The End of the GOP, or a New GOP?

Interesting:

Four Republican-leaning groups with close ties to the party’s leadership in Congress — Crossroads and its “super PAC” affiliate, the Congressional Leadership Fund, and Young Guns Action — raised a combined $7.7 million in 2013. By contrast, four conservative organizations that have battled Republican candidates deemed too moderate or too yielding on spending issues — FreedomWorks, the Club for Growth Action Fund, the Senate Conservatives Fund, and the Tea Party Patriots — raised a total of $20 million in 2013, according to Federal Election Commission reports filed on Friday.

“This is by far the biggest nonelection year we’ve ever had,” said Matt Hoskins, the executive director of the Senate Conservatives Fund. “It shows how committed people are to electing true conservatives and to advancing conservative principles.”

The golden rule of politics is, of course, “whoever has the gold, makes the rules”.  How long can the establishment GOP really retain control of the party when the non-establishment part of it is pulling in more money?

Democrats have been gleeful ever since 2008 over the GOP “civil war” – I haven’t viewed it in those terms.  It believe that what is happening is that the Republican Party is becoming a party of Jacksonians.  This would, no doubt, surprise and amuse that old Whig Lincoln who helped to build the Republican Party, but I don’t think he’s be dismayed by it, either.  We are a long way, after all, from the Republican Party of the 1860’s, just as we are from the Democrat Party of that era.  Things change and ever since FDR routed the Civil War era GOP in 1932, there has been no political party which has broadly expressed the old, Jacksonian principals of limited government.  Both parties have been broadly in favor of government, with just different ideas about just whom is to benefit the most from government largesse – though with both parties tending, in the last 20 years, to favor the rich and the poor over the middle class.

Jackson, it should be recalled, was for States’ rights…but not in an absurd sense, as shown when he smacked down South Carolina over nullification.  Jackson was in favor of free enterprise, but not to the idiotic limit of just allowing the rich to grind the poor.  Jackson’s power emerged out of the State militias rather than out of the traditional financial (in the North) or planter (in the South) Establishments.  Jackson would fight a man to the death to preserve his rights, but then adopt that enemy’s son and raise him as his own – this neatly encapsulates the American ideal.  Our modern Jacksonians – even if they don’t know they are – are also for States’ rights; for free enterprise (but getting more and more disgusted with crony capitalism); and for the right of the individual to live his or her life however they wish.  These are the general political ideals which are fueling the new forces in the GOP – and the forces which now look to take over the whole enterprise.

To be sure, the final part of this battle for the GOP might result in handing the Democrats just one more victory in 2016 – but the bottom line is that the old GOP Establishment will have to knuckle under to the TEA Party (broadly defined), or go over to the Democrats.  I think most will knuckle under – after all, any group which can raise $20 million in an off year is a force to be reckoned with…and a force which is probably going to win it all, in the by and by.

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70 thoughts on “The End of the GOP, or a New GOP?

  1. Jeremiah

    I think there will always be opposing factions of the same GOP, as there is that segment of any party that is out to “divide and conquer,” if you will. Separate the fiscal, from the social, and so on. And they use their campaign money to lend more credence to whatever their individual group is trumpeting. Of course, whoever is the loudest will come out ahead in primary and general elections, or whoever has the most money to run. At the end of the day, however, it’s not all about the money, it’s who has the best message. People want a solid message, and someone who they can trust in, especially after they’ve found out how untrustworthy Obama is, and how he has been disastrous for job growth in America. I personally would like to see a return to the Reagan era of politics in America. People did well for themselves. President Reagan cut taxes so that everyone could own their own business and maintain a workforce at the same time. People were able to fulfill the American dream, that so many today are desiring, and that so many, unfortunately, are losing!

    So, who can we trust to deliver?

    I’m almost certain that it will be nearly impossible to find someone who can satisfy the wants and desires of every faction in the GOP, so I think if it does burn, the party that rises from the ashes would have to necessarily have to have appeal to all the others. It will definitely not help our country for the Republican party to move leftward by electing a more moderate candidate, as the whole country has been moving left, and the country has been going steadily downward morally and financially. If anything, the country needs to turn to the right!

    I think we need to have more discussion with people who are living day to day on government checks. Start a dialogue to help them see, that the programs that they are participating in is what is driving our national debt, and keeping them in poverty. Ask them, what would you rather do … would you rather stay on welfare, food stamps, disability, etc, etc, etc., or would you rather be working, having nicer things than what you have right now, achieving the American dream? Of course, this necessitates that we have jobs ready for them to do, which Obama is not doing, but we need more farms, more mines, more steel factories, more assembly lines of every kind, more lumber mills. Go back to doing the work by hand, instead of machine and computer.

    The one thing we need more than anything is to be in an attitude of prayer about it, because unless we realize that we need to take action– the country will be continuing to implode before our eyes.

    1. Amazona

      “I think we need to have more discussion with people who are living day to day on government checks. Start a dialogue to help them see, that the programs that they are participating in is what is driving our national debt, and keeping them in poverty. Ask them, what would you rather do … would you rather stay on welfare, food stamps, disability, etc, etc, etc., or would you rather be working, having nicer things than what you have right now, achieving the American dream?”

