Get Off The Wagon

(and help pull)

Entitlements, Social Programs & War Poverty


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January 9, 2012

We The People must do something to rein in spending and regulations. If we stay on this path much longer, we will reach a tipping point where it will be very difficult, if not impossible to recover.

My suggestion, my wish, my dream is to do the following.

Congress calls the heads of all agencies to assemble in Washington, D.C.

A roll call of the assembled agency heads will be taken. If an agency head is not in attendance without good reason, it will be automatically cut, eliminated, kaput. All the remaining agencies will have their budgets frozen.

The next plan of action is to reduce or eliminate any known agency duplication, inefficiencies and those that have outlived their usefulness.

The final course of action is to require each agency remaining to justify their existence and budgets.

The above may seem draconian, but we must start somewhere. Dr. Tom Coburn, Senator, OK, has published a report titled Back in Black. This document details cuts, reduction and elimination of some programs and agencies. Dr. Coburn and his staff spent many hours on this document and it would be well worth reviewing. The savings in the first year alone would probably cut the deficit in half, if not more.

And while we are the subject of reining in spending, what is the deal with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)? How did Congress lose oversight authority over this one? Is this another one of those cases we have had far too much of in the last 3 years in which we must pass the Bill so that we can find out what is in it?

The Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF) has the following statement on their site.

The CFPB, a creation of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, would have unaccountable and virtually unlimited power to regulate an enormous variety of non-bank financial transactions, ranging from how consumers can pay bills over the phone to what kind of paperwork developers must give to prospective homebuyers. Republicans had sat on the nomination to head the CFPB primarily because they were waiting on changes to the law that would provide some measure of congressional oversight for this far-reaching authority.

Am I wrong in my understanding of how agencies such as this one are funded? Is not it the job of the Congress to appropriate the funds necessary for this agency? If that is the case, why would it not be a simple case of not funding until the agency met with Congress approval? What am I missing here?

Neither President Obama nor any president can make a recess appointment when Congress is NOT in recess.

Article 1, Section 5 states in part.

Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Article 2, Section 2 states in part.

The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

A few days ago, Barack Obama appointed Richard Cordray to head the aforementioned CFPB. He also appointed three members of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB}.

President Obama chooses to ignore the abovementioned inconvenient parts of the Constitution. If this blatant disregard of our Constitution is allowed to stand, which next part of the Constitution will he choose to ignore?

October 14, 2011

Jackson, Jr: Obama should ‘declare a national emergency,’ add jobs with ‘extra-constitutional’ action

Jesse, with all due respect, I think this is a really dumb idea. Circumventing Congress and the Constitution is not a good thing. Jesse, if you are really serious about creating jobs, there are four very simple things that would accomplish this. One, cut taxes. Two, cut spending. Three, cut regulations. Four, and by no means last, get the out of the way.

The private sector would be creating jobs so fast your head would not stop spinning for weeks, if not months. Don't believe me, try it! This assumes, of course, the previous four ideas would last a significant amount of time. I am not talking here about a temporary year or temporary anything. I am talking about a permanent 5 years, maybe more. There would also have to be a clause that would prevent a future congress from modifying this legislation, perhaps with a sunset clause. You in congress seem to like these and I am sure it can be done.

This would make you and Obama heroes. And, the best part, it would give Obama a real good chance at re-election. If a significant number of those unemployed become employed there would be a lot of happy campers.

October 6, 2011

Is Social Security in trouble? I think so and so does Walter Williams: Social Security Disaster

September 30, 2011

Liberals measure compassion by how many people are given welfare. Conservatives measure compassion by how many people no longer need it. - Rush Limbaugh

We need to get people off the wagon, not pile more on: State Gets $5 Mil Bonus For Food Stamp Sign Up

September 17, 2011

Are You Poor?, Bill O'Reilly

September 16, 2011

The following is a desperate attempt by the Obama administration to restore his credibility. I believe it is going to be steep uphill climb and way too late to reverse a three year slide. is the Administration's Latest Propaganda Arm, David Limbaugh

September 12, 2011

Do you agree with Paul Krugman that Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and George W. Bush are fake heroes? I don't. The Years of Shame

Ann-Marie Murrell tells how she became a conservative. I say, welcome home. Ten Years Later: Confessions of a 9/11 Conservative (aka Former Liberal)

September 8, 2011

Star Parker nails the ugly truth. Back on Uncle Sam's Plantation

September 5, 2011

The nanny state is alive and well. Food Regulators Out of Control The Heritage Foundation.

Parents given the choice will flee public schools. Indiana has given parents that choice and they are fleeing in mass. Indiana: Mass Exodus of Students from the Public Schools Godfather Politics.

September 4, 2011

There are many that need to Get Off The Wagon. It is getting tougher for fewer and fewer people trying to pull this country's wagon and Obama is not helping the situation.

Not only is he not helping to get someone off the wagon he is making it much, much worse. The welfare/nanny state is making more and more dependant on government and depriving many of us the liberties and freedoms we should enjoy. The takers do not know this or do not care.

