January 2014

Obama Betrays U.S. Military Superiority

The takeover of Fallujah by Al Qaeda wipes out our costly 2004 victory when we captured Fallujah at the cost of 100 Marines and soldiers killed in action and hundreds more wounded. Fallujah isn’t just an Obama mistake; it’s the exemplar of Obama’s disastrous foreign and military policies designed to reduce the power and prestige of America on the world stage.

Obama’s military policies are not merely based on his incompetence. His military policies are part of his personal ideology to redistribute power in the world, which is the other side of the coin of his Saul-Alinsky ideology to reduce our standard of living by drastically limiting our energy use to the level of poorer nations. When Obama told Joe the plumber that Obama wanted to “spread the wealth around,” that was only part of his plan. He also wants to spread power around to achieve his we-are-all-equal worldview.

Just as Obama thinks it is unfair that the United States enjoys a higher standard of living than the rest of the world (even though we earned it), he thinks it is unfair that America has more military power than other countries. When he talks about his goal of “fundamentally transforming” the United States, he means he wants to reduce both our economic and our military superiority.

Obama has failed miserably to negotiate Iran out of its steady progression toward becoming a nuclear nation. It’s been a year and a half since the Benghazi murders of our Ambassador and three other Americans, but nobody has paid a price and they remain unavenged.

Obama’s intervention in Egypt was an unmitigated disaster that replaced a pro-American dictator with the Muslim Brotherhood, a vicious opponent of Western values of freedom and representative government. His strange support for the Muslim Brotherhood indicates a willingness to align us with the Brotherhood’s revolutionary agenda.

Afghanistan is releasing 72 prisoners the U.S. says are a security threat to the United States. Syria is in chaos, South Sudan has fallen into civil war, and Al Qaeda now controls more territory in the Arab world than at any time in history, more than 400 miles across the heart of the Middle East.

Most of what Obama says is carefully scripted by his handlers and placed on the teleprompter for him to read. When Obama is caught without a teleprompter, we get some insight on how radical he really is.

That is what happened at the 2012 South Korea summit when Obama was heard on an open mic saying to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev: “On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space. . . . This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.” Medvedev replied, “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.” That tells us all we need to know about Obama’s plan to destroy America’s military superiority. Obama asserted that, after his reelection, he would no longer be accountable to the American public on “particularly missile defense.”

The United States has always had anti-missile superiority, a priceless protection against the murderous aims of Iran, Communist China and North Korea. Russia has been trying to get us to abandon it ever since the days of Ronald Reagan, whose steadfast refusal to give it up at the Reykjavik summit with Gorbachev was a major factor in winning the Cold War.

Our friends are wondering why our President has deliberately reduced American power and influence to levels of the 1930s and turned his back on U.S. supporters and allies. He has openly made nice with adversaries such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Tehran’s ayatollahs, and allowed Chinese penetration to rise to higher and higher levels.

This is not just a series of mistakes or bad luck. Obama’s plan is to reduce American influence and prestige because he thinks military power should be redistributed just as he wants to spread the wealth around inside our country. Our allies are dismayed by Obama’s foolish abandonment of our preeminent military strength because they depend on us for their own security.

Americans will have to depend on the election of U.S. Senators in November who commit to uphold the 2012 Republican Party Platform: “We are the party of peace through strength. . . . American military superiority has been the cornerstone of a strategy that seeks to deter aggression or defeat those who threaten our national security interests.”

Crashing the Border With ‘Credible Fear’

Those who seek to enter the United States illegally are resourceful in selecting their route. They climb over fences, scramble through underground tunnels, swim through waterways, and claw their way through the heat of the Arizona desert.

Now, some illegals have learned two magic words that let them in legally. They can walk up to a border agent and say: “credible fear.” These may be the only words they can speak in English, but they are sufficient to unlock the gates of our borders. Credible fear applications have increased from 5,000 to more than 36,000, with the biggest numbers coming from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

If a credible fear application passes an initial screening interview, the applicant is allowed to live and work in the U.S. until his case is resolved. That might take years. The House Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing to examine reports that the asylum system is being exploited by drug traffickers. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) accused some asylum seekers of “gaming the system”; they “get free education, free healthcare.”

