Posts tagged welfare
I’m for anything and everything when it comes to getting people off welfare. Most people who eventually lost their benefits after welfare reform was passed in the late 1990s say their lives improved because they started working and were supporting themselves.
Education’s often seen as the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. Do well in school and you’ll find a good job. Fail and you’re destined to a life of being poor.
So it’s understandable that a Tennessee lawmaker would back legislation linking school performance to welfare benefits — until you stop to think about the cold, hard realities of parenting a family under such circumstances.
Knoxville Republican Stacey Campfield proposed Senate Bill 132 in January. It would require up to a 30 percent reduction in Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) — or welfare — payments to parents or caretakers with children who “fail to maintain satisfactory progress in school.”
Despite facing a firestorm of controversy after first suggesting the bill, Campfield has persevered. Rep. Vance Dennis, a Republican from Savannah, Tenn., sponsored the bill in the House. This past week, the bill cleared both committees and appears to be on its way toward passage and law.
By Ethan A. Huff
(NaturalNews) For at least the past 15 years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been actively trying to develop new ways to decrease fraud in the federal food stamp program, which currently covers nearly 50 million Americans and adds more than 10,000 new enrollees to its ranks every single day, according to reports. But one disconcerting method the agency appears to be considering involves the potential use of radio frequency identification (RFID) chips to track and identify food stamp recipients at the national level.
Two separate reports quietly issued by the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service program back in 1999 reveal that the agency’s ultimate goal is to develop new tracking protocols that will supposedly improve the integrity of the food stamp program, also known as the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP). In both of these reports, the USDA explains how novel biometric identification technologies can help better verify the identities of food stamp recipients, and thus decrease fraud and “double-dipping.”
“Biometric identification technology provides automated methods to identify a person based on physical characteristics — such as fingerprints, hand shape, and characteristics of the eyes and face — as well as behavioral characteristics — including signatures and voice patterns,” reads the executive summary of one of the reports, entitled Introduction to Biometric Identification Technology: Capabilities and Applications to the Food Stamp Program.
Select states including California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey already employ biometric technologies like fingerprint identification, facial recognition, and even retina scans on the local and regional level, apart from a federal government mandate. But as pointed out by Brandon Turbeville over at Activist Post, this emerging roll-out of new biometric ID programs across the nation has been intentionally gradual so as not to raise too much negative attention about this encroaching violation of individual liberty and personal privacy.
Government pushing RFID as solution to fraud, waste
How does this all tie in with potential RFID chips? Part of this biometric paradigm that the USDA has embraced includes the use of RFID chips, which are already being embedded into credit cards and various other payment devices. Such technology is claimed to help reduce credit card fraud, which means it may be the logical next step for EBT, WIC, and other social welfare problems that are said to be heavily abused by criminals. This type of system is already in place throughout India, after all, where biometric ID cards were recently issued to all of the country’s 1.2 billion residents — and America appears to be next.
“Like the Indian UID program, the roll-out of the American system will require fingerprinting of individuals receiving food stamps under the guise of reducing fraud,” writes Turbeville. “[L]ike the early status of the Japanese version of the UID, the Juki-Net, the emerging American system is currently being implemented on a state-wide or local basis (county or city), with no administration by the [federal government].”
Sources for this article include:
Imaged added to original post.
Posted by Lew Rockwell
Despite claims that the Administration and Congress saved America from the fiscal cliff with an early morning vote today, the fact is that government spending has already pushed Americans over the cliff. Only serious reductions in federal spending will stop the cliff dive from ending in a crash landing, yet the events of this past month show that most elected officials remain committed to expanding the welfare-warfare state.
While there was much hand-wringing over the “draconian” cuts that would be imposed by sequestration, in fact sequestration does not cut spending at all. Under the sequestration plan, government spending will increase by 1.6 trillion over the next eight years. Congress calls this a cut because without sequestration spending will increase by 1.7 trillion over the same time frame. Either way it is an increase in spending.
Yet even these minuscule cuts in the “projected rate of spending” were too much for Washington politicians to bear. The last minute “deal” was the worst of both worlds: higher taxes on nearly all Americans now and a promise to revisit these modest reductions in spending growth two months down the road. We were here before, when in 2011 Republicans demanded these automatic modest decreases in government growth down the road in exchange for a massive increase in the debt ceiling. As the time drew closer, both parties clamored to avoid even these modest moves.
Make no mistake: the spending addiction is a bipartisan problem. It is generally believed that one party refuses to accept any reductions in military spending while the other party refuses to accept any serious reductions in domestic welfare programs. In fact, both parties support increases in both military and domestic welfare spending. The two parties may disagree on some details of what kind of military or domestic welfare spending they favor, but they do agree that they both need to increase. This is what is called “bipartisanship” in Washington.
While the media played up the drama of the down-to-the-wire negotiations, there was never any real chance that a deal would not be worked out. It was just drama. That is how Washington operates. As it happened, a small handful of Congressional and Administration leaders gathered in the dark of the night behind closed doors to hammer out a deal that would be shoved down the throats of Members whose constituents had been told repeatedly that the world would end if this miniscule decrease in the rate of government spending was allowed to go through.
