Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Welfare Spending Chart You Won’t Want to See


Today’s depressing chart is brought to you by the Senate Budget Committee Republican staff under Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.):

Welfare Spending (if Converted Into Cash Payments) Equals Approximately $168 per day for Every Household in Poverty | Welfare Spending Is Higher Than the $130 Median Income Per DayClick to enlarge

Yep. As the chart clearly illustrates, total welfare spending in the U.S. (if converted into cash payments) equals approximately “$168 per day for every household in poverty,” higher than the $137 median income per-day.
From the senator’s office:
… spending on federal welfare benefits, if converted into cash payments, equals enough to provide $30.60 per hour, 40 hours per week, to each household living below poverty. The median household hourly wage is $25.03. After accounting for federal taxes, the median hourly wage drops to between $21.50 and $23.45, depending on a household’s deductions and filing status. State and local taxes further reduce the median household’s hourly earnings. By contrast, welfare benefits are not taxed.
The universe of means-tested welfare spending refers to programs that provide low-income assistance in the form of direct or indirect financial support—such as food stamps, free housing, child care, etc.—and which the recipient does not pay into (in contrast to Medicare or Social Security). For fiscal year 2011, CRS identified roughly 80 overlapping federal means-tested welfare programs that together represented the single largest budget item in 2011—more than the nation spends on Social Security, Medicare, or national defense. The total amount spent on these federal programs, when taken together with approximately $280 billion in state contributions, amounted to roughly $1 trillion. Nearly 95 percent of these costs come from four categories of spending: medical assistance, cash assistance, food assistance, and social/housing assistance. Under the President’s FY13 budget proposal, means-tested spending would increase an additional 30 percent over the next four years.
The diffuse and overlapping nature of federal welfare spending has led to some confusion regarding the scope and nature of benefits. For instance, Newark Mayor Cory Booker has recently received a great deal of attention for adopting the “food stamp diet” in which he spends only $4 a day on food (the average individual benefit in his state) to apparently illustrate the insufficiency of food stamp spending ($80 billion a year) or the impossibility of reductions. The situation Booker presents, however, is not accurate: a low-income individual on food stamps may qualify for $25,000 in various forms of welfare support from the federal government on top of his or her existing income and resources—including access to 15 different food assistance programs. Further, even if one unrealistically assumes that no other welfare benefits are available, the size of the food stamp benefit increases as one’s income decreases, as the benefit is designed as a supplement to existing resources; it is explicitly not intended to be the sole source of funds for purchasing food.
Crist’s Move to the Democratic Party — the Latest in a Trend of Political Cowardice

Posted in Tea Party News Network

Weak-kneed former Republican Florida Governor Charlie Crist has officially come out as a Democrat.

Crist’s odyssey to move to the left has been ongoing and has become a saga of reform based on political convenience. He was the Republican governor of Florida, and then switched to an Independent to run for the U.S. Senate- a bid which he lost. Now, realizing there is still another option, he has come full-circle and arrived at the inevitable conclusion; he has registered as a Democrat.

On Friday, Crist tweeted a picture of himself and his wife, Carol, with his new voter registration form at a Christmas reception at the White House. The president greeted his new found liberal enthusiasm with a fist bump. The tweet said,
“Proud and honored to join the Democratic Party in the home of President @BarackObama!”
Maybe he might make it as a Democrat after all; he’s already got the most important move down — suck up to the anointed leader and never go against him.

Crist noted, “I’ve had friends for years tell me, ‘You know Charlie, you’re a Democrat and you don’t know it.”

However, his recent transformation does not necessarily signal a true ideological shift, but rather one of political convenience. The former Republican governor was once known as “Chain Gang Charlie” for his tough stance on crime. He was also an opponent of gay marriage and he had also been relatively pro-gun rights, even going so far as to signing into law the “Bring Your Guns to Work” law- a law which made it illegal for public and private employers to have policies prohibiting firearms on their private property.

