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.
Leftist hatred of the world about them on vivid display in Scotland
Modern Scotland is deep-dyed in socialism. The Scottish parliament, revived in 1998 in the hope that a measure of self-rule would vitiate the independence movement, is dominated by parties of the left. The Scottish National Party, which favors (in addition to separation from England) "free" education through university, unilateral nuclear disarmament, steeply progressive taxation and the "eradication" of poverty, holds 65 of 129 seats. Labour, the Liberal Democrats and a couple of green parties hold 47 seats, while the conservatives claim just 15. Of the 51 members of the House of Commons representing Scottish constituencies, exactly one is a conservative.
Now, about the "Fringe." It's a festival of performances, concerts, dance, circuses and street theater that dominates the city every August. My family was open to sampling (the younger members more experimental than the older). But just based on the descriptions available in the local paper, The Scotsman, many of the offerings were repellent.
We could have seen a play titled, "The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning," which the Scotsman described as a "shocking indictment of the brutal and relentless homophobia of U.S. military life" and also a "more subtle critique ... of western culture ... that reacts to any breach of discipline or convention with a fierce, repressive violence, and a demand that we all conform, or be silent."
Alternatively, we could have dropped in on "Bin Laden: The One Man Show" that featured a "well-spoken Englishman politely offering tea and biscuits to his audience." The play presents a "different truth, a version we never get to see, free from projection, indoctrination and cartoon villainy." Cartoon villainy? Has anti-Americanism so distorted the moral reasoning of the playwright and the critic?
"Bonk!" provided audiences with "serious and rather stomach-churning anatomical detail," as well as a faked female orgasm to "knock Meg Ryan into a cocked hat." "Nick Helm: One Man Mega Myth" boasts an "amazing set involving 13 London buses (to scale)" and "giant penises (not his own)." Well, that's presumably because they couldn't book Anthony Weiner.
Why don't you guess what the play "The Extremists" is about? The Taliban? The Shining Path? Al-Qaida? No, the audience meets "Norman Kreeger, author of Extremism in the 20th Century and Beyond." He's a guest on a TV chat show, where he expounds his "philosophy of free-market democracy and the necessity of the war on terror." He "almost persuades you that there is an enemy out there ... the only thing is, the more he and the TV anchor explain their beliefs, the more they become indistinguishable from the enemy they claim to share so little with."
"Eastend Caberet: Dirty Talk" is described as "delightfully dirty as ever." The female star kicks off her stiletto heels and crawls through the audience, dragging men on stage to "share their dance moves and sex noises."
We've come a long way from the "bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond."
American writer David Sedaris is on hand to share his fiction. One story, "I Brake for Traditional Marriage," features a character so outraged by a gay marriage bill that he "shoots his wife and daughter before stabbing his mother-in-law with an ice pick and driving into a pedestrian." What was that about cartoon villainy?
This is not to single out the Scots. The leftist tripe and cultural waste they're enjoying is available in every western capital, including our own. The difference, while there still is one, is that the relentless leftism goes almost entirely unrebutted there.
The Left Hijacks Language to Promote the Unspeakable
By Rich Kozlovich
Over the years I have marveled at the ability of the left to hijack language in order to promote the most contemptible things, such as abortion, always disquised as rights supporting individual liberty. As you watch or hear the news, read articles in the newspapers, magazines or on-line, the terms used to describe the abortionists and anti-abortionists are pro-choice and pro-life. Both misnomers! Those terms do not represent what they really stand for.
The left is so hot to promote ‘choice’ but what choices are acceptable to the left. My friend Dave Dietz sent a Peanuts cartoon to me today showing Lucy and Linus having a conversation with Lucy self-righteously stating she is “pro-choice”. Linus asks as series of questions.
Can I choose to smoke?
Lucy says no because it’s bad for your health.
Can I choose a large soda?
No, that’s bad for your health!
Can I choose to own a gun?
No, that’s not safe for children!
Can I choose incandescent bulbs?
No, that’s not good for the planet!
Can I choose Low-cost coal?
No, that’s not good for the planet!
Can I choose to honor God?
No, that’s offensive!
Finally Linus asks - So what can I choose?
Lucy answers - An abortion!
Pro-choice isn’t about choice, it’s about deception. Those who support the phrase are deliberately misleading the public into believing they are for individual rights when in reality they support the murder of innocent unborn children; they are not pro-choice they are “pro-abortion”. But “pro-choice” sounds so much better than “pro-abortion”, or “embryocide”, “infanticide” or just plain “murder”. How can this be construed in the minds of any moral rational people as anything less than a crime against humanity?
As for the term pro-life, that is also a misnomer, and it is used by the left to vilify the morality of those who hold that position. The left is constantly throwing up the idea that “pro-life” people are hypocrites because they also typically support the death penalty.
First of all the so-called pro-life people are not pro-life, they are anti-abortion. They have no problem with the execution of those who have committed unspeakable crimes; criminals who have been given a chance to prove their innocence over and over again. Executing those guilty of terrible crimes is not murder….it’s justice; and it’s justice because they are not innocent. What they support is execution of the guilty, not the murder of the innocent. Innocent ones who have no say, no trial, no appeal, nor have committed any crime for which they should suffer the death penalty.
I don’t know where this picture came from but it is truly disturbing. This is what we all looked like at 12 weeks in the womb. The wanton destruction of this child’s life is legal in all fifty states. Tell me why you don’t think this is a person deserving the love, care and protection of a moral society!
There is only one reason to support aborting innocent life. You don’t believe its murder! There is only one reason to be against aborting innocent life. You believe its murder! If killing the innocent unborn is murder then it’s murder…… always. It isn’t murder on Monday and an option on Tuesday because of unpleasant circumstances.
I have said this in the past and I will repeat it here. In ancient times pagans murdered their newborn children for economic and political reasons by throwing them alive into burning pits as sacrifices to appease their gods.
Today we are murdering our unborn children for economic and political reasons to prove we have no God. Our minds are so clouded with secular liberalism that we can’t see reality clearly. Society has accepted an unstable philosophy for which we have abandoned traditional values. A concept where nothing is right and nothing is wrong. A value system that isn’t much more that the latest philosophical flavor of the day, which may change tomorrow, leaving untold damage to humanity in its wake. Then we wonder why society is getting so out of control, especially among the young.
Once again, we need to properly define the problem. Traditional wisdom is based on values that have stood the test of time, and are foundational to a stable society. Conventional wisdom is merely what people have chosen to believe right now based on immediate expediency. There is no historical or moral foundation to conventional wisdom, and generally is based on warping traditional values. Once that happens how long can a society stand?
For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in). GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.
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