Tag Archives: Big Government

Seven policies that conservatives oppose, because they cause poverty

Women for bigger government, higher taxes
Women for bigger government, higher taxes

The list is from John Hawkins, who runs Right Wing News. It’s posted at Townhall.com, though. (H/T Lindsay)


Keeping Americans poor in a prosperous country like America is not as easy as you think. After all, this is the “land of opportunity.” Legal immigrants pay tens of thousands of dollars and wait years for the opportunity to come legally and illegal immigrants often risk their lives just so they can get here and do menial work. This is the country that made Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and even OPRAH into billionaires and it’s a nation where you can have everything from hoverboards to medicine for your pet delivered right to your door. So when there’s so much wealth and opulence everywhere, how do you lock Americans out of that success?

No matter what you do, there will always be a few poor people around, but to really maximize those numbers there are very specific government policies abetted by a few cultural attitudes that will make all the difference.

Here’s the list of policies that make people poor:

  1. Making Sure Taxes And Regulations Are Sky High
  2. Encouraging Dependency
  3. Encouraging People To Have Babies Out Of Wedlock
  4. Demonizing Success
  5. Screwing Up The Education System
  6. Having Massive Immigration
  7. Ratcheting Up Their Expenses

I partially disagree with him on #6, where he goes after skilled immigrants. I think it’s right to go after unskilled immigrants, and immigration through family sponsors, since those people may use more social programs than they pay for in taxes. I don’t mind if they come, so long as they are barred from social programs. Failing that, we should only allow skilled immigrants to come – they pay in more than they use up.

However, if he was talking about illegal alias, and not skilled workers, I agree 100%. Everyone who is here should be here legally with a work permit, and there should be enforcement to punish employers who cheat.

Here’s the one I really like, though – the one I think my Democrat co-workers would not be surprised by:

7. Ratcheting Up Their Expenses: Of course, if you want to create more poor Americans, it’s best to tax the middle class as much as possible, but in a country where they can vote you out of office, you have to be careful about directly reaching into their wallets. So, how do you take their money without their realizing that you’re responsible?

Have the Federal Reserve print money non-stop, which drives up inflation. Over time, that reduces the purchasing power of the middle class as the cost of everything seems to creep up. It’s also important to go after cheap sources of energy like oil, coal, natural gas and nuclear power. Not only does that drive up the cost the middle class pays across the board for products, it also hits people directly when they heat and cool their homes. Exploding medical costs are also helpful and Obamacare has done an amazing job of this. Medical costs are skyrocketing for the middle class and helping to drive them towards poverty. As an extra added bonus, middle class Americans who can no longer afford to pay for their medical care because of Obamacare will also be hit with a tax penalty. If your goal is to hurt middle class Americans financially, you could not do much better than Obamacare.

There are many ways to impoverish working people more than just raising their taxes. Just make them pay more for everything by regulating and taxing the people who create the services and products that people buy.

New study: Tennessee pre-K program provides no educational benefit over control group

This is the most thorough study that I have ever seen evaluating the effectiveness of pre-K programs. The study was done by researchers at Vanderbilt University. (H/T Brad Wilcox tweet)

The study was reported on by the well-respected but leftist Brookings Institute.

They write:

State investments in center-based school readiness programs for preschoolers (pre-K), whether targeted for poor children or universally implemented, have expanded more rapidly than evaluations of their effects. Given the current interest and continuing expansion of state funded pre-K, it is especially important to be clear about the nature of the available evidence for the effectiveness of such programs. Despite widespread claims about proven benefits from pre-K, there is actually strikingly little credible research about the effectiveness of public pre-K programs scaled for statewide implementation.

Like many states that became interested in scaling up a state funded pre-K program in the early 2000’s, voluntary pre-K (TNVPK) was introduced in Tennessee in 1996 as a way to provide academic enhancement to economically disadvantaged children. It expanded in 2005 to an $85 million-plus statewide investment serving 18,000 Tennessee income-eligible children in 935 classrooms across all 95 counties.

Launched in 2009, the TNVPK Effectiveness Study, a coordinated effort between Vanderbilt’s Peabody Research Institute and the Tennessee Department of Education, is a five-year evaluation study funded by the US Department of Education, Institute for Education Sciences. It includes the first randomized control trial of a scaled up state funded pre-K program and the first well-controlled comparison group study of the effects of program participation as children progress through elementary school..

Policymakers and proponents often cite some of the famous early studies of pre-K programs that have shown long term benefits extending into adulthood for the participating children. But those were studies of especially complex programs that are unlike scaled-up public pre-K in many ways. The Vanderbilt study is the first rigorous controlled longitudinal study to be conducted on a large-scale state-funded pre-K program.

