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Sunday, September 09, 2012

The Welfare State is Not In Our Welfare! A Government That Gives You Everything is a Government That Will Eventually Take It All Away!




Regular readers of these pages are most likely strong supporters in the safety net programs set up in the New Deal, Great Society and now Obamacare legislative eras. They hold these programs to be good examples of America’s capacity to care for the ill, the poor, the destitute and the aged. And they find in these programs America’s expression of the Jewish concept of tikkun olam, repairing the world as it is, in the service of God and Torah.

So in this presidential election, as in every election, these socially conscious Jews are lining up behind the candidate on the left side of the political divide. President Obama has certainly honored the wishes of those tikkun olam-minded voters who supported him in 2008. He expanded the welfare state in virtually every direction.

A record number — 45 million Americans — were on food stamps in 2011, a 70% increase from 2007. Spending for the program was $72 billion, up $30 billion from 2007. In the first quarter of 2011, slightly less than half — 49.1% percent — of America’s population was living in a household where someone was receiving a government benefit. That’s up from 44.4% in the third quarter of 2008, and a good indication to all those tikkun olam voters.

And since Obama has presided over the slowest economic recovery in postwar history and the worst jobs record in any recovery, we’ve had millions more opportunities to express our spirit of tikkun olam.

Obama speaks regularly of the need to make investments in America’s infrastructure and future, and I believe him. But in reality, America is not so much in the investing business as in the loss-covering business. Roughly $7 out of every $10 spent by the federal government goes toward cleaning up other people’s mistakes or problems: housing assistance, food stamps, free or reduced health care, free and reduced lunches in schools and other educational supports, and subsidies for farmers.

In perhaps the finest display of the spirit of tikkun olam, only half the country has to pay for it. Half of Americans pay almost no income taxes — and in some cases, because of tax credits like those awarded for every child a family has, they even receive income tax refunds despite having zero income tax liability.

So if you’re a tikkun olam voter, you should be thrilled.

Of course, all this tikkun olam comes with an enormous price tag — one so big that it has heaped trillion-dollar deficits on the nation each year of Obama’s presidency. The Social Security trust fund will be empty several years earlier than we expected when Obama took office. Medicare’s trust fund will hang on longer, thanks to Obamacare, but it still carries trillions in future liabilities that expected tax revenues won’t cover.

The president says that deficits would be far lower if Congress could only raise taxes on the super-wealthy to Clinton-era heights. But that would raise roughly $80 billion more a year. In other words, we’d still have roughly 90% of the same deficit problem we had before.

So while I’d say that tikkun olam has had a pretty good four years, it sure doesn’t look to me like it has a very rich future. At some point, all that tikkun olam is going to wreck the country, and that, if I’m not mistaken, is pretty much the opposite of the goal of tikkun olam.

So with all due respect to all those Rabbis for Obama, maybe we should try another approach. If our goal is to heal the wounds in the world, maybe the right way to do that doesn’t involve seizing wealth from people who work hard to give it to people who don’t. Maybe it shouldn’t involve the construction of a vast super state of regulatory czars and czarinas, people capable of writing a rule that could, without review from elected legislators, destroy a citizen’s life work. Maybe we should ask ourselves whether tikkun olam means making people even more dependent on the goodwill of the state.

Maybe the best form of tikkun olam is to give people freedom and free markets as opposed to more state-sponsored goodies. Freedom and free markets have worked pretty well in lifting people out of poverty, creating strong middle-class societies, and supporting great voluntary and charitable institutions.

And by the way, freedom and free markets have been good for the Jews and for tikkun olam. Cast your eyes over the sweep of our 5,000 years of history. Wherever Jews have lived in relative freedom and free markets — the United States, Britain and its commonwealth, the Ottoman Near East, post-Enlightenment Western Europe — we’ve done pretty well. We’ve built great communities. We’ve devoted ourselves to Torah. We’ve pursued tzedakah, charity, with abandon.

By comparison, in nations where freedom was under attack or in decline, and the power of the state in ascendancy — most notably, monarchist Spain, czarist as well as communist Russia, most of Europe during the Middle Ages — Jews have suffered and so has Judaism, including and especially our capacity to commit acts of tikkun olam.

You could say that freedom and free markets are just about the best thing that Judaism has ever known. And in that sense, free markets and freedom have been good for tikkun olam.