So, it would sound odd that all those friends for years would have been telling him that he was a latent Democrat when he possessed many stances that would have made him an odd fit for the modern Democratic Party. Though, in recent years, this move has become more and more inevitable.

I’ll just go ahead and say what Crist won’t: his recent switch illustrates a trend that is becoming more and more pervasive in these chaotic political times. Crist has no real allegiance to one particular Party or ideology, but instead, wishes to regain office.

As Republicans become RINOs and seek to betray the ideological purity of the GOP, we are seeing more and more that these fair-weather friends are really just political mercenaries going to whichever party or ideology that can offer them the most possible benefit.

While there can certainly be varying degrees of commitment to ideas, the outright abandonment of core principles has become entirely too accepted. Crist is moving to the Democratic Party, but for what?

To run for governor in a state that is already crawling with real Democrats? Nobody trusts the wishy-washy Party member.

So, with Crist’s severing of ties with the right, we say, “Good riddance.”

Obama Arms The Enemy Again

Obama Appeaser Enemies SC Obama Arms The Enemy Again

In a rare moment of journalism, the New York Times reported that the Obama Administration secretly encouraged Arab countries  to ship arms to rebel forces in Libya during the rebellion to oust longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi. The arms were provided to the rebels and Islamic extremists with links to al Qaeda in a Muslim Brotherhood-sponsored insurrection to turn the oil-rich African nation into an Islamic republic.

The flow of weapons and supplies from al Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (with the help of the Administration-lead NATO airstrikes) overwhelmed the Libyan military and brought about the fall of the Qaddafi regime. Militant groups were well-armed and provided a viable threat to the current government of Libya and everyone else in the embattled nation. The unstable situation on the ground in Libya may very well repeat itself  in Syria, given the way events are unfolding. The current situation on the ground in Libya, Egypt, and now Syria is an indication that the Arab Spring movement touted by Barack Obama is turning out to be a miserable failure.

The Obama White House encouraged al Qatar and United Arab Emirates to arm the Libyan rebels and the Islamic extremists. Later, the President complained that the movement of arms was not coordinated with the White House to monitor who received the shipments of arms.  In war and disaster zones, proper logistics of equipment distribution never work as planned. To date, no administration has learned that simple lesson despite clear evidence of the truth, media rosy pictures notwithstanding.

The extremists were provided small arms; and as long as the press never reported it, no one was the wiser. The fact is Barack Obama encouraged Arab countries to arm al Qaeda in Libya and had the nerve to insist that the Emir of Qatar be transparent about his country’s involvement in Libya.

The al Qaeda-linked militants were well armed during the 7 hour siege of Benghazi; yet no one “knows” where the weapons came from? During the effort to remove Colonel Qaddafi from power, the Obama Administration and the CIA weren’t too concerned who received arms, as long as the Islamists were loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood. By the way, if you didn’t know, the Mein Kampf-inspired Muslim Brotherhood just happens to be the parent organization of al Qaeda.

Paris has ulterior motives to press for Syrian overthrow

Teaming with Qatar, others on major investment strategy

by F. Michael Maloof / WND


WASHINGTON – Paris is in the business of generating business and what is being billed as a strategic joint venture with Sunni Qatar to oust the Shi’ite Alawite regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is designed to benefit France by supporting Qatar’s ambitions in Africa, according to a report from Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin. 

France has been one of the more enthusiastic members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, pressing for direction European Union intervention in Syria, such as creating a no-fly zone over Syria.

Qatar and its close ally Saudi Arabia are the main suppliers of financial assistance and weapons to the Syrian opposition forces, but the EU and indeed Washington aren’t all that enthusiastic in doing the same due to the increasing influx of Sunni Salafists as well as al-Qaida elements with opposition forces.

France also has been the first and most enthusiastic Western power pushing for recognition of the Syrian opposition’s new National Coalition, even to the point of appointing an ambassador.

