Tag Archives: welfare

The Senate has Lost its Mind

130130125854-senate-gun-hearing-06-horizontal-gallery

Clowns

Okay, not the full Senate – yet, but can there be any doubt this lunacy will fly right through that democrat-controlled body?

Via washingtontimes.com:

Senate panel OKs tax-welfare benefits for newly legal immigrants

By Stephen Dinan – The Washington Times

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Monday to allow illegal immigrants who get legal status to begin collecting tax-welfare payments, as the panel spent a fourth day working through amendments to the massive immigration bill and party-line splits began to emerge.

In one major change, the committee voted 17-1 to make a third drunken-driving conviction a deportable offense for the newly legalized immigrants if at least one of those offenses occurs after they are approved for legal status.

But immigrant-rights groups called that a rollback of due-process rights for the immigrants and said a drunken-driving incident shouldn’t cost someone a chance at citizenship.

“We cannot and will not support hard-line proposals that take away discretion and limit an individual’s ability to pursue the pathway to citizenship,” said Paromita Shah, associate director of the National Lawyers Guild’s National Immigration Project.

Overall, the committee continued to maintain the delicate balance struck by the “Gang of Eight” senators who negotiated the 867-page bill: Quick legal status for illegal immigrants, but delaying citizenship rights until after the administration spends more money on border security, puts in place a new electronic verification system to check workers’ status, and enacts an entry-exit system to check visas at airports and seaports.

In previous days’ action, two Republican members of the Gang of Eight — Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jeff Flake of Arizona — joined with Democrats to block a series of GOP amendments to stiffen the bill’s security.

But on Monday, the two Republicans sided with their party colleagues on key questions on giving illegal immigrants public benefits.

The 10 Democrats on the committee still outnumber the newly unified Republicans, but the votes signaled tough fights ahead on the Senate floor.

You will find the rest of the story at this link.

crossing_border_cartoon

Parasites

Hopefully the republican-controlled House of Representatives will put a swift end to this insanity, as unlike the idiots currently populating the Senate, all of them will be up for reelection next year.

-But you will pardon me if I refrain from holding my breath.

As for myself, I am getting beyond tired of seeing Americans being treated like second-class citizens in favor of illegal invaders by our own government.

Those on that Senate committee that voted for this idiocy should be ashamed of themselves.

Of course, when you have no shame…

-Dave

(h/t: Drudge)

Urine or u’re out

paying taxes

I work. They pay me.

I pay my taxes, and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit.

In order to get that paycheck, I am required a pass a random urine test, with which I have no problem.

What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don’t have to pass a urine test.

So, here is my question:

Shouldn’t one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check because I have to pass one to earn it for them?

Please understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. But I do have a problem with helping someone sit on their butt doing drugs while I work!

Can you imagine how much money each state would save if people have to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check?

We can call the program “Urine or You’re Out!”

One last thought:

All politicians, including the one in the White House who goes around passing out free Obama welfare phones, should have to pass a urine test too!

And while they’re at it, they should also have to pass an intelligence test, a common sense test, and an understanding the Constitution test as well, because by their actions they show they lack intelligence, have no common sense, and are bent on shredding the U.S. Constitution into pieces. :(

H/t my sis-in-law Shireen

~Eowyn

Your tax dollars at work…

nypost

Welfare recipients take out cash at strip clubs, liquor stores and X-rated shops

NY Post: They’re on the dole — and watching the pole. Welfare recipients took out cash at bars, liquor stores, X-rated video shops, hookah parlors and even strip clubs — where they presumably spent their taxpayer money on lap dances rather than diapers, a Post investigation found.

A database of 200 million Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) records from January 2011 to July 2012, obtained by The Post through a Freedom of Information request, showed welfare recipients using their EBT cards to make dozens of cash withdrawals at ATMs inside Hank’s Saloon in Brooklyn; the Blue Door Video porn shop in the East Village; The Anchor, a sleek SoHo lounge; the Patriot Saloon in TriBeCa; and Drinks Galore, a liquor distributor in The Bronx.

