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How to shrink the welfare state

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Speaking about the “War on Poverty”…we have a proposed solution, interestingly one that the Boss and his brother discussed over a beer while considering the repeal of Obamacare.

We have 92 anti-poverty programs in this country that to date have sucked upward of $22 trillion of our tax dollars and what do we have to show for it?  More poverty with the dollars now even going to pay for illegal aliens and their lifestyles!

It’s time to end the faux “Cold War on Poverty” and tear down that wall Mr. President!  Let’s start by eliminating these 92 programs and adopting this great idea by Star Parker, who must have been eavesdropping on the Boss and his brother while drinking those beers!

It would be interesting to see who from the uber-rich left would step up to the plate and temporarily come to the aid of Americans, not foreigners, who need some help to get back on their feet.  I would gladly donate when I could and would feel much better about it because it would go where I wanted it to…not where it is mandated to go, which is usually in some lobbyist or politico’s wallet!

Great idea Star…where did you really get the idea!


Americans are justifiably frustrated regarding what is going on in Washington, D.C.

But let’s not forget that we elect these folks. We may have a mess, but we can at least be proud that it’s our mess.

There is one unique problem. Unlike business, where change can be made quickly, government programs are so hard to change that it is almost a one-way street. It’s not so easy to pass new programs, but once they’re passed, we’re stuck with them, generally, forever.

Sure, technically they can be changed. But when is the last time we saw a major government program scrapped or fundamentally altered? All our major spending programs, all our entitlements, have been with us for at least half a century.

The problem is not just runaway federal spending and debt. It is that so much of that spending is ineffective and inefficient.

Consider spending on anti-poverty programs.

According to the House of Representatives Budget Committee, we spent $799 billion in 2012 on 92 different anti-poverty programs – one-fifth of the federal budget.

The issue is not just the spending, but its efficacy.

The legacy of all this goes back to President Johnson’s declaration in his 1964 State of the Union address of “an unconditional war on poverty.”

Johnson said then that the goal of this federal initiative was not just to help those that are in poverty but to “cure it and above all, prevent it.”

In that speech, Johnson itemized 13 areas he wanted address. That legacy has ballooned into these 92 programs we have today.

It’s not so easy to measure exactly how much has been spent total since 1965, but estimates are as high as $22 trillion. And how does this measure up to Johnson’s goal of curing and preventing poverty?

Clearly, it has barely been dented. Yet what is the chance of a major overhaul of all this? I think it is fair to say miniscule.

Let’s contrast this with the private sector.

In 1997, Steve Jobs had returned to the company he founded, Apple Inc., as its CEO.

The company was hemorrhaging, and estimates were that it was 90 days from bankruptcy.

Jobs assessed the situation, eliminated 70 percent of the company product line, whittling it down to just four products, and eliminated 3,000 jobs.

By the end of that year, Apple lost a billion dollars. By the next year, it turned a $300 million profit, and Jobs proceeded to build the most valuable company in the world.

If our 92 different anti-poverty programs, costing $799 billion per year, made up one business with a CEO, there is no doubt there would be a major overhaul.

It seems we are institutionally locked into failure and possibly bankruptcy.

Is there anything we can do?

I have one proposal. Let private citizens at least compete with the government monopoly they themselves have created.

I propose allowing dollar-for-dollar charity tax credits. The nation has magnificent private charities dealing with the problems of the poor. Charities such as Feeding America, Salvation Army, Food for the Poor, Catholic Charities USA, World Vision and many more.

With more resources, they could do much more and innovate.

Let’s let private citizens take the initiative for change that clearly won’t happen in the public sector.

Dollar-for-dollar tax credits, where individuals would simply subtract their charitable contributions from their federal tax liability, would suck the oxygen out of a wasteful federal government and direct dollars in a productive and useful way to achieve the objectives these federal programs supposedly exist to address.

Dollar-for-dollar tax credits could be exactly the platform Americans need to take back their country and solve its problems.

I’ll be exploring this idea and five other initiatives in an upcoming book on how to fix America’s inner cities.


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  1. Angus Rangus June 23, 2017 at 7:10 AM -  Reply


    … we might first simply eliminate ALL Federal GOVT “specific citizen welfare”…

    … that since LBJ knowingly / Illegally added Medicare he planned never to fund with by IOU’s and stopped funding SS similarly…

    … has resulted in $20 TRILLION National Debt…
    … PLUS $120 TRILLION Unfunded Liability for SS & Medicare that shall become National Debt in 50 years certain??

    LBJ’s War on Poverty has wasted $140 TRILLION in 50 years… without a single battle won EVER??

  2. Angus Rangus June 23, 2017 at 7:23 AM -  Reply

    Our Founders spoke openly about this Federal GOVT never being confused with an eleemosynary entity…
    … no place for CHARITY at all — outside the ‘states’ and their legal connections to any religious bodies doing that human outreach!!