Such a loose system invites fraud. Last year in New York, 26 people including six attorneys were indicted on charges that they manufactured asylum claims and coached Chinese clients on how to lie to immigration officials. In 2012, more than 10,000 people from China were granted asylum.

The House Judiciary Committee discovered a woman in the U.S. on an asylum claim who three months later was caught at a Border Patrol checkpoint with more than $1 million worth of cocaine. According to Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), “dangerous criminals are gaming the system by claiming they have a ‘credible fear’ of persecution when often they’ve been the perpetrators of violence themselves.” According to Rep. Goodlatte, the law requires most people claiming “credible fear” to be put in mandatory detention until their case is resolved. But, surprise, surprise, the Obama Administration argues that they should be released rather than detained unless there is a demonstrable danger to the community.

Among the 70,000 Iraqis admitted to the U.S. as war refugees were several dozen suspected terrorist bomb-makers, including some believed to have targeted U.S. troops, according to the FBI agents investigating the roadside bombs recovered from Iraq and Afghanistan. An Iraqi named Waad Ramadan Alwan, who claimed to be a refugee, was allowed to settle in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where he moved into public housing and collected public assistance handouts.

The FBI secretly taped Alwan, which recorded him bragging that he had built a dozen bombs in Iraq and used sniper rifles to target American soldiers near Baghdad. Bowling Green residents are asking why this criminal was allowed to move to their town.

The FBI now admits that dozens of terrorist bomb-makers were allowed to move to the U.S. as war refugees. Don’t forget the Boston Marathon Bombers who were admitted to the U.S. using the asylum racket and then received generous welfare handouts. They were heirs to a pattern of violence and dysfunction that has been going on for several generations.

Asylum requests at the Mexican border soared to 36,000 in fiscal 2013, and 2,000 recent applicants carried a bleeding-heart letter describing their alleged need for asylum. A local official named C. Ramon Contreras Orozco has been providing these letters, which have been copied, resold or forged for a going rate of $75 each.

The U.S. Border Patrol reported a “surge of unaccompanied minors coming across our border,” some used by drug smugglers. Border statistics released this December show that 24,668 “unaccompanied alien children” were housed in federally funded U.S. care centers last year, double the 2012 number, and quadruple the number in previous years.

Our Border Patrol arrested a 12-year-old boy illegally smuggling 80 pounds of marijuana on his back from Mexico into Texas. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) commented that some of the so-called Dreamers, portrayed as having been innocently brought into the U.S. as children by their parents, actually were “hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

Federal Judge Andrew S. Hanen of Texas accused the Department of Homeland Security of hand-delivering children smuggled into the U.S. to their illegal alien parents. The judge said that Customs and Border Protection agents helped to locate and deliver the kids to their parents, and U.S. taxpayers paid the bill for flights to multiple locations to find the parents. One of those children was delivered to the person who paid the smuggler. The judge accused the government of “completing the criminal mission” of human traffickers “who are violating the border security of the United States” and assisting a “criminal conspiracy in achieving its illegal goals.”

Judge Hanen called the Administration’s behavior “dangerous and unconscionable” and said that “DHS should cease telling the citizens of the United States that it is enforcing our border security laws because it is clearly not. Even worse, it is helping those who violate these laws.”

Amnesty advocates point to the assimilation of large numbers of immigrants in the early years of the 20th century. But that was followed by a national pause and slowdown of immigration from the 1920s to the 1960s, which allowed newcomers to assimilate, learn our language, and adapt to our unique system of government.

Pre-K Doesn’t Pay Off

In an attempt to shift public discussion from the Obamacare train wreck, as well as toady to the feminists, Barack Obama is again promoting universal tax-paid daycare for preschoolers. This has been a goal of the feminists since the 1970s, since they believe that it is an example of the patriarchy’s oppression of women for mothers to be expected to care for their own children, and that burden should be shifted to the taxpayers.