The state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), which oversees the “cash assistance program,” even lists some of these welfare-ready ATMs on its Web site.

One EBT machine is stationed inside Club Eleven, an infamous Hunts Point jiggle joint known as much for its violent history as its girls in pink thongs. Cops have been cracking down on the Bronx club since 2009 and shut it down temporarily in 2010. In July, five men were stabbed and two others shot outside after bouncers broke up a 4 a.m. brawl with pepper spray. The club appeared to be shuttered when The Post visited Thursday.

Critics blasted the government for turning a blind eye to welfare’s sleazy money. “This is morally scandalous,” said Michael Tanner, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. “I have nothing against strip clubs, but that’s not what benefits are for. I don’t blame [recipients]. If you are poor, it’s a crummy life and you want to have a drink or see a naked woman. I blame the people who are in charge of this.”

Welfare recipients receive food stamps and cash assistance under the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Both benefits are accessed through an EBT card, but only cash assistance — meant for housing, utilities and household necessities — can be accessed at ATMs.

A single-person household could receive a maximum $200 in monthly food stamps plus $158 in cash assistance. A family of four could get as much as $668 in food stamps and $433 in cash.

The food-stamp program prohibits the purchase of booze, tobacco and lottery tickets with an EBT card. But with the cash-assistance program, users can blow money on strippers or a six-pack and to tap welfare dollars from liquor stores, casinos and adult-oriented establishments.

The Post found dozens of pubs, nightclubs and tobacco shops where welfare dough was dispensed — and presumably spent. The Boiler Room, a gay dive bar in the East Village, had $120 and $60 transactions a minute apart on Jan. 17, 2011. The bar is around the corner from a Bank of America that takes EBT cards.

West Village tobacco shop Shisha International had EBT transactions ranging from $40 to $180 in 2011. The store is near at least two EBT-friendly ATMs.

Legislative efforts to crack down on sinful spending have fallen short. State Sen. Tom Libous (R-Binghamton) passed a bill in his chamber in June that would outlaw welfare withdrawals at gambling dens, strip clubs and other venues of vice, but the measure is gathering dust in the Democratic-controlled Assembly.

Libous is looking for a new Assembly sponsor to carry the bill in that house in the upcoming legislative session, after past sponsor George Latimer (D-Rye) was elected to the state Senate. With only one of the city’s Assembly members, Nicole Malliotakis (R-B’klyn./SI), as a co-sponsor, the bill faces an uphill battle.

The Assembly typically doesn’t support welfare reform, because its more liberal members think the measures “hurt the poor,” Libous said. If the bill remains stalled, the state stands to lose $120 million in federal welfare funding.

The Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, signed by President Obama last February, requires states to prohibit sinful welfare spending by 2014. If they don’t, they’ll forfeit federal cash.

“The people who are stealing from the program are the ones I want to go after,” Libous said. “Not someone who lost his job or a single mom who has to feed her kids. That’s what this program is supposed to be for.”

A spokesman with the US Department of Health and Human Services said states make their own rules on EBT cards. Some states already limit where EBT cards can withdraw money.

A rep from OTDA, New York’s welfare office, said the state does not choose or regulate which retailers get ATMs that handle EBTs. Instead, retailers decide whether to use an ATM that accepts welfare cards.

What a joke – on the taxpayers. This EBT program has become nothing more than a good time for many recipients, at your expense.

DCG

Unsustainable – 49.5% of Americans don’t pay income taxes

Today is the deadline to turn in your tax returns.

In honor of this black letter day, I’m re-publishing this post that was first posted two months ago.

If you want a quick answer to the question of why our national debt is nearly $16 trillion and the federal government keeps piling on deficits, this graph says it all. And yet, Obama’s solution is to tax even more the 50.5% of Americans who actually pay income taxes.

