The Free Phone And Food Stamp Tour Rolls On
On Thursday, the free phone and food stamp President is bringing his cult-of-personality, "you didn't build it tour" to Madison, the People's Republic Of ....
Seriously, is this what the American Dream has come to?
I understand that some people think this woman is an unfair and embarrassing representation of Obama supporters. That may be. People like this though raise serious questions about the direction this country is going in - and I think that there are a lot of people like this.....
In 2008, the food stamp program (officially the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP) cost taxpayers $34 billion. It now costs over $75 billion. In part because the stimulus act made it easier for childless, unemployed adults to qualify for the program, it now has 46.4 million enrollees (about one in seven Americans).
Meanwhile, the "free" cell phone program (officially Lifeline) has seen usage explode from 7.1 million in 2008 to 12.5 million today. The costs of the program has gone from $772 million in 2008 to $1.6 billion today. Estimates are that it will cost 3.3 billion by 2014.
"Free" is, of course, relative. The "free" cell phones and minutes distributed to participants are paid for by fees paid by everyone else who has a cell phone.
So, where do we go from here.
Unquestionably, we have an obligation to provide a temporary safety net for the most economically disadvantaged among us. Still, there's a difference between a safety net and a permanent hammock.
Is it unreasonable to put time limits on benefits for those who are able to work but choose not to? Is it unreasonable to limit what can be purchased with food stamps to necessities as opposed to soda or high end goodies?
And when in the world did it become a constitutional right to have a government paid for cell phone forever?
One of Tommy Thompson's greatest accomplishments as Governor was replacing welfare with work. To allow able-bodied people to essentially spend their life on the public dole without having to even try to work is to trap them in the worst of the dependency culture. Yet, this is precisely where our "you didn't build it" President appears to be taking this country.
Rather than controlling entitlement spending, the socialist President of France has recently declared a 45% tax rate on earnings above $194,000 and a 75% tax rate on earnings above $1.3 million. I predict that revenue will actually go down as really high income earners flee the country and high income earners simply stop working as much.
My guess is that if Obama gets a second term, he'll push for something like this as well. After all, as the dependency culture increases, someone has to pay for it.
By the way, all those Obama ads saying that he wants to increase taxes on millionaires? The real money comes from Obama increasing taxes on people earning over $200,000 a year. That doesn't make for as appealing a sound bite however.
If you believe the polls, President Obama is going to cruise to re-election. If your view of the American Dream is a lifetime of increasing government handouts, you'll undoubtedly be happy.
Heck, if you think ObamaCare doesn't go far enough, vote for Tammy Baldwin and her "single payer half step away from socialized medicine" plan. After all, who needs all those Canadians coming across the border to escape their crummy health care system? Let's simply implement one that is just as bad. That will show them!
If, on the other hand, you think the American Dream is more about individuals and less about government, you're probably going to be in for a rocky four years!
Unless, that is, the American public comes to its senses and jumps of the free phone and food stamp bus between now and November ...