But spending $75 billion on free preschool for all will not work any better for Obama than the numerous times it’s been tried in previous administrations. Daycare for all children is sometimes called universal daycare, sometimes early childhood education, and now is usually called Pre-K, which stands for pre-Kindergarten.

Regardless of what it is called, Pre-K is very expensive. Progressives don’t want you to know that Pre-K requires tax increases, so they call it “investments.” Obama wants to line up big-business support with a fairy tale that daycare “investments” will pay off by turning out kids who will be better trained for school-to-work.

Lobbyists for pre-K always cite the Perry Preschool Project, conducted 50 years ago in Ypsilanti, Michigan, as their model. But that project was prohibitively expensive — costing about $19,000 a year per student in today’s dollars. The kids were put in separate classes of only six preschool children, each class taught by a well-trained teacher with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education plus extra training in a special curriculum. Each teacher then had a 90-minute visit at each child’s home in the afternoon.

We’ve just found out a very unusual feature of the Perry Project that had not been reported before. This feature makes the Perry daycare experiment very different from the usual government daycare. All the 123 kids in the Perry Project had stay-at-home moms, so we wonder why they needed daycare in the first place.

When we look at any scientific experiment to see if it is valid, the essential requirement is that others can imitate it and get the same results. But the Perry Project has never been replicated in the 50 years since it took place in Michigan, despite many subsequent attempts, so the Perry study is not scientifically credible.

Yet, Obama’s top economist, Austan Goolsbee, is touting the argument that expenditures for universal pre-K will produce social goodies for society in the long term. Goolsbee cites the work of another economist, James J. Heckman, who asserts that “each dollar invested [in government daycare] returns 7 to 10 dollars back to society.” Heckman’s rash conclusion has been endlessly echoed by so-called daycare experts, who claim that the famous Perry Preschool Project of 50 years ago gave society a return of six to seven times its cost. Goolsbee then solemnly pontificated that this exceeds “the historical returns of the stock market.”

The liberal Brookings Institution has now admitted that the supposed benefits of Pre-K programs often “don’t last even until the end of kindergarten.” Brookings’ top research analyst commented, “I see these findings as devastating for advocates of the expansion of state Pre-K programs.”

The other project touted by the advocates of Big Nanny Government raising our children is the famous Head Start program that began in Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. It’s been running for nearly 50 years, spending billions of dollars, and still does not provide evidence that government can do a better job than mothers.

Head Start was based on the assumption that government schools can compensate children for the disadvantage of being poor. It’s time to face up to the fact that children are poor mainly because they don’t have their own father provider-protector. The problem we should address is the decline in marriage.

The real difference between high-achieving and low-achieving children is whether or not they live in a nuclear family. There is no substitute for the enormous advantage to children of growing up in a home with their own mother and father. A better formula for helping kids to achieve in school would be to stop giving financial incentives to women to have illegitimate babies.

Five years ago, the Department of Health and Human Services completed data collection for its final third-grade follow-up study of Head Start. This evaluation of Head Start showed that, while there were some initial positive impacts from Head Start, “by the end of third grade there were very few impacts found in any of the four domains of cognitive, social-emotional, health and parenting practices.” Since 1965, taxpayers have spent $180 billion on it, but it failed to improve academic outcomes for the kids it was designed to help. On a few measures, Head Start had harmful effects on children.

This is important information for policymakers who vote more money for Head Start every year. Even the big money package for Hurricane Sandy victims included millions of dollars in additional Head Start funding. The reports about Head Start show that the whole project was a colossal waste of taxpayers’ money that did some good for a few kids, but some harm for others.

We should get the facts, learn from past failures, and abandon pie-in-the-sky projects before we “invest” any more taxpayers’ money. How about a study to find out if kids do better in school if they have the good fortune to live with their stay-at-home mother like the kids in the famous Perry Project?

