Sunday, August 26, 2018

52.1% of American Kids Live in Households Getting Means-Tested Government Assistance

This is not far off a Communist economy.  Those needing government assistance should be a small minority.  I am not even happy about school lunches.  In my childhood all kids brought their lunches in a a brown bag from home.  A school was a school, not a diner.  Nobody starved then even though most of the households  were quite poor by today's standards.

And we had a lot of minorities there too -- though they were minorities of European origin, mostly Italians.  And an Italian mother would have been deeply ashamed to send her kid to school with anything less that a magnificent and very tasty lunch.  The motto of every Italian mother is "Mangiare, mangiare"! (Eat, eat!).  I am very pleased to have grown up among Italians, heirs of one of the great European civilizations, but also very warm and sentimental people, with a great love of family

But not all  minorities are like Italians

Will they be called The Welfare Generation?

Today, they are Americans under 18 years of age growing up in a country where the majority of their peers live in households that take "means-tested assistance" from the government.

In 2016, according to the most recent data from the Census Bureau, there were approximately 73,586,000 people under 18 in the United States, and 38,365,000 of them — or 52.1 percent — resided in households in which one or more persons received benefits from a means-tested government program.

These included the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), Medicaid, public housing, Supplemental Security Income, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the National School Lunch Program.

The Census Bureau published its data on the number and percentage of persons living in households that received means-tested government assistance in its Current Population Survey Detailed Tables for Poverty.

Table POV-26 indicates there were approximately 319,911,000 people in the United States in 2016. Of these, 114,793,000 — 35.9 percent — lived "in a household that received means-tested assistance."

That does not mean every person in the household received the aid themselves, only that one or more persons living in the household did.

When examined by age bracket, persons under 18 were the most likely to live in a household receiving means-tested government assistance (52.1 percent), while those 75 and older were least likely (18.8 percent).

But Americans in all the age brackets up to age 44 analyzed by the Census Bureau were more likely to be living in a household that received means-tested government assistance than the overall national rate of 35.9 percent.

But even when the Census Bureau excluded the school lunch program from its calculations, the percentage of those under 18 who lived in a household receiving means-tested assistance (44.8 percent) exceeded the percentage in any other age bracket.

Twenty years ago, in 1998, according to Census Bureau data, only 36.9 percent of Americans under 18 lived in a household receiving means-tested government assistance. In 2008, the percentage broke 40 percent for the first time. In 2013, it broke 50 percent for the first time.

America has now seen four straight years — 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 — during which a majority of those under 18 lived in a household taking means-tested benefits.

The Census Bureau data indicate that people living in intact families are less likely to be on government assistance than people living in broken families. Nonetheless, the government-dependency rate is still high for intact families that have children under 18.



Trump’s Character and Trump’s Presidency

David Horowitz below defends Trump's character.  His final paragraph makes a major point about that.  He reports some rather extraordinary behavior from Jonah Goldberg.  One would think that, unlike Leftists, conservatives could disagree without resorting to abuse and foul language.  It looks like Jonah is drifting over to the dark side

A few days ago, I had a dust-up on Twitter with National Review’s Jonah Goldberg. Our conflict was about Trump’s fitness to be president, a subject that has been broached millions of times on social media by other internet partisans. Twitchy posted the exchange and promoted it this way: “It’s On! Jonah Goldberg, David Horowitz Duke It Out Over Trump’s Character.” The donnybrook led to 500,000 impressions on my Twitter feed, including legions of anti-Trump zealots eager to demonstrate how creative they could be in devising insults to throw at me for defending Trump: beyond dumb, in need of psychiatric help, and probably receiving payments through offshore bank accounts.

As it happens, I’ve known Jonah for more than 20 years, admired his wit and insights, promoted his books, and put him on my platforms. I was distressed when he joined the NeverTrump chorus, but never wrote a critical word about him—hoping, I guess, that as Trump systematically undid the damage that the Obama regime had inflicted on the country, Jonah would return to his senses.

Other NeverTrump conservatives, on the other hand, just jumped to the other side. Bill Kristol even went so far as to collude with the Brennan-instigated witch-hunt by spreading talking points from the Steele dossier. It was easy to write these renegades off, though still wondering how they rationalized the betrayal of their lifetime principles, or were able to deny that they were doing so.