Chart of the Week: Nearly Half of All Americans Don’t Pay Income Taxes

Rob Bluey – The Heritage Foundation’s The Foundry – February 19, 2012

This year’s Index of Dependence on Government presented startling findings about the sharp increase of Americans who rely on the federal government for housing, food, income, student aid or other assistance. (See last week’s chart.)

Another eye-popping number was the percentage of Americans who don’t pay income taxes, which now accounts for nearly half of the U.S. population. Meanwhile, most of that population receives generous federal benefits.

“One of the most worrying trends in the Index is the coinciding growth in the non-taxpaying public,” wrote Heritage authors Bill Beach and Patrick Tyrrell. “The percentage of people who do not pay federal income taxes, and who are not claimed as dependents by someone who does pay them, jumped from 14.8 percent in 1984 to 49.5 percent in 2009.”

That means 151.7 million Americans paid nothing in 2009. By comparison, 34.8 million tax filers paid no taxes in 1984.

The rapid growth of Americans who don’t pay income taxes is particularly alarming for the fate of the American form of government, Beach and Tyrrell warned. Coupled with higher spending on government programs, it is already proving to be a major fiscal challenge.

“This trend should concern everyone who supports America’s republican form of government,” Beach and Tyrrell wrote. “If the citizens’ representatives are elected by an increasing percentage of voters who pay no income tax, how long will it be before these representatives respond more to demands for yet more entitlements and subsidies from non-payers than to the pleas of taxpayers to exercise greater spending prudence?”

~Posted by Eowyn

Hispanic Students Disappear as Alabama Gets Tough on Illegals

Map of my country

Hispanic students are vanishing from Alabama’s public schools!

No, it’s not the invasion of the body snatchers.

They’re leaving because on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011, a court ruling unheld a tough new law cracking down on illegal immigration, which had been passed by Alabama’s state legislature and signed by Republican Gov. Robert Bentley months ago, in June 2011.

Alabama’s law is the most restrictive law in the nation against illegal immigration, requiring schools to find out if students are in the country lawfully and making it a crime to knowingly give an illegal immigrant a ride. Like Arizona’s law, Alabama’s also allows police to arrest anyone suspected of being an illegal immigrant if the person is stopped for some other reason. In addition, it requires all businesses to check the legal status of workers using a federal system called E-Verify — a system that interestingly flunked Obama’s Connecticut-issued Social Security number.

The law was to take effect on Sept. 1, but immediately was challenged by pro-illegal immigration groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, who declared the law to be “clearly unconstitutional,” “mean-spirited,” and “racist”.

Alabama has an estimated 120,000 illegal immigrants, a nearly fivefold increase from a decade ago, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. Many of them are believed to be working on farms, at chicken processing plants and in construction.

Jay Reeves reports for the AP, Oct 1, 2011, that in the wake of Wednesday’s court ruling that upheld the state’s tough new law cracking down on illegal immigration, Hispanic students have started vanishing from Alabama public schools .

In tiny Albertville, 35 students withdrew in one day. And about 20 students in Shelby County, in suburban Birmingham, either withdrew or told teachers they were leaving. In Russellville, which has one of the largest immigrant populations in the state because of its poultry plants, overall school attendance was down more than 2% after the ruling, and the rate was higher among Hispanic students. Schools in Baldwin County, a heavily agricultural and tourist area near the Gulf Coast, and in Decatur in the Tennessee Valley also reported sudden decreases in Hispanic attendance.

There are no precise statewide numbers. But several districts with large immigrant enrollments — from small towns to large urban districts — reported a sudden exodus of children of Hispanic parents, some of whom told officials they planned to leave the state to avoid trouble with the law, which requires schools to check students’immigration status.

Local and state officials are pleading with immigrant families to keep their children enrolled. The superintendent in one of the state’s largest cities, Huntsville, went on a Spanish-language television show Thursday to try to calm widespread worries.

“In the case of this law, our students do not have anything to fear,” Casey Wardynski said in halting Spanish. He urged families to send students to class and explained that the state is only trying to compile statistics. The law does not require proof of citizenship to enroll, and it does not apply to any students who were enrolled before Sept. 1. While most students are not affected, school systems are supposed to begin checking the status of first-time enrollees now.

