Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

This year, 70% of all government spending will be direct payments to individuals

Investors Business Daily reports.

Excerpt:

Buried deep in a section of President Obama’s budget, released this week, is an eye-opening fact: This year, 70% of all the money the federal government spends will be in the form of direct payments to individuals, an all-time high.

In effect, the government has become primarily a massive money-transfer machine, taking $2.6 trillion from some and handing it back out to others. These government transfers now account for 15% of GDP, another all-time high. In 1991, direct payments accounted for less than half the budget and 10% of GDP.

What’s more, the cost of these direct payments is exploding. Even after adjusting for inflation, they’ve shot up 29% under Obama.

Where do these checks go? The biggest chunk, 38.6%, goes to pay health bills, either through Medicare, Medicaid or ObamaCare. A third goes out in the form of Social Security checks. Only 21% goes toward poverty programs — or “income security” as it’s labeled in the budget — and a mere 5% ends up in the hands of veterans.

So a lot of the money is not even going for poverty! More:

Instead, a surprisingly large amount of federal money is handed out to wealthy Americans through Social Security, Medicare, farm subsidies, unemployment benefits, conservation programs, disaster payments and other programs.

An IBD analysis found that the richest 1% of Americans, in fact, receive roughly $10 billion each year in federal checks.

Outgoing Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who exposed these vast payment programs available to the rich, said “this reverse Robin Hood-style of wealth distribution is an intentional effort to get all Americans bought into a system where everyone appears to benefit.”

Why is this bad? It’s because government only spends the money that it collects from other individuals and businesses. They should be spending that money on government responsibilities like roads, the military and foreign policy. Not redistributing wealth to particular people. That just makes a certain segment of the population dependent on government and makes them more likely to vote for bigger government. Government is notoriously terrible at knowing who is really in need of help. Plus, private charities are more likely to push poor people in the direction of independence and responsibility. Government basically says, “here’s the money, and keep doing whatever you’re doing because we don’t have a plan for you to get out of poverty”.

We don’t want to be the kind of country that punishes people for working or for starting businesses, but it seems like that is the direction we are heading in.

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The Democrat agenda – reducing self-sufficiency and increasing dependency

Two articles, both from Investors Business Daily.

The first explains how Obamacare encourages people to stop working or reduce their work hours in order to get more benefits from the government.

Charles Krauthammer explains:

First, the Congressional Budget Office triples its estimate of the drop in the workforce resulting from the disincentive introduced by ObamaCare’s insurance subsidies: 2 million by 2017, 2.3 million by 2021.

Democratic talking points gamely defend this as a good thing because these jobs are being given up voluntarily. Nancy Pelosi spoke lyrically about how ObamaCare subsidies will allow people to leave unfulfilling jobs to pursue their passions:

“Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance.”

[...]Pelosi’s vision is equally idyllic except for one thing: The taxes of the American factory worker — grinding away dutifully at his repetitive mind-numbing job — will be subsidizing the voluntary unemployment of the artiste in search of his muse. A rather paradoxical position for the party that poses as tribune of the working man.

[...]In the reductio ad absurdum of entitlement liberalism, Jay Carney was similarly enthusiastic about this ObamaCare-induced job loss. Why, ObamaCare creates the “opportunity” that “allows families in America to make a decision about how they will work, and if they will work.”

If they will work? Pre-Obama, people always had the right to quit work to tend full time to the study of butterflies. It’s a free country. The twist in the new liberal dispensation is that the butterfly guy is to be subsidized by the taxes of people who actually work.

In the traditional opportunity society, government provides the tools — education, training and various incentives — to achieve the dignity of work and its promise of self-improvement and social mobility.

In the new opportunity society, you are given the opportunity for idleness while living parasitically off everyone else. Why those everyone elses should remain at their jobs — hey! I wanna dance, too! — is a puzzle Carney has yet to explain.

So, if you are working, you are going to be taxed more to pay for the leisure (or laziness) of your fellow citizens. And why must the Democrats do this? In order to continue to win elections by getting the votes of people who want you to work harder and longer so that they don’t have to work.

So how much are we paying people to not work or to work less? 

Major welfare programs as of 2012

Major welfare programs as of 2012

Again, Investors Business Daily explains.

Excerpt:

In 2011, the latest year for which we have complete spending data, federal outlays on all means-tested welfare programs targeted for the poor hit $746 billion, according to an analysis by the Congressional Research Service.

But this doesn’t include two of the fastest-growing taxpayer-funded cash subsidies: unemployment insurance and disability, which are not based on one’s income level, so are not considered anti-poverty programs. That’s another $250 billion a year. All told, federal income transfer programs (not including Social Security and Medicare) have hit $1 trillion.

