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GOP cheers Trump’s meaningless return to Clinton’s welfare plan, because nothing matters

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In 1996, President Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, thereby ending 61 years of depression-era Aid to Families with Dependent Children, i.e. classical liberal handouts.

Now the Trump administration wants to restore PRWORA back to the original Clinton law, but it’s a useless gesture.

Clinton didn’t really want to sign a Republican welfare bill, but he wanted to balance the budget, and spur economic growth through workforce participation. So he signed what TIME Magazine reported he called “a decent welfare bill wrapped in a sack of s–t.”

In 2012, Barack Obama, acting as a monarch, gutted much of PRWORA’s positive attributes by allowing states to get around work training requirements.

But it really didn’t matter, because Obama, in 2009, with a Democrat majority in Congress, shoved the Earned Income Tax Credit down our throats. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (a.k.a. “The Stimulus”) threw $787 billion away, much of it in the form of EITC giveaways.

Just about every liberal state (and more than a few red states) have copied the federal government’s EITC, and that has become the primary money mover for many welfare families. There’s no support test for the EITC. You don’t have to be looking for a job, you just take the easy money.

Trump’s Health and Human Services Department denied the one, and only, waiver applied for in 2015–which the Obama administration sat on for no good reason. So Ohio doesn’t get a TANF (“Temporary Assistance for Needy Families”) waiver. And it wouldn’t have mattered either way.

Yet Trumplicans offered enthusiastic cheering for a meaningless paper chase that accomplished exactly nothing.

“Chairman Brady believes that work requirements are essential to providing Americans with real paths out of poverty and up the economic ladder,” said Shane McDonald, spokesperson for House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady. “Today’s action by the Trump administration ties in seamlessly to the work that he and the committee are doing to deliver policy solutions that truly improve the lives of American families nationwide.”

Here’s an idea. Get rid of the expanded EITC under the 2009 stimulus. But they won’t do that because it expires in 2019 anyway.

Nothing matters.

Managing Editor of NOQ Report. Serial entrepreneur. Faith, family, federal republic. One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Doug Olson

    August 31, 2017 at 6:51 am

    This is typical of Trump’s “achievements”. All bluster and no substance. We saw this with the Paris Accord, where he signed the intent to get out, but it doesnt take effect for two years… plenty of time for him to change his mind or come up with a worse deal. We saw this with the rescinding of some regulations that, in the scheme of things, doesn’t eliminate the over-reach of government. Frankly, I am tired of Trump’s definition of “winning” and I want to go back to the true definition.

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Guns and Crime

Gun reform that will actually work

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In the wake of the horrific high school shooting in Parkland, Florida on Thursday, Leftists took to their usual diatribes — they called the NRA a terrorist group, Jimmy Kimmel cried on live television (again), and mainstream news organizations touted misleading if not outright false statistics. All of the above pleaded for yet-unspecified “comprehensive” or “common sense” gun reform.

Through it all, I repeatedly asked vocally adamant gun control supporters, “What is your plan? What law would have prevented this from happening?” Many conservative leaders did the same. Still, no one on the Left seemed capable of providing a coherent answer, short of a full-on gun confiscation and/or ignorance of laws that are already in place, such as a ban on machine guns (which weren’t even used in this shooting).

Pointing this out won’t stop Lefties, obviously, but my intent with this article is not to continue debating what hasn’t, can’t, or won’t work when it comes to gun control, nor to debunk recurring arguments and statistics. That’s an important task, but for right now, I’ll leave it to the likes of Steven CrowderBen Shapiro, and Matt Christiansen.

My goal here is to defy perhaps the most frequent accusation pointed at conservatives during any gun debate, which is that we aren’t willing to discuss how to stop this kind of thing from happening again. And I’m not talking about preaching the gospel or inspiring a deeper respect for life — I mean genuine legislation.