So you have a choice this fall: You can stick with a president who believes deeply in the power of the state and who has done a lot to make tikkun olam voters happy, but who is, without question, endangering our nation’s ability to pursue tikkun olam programs in future years; or, you can switch to a candidate who believes in the power of individual freedom — and has shown through his own example of voluminous giving of charity to his church and his community that prosperity and success breed far more tikkun olam than can be achieved through the taxing power of the state.

 Vote Mitt Romney. He’s the real tikkun olam candidate.

Read more: http://forward.com/articles/161869/mitt-romney-is-real-tikkun-olam-candidate/?p=all#ixzz261H8mo74

6 comments:

UOJ gets results said...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2201050/Tony-Mack-Trenton-Mayor-arrested-massive-corruption-probe.html

A mayor in New Jersey's capital city is in some legal hot water after he was taken away in handcuffs by the FBI following a massive corruption probe focused on his office.
Tony Mack, the mayor of Trenton, was arrested on Monday - along with seven others - the latest step in the continued corruption investigation.
Mack's brother, Ralphiel, and convicted sex offender and campaign contributor Joseph Giorgianni, are accused of conspiring to obstruct, delay and affect interstate commerce by extortion.
Federal prosecutors allege Mack agreed to use his influence in connection with a proposed parking garage project.
Court documents show federal agents began investigating Mack and the others in September 2010.
They searched their homes in July of this year.
Authorities say the defendants received $54,000 and anticipated accepting another $65,000 from a cooperating witness who purported to be a developer.
The arrest comes months after federal authorities raided Mack’s office at Trenton City Hall and his home.
Agents were on Thursday searching through documents in several departments, including that of recently appointed city business administrator Sam Hutchinson.
The Democrat's first two years in office have been marked by repeated accusations of reckless spending, cronyism and mismanagement.
Questions have also lingered about how Mack financed his 2010 campaign at a time of personal financial problems.
Mack's home and other properties have faced foreclosure, and the city reported in June that he, his brother and Giorgianni were all late making property tax payments.

Anonymous said...

At this point ,I think we are at the point of no return. There is no way the USA can get out of their quagmire without having a civil war. There are simply to many people on the dole for them to,stop it. And for many, they make more money by not working then by working. So far no candidate has been able to come up with a working plan. The best plan for individuals is to go long commodities ,oil, gold etc, and just wait for the inevitable downfall in the USA economy.

Bush-wacked said...

It is ludicrous to postulate that the same Republicans who started the Madrid Conference under George H. W. Bush (Bush I) and forced the mighty Israeli PM Shamir to come and negotiate with the Palestinians as Bush family lawyer and pal US Secretary of State James Baker cursed out the Jews with his notorious expletive "F-ck the Jews" and these same Republicans under George W. Bush (Bush II) sicked US Secretary of State Condi Rice on mighty Israeli PM Sharon to unilaterally withdraw from the Gaza Strip with only kassams and terror in return, and it is these same Republicans who are now guiding Romney will somehow become "great friends" of Israel or the Jews.

In addition, no one knows what Romney as a practicing Mormon will come up with either. He may think he may know best what's good for the Jews because Mormons view themselves as the "true" Israel. Maybe he should tell us if Mormons should stop baptizing millions of dead Jews. Yeah, he'll say, "speak to MY church" as if he isn't part of it when he is a high-ranking member of it all along.

George W. Bush (Bush I) graduated from the Harvard University Business School with an MBA. Yet under this first-ever American MBA-holding businessman graduate, the American economy went belly-up at the end of his second term in 2008, before anyone had any inkling that Obama could become their local town dogcatcher let alone US president. Yet once Bush crashed the US economy in 2008 (as the captain he must take the blame for the sinking of the ship of state and he cannot blame it on others) it paved the way for Obama's election who just had to say, as he still (correctly) does "I did NOT create this (economic) mess"!

Yeah, government programs eat up money, but so do greedy corporations and businessmen who do NOT re-invest their wealth but park their mega-trillions of profits in off-shore accounts and investment safe havens that do not benefit the US workforce and US customers that helped them attain that wealth in the first place.

The US factory owners have invested their capital in China, India and the Far East where labor is dirt cheap. Almost nothing is made is made in America anymore and that would not change under Romney from Bain, or anyone.

Too much US core capital and US wealth has and is being bled out to the Arab oil states for petroleum. How about forcing them and the fat cat US oil companies to cut PRICES by 75% from $100 a barrel to about $25 per barrel, still $20 more than they were getting BEFORE they jacked up prices in the 1970s!.

