In Dependence 2014

Since the 1960s, the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) has provided a list of all federal subsidy programs. That includes subsidies to individuals, businesses, nonprofit groups, and state and local governments. The CFDA includes subsidies for farmers, retirees, school lunches, rural utilities, the energy industry, rental housing, public broadcasting, job training, foreign aid, urban transit, and much more.

The chart below shows that the number of federal subsidy programs has almost doubled since 1990, reaching 2,282 today. The genesis of the CFDA was the explosion of hand-out programs under President Lyndon Johnson. Members of Congress needed a handy guide to inform their constituents about all the new freebies.

(so they’ll vote for them, in other words- BRIBES!! with their own money, btw)

The growth in subsidies may be good for the politicians, but it is terribly corrosive for American society. Each subsidy program costs money and creates economic distortions. Each program generates a bureaucracy, spawns lobby groups, and encourages more people to demand further benefits from the government.

Individuals, businesses, and nonprofit groups that become hooked on subsidies essentially become tools of the state. They have less incentive to innovate, and they shy away from criticizing the hand that feeds them. Government subsidies are like an addictive drug, undermining American traditions of individual reliance, voluntary charity, and entrepreneurialism.

The rise in the size and scope of federal subsidies means that Americans are steadily losing their independence. That is something sobering to think about on July 4.

Which subsidies should we cut? We should start with these.

Pain First

Just when you think Washington politics couldn’t get dirtier, Congress finds a new low.

To hold onto their illegal ObamaCare subsidy that no other American earning $174,000 could get, members of Congress are trying to silence the subsidy’s chief critic, Sen. David Vitter, by dredging up a 2007 unproven accusation that Vitter patronized a prostitute before being elected to the Senate.

Shockingly, the cabal also proposes that any member of Congress who votes for Vitter’s proposal would be ineligible for the subsidy if Vitter fails and the subsidy stays. Has anyone in Congress read the Constitution? You can’t make a lawmaker’s future remuneration dependent on how he votes.

At the center of this tawdry cabal are none other than the chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Here are the facts behind the stench:

The Affordable Care Act Sect. 1312(d) requires that members of Congress and their staffs enroll in the health plans offered on the exchanges. The thinking behind that provision is that what’s good enough for the public ought to be good enough for Congress.

It sounded good in 2010, when the law was enacted, but now politicians are getting cold feet.

Until now, members of Congress received a 75% subsidy funded by taxpayers to enroll in the Federal Health Benefits Program. Signing up for ObamaCare will cost them thousands of dollars because the law does not entitle anyone earning $174,000 (base salary for Congress) to get a subsidy.

Yikes! Congress doesn’t think the Affordable Care Act is affordable for them.

Just before Congress’ August recess, Republican and Democratic leaders, including House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Reid, pressed President Obama to do something. Ignoring the fact that the president has no constitutional authority to change the law and arrange for a subsidy that will cost taxpayers at least $55 million a year, members of Congress put their self-interest first.

The president complied and weaseled an illegal arrangement with the Office of Personnel Management to award members of Congress and their staff a 75% subsidy to pay for their own ObamaCare health plans. It’s in a new official OPM ruling.

Whistleblower

But surprise, surprise: There’s still a handful of lawmakers with scruples. Vitter of Louisiana, along with fellow Republican Sens. Mike Enzi of Wyoming, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma and Mike Lee of Utah, held up a Senate vote last week on an unrelated energy bill by trying to attach an amendment eliminating Congress’ ObamaCare subsidy. In the House, Rep. Ron DeSantis of Florida offered the same measure. (IBD)

Like the president said, “of you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what.” Well, unless you’re one of the tens of millions of Americans who can’t. Including, it turns out, lots of Walgreens employees (via Ed Morrissey):

Walgreen Co. (WAG), the biggest U.S. drugstore chain, will move its workers into a private health insurance exchange to buy company-subsidized coverage, the latest sign of how the debate over Obamacare is accelerating a historic shift in corporate health-care coverage. Walgreen’s decision affects about 160,000 current employees and follows similar action this year by Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) and Darden Restaurants Inc. (DRI) As an alternative to administering a traditional health plan, all three will send their employees to an exchange run by Aon Plc.