Adding state spending, the Senate Budget Committee found another $257 billion spent each year. The welfare state is now larger than the GDP of 175 of the 190 wealthiest countries.

Astoundingly, if all this spending were simply sent in the form of a check to every household in America living below the poverty level, we could raise each of these family’s incomes not just above the poverty line, but double that level, according to Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation. Every poor family of four could have a cash income of $44,000 a year — which in most countries would be princely.

Most Americans probably have no idea how expansive the welfare state is. That’s because the cost is disguised by more than 80 separate means-tested programs counted by the CRS, including cash benefits, health care, social services, food, child care, training, and housing and utility subsidies. They often have overlapping and uncoordinated missions. This explains the vast duplication of effort, with at least 12 programs offering food and nutrition, 18 offering housing assistance, nine offering vocational training, and so on.

In all, just over 100 million Americans now get some form of welfare-based government benefit. This does not include Medicare or Social Security. Obama’s economics team thinks the more the better, because these are programs that “stimulate” the economy.

Oh, and by the way: These numbers do not include the ObamaCare expansion of Medicaid, which could add 20 million to the rolls over time. Obama boasts of 5 million more Americans now being eligible for Medicaid under ObamaCare, as if that’s an applause line.

That only leaves the question of who is paying for all this vote-buying today. Well, the money is being borrowed and added to the national debt. And who is going to pay for that? Your children. Especially if you bothered to get married before having children, because those are the children most likely to get the high-paying jobs that our slavemasters in government love to redistribute.

 

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UK survey: nearly 60% of working moms would cut their work hours if they could afford to

Dina tweeted this UK Daily Mail article that made me think about how women vote.

Excerpt:

More than a third of working mothers would like to give up their jobs completely and stay at home with their children, a major Government survey has found.

It showed that millions of mothers of young children who go out to work do so only because they need to work to pay the bills.

The research for the Department for Education found that, far from being anxious to get out of their homes and into employment, the great majority of mothers are only reluctant workers.

Nearly six out of ten of all working mothers would cut down their hours to spend more time with their families if they could afford to, it said.

The yearning among mothers to leave their jobs and look after their children instead is even more pronounced among the highest achieving women, the  survey indicated.

More than two-thirds of those in senior and middle management roles would spend fewer hours in the office and devote more time to their children if they had enough money, it said.

[...]Yesterday’s survey also undermines the claims that prejudice and discrimination against women in male-dominated companies is the reason why women are heavily outnumbered in the boardroom.

Rather, it suggests that many women who could get to the top in business choose instead to put their children before their careers.

The problem is that when government gives people free stuff, people who work have to work more to pay for it. And the strangest thing is that even though women seem to want to stay home with their kids (which is good), when it comes time to vote, they actually vote NOT to stay home with their kids. How? By growing the size of government, which results in higher taxes. To find out what women really think about staying home with their kids, we can look at how they vote. 

Women voted 55 to 44 for Obama

Women voted 56-44 for more government spending in 2012

CNN reports on how women voted in the 2012 election:

According to CNN’s exit polls, 55% of women and 45% of men voted for Obama and 44% of women and 52% of men voted for Romney. That level of female support for the president made an especially big impact in swing states like Ohio where the gender breakdown mirrored the national figures.

[...]There are some indications that social issues directly impacting women might have helped sway votes in some states.

Tuesday’s early exit polls showed 51% of Missouri voters said they believed abortion should be legal all or most of the time. Of those voters, exit polls showed 76% supported Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill, who won Tuesday night, while 19% voted for Akin.

Forty-seven percent of Missouri’s voters said abortion should be illegal. Exit polls showed Akin netted 67% of this group’s votes while 27% of people who think abortion should be illegal supported McCaskill.

But much more than social issues, pocketbook economic issues most concerned women voters, exit polling showed.

“Women like all voters felt the economics were most important,” Swers said. “Women tend to be more supportive of government spending… than men are … so they were less responsive to Romney in that way and more responsive to Obama’s message on empathy and helping the middle class.”

Gallup reported that the gender gap in the 2012 election was actually 20 points. That was the largest ever measured in a Presidential election. The actual vote for Obama among women, according to Gallup, was 56-44.

More government means higher taxes

Women are also more pro-abortion more than men

Here is a peer-reviewed research paper that shows the problem that we need to warn women about, so that they vote smarter.

The abstract reads:

This paper examines the growth of government during this century as a result of giving women the right to vote. Using cross‐sectional time‐series data for 1870–1940, we examine state government expenditures and revenue as well as voting by U.S. House and Senate state delegations and the passage of a wide range of different state laws. Suffrage coincided with immediate increases in state government expenditures and revenue and more liberal voting patterns for federal representatives, and these effects continued growing over time as more women took advantage of the franchise. Contrary to many recent suggestions, the gender gap is not something that has arisen since the 1970s, and it helps explain why American government started growing when it did.