      That is a lovely idea, but I don’t see it working. It might if those on welfare and other entitlement programs were going without, but today’s Dependent Class is living pretty high on the hog, and I doubt most will be willing to exchange work and responsibility for good stuff and no work. I have no reason to think many of them give a flip about the national debt.

      The last big welfare reform we had was under Regan,and I will bet you few if any who got kicked off the welfare rolls voted for it to happen. It just goes against human nature.

      No, I think it will take winning over former Dem voters—-and we don’t need all that many—-and then just doing what has to be done. If we have to wait till people say “I’ll give up my own free goodies if it is better for the country” we will be waiting a long, long time.

      The people who will move to the Right are the people who are already working, who are already busting their butts and getting very little in return, who don’t see a better future for their children than they have, who can’t look forward to retirement because they have never been on government assistance and can’t imagine being on government assistance. It will be good and decent people who believed the lies and who are now indignant at learning the people they trusted have been lying to them. It will be people who elected men and women to go to Washington to represent them and who assumed these people would be responsible, and who have just learned that they voted to turn one-sixth of the American economy over to bureaucrats WITHOUT EVEN READING THE BILL.

      1. Jeremiah

        Amazona,

        I couldn’t agree with you more. I had already contemplated, and had the same reiterated to me in former discussions with others. The only reason the idea interests me, is just to see the consensus numbers for each, and what if any effect it would have on the nation. Try to get the point across, that there are so many negative components to the welfare state…such as drugs – prescription pills for example, oxycontin (generic, or lab created heroin) being the main drug, people cannot function normally and hold jobs with this drug in their system. Then there is cocaine, valium, meth in various forms, and there is alcohol. Many businesses will not tolerate drug users because they are such a liability to their business, and, they are unreliable as a workforce. Not to mention that these drugs destroy families, as well as the lives of those who use them. Disability and other entitlement programs feed into these types of drug problems. Many have suggested that only people who take a drug screening, and testify that they don’t use drugs should be the only recipients of entitlement programs, well, that clearly won’t work, because they will either lie or go clean long enough to pass the test, and then resume drug usage.

        I’ve been watching these videos on youtube, and car-loads of dealers, as well as users go down to Broward county Florida, and down there they have what are termed “pain clinics” only they are not really pain clinics, but shops that cater to drug dealers and users to make a profit. The dealers then come back north with their drugs, then sell the pills for $25 per pill…and if he has 300 pills, you can only imagine how much money is being profited tax-free.

        This is the kind of system that welfare and disability has created…a middle class man struggles, while a drug dealer gets rich.

        I’m just sayin’, not really demanding. Our welfare state has created a broader spectrum of problems than what really meets the eye, and is worthy of some dialogue to one degree or another in our communities across the nation.

    2. M. Noonan Post author

      That is the key to ultimate, long term victory – convincing at least a portion of those who have been shackled to government dependency that there is something better for them, and we can set the stage for it.

      1. Amazona

        The thing is, no one will vote for a different plan that takes away the known and comfortable and replaces it with the unknown and scary.

        I remember reading story after story, three and four years after the welfare reform under Reagan, about people who has been terrified of losing their benefits, who had been forced to take classes or do something to qualify for decent jobs, who were furious at having their safety net pulled away, and who had learned the benefits of being independent and were—IN RETROSPECT—-grateful for being pushed out of the nest.

        Nobody is going to volunteer to step off the cliff. Pick a reason—-multi-generational dependence with no experience other than that, laziness and greed, fear or lack of confidence—-you still won’t be able to get people to give up what they know for some abstract concept. Especially when the Left is telling them that the abstract concept is a lie, spread by hateful evil people who just “hate poor people” and don’t care if they suffer.

  2. Retired Spook

    I have always kind of looked at welfare as a “build-it-and-they-will-come” sort of dynamic. There was a study a long time ago, or perhaps it was just the opinion of a psychologist; I don’t recall, that you could feed children ice cream and candy every day, and sooner or later they would get tired of it and demand healthy food. A logical person would conclude that welfare would work much the same way, but clearly there are people who are perfectly content to live, not just their own lives on the government dole, but perpetrate generations of welfare dependents. What we’re seeing is a rather large percentage of the population that will always vote for the party that gives them the most stuff, and I’m not sure exactly how the GOP overcomes that absent some sort of economic reset. I’ve been with Mark in that I thought that reset was imminent since the spring of 2010.

    1. Amazona

      Spook, your comment reminds me of the “bird feeder” illustration used to explain illegal immigration. Set up a source of goodies and then wonder why so many people flock to it?

      One one hand we have the bird feeder, the If You Build It They Will Come policies we have today.

      On the other, we have the Path Of Least Resistance.

