Sunday, November 17, 2013

Head Start and Other Federal Failures

Townhall.com ^ | November 17, 2013 | Steve Chapman 


When the government shutdown began on Oct. 1, it forced the closing of Head Start facilities in several states, stopping educational services for thousands of low-income kids. So heart-rending was this spectacle that a pair of Texas philanthropists gave $10 million to keep the programs going.
Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas appeared at a rally of parents protesting the Head Start closures, holding up a child's chair and declaring, "Here is the empty chair of the next astronaut. Here is the empty chair of a captain in the United States military."
House Republicans were not about to be accused of depriving poor children. They approved a measure to provide funding for Head Start, with one member attesting, "As we work our way out of this government shutdown mess, we shouldn't let some of our most vulnerable citizens, low-income children with no recourse, suffer."
That was not good enough for President Barack Obama, who prevailed in his insistence that the House agree to fund the government across the board through Jan. 15. Amid the bitter quarrel, no one bothered to ask whether Head Start is actually serving the purposes that justify its budget.
Maybe that's because they know the answer is no but aren't willing to face being denounced for cruelty to disadvantaged tots. For decades, Head Start has consistently disappointed anyone who expected it to make a real difference in the fortunes of the poor.
A 2010 study by the Department of Health and Human Services concluded that though there were modest benefits to participating kids, they soon evaporated. "The benefits of access to Head Start at age four are largely absent by first grade for the program population as a whole," it admitted. "For 3-year-olds, there are few sustained benefits."
A federal social program that burns though billions of dollars, year in and year out, despite showing scant value to those it's supposed to help? That may sound like a regrettable anomaly. In fact, as David Muhlhausen documents in his new book, "Do Federal Social Programs Work?" (Praeger), it's pretty much the norm.
The author, a longtime scholar at the conservative Heritage Foundation, appears to have reviewed every study of these undertakings, as evidenced in 47 pages of footnotes. The overwhelming majority, he finds, don't accomplish anything resembling their stated mission, and some even "produce harmful outcomes."
The dismal results might be excused as the price of showing concern for people in genuine need, if not for the fact that these efforts cost so much -- $443 billion in 2011, exceeding 3 percent of gross domestic product.
This book, whose importance is inverse to its likely readership, excludes Social Security, unemployment insurance and veterans' benefits because they must be earned through work. Muhlhausen concentrates on the Great Society programs enacted in the 1960s under President Lyndon B. Johnson, which were meant to "eradicate the fundamental causes of poverty by providing opportunity to the poor" and "ultimately make redistribution unnecessary." So far, you may have noticed, they have accomplished neither objective.
There was a sound idea behind LBJ's approach, namely that the way to help the disadvantaged was to give them the tools to become prosperous. Head Start would confer a boost in learning that would have a permanent payoff. The Job Corps would equip them with the skills to earn good wages. Upward Bound would prepare them for college. But the federal government didn't really know how to do these things.
Anything coming out of Heritage will be dismissed by critics as right-wing propaganda, but Muhlhausen backs up his findings with masses of data. He also finds comparable results for Republican social programs aimed at reducing teen sexual activity and strengthening families. His overall conclusions, in any case, are not particularly novel or radical.
Isabel Sawhill, co-director of the liberal Brookings Institution's Center on Children and Families, wrote in 2010 that in the 10 most rigorous assessments of individual federal social programs, "nine of these evaluations found weak or no positive effects." When I contacted Ron Haskins, a welfare expert also at Brookings, he cited a few successful ventures but said, "I generally agree that social programs do not work."
No quantity of stirring words or noble intentions can justify expensive measures that leave little trace behind. Our elected officials generally agree that withholding money from social programs shortchanges the poor. They fail to notice that for the most part, providing money has the same effect.

The Titanic failure of Affordable Health Care as the Obamacare ship sinks!

washington times ^ | 11/16/2013 | Jennifer Oliver O'Connell 

All of this scrambling by President Barack Obama and Congress to reinstate cancelled insurance policies is nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
It may look better, but the ship is still going down. It is just a matter of when.
We are watching as rats — the Congressional Democrats — quickly swim away from the damage they have caused. The people in steerage — the individuals who lost their insurance policies — are drowning in the wreckage. The first class passengers — the well-off who can afford to pay higher premiums — are heading for the few available life boats.
There is nothing romantic about this Titanic; it is a real-life tragedy happening to Americans who can ill afford it.
(Excerpt) Read more at communities.washingtontimes.com ...