France showed similar enthusiasm in getting rid of Libya’s 40-year ruler, Moammar Gadhafi, ostensibly to promote its own energy company, Total, in obtaining early contracts from the rebels. All along, however, it was Qatar and Saudi Arabia which were encouraging Western intervention to seek Gadhafi’s ouster.

In addition to pressing for a new regime in Syria, France also is shifting its own attention away from its NATO commitment almost two years early in Afghanistan by withdrawing its troops there.

Instead, Paris wants to shift its focus more to jihadists in the Saharan-Sahelian basin where it has a colonial history, and to begin a strategic rebalancing toward the Maghreb and Mashreq, according to geopolitical analyst Emanuele Scimia.

In undertaking this effort, Scimia said, France is teaming up with Qatar, since Doha already is a major investor in France.

Qatar has a two percent share in France’s oil company, Total, the same company which pressed former French President Nicolas Sarkozy to initiate action in Libya and get the E.U. to join in.

Scimia points out that Qatar also owns the Paris Saint Germain football club, has a 13 percent interest in the French media group Lagardere and a 7.5 percent interest in EADS, the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company.

In addition, Qatar is to invest some 300 million euros, or $389 million, in the French “banlieues” suburbs, which is home to a majority of some six million second and third generation French Muslims.

Qatar’s investment, however, has raised concerns in French politics that the government is pushing Qatar’s conservative form of Islam.

“This investment, which (French President Francois) Hollande’s administration approved in September, has the scope to sustain small businesses managed by the country’s Muslim citizens,” Scimia said.

According to Qatari ambassador to Paris Mohamed al-Kuwari in a recent interview with Al-Monitor, Qatar not only has had good ties with the Total energy company for many years but “Qatar appreciates French culture and lifestyle and their way of striving for perfection.

“France has become like a brand in the world,” he said. “Investing in France gives you a good name, one of prestige.” He added that the French companies in which Qatar invests are well known and it often seeks a partnership with them.

“You invest in France, you build partnerships and you go elsewhere, to Africa, to Asia,” said the ambassador, who also represented Qatar previously in Washington and Tehran.

“France (also) has an independent policy, plays an important role in the world, diplomatically and politically,” he added. “Our investment policy in France and elsewhere is part and parcel of our global strategy to have investment revenues exceed that of gas and oil by 2030, as we might run out of oil soon and of gas in 100 to150 years.”

As Doha assists France in the Levant, Paris will pursue efforts to help Qatar diplomatically and commercially in Africa.

However, the new dynamic duo already has run into one major diplomatic failure. It recently was unsuccessful in mediating a halt to Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense action against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed the initiative and instead went along with the U.S. mediation effort with Egypt, even though Qatar has close ties with Hamas.

Yet, Hamas is part of the Muslim Brotherhood and the close ties that former Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi enjoyed became more critical now that as Egypt’s new president his influence would carry greater weight.


US Strategy in Mid East Pathetic Failure

North Korea: Update. News services reported that North Korea has begun fueling its three-stage rocket and should be ready to launch on Monday. If the rocket veers off course, every US and Allied navy is prepared to shoot it down.

Palestine State: Hamas' political leader, Khaled Meshaal arrived today in the Gaza Strip, his first visit. He kissed the ground on landing from Qatar. "There is a new mood that allows us to achieve reconciliation," Meshaal told the press in an interview last Friday from Qatar, where he has set up home since leaving Syria earlier this year. He will stay for a little more than 48 hours.

Hamas plans an open-air rally on Saturday to promote what it says was last month's victory against Israel and, at the same time, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the group's founding.

Comment: Hamas has emerged emboldened from the eight day conflict which ended in a truce that Meshaal negotiated under Egypt's auspices. The US Secretary of State was essentially an observer. Meshaal has since spoken of reaching out to other Palestinian factions.

Simply because Palestinians survived the devastating air assault by the modern Israeli air force, the Hamas leaders have become heroes and Arab leaders.

Qatar's role is worth watching. It is asserting an Arab leadership role that slights Saud Arabia. It also is challenging Iran's pretense to be a leader of the Islamic states. Qatar is a big winner from the eight-day war with Israel, along with Hamas.

