George Will: The harm incurred by a mushrooming welfare state – Washington Post

America’s national character will have to be changed if progressives are going to implement their agenda. So, changing social norms is the progressive agenda. To understand how far this has advanced, and how difficult it will be to reverse the inculcation of dependency, consider the data Nicholas Eberstadt deploys in National Affairs quarterly:

America’s welfare state transfers more than 14 percent of gross domestic product to recipients, with more than a third of Americans taking “need-based” payments. In our wealthy society, the government officially treats an unprecedented portion of the population as “needy.”

Transfers of benefits to individuals through social welfare programs have increased from less than 1 federal dollar in 4 (24 percent) in 1963 to almost 3 out of 5 (59 percent) in 2013. In that half-century, entitlement payments were, Eberstadt says, America’s “fastest growing source of personal income,” growing twice as fast as all other real per capita personal income. It is probable that this year a majority of Americans will seek and receive payments.

This is not primarily because of Social Security and Medicare transfers to an aging population. Rather, the growth is overwhelmingly in means-tested entitlements. More than twice as many households receive “anti-poverty” benefits than receive Social Security or Medicare. Between 1983 and 2012, the population increased by almost 83 million — and people accepting means-tested benefits increased by 67 million. So, for every 100-person increase in the population there was an 80-person increase in the recipients of means-tested payments. Food stamp recipients increased from 19 million to 51 million — more than the combined populations of 24 states.

This is unsustainable.  Perhaps worse, an anemic and over-regulated economy is becoming the new normal for an entire generation of young Americans.  Hopey, changey, blah, blah, blah, fuck you.

This is what happens when a civilian kills a cop during a no-knock drug raid – X Republic

The careless use of SWAT teams in no-knock drug raids — when heavily armed police burst into a home without warning — has resulted in a long list of innocent people being killed or seriously injured in the United States. 2014 alone found SWAT teams in Georgia senselessly killing businessman David Hooks and maiming toddler Bounkham “Baby Boo Boo” Phonesavanh. And when those raids victimize people who aren’t even selling drugs, narcotics officers seldom face criminal charges and are given every benefit of the doubt. But if, on the other hand, Americans shoot narcotics officers during militarized drug raids—perhaps believing that they are being robbed and are acting in self-defense—charges of first-degree murder are likely. The case of Marvin Louis Guy in Texas is a glaring example.

Guy, an African-American man who is now 50, was the target of a no-knock drug raid on May 9, 2014. Narcotics officers, operating on a tip from an informant who claimed that Guy was selling bags of cocaine, carried out a SWAT raid on his home in Killeen, Texas at around 5:30 AM—and Guy grabbed his gun and opened fire. Charles Dinwiddie, one of the officers, was hit and died two days later. Guy was charged with capital murder, and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty despite his assertions that he thought he was acting in self-defense. Guy’s trial is scheduled for June of this year.

No drugs were found during a search of Guy’s home, only a glass pipe and a grinder—which indicates that Guy was, at worst, a recreational drug user and not a drug dealer. Journalist Radley Balko, author of the 2013 book Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces, has commented on the case in the Washington Post, saying: “The fact that the police didn’t find any drugs in the house suggests that Marvin Louis Guy didn’t know he was shooting at cops. Drug dealer or no, unless he had a death wish, it’s unlikely that a guy would knowingly fire at police officers when he had nothing in the house that was particularly incriminating.”

This should not be a partisan issue.

We’re No. 12! Report: U.S. Not Among Top Nations for Economic Freedom – CNS News

Who could have predicted that we’d steadily sink lower and lower on this list the past six years?!?  The biggest problem is the economically illiterate nature of the American people who don’t understand what an enormous brake on the economy these kinds of restrictions and overhead create.

If you want to sum up the bottom line for the Barack Obama/Valerie Jarrett Presidency, it’s as simple as:  Less Liberty.

Those two little words are what these eight years will be remembered for.

Obama’s Enemies List Targets Red State Voters – The Fiscal Times

In its review of the first five years of spending in the Obama administration (fiscal years 2009-13 inclusive), discretionary spending fell across the board, likely due to expansion of entitlement programs in the Great Recession and its historically weak recovery. It didn’t fall evenly, though. While solidly red states like Mississippi and Texas saw average cuts of 40 percent in federal grants, reliably blue states – and even more importantly, swing states – did much better in disbursements from the federal government. 

Reuters sorted the states into three categories: “red” states, where Obama got less than 45 percent of the vote in 2012, “blue” states in which Obama got more than 55 percent of the vote, and “purple” states where Obama won between 45-55 percent of the vote. As noted, red states sustained a 40 percent cut in discretionary grant spending, but blue states only lost 22.5 percent, just a little over half as much. 