What Obama has Sown, He Must Reap—But There is Hope!

Townhall.com ^ | November 17, 2013 | Michael Youssef 

We reap what we sow. That’s a biblical concept, but other religions have similar sayings. Hindus believe in Karma—“do good and you’ll get good, do bad and you’ll get bad.” Even atheists say, “What goes around comes around.”

However, sowing and reaping in Judeo-Christian teaching is very different. It does acknowledge the natural fact of God’s creation—namely, that if you plant cotton, you won’t get wheat. But the Bible not only affirms that agricultural principle, it goes a step further—a step that is unknown to all other religious and human endeavors.

If you sow misery, you will reap misery. But God is bigger than that simple equation. After sowing, if you repent and turn to the Lord, and if you ask forgiveness from others, then God will show mercy. Not only will He forgive, but He will help correct the misery that has been sown.

Which brings me to the Obama Administration.

For five years, the administration has functioned under an unbridled desire to fundamentally transform America—transform it from a good and decent country with a penchant for rewarding hard work and integrity, into a nation that rewards slothfulness and dependence on Uncle Sam.

In their endeavor to transform us, they have shaded the truth—they have stomped on facts and sown lies. And there is no more blatant manifestation of that than ObamaCare.

As a boy, I grew up in a Christian home, but surrounded by an Egyptian culture that rationalized the act of lying. However, my parents drummed into me the dangers of not telling the truth.

Like most lads, I lied out of fear, thinking I could get away with it and avoid the consequences of the truth. But if I heard my parents say it once, I heard them say it a thousand times: “Always remember that lying has legs. It can run fast, and sooner or later, it will catch up to you.”

So here we are, six years after a litany of campaign promises, and three years after passing a bill that we needed to pass to find out what was in it. Here we are now, seeing the cookie crumble.

Good folks stood in the House and the Senate, pointing to the dire consequences of what Joe Biden described as “a big f….. deal.” But to no avail.

Now we are witnessing millions of hardworking Americans suffer through the cancellations of their good health insurance policies. Their pain is indisputable.

Punishing the hardworking is more than just sowing misery, however; it is wickedness. That is the essence of ObamaCare.

Now, President Obama is not only reaping his lowest approval ratings ever, but the reliably Obama-fawning media is turning on the object of its affection.

There is a way out for Mr. Obama, however. I plead with him to accept the advice of this immigrant who loved the pre-Obama America:

Repent!

Publicly show God, the nation, and the world that you are truly sorry. First show your repentance to God, who sees the secrets of the heart. Then go to the people who voted for you, and ultimately to the whole nation and world.

And remember back in our recent history, to another president who claimed to be a Christian and yet refused to publicly repent and tell the truth. Remember President Nixon and what happened to him.

But ultimately remember this—God is merciful. And He will have mercy on you, the administration, and those in Congress who supported you. Indeed, He will have mercy upon America, which is desperately in need of it.

Flashback: Obama's Campaign to Transition to Single Payer Health Care (VIDEO)

Only idiots and the evil voted for Obama, or ANY of the Democrats.
They've lied to us, constantly, and really are "Collapsing the System".
And now, these "Useful IDIOTS" who voted for them, are buying the lies that "Obamacare was designed to work." ?
It was designed to fail from the start.
THEN ... THEY GO TO THE "SINGLE-PAYER SYSTEM".
They've been sucking our wallets dry for over four years now on the "Obamacare" LIE.
AND NOW THEY WANT MORE TAXES ?
Our Founding Fathers would have hung them already! 

Lets review:
    Who was it that cut future funding for Medicare by $575 billion?
      ...the president and the Democratic Party successfully bamboozle voters... The 2012 election could turn on this falsehood.
      The truth is that the Obama health law reduces future funding for Medicare by $575 billion over the next 10 years ...