When people vote for government to do more for everyone else, then men who work have to pay more in taxes.

Women for bigger government, higher taxes

Women vote for higher taxes, so they have to work more

If women want to stay home with their children more, then they need to vote for their husbands (present or future) to pay less in taxes when they work. That means voting for smaller government, more liberty and more personal responsibility. Until women get to the point of connecting their future plans (marriage and parenting) for their lives with their current voting, this situation is not going to change. Marriages run on money. It’s no good to urge men to “man-up” and then take away their ability to provide by taxing more of their earnings to pay for Sandra Fluke’s birth control pills and abortions. Keep the money in the family, and then you can stay home with the kids more.

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UK woman stops man from seeing their daughter for 12 YEARS

Dina sent me this trouble article from the UK Daily Mail, that serves as a warning to men about getting involved with the wrong woman in a feminist welfare state.

Excerpt:

A father yesterday spoke of his anguish over an extraordinary £100,000 12-year court battle for the right to see his daughter.

The man, described as ‘irreproachable’ by a senior judge, has endured years of legal fighting with his ex-partner, who has refused to allow  contact between him and their 14-year-old daughter.

Incredibly, the family courts have made 82 orders that he be allowed to see the girl, known only as M. But none was enforced by a system which senior judges agreed had ‘failed the whole family’.

[...]The Court of Appeal three months ago ordered that the case be resolved, saying the teenager’s childhood had been ‘irredeemably marred’ by years of litigation.

Lord Justice McFarlane, presenting a written judgment, said the mother had ‘doggedly refused to allow M to develop and maintain a relationship with her father without any good reason’.

He quoted the findings of a child psychiatrist, who said: ‘The mother appears to want an unhealthy exclusive relationship with M. The mother hides her opposition to contact behind her daughter’s stated “wishes and feelings”.’

But the father, a 61-year-old professional who cannot be named, has now been told the legal process faces more months of delays as the family courts seek expert advice.

[...]The father – who, unlike the child’s mother, cannot claim legal aid – estimates he has spent more than £100,000 in legal costs trying to see his daughter.

He said: ‘It is financially penalistic, as a private individual, to fight for your rights through the family courts.’

I can’t imagine what that would be like. I put a lot of effort into my mentoring relationships. My only pet lives with my parents, and I try to see him on Skype every night. He can’t be moved, because he is so old. I can’t imagine what I would do if the mother of my children took the children away from me. I’m not surprised at all that this man spent six figures trying to get access to parent his daughter. And I don’t need to tell you that intentionally depriving a child of a relationship with her father is nothing less than child abuse. Yet that’s what the system allows.

Now just to get this out of the way, I fully blame the man for this. There are plenty of clues in the article about bad decisions he made in choosing that woman. A smart man doesn’t choose a woman who thinks that cohabitation is OK, and that having an out-of-wedlock child is OK. And when you take 10 years of a woman’s life and then don’t commit, she will do anything and everything she can to get revenge on you.

Men seem to be woefully oblivious to these laws affect them until it’s too late. Maybe we need to be a bit more aware and politically engaged to keep these things from happening to us? These anti-male courts didn’t come out of nowhere. The UK is well-known for its anti-male government. A lot of men voted the Labour Party and Harriet Harman into power. A lot of men voted for EHRCs, too. We need to be smarter when it’s election time, and vote for smaller government, lower taxes, and less regulation. That’s the only way to stop the state from doing this.

For young men, I recommend that you read Stephen Baskerville’s “Taken Into Custody” before you get married. Find out from research what a woman does that makes her more likely to divorce you, and avoid those things. Some women have seen what the state does to men, or they’ve read about it, and they mind even have taken action to oppose it. That’s the kind of woman you’re looking for. The ones who don’t blame men for everything, but who are aware of the situation that men are facing under these laws and policies and are determined to act against it with their marriage and family.

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How do children end up fatherless? One woman’s story

Dina sent me this revealing article from the UK Daily Mail. It tells the story of a woman whose children are fatherless.

Excerpt:

My marriage ended, without rancour or argument, 18 months after it had begun. There was no recrimination, just a realisation, as sharp as physical pain, that we would never — could never — agree on one fundamental point.

I wanted children; my husband Anthony did not. You may think we should have resolved this crucial issue long before we bought a house and vowed to spend the rest of our lives together, but love had a way of blinding us to the depth of our disagreement.