And here is a summary of the results:

Standard score results from pre-K through 3rd grade on a composite measure that averaged the six achievement subtests are presented from baseline forward in the graph below.

As is evident, pre-K and control children started the pre-K year at virtually identical levels. The TNVPK children were substantially ahead of the control group children at the end of the pre-K year (age 5 in the graph). By the end of kindergarten (age 6 in the graph), the control children had caught up to the TNVPK children, and there were no longer significant differences between them on any achievement measures. The same result was obtained at the end of first grade using two composite achievement measures (the second created with the addition of two more WJIII subtests appropriate for the later grades). In second grade, however, the groups began to diverge with the TNVPK children scoring lower than the control children on most of the measures. The differences were significant on both achievement composite measures and on the math subtests. Differences favoring the control persisted through the end of third grade.

In terms of behavioral effects, in the spring the first grade teachers reversed the fall kindergarten teacher ratings. First grade teachers rated the TNVPK children as less well prepared for school, having poorer work skills in the classrooms, and feeling more negative about school. It is notable that these ratings preceded the downward achievement trend we found for VPK children in second and third grades. The second and third grade teachers rated the behaviors and feelings of children in the two groups as the same; there was a small positive finding for peer relations favoring the TNVPK children by third grade teachers, which did not meet traditional levels of statistical significance.

Results graph:

TNVPK data: pre-K program is in red, baseline is in blue
TNVPK data: pre-K program is in red, baseline is in blue

We are already seeing that cheap daycare in high-tax, big government provinces like Quebec cost a lot, and produce negative results. And of course Hillary Clinton is a longstanding advocate of universal pre-K. As a Senator of New York, she introduced a universal pre-K plan that would cost $10 billion over 5 years. President Barack Obama’s own Preschool for All plan would cost $75 billion over 10 years. This Vanderbilt study should cause us to question whether the policies of the secular left, pushed largely because of emotions and ideology, are worth the tens of billions of dollars they want to take from us. And if you take tens of billions of dollars out of families, then families on the margin will have to give their children to the state to raise. And that includes Christian families, who would no longer be able to afford a stay-at-home mother.

Now, taking children away from parents so that their mothers can work is seen as a worthy goal by those on the secular left. First, communally raising the children is “good” because it removes inequalities between single mothers and traditional working-husband homes. Second, making it easier for women to “go fatherless” is “good” because fathers are not to be trusted to teach their children about morality and religion. That is best left to secular government workers. Third, mothers who choose to marry good providers pay less in taxes if they choose to stay home with their kids and not work. That is “bad” because the government wants more taxes, so they can spend it on vote-buying social programs. Fourth, children who form stable bonds with their parents are less likely to become dependent on the government, meaning their allegiance cannot be bought with government handouts. That is also “bad”. Fifth, it is also “bad” that children who grow up with stay-at-home mothers are more likely to develop empathy and morality, which gives them an independent standard by which to judge the government’s actions.

Related posts

If you want to know what’s ahead for America, look north to Canada

Canada election results 2015
Canada election results 2015 (click for larger image)

A friend of mine pointed out this post by a pro-life woman based in Calgary, Alberta named McKenzie. As you all know, Canada lurched hard left last Monday, electing a strongly pro-abortion Liberal Party government, led by a man who insisted that candidates in his party swear their allegiance to abortion on demand, through all 9 months of pregnancy.

I took a look at some of the pro-life Members of Parliament and noticed that a bunch of them stepped down this election, and many others were defeated by Liberals. So, McKenzie is looking forward and seeing where the pro-abortion Liberal Party is going next now that they have a majority government.

She writes:

As tempting as it is to write a semi-encouraging post about the state of affairs for the next two to four years, the reality is that the political sphere of the pro-life movement has been dealt a treacherous blow in seeking to protect the most defenseless lives among us.

In the foreseeable future, here are three possible federal pressures we can expect from our Parliament over the next few months and years:

1. Legislation inhibiting, directly or indirectly, the freedom and mobility of life-affirming organizations, including pregnancy resource centres, and their ability to reach women seeking abortions. We’ve had zero laws restricting abortion access throughout all nine months of pregnancy since 1988, but that hasn’t stopped our new Prime Minister from enforcing a strictly pro-choice view among his party. The question at the front of their minds seems to be, “how much further could we go in promoting abortion in our society – and overseas?” A reasonable prediction is that the CRA and Human Rights Commissions will put additional pressure on Christian or pro-life charities to comply with any new laws enacted, regardless of their protections under the Charter – similar to our friends in California presently forced to give out abortion information alongside life-affirming options at pregnancy resource centres, though abortion clinics are not required to reciprocate.