      Anyone who has tried to direct the path of flowing water understands this. You might want the water to go to a certain place in your garden, or your field, but it wants to take the path of least resistance, and this is what it will fight to do. You can dam the preferred path, and that might push the water over to where you want it to go, but if your dam is weak and it can be eroded till it washes away, it won’t get the job done. You can make a new channel leading to where you want the water to go but as long as the old channel is developed, you will still have some if not most of the water going along the old pathway. You have to make a big, serious, dam on the old channel, so it is easier for the water to go the direction you want instead of taking out the dam, and at the same time it helps to make at least an entry point to the new path you want to establish. You probably don’t have to dig a whole new channel, but it will speed things up to make an entrance to where you want the channel to be. With the established channel no longer available, and with the need to go somewhere, the water will, albeit reluctantly, start to enlarge the new channel.

      This is from the perspective of a farmer/rancher who has irrigated fields. But I have seen this hundreds of not thousands of times in nature, as well. My property in Wyoming had a creek and we could see three separate channels, two of which had dried up as beaver dams had forced the water to make a new channel.

      What we do as a country, under Leftist policies, is keep the main channel of flow, the diversion of money and benefits, open, and when it is used to capacity we enlarge it. What we need to do is dam it to a trickle, for those who truly need it, with the understanding that those kicked out will not just die—they will find or develop different channels. They might not like it. They might kick and scream and they will definitely try to vote out those who dammed the flow of goodies, spurred by those who depend on the power given to them by controlling those goodies. But as long as the big government-fed, government-maintained, channel is open there is no impetus to even look for alternatives.

      1. Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H. [Journ.]

        No Amazona what the Left is trying to do in America is keep people from starving in a nation overrun with greedy capitalists who refuse to hire despite the full knowledge that it will cost them nothing to do so. Their profit levels and comfort are all they care about. If you want to talk about a civil war as Neocon1 feels that will be between his blue eyed fighters and everyone else you should consider what happens when the middle class are fed up with their lot and turn on the 1% and those like you who support them. You better hope they fight with ballots sweetheart! Either way I’ll be here having a big bowl of popcorn and a nice warm pint and enjoying . . . either way.

      2. tiredoflibbs

        “No Amazona what the Left is trying to do in America is keep people from starving in a nation overrun with greedy capitalists who refuse to hire despite the full knowledge that it will cost them nothing to do so.”

        Wow, I did not know that businesses, corporations and individuals could hire people for free (of course freddy is not counting the taxes that the corporation, business or individual pay to employ that person)! So let’s see…it’s the dumbed down talking point “greed and profit”. So when “Big Oil” makes 8% in GROSS profit (before expenses) on a gallon gasoline but the federal government TAKES more in taxes on a gallon of gasoline, it is “Big Oil” that is greedy and not the government! When the proggies continually makes it more expensive to hire individuals, as long as that company makes a profit they are greedy.

        Hey freddy, I know you are one of many low information progressive voters, but a business is NEVER created to ultimately employ people, they are created to make profit. Without the profit incentive, there are no employees that are hired. We’ve gone through this failed progressive mentality on more than one occasion. Since the founding of this country, progressivism as an economic model has failed time and again. Only the arrogance of progressivism keeps the movement alive with the poor excuse that “it will be different next/this time”.

  3. J. R. Babcock (@JRBabcock)

    I’m not sure exactly how the GOP overcomes that absent some sort of economic reset

    It isn’t a matter of whether there will be a reset, but only when and what form the reset will take. Will the bulk of the population see those responsible as well-intentioned and forgive them — AGAIN, or will they say, sorry, this time is the last straw and we end up with blood-soaked ground. I know quite a few people who are prepared for the latter, and, quite frankly, if I were a Progressive, I’d be very afraid.

    1. Retired Spook

      JR,
      I don’t think the in-side-the-beltway crowd has a clue about the level of outrage of those of us in fly-over country. But you’re right — outrage by those paying the bills isn’t going to buy the votes of those getting the free stuff. We’ll just continue to be accused of being selfish, uncaring, racist, homophobic bigots. I think, when the SHTF, a lot of Liberals are going to be genuinely surprised.

      1. Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H. [Journ.]

        So Spook I take it you’ll be sending your government pension checks back and refusing social security? If not you really need to shut up such arguments are beneath a man of your intelligence and experience.

      2. tiredoflibbs

        Freddy, with that attitude I am sure as a cabby you refused any and all tips from you fares. Any tip would have meant that you accepted free money (excessive profit) over and above your pay grade. Anything short of that would confirm yourself to be a hypocrite. It would fall in line with the progressive tactic of “do as I say not as I do”.

      3. Amazona

        “So Spook I take it you’ll be sending your government pension checks back and refusing social security? ”

        AGAIN with this brainless nonsense? I guess I naively expect that even a lemming like Freddy will have too much pride to continue to bleat the same tired, debunked, crap over and over, when it has been proved so often to be nothing but tired, debunked crap.

        Spook’s Social Security funds are his own money, taken from him by force, against his will, with the promise that he would get it back some day. The feds forced him into betting his own money that he would live long enough to get it back, and took away from him the ability to invest it wisely, to have more income now, and to have a legacy for his children. You seem quite taken with admiration for the feds for doing this, and oozing with contempt for Spook for holding them to their end of the bargain.

