Jun 27, 2010

On the Coming Civil War

Should Republicans see sweeping gains in the 2010 midterms, as appears all but inevitable at present, and should they down sufficient doses of Viagra to hold firm in their newly rediscovered Conservative virility, it would seem we’re in for quite the fight in the months between then and the 2014 presidential extravaganza.

Charges of the standard isms and phobias (say it with me: "racism," "classism," "jingoism," "sexism," "homophobia," "xenophobia,"...) will no doubt be hurled at the Right with unprecedented shrillness. For cuts to government spending, relative to the obscene expansions of the past several years (and yes this includes Bushie’s tenure) must now be draconian. Those made dependent upon government-issue “compassion” and those who profit from making them so shall howl with the savagery of the most devoted crack addict suddenly forced to endure sobriety. We give you--Greece! This will be a war, not of the "haves" versus the "have-nots" as it will be characterized, but of the "wants" versus the "want nots" - with government assistance the object in contention.

Yet again the utterly indispensable Heritage Foundation has compiled the four decades of tragic miscalculation and lip-splitting fraud that comprise "The War on Poverty" into an easily digested (though not easily stomached) study: “Confronting the Unsustainable Growth of Welfare Entitlements: Principles of Reform and the Next Steps.” Updated to include the Obama Administration's daily injections of epinephrin into the Welfare State the study highlights, among other stunners:

- Today, we spend 13 times more on welfare than in 1965 (even after adjusting for inflation)

- Since the 1960s, the United States has spent $15.9 trillion on welfare. And yet, despite the current state of the nation's debt, President Barack Obama plans to spend $10.3 trillion more over the next 10 years.

- The welfare state has made the problem of poverty worse by undermining the very fundamentals that decrease dependence: stable families and a strong work ethic. For instance, out-of-wedlock childbirth is at an historic high of 40 percent and means-tested welfare has grown faster than any other sector of government.

Heritage then goes on to make a number of common sense recommendations to bring the nation a millimeter or two closer towards financial sustainability.

1. Slowing the growth of the welfare state by rolling back welfare spending to pre-recession levels and capping it at the rate of inflation.

2. Promoting personal responsibility and work
through work requirements in large welfare programs such as Food Stamps and housing assistance .

3. Providing a portion of welfare assistance as loans rather than as grants.

4. Ending the welfare marriage penalty and encouraging marriage in low-income communities, as the decreasing rate of marriage is the greatest cause of child poverty.

5. Limiting low-skill immigration as a significant portion (15 percent) of welfare spending goes to homes headed by lower skill immigrants with a high school degree or less. Also, the government should not provide amnesty to illegal immigrants, as doing so would instantly add millions of people to the welfare roles.

Achieving any one of these goals should prove as easy as sawing the gangrenous leg off of an unanesthetized soldier. Good luck with that, particularly as Barry and his cabal remain steadfast in their commitment to Keynesian salvation and Marxtianity as justification for their market-annihilating policies.

The path to fiscal sanity is clear. Should Republicans win the right to pursue it, will they have the will to do so?