      Mr. Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius frequently make that false claim.
      Indeed, even Medicare's mailings to seniors repeat the claim that reducing spending on Medicare will make it more financially secure for future years.
      The fact is that Mr. Obama's law raids Medicare.

    Who was it that moved Medicare Trust Funds out of the "trust box" and into the General Revenue, replacing them with Government I.O.U.s? Who was it that expanded Medicare and Medicaid to cover many, many more people than it was originally designed to cover?
      The History of Medicare

      In 1965, the Social Security Act established both Medicare and Medicaid. Medicare was a responsibility of the Social Security Administration (SSA), while Federal assistance to the State Medicaid programs was administered by the Social and Rehabilitation Service (SRS). SSA and SRS were agencies in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW). In 1977, the Health Care Financing Administration was created under HEW to effectively coordinate Medicare and Medicaid. In 1980 HEW was divided into the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

      The first U.S. President to propose a prepaid health insurance plan was Harry S. Truman [DEMOCRAT]. On November 19, 1945, in a special message to Congress, President Truman outlined a comprehensive, prepaid medical insurance plan for all people through the Social Security system. The plan included doctors and hospitals, and nursing, laboratory, and dental services; it was dubbed "National Health Insurance." Furthermore, medical insurance benefits for needy people were to be financed from Federal revenues.

      Over the years, lawmakers narrowed the field of health insurance recipients largely to social security beneficiaries. A national survey found that only 56 percent of those 65 years of age or older had health insurance. President John F. Kennedy [DEMOCRAT] pressed legislators for health insurance for the aged. However, it wasn't until 1965 that President Lyndon B. Johnson signed H.R. 6675 (The Social Security Act of 1965; PL 89-97) to provide health insurance for the elderly and the poor.

      On July 30, 1965, President Johnson signed the Medicare and Medicaid Bill (Title XVIII and Title XIX of the Social Security Act) in Independence, Missouri in the presence of former President Truman, who received the first Medicare card at the ceremony; Lady Bird Johnson, Vice-President Hubert Humphrey, and Mrs. Truman also were present. President Johnson remarked: "We marvel not simply at the passage of this Bill but that it took so many years to pass it."

      Medicare extended health coverage to almost all Americans aged 65 or older. About 19 million beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare in the first year of the program. Medicaid provided access to health care services for certain low-income persons and expanded the existing Federal-State welfare structure that assisted the poor.

      The 1972 Social Security Amendments expanded Medicare to provide coverage to two additional high risk groups disabled persons receiving cash benefits for 24 months under the social security program and persons suffering from end-stage renal disease.

      ...(continued at link)
So Democrats,
    YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE
    FOR INSURING THE FAILURE
    OF THE MEDICARE/MEDICAID PROGRAM,
    and now YOU DEMOCRATS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INTENTIONAL DESTRUCTION OF THE U.S.A. ECONOMY
    !!!
      So DEMOCRATS ... SHUT UP!!!
        You have no integrity!!!

    Sen Mark Kirk's statement Thursday, Dec 1, 2011 ...
      "There are 55 million Social Security beneficiaries that will see little or no extra cash from this 2012 tax holiday; instead, the dedicated payroll contributions meant to pay for future benefits are being diverted from the Trust Fund
      and replaced with Treasury debt that does not even have a AAA credit rating.
      Social Security was designed to be independent and free from the danger of Congressional manipulation,
      and maintaining the firewall between the Social Security Trust Fund and general government funding is the best way to maintain the solvency of this important program.
      Neither bill protects the Social Security Trust Fund
      so I voted no. "
    It's not our fault that DEMOCRATS raided the Social Security Trust Fund.
    Let's remember ...

    An Incurious Or Willfully Ignorant President

    Townhall.com ^ | November 17, 2013 | Derek Hunter 

    When President Obama stepped in front of the cameras Thursday to magically waive a wand and arbitrarily change his signature accomplishment, he couldn’t help but lie to the American people…again. But lying about the accomplishments of his administration isn’t a compulsion; it’s a requirement.

    Looking back on the last five years, what has the Obama administration accomplished? Anything? Put your partisanship aside and be honest – can you name any?