 

IBM and GE recently announced similar changes in their retirees plans, which are not to be confused with UPS’ decision to drop spousal coverage.

As the CBS correspondent points out, Walgreens made this move to insulate itself from anticipated rising healthcare costs, which Obamacare was ostensibly going to reverse. Based on CBO projections published yesterday, health costs will continue their inexorable climb, approximately doubling within the next 25 years.

But has to remember the goal here. The goal is to get everyone dependent on Government -Only Health Care.

The very last thing on their minds is actual Health Care reform.

They want the whole thing to collapse so that you’ll go running to them and beg for your Lord and Masters graces.

And above all, that it was not their fault!

It was evil Corporate America.

This is a long game. They have been waiting for this for nearly a 100 years, they can wait another decade or so.

They want what they want, and they’ll happily destroy you to get it.

Confronted with this $2 trillion law’s undeniable failures, its cheerleaders are already making the pivot to their next bad idea, Single Payer Government Control of everything, but they want you to demand it first.

Pain first. Demand later.

That’s how it’s done in “compassionate”, “caring”, “Morally superior” Liberal Land!

137633 600 Obamacare Fine Print cartoons

137298 600 Congressional Malpractice cartoons

 

Keep ’em Down

Thomas Sowell: Those who regard government “entitlement” programs as sacrosanct, and regard those who want to cut them back as calloused or cruel, picture a world very different from the world of reality.

To listen to some of the defenders of entitlement programs, which are at the heart of the present financial crisis, you might think that anything the government fails to provide is something that people will be deprived of.

In other words, if you cut spending on school lunches, children will go hungry. If you fail to subsidize housing, people will be homeless. If you fail to subsidize prescription drugs, old people will have to eat dog food in order to be able to afford their meds.

This is the vision promoted by many politicians and much of the media. But, in the world of reality, it is not even true for most people who are living below the official poverty line.

Most Americans living below the official poverty line own a car or truck– and government entitlement programs seldom provide cars and trucks. Most people living below the official poverty line also have air conditioning, color television and a microwave oven–and these too are not usually handed out by government entitlement programs.

Cell phones and other electronic devices are by no means unheard of in low-income neighborhoods, where children would supposedly go hungry if there were no school lunch programs. In reality, low-income people are overweight even more often than other Americans.

As for housing and homelessness, housing prices are higher and homelessness a bigger problem in places where there has been massive government intervention, such as liberal bastions like New York City and San Francisco. As for the elderly, 80 percent are homeowners. whose monthly housing costs are less than $400, including property taxes, utilities, and maintenance.

The desperately poor elderly conjured up in political and media rhetoric are– in the world of reality– the wealthiest segment of the American population. The average wealth of older households is nearly three times the wealth of households headed by people in the 35 to 44-year-old bracket, and more than 15 times the wealth of households headed by someone under 35 years of age.

If the wealthiest segment of the population cannot pay their own medical bills, who can? The country as a whole is not any richer because the government pays our medical bills– with money that it takes from us.

What about the truly poor, in whatever age brackets? First of all, even in low-income and high-crime neighborhoods, people are not stealing bread to feed their children. The fraction of the people in such neighborhoods who commit most of the crimes are far more likely to steal luxury products that they can either use or sell to get money to support their parasitic lifestyle.

As for the rest of the poor, Professor Walter Williams of George Mason University long ago showed that you could give the poor enough money to lift them all above the official poverty line for a fraction of what it costs to support a massive welfare state bureaucracy.

We don’t need to send the country into bankruptcy, in the name of the poor, by spending trillions of dollars on people who are not poor, and who could take care of themselves. The poor have been used as human shields behind which the expanding welfare state can advance.

The goal is not to keep the poor from starving but to create dependency, because dependency translates into votes for politicians who play Santa Claus.