        His military pension is delayed compensation. The government says “We know you can make more money in the private sector but we need you in the military, so here’s the deal—-you make less, a lot less, now, while you are serving your country, you go where we send you and do what we tell you to do and sometimes you risk your life, and we’ll kind of make it up to you later by compensating you for a small amount of what you could have earned outside the military.”

        So why are you constantly whining, Freddy, about the government actually honoring some of its promises? This seems to really bother you. Why is it that your seething resentment of the productive finds the return to someone of something he has earned so offensive?

        And cut the coy and smarmy “of your intelligence” crap. You are insulting Spook, you are doing it on purpose, you are implying that he is taking something that is not earned by him, you are implying that he is a hypocrite, and this unctuous effort to coat your venom in pseudo-respect is just creepy.

    2. Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H. [Journ.]

      Babcock both you and Spook make interesting points. Unfortunately they are based on bad data or information from so long ago it no longer applies. Both states and the federal government have mandated a 60 month maximum for welfare benefits and a $1,000 per month cap on earnings for anyone to receive TANF which replaced AFDC in 1997. Nearly a quarter of the adults receiving TANF benefits in 2010 were working at jobs that paid them less than that $1,000 limit. If you look at figures about how people get off TANF the data is startling. A sliver of the pie 1.3% are booted off for meeting the 60 month limit. Others that try to game the system compose 33.3% of those removed from the program. States who have stricter time limits on benefits remove another 11.9%. Those who found employment that lifts them beyond the TANF threshold were 16.6%.

      Those numbers mean something when you add in that TANF is no longer strictly the domain of poor black urban mothers with many children. TANF now is nearly equally distributed not only along racial lines but along the urban rural divide as well. But the news isn’t all bleak for conservatives, the welfare reform signed into law by President Clinton has actually reduced the percentage of blacks on welfare since 2000 from 38.6% to 31.9% while the rate for white recipients has risen from 31.2% to 31.8%.

      Babcock I don’t know what sort of economic reset you mean but the one that took place in 2008 did very little for the GOP. The only plum the right plucked was the House in 2010 and while it seems to be important now the value of having that half of Congress while the other half and the White House are controlled by Democrats is diminishing by the month. The idea that the average American, while not taking up arms on 15 September 2008, will take up arms when the next economic reset comes is an absurd “patriot militia” pipe dream.

      President Barack Hussein Obama will leave office in a little less than three years and the American people will have elected someone new to be the Leader of the Free World. All of this vitriol will have been swept away and your ardor against the office of the POTUS will wane as mine has since the election of 44. My hope is that no one does anything stupid between now and then and maybe a few things can get done by those in the GOP Establishment who know they work for the American people not Freedomworks.

      [q c p n!]

      1. Amazona

        JR, not sure Freddy can come up with much on those numbers. He keeps tripping over that race thing that taints every other thing he tries to talk about.

        And let’s face it, anyone whose mind works in a way that has him write something as stupid as ….ardor against the office of the POTUS…” Aside from “ardor” usually implying a feeling FOR and not AGAINST, the comment that hostility is “….against THE OFFICE OF THE POTUS..” is so profoundly stupid, it pretty much says that nothing else this guy comes up with will be any more credible.

        He not only lives in a fantasy world (though one well-populated, especially now that he has added two people who fled to France when Reagan was elected and a 28-year-old female college graduate with less knowledge of the country than my cat) he has concocted a whole new vocabulary, to allow him to claim that a political system based on the Collective over the individual will lead to more individual freedom, and in which distaste for a person and/or his politics is really animosity toward the office he holds.

        His is not a Brave New World, it is a Dumb New World.

        As consistently wrong as he is, I shudder when I see him predict a Bronco win.

      2. Amazona

        “……maybe a few things can get done by those in the GOP Establishment who know they work for the American people not Freedomworks. ”

        See, even the most clueless of the RRL understand that there is no real difference between the GOP Establishment and the Left.

      3. Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H. [Journ.]

        Amazona I wish I could say i grow tired of your unintelligent “kill the messenger” tactic, but that is what people who cannot answer questions or have nothing to bring to a debate do. It’s the same with your tired “definition of conservatism” routine. if you had an original idea in your skull it would die from loneliness in less than an hour which would save it from dying of starvation at least. If you were so very capable of bringing America around to your views you would do something other than stew in your own smugness here at B4V. At least you would be Human enough to start your own blog and write about the issues that are important at least to you instead of being a sideshow attraction at public whelping of the darkly populist offspring of a demographic’s reaction to the first President of color and the shuffling off the great stage of the baby boomers.

        All I have to say to you dear, sweet, OLD, Amazona is: tick tock, dear lady, tick tock . . .

      4. Amazona

        Freddy, though most of your posts generate a certain “we-really-shouldn’t-laugh-at-the-mentally-disabled” kind of reaction, every now and then you soar to such heights of ridiculousness that there is no guilt whatsoever in howling at the outrageously funny stuff you come up with.

        This is a case in point. I tear down your pompous pronunciations with facts and historical references, and you come back with more of your unicorn farts and rainbow dreams. I deal with reality, and you spin elaborate fantasies. I quote real people and you invent fake people to quote. OK, nothing new there—this is your well-established pattern, this is what you do, no matter who or what you really are.