But many Spanish-speaking families aren’t waiting around to see what happens. There’s “no firm data yet, but several students have related to their teachers that they may be moving soon,” said George Harper, who works in the central office.

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Bravo, Alabama!

The next step is to get all able-bodied welfare-recipients off their arses to work in the jobs vacated by the fleeing illegals.

“For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing. And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.” -St. Paul in 2 Thessalonians 3:10-15

~Eowyn

Crisis of Fatherhood in America: 41% of Births Illegitimate

The Cost to Taxpayers of Missing Fathers

 by Phyllis Schlafly

June 17, 2011

With Father’s Day tomorrow, we should ponder the sad plight of the 20 million American children who are growing up without their fathers in the home. In 1993 Charles Murray identifiedillegitimacy as the single most important social problem of our time . . . because it drives everything else.”

Murray was whistling in the wind. Last year, the U.S. illegitimacy rate had grown to 41 percent, and among whites it was 29 percent.

Prior to Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, husbands and fathers provided for their families. The 1.7 million out-of-wedlock babies born last year and their unmarried moms now look to Big Brother as their financial provider.

The left is content to let this problem persist because 70 percent of unmarried women voted for Barack Obama for president. They vote for the party that offers the richer subsidies.

Means-tested welfare handouts cost federal taxpayers $700 billion last year (not counting programs into which people pay, such as Social Security and Medicare). Spending by the states raises the annual total to nearly $900 billion, more than we are spending on national defense, and most of these programs subsidize non-marriage.

The 77 means-tested programs include Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), food stamps, housing subsidies, Medicaid, daycare, WIC, EITC (which can be as much as $5,657 a year to low-income families), School Lunch, School Breakfast, Summer Food, SSI, Headstart, and S-CHIP. The Heritage Foundation estimates that these benefits amount to $16,800 per person in poverty.

Ronald Reagan’s advice is still on target. If we subsidize something, we’ll get more of it; if we tax it, we’ll get less.

The financial subsidies that encourage non-marriage are the biggest reason why federal spending is out of control. There is no way to make significant cuts in the federal deficit unless we address the marriage-absence problem.

Poverty is massively greater for children living with a single, divorced, or cohabiting parent than with parents who are married to each other. The poverty rate for single parents with children is 37 percent, but only 6 percent for married couples with children.

Marriage breakdown is a double-edged sword. At the same time that it forces government to become the financial provider for millions of children and their caregivers, it also reduces the government’s tax receipts to pay for the handouts.

Income tax day now divides us into two almost equal classes: those who pay for government services and freeloaders. In 2009, 47 percent paid no federal income taxes, and the bottom 40 percent receive cash or benefits financed by the 53 percent who do pay income taxes.

Among other unfortunate effects, the trends toward non-marriage and toward same-sex marriage are a direct attack on fathers. The bond between a child and his mother is an obvious fact of nature, but marriage is the relationship that establishes the link between a child and his father.

There are many causes for the dramatic reduction in marriage, starting with unilateral divorce, which spread across the United States in the 1960s and ’70s, putting government on the side of marriage breakup. Then came the legalizing of abortion, diminishing the custom of shotgun marriages, which in earlier years was often the response to surprise pregnancies.

The feminist notion that women should be independent of men, followed by affirmative-action/female quotas in employment, tended to carry out the goal stated by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that the concept of husband-breadwinner and wife-homemaker “must be eliminated.” These feminist ideas and practices demean marriage by discriminating against men and also against fulltime homemakers.

Since the federal government created the child-support bureaucracy, the majority of divorces have been initiated by women. They confidently expect that pro-feminist family courts will award them a steady income for which they will never be held accountable.

The more child support that divorced fathers are ordered to pay, the more federal funds flow through the hands of the states, which compete for federal bonuses given to states that collect the most child support. It is profitable to state bureaucrats to make sure that fathers are permitted to see their own children only a few days per month so support payments can be set at the highest possible level.