Here are four measures that will actually make an impact in preventing mass shootings:

1) Repeal the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990

According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, over 98% of mass shootings in America from 1950 to 2016 occurred in gun-free zones. It should be common sense to understand that criminals target the weak, vulnerable, and unprotected — such as groups that are guaranteed to be unarmed.

This 1990 legislation was introduced by none other than former-Vice President Joe Biden and signed into law by Bush Sr., prohibiting the presence of firearms within 1000 feet of public, private, and parochial elementary and high schools.

Some locations might be gun free de facto rather than de jure, such as churches, where it is not prohibited by law but not necessarily common practice to carry a gun, but the unknown always goes in favor of the potential victims. In a room where a shooter has one firearm and the crowd has zero, you do the math.

The way to prevent shootings is to put more guns in the hands of good guys than in the hands of bad guys. In order to discourage mass shootings, killers need to fear the possibility of getting caught on the other end of a barrel.

This is not to say that teachers should necessarily be required to carry weapons, but those who are trained and feel inclined to take that precaution should be welcome to do so in order to protect their students and colleagues — a proposal which 81% of police officers favor, as provided by USA Today.

2) Place armed security at all public schools

Most federal buildings feature an armed guard of some kind, and many have additional security measures such as metal detectors. So why are our children left unprotected on public (meaning federally operated) school grounds? As Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh contends, there is no sensible argument for abandoning our children to such a clear threat.

Some have argued that the presence of police officers or guns might traumatize young children, but do you know what’s even more traumatizing? Watching your friends get slaughtered by a homicidal maniac with a psychotic vendetta.

The Parkland shooter was previously expelled from the school and prohibited from carrying a backpack on campus, yet somehow that ban didn’t work, as the shooter mosied onto an unsecured campus with a backpack toting a rifle and ammunition — after all, who was going to stop him?

3) Reform the mental health system

Not all people who suffer from mental illness are violent — not by a long shot. Nor are all murders committed by the mentally ill. But the fact is that mass shootings account for a miniscule percentage of total gun homicides in the U.S., and many if not most mass shootings are executed by mentally unstable individuals.

Our country needs to reform its mental health system and consider increasing the amount of people who are institutionalized in mental health facilities.

Ironically, the same groups calling for common sense gun reform immediately backstep when mental illness is brought into the conversation, obfuscating relevant data on two fronts: firstly by falsely claiming that this will lead to a witch hunt of anyone with depression or anxiety, which is simply not true — we’re talking about those who present a danger to themselves or others — and secondly by conflating all gun killings with just mass murder, which is defined by wholly different parameters.

The Atlantic ran the latter kind of piece in October 2017 following the Las Vegas shooting, which cited a statistic that fewer than 5% of gun homicides are committed by a person with a previously diagnosed mental illness. That could very well be true, but it’s beside the point, first marginally because this doesn’t account for undiagnosed illness, but primarily due to the fact that mass shootings only account for 2 or 3% of gun murders anyway, so we’re talking about a completely different set of facts. In the same article, The Atlantic tries to play off a statistic from 2001 and another from 2016 that peg the rate of mass shooters with mental illness closer to one in four, or 25%. By their own admission, if we reform involuntary commitment laws to allow for easier institutionalization of the severely ill, then we can immediately cut down on mass shootings by a quarter.

One might call that statistically significant.

On The Rubin Report, Ben Shapiro links the rise in mass shootings to the large-scale emptying of mental facilities in the 1960s and 70s, leading to an upsurgence in homelessness, violent crime, and, yes, mass shootings, because even if only 25% of mass shooters are previously known to have been mentally ill (this coming from the same folks who claim we’ve had eighteen school shootings this year when the answer is closer to four), every single one of the viral shootings in recent memory, if it wasn’t committed by a terrorist, was brought about by someone who is mentally ill, from Parkland, to Sutherland Springs, to Las Vegas, and so on.