Obama is doing this by implementing greater redistribution of wealth, introducing more crushing regulations and a general unfriendliness toward business.

Larry Elder has some thoughts on the takers and givers. The Welfare State: Too Many Takers -- Not Enough Givers

May 30, 2011

Pro-Obama Media Always Shocked by Bad Economic News - Michael Barone, May 30, 2011
As megablogger Glenn Reynolds, aka Instapundit, has noted with amusement, the word "unexpectedly" or variants thereon keep cropping up in mainstream media stories about the economy.

Mediscare: The Surprising Truth - Thomas R. Saving and John C. Goodman, May 27, 2011
Republicans are being portrayed as Medicare Grinches, but ObamaCare already has seniors' health care slated for draconian cuts.

The Welfare State and the Selfish Society - Dennis Prager, Apr 26, 2011
In the contemporary world, where left-wing attitudes are regarded as normative, it is a given that capitalism, with its free market and profit motive, emanates from and creates selfishness, while socialism, the welfare state and the "social compact," as it is increasingly referred to, emanate from and produce selflessness.

Dependency and Votes - Thomas Sowell, May 24, 2011
Those who regard government "entitlement" programs as sacrosanct, and regard those who want to cut them back as calloused or cruel, picture a world very different from the world of reality.

GetOffTheWagon is a metaphor that points out the fact that too many people in this great country are on the wagon. This wagon is not the wagon people with addictions, such as alcohol or drugs, may fall from. This is the wagon of government dependency through social programs and entitlements and can be just as addictive. Those on this wagon should fall off, pushed off or at least make every effort to get off. The people pulling (and pushing) are exerting a greater and greater effort to keep this wagon (country) moving. Can everyone get off this wagon? Of course not. Is the job of our government to perpetuate those who are on the wagon? No! WE THE PEOPLE must demand that our Federal, State and local officials reduce or eliminate the social entitlement programs. More than half the revenue collected through our taxes is spent on social programs.

There are many private organizations (religious and not) that are helping the poor and many more organizations will be created if the shackles of entitlements are lifted. There will be many pieces devoted to the state of our social entitlements and the people that want to not only maintain the current status quo, but expand it.

This site will discuss the pandering and hypocrisy in fighting the war on poverty and many other liberal (or if you prefer, progressive) ideas and programs. I will be discussing many issues including, but not limited to those listed on the top left of this page. I will list many columns, editorials, news sources, blogs and talk shows. I would encourage anyone interested to check out these sources. I make no effort to hide the fact that I am conservative. I will make no attempt to be fair and balanced. I don't believe that I am a right wing bomb thrower. I will make every attempt to present the facts as they exist. There will be many facts that some may not agree with. If I state something appears not to be fact, please point out my error and I will acknowledge and correct it. I would ask that you present the facts that refute mine, from a creditable source, of course.

There is way too much waste, fraud and abuse of our social systems. I will address many of these issues also. I did not agree with President Bush on everything, but I do agree with a statement he made in his acceptance speech on the last night of the 2004 Republican National Convention, "Another priority for a new term is to build an ownership society, because ownership brings security, and dignity, and independence." This is so true and I really hope President Bush and his successors can and will do everything in their power to make this happen. Privatization and ownership would go a long way to solve many of the problems we have today. I believe the more people of this great nation that become independent will feel much better about themselves and their lot in life. They will then be happy to GetOffTheWagon and help pull.

The Heritage Foundation discusses many of these issues also. I encourage you to check out this article, Public Policy in the Age of Entitlements by William W. Beach, it will give you some understanding of the politics that drive entitlements and what should be done about them.

General Welfare Clause

"For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power?" -- James Madison, Federalist No. 41

The first paragraph of the Constitution of these United States of America states:

WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The phrase "promote the general Welfare" has been stretch to unbelievable limits through many social programs such as, welfare, AFDC, social security and many, many others. Further Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution enumerates the authority and power of the federal government described in 18 Clauses.

Our founders did not take our nation or our Constitution lightly.

The following links tend to favor this opinion.

Is Social Security Constitutional?
Given all that, the issue of Social Security's constitutionality, far from being settled, remains wide open. Somehow I doubt that the Framers, who after all meant the Constitution as a fetter on expansive government and not a blank check for it, intended the Constitution to authorize a tax-devouring engine of dependence on the State like Social Security. - John Attarian, May 23, 2003 []

Social Security is, as you may know, a pay as you go system. This means current income earners are taxed (this shows up on your paycheck as FICA (Federal Insurance Contributions Act). The government uses this revenue to pay those who are retired now. When FDR put this program in place, the revenue collected from more than 40 income earners paid for one retiree. Today it is close to 3 and soon 2.)