    … all our ‘states’ are plan administers for the majority of Federal Welfare programs…
    … indeed most use “one stop Online” for their Medicaid / (s)CHIP / SNAP / TANF / HUD / etc.

    Given 2 years of current Fed Funding … every single state has the expertise to do exactly as their citizen taxpayers desire for that CHARITY we call Welfare!!

    INDEED… Single Payor Welfare … is just fine when done knowingly by our ‘states’…
    … imagine how much better to have a single point of contact for each person needing temporary assistance??

    Florida and perhaps 30 other GOP states… would spend about 25% of today’s dollars…
    … “sorry Ms Olivas you missed our Florida Poverty Level by $300… you might want to pick up another shift each week at the Golden Corral… ”

    Kaleefornya / Illunoise / MerryLand / et al… might spend 50% of current …
    … no way their taxpayers would approve balancing their state budget every year without bringing some sanity back into the process!!

    Can we ZERO out all public assistance that is forbidden by current Federal LAW:

    * ILLEGAL ALIENS — 60% of Illegal Households are on the dole for their Illegal Alien Anchor Babies no one can possibly think SCOTUS would find obtaining citizenship no other nations allow??

    ** IMMIGRANTS — 91% of all ‘legal Immigrants’ are on the public dole??
    Even our Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel – local pravda – was incensed to discover our state was spending $700 million every year on Cuban SIS-Disablity/Medicaid green card holders…
    … until they disappeared when I advised them the math of 151,000 times annual costs of $45,000 is actually over $7 BILLION… no reprints are available on Google I’m betting??

  3. uniwersity of barsoom at helium alien visitor center apprentice June 23, 2017 at 7:31 AM -  Reply

    Problem is…

    … even Time Magazine admits the ONLY SOLUTION to our $140 TRILLION National Debt & Unfunded Liability …

    … is a FLAT TAX!!

    WE have ZERO success with TAX CREDITS…
    … the DNC compromises the good sounding GOVT push for being all nice…
    … with pre-applying against Payroll Taxes for $10,000 of EITC / CTC for that 47% of workers who have ZERO Tax Liability under current welfare state tax rates!!

    To get on with that FLAT TAX…
    … eliminate 75% of our Federal Budget ursurped ILLEGALLY from ‘states rights’ on the entire spectrum of “SPECIFIC CITIZEN WELFARE” – not even John Roberts could find any evidence of Constitutional authority!!
    … STOP GOING BELOW ZERO!! How could any in the DC Money Laundry failing so miserably for past 5 decades to reform funding for SS & Medicare… blink twice before voting NAY on allowing Refundable Tax Credits to also ZERO out payroll taxes geometrically bankrupting those 4 Trust Funds actuarially ??

  4. Old Jim June 23, 2017 at 8:07 AM -  Reply

    History of Federal Income Tax Rates:

    In 1913, the States ratified the 16th Amendment…federal income tax… form/directions = 4 pages:

    ** Will Rogers said: “The difference between death and taxes is death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.”

    In 1913, the top tax bracket = 7 % income > $500,000 ($11 million today’s dollars)…
    … lowest tax = 1 % > $20,000 ( $440,000 today’s equiv.)

    World War I :
    Congress’ 1916 Revenue Act / War Revenue Act of 1917. Top tax rate jumped from 15 % in 1916 to 77 % in 1918.

    The steam of the roaring 1920s, dropped top rates to 25% from 1925 – 1931.

    The Depression: Congress raised top bracket in 1932 from 25 % to 63%

    WW II: In 1944 Congress raised top bracket to 94% > $200,000 ($2.5 million today’s dollars.

    The 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s: Top tax rate never dipped below 70 percent.

    The 1980s: The Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 slashed top rate from 70% to 50% – indexed for inflation.

    Tax Reform Act of 1986: Expanded the tax base / dropped top rate to 28% in 1988 / e contained fewer deductions – brought in same revenue. {Lawmakers claimed that they would never ever have to raise the 28 percent top rate!!}

    1990s: Top rate jumped to 39.6 percent.

    2001: Economic Growth and Tax Relief and Reconciliation Act of 2001 dropped top rate to 35% from 2003 to 2010. The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 kept the 35 % thur 2012.

    2013 – 2014: The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 increased top rate to 39.6 %. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act added an additional 3.8 percent on to this making the maximum federal income tax rate 43.4 percent.

    SO… did having a tax rate of 94%… and allowing Charitable Deductions at that 94%…
    … prevent FDR… from ILLEGALLY setting up Social Security… or solve America’s charitable needs from our feelthy reech bastards??

    INDEED… those higher tax rates did nothing to prevent LBJ’s Great Society… from using that incentive of Charitable Deductions to power Charities ???

    Will Rogers said it best… you really don’t want Congress discussing Tax Reform … do ya??

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