Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Size of the Task Ahead

In last night's post, I alluded to how big the problems are and how much it's going to take to fix them.  There is a mountain that needs to be moved, or a castle that needs to be taken down, one stone at a time.  H/T to Bayou Renaissance Man for a link to this video, which describes the problem in overview:
The Daily Caller gives an example that makes my head hurt. Did you know the USDA is actively working with the Mexican government to recruit more food stamp users?  Essentially - at best - luring immigrants into this country to give them food stamp benefits?

Let that sink in for a moment.  You and I probably agree that while we don't want to see Americans starve, we're troubled that in light of our record Federal deficit, the is giving out record amounts of the those benefits and trying to give out more.
According to the Congressional Research Service, food assistance programs expanded more than any welfare category in the previous four years — with a percentage increase largely fueled by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, which recently reached an all-time high enrollment of nearly 47 million participants.

Non-citizen participation in SNAP has quadrupled since 2001 and doubled since 2008.
Now it's one thing to be handing out benefits to legal immigrants who come across hard times.  It's another to be actively partnering with the Mexican government - meeting with them at least 151 times - to give more benefits out.  We're the brokest country in the history of the world, and we're trying to find innovative ways to give away more money? 

The US has had a law since 1965 intended to prevent immigration of people who are coming here just to get on welfare, called being a "public charge".
Section 212 of the Immigration and Nationality Act explains that immigrants are “inadmissible” to the United States if the U.S. Attorney General or any consular officer who interacts with them determines that he or she “is likely at any time to become a public charge.”
Yet this is exactly who the administration is trying to get into the country.  
“I have serious concerns about this [Mexico partnership]. It defies rational thinking for the United States — now dangerously $16 trillion in debt — to partner with foreign governments to help us place more foreign nationals on American welfare, and it is contrary to good immigration policy for the United States,” Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions’ wrote to USDA chief Tom Vilsack in a Oct. 9 letter seeking more information about the partnership.
Vilsack and the USDA did not answer that request for information.  The USDA is actively fighting Americans' self-reliance to try and bolster dependence on the food stamps.  Heck, they're buying advertising time (with our money) and running commercials to recruit more people on to food stamps.  There can only be one explanation: to try to increase their power over people, increase their budgets, increase their personal power at the expense of tax payers. Create more dependence on government.

In my book, that's just plain evil.

And it's adding to the mountain that needs to be torn down to get this country fiscally sound again.  The Daily Caller article concludes with this quote:
Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee revealed Thursday that spending on federal welfare programs reached about $1.03 trillion in 2011. To put that number in perspective, if those programs were to be converted into cash assistance for all American households in poverty in 2011, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, those households would each have received an average of $61,194.
Which would remove them from the poverty rolls - at least for one year.  


  1. SIR,The M-O-N-E-Y is G-O-N-E. Thats it; NOBODY is gonna loan us more.The food stamp scam is over.It is only a matter of time before the hungry figger that out the hard way. There is NO "fixing" the problem.NOTHING: not one damn thing that ANYONE can; or will do, is going to "fix" America. The nation and government you knew and belived in are dead.

    1. "Figger"? Are you serious? How about "figure"? Sorry but you lose all credibility when you use "figger"

    2. Nevermind....I'm eating crow!

  2. $61K, eh? That's over three times what I earned last year, all of which, by the way, went to pay for our family's insurance and taxes (thankfully, my husband has a job, so my income goes to pay the taxes for the privilege of both of us working).

    1. You got it! That's the problem. We penalize honest working people.

      Another real problem with the system, as I've reported on before, "If the family provider works only one week a month at minimum wage, he or she makes 92 percent as much as a provider grossing $60,000 a year."

      "Note that more than doubling pretax income from $14,500 to $30,000 results in a loss of 28% of their net income. It would take an exceptionally rare person to go through a drastic drop in quality of life for the possibility of getting really high income and better standard of life some day way in the future. "

      Which means we harshly penalize people working their way up out of poverty. It's not just wrong, it's evil.

    2. In order to put an end to welfare and have a road up from poverty and you have to have lots actual jobs for the roughly average people to do that pay well.

      This is far easier said than done with the encroach of technology we are near to the point where the primary means to determine who gets the goodies,remunerative work is not possible for most people.

      Take a look at modern factory on say Modern marvels or How Its Made instead of rows of workers you have a few guys running machines and they can produce far more widgets (subject to material and energy) than anyone can use. Right now as an example we can fight two wars and still supply an ammo buying frenzy in a fairly old like industry. Its more efficient elsewhere

      A way to see it Amazon kills retail, Self Checkout knocks of clerks, Google cars, take out off drivers, The Internet thrashes media and so on

      This problem of lack of works and surplus production is exactly why we have so many on the dole. We pushed youth out, retired the old, crammed down a 40 hour work week and till recently (a few decades) kept women out and still had chronic unemployment.

      Now we aren't able to provide a means to determine who deserves a decent cash flow and our society suffers for it. Sooner than later we go 3rd rate economy and all the goodies (roads bridges,schools, water, safety) that we take for granted erode. Good chunks of the US looks like say Cuidad Juarez

      IMO economic liberalism and the crony state booth have to go and we have to try something other than central planning (tried and failed) or the ersatz version of I we have now where the central bankers and the cronies do it.

      The option otherwise is to implode like Mexico. Not a pleasant thought.

    3. Well said. I've read that as a % of GDP, manufacturing is as big in the US as it was in the 50s/60s, but as an employer it's way down. All that productivity improvement comes at a cost.

      When a government gets so big that companies find it a better use of money to lobby for money or against their competitors instead of innovating, cronyism is inevitable. Part of eliminating cronyism is shrinking the government.

  3. While I'll agree we're facing a Big Problem, it appears to be composed of lots and lots of Little Problems. So many Little Problems, in fact, that the only successful solution will be radical surgery, and that will be challenging. It's easy to unite behind killing Godzilla, but killing 10,000 mice will test resolve well beyond the societal breaking point.

  4. Who the heck let in all those Somalians into Maine?
    What sane nation would allow such third world mind-sets intothe 'land of the free'.

  5. There is some enormous opportunity for satire here when compared to the facts of the Gunwalker scandal--- if it did not cost the lives and fortunes of Americans.

  6. When I immigrated into the US I was required to sign an affidavit that said in effect I would not be a public charge i.e I was inelliible for benefits as non-citizen permanent resident and that I would not attempt to vote in US elections as a non-citizen permanent resident. Very clear and unequivocal.
    I am now a citizen and pissed off at this administration for its pandering to the illegals.

    1. The immigration situation has something to piss off everyone.

      Start with the mere fact that guys like you spend years and a lot of effort to do everything right, while others just walk across the border and get treated better.