Who Is My Brother's Keeper?
Obama is lying again. The My Brother’s Keeper initiative is not actually going to help any young black people. It will help him. He has already used it to extract 200 million in pledges from business and foundations. The Presidents goal? To create a committee to assess what government anti-poverty approaches work. They will then create a computer portal to help poor blacks access government money. Yes, a computer portal. Can you feel the hope?
Conservatives accept the reality that the only way to combat life’s unfairness is to strengthen personal responsibility. The work ethic, education and sacrificing for your children is the sure way that people in this country have progressed. Destroy the motivation to be responsible, to work hard and live clean, and you have destroyed a person. Despite all the good intentions in the world, no anti-poverty program has decreased poverty. What it does achieve is that American poverty is bought and paid for by Democrats, and the payoff is a 90% voting block worthy of Stalinist Russia.
We don’t need a $200 million dollar committee. The Census Bureau already has the figures. The cure for poverty is within everyone’s grasp: finish high school, get married, defer your first child until you are 21. Your chance of being poor is 2%. Your chance of joining the middle class is 72%.
Obama is lying when he says he wants to discover what works. He proposed that working families pony up a trillion dollars in taxes to provide free pre-school for all. Yet Project Headstart – for which I volunteered as a teacher’s aide when it began – has completely failed the children it is meant to serve.
In 2013 Obama was given the results of a definitive gold-standard study by the Department of Health and Human Services that assessed the benefits of Head Start by measuring actual performance in elementary school. It showed zero impact on the children’s lives in any way – no improvements in learning, emotional or mental health, or behavior. Nada, zip, zero, no benefit for the kids. Obama doesn’t care. It makes good politics to point to Republicans as too cheap to help little kids advance in life.
Republicans look to charter schools, where black ghetto kids did far better in math and reading than those in public school. In New York City schools, their performance showed the equivalent of 92 extra days of math instruction. Not Democrats. Obama has instructed the DOJ to use legal harassment to shut down charter schools, which teachers unions hate.
Let’s compare words and results. In liberal California they have unemployment rates fifty percent higher than in conservative Texas – that’s a lot of miserable minority families. Under Obama’s anti-business policies, ninety-five percent of black high school dropouts are now unemployed. Raising the minimum wage, the latest Democrat anti-poverty idea, results in higher unemployment. You don’t need a new $200 million dollar committee to measure the effectiveness of government employment programs. They don’t work.
It is easy to see how welfare broke up and impoverished for life the very families it was meant to help, but Democrats still want more and more of it. It doesn’t take $200 million to study that Republican workfare was an amazing success. It required about half of welfare recipients to work or look for work or get trained for work, or do community service. Employment of single mothers doubled. Hunger among children was cut in half. The out-of-wedlock birth rate slowed dramatically. Work and marriage rose among previous welfare families. No more permanent vacation on the government dole for able bodied adults turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to them.
Yet early in his tenure as President, Obama – quite illegally – told states they no longer need to follow the workfare law. He repealed an act of Congress by using his pen. Low information Democrats liked it. Welfare reform to them is tainted by association with Republicans, so it must be cruel.
Few kind hearted Democrats know how the government defines poverty for entitlement purposes. They still talk about the homeless and the hungry as if government and church programs don’t house and feed every poor person in the country very adequately.
Will Obama’s committee announce this: The average American relying on federal government assistance now receives more in benefits than the average American's disposable personal income. Americans who rely on government receive an average $32,748 worth of benefits, tax free. If we counted these programs already in place, our poverty rate would be close to zero.
Data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Census Bureau, and the U.S. Department of Energy describes the living standard of the poor, those supported by taxpaying families struggling to make ends meet for their own families (this does not include the unemployed):
- The typical poor American lives in an air-conditioned house or apartment that is in good repair and has cable TV, a car, multiple color TVs, a DVD player, a VCR, and many other appliances. Half of the poor have computers, and one-third have wide-screen plasma TVs.
- 96 percent of poor parents report their children were never hungry at any time in the prior year.
- Poor Americans have more living space in their homes than the average non-poor Swede, Frenchman, or German. Almost half own their own homes.
Thanks to demeaning government assistance, our poor are materially well off but stuck in a trap of destructive, self-indulgent, wasted lives. Democrat policies promote communities where children are not safe, do not finish their education, and have no chance for success.
Cushioning people from the discipline of responsibility is not good for people. It is not kindness. It is the worst sort of Lady Bountiful charity, which feeds the giver’s pride in their own goodness, but is not good for the recipient.
Democrat anti-business policies don’t touch most affluent Democrat voters. They work for the government, Wall St. and high tech, areas untouched by this self-imposed disaster. But if they cared, wouldn’t they notice that big government destroys the livelihood of ordinary Americans?
Businessmen creating jobs do far more to help people than any social worker, but Democrats treat them like the enemy. Since Obama’s election, the Democrat administration has swallowed up a higher percentage of our economy than ever before in American history, and swamped businesses with 200,000 pages of regulations, that alone suck a trillion dollars out of economic activity. The number of business start-ups and new jobs has cratered.
Democrat "fairness" isn’t even fair. It is good for bureaucrats and politicians. At pay levels 50% higher than the private sector, and gold-plated benefits, they haven’t been touched by the economic calamity since 2008. Anti-poverty programs that don’t end poverty do provide work to hordes of government employees.
Democrats love to care, but it’s only the thought that counts. In being your brother’s keeper, that just does not cut it.