We have all heard the old saying about how giving a man a fish feeds him for a day, while teaching him to fish feeds him for a lifetime. Independence makes for a healthier society, but dependency is what gets votes for politicians.

For politicians, giving a man a fish every day of his life is the way to keep getting his vote. “Entitlement” is just a fancy word for dependency.

As for the scary stories politicians tell, in order to keep the entitlement programs going, as long as we keep buying it, they will keep selling it.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

But give hima fish every day, maybe he will vote for you to give him more fish!

And after all, that’s what really matters. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok


The Constitution 2010 Edition

Political Cartoon by Michael Ramirez

The following apparently has been around for about 10 years and I may have used it in the past but I still love it. (Which means a liberal would hate it-which is another reason to love it).

So, not for the first time ever, What I’m Calling the The Constitution Update 2010 is presented with full editorial comments along the way. 🙂

“We the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt-free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional, and other liberal bed-wetters. We hold these truths to be self evident: that a whole lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim they require a Bill of NON-Rights.”

Class Warfare Liberals are tedious,evil, and need to be stopped.

ARTICLE I: You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV, or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.

Addendum: Nor a house with a cheap mortgage just because you want one and the liberals want you to have it, health care paid by someone else, A mandated “penalty” tax if you don’t agree, or a vacation in Fiji every year.

ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone — not just you! You may leave t he room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc; but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.

Addendum:  That includes Islamophobia, Homophobia, and any other phobia the liberal Politically Correct can come up with to try and make you as guilt-ridden and as cowed they want you to be.

It also means that you’re not a racist if you disagree with a Liberal.

ARTICLE III: You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful; do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy..

Addendum: Tort Reform is not evil. And if you spill your hot coffee, don’t go looking for a lawyer to sue someone almost immediately.

ARTICLE IV: You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes …

Addendum: 99 weeks of unemployment is ok. But not raising taxes in a recession is evil. Now that’s a liberal for you.
Illegal Immigration still means ILLEGAL. Period.

ARTICLE V: You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we’re just not interested in public health care.

Addendum: See NHS.

ARTICLE VI: You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim, or kill someone, don’t be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.

Addendum: But if you’re a minority and your the perp, Call The US DOJ, ask for Eric Holder, I’m sure he can get you off.

If Illegally here in the first place: Call Gloria Alred. She use you for her own ego stroke , but everyone will know who you are.

And if that doesn’t work, Hilda Solis wants to hear from you.

ARTICLE VII: You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat, or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don’t be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won’t have the right to a big screen color TV or a life of leisure.
Addendum: Unless you get elected to Congress that is…then it’s practically a pre-requisite that you lie, cheat and steal.

ARTICLE VIII: You do not have the right to a job. All of us sure want you to have a job, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful. (AMEN!)

Addendum: 99 weeks of unemployment? Turning down job offers because unemployment pays better? WTF!

ARTICLE IX: You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to PURSUE happiness, which by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an over abundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.

Addendum: But boy will the Liberal try to spend your way to happiness with your money. It will be a colossal failure. But don’t worry, it won’t be their fault. After all, they are perpetual victims even if they are the perpetrator!

ARTICLE X: This is an English speaking country. We don’t care where you are from, English is our language. Learn it or go back to wherever you came from! (Lastly….)

ARTICLE XI: You do not have the right to change our country’s history or heritage. This country was founded on the belief in one true God. And yet, you are given the freedom to believe in any religion, any faith, or no faith at all; with no fear of persecution.

Addendum: The Classroom is not a socialist test kitchen where you indoctrinate kids to your political philosophy so that when they reach voting age they have no idea what the real history and traditions of this country are and are easily manipulated into doing their Master’s bidding.

Addendum:  Christianity is basically good. Unlike what Liberals think (unless they are trying to convince you that Obama is a Christian and not a Muslim then they are useful).

Blowing people up if you disagree with them seems to be tolerable to Liberals as long as it’s not them.

The separation of church and state works for liberals only in destroying God, because their God is Government. We the People, disagree.

And I’m an agnostic to boot! So there! 🙂