Women have discovered they can use a request for an Order of Protection against their husband as “the gamesmanship of divorce” (in the words of the Illinois Bar Journal) in order to get sole child custody plus generous so-called child support. It’s easy to get such Orders without any evidence of abuse or even a threat, without notice to the husband, and with no danger of prosecution for perjury.

Federal and state laws and subsidies that undermine marriage are the biggest fiscal as well as cultural issue of our times.

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H/t my friend Bob W.

~Eowyn

An Elegy to Detroit

I would change Mr. Wooldridge’s title for his opinion essay to “How the Left and Right Together Detroyed Detroit” – the Left, with the welfare state, multiculturalism, and irresponsible unionism; and both the Left and the Republicorp Right with their aiding and abetting of illegal immigration and their support of big corporations’ outsourcing exporting of jobs and the resultant hollowing out of America’s manufacturing industries.

Here are some facts on Detroit, from Wiki:

  • Detroit was the United States’ 11th largest (most populous) city in 2009, with 910,920 residents.
  • In 2007, 33.8% of Detroit’s residents were below the poverty level, the highest among large U.S. cities.
  • As of the 2000 census, the city’s racial makeup was 81.6% Black, 12.3% White, and 5% Hispanic (mostly Puerto Rican and Mexican).
  • 31.6% of households in Detroit were headed by a female with no husband present; only 26.7% of households were married couples living together.
  • Detroit was the 3rd most dangerous U.S. city in 2009, according to a study by the CQ Press, using population figures and crime data compiled by the FBI.

H/t my friend Robert W.

~Eowyn

How Immigration and Multiculturalism the Left and Right Destroyed Detroit

By Frosty Wooldridge - October 5, 2009

For 15 years, from the mid 1970s to 1990, I worked in Detroit, Michigan. I watched it descend into the abyss of crime, debauchery, gun play, drugs, school truancy, car-jacking, gangs, and human depravity. I watched entire city blocks burned out. I watched graffiti explode on buildings, cars, trucks, buses, and school yards. Trash everywhere!

Detroiters walked through it, tossed more into it, and ignored it. Tens of thousands, and then hundreds of thousands today exist on federal welfare, free housing, and food stamps!

With Aid to Dependent Children, minority women birthed eight to 10, and in one case, one woman birthed 24 children as reported by the Detroit Free Press, all on American taxpayer dollars.

A new child meant a new car payment, new TV, and whatever mom wanted. I saw Lyndon Baines Johnson’s ‘Great Society’ flourish in Detroit. If you give money for doing nothing, you will get more hands out taking money for doing nothing.

Mayor Coleman Young, perhaps the most corrupt mayor in America, outside of Richard Daley in Chicago, rode Detroit down to its knees… He set the benchmark for cronyism, incompetence, and arrogance. As a black man, he said, “I am the MFIC.” The IC meant “in charge”. 

You can figure out the rest. Detroit became a majority black city with 67 percent African-Americans. 

As a United Van Lines truck driver for my summer job from teaching math and science, I loaded hundreds of American families into my van for a new life in another city or state.

Detroit plummeted from 1.8 million citizens to 912,000 today.  At the same time, legal and illegal immigrants converged on the city, so much so, that Muslims number over 300,000. Mexicans number 400,000 throughout Michigan, but most work in Detroit. As the whites moved out, the Muslims moved in.

As the crimes became more violent, the whites fled. Finally, unlawful Mexicans moved in at a torrid pace. Detroit suffers so much shoplifting that grocery stores no longer operate in many inner city locations. You could cut the racial tension in the air with a knife! 

Detroit may be one of our best examples of multiculturalism: pure dislike, and total separation from America.