Purple states came closer to the latter figure, with an average loss of 27 percent in federal grant spending. Even after recalculating for population, demographics, and even federal highway miles, red states came in 15 percent worse than the average swing state in federal grant money. (Important note: This does not include the massive emergency spending on Hurricane Sandy, which went almost exclusively to blue states.) 

Everything is punitive politics with these people.  Everything.

Interestingly, this disparity does not appear in entitlement spending. Nor did it show up in the administration’s spending from the 2009 stimulus package, where one might expect to see it, but which came with significant earmarks and directed funding. Only in project grants, controlled by political appointees in the executive branch and of late uncontrolled by Congress, does this spending tilt toward friendly states occur. It seems like a 21st-century version of the spoils system.

Justice Department’s IG report disputes Attkisson’s computer-intrusion allegations – Washington Post

It’s not like they were going to admit to it, right?  Although maybe they will at some point.  The leftists in this country have continued to surprise me in what egregious acts they’re willing to ignore when it’s their own team.  Why should this be different.  That being said, the Justice Department’s responses to Attkisson’s accusations are laughable to anyone with basic computer security knowledge.  Read the whole thing and keep watching that space.  This should get interesting during the discovery process if it goes to trial.

 

Reagan’s OMB head: Wealth inequality is a problem – CNBC

Yes it is.. and why has it happened?  Read on for David Stockman’s explanation:

Stockman’s specific concern is gains in the stock market, which he say have contributed massively to wealth inequality. Since he maintains that stocks have been propped up by the actions of the Federal Reserve, he has a problem with the money that Americans have made from rising stocks.

Profits off of stocks are “totally ill-gotten gains,” Stockman said Thursday on CNBC’s “Futures Now.”

“This is a massive windfall to the 5 percent or 1 percent” wealthiest American households, he said. “This prosperity we’ve had in the top 5 percent—and that’s where most of the consumption growth has been—is entirely a function of artificially ballooning stock prices and other risk assets.”

Meanwhile, “the ‘Main Street’ households in America are not doing well. Their incomes are not growing.”

In a nutshell, he’s stating that the meager gains of the last 6 years aren’t real.  They’re driven by the Fed injecting trillions in cash into the markets.  Worse still, they’ve only benefited a tiny minority of people.

Obama “is talking about a symptom, but he’s clueless as to the cause. The cause is not capitalism. The cause is not some entrepreneur out there trying to invent something and improve the performance of his business. The problem is in the Eccles building [home to the main office of the Fed] and in the 12 people sitting there and thinking that interest rates are some magic elixir that’ll cause this very troubled and difficult economy to revive,” Stockman said.

“It’s not true,” he said. “These people are dangerous and destructive, and they’re creating this massive income inequality that, sooner or later, is going to cause a huge political reaction.”

That said, because Stockman thinks that stocks are set to plunge, he believes that those who have their money in the market are set to lose a great deal of it.

“We’ve had two huge bubbles that collapsed already in this century,” he said. “When this third bubble collapses—and surely it will—I believe that will be the day of reckoning. The credibility of all this central-bank-dominated, Wall-Street-coddling policy will be totally repudiated, and maybe then we can clean the slate and start over.”

That’s assuming that anyone in this economically illiterate nation will learn from it… if anyone is left standing.

 

The Audacity Of… What?: Obama Pushing Taxes He Fought AGAINST In Senate AND In His Book – Daily Caller

Part of President Barack Obama’s ambitious tax reform plan is a proposal to gut the popular 529 savings accounts used by millions of Americans to save for college. The administration has labeled the plans “inefficient” and complained that the benefit accrues too heavily towards higher-income Americans.

But in 2006, Obama actually voted in the U.S. Senate to make the 529 savings permanent, and has written favorably of the plans in the past.

The bill in question was the Pension Protection Act of 2006, which perpetuated a tax benefit that was originally created in the 2001 Bush tax cuts. The bill was overwhelmingly approved, but several Democrats did oppose it, including Senator Barbara Boxer.

Ryan Ellis, the tax policy director with right-leaning nonprofit Americans for Tax Reform, said it’s no surprise that Obama voted to preserve the plans back then.

“Presumably, he saw a lot of virtues with [529 plans],” Ellis told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “He spoke about them quite favorably in his autobiography.”

That Barack Obama back in 2006 sounded like a pretty good guy.  You’d think that the people that voted for him would be upset about not getting what was advertised.  Those folks aren’t very discerning these days, though.  To be otherwise would be racist I bet.