Friday, August 19, 2011

Social Programs - Unintended Consequences

Hundred of articles a day are written about what our President is doing, saying, and spending…..I have no idea why this latest bus tour, which is clearly campaigning on tax payer dollars, is such an affront…Maybe these daily Presidential affronts are reaching some threshold… Couldn't he have, at the very least, bought a bus made in America? With the economy in such bad shape you would think there would be some embarrassment of this behavior.
"President Obama is barnstorming the heartland to boost US jobs in a taxpayer-financed luxury bus the government had custom built -- in Canada, The New York Post has learned.
The $1.1 million vehicle, one of two that Quebec-based Prevost sold to the government, has been tricked out by the Secret Service with state-of-the-art security features and creature comforts."
So if you read the above news release the writer doesn't say that IF this cost for the busses wasn't enough of a burden for the poor American taxpayer Air Force One plane always must always be following along with the President at a cost of 345,000.00 per hour.
Now the real insult is that these busses were only used for three days…..!
My disappointment with this President is even greater than my disappointment with Jimmy Carter…Is it too much to hope that the voters will deal him in the same way it dealt with President Carter? Certainly the Tea Party members are working to make it happen… IF we can't replace him, hopefully we will replace enough House and Senate people to tether him somewhat. Well maybe.
In our ongoing goal of having other writers on The Oxford Tea Party site today we are including an article written by young black women Star Parker…I had never heard of her before I ran across her article while searching around the country. I liked what she has to say and I hope you will also.
Star Parker
Six years ago I wrote a book called Uncle Sam’s Plantation. I wrote the book to tell my own story of what I saw living inside the welfare state and my own transformation out of it.
I said in that book that indeed there are two Americas -- a poor America on socialism and a wealthy America on capitalism. 
I talked about government programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS), Emergency Assistance to Needy Families with Children (EANF), Section 8 Housing, and Food Stamps.
A vast sea of perhaps well-intentioned government programs, all initially set into motion in the 1960s by Democrats that were going to lift the nation’s poor out of poverty.
A benevolent Uncle Sam welcomed mostly poor black Americans onto the government plantation. Those who accepted the invitation switched mindsets from “How do I take care of myself?” to “What do I have to do to stay on the plantation?”
Instead of solving economic problems, government welfare socialism created monstrous moral and spiritual problems -- the kind of problems that are inevitable when individuals turn responsibility for their lives over to others.
The legacy of American socialism is our blighted inner cities, dysfunctional inner city schools, and broken black families.
Through God’s grace, I found my way out.  It was then that I understood what freedom meant and how great this country is.
I had the privilege of working on welfare reform in 1996 which was passed by a Republican controlled Congress. 
I thought we were on the road to moving socialism out of our poor black communities and replacing it with wealth-producing American capitalism. 
But incredibly, we are now going in the opposite direction. 
Instead of poor America on socialism becoming more like rich American on capitalism American on capitalism is becoming like poor America on socialism.
Uncle Sam has welcomed our banks onto the plantation and they have said, “Thank you, Suh.” 
Now, instead of thinking about what creative things need to be done to serve customers, they are thinking about what they have to tell Massah in order to get their cash. 
There is some kind of irony that this is all happening under our first black president on the 200th anniversary of the birthday of Abraham Lincoln.
Worse, socialism seems to be the element of our new young president. And maybe even more troubling, our corporate executives seem happy to move onto the plantation. 
In an op-Ed on the opinion page of the Washington Post, Mr. Obama is clear that the goal of his trillion dollar spending plan is much more than short term economic stimulus. 
“This plan is more than a prescription for short-term spending -- it’s a strategy for America’s long-term growth and opportunity in areas such as renewable energy, healthcare and education.” 
Perhaps more incredibly, Obama seems to think that government taking over an economy is a new idea.  Or that massive growth in government can take place “with unprecedented transparency and accountability.”
Yes, sir, we heard it from Jimmy Carter when he created the Department of Energy, the Synfuels Corporation, and the Department of Education.
Or how about the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 -- The War on Poverty -- which President Johnson said, “...does not merely expand old programs or improve what is already being done.  It charts a new course.  It strikes at the causes, not just the consequences of poverty.”
Trillions of dollars later, black poverty is the same. But black families are not, with triple the incidence of single-parent homes and out-of-wedlock births. 
It’s not complicated. Americans can accept Barack Obama's invitation to move onto the plantation.  Or they can choose personal responsibility and freedom.
Does anyone really need to think about what the choice should be? 
Star Parker - Syndicated Columnist
Well writ…If only the black community would read and understand what she is saying about the destructiveness these social programs has had on them... Over decades many black leaders have spoken to the issue in the same way as Star Parker. The older leaders weren't listened to by congress or the black community, nor will Star be listened to.
History, I believe will look back at this time and this mire of social programs as being more destructive to the back community than slavery. The long and short of it is this is not just a black community issue. This social program problem is rapidly spilling over in larger and larger sectors of white communities.
Not long ago, in one of our article, the question was asked, "How many families can one pay check feed?" Every day, on average, ten thousand American citizens enroll in one federal social program or another….
Yesterday our government announced it was raising the monthly food stamp program. So if you will multiply forty million people time X 122.00 per person plus the newly announced increase you will come up with a number that the recipients in Mississippi are receiving. ..(Note: This amount, 122.00 dollars, is the amount each person in the family on the food stamp program in Mississippi receives. (A family of four would be 122.00 x 4 = 488.00 per month or there about. Whose pay check does this money come out of? The answer, of course, is everyone's pay check along with everyone who receive money from any source such as SS, state and federal pensions, business retirement plans, 401 K plans, interest on saving accounts, and IRA accounts.etc. ) To qualify for food stamps your income (if any) only has to be 130% of the current poverty level as set by the federal government.
Also, what was interesting, the person in charge of the Food Stamp Program just announced he was going to do this and didn't need anyone's approval except our president.
When Bill Clinton first ran for president in 1992 he ran against the senior Bush and Ross Perot. The NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) agreement was a center piece of that campaign. Ross Perot warned in every one of his speeches that if NAFTA was passed we would hear a great sucking sound as all of the low end jobs would be sucked out of the country. The American people did not understand what he was talking about and the liberal press pooh-poohed it. The Senate passed the NAFTA agreement 61 to 38…34 Republicans and 27 Dems voted for it and it went into effect January 1994.... These were the jobs that many people who are in our social network programs were working in and could be working today IF the works was still being done in this country. (Lott and Cochran were our Senators at that time. According to the Senate's voting record both voted YEA on this bill. Senator Cochran is still our Senator.) Anyway NAFTA is a done deal, it can't really be reversed. We are left with the mass of unemployed as well as the unemployable. The point of reciting this litany is to remind ourselves that most if not all of the problems we are struggling with as a nation, such as unemployment, were created by our government.

Should we have known what the unintended consequence of these international trade agreements and social programs would have on a large group of our citizens? The answer is yes. Yes, we should have known. In a representative democracy all responsibility rests in the hands of the people. If there is any doubt in your mind about who's responsibility this is just ask yourself who always picks up the tab.
No more, the 'silent' majority.. No more, 'not' making waves… No more, ‘tolerant’ of broken promises … No more, 'good-old-boys.'
It is time for the shout out….
Shout out to all members of the Mississippi House of representatives: The House Movers are coming - pack!

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