Today, you hear Muslim calls to worship over the city like a new American Baghdad with hundreds of Islamic mosques in Michigan, paid for by Saudi Arabia oil money. High school flunk out rates reached 76 percent last June, according to NBC’s Brian Williams. Classrooms resemble more foreign countries than America. English? Few speak it! The city features a 50 percent illiteracy rate and growing. 

Unemployment hit 28.9 percent in 2009 as the auto industry vacated the city. In Time Magazine’s October 4, 2009, “The Tragedy of Detroit: How a great city fell, and how it can rise again,” I choked on the writer’s description of what happened. “If Detroit had been ravaged by a hurricane, and submerged by a ravenous flood, we’d know a lot more about it,” said Daniel Okrent. “If drought, and carelessness had spread brush fires across the city, we’d see it on the evening news every night.” 

Earthquake, tornadoes, you name it, if natural disaster had devastated the city that was once the living proof of American prosperity, the rest of the country might take notice. 

But Detroit, once our fourth largest city, now 11th, and slipping rapidly, has had no such luck. Its disaster has long been a slow unwinding that seemed to remove it from the rest of the country. 

Even the death rattle that in the past year emanated from its signature industry brought more attention to the auto executives than to the people of the city, who had for so long been victimized by their dreadful decision making.” 

As Coleman Young’s corruption brought the city to its knees, no amount of federal dollars could save the incredible payoffs, kick backs, and illegality permeating his administration. I witnessed the city’s death from the seat of my 18-wheeler tractor trailer because I moved people out of every sector of decaying Detroit. 

“By any quantifiable standard, the city is on life support. Detroit’s treasury is $300 million short of the funds needed to provide the barest municipal services,” Okrent said. “The school system, which six years ago was compelled by the teachers’ union to reject a philanthropist’s offer of $200 million to build 15 small, independent charter high schools, is in receivership. The murder rate is soaring, and 7 out of 10 remain unsolved. Three years after Katrina devastated New Orleans, unemployment in that city hit a peak of 11%. In Detroit, the unemployment rate is 28.9%. 

…The ultimate fate of Detroit will reveal much about the character of America in the 21st century. If what was once the most prosperous manufacturing city in the nation has been brought to its knees, what does that say about our recent past? And if it can’t find a way to get up, what does that say about our future?”

As you read in my book review of Chris Steiner’s book, “$20 Per Gallon”, the auto industry won’t come back. Immigration will keep pouring more, and more uneducated third world immigrants from the Middle East into Detroit, thus creating a beachhead for Islamic hegemony in America. If 50 percent illiteracy continues, we will see more homegrown terrorists spawned out of the Muslim ghettos of Detroit. Illiteracy plus Islam equals walking human bombs.

You have already seen it in Madrid, Spain; London, England and Paris, France with train bombings, subway bombings and riots. As their numbers grow, so will their power to enact their barbaric Sharia Law that negates republican forms of government, first amendment rights, and subjugates women to the lowest rungs on the human ladder. We will see more honor killings by upset husbands, fathers, and brothers that demand subjugation by their daughters, sisters and wives. Muslims prefer beheadings of women to scare the hell out of any other members of their sect from straying. 

Multiculturalism: what a perfect method to kill our language, culture, country, and way of life.

The Grandma-Fostermom Welfare Scam

This letter was sent to Rush Limbaugh by a medical doctor in Danville, Illinois. It’s been authenticated by TruthOrFiction.

No wonder America is broke.

H/t my friend Bob W.

~Eowyn

Dear Mr. Limbaugh, 
 
I was speaking to an emergency room physician this morning. He told me that a woman in her 20′s came to the ER with her 8th pregnancy. She stated “my momma told me that I am the breadwinner for the family.” He asked her to explain. She said that she can make babies and babies get money for the family.

The scam goes like this: The grandma calls the Department of Child and Family Services and states that the unemployed daughter is not capable of caring for these children. DCFS agrees and states that the child or children will need to go to foster care. The grandma then volunteers to be the foster parent, and thus receives a check for $1500 per child per month in Illinois. Total yearly income: $144,000 tax-free, not to mention free healthcare (Medicaid) plus a monthly “Linx” card entitling her to free groceries, etc, and a voucher for 250 free cell phone minutes per month. This does not even include Wick and other welfare programs. Indeed, grandma was correct in that her fertile daughter is the “breadwinner” in the family. 
 