While many on both sides express satisfaction that this deal only increases taxes on the “rich,” most Americans will see more of their paycheck going to Washington because of the deal. The Tax Policy Center has estimated that 77 percent of Americans would see higher taxes because of the elimination of the payroll tax cut.
The arguments against the automatic “cuts” in military spending were particularly dishonest. Hawks on both sides warned of doom and gloom if, as the plan called for, the defense budget would have returned to 2007 levels of spending! Does anybody really believe that our defense spending was woefully inadequate just five years ago? And since 2007 we have been told that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are winding down. According to the Congressional Budget Office, over the next eight years military spending would increase 20 percent without the sequester and would increase 18 percent with the sequester. And this is what is called a dangerous reduction in defense spending?
Ironically, some of the members who are most vocal against tax increases and in favor of cuts to domestic spending are the biggest opponents of cutting a penny from the Pentagon budget. Over and over we were told of the hundreds of thousands of jobs that would be lost should military spending be returned to 2007 levels. Is it really healthy to think of our defense budget as a jobs program? Many of these allegedly free-market members sound more Keynesian than Paul Krugman when they praise the economic “stimulus” created by militarism.
As Chris Preble of the Cato Institute wrote recently, “It’s easy to focus exclusively on the companies and individuals hurt by the cuts and forget that the taxed wealth that funded them is being employed elsewhere.”
While Congress ultimately bears responsibility for deficit spending, we must never forget that the Federal Reserve is the chief enabler of deficit spending. Without a central bank eager to monetize the debt, Congress would be unable to fund the welfare-warfare state without imposing unacceptable levels of taxation on the American people. Of course, the Federal Reserve’s policies do impose an “inflation” tax on the American people; however, since this tax is hidden Congress does not fear the same public backlash it would experience if it directly raised income taxes.
I have little hope that a majority of Congress and the President will change their ways and support real spending reductions unless forced to by an economic crisis or by a change in people’s attitudes toward government. Fortunately, increasing numbers of Americans are awakening to the dangers posed by the growth of the welfare-warfare state. Hopefully this movement will continue to grow and force the politicians to reverse course before government spending, taxing, and inflation destroys our economy entirely.
Photo added to original post.
Thanks to @Snarky_B
Published on Nov 11, 2012 by LibertyAus
Government intervention – not the rigours of the free market – is the cause of financial mayhem.
Chris Leithner speaking at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas (http://fodi.sydneyoperahouse.com/) on Letting Banks Fail, and in particular how Central Banks already have.
Whereby government intervention – not the rigours of the free market – is the cause of the financial mayhem on Wall Street that becomes economic crises on Main Street. The Global Financial Crisis shows that it is not ‘capitalism’ (Karl Marx’s insult of choice) or ‘extreme capitalism (Kevin Rudd’s) that has failed but the ‘mixed economy’. To stop these crises, we need to free the market and allow it to do its job. In a free society, no bank is so big or important that we shouldn’t let it fail.
By Michael Snyder
Economic Collapse Blog
This is the time of the year when Americans run out to their favorite retail stores and fill up their shopping carts with lots of cheap plastic crap made by workers in foreign countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages. By doing this, the American people are actively participating in the destruction of the U.S. economy. You see, buying products that are made in America is not just a matter of national pride. It is a matter of national survival. If we do not support American workers, they are going to continue to see their jobs shipped out of the country.
If we do not support American businesses, they are going to continue to die off at a staggering rate. Last year, the United States had a trade deficit with the rest of the world of 558 billion dollars. More than half a trillion dollars that could have gone into the pockets of U.S. workers and U.S. businesses went overseas instead. If that money had stayed in the country, taxes would have been paid on that mountain of cash and our local, state and federal government debt problems would not be as severe.
As a result of our massive trade imbalance, we have lost tens of thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and trillions of dollars of national wealth. Both major political parties have sold us out on these issues, and we are getting poorer as a nation with each passing day. We desperately need a resurgence of economic patriotism in the United States before it is too late.
Yes, I know that it is very tempting to buy foreign-made products. After all, they are almost always cheaper.
But most people don’t often think about why they are cheaper.
Unfortunately, in the name of “free trade” American workers have been merged into a global labor pool where they have to compete directly for jobs with workers on the other side of the globe that live in countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages. This makes employing American workers a tremendous liability.
If a company hires you and pays you 10 to 15 dollars an hour with benefits, how is it going to compete with another company that pays workers a dollar an hour with no benefits on the other side of the planet?
Both major political parties are pushing this emerging “one world economic system“, but it is absolutely killing American jobs. We have already seen a mass exodus of jobs and businesses out of this country, and wages for the jobs that remain in the United States are being forced down because there are hordes of unemployed workers that are willing to take just about any decent job they can find.
It has become painfully obvious that our politicians are not going to do anything to help us on these issues, so what we need is a mass awakening among the American people.
We need to educate people that buying things that are made in America is good for the economy and that buying things that are made elsewhere is bad for the economy.
