate that remains stubbornly high at nearly 15 percent – roughly where it was in 1965, when President Johnson declared a federal War on Poverty.
Here’s a suggestion for Barry and his socialist friends. Declare victory and leave the field; that is, unless this is another case in which the Obama administration has a hidden agenda. Could it be?
While the study concedes that some of the increased spending under Obama is a result of the recession and the counter-cyclical nature of anti-poverty programs, it also finds that some of the increase is deliberate, with the government having expanded eligibility for welfare programs.
“But the dramatically larger increase also suggests that part of the program’s growth is due to conscious policy choices by this administration to ease eligibility rules and expand caseloads,” the Cato report says. “For example, income limits for eligibility have risen twice as fast as inflation since 2007 and are now roughly 10 percent higher than they were when Obama took office.”
“The vast majority of current programs are focused on making poverty more comfortable – giving poor people more food, better shelter, health care, and so forth – rather than giving people the tools that will help them escape poverty.”
Meanwhile, across the pond, Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he wants to take the U.K. the opposite direction. From the BBC:
In his speech in Kent Mr Cameron defended benefits for the elderly and disabled but said the system of working-age benefits had gone “truly awry” and created a “welfare gap between those living long-term in the welfare system and those outside it”.
David Cameron is not just calling for a minor tweak to the welfare state – he is opening the door to a re-casting of the entire welfare system and who it is meant to serve.
“The time has come to go back to first principles,” he says.
If the welfare state is meant to be a safety net, he argues, then a lot of people are receiving benefits who are not in need, and therefore should not be receiving them.
Hence he raises the prospect of limits to the amount of support claimants should expect for larger families; curbs to the rights of young people to get help with their rent; and tougher requirements on those seeking work.
It is a bold statement of intent that will reassure and please an unsettled Tory party, both inside and outside Parliament.
But it carries with it a huge political danger? It risks undermining what was Mr Cameron core pitch to the electorate, namely that he was a different sort of Tory leader.
His critics will seize on this – together with the apparent playing down of the green agenda and wobbles over gay marriage – as further evidence that Mr Cameron is turning his back on Compassionate Conservatism and returning to a much more traditional Tory agenda.
“Those within it grow up with a series of expectations: you can have a home of your own, the state will support you whatever decisions you make, you will always be able to take out no matter what you put in.
“This has sent out some incredibly damaging signals. That it pays not to work. That you are owed something for nothing. It gave us millions of working-age people sitting at home on benefits even before the recession hit. It created a culture of entitlement.
“And it has led to huge resentment amongst those who pay into the system, because they feel that what they’re having to work hard for, others are getting without having to put in the effort,” he said.
I don’t have to remind you, but I shall anyway. In less than five months we will decide whether we give Barack Obama complete free rein to “remake” our country into something barely recognizable as the country we grew up in, a one-party socialist state run by a jug-eared dictator.