CRA = Canada Revenue Agency, their IRS. We’ve already had a scandal where the IRS, probably under the direction of the White House, went after charities that were working against the Democrats on certain issues like stopping voter fraud. She is expecting to see the CRA used similarly to go after pro-lifers. As you know, the Human Rights Commissions are tools used by the secular left to punish conservatives for offending people on the secular left. The laws are only ever applied against conservatives, and they almost always lose their cases. Well, pro-lifers are offensive. McKenzie thinks that the HRCs are going to go after them.

Another one:

3. Economic policies directly and/or indirectly inhibiting our ability to donate towards charities and charitable causes, especially pro-life or pro-family causes. Less money in the hands of private donors (especially those in the middle class) in a recession, coupled with higher redistribution through taxes, hits families the hardest when men and women are in their peak income-earning years. Less resources to go around means less charitable giving when mom and dad need to put their own needs for bills, food, and shelter first.

This is not surprising. The left is always anxious to go after charitable giving, because people are giving their money to causes they care about and the left doesn’t get any benefit. What the left prefers is that they take the money from potential charitable donors and then use it to buy votes. Obama’s latest budget of 2015 was the latest attempt to limit charitable contributions. She is expecting that pro-life donors will be targeted by the new Liberal majority government. And she undertstands that whatever impact she is going to have as a Christian is going to be funded by her own efforts to work for money, he husbands efforts to work for money, and the charitable donations she can get. The government never funds the efforts of Christians and/or conservatives to push Christian or conservative views. Which is why it makes zero sense for Christians to vote to expand the federal government outside of its Constitutional responsibilities.

So what are my thoughts on all this?

Well, I wish more pro-lifers down here were as aware of the effects of laws and policies on life plans. If you read the rest of her post, McKenzie clearly has some kind of pro-life plan there, and it’s a good one in that it’s practical and evidence based. She intends to get results. But she’s not looking inside at her own feelings and thoughts when she makes these life plans, she’s looking at politics and laws and trying to anticipate where the threats will come from, and how to adjust. I wish pro-lifers here were more like that… especially when it comes to size of government. We need to keep our own money and not give it to the government. We need to keep the government away from our rights, e.g. – free speech and religious liberty.

Anyway, if you follow the gay rights vs religious liberties battles we are having now with florists, bakers, photographers, etc., then you might recall that similar things were happening in Canada 10-20 years ago. Canada was going through these problems in the late 90s, early 2000s, when the Liberals were in charge. It sort of died out when the Conservatives took over, but there’s no reason I can see for it not to come back now that Canada has elected a Liberal majority. I’m going to be watching the situation closely up there, because whatever the Liberals do up there now is likely to make its way down here in the next 10-15 years – if we elect Democrats.

In fact, with respect to what she said about restricting pro-lifers, the Democrat Party already introduced a bill to remove all restrictions on abortion at the state and local levels. This is what they do. Laws, taxes and politics do matter.

Obama borrowed $10 trillion and all we got was this horrible jobs report

They told me if I voted Republican, we'd lose jobs, and they were right!
What kind of economic growth can you get from a community organizer?

Wow, you would think that there would be some organic economic growth after Obama added $10 trillion to the national debt, but the September jobs report looks more like a forecast for recession than anything else.

The Daily Signal reports:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ September jobs report showed unexpected weakness in the labor market.

The payroll survey showed that employers created only 142,000 jobs in September. The economy created only 167,000 net new jobs a month in the 3rd quarter—a substantial drop from the 231,000 jobs a month pace in the 2nd quarter.

The numbers are even worse for private-sector job growth. Large expansions in government hiring boosted the August and September figures. Private-sector job growth dropped from 220,000 net new jobs a month in the 2nd quarter to 138,000 in the 3rd quarter.

[…]The Household survey reported that the unemployment rate remained constant at 5.1 percent in September. Unfortunately, this happened only because almost 600,000 Americans left the labor force. People not looking for work do not count as unemployed, so the unemployment rate remained unchanged.

However, the labor force participation rate dropped another 0.2 percentage points to 62.4 percent—its lowest level since 1977.

[…][T]he September report follows a disappointing August report. Revisions also showed that employers created 60,000 fewer jobs in July and August than previously estimated.