    His trillion-dollar stimulus was such a failure that progressives had to invent a new, unverifiable measure to claim victory –and the pathetic “it stopped things from getting worse” defense was the absolute best his team of spin-doctors could muster.

    The economy has not recovered. The unemployment rate has decreased only because people have given up the hope to find work and no longer count. We’re on the verge of acquiring as much debt under this president as under all previous presidents combined. And the Middle East is in shambles. The only growth we’ve seen is in a stock market propped up by the Federal Reserve’s printing presses, taxpayer subsidized “green” company bankruptcies, disability and food stamp rolls and the bottom lines of Canadian web design firms.

    Obamacare was the only real hope the president had left. After months of scandals exposing him as either disconnected from his own administration or callous and vindictive, the president put all his chips on the Oct. 1 launch of healthcare.gov. The idea that the American people, who had just re-elected him, would turn on him and his baby was the furthest thing from his mind.

    When they did he was ill-prepared to deal with that reality.

    The failures of the website were far from his biggest problem. The website is but the portal to a failed concept, and its unveiling – luckily for the president – was drowned out in the news by the government shutdown. But after 16 days, the clouds cleared and the lousy website’s problems would give way to the failed concept taking center stage.

    The failed concept is that the government can create a structure in which the private sector can function and flourish. The reality is the government can’t even build the most expensive website ever constructed and make it work.

    When the concept started causing people to lose the health insurance they voluntarily purchased, Democrats were relieved to be talking about the failed website because it could be fixed. When the numbers of people losing their health insurance climbed into the hundreds of thousands, that aspect of the problem no longer could be ignored.

    When the media switched from website crashes to human stories of people being harmed by the government, even cheerleaders of the law started putting down their pom-poms.

    Had the president and scores of congressional Democrats avoided specifics and promised only that lives would be made better by the law, the media would have granted a pass, as usual. But they went out of their way. Period. More than three-dozen times in the case of the president alone. Period. To ensure us that if we liked our plan, we would be able to keep it, no matter what. Period.

    Partisans and their friends in the media could not explain this away. The big lie was exposed. The game was up.

    President Obama tried to fall back on his personal charm and talk his way out of it. Acting like a person summoning memories of what humility was like from stories heard long ago, he offered something resembling as close to an apology he has in him. The “I’m sorry you didn’t understand what I was saying was the opposite of what I was actually saying, so it’s really your fault” line went over like a brick. But it was all he had.

    It was so ineffective that it, and the damage the law was doing to people, left former President Bill Clinton no choice but to attempt to distance and differentiate himself, and more importantly his wife, from this law and this president. Having the first prominent Democrat call for a change to the law be named Clinton without it being Hillary, to still give the illusion of loyalty, was important for their future plans.

    When one rat starts to leave a ship, the rest follow…

    The chorus rose to the point of legislation being introduced, not only by Republicans but by Democrats as well. Action was coming, one way or another.

    Never one to worry much about Constitutional constraints, the president pre-empted his detractors and pretended the law that was set in stone only six weeks earlier was made of clay and he changed it.

    When asked about his repeated promise he said, “With respect to the pledge I made that if you like your plan you can keep it, I think -- you know, and I've said in interviews -- that there is no doubt that the way I put that forward unequivocally ended up not being accurate.”

    The only way he could not have known it was if he didn’t want to know – if his staff was under orders or chose not to tell him. There’s no reason to believe he’d know on his own. He has no real-world experience in business or the private sector in general, but he does have a staff. The motivation for his lie is either willful deceit or willful ignorance. But neither excuses it.

    On the website, what he said was telling. “I was not informed directly that the website would not be working as -- the way it was supposed to.”

    The key word is “directly.” Either the president was remarkably incurious about the main consumer aspect of his proudest achievement or he was lied to. If he was lied to, the fact that no one has been fired is a disgrace. If he was incurious…

    So, either the president of the United States has surrounded himself with people who deliberately keep him in the dark and/or lie to him, or he is an incompetent man in over his head so far that he’s frozen in ignorance, unable to muster the wherewithal to ask even the most basic questions on major issues. Or else he’s lying.

    History will judge, but the present, between now and the end of his term, can’t be allowed to forget.