Minimum Wage & Welfare: The Tradeoff

The Democrats have selected raising the minimum wage as the issue to protect them from public opposition to the Obamacare fiasco which is dimming their prospects for retaining the Senate in the 2014 elections. But raising the minimum wage may actually be worth considering if it has the side benefit of cutting the gigantic total of our hidden welfare programs.

Yes, hidden. We call the welfare state “hidden” because most people have no idea that it has grown to nearly a trillion dollars a year. And most people think “welfare” goes all or mostly to the unemployed, whereas the truth is that most of it goes to working families whose income is below a government-designated poverty line.

The hidden welfare state has mushroomed into a massive complex of at least 79 means-tested programs doled out by at least nine federal agencies, plus state funds. Included in this welfare total are food stamps (for which spending has doubled since 2007), TANF, the Earned Income Tax Credit, housing aid, energy assistance, child care, and Supplemental Security Income, not even counting the new subsidies in Obamacare.

Since the end of the Reagan Administration, our $937 billion in welfare handouts have grown beyond any relation to actual need. So-called welfare has grown faster than growth in our economy, our population increase, the rise in the poverty rate, and annual federal expenditures on defense, education, Social Security, or Medicare.

Seventeen years after Bill Clinton said “we are ending welfare as we know it,” welfare spending as a percentage of our national output has nearly doubled, from 2.2 percent of GDP in 1989 to 4.3 percent in 2013. People who earn wages near the poverty level supplement their incomes with an array of federal benefits, including food stamps. Medicaid, child care, and cash wage subsidies, plus school lunch (and breakfast) for their kids.

All these programs and handouts are based on someone’s income level. If raising the minimum wage raises the individual above the government-prescribed poverty level, raising the minimum wage could be a benefit for taxpayers.

Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation, the country’s expert on welfare statistics, has concluded that: “Since the beginning of the War on Poverty, government has spent $19.8 trillion (in inflation-adjusted 2011 dollars) on means-tested welfare. In comparison, the cost of all military wars in U.S. history from the Revolutionary War through the current war in Afghanistan has been $6.98 trillion (in inflation-adjusted 2011 dollars). The War on Poverty has cost three times as much as all other wars combined.”

Rector says that 100 million Americans now receive benefits from at least one of the 79 programs. The bipartisan welfare reform of 1996 actually reformed only one of the 79 programs, and Barack Obama gutted the heart of that reform by illegally eliminating the “work” requirement.

The temptation to cheat is always present. The Census Bureau reported that one quarter of single moms receiving generous taxpayer cash and benefits actually have a partner living in the house whom she doesn’t marry (and doesn’t report) because marriage would reduce her government handouts.

The EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit) lifted 5.7 million wage earners above the poverty line in 2011, but the EITC is full of all sorts of fraud. The Treasury’s inspector general reported that more than $110 billion in payments were given out during the past decade to people who were not qualified.

Welfare pays more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states, according to a Cato Institute study, and welfare in 13 states pays more than $15 an hour. Remember, welfare benefits are tax free, so their dollar value is even greater.

Legislation to raise the minimum wage would elevate many low-wage earners above the income threshold that qualifies them for benefits and should result in reduced welfare spending. That’s a tradeoff Republicans could support.

A good example of how our so-called welfare program is subsidizing and incentivizing bad behavior was illustrated on Sean Hannity’s May 11, 2013 TV interview with a young man who fathered 22 children with 14 different mothers. The U.S. taxpayers, of course, are supporting them all. The man was proud of his achievement, didn’t have a job, didn’t pay child support, believes it is the duty of the taxpayers to support them all, and defiantly looks forward to creating more kids with more women. Our welfare system makes this travesty possible; it’s much worse than the famous “welfare queen” who became notorious back in 1976.

In order to reduce our slide into massive dependence on government, Congress should restore effective work requirements, tighten eligibility requirements, aggressively go after fraud, and make large cuts in total spending on handouts. Raising the minimum wage might make it possible to legislate fair and sensible improvements.

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