Saturday, May 2, 2015

Editor's note: This column was co-authored by Logan Pike
According to a recent comprehensive study of state welfare programs, Missouri earned an “F” grade for its dismal welfare policies, finishing dead-last among all states. But despite the wealth of data proving his state’s welfare program is failing, Gov. Jay Nixon (D) vetoed legislation today that would have provided needed reforms, thereby killing his opportunity to help thousands of Missourians move out of poverty into self-sufficiency. It appears Nixon’s devotion to his party is stronger than his commitment to improving welfare.

The Strengthening Missouri Families Act (SMFA) recently passed out of conference committee, gaining the final approval from the state’s House of Representatives and the Senate. The legislation would have implemented immediate work requirements, a cash diversion program, increased sanctions for non-compliance, lowered lifetime limits for cash assistance, and provided a variety of programs that would help impoverished individuals and families stay off of welfare rolls entirely.

If Nixon had signed SMFA into law, the bill’s measures would have helped to thwart welfare dependency and increase self-sufficiency. Authors of The Heartland Institute’s 2015 Welfare Reform Report Card estimate Missouri’s welfare program would have jumped from its current rank of 50th up to 23rd if SMFA’s reforms had been enacted.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that out of 100 full-time working adults, only four live in poverty, and out of 100 part-time working adults, 15 live in poverty. It would seem to make sense then that successful anti-poverty reforms should stress the importance of work. So far, this has not been the case in Missouri, where welfare policies have allowed recipients to receive numerous benefits without having to work or enroll in a qualifying program.

Critics claim that it’s unfair to ask individuals to find jobs in order to receive benefits, especially in a struggling economy, but recipients can satisfy work requirements in a variety of ways, including by entering a state-run work training program, attending college, or engaging in job-search activities.
For the people of China, there’s good news and bad news.

The good news, as illustrated by the chart, is that economic freedom has increased dramatically since 1980. This liberalization has lifted hundreds of millions from abject poverty.

The bad news is that China still has a long way to go if it wants to become a rich, market-oriented nation. Notwithstanding big gains since 1980, it still ranks in the lower-third of nations for economic freedom.

Yes, there’s been impressive growth, but it started from a very low level. As a result, per-capita economic output is still just a fraction of American levels.

So let’s examine what’s needed to boost Chinese prosperity.

If you look at the Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of the World, there are five major policy categories. As you can see from this table, China’s weakest category is “size of government.” I’ve circled the most relevant data point.

The bottom line is that China could – and should – boost its overall ranking by improving its size-of-government score. And that means reducing the burden of government spending and lowering tax rates.

With this in mind, I was very interested to see that the International Monetary Fund just published a study entitled, “China: How Can Revenue Reforms Contribute to Inclusive and Sustainable Growth.”

Did this mean the IMF was recommending pro-growth tax reform? After reading the following sentence, I was hopeful

Muslim cleric: Jews “malignant tumor” that “can only be treated by eradication”
By Robert Spencer / Jihad Watch


Muslim cleric: Jews “malignant tumor” that “can only be treated by eradication”
This is not what the world considers hate speech. What the world considers hate speech is opposing this. “Egyptian Cleric Saad Abu Aziz: Jews Are a Malignant Tumor That Must Be Eradicated,” MEMRI, April 24, 2015 (thanks to Pamela Geller): In an April 24 Friday sermon, which he posted on the Internet, Egyptian cleric Saad […]

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The Islamic State Demands $23 Million for Christian Hostages

Pamela Geller / Atlas Shrugs

Remember the millions of Christians when Obama’s tongue starts flapping about how the Islamic State is not Islamic and this has nothing to do with religion.

The world’s silence is a war crime.

The world’s sanction of Islamic supremacism is a war crime.

The world’s manhunt for “islamophobes” is a war crime”.

The world’s denial of human rights crimes of sharia and jihad is savage.

The world’s denail of the Armenian genocide is a war crimes. Is it any wonder Muslims think they can get away with it again?
“ISIS Demands $23 Million for Assyrian Hostages, Vigil Held in Australia,” v (thanks to Religion of Peace);
Assyrian Church of the East Bishop Mellis of...