        But you usually work really really hard to hide your actual age. You seldom peel back the layers as thoroughly as you do here, revealing a mentality that is so juvenile it skirts the infantile. This falls into “narny narny narny I know what you are but what am I” territory.

        This is all you got? A bunch of sniveling, some pathetic efforts at insults and a wildly overblown, pretentious, wallow in what you seem to think is deathless prose? “……….instead of being a sideshow attraction at public whelping of the darkly populist offspring of a demographic’s reaction to the first President of color and the shuffling off the great stage of the baby boomers. ” No, there is no guilt in laughing, laughing right out loud, at such pompous blather.

        And all you really have is your tired old fallbacks. Let’s see—there is “I could define my political philosophy if I really wanted to but I don’t so there”, there is “I just FEEEEEEEL better when I can invent definitions of “conservative” that fit my pathology rather than reality”, there is “racistracistracistracistracist”, and of course the most favorite of all of the uber-callow whose only real claim to any kind of superiority at all is the misconception that simply having fewer years on the planet somehow conveys with it some kind of betterness, the obligatory ageist bigotry.

        (Particularly funny because it shoots down the persona you have tried to create, which is someone who might even be older than I am. Remember, back when “lead economist” bombed out and Inflatable Barbie got laughed out of town, and you decided what you needed as a persona with cred was a late-middle-aged pudgy Jewish taxi driver? You should make a wall chart so you don’t keep sneering at the age group you decided to represent.)

        But really, Freddy, what else do you have? You have proven that you can’t argue politics, because you don’t even know what that is. You’ve proven that you’re a mindless sucker for words, as long as they make you feel good and don’t require any actual knowledge about what they really mean. You’ve proven that what you desperately want to redefine as “political” is really nothing more than a series of temper tantrums thinly cloaked in regurgitated talking points from those who send such as you out to be intellectual cannon fodder.

        When you get right down to it, all you’ve got is a few old A’s from junior high English teachers who thought your verbosity and efforts at high-flying syntax ought to be encouraged, a hyperactive imagination which you use to populate the only world that will tolerate you, a grab-bag of misunderstood words and phrases with emotional appeal but no actual context, some free-form seething resentment that you frantically try to latch onto some of your fantasy constructs so they don’t sound so, well, crazy—–and crass immaturity, which for some reason you insist is proof of superiority to those who actually have life experiences and have learned from them.

        I appreciate your candor in acknowledging these things, and in presenting them in such a humorous way. Seeing someone who is incapable of actual thought pompously accuse someone else of being incapable of actual thought was really quite amusing, as an example of a complete lack of self-awareness and irony.

        But you might stop to think that you have reached the pinnacle, if your goal was to become Poster Child Of The Loony Left.

        And BTW, don’t even predict a win for the Broncos, ever again. Your unbroken record of being utterly absolutely wrong about everything remains intact. However, given your desperate need for validation, you might be interested in knowing that my collection of your brainless blather is being used to illustrate the general ignorance of the average Lefty voter, who is completely clueless. In a way, you are a superstar.

      5. Amazona

        “…the welfare reform signed into law by President Clinton…..” on what was it now?—-the fourth, or was it the FIFTH, time it went to his desk, after being passed by a Republican Congress and vetoed so many times?

        Yes, folks, the LIV crowd is still trying to link Clinton to welfare reform.

        Which brings us back to the conundrum of the Loony Left—-clueless or shameless?

      6. Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H. [Journ.]

        Actually Amazona the first bill Clinton proposed was rejected by Congress. The first two bills were vetoed by Clinton and he signed the third.

      7. Amazona

        Freddy, do you know how the two compare? Surely you are not claiming that the bill written by and proposed by the GOP was the same as, or even similar to, the one now touted by Clinton himself as the crowning glory of his administration.

        It’s more and more clear that you just drag out a few unrelated facts and don’t even understand that they have to be in a context to make sense. Of course, it is also more and more clear that making sense is not important to you. Or, maybe, you just don’t grasp that concept either.

        When we consider that your posts consist of these unrelated facts on one hand and strange fantasies on the other, too often wrapped up the purplest of prose, the written-word equivalent of a telenova, we can see why they are nothing but noise.

      8. Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H. [Journ.]

        Two more points on welfare reform from the Brookings Institute’s Ron Haskins:

        Q: How bad was the state of the welfare system in 1996?

        A: There was all but universal agreement in 1996 that the nation’s cash welfare program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, was broken. It contributed to families becoming dependent on welfare and it provided cash to young people, including adolescents, who had babies outside marriage.

        Q: Why did President Clinton veto two versions of the welfare reform bill, and what ultimately made him acquiesce?