Spending obscenities
Not so long ago, in a country that now seems far, far away, Ronald Reagan told the nation: "we don't have deficits because people are taxed too little. We have deficits because big government spends too much." - Cal Thomas, March 21, 2006

Socialism makes people worse
As much as America has been adversely affected by socialist thought, it is still inconceivable that in America hundreds of thousands of students would shut down their schools in order to gain the right not to be fired by the first company that hires them. But every time America's socialists, the Democrats, prevail in an election, we move in that direction. No matter how pure their motives, the Left makes America and its citizens less noble people, just like the spoiled French students. - Dennis Prager, Mar 21, 2006

The Myth of Spending Cuts for the Poor, Tax Cuts for the Rich
This paper shows that data on antipoverty spending refute the myth that these programs are being slashed. Yet more money does not necessarily mean more progress. All too often, lawmakers measure compassion by how much money is spent rather than by whether a program actually improves people’s lives. - Brian M. Riedl, February 14, 2006

Federal Spending: By the Numbers
The national debate over federal spending has been hampered by a lack of accessible and reliable budget data. Budget debates involve numbers, and yet these numbers are vulnerable to creative slicing and dicing in order to prove one point or another. Exasperated taxpayers are left not knowing how exactly their tax dollars are being spent and what fiscal challenges America faces. - Brian M. Riedl, February 6, 2006

Congress needs binding arbitration
Here's another idea: Congress should be forced by public opinion to submit to what in labor disputes is known as binding arbitration. An independent commission - not unlike the Grace Commission of the Reagan years - that identified waste, fraud and abuse in government and made some headway before members fell off the spending wagon - should be given the power to impose reforms on Congress in order that "we the people" might benefit for a change. Among them should be term limits for everybody. The Founding Fathers did not foresee a permanent political class, out of touch with the people and in touch only with their careers and self-interests. - Cal Thomas, Jan 19, 2006

Socialism is evil
What is socialism? We miss the boat if we say it's the agenda of left-wingers and Democrats. - Walter E. Williams, July 28, 2004

Ruled by Scoundrels
Grossly ignorant or conniving politicians tell constitutionally ignorant Americans that it is the general welfare clause that authorizes these programs. - Walter Williams, April 2, 2003

The "General Welfare"
As you presumably know, Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the power to impose taxes to "provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States." But since the New Deal, this clause has been pretty much boiled down to one phrase: "general welfare." It is now generally assumed that Congress may pass any law it deems in the "general welfare" of the United States. - Joseph Sobran, November 23, 1999

The War on Poverty

In his 1964 State of the Union address, Lyndon Johnson announced, "This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America." That was more than forty years ago. Making poverty a national concern set in motion a series of bills and acts, creating programs such as Head Start, food stamps, work study, Medicare and Medicaid, which still exist today. The programs initiated under Johnson built upon the entitlements initiated by FDR, but the poverty rate has remained steady since the 1970s.

Good intentions often have dire consequences. The War on Poverty has not only created more entitlements, but has also created a dependency class that expects these handouts to continue forever. The War on Poverty has been a dismal failure and nobody wants to take the responsibility needed to wean the dependency off these programs. A big step was taken in 1994 when the Republicans took back the House and Senate and forced through the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. It took three tries before Pres. Clinton signed the bill. That bill helped to reduce the Welfare rolls by half.

A Painful Anniversary
Never had there been such a comprehensive program to tackle poverty at its roots, to offer more opportunities to those starting out in life, to rehabilitate those who had fallen by the wayside, and to make dependent people self-supporting. Its intentions were the best. But we know what road is paved with good intentions. - Thomas Sowell, August 17, 2004

The War on Poverty at 40
The lesson on this 40th anniversary couldn't be clearer. Freedom works; dependency doesn't. - Myron Magnet, Summer 2004 (City Journal)

The Global War on Poverty
"The U.S. government declared war on poverty, and poverty won,” former U.S. President Ronald Reagan famously quipped, referring to the limited progress in reducing U.S. poverty in the aftermath of President Lyndon Johnson’s 1964 “war declaration.” Johnson said he had launched his War on Poverty “because it is right, because it is wise, and because, for the first time in our history, it is possible to conquer poverty.” - Prakash Loungani, December 2003
(This document is in Adobe format. Download the Adobe Reader free.)

War on Poverty Needs New Strategy
One thing the pundits and presidential candidates aren't saying much about, however, is how much money has been spent fighting the "war on poverty"—$9 trillion and counting. Yes, $9 trillion. - Jenifer Zeigler, September 01, 2004

Lyndon Johnson's War on Poverty
But the poverty rate has remained steady since the 1970s and today, Americans have allowed poverty to fall off the national agenda, says Sheldon Danziger, a professor of public policy at the University of Michigan. - NPR, Jan. 8, 2004
(NPR's slant on the War on Poverty. I report, you decide)

Please check out the following links for more information:
Constitution Society
The "General Welfare" Clause
Heritage Foundation

Please check out the issues in the top left panel of this page and give me your feedback. If you have other articles, opinions (yours and others) or any other information related to these issues, please let me know about them.

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