And for those squawking about Trump weakening prohibitions on the mentally ill buying guns, this is a lie. He repealed an unconstitutional gun ban on senior citizens who needed help documenting their Social Security finances, which is a far cry from violent schizophrenia. The ACLU, not known for its conservatism, supported Trump on this action.

4) Audit the Fed(eral Bureau of Investigation)

This issue is far more pressing than anything related to the Federal Reserve.

As reported by CNN, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered a review into the FBI’s process for handling tips following its admitted failure to properly address notification given in early January of a potential threat from the Parkland shooter.

According to the FBI’s statement, the tipster informed them about “[the shooter’s] gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting,” yet “no further investigation was conducted at that time.”

This kind of negligence certainly ought to raise eyebrows, and Florida Governor Rick Scott has called for Christopher Wray, the FBI director, to step down.

Now, in fairness, how many credible tips does the FBI receive on a regular basis? Probably a lot. How many of those threats does it successfully neutralize? Probably a lot.

But as Stephen Gutowski of The Washington Free Beacon tweeted on Friday, this is the fourth mass shooting in recent years where “the FBI was informed of significant warning signs beforehand.” Gutowski doesn’t mention, by the way, the federal oversight on the Sutherland Springs shooter, whose dishonorable history of military service should have disqualified him from gun ownership during his background check.

In addition to the tip itself, the shooter also gave off red flags by way of social media comments that he wanted to become a professional school shooter and take vengeance against police, as well as 39 home responses from police in only seven years.

Tack on growing suspicion of the FBI’s integrity in the handling of recent investigations, and at the very least, we ought to support Sessions’s decision to figure out what’s going on in the Justice Department.

No legislative action will ever fully solve this problem, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t find reasonable improvements while still respecting natural and constitutional rights. But we’ll never move forward if all we can resort to is virtue signalling and name-calling on Twitter.

If you want gun reform and you don’t like my ideas, then tell me your plan — just know I’m giving up hope that anyone on the Left really wants to have that conversation.

Richie Angel is a Co-Editor in Chief of The New Guards. Follow him and The New Guards on Twitter, and check out The New Guards on Facebook.

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Culture and Religion

Media: Please stop bringing Fame to mass murderers with the Gratuitous use of their Names and Imagery.

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It is time that we stop glamorising killers with unnecessary media fanfare    #NoFame4Killers

Saying that the Socialist-Left wants a certain level of violence to push gun control will always result in a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Still, it’s hard to shake that conclusion when it comes to the idea of refusing to bring fame to mass murderers. Studies have shown that these killers inspire others to copy their horrid acts, so it’s only logical that cutting down their media exposure would help alleviate the problem.

Proving the point is the report in the Miami Herald that: There have been threats of violence at 12 U.S. schools, at least, since Fla. Shooting, Including an arrest of a high school student who threatened ‘Round 2’ of Florida Shooting as reported at Tme.com

Consider a 2015 study from researchers at Arizona State University and Northeastern Illinois University reported in the PLOS journal, concluding that:

We find significant evidence that mass killings involving firearms are incented by similar events in the immediate past. On average, this temporary increase in probability lasts 13 days, and each incident incites at least 0.30 new incidents (p = 0.0015). We also find significant evidence of contagion in school shootings, for which an incident is contagious for an average of 13 days, and incites an average of at least 0.22 new incidents (p = 0.0001).

To make it perfectly clear, we are not talking about keeping this information secret or censoring the media. The data should be available in certain places in the media – a dispassionate recitation of the facts of the crime, to keep conspiracy theories and other such nonsense at bay. But there is no logical reason to make a mass murderer famous for the sake of clicks or ratings.

Nor is this a call for government intervention, this is more like a “gentlemen’s agreement” (or gentlewoman’s as the case may be) to stop gratuitously promoting these killers. It’s about denying fame to cowardly murderers who are the worst of the worst, nothing more, nothing less.