        A: Many Democrats were horrified by the Republican welfare reform bill because, among other reasons, they believed it put young mothers and their children at risk and because it reduced or eliminated welfare benefits for noncitizens. Thus, Clinton vetoed two early versions of the bill both because he thought the bills were too harsh and because he was trying to force Republicans to change the bill so that more Democrats would support it. Republicans made a few changes in the bill, including adding more money for child care, expanding Medicaid coverage for children, and reducing some of the cuts in social programs, and passed the bill a third time in July of 1996. On this occasion, half the Democrats in Congress voted in favor of the bill and Clinton signed it. Some critics charged Clinton with abandoning his party or trying to strengthen his political position in a cynical bid to be re-elected (he signed the bill less than three months before the presidential election of 1996). But I think he signed the bill because he believed the welfare system was flawed, he believed in tough work requirements, and he also supported several other reforms in the bill, especially the child support enforcement reforms. Republicans were able to change the bill enough, while preserving all its basic features, to convince Clinton to defy the left wing of his party and join Republicans in creating a new era in welfare policy.

        Q: Ten years after its passage, what have been the bill’s greatest accomplishments? What changes have we seen both in the welfare system and in the lives most affected by it?

        A: Most states have radically changed their welfare programs to emphasize work. Before welfare reform, the main goal of state welfare programs was simply to give out money. But now the message families receive when they apply for welfare is that they need a job, that the “welfare” program is there to help them find one and that they can receive cash benefits for a maximum of five years. As a result, welfare rolls plunged by over 60 percent, as many as two million mothers entered the labor force, earnings for females heading families increased while their income from welfare payments fell, and child poverty declined every year between 1993 and 2000. By the late 1990s, both black child poverty and poverty among children in female-headed families had reached their lowest levels ever. Even now, after four years of increased child poverty following the 2001 recession, the child poverty rate is still 20 percent lower than it was in 1993. In addition to welfare reform, these families were helped by a series of federal and state programs that provided support to poor and low income working families. The success of welfare reform was created both by welfare reforms itself and by the work support programs that provided tax credits, health insurance, nutrition supplements and child care to low-income working families.

        Q: What is the biggest shortcoming of the bill, looking back? And could that failure have been anticipated in 1996?

        A: Arguably the biggest problem associated with the 1996 reforms is that some mothers have been unable to find or keep jobs. Under the old system, mothers could stay on welfare for many years; under the new system, they must work or lose their benefits. The issues that interfere with these mothers’ ability to find and retain employment include mild disabilities, addictions, mental health issues, domestic violence and problems with child care. This problem does not call for modifying the welfare reform law. Rather, it calls for intense programs to help these mothers and for state action to allow some mothers to continue receiving welfare benefits as long as they are making efforts to prepare for work.

        Q: What is the current state of the welfare system? Are more changes needed? If so, what?

        A: Promoting work and self-sufficiency are major goals of the nation’s cash welfare program, now called the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. But many of the nation’s other welfare programs, especially housing programs and food stamps, do not have strong work requirements. All welfare programs, with the possible exception of health programs, should require able-bodied recipients to work or prepare for work.

      9. Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H. [Journ.]

        And in contrast here’s a quick look at how Reagan handled welfare in the 1980s from The Atlantic:

        It is extremely difficult, it turns out, to reduce the welfare budget without getting these chronic users off the rolls. “Any program which fails to help the long-term recipients cannot possibly save much welfare money,” says David Ellwood, of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Whereas chronic recipients currently make up only a quarter of those who use AFDC, they consume at least 60 percent of its budget. That’s because as the short-termers go on and off the rolls over a period of years, the chronic recipients remain. Thus, at any one time long-term dependents actually constitute the majority of welfare recipients. Getting someone off the dole, in short, is not the crux of the problem — whom you get off is.

        Unfortunately, OBRA cut off the wrong families. According to a 1984 study by The Urban Institute, it removed from the welfare rolls “those at and near the margin — those most likely to leave anyway…Leaving behind a relatively ‘hard core’ group of recipients.” A 1986 study by Vicky Albert and Michael Wiseman, of the University of California at Berkeley, found a marked lengthening of stays on AFDC in California. “OBRA effects appear to have been perverse,” the authors conclude. “Because of OBRA, the state has been left with a more expensive and, in the long run, more dependent caseload.” Ironically, President Reagan defended the cutbacks by saying that they were restricted to better-off recipients, leaving the “truly needy” unharmed in the social safety net. In fact the cutbacks primarily punished a small number of the most industrious welfare mothers. Left unaffected were those whom critics of welfare have always derided as “welfare deadbeats” — the able-bodied women who bear illegitimate children, drop out of high school, and live off relief checks for years at a time.

        Just as the Administration’s rewrite of the public-assistance rule book has failed to curb dependency, its efforts to reform work and training programs for welfare mothers have done little to get welfare mothers working. Work programs have never reached more than a small percentage of welfare recipients — and they appear today to be reaching even fewer families than they did when Reagan entered office. And though some small programs seem spectacularly successful — for example, the Reagan Administration’s Job Training Partnership Act — much of that record turns out to be little more than statistical sleight-of-hand.

      10. Amazona

        Anyone have any ideas about why Freddy is suddenly so determined to steer the discourse to welfare? Anyone??????????

