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Obama’s Poverty Pivot Invites More Poverty

January 9, 2014 by  

Obama’s Poverty Pivot Invites More Poverty
PHOTOS.COM

As President Barack Obama attempts to stave off an election-year repeat of the public relations disaster he saddled his own party with in 2013, he’s kicking his policy rhetoric into community-organizing mode.

Launching an income inequality initiative is Obama’s way of bailing incumbent Congressional Democrats out of the Obamacare debacle they created, as they enter the 2014 campaign season. But it obviously won’t cause Obamacare to swerve from its predictable course, and it arms GOP challengers — if they’re smart enough to seize on it — with rich political fodder.

That’s because it’s illogical and factually nonsensical for the Obama Administration, in particular, to promote “income equality” policies that, in fact, demonstrably swell the ranks of the “impoverished” in America. And if precedent offers any indication of how the future will look, “poverty” under Obama is only going to increase.

In the United States, “poverty” in its classical sense is an almost meaningless word, especially among the elected class. Poverty does hold significant value as a political tool, though — and that’s what Obama is banking on in an election season that features a lot of embattled Congressional Democrats.

Democrats need a strong voter turnout to retain their Senate majority, but midterm elections are typically low-turnout affairs that tend to draw a disproportionate number of disgruntled voters to the polls. Given the year Obama had in 2013, the disgruntled voter demographic favors the GOP this year — so Democrats need a tent-pole issue to get their own political base disgruntled about.

That’s where “income inequality” comes in. But there’s a problem: The Obama Administration and its subservient, partisan Senate minions are more open than any other elected incumbents to criticism when it comes to poverty policy.

“Although the President often rails against income inequality in America, his policies have had little impact overall on poverty,” The Washington Times observed Tuesday. “A record 47 million Americans receive food stamps, about 13 million more than when he took office.”

The piece continues:

The poverty rate has stood at 15 percent for three consecutive years, the first time that has happened since the mid-1960s. The poverty rate in 1965 was 17.3 percent; it was 12.5 percent in 2007, before the Great Recession.

About 50 million Americans live below the poverty line, which the federal government defined in 2012 as an annual income of $23,492 for a family of four.

President Obama’s anti-poverty efforts “are basically to give more people more free stuff,” said Robert Rector, a specialist on welfare and poverty at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

“That’s exactly the opposite of what Johnson said,” Mr. Rector said. “Johnson’s goal was to make people prosperous and self-sufficient.”

But an America stocked with prosperous and self-sufficient citizens would obviate the far-left progressive leadership that has come to dominate the Democratic Party, because there’d be precious few people left in this country enthralled by the false promise of receiving something for nothing.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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