I hope you share this story with your listeners so that they know how the ruling class spends their tax dollars. 
 
Also, many thanks for the fine service you provide in educating people about the merits of conservative thinking. 
 
Cheers, 
 
Sebastian J. Ciancio, M.D.

Urologist
Danville Polyclinic, LTD. 
(217) 477-4766

Revolt of America’s Middle Class

Marxists like Obama foment a class revolution. Marxians undertake a class analysis.

Here’s an interesting and accurate Marxian class analysis of the 11-2-10 tsunami. It’s the revolt of the Middle Class against a self-appointed Ruling Class – who fancy themselves the “creative class” — and their public-employees hangers-on and parasitic bottom-feeders.

Note to the Ruling Class: The revolt has only just begun. We the People will continue to watch you with eagle eyes. Hold onto your hats, for this is a multi-wave tsunami!

H/t my ol’ friend Sol.

~Eowyn

A member of the Obama Creative Class

 

The Smackdown Of The Creative Class
by Joel Kotkin – Forbes.com – November 3, 2010

Two years ago I hailed Barack Obama’s election as “the triumph of the creative class.” Yesterday everything reversed, as middle-class Americans smacked down their putative new ruling class of highly educated urbanistas and college town denizens.

More than anything, this election marked a shift in American class dynamics. In 2008 President Obama managed to win enough middle-class, suburban voters to win an impressive victory. This year, those same voters deserted, rejecting policies more geared to the “creative class” than mainstream America.

A term coined by urban guru Richard Florida, “the creative class” also covers what David Brooks more cunningly calls “bourgeois bohemians”–socially liberal, well-educated, predominately white, upper middle-class voters. They are clustered largely in expensive urban centers, along the coasts, around universities and high-tech regions. To this base, Obama can add the welfare dependents, virtually all African-Americans, and the well-organized legions of public employees.

These are the groups for whom Obama’s persona and policies pack the greatest appeal. Since Obama took office, the prime beneficiary of fiscal and monetary policies has been Wall Street, which has seen a nice 30% rise in the market and record bonuses. Large corporations, which are largely financed by stocks and bonds, have seen their profits soar over 40%, in part due to access to easy money.

The financial boomlet is most marked in key creative class strongholds such as Manhattan, Boston and San Francisco, as well as their surrounding, super-affluent suburbs. The largesse benefits not only the traders, but the high-priced lawyers, accountants and publicists serving the financial elite. It has also benefited the high-end consumer industry, including the arts, which support much of the creative class. Not surpisingly, the Democrats scored well in these areas last night despite the GOP tide.

The creative class also has benefited from the lavish expenditures of public funds to major universities for research. This has lifted the prospects of the professoriate at the elite colleges from which Obama takes much of his advice. Finally the administration has rewarded its friends and funders among Silicon Valley venture capitalists. Once self-described paragons of entrepreneurial risk-taking, they increasingly search out government incentives and subsidies to pay for their large bets on renewable energy technology.

In contrast, the traditional middle class has not fared well at all. This group consists of virtually everyone who earns the national household median income of $50,000 or somewhat above. They tend to be white, concentrated outside the coasts (except along the Gulf), suburban and politically independent. In 2008 they divided their votes, allowing Obama, with his huge urban, minority and youth base, to win easily.

Since Obama’s inauguration all the economic statistics vital to their lives–job creation, family income, housing prices–have been stagnant or negative. Not surprising then that suburbanites, small businesspeople and middle-income workers walked out on the Democrats last night. They did not do so because they loved the Republicans but because the majority either fears unemployment or already have lost their jobs. Many were employed in the industries such as manufacturing and construction hardest hit in the recession; it has not escaped their attention that Obama’s public-sector allies, paid with their taxes, have remained not only largely unscathed, but much better compensated.