        I’m guessing it is because he so desperately wants to be here, and has proved himself to be an utter and complete failure every time he has tried to ‘contribute’. He was laughably off-base when he tried to convince us that a system based on the subjugation of the individual really intends to expand individual liberty, he tried the stale old Lefty trick of squealing that there is nothing wrong with being totally ignorant of the definitions of the political models but there sure is something wrong with knowing and caring what they are, he fell back on his default position that immaturity is a virtue and experience a defect, and in general he has been reminiscent of a ball in a pinball machine, bouncing uncontrollably from idiocy to insult. The overheated Mexican-soap-opera prose didn’t help either, though it did add some (probably unintended) hilarity.

        Now it looks like he has found some articles on welfare, then and now, and is eager to show off what they say. Wading through even more of his verbosity, we find the Big Lie (.Promoting work and self-sufficiency are major goals of the nation’s cash welfare program…” ) followed by the shamefaced and weasel-worded admission that ” ….many (!) of the nation’s other welfare programs, especially housing programs and food stamps, do not have strong work requirements.” Saying that our handout systems don’t have “strong work requirements” is kind of like saying Stalin could be a little temperamental.

        No, a hard cold truth is that our handout programs, including housing and food stamps, do not have a work requirement. Period. Not only that, we spend tax dollars advertising them, to recruit more participants, while lowering standards for eligibility.

        The other hard cold truth is that this is most accurately called “buying votes”.

    1. Retired Spook

      There are still a lot of Peyton Manning fans in Indiana, so we’re rooting for the Broncos. Should be a good game.

  4. GMB

    Big government is here to stay until it collapses from it’s own weight. Both partys will make sure of that. The only way they will give up power is feet first.

    The best thing to do is to make sure you are not a burden on some one else while the rebuilding takes place. You should be able to bake your own pies, catch your fishies, feed and clothe yourself, and knowing how to brew some beer always will help you trade for needed items.

    Enjoy the ride folks.

  5. Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H. [Journ.]

    Oh, and as far as the Super Bowl goes if you like parleys and the spread take Denver and give the two and a half points. The final score will be over 52 and the final will be Denver 38 Seattle 27.

    Enjoy the game.

    1. neocon01

      forker freddy

      WRONG as USUAL…
      but hey what would a foreigner know about AMERICAN football (not sock er)

      1. Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H. [Journ.]

        Quite a few people were shocked at the Seahawk’s dominant victory.

  6. Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H. [Journ.]

    My numbers came from the Office of Family Assistance at the Department of Health and Human Services.

    Characteristics and Financial Circumstances of TANF Recipients, Fiscal Year 2010

    1. Amazona

      I think most on the Lemming Left think that Fox News is responsible for people not believing Obama’s lies.

      Actually, now that GWB is no longer around to be responsible for everything the Left does not like (though it took about five years for him to fade into second place) Fox News has been held responsible for pretty much everything.

      Someone needs to do a compilation tape of Obama whimpering about all the big bad meanies who just won’t let him do his job. It’s already got a name——Waaaaaaaaah Waaaaaaaah Waaaaaaah

    2. Amazona

      While Bill did make a little effort to pin Obama down on a couple of things, he pretty much undid any pretense to actual journalism with his last smarmy donkey-kissing “…”I know you think maybe we haven’t been fair,” O’Reilly noted near the end of the live interview, “but I think your heart is in the right place.”

      ??????????????? “You constantly screw up, you lie, you don’t hold people accountable for their incompetence, you blame everyone else for everything you do wrong, BUT….your heart is in the right place”.

      Awwwwww. Looks like Bill doesn’t want to endanger any future White House invites. But what a Lefty attitude—–“we don’t care about results, we just care about how we feel about how you feel.”

      1. tiredoflibbs

        “The embarrassment was Bill O’Reilly for such a lame, pandering interview. As The Atlantic put it, “Bill O’Reilly is to journalism what the WWE is to fighting.” lol”

        What is the MSM’s excuse for pandering to obame? They promote his agenda and talking points while attacking the opposition, what is their excuse? Would you term it lame and pandering?

      2. watsonthethird

        If you think they’re pandering to President Obama (it’s spelled O-b-a-m-a, tired), then why don’t you ask them instead of me? You’re just demonstrating that you are in fact the target audience that O’Reilly was pandering to.

      3. Amazona

        Oh, wattles, take a pill. You have always been such a drama queen, but you really need to calm down a little.

        Bill was just doing what some people do when they have so much invested in an image of being “moderate”. He staked out that territory, it makes him feel good, and he can move left or right as long as he doesn’t go too far.

        So what if the territory he has staked out is a little squishy. I’ve gotten over that, so maybe you should, too.

      4. watsonthethird

        Oh dear, Little Amy. I _briefly_ respond to the comment string about Bill O’Reilly. But to you, any dissent from your opinion must come from a drama queen. Which, of course makes you a drama queen.

        As for tired’s question, “What is the MSM’s excuse for pandering to obame? “, I just don’t subscribe to the premise underlying his question. Sorry.

      5. Amazona

        “…any dissent from your opinion must come from a drama queen. ”

        Oh, don’t be so melodramatic. Ad hominem sniping at neo is not an “opinion”, it is just sniping, and you got called on it.