How about telling the Japanese and their American distributors that they must cut prices for cars and electronics by 75%, Most of the raw material is plastic and metal junk and they could still make a profit and have lots of sushi and saki to fill their bellies and enough to build bamboo houses.

And of course, the US should tell China that the US will only allow 25% payments on goods from China and China must accept (or else) a 75% reduction on everything they produce for the US market. That would still leave plenty profits for the corrupt Communist politburo that's in cahoots with greedy US capitalist exploitative the dirt cheap and dirt poor slave labor of China and less money for mischief to build up their army and war machine that will only bring them defeat in a potential WW III.

Take a hike said...

Who's the dumb putz bashing the Republicans? He is confusing the MBA George Bush the elder with Dubya. Dubya was not particularly bright and caused just as much damage to the economy as Clinton with his socialized homeownership for Blacks who can't afford mortgages. Republicans admit Dubya was a failure but they still have a much better track record than Democrats and the arrogant Arabist Obama.

James Baker was a lone voice under Bush I, a holdover from the old anti-Semitic culture in the State Dept. Obama has surrounded himself with self-hating Jews & other anti-Semites including radical Arabs.

Yes rich Republicans exercise loopholes to park wealth offshore. At least they are not hypocrites like Al Gore who preach about global warming & carbon credits while being flown around on private jets.

This putz preaches isolationism which caused the US economy to implode in the last century.

This putz preaches nationalization of the oil industry which is the stuff of Latin American dictators.

Bush-wacked said...

Take a hike said...Who's the dumb putz bashing the Republicans? He is confusing the MBA George Bush the elder with Dubya.

Nope, Dubya (Bush II) went to Harvard and got an MBA ("He is the only U.S. President to have earned an M.B.A."), while Bush I was just a war vet who went to Yale got a BA since there was no such animal as an MBA in his day and then into the Texas oil business.

Dubya was not particularly bright and caused just as much damage to the economy as Clinton with his socialized homeownership for Blacks who can't afford mortgages.

The economy was booming under Clinton, and what's better making Blacks homeless and hopeless and stoking the flames of "burn baby burn" or giving them a stake in basic housing? Bush II was scheming corrupt guy who let his banking and business buddies loot the US investment houses, banks, corporations, and then had his guy Paulson inject made up money from the government coffers (read: printing presses) to make up the stolen cash. One of the biggest heists in history that almost ruined America forever by 2008. He paved the way for Obama to come in, no one else can be blamed but Bush II and his schemers.

Republicans admit Dubya was a failure but they still have a much better track record than Democrats and the arrogant Arabist Obama.

Just WHERE do they admit Bush II was a "failure" and both Bushes are BIGGER Arabists because they are in cahoots with the Saudi-Kuwaiti-Emirates oil cartel to make big bucks all around. Who are you trying to fool mister?

James Baker was a lone voice under Bush I, a holdover from the old anti-Semitic culture in the State Dept. Obama has surrounded himself with self-hating Jews & other anti-Semites including radical Arabs.

Baloney, James Baker was the go to lawyer who was brought in to make sure that the Republican bosses in Florida and on the Supreme Court would make sure that Bush II would be America's president even though he lost the popular vote. That's called election fraud, Baker was the one who brought Dubya into the White House when America said NOTHING DOING.

Yes rich Republicans exercise loopholes to park wealth offshore. At least they are not hypocrites like Al Gore who preach about global warming & carbon credits while being flown around on private jets.

Apples and oranges. All big wigs fly in private jets, what's the news here? And Republicans are just plain greedy, crooked and cruel. They could care less what happens to Joe Shmoe in America.

This putz preaches isolationism which caused the US economy to implode in the last century.

No, it's more like gunboat diplomacy.

This putz preaches nationalization of the oil industry which is the stuff of Latin American dictators.

Oops, sorry, only CEOs and CFOs and COOs the proverbial "masters of the universe" the fat cat, great greedy gut, corrupt to the core honchos of multinational corporations and conglomerates are allowed to dictate the way the world runs and benfit from it, letting the rest of humanity rot in hell.

Who's the real putz here???

Boruch said...

The real putz, as Pogo would say, is US. We've seen the enemy and he is us. We, the shareholders in corporations, the memembers of unions, the consumer, with our us and no body else,is the problem. Our overconsumptive, can't get it often enough, looking at everything as though it will be the ultimate panacea, is the problem. WE are the problem. WE can reverse the problem. It's not the government, that WE choose, it's not the corporations that WE invest in, it's not the unions that WE let abuse and corrupt the system, it's US, WE are the problem.