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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 30, 2012/ 11 Menachem-Av, 5772

Feds want to help you --- whether you want help or not

By A. Barton Hinkle




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | There are two powerful reasons for giving government aid to the poor, one good and one bad. It alleviates human suffering, which is good. And it increases dependence on government, which is bad.

Or at least it is bad if you believe in virtues such as personal responsibility and self-reliance. On the other hand, if you are (let us say) a Democratic congressman or a bureaucrat in the Department of Health and Human Services, then swelling the rolls of those who need your help could be a very good thing indeed. At least for you.

This might sound just the teeniest bit paranoid and nutty. But that does not make it wrong; even paranoids can have enemies. And the past few weeks have produced a passel of evidence that government and its principal cheerleaders would like very much to render Americans more rather than less dependent on them. Consider:

A few days ago the Department of Health and Human Services adopted a change in policy that "ends welfare reform as we know it," according to Rep. Dave Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. HHS has decided to grant waivers to states that will knock out the keystone of the welfare-reform arch: the work requirement. That requirement helped cut welfare rolls in half. But now states will be able to "test alternative and innovative strategies," including "multi-year career pathways" and "a comprehensive universal engagement system," whatever that is. Neoliberal Mickey Kaus calls it, probably correctly, a "stay-on-the-dole-while-we-keep-you-busy-with-anything-other-than-actual-work" system.

The Department of Agriculture also has been doing its part for the welfare state: It has been producing Spanish-language radio novelas dramatizing the desirability of signing up for food stamps, or what Washington calls the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). "Will Claudia convince Ramon to apply for SNAP? Don't miss our next episode of Hope Park!" concluded a typical spot. (Once word of the campaign spread, the department deep-sixed it.)

A similar USDA program has been trying to combat ostensibly nefarious value systems — such as pride, personal responsibility and self-reliance. The Daily Caller reports that last year the department handed out Hunger Champion awards to North Carolina officials who developed strategies for "counteracting what they described as 'mountain pride' [by appealing] to those who wished not to rely on others." A USDA fact sheet stressed the importance of countering "myths about SNAP among those who . . . have beliefs that discourage them from enrolling."

In short, the USDA is not merely making sure that people who want food stamps know how to access them. It is trying to sign up people who don't want them in the first place.

These efforts march in tandem with the Obama administration's greatest triumph to date, the 2010 health-care overhaul. Democrats are happy that the Supreme Court upheld the law — but furious that some Republican governors are not embracing one of its principal components, a major expansion of Medicaid. That expansion, says The Washington Post, "would seem an irresistible deal for states: Starting in 2014, in exchange for spending a percent or two more of their own funds, states will get nearly a trillion additional federal dollars." A trillion? Thank goodness Obamacare aims to "bend the cost curve downward." Otherwise we might be talking about real money!

Of course, this is a swell deal only for state governments — not for state residents. Congressional and White House staffers will not exactly be passing around a bucket to pay the tab; the money will come from taxpayers in the states that supposedly are so lucky to receive such lavish funding. (That minor detail calls to mind one of Will Rogers' quips: "I can remember way back when a liberal was generous with his own money.")

If you want a glimpse of where this relentless campaign to increase dependence will lead, cast your eye to Europe — whose metastasizing welfare state is devouring the last remnant of the continent's substance. The result there? An increase, not a diminution, of human suffering.

Most Americans do not object to government programs that offer temporary help those who have fallen on hard times; nobody wants to see children go hungry because a factory shut down. But the public does resent, rather strongly, the cycle of dependency that the 1996 welfare-reform law sought to break. It does not want a perpetual underclass that votes for whichever politician offers them the biggest cut of other people's money. Americans believe in the cliché about giving people a hand up, not a handout. That is why a 2008 campaign spot boasted that a certain candidate "passed a law to move people from welfare to work; slashed the rolls by 80 percent. . . . As president [he'll] never forget the dignity that comes from work."

The candidate's name? Barack Obama. Like so many of the president's promises, it rings rather hollow now.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

A. Barton Hinkle is Deputy Editor of the Editorial Pages at Richmond Times-Dispatch Comment by clicking here.


Previously:




07/23/12:Barack Obama, Storyteller-in-Chief
07/23/12: Nation's worst outsourcer? You
07/19/12: Listen up, America: You need to knuckle under
07/12/12: Obama, Romney: As Different as Two Peas in a Pod
07/05/12: Are teenagers big children --- or little adults?
06/25/12: Minorities treated as mere numbers
06/21/12: Memo to the the Little Guy: Seemingly innocuous activity could bring the federal hammer down out of a clear blue sky
06/19/12: We mustn't let America be buffaloed
05/31/12: Drop and Give Uncle Sam 20
05/15/12: The feds would like to know if you enjoyed that video
05/03/12: Obama inspires: 'America --- Still Not as Bad Off as Venezuela!'
04/26/12: It's everyone's favorite time of year again
03/29/12: GOP disillusionment is a good thing
03/27/12: Just what America needs: more red tape
03/20/12: Nation wondering: what happening to language?
02/21/12: Culture warriors resort to propaganda
02/15/12: Step away from that cookie and grab some air
02/08/12: Lessons in heresy
02/01/12: Do We Really Need Pickle-Flavored Potato Chips?
01/11/12: Shut up, they explained
12/30/11: A Modest Proposal: Let's Ban All Sports!
12/26/11: A Christmas letter from the Obamas
02/24/11: Will the next Watson need us?
12/24/10: Here Are Some Good Gifts for People You Hate
06/15/10: The Presinator
05/26/10: More than equal
04/08/10: Angry Right Takes a Page From Angry Left but guess who is ‘ugly’?
02/16/10: Either Obama owes George W. Bush an apology, or he owes the rest of us a very good explanation for his about-face on wiretapping
02/03/10: Talkin' to us 'tards
01/27/10: I never thought I'd see the day when progressives would howl in ragebecause the Supreme Court said government should not ban books
01/07/10: Gun-Control Advocates Play Fast and Loose
12/31/09: Nearly everything progressives say about neoconservative interventionism abroad applies to their own preferred policies at home





© 2011, A. Barton Hinkle

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