        Grab a tissue, take a pill, and get over it.

      6. watsonthethird

        Actually, I was responding to Spook, who brought up the subject and used the word “embarrassment.” Hence, my use of it.

        But then, you never have been able to keep things straight here. You just make it up as you go. But I better stop now or the moderators will conclude I’m being mean to you. So go ahead and keep calling me names. The moderators don’t care about that at all.

      7. Amazona

        flutter flutter gasp swoon whine whimper and snivel—and then get upset when someone notices that you are a drama queen?

        And you think “drama queen” deserves moderation?

        You poor sensitive little thing, you.

      8. watsonthethird

        Oh gosh, Little Amy, we do love it when you use your favorite s-words to describe other commenters here. Sniveling, sniping, swooning… lol You could teach Bill O’Reilly a think or two, I tell ya.

      9. Amazona

        …and you forgot to mention other s-words that come to my mind when I read your posts:

        silly, superficial, snotty, supercilious, sensitive, and because it’s so relevant, let’s use “silly” again.
        I was careful not to use “stupid” but that’s just because it is so obvious anyway, it would have been kind of redundant.

      10. watsonthethird

        Oh, Little Amy, I should have checked back sooner to see how many s-words you learned, because you’re nothing if not wordy. But see, I only need one to describe you: sciolistic.

    3. Amazona

      I think it was quite comforting to learn that heavily armed mobs intent on slaughtering American diplomats are really just “troublemakers”.

    4. Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H. [Journ.]

      Neocon1

      Age: Born 1948 died 1997 would be 65 right now were I on Terra.
      Country Born New York, New York, USA Current Country City State of Dis, Hellac Empire

      No real dare there.

      1. Amazona

        …and the hilarity just keeps on mounting. You poor thing, you really do need to study the Rule of Holes.

        Just curious—–does your Hellacious world use computers, or do you just telepathically send your messages out into the ether and they somehow end up online?

        And if so, does that explain your problem with the Rogue Apostrophe? (You know, some transmission glitch in the receiver…)

        I always thought that entering the spiritual plane would mean leaving behind the limitations on mind and body imposed by corporeal existence, which would mean understanding what had previously been incomprehensible. But you seem to turn this theory on its head, as you have crossed over and still don’t know squat.

        So you do define your age as 65 or 17? (Based on observation and ageism, I have a guess.)

        Just never knew there was an afterlife interested in blogging. But I’ll bet you’re hell on wheels at Dungeons and Dragons.

      2. Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., O.Q.H. [Journ.]

        You believe what you believe lady and I’ll know what I know.

      3. Amazona

        I guess there isn’t much difference between this kind of role-playing and pretend vampires, or the whole Goth movement. Children often go through stages of wanting to be someone else, to live other lives, to rebel against the way they are being brought up.

        I have to admit, hiding in a whole elaborate new world, with only a few invented hive mates for company instead of real human beings, does reek of a pathology more disturbed than just wearing dark eyeliner and pretending to drink blood.

        There are some interesting quirks, such as the choice of a chubby Jewish man born in 1948 as an alter ego, but maybe this is his grandpa or someone like that, adopted as an alternative identity. “Died”—-the way Cassius Clay “died” when he became Mohammed Ali, or the way Heath Ledger died when his heart stopped beating and he quit breathing?

        17 sounds about right, though. A couple of us have speculated that the whole forker thing is a teenage social misfit, probably pretty bright and with good grades, who has gotten praise from English teachers and could actually accomplish something with that intellect if not mired in such a sadly disturbed pathology. The sexual fantasies are clearly those of a young boy—a confused young boy, but still….. The grotesquely enlarged breasts, the multiple partners of various sexual identities all available all the time, and so on—-it’s all pretty boilerplate for a certain kind of socially maladjusted teen living in a fantasy world.

        One thing that has struck me is the really strong need to be accepted—therefore, the constant posting, the constant effort to be admired and respected, shown by the effort to relate to adults on an adult level. “Look at me! I’m NOT a freak, I’m a really smart guy, see how I am accepted in political discussions!”

        That would be OK. I have mentored a couple of disturbed young people going through various identity crises, including sexual identity. But this persona’s pathology is very dependent on marching into a gathering of adults and impressing them, dominating them, with his perceived brilliance, so he is immune to any input that might affect his chosen way of thinking. If he were only a little older, a little more mature, a little less frantically unsure of himself and had the confidence to be open to new ways of thinking and different ideas, he might actually learn something, and could be an interesting addition to a discussion.

        For now, though, his posts smack of temper tantrums, of a child screeching for attention and not caring how annoying he is.

      4. Retired Spook

        Come on, Fred; you can be honest with us. You’re an advance scout for the Zombie Apocalypse, aren’t you?

  7. GMB

    I saw Rouge ‘Apostrophe”’ open for the Smashing Commas,,,, back in 84 at the Monsters of Rock in Munich? Or was that Stuttgart? Well one thing is for sure .
    It wasn’t at Duisberg. :P

  8. neocon01

    must be a slow day at alltrolls, first forker freddy now the lightweight watstooge…..whats next ole bmitch the loon?

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