Afraid to Get Their Principles Wet

But a group of NeverTrumpers like Jonah adopted a less radical stance and conceded that many or even most of Trump’s policy actions were actually conservative, and ones they agreed with. What made them NeverTrumpers was his horrible, defective character. Most prominent among this group was Bret Stephens, whom I have also admired and promoted in the past. At the end of Trump’s first year, Stephens wrote a column for the New York Times—the position being an obvious reward for his defection—called “Why I’m Still A Never Trumper.” In it he praised Trump’s major policy actions since entering the White House. But then he attacked Trump’s bad character, which was unpresidential and indefensible. And averred: “I still wish Hillary Clinton were president.”

When I read his column, the first question that popped into my mind was: How can indefensible and unpresidential bad character lead to such admirable presidential decisions? I am not aware of any attempt by Stephens or Jonah or similar NeverTrumpers to provide an answer.

The posture of these NeverTrumpers is transparently self-serving. It preserves their intellectual credentials as “conservatives,” and simultaneously takes them out of the line of fire from an increasingly vicious Left whose goal is to destroy Trump and his presidency, and—incidentally—conservative America. Sitting on the fence affords them new career opportunities—appearances on CNN and MSNBC and columns in the New York Times. All that’s required is that they avoid taking sides in the political war that is engulfing the country. All this reminds me of a memorable Trotsky sneer about liberals, whom he accused of being reluctant to step into the stream of political conflict because they were afraid to get their moral principles wet.

So, when this tweet from Jonah appeared on my feed, I abandoned my self-restraint and answered it:

"Re-asking a question I've been posing for three years: Please come up with a definition of good character that Donald Trump can clear."

This was followed by a retweet and a new comment:

"This is easily the most triggering question you can ask of Trumpist snowflakes"

‏I don’t know whether it was the snide-ness of this comment or its absoluteness that triggered me, but it seemed so pigheadedly self-righteous, so oblivious of the complexities of human character, not to mention the nuclear dimensions of the Left’s war against Trump that I responded—and in doing so walked into a hornets’ nest.

"He has an amazing family. He's loyal to a fault. He loves the country that gave him a privileged life, He works around the clock for ordinary Americans, & their security. He would never appoint a treacherous individual to head the CIA. Wake up Jonah.Its a war & u cant be neutral"

Which drew this retort:

"This is total nonsense David. He’s not loyal to a fault. He’s not loyal to his wives. Read up on how he treated Roy Cohn ffs. He doesn’t work around the clock. He won’t read and won’t stop watching TV. I can’t tell if your head is up your ass or his"

The nastiness of that last sentence shocked me. Evidently the hatred of Trump is so fevered it can burn through two decades of cordiality and acquaintance. I wonder if Jonah would be so hostile to someone who shared his view of Trump’s character but thought Trump’s policies were racist, and tyrannical.

Two Episodes in Trump’s Favor

As it happens, I am well aware of the vulnerabilities of what I tweeted. I should never have written it and fallen into the Twitter trap. Tweets don’t provide enough space to account for the complexities of this subject or provide sufficient examples to make one’s case. “Character” is notoriously mercurial, and complex to judge. As it happens, in referring to Trump’s loyalty I had in mind two episodes. The first was the topic of the week, Omarosa. Why did he stick with such a wretched individual for so long, despite warnings from everyone around him that she was no good? Loyalty to a fault.

The second was when the Left showed its teeth in his first days in the White House, and maliciously attacked Steve Bannon and Jeff Sessions as white nationalists and racists and even neo-Nazis. Any other Republican, freshly in office, would have thrown them under the bus, however false the accusations. Trump’s fortitude, his refusal to back down under withering fire, is also a character trait, and an admirable one—actually the key to his success where Bush and congressional Republicans had repeatedly failed. Loyalty.

Making Compromises, Keeping Promises

Since Jonah brings up Trump’s three marriages let me ask the question: who can see inside another person’s marriage? I thought, moreover, that since Reagan—who had two wives—entered the White House and performed as a conservative hero, Republicans would have gotten over their puritanical prejudices. All politicians have flawed characters. It’s the nature of the job, which requires compromises, prevarications, dirty deals, and the like. In Trump’s case, what is important is not his loyalty to his wives (and none of them seem to be complaining) but his loyalty to the cause he champions and the people who support him.

Has Trump kept his promises to his supporters? Has he stayed the course he set for himself of making America great again? That loyalty is the character trait that matters most in a leader, and should matter most in any assessment of Trump. He has taken great personal risks and incurred great personal costs. His reputation for example, was pretty good before he ran against Democrats and their media, who fueled an epidemic of hate portraying him as a racist and neo-Nazi.