[...]Today, I am 37 and a single mum to gorgeous three-month-old twin boys Charlie and William. They were conceived through IVF, using my eggs and sperm from an anonymous donor, and the love I feel for them is all-consuming.

[...]Anthony, a policeman, was easy and fun; we chatted comfortably together, and when we started dating I was impressed by his integrity. He had passionate views about fairness and loyalty. He was attractive, too — tall, dark hair, blue eyes — and I felt we could build a loving relationship together.

It seems to me that many women tend to prefer the wrong kind of men these days when it comes to marriage and parenting. Marriage requires a man to have a strong moral compass. That way, he can be expected to behave morally, himself. A man with a strong moral compass fuldills his moral obligations, but he also makes moral judgments. And women need to prefer men who make these moral judgments. The woman’s phrase “Easy and fun” tells me that her choice of man was not a good one. A man who is easy and fun does not make divisive truth claims, does not make moral judgments, and does not set up moral boundaries. He can’t be trusted to honor moral obligations. He can only be trusted to be “easy and fun”. But marriage is not for men who want an easy life, nor a fun life. Marry requires self-sacrificial service. She should not have chosen an “easy and fun” man to have children with. That would be like me choosing a Paris Hilton and expecting her to be frugal and homeschool our kids. It’s not going to happen. But many women these days are so clouded by “tall, dark hair, blue eyes” that they cannot connect what a man can do to what a man is supposed to do in a marriage. So long as he looks good, then he is good.

More:

After a month or so, our physical relationship began, but we did not rush things. It was a couple of years before he moved into my flat in Crawley, West Sussex, and I expected we’d eventually marry and have kids.

Looking back, I suppose I should have heeded the warning signals. When I broached the subject of children, he stalled. His stock reply was: ‘We’ll have them later.’

So although he was non-committal, I loved him and assumed that his paternal instinct would kick in as he grew older. But the years passed and I was not reassured.

She thinks that a man who agrees to recreational sex after a month and then agrees to cohabitation after two years is the kind of man who is capable of making a lifelong commitment to be faithful to her and to raise children. That strikes me as equivalent to saying that a man whose favorite movie is Top Gun would also make a good airline pilot.

More:

And then I reached 30. My friends were marrying; settling into comfortable domesticity, preparing for parenthood, and Anthony and I were still in this limbo.

[...]Then my best friend announced she was pregnant and the joy I felt for her was tainted by Anthony’s absence of commitment to the idea of having children with me. So we had another discussion — this time, it was a passionate one. ‘It’s a deal-breaker,’ I said. ‘Much as I love you, if you don’t want children we can’t carry on.’

But, again, he assured me that it would all happen. I just had to bide my time.

So I waited until Anthony was 30, an age when I felt he was old enough to settle down. We loved each other whole-heartedly; we’d bought two successive homes together and the understanding was implicit: my future was bound up in his.

[...]I wanted so much to believe he would warm to the idea, but Anthony equivocated. He still wasn’t ready, he protested.

[...]But then Anthony demonstrated just how strong his aversion to babies was. We were visiting a friend who’d recently given birth and, when her baby cried, Anthony made his excuses and went home.

‘I just can’t stand the sound of that crying,’ he said testily when I confronted him later. ‘If we had a baby, I’d have to move out for the first six weeks.’

It wasn’t a propitious sign, but eventually he seemed to soften.

‘If we’re going to have children, we’ll have to get married first,’ he said the next time I raised the subject, and for once I agreed absolutely. We should get married; by making a public commitment to stay together for the rest of our lives, we would be taking the first step towards establishing a secure home for our future babies.

[...]After six months as man and wife, there had been no mention from Anthony of children. So one day, as we walked home from town, I broached the subject again.

‘We can’t afford to have children,’ he responded sharply and, rather than discuss the topic further, he marched off ahead of me.

[...]This was not the life I had planned for myself: for the first time I started to feel anger towards Anthony. I felt he had forced this situation onto me.

The woman went on to have fatherless children using taxpayer-funded IVF.

What I find troubling about this story is that the first instinct of women – Christian women – and Christian pastors – is to blame men. Those rotten, no-good men. With their tallness, blue-eyes and dark hair! They are “easy and fun” one minute, and then the next minute they are… easy and fun. Yeah. Good-looking men who are easy and fun cannot be assumed to be good at marriage and parenting. They cannot be assumed to be good providers. They can’t be assumed to be good protectors. They can’t be assumed to be moral leaders. They can’t be assumed to be spiritual leaders. The faster that we learn to judge women who make poor decisions with men, the better it will be for children who need to 1) not be killed in the womb and 2) not grow up fatherless. The loving thing to do is to hold women accountable for making decisions about men with their eyes, instead of with their minds.

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