As I begin this article, the U.S. National Debt stands at nearly $14.5 TRILLION. That means that every man, woman and child in Americais automatically $46,379.00 in debt, and every taxpayer is $129,473.00 in debt. Without ever even getting so much as a kiss! And as astounding as it sounds-and is-theUnited States pays $661 million per day just in interest on the national debt.
In my book, Mr. Right Opinion: Unplugged and Unashamed, I make the assertion that liberals on Capitol Hill actually want to keep those on welfare dependant upon them to stay in office, thereby offering these “public servants” job security.
While my charge that Congressional Democrats want people to stay on welfare programs is a theory, as is the belief that they do so in order to stay in office (it’s not something one would expect to be readily admitted), there is no doubt that Democrats have tried to impede Republican efforts to reform welfare for decades.
While the president can sign or veto all legislation, it is ultimately Congress that crafts the laws that move us forward, keep us stagnant or send us spiraling downward—as we are now doing.
As I say in my book, from 1970-1995, poverty rates in this country remained high, and the welfare rolls continued to swell. The Democrat party controlled both houses of Congress during all but three of those years, yet they did nothing to improve the welfare situation inAmerica.
In 1994, in what has been dubbed the “Republican Revolution,” Republicans wrested both houses of Congress from Democrats, finally giving them the opportunity to make necessary reforms. This marked a new era in the annals of American legislative history, and Republicans certainly took advantage of the opportunity.
In 1996, Republicans passed the “Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA). This law, as detailed in an article by Robert Rector, Senior Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, made the following changes in the welfare program:
–ended entitlement funding…turned Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF-formerly AFDC) funds into block grants for states;
–placed a five year limit on TANF funds for recipients (previously, AFDC recipients remained on welfare for an average of 13 years);
–created a reciprocal obligation whereby recipients were required to get a job, train for a job, maintain an active job search or perform public service work;
–established and promoted the goals of reducing out-of-wedlock pregnancies and increasing the number of married, two-parent households (Oh, the shame!);
–created a new federal abstinence education program and;
–restricted benefits to non-citizens, placing the onus of their care on their sponsors.
From 1994-1996, Democrats in Congress opposed this legislation. Eventually, however, half of congressional Democrats capitulated and the act passed. Then-President Clinton, having already vetoed two previous versions of welfare reform and facing a reelection bid, signed the act into law.
The results of welfare reform have been profoundly beneficial to TANF recipients. Between 1996-2002, according to Mr. Rector’s article, the caseload for TANF was cut in half, employment for disadvantaged single mothers rose at least 50 percent, the poverty rate for that same group was reduced by a third (the lowest in U.S. history), and black child poverty rates also dropped by a third (also the lowest in U.S. history).
These statistics speak volumes for the improvements which the Republican-led reform wrought. So one would assume that Democrats would have seen the error in their thinking and would want to keep the positive reform momentum going, right?
Wrong, wrong, wrong! As we saw during their last two years as the majority in both the House and Senate, the Democrats never even proffered a budget proposal. It is also the reason that the president’s budget didn’t even touch the so-called third rail of politics…Social Security and Medicare. And those are two areas that will HAVE to be addressed if we are going to make any headway on our deficit.
So for two years, Democrats never offered a budget, yet the Republicans take the majority in the House, and within weeks they offer a budget that will bring true, meaningful cuts to entitlement spending, and will make real strides toward balancing the federal budget.
No matter what Democrats say, raising taxes IS NOT going to solve our debt problem. According to Kurt Brouwser’s ‘Fundmastery Blog’ at: http://blogs.marketwatch.com/fundmastery/2011/03/01/deficit-taxing-the-rich-wont-work/, “Some folks believe we can solve this deficit by raising revenues, which as you can see is patently impossible. To cover the deficit with higher revenues would require that Federal receipts go up by roughly $1.3 trillion, which would be a greater than 50% increase given that all Federal revenues only totaled $2.2 trillion.”
Given that we had a deficit of $1.3 trillion even after taking in $899 billion in total income tax revenues, does anyone in his or her right mind think raising income taxes on everyone or ‘raising taxes on the rich’ would solve the problem? We would have to see income tax revenues from everyone go up by more than a double. That is, with a $1.3 trillion deficit for 2010, we would need an extra $1.3 trillion in income tax revenues on top of the $899 billion we got in 2010. That is not going to happen. And, instead of getting a reduction in spending, we are actually ramping it up for fiscal year 2011. Now that’s crazy.”
Obviously, there are going to have to be some hard cuts made in entitlement spending. It’s not a popular choice, but, as we can now see, unlike the Democrats, the Republicans are not here to win a popularity contest…they are here to save the country. If these hard choices are not made, our country will not survive this crisis.
As you may recall, President G.W. Bush tried to warn that this was soon coming back in 2006, but unfortunately, NOBODY wanted to hear it, including Republicans. At that time, both parties were more concerned with elections than saving Social Security, Medicare, and the budget.
However, this is a new era, the Tea Party is in D.C., and Republicans are now more concerned with preserving the country, rather than preserving their office. I wish Democrats would do the same.