Western powers maneuvered to deliver an international political victory to President Abbas and Fatah, in the UN vote to elevate the status of the Palestinian Authority at the UN. The Western aim was to counter the wartime success of Hamas, even while the US voted publicly against the change in UN status. The too-clever-by-half US strategy is a pathetic failure.

Hamas is the beneficiary of the UN vote, not Fatah. Palestinians are interpreting their acceptance as an UN observer state to be the result of Hamas leadership actions in Gaza's survival of the Israeli air attacks and the continuous rocket counter-fire into Israel.

Abbas has not gotten the credit that he and his Western backers expected. Now the situation is more intractable than ever. Hamas leaders, with their anti-Israel policy, judge they have an international mandate to lead all Palestinians and to destroy Israel. The Israelis and the US delivered Meshaal a leadership political windfall that he could never have engineered on his own. He did well to kiss the ground of Gaza.

Egypt: Tens of thousands of protestors demonstrated outside the Presidential Palace in Cairo. They breached the perimeter barrier without resistance by the Republican Guard. Video images showed Egyptian Army soldiers sitting on the fenders of their tanks, surrounded by protestors.

President Mursi made two minor conciliatory offers, but has relied more on threats to arrest protestors than on offers of compromise.

Comment: Protests have occurred every day since 22 November. Mursi's uncompromising approach to the protestors has been consistent -- he has made them angrier and expanded their ranks. Mubarak could not have handled this situation more ineptly than Mursi, who has used Mubarak's tactics poorly.

The Brotherhood can summon thousands of supporters to fight the anti-Mursi protestors. Egyptian farmers, utilities workers, professionals and bureaucrats also could rally to defend the President. Nevertheless, the electoral majority that voted for Mursi as president in June is not rallying to save his presidency after three weeks of protests.

The struggle in Cairo and Alexandria is between competing minority elites. In hindsight the Egyptian presidential elections look like an expensive and pointless extravagance. The politically active and determinative elites are the urban secularists and the Islamists. Everyone else just wants jobs, fuel and bread and cheaper prices.

Soldiers sitting on the fenders of tanks are an ominous portent about the Army's attitude towards defending the president. The Army allowed the protestors to breach the barriers. It does not seem disposed to save the president, provided buildings are not torched.

Mursi will not last as president if the Army does not save him. Everything still depends on the Army leadership, just as under Mubarak, at least for now.
Morsi supporters: "Now is the time to fight for Islam"

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

Here again we see that what the government and mainstream media are intent on ignoring and downplaying as a factor in the political turmoil of Egypt and elsewhere is identified by the group creating that turmoil as being what it is all about: Islam.

"Morsi supporters urge fight for Islam," by Borzou Daragahi in the Financial Times, December 7:
Islamist backers of Mohamed Morsi are resorting to religious rhetoric to galvanise support for the Egyptian president as the country’s political stand-off showed little sign of resolution. Supporters and opponents of Mr Morsi held competing mass rallies in Cairo on Friday, as opposition anger deepened over the president’s decision to strengthen his powers and rush through a new constitution.
Pro-government clergy took over the pulpit at al Azhar mosque, the country’s premier house of worship, and urged thousands of supporters of Mr Morsi to fight not for a president or a new constitution but for their religion.
“Now is the battle for Islam,” a Morsi supporter told thousands gathered at the mosque for the funeral for at least two members of the Muslim Brotherhood killed during street clashes with secular rivals this week. “Now is the time to fight for Islam.”...
State television reported clashes between supporters and opponents of Mr Morsi outside the al-Qaed Ibrahim mosque in Egypt’s second city of Alexandria. Opponents of the president burnt down offices of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party, including its headquarters in southeastern Cairo and a large office in the Cairo suburb of Maadi. Gihad Haddad, adviser to Mr Morsi, said on his Twitter page that dozens of offices affiliated with the Brotherhood and its political party had been attacked in recent days.
Carrying the coffins of two Brotherhood members allegedly killed by opposition supporters during a chaotic street confrontation on Wednesday, Mr Morsi’s supporters at al-Azhar called for revenge.
“Don’t worry, the martyrs’ blood won’t be spilled in vain. With God’s help we will conquer anyone who stands in our way and make the corrupt pay for what they did to the innocent,” a prayer leader announced to the Islamists gathered. “With our blood, with our souls, we will defend you, Islam.”
Mohamed Hamed, a 64-year-old Brotherhood supporter who attended the funeral service, said: “They’re attacking Islam and they’re getting support from Europe and other foreign countries. We’re praying for the people who were murdered by people sent by Baradei and [Hamdeen] Sabahi,” a leftwing-nationalist opposition leader.