But for now, most Americans are clueless. They will line up on Black Friday morning and trample one another in a desperate attempt to save a few bucks on cheap plastic devices that were made on the other side of the planet.
And they will pay for much of this “shopping” with credit cards.
Credit card debt is on the rise once again. In fact, average credit card debt per borrower was 4.9 percent higher in the third quarter of 2012 than it was in the third quarter of 2011. It looks like most of us didn’t learn our lessons from the last financial crisis.
But not all Americans enjoy the shopping that is typically involved with this time of the year. One recent survey found that approximately 45 percent of all Americans think that there is so much financial pressure associated with the holidays that they wouldn’t mind skipping them completely.
http://NextNewsNetwork.com | Next News Network’s WHDT World News Program airs daily at 6pm and 11pm Eastern on Comcast, DirecTV and Over-the-Air and Online at http://usmediavault.com/WHDT.html
WHDT World News is available to 6 million viewers from South Beach to Sebastian, Florida and to 2 million viewers in Boston, Massachusetts via WHDN.
WHDT broadcasts on RF channel 44 (virtual channel 9) from Palm City and is carried on cable TV channels 44 (SD) and 1044 (HD) by AT&T, on cable channels 17 (SD) and 438 (HD) in West Palm Beach by Comcast, on satellite channel 44 (SD) in West Palm Beach by DIRECTV, and on WHDN-Boston which broadcasts on RF channel 38 (virtual channel 6) from the Government Center district in downtown Boston.
More about WHDT: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WHDT… more
Submitted by Katniss Everdeen
Here is the video from C-SPAN: http://www.c-spanvideo.or…
7:45am Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), Foreign Affairs Committee Member @RepRonPaul
Topic: Congressman Paul will discuss fiscal cliff negotiations in Congress as well as the latest developments in Libya. Rep. Paul is a member of the foreign affairs committee, which will hold a hearing on Benghazi Thursday, “Benghazi and Beyond: What Went Wrong on September 11, 2012 and How to Prevent it from Happening at other Frontline Posts.”
A true statesman and humanitarian, Dr. Ron Paul, simply states the road we are on verses the road we should be on, explaining both consequences and rewards. I feel no individual in office can fill his mighty shoes, but that is not necessary, as the time is now to advance the cause of Freedom and Personal Liberty and the person to carry that cause is you and I, as individuals uniting to create a critical mass, so often mentioned by Bob Schultz and others. The revolution is now in our hands and we each will decide how best to promote the battle for Liberty!
Transcript Location: http://www.campaignforliberty.org/national-blog/transcript-of-farewell-address/
Congressman Paul’s final speech on the House floor before leaving Congress
Below is the transcript of Ron Paul’s farewell address to Congress:
Farewell to Congress
This may well be the last time I speak on the House Floor. At the end of the year I’ll leave Congress after 23 years in office over a 36 year period. My goals in 1976 were the same as they are today: promote peace and prosperity by a strict adherence to the principles of individual liberty.
It was my opinion, that the course the U.S. embarked on in the latter part of the 20th Century would bring us a major financial crisis and engulf us in a foreign policy that would overextend us and undermine our national security.
To achieve the goals I sought, government would have had to shrink in size and scope, reduce spending, change the monetary system, and reject the unsustainable costs of policing the world and expanding the American Empire.
The problems seemed to be overwhelming and impossible to solve, yet from my view point, just following the constraints placed on the federal government by the Constitution would have been a good place to start.
How Much Did I Accomplish?
In many ways, according to conventional wisdom, my off-and-on career in Congress, from 1976 to 2012, accomplished very little. No named legislation, no named federal buildings or highways—thank goodness. In spite of my efforts, the government has grown exponentially, taxes remain excessive, and the prolific increase of incomprehensible regulations continues. Wars are constant and pursued without Congressional declaration, deficits rise to the sky, poverty is rampant and dependency on the federal government is now worse than any time in our history.
All this with minimal concerns for the deficits and unfunded liabilities that common sense tells us cannot go on much longer. A grand, but never mentioned, bipartisan agreement allows for the well-kept secret that keeps the spending going. One side doesn’t give up one penny on military spending, the other side doesn’t give up one penny on welfare spending, while both sides support the bailouts and subsidies for the banking and corporate elite. And the spending continues as the economy weakens and the downward spiral continues. As the government continues fiddling around, our liberties and our wealth burn in the flames of a foreign policy that makes us less safe.
The major stumbling block to real change in Washington is the total resistance to admitting that the country is broke. This has made compromising, just to agree to increase spending, inevitable since neither side has any intention of cutting spending.
The country and the Congress will remain divisive since there’s no “loot left to divvy up.”
Without this recognition the spenders in Washington will continue the march toward a fiscal cliff much bigger than the one anticipated this coming January.
I have thought a lot about why those of us who believe in liberty, as a solution, have done so poorly in convincing others of its benefits. If liberty is what we claim it is- the principle that protects all personal, social and economic decisions necessary for maximum prosperity and the best chance for peace- it should be an easy sell. Yet, history has shown that the masses have been quite receptive to the promises of authoritarians which are rarely if ever fulfilled.