Of course, few on the progressive left–more expressive of a dictatorship of the professoriate than that of the proletariat–seem likely to confront these class realities. Many will ascribe last night’s disaster to the dunderheadness of the American people, or to the clever venality of the right. Certainly some tea party candidates, inexperienced and untested, did appear incapable of passing a high school civics test. But the results had less to do with Karl Rove’s money than the Democrats disconnect with the middle class.

The real problem for the Democrats lies with fundamental demographics. The middle class is a huge proportion of the population. Thirty-five million households earn between $50,000 and $100,000 a year; close to another 15 million have incomes between $100,000 and $150,000. Together these households overwhelm the number of poor households as well as the highly affluent.

In contrast, the “creative class” represents a relatively small grouping. Some define this group as upward of 40% of the workforce–largely by dint of having a four-year college degree–but this seems far too broad. The creative class is often seen as sharing the hip values of the Bobo crowd. Lumping an accountant with two kids in suburban Detroit or Atlanta with a childless SoHo graphic artist couple seems disingenuous at best. In reality the true creative class, notes demographer Bill Frey, may constitute no more than 5% of the total.

At the same time, this affluent constituency may be more than offset by another more traditional upper class. This consists of people closely tied to such basic sectors as agriculture, fossil fuel production, suburban home-builders and the aerospace industry. These voters have, for the most part, remained solidly Republican for generations, but many followed the “creative class” into the Democratic Party in 2006 and 2008. Last night this part of the upper class shifted back toward their political home.

But the real decider–to use George W. Bush’s unfortunate phrase–remains the much larger, more amorphous middle class. Given the economy of the past two years, the subsequent alienation of this group should pose no mystery. Suburban swing voters didn’t suddenly turn into racists or right-wing cranks. Instead they have seen, correctly, that Obama’s economic policy has to date worked to the advantage of others far more than themselves or their families. Until the Democrats and Obama can prove that they once again can serve the interests of these voters, they will continue to struggle to recapture the optimism so appropriate two years ago.

Amerika’s Dependent Class of Midnight Shoppers

For once, I find myself lost for words.

This is happening in America: People so dependent on food stamps and other welfare monies, who live from handout to mouth, that they do their grocery shopping at the stroke of midnight when those government-issued electronic checks are paid into their accounts.

~Eowyn

 
 

Midnight shopper Pia James, 55, lives on disability.

Midnight grocery runs capture economic desperation

By ANNE D’INNOCENZIO and DENA POTTER, Associated Press Oct 6, 2010

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – Once a month, just after midnight, the beeping checkout scanners at a Walmart just off Interstate 95 come alive in a chorus of financial desperation. Here and at grocery stores across the country, the chimes come just after food stamps and other monthly government benefits drop into the accounts of shoppers who have been rationing things like milk, ground beef and toilet paper and can finally stock up again.

Shoppers mill around the store after 11 p.m., killing time until their accounts are replenished. When midnight strikes, they rush for the checkout counter.

“The kids are sleeping, so we go do what we’ve gotta do. Money is tight,” Martin Young said as he and his wife pushed two carts piled high with ground beef, toilet paper and other items. The couple said they need food-stamp benefits, which are electronically deposited onto debit cards, because his job as a restaurant server doesn’t quite cover expenses for their five children. “We try to get here between 10:30 and 11 because we know we’ve got a lot of stuff to get. That way by 12 o’clock we’re at the line cashing out and done,” he said.

Another midnight shopper

More than a year after the technical end of the Great Recession, millions of Americans still have a hard time stretching their dollars until the first of the month, or even the next payday.

One in seven Americans lives in poverty, and more than 41 million are on food stamps, a record. Last year the figure was about 35 million.

As a result, there are more scenes like the one last week at a 24-hour Kroger in Cincinnati. As the final hours of September ticked down, about five dozen cars were in the parking lot. It’s much slower on normal weeknights.