If there were a contest for the most misleading words used in politics, "poverty" should be one of the leading contenders for that title.
Each of us may have his own idea of what poverty means -- especially those of us who grew up in poverty. But what poverty means politically and in the media is whatever the people who collect statistics choose to define as poverty.
This is not just a question of semantics. The whole future of the welfare state depends on how poverty is defined. "The poor" are the human shields behind whom advocates of ever bigger spending for ever bigger government advance toward their goal.
In voting to hike the federal debt limit, Republicans in Congress have violated more than one of their campaign promises. One of the vows they broke was articulated in the House Republicans’ 2010 “Pledge to America” under the heading “Our Plan to Restore Trust”: “We will ensure that bills are debated and discussed in the public square by publishing the text online for at least three days before coming up for a vote in the House of Representatives.”
The laughably named Budget Control Act of 2011, which raises the debt ceiling in exchange for minor (and mostly future) spending cuts, was posted on the House Rules Committee website on August 1 at 1:45 a.m. The House voted on and passed the bill later that same day. Not even 24 hours — let alone the three days promised in the “Pledge to America” — had passed between the posting of the bill and the vote.
The Tea Party is upset with at least four House members who rode to victory in November of 2008 on promises of cutting government spending and then changed sides and voted for the Boehner bill last Friday. The four “defectors,” according to Tea Party Express, Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Founding Fathers, and United West, are James Lankford (R-Okla.), Allen West (R-Fla. — pictured), Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), and Bill Flores (R-Texas).
The strongest criticisms were directed at Allen West, who ran on the promise of standing firm in his convictions and not compromising his principles. Tom Trento, director of the Tea Party Founding Fathers, called the four lawmakers “Stupak defectors”, comparing them to the former House member who at the last minute changed sides on ObamaCare and “betray[ed] conservatives.” The uproar then was so great that Stupak decided to end his career and step down. As Trento noted
The Obama-Boehner debt limit increase bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a 269-161 vote August 1, solely as a result of Republican votes. But most of the GOP presidential candidates, perhaps smelling the will of the voters, voted against the so-called Budget Control Act of 2011, which would raise the debt limit as much as an additional $2.4 trillion. GOP congressmen overwhelmingly voted in favor of the bill with a 174-66 vote. Meanwhile, Democrats were evenly divided, 95-95, meaning that half the Democrats opposed their leadership while most Republicans supported their leadership.
The vote followed a week of tough talk and whip-cracking in the House Republican caucus. “Get your a** in line,” House Speaker John Boehner demanded at a private meeting of the entire House Republican conference July 27, according to multiple press accounts. “I can’t do this job unless you are behind me.”
Many years ago, the Saturday Evening Post was one of the best-known magazines in America. But somehow I learned that the Saturday Evening Post was actually published on Wednesday morning. That was a little disconcerting at first. But it was one of the most valuable lessons, that words do not necessarily reflect reality.
Recent statistics on the average wealth or net worth of blacks are a painful reminder that rhetoric favoring blacks does not mean that politicians using such rhetoric are actually helping blacks. The media seized upon the statistics published by the Pew Research Center to show that whites averaged far more net worth than blacks, and that this disparity was now greater than it was in years past. But what is even more revealing is that the net worth of blacks in 2009 was less than half of what it was in 2005.
What happened to cause such a sharp loss in such a few years?
President Obama announced his debt deal with House Speaker John Boehner with a dramatic quote about the intensity of the cuts in the deal:
"The result would be the lowest level of annual domestic spending since Dwight Eisenhower was President — but at a level that still allows us to make job-creating investments in things like education and research."
The problem is that his statement was an outright lie.
Though Obama's statement sounded good, but a White House memo on the deal reveals his words to be false. It reads that the deal...
Such a Deal! -- Why isn’t Congress talking about eliminating foreign aid? Anything that does not eliminate bureaucracy is a farce. This would not be the first time we have defaulted, even if we did so after August 2. Also some comments on Peru, Norway, and Al Qaeda.
The congressional Republican leadership has agreed to White House demands to raise the national debt by as much as $2.4 trillion and continue deficit spending into the indefinite future. The deal would trim about $900 billion from the anticipated $7 to 8-trillion deficit over the next 10 years — a little more than 10 percent of the total — and allow total federal spending to continue to grow rapidly. It would also set up a bipartisan commission charged with finding an additional $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction.
All of official Washington touted the deal as one of fiscal responsibility. "Our framework is now on the table that will end this crisis in a manner that meets our principles of smaller government,” House Speaker John Boehner told the press after reaching the deal with the White House.
The latest debate over “the debt limit” has all but monopolized the attention of politicians and pundits alike. I confess, I for one am not at all pleased by this, for I find the whole situation particularly difficult to follow. But not only does this issue challenge my understanding, the impression that it has been rendered more complex than it actually is poses a challenge to my patience as well.
The conventional wisdom, the notion peddled by Democrats and Republicans alike, is that we must raise the debt ceiling. Notice, it is imperative or necessary or non-optional that we increase the current ceiling. Why? The answer is simple: Either we raise the debt ceiling or we will witness an economic catastrophe the likes of which we haven’t seen before.
At the very last minute, county commissioners in Jefferson County, home to the metropolis of Birmingham, Alabama, decided to postpone a final decision on whether or not to declare bankruptcy over their excessive indebtedness. The bonded indebtedness incurred to build a state-of-the-art sewage treatment plant exceeds $3 billion, far beyond what the county can afford to service. And raising sewer fees for a fourth time in ten years isn’t an option as the outrage from the last increase still reverberates.
The proximate cause of the difficulty goes back to December of 1993 when three citizens of the county sued the county commissioners over untreated raw sewage being dumped into nearby rivers. The suit, which was picked up by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1994, forced the commissioners to build a new sewer system. In 1997, the county began selling municipal bonds to pay for the project, with the help of a broker at Raymond James & Associates. By November of 2002, the county had raised $2.9 billion and began construction on the project.