Consider that the experts in the field have detailed the extensive planning and preparation these mass murderers that proceeding through five distinct phases. This article published in PoliceOne.com detailed these stages: 5 phases of the active shooter: A tactical reload

1. Fantasy Phase
2. Planning Phase
3. Preparation Phase
4. Approach Phase
5. Implementation Phase

Are we to believe that the “Columbine effect” doesn’t factor in these stages?
In addition, are we to believe that in the Left’s magical “Gun-Free” Utopian fantasy land, that criminals of this type wouldn’t find alternative methods of mass murder?

Both sides of the political aisle have championed this have idea. It was extensively discussed on the Glenn Beck Radio program: Logic and Reason Needed, As well as the publication ‘Mother Jones’.  While we loathe to link to them, they did offer some useful tips to alleviate this deadly problem:

Report on the perpetrator forensically and with dispassionate language. Avoid terms like “lone wolf” and “school shooter,” which may carry cachet with young men aspiring to attack. Instead use “perpetrator,” “act of lone terrorism,” and “act of mass murder.”

Minimise use of the perpetrator’s name. When it isn’t necessary to repeat it, don’t. And don’t include middle names gratuitously, a common practice for distinguishing criminal suspects from others of the same name, but which can otherwise lend a false sense of their importance.

Keep the perpetrator’s name out of headlines. Rarely, if ever, will a generic reference to him in a headline be any less practical.

Minimize use of images of the perpetrator. This is especially important both in terms of aspiring copycats’ desire for fame, and the psychology of vulnerable individuals who identify with mass shooters.

When both ends of the political spectrum agree on something that is so basic and eminently obvious, everyone should take notice. But then again, maybe there are those who really want a certain level of violence, who would prefer to tilt at the windmill of gun control and never really solve anything.

 

 

 

 

 

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Politics

That tax-cut money Trump and the GOP gave you? They want it back!

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When Paul Ryan shared a story on Twitter about a public-school secretary who would take home and additional $1.50/week in her paycheck thanks to the GOP tax overhaul, he took so much heat for his obvious display of cluelessness concerning the trials of average Americans that he was forced to delete.

Maybe Ryan should have left it posted because as we are beginning to see from Trump and his big-government GOP buddies in Congress, the average American will be lucky to pocket even that pittance after they’re through with their plans.

With deficit increases in the trillions of dollars already a certainty following the tax cut, the party that once advocated for smaller government and fiscal responsibility has taken steps to make it worse, thanks to the recent budget deal and Trump’s Obama-style infrastructure spending plans.

Of course, you can’t spend money you don’t have—well, unless you work in Washington—so, Trump and the GOP are gearing up to pay for their spending addiction through increased borrowing and higher taxes.

Let’s begin with their plan to raise money to pay for Trumps $1.5 trillion infrastructure Wall Street boondoggle via a $.25/gallon gas tax. Considered unthinkable only a month ago, Trump and the GOP are totally cool with reclaiming over $375 billion of your tax-cut to finance this unnecessary plan.

But gasoline is a small part of the overall economy, so Trump had to look for other ways to raise taxes. Not to worry, folks, he found it.

Speaking to the House Ways and Means Committee recently, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin testified that Trump supports a national tax on internet sales. Though Mnuchin has indicated in the past that Trump was only moderately interested in the idea, he told the committee that Trump now “feels strongly” about creating an online tax.

Higher taxes aren’t the only way Trump and the GOP plan to deal with the budget; they’re also making plans to cut Social Security and Medicare. Citing the deficit as their motivation, House republicans consider these “entitlements” theirs to do with as they please and are making plans to reduce benefits.

While it is true that Social Security’s unfunded liabilities are enormous, Americans have paid into the Social Security program. It’s their money. Congress can’t be allowed to create deficits and then rob Americans of their benefits to pay for it.

That tax-cut money Trump and the GOP gave you because it was yours in the first place? They want it back.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and Facebook. Subscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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