Our Second Amendment right to bear arms is in danger...

OK patriots listen up...the NRA is the next target of attack from the Obama's his 'new' race card ploy. And since we all know that Obama and his minions want to take away our Second Amendment rights the NRA is the first one in their sight. As there's strength in numbers every single patriot, whether you own a firearm or not, needs to join the NRA to show support for our right to bear arms.

And that means sign up your wives, your husbands, your children, your grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends too...EVERYBODY you know!

What Obama did for firearm and ammo sales he can do for the NRA.

THIS IS OUR LAST LINE OF DEFENSE FOR FREEDOM because if we lose the Second's over.
The American workforce...worker bees for the government queen
By: Diane Sori

The entire American economy under Barack HUSSEIN Obama is based on the collective psychology of how the structure of the psyche coalesces individual experiences into one, that being that we're all supposed to think NOT like independent workers who must provide for our own but like worker bees, if you will, who must produce blindly and voraciously for our queen..the federal government. And why must this happen...because there is no 'treasure' to back up our bills...its all indebted IOUs thanks to the man who does NOT understand that you cannot spend more than you take in.

Therefore, it's we worker bees who must NOT only be the collateral behind the bills but who also must be the answer to the queen's (the government's) out of control spending by producing more 'honey' for the hive. More money so our queen can spend more NOT on the workers but on those circling around the hive who produce NOTHING but expect everything.

Bottom's NO longer about the government working for 'We the People' but about 'We the People' being the workers for the government.

Putting aside the hive analogy for a moment, the government is counting on the future productivity of the American workforce to cover for the 'treasureless' bills being printed today, leaving our future economy in far worse shape than even that of the economy of today simply because you cannot indebt yourself into economic recovery.

It must be understood that our economy cannot even begin to seriously recover until the political leaders in DC and the captains of industry realize that they must not only create jobs but must also increase current wages for those already employed to afford the workers more purchasing power which in turn helps to jump start economic recovery by putting money back into the economy. But even while giving the workers additional wages with which to spend there is still one serious still does NOT allow those in the workforce to save any money for the proverbial rainy day.

So the catch-22 has come full circle...those who are employed must continue to produce more...a lot pay for the excesses of the federal government.

Case in point...this past Friday's newest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that payrolls grew by 146,000 in November, and that the unemployment rate fell to 7.7%, the lowest rate in nearly four years. You would think this would be good news for on the surface it seems like more Americans are now gainfully employed...but NOTHING in Obamaland is quite as it seems as this decline in the unemployment rate was simply the result of more than 350,000 Americans giving up looking for work last month because there was NO work to be found. And add into this that even when jobs were created, the fact remained that wages weren't keeping up with the rate of inflation so those employed were actually further behind monetarily than they were just a few short months ago.

And let's NOT forget that whatever profit margins (which normally would be a sign of a healthy economy) were made by any given business were still being taken away by the government through taxes and regulations to funnel into the freebie and handout programs to give to those who indebtedness the Democratic Party controlled government counts on to keep them in power.

So with the unemployment rate still high, and with the rate of inflation still increasing, NOTHING has really improved economy wise NO matter what the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. And that means the worker bees still will continue to suffer at the hands of the government queen.