Statist-In-Chief: “Set Aside The Belief That Government Can’t Reduce Inequality” With Wealth Redistribution…
Third, we need to set aside the belief that government cannot do anything about reducing inequality. It’s true that government cannot prevent all the downsides of the technological change and global competition that are out there right now — and some of those forces are also some of the things that are helping us grow. And it’s also true that some programs in the past, like welfare before it was reformed, were sometimes poorly designed, created disincentives to work, but we’ve also seen how government action time and again can make an enormous difference in increasing opportunity and bolstering ladders into the middle class. Investments in education, laws establishing collective bargaining and a minimum wage — (applause) — these all contributed to rising standards of living for massive numbers of Americans.
Via Weasel Zippers
“Food stamp enrollments have remained over 47 million for an unprecedented 13 consecutive months.
According to the most recent figures available from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which oversees the food stamp program, in August 2012, 47,102,765 individuals were enrolled in the program, known officially as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Enrollments never fell below 47 million in subsequent months and as of August 2013 stood at 47,665,069, representing nearly one out of every seven people in America.
Recent years have seen an explosion in food stamp enrollments. Since January 2009, the number of individuals on food stamps has skyrocketed from 31.9 million to 47.6 million. “
“Government policies effectively redistributed more than $2 trillion in income from the top 40 percent of American society to the bottom 60 percent in 2012, according to a new study from the nonpartisan Tax Foundation.
The study tracked the beneficiaries of government spending programs largely paid for by taxpayers who are not very big beneficiaries of those programs.
Families in the top 1 percent shouldered nearly half of the more than$2 trillion that was redistributed last year.”
Via The Daily Caller
“A disturbing story is starting to make waves once again on the internet, according to Ben Swann who notes, you can now pay for Starbucks with food stamps. The story, which previously aired on FOX12, sees Jackie Fowler, a Salem, Oregon food stamp recipient, went inside the luxury Starbucks franchise located inside of a Safeway grocery store with the local Fox News station filming. She purchased one tall Frappaccino and a slice of pumpkin loaf. Her total was $5.25. She slid out her Oregon Trail food stamp card, paid in part by the federal government, and handed it to the cashier who processed the transaction. Fowler only made the purchase to assist FOX but it indicates just how deeply the ECBT card has become embedded in US society when, as she notes, coffee’s “overpriced as it is, that’s money that somebody could be eating with.””
Via Zero Hedge
The House of Representatives repeatedly has passed an IRS bill that could save U.S. taxpayers up to $24.4 billion over the next 10 years — but Harry Reid’s Democratic Senate will not hear it.
The Refundable Child Tax Credit Eligibility Verification Reform Act, or H.R. 556, would require tax filers to provide Social Security numbers to claim child tax credits.
Currently, the IRS allows undocumented residents to collect the $1,000 credits for dependents not even living in the country. Watchdog reported that illegal immigrants received $4.2 billion from the tax agency in just one year.
“My bill (targets) billions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse. Instead of hitting up taxpayers for even more taxes, Washington needs to go after these billions of dollars,” said U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas.
Though the GOP-controlled House has passed Johnson’s measure three times, Senate Majority Leader Reid, D-Nev., refuses to allow the bill to come up for a vote in his chamber.
“The IRS has been doling out the credit to tax filers claiming children who do not even live in the country,” Johnson charged.
Tax preparers agree that the system is broken — and that the IRS must fix it. They say the agency has to stop disbursing ACTC refunds based on Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, which are available to undocumented residents.
Tax preparers told Watchdog they have seen clients from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua claiming Mexican children as dependents.
“Welfare recipients in the United States outnumbered year-round full-time workers in 2011, according to data released this month by the Census Bureau.
They also out-numbered the total population of the Philippines and approached the population of Mexico.
There were 108,592,000 people in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2011 who were recipients of one or more means-tested government benefit programs, the Census Bureau said in data released this week. Meanwhile, according to the Census Bureau, there were only 101,716,000 people who worked full-time year round in 2011. That included both private-sector and government workers.
That means there were about 1.07 people getting some form of welfare in this country for every 1 person working full-time year round.”
Via CNS News
“From the art of selling excess food stamp dollars at the end of each month, to JP Morgan profiting from the program as a line of business, Liberty Blitzkrieg’s Mike Krieger introduces the following micro-documentary on the rise of our food stamp nation. Produced by Future Money Trends, this video covers it all, exposing the dismal and far-reaching consequences to society.”
Via Zero Hedge
“There is a biblical adage that deals with the concept of self-reliance which goes something like this: “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a single day; if you teach him to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”
Unfortunately, the American welfare system isn’t based on this concept. In fact, it has been so politicized over the years by self-centered men and women whose only aim in life is to use it and other federal “incentives” to remain in power, that the one thing it doesn’t do is encourage recipients to better themselves.
As bad as that is – and as damaging as it is to an entire segment of society – what is worse is that the manner in which welfare programs are set up makes them ripe for abuse…and as such, they are abused, just like the taxpayers who fund them.”
Via Natural News
“Louisiana tops the nation’s list of “improper” payments for unemployment insurance with a 3-year rate of 38.67%. Of course, this is the “improper” payments they know about (as only 29.7% of overpayments have been recovered). A stunning 28% of Louisanans who claimed benefits did so even after returning to work. However, while the Louisiana data points are bad, they are not alone. As the chart below shows… 16 states have “improper” payment rates of over 14%. One wonders why the world doesn’t trust the US so much anymore?”
Via Zero Hedge
. . “The biggest challenge we have is not that we don’t know what policies work, it’s getting our politics right,” Obama said. “Because part of what’s happened over the last several decades is, because times have been tough, because wages and incomes for everybody have not been going up, everybody is pretty anxious about what is happening in their life and what might happen for their kids, so they get worried that if we’re helping people in poverty, that must be hurting me somehow, that’s taking something away from me.”
Obama continued: “There’s a tendency to suggest somehow that government is taking something from you and giving it to somebody else and that your problems will be solved if we just ignore them, or don’t help them,” Obama said. “And that I think is something that we have to constantly struggle against, whether we’re black or white or whatever color we are.”
Via Weasel Zippers