I’m betting there isn’t another Republican who would not have wilted under these attacks. Who would have had the fortitude to stay the course, and keep his promises. That’s really good character. And it’s presidential.



CNN Embarrassed When They Discover Americans Don’t Care About Manafort/Cohen Stories

CNN sent a reporter to a battleground state to speak with voters about the cases involving Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen. The network was undoubtedly hoping voters would smear President Donald Trump, but CNN was completely embarrassed when people made it clear they could not care less about it.

As noted by The Daily Wire, CNN’s Jason Carroll made a trip to a county in North East Pennsylvania that voted for former President Barack Obama in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections. He asked three Democrats, three Independents, and one Republican if the legal drama with Manafort and Cohen has changed their views on Trump.

Registered Democrat Anne Marie Lenahan told CNN that the economy is so strong under Trump that she has no problem overlooking allegations that Trump had an affair before becoming president, “unless the money came from campaign funds.”

Lenahan said it wouldn’t be good if Trump did break campaign finance laws, but said she still plans to vote for Trump again in 2020.

Carroll had similar luck with registered Democrats Richard and Eileen Sorokas, who said they voted for Obama twice and Trump in 2016.

When the CNN talking head tried his best to portray Trump has being complicit in the two cases, Richard and Sorokas said they are thrilled with the booming stock market, robust economy, and Trump getting rid of political correctness. They said they only see the Manafort-Cohen drama as a sideshow to how well the country is doing under the president.

Registered Republican Bob Sellon really let the CNN reporter have it, saying that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation was supposed to be about alleged Russia collusion with the Trump campaign, and that there has been no evidence at all to support the claim.

Carroll then switched it up, perhaps trying to only ask a question that wouldn’t result in Trump getting overly praised. He asked the three Independent voters if Trump pardoning Manafort and/or Cohen would change their minds. They said it would, because Manafort was found guilty by a jury and Cohen pleaded guilty to committing crimes.

It’s actually quite amazing to watch how badly that backfired for CNN. Despite the network almost endlessly smearing the president and spreading doom-and-gloom every single day, voters appear to be unmoved in their support for Trump.

More importantly, the segment shows that voters are cutting through the noise of the mainstream media and seeing how prosperous America has been since Trump took office.

Trump’s administration has created just shy of seven million jobs; the stock market has been at an all-time high for nearly a year; unemployment has dropped across the board to historic lows, and the GOP tax cuts have resulted in roughly 90 percent of Americans keeping more of their hard-earned money this year.

Voters also are able to see that Manafort being found guilty on eight counts of fraud has nothing to do with Trump, given the crimes occurred nearly a decade ago. They also appear unconcerned by what Trump may or may not have done many years ago in his personal life.

CNN has been heavily invested in both of those stories, including Russia collusion. And voters made it clear that they do not care at all — and many said Trump will have their vote again in 2020.



Leftist thuggery in Australia too

From the French Revolutiom onward, the Left have always been as  violent and vicious as they can get away with

The office of leadership challenger Peter Dutton has been targeted by vandals who hurled bricks through glass windows and doors.

The pavers were thrown with such force they left gashes in the walls of the former Home Affairs Minister's office after being propelled through the glass.

Despite smashing holes in reinforced glass windows and two glass doors, the vandals did not enter the office, in Strathpine, north of Brisbane.

Vandals also spray-painted anti-Dutton slogans on bike paths in the former Home Affairs Minister's electorate, including one reading 'deport Dutton'.

The 1.45am attack occurred just hours after Mr Dutton declared he had the numbers to challenge Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for the leadership.

Police are investigating the attack, but no arrests have been made over the attack, which left an estimated $10,000 worth of damage.

'Police are investigating significant damage caused to an office overnight in Strathpine,' Queensland Police said.

'Police were called to the Gympie Road address by a member of the public, to find brick pavers had been thrown at the windows causing extensive damage.'

Mr Dutton, a former Queensland police officer, tendered his resignation from Cabinet after challenging Mr Turnbull in a spill on Tuesday.

A former immigration minister, Mr Dutton has been targeted by Labor and the Greens for his hardline policies on asylum seekers.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCHPOLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated),  a Coral reef compendium and an IQ compendium. (Both updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten. I also put up occasional updates on my Personal blog and each day I gather together my most substantial current writings on THE PSYCHOLOGIST.

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