CNS News says that the number of Americans not in the workforce is at 94,610,000. The Weekly Standard says we are going in reverse: ” For the last three months, average job growth comes in at 167,000. Nearly 100,000 below the average for 2014. We are going in reverse.” and “Of the 142,000 new jobs, 24,000 are in government. ”

The manufacturing sector is hardest hit, as Investors Business Daily explains:

The anemic September jobs report was bad news for anyone hoping that the economy had turned a corner. But it was even worse news for manufacturing, which is on a two-month losing streak.

Manufacturing shed 9,000 jobs last month on top of the 18,000 lost in August, completely erasing the gains made so far this year. Since January 2013, the industry has gained only 338,000.

All this flies in the face of President Obama’s repeated promise in 2012 that if reelected, he would create 1 million new manufacturing jobs by the end of his second term. Obama said that these new jobs would “put middle-class people back to work.” To make it happen, he promised to aggressively pursue corporate tax reform and unfair trade practices by China, set up new community-college/employer partnerships and create up to 20 “manufacturing innovation institutes.”

Since then, he’s done little if any of it.

The problem is big government regulations:

A study by the National Association of Manufacturers found that regulations cost the industry nearly $20,000 per worker in 2012. At smaller firms, the cost is almost $35,000 per worker.

It’s only getting worse, as new or impending regulations on CO2 emissions, smog, etc. threaten hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs.

Investors Business Daily says:

The biggest decline in the workforce has not been among the elderly, but the young, who just aren’t jumping into starter jobs at the normal rate.

[…]The workweek shrank again — to 34.5 hours — largely due to the rise of part-time hiring. Thank you, ObamaCare.

Obamacare forces employers to make workers part-time, or else pay more to employ them if they stay full-time. It’s a real genius-level policy.


Can we finally repeal the law requiring employers to provide health benefits to workers once they log 30 hours of work in a week? Workers can’t pay their bills and feed their families with 28-hour paychecks.

Wages, which made decent gains over the previous several months, actually ticked down in September. So we are working less, for less.

This is no accident; it’s policy-induced slow growth.

It’s fitting that we get a disappointing jobs report in the very week that the administration says it will move forward with a new ozone containment rule that the National Association of Manufacturers says will be one of the biggest job-killing regulations in American history.

Obama still won’t allow the Keystone Pipeline, or the exporting of oil, which would be a major job producer. He won’t cut the corporate tax, or roll back ObamaCare rules hindering employment. His grandiose plans to save the planet come before putting Americans to work.

This is serious. I know that a lot of people in the media, in academia, in Hollywood, etc. think that you can tax and regulate your way to prosperity with laws like Obamacare, but it’s not true. Massive expansions of government and massive borrowing depress economic growth and job creation. Jobs come from entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurs do not like what they have seen from the government in the last 7 years under these Democrats.

Who pays the scientist who wants global warming skeptics prosecuted?

Global warming profiteer Jagadish Shukla
Global warming profiteer Jagadish Shukla

This is quite striking. The global warming alarmist who is leading the effort to criminally prosecute those who dissent from global warming alarmism is himself a global warming profiteer, according Climate Depot.

This article from Climate Depot explains:

From 2012-2014, the Leader of RICO 20 climate scientists paid himself and his wife $1.5 million from government climate grants for part-time work.

George Mason University Professor Jagadish Shukla  ( jshukla@gmu.edu) a Lead Author with the UN IPCC, reportedly made lavish profits off the global warming industry while accusing climate skeptics of deceiving the public. Shukla is leader of 20 scientists who are demanding RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) charges be used against skeptics for disagreeing with their view on climate change.

Shukla reportedly moved his government grants through a ‘non-profit’. The group “pays Shukla and wife Anne $500,000 per year for part-time work,” Prof. Roger Pielke Jr. revealed.

“The $350,000-$400,000 per year paid leader of the RICO20 from his ‘non-profit’ was presumably on top of his $250,000 per year academic salary,” Pielke wrote. “That totals to $750,000 per year to the leader of the RICO20 from public money for climate work and going after skeptics. Good work if you can get it,” Pielke Jr.added.

I think this fellow needs a RICO investigation himself, don’t you? And if found guilty, he should be put in jail. I think in general this story shows why we need to cut taxes, shrink government spending, and generally reduce the influence that government has on private businesses and individual consumers. Global warming alarmists don’t generate anything of value, they just collect taxpayers’ money in exchange for lying. And then the lies are used by the government to take measures that raise our electricity bills and increase the national debt. What sense does it make for voters to vote for that?

Marco Rubio was asked about global warming alarmism in the recent CNN GOP primary debate, and he answered thus:

Exactly. I have better things to do with my money than waste it on myths.

Al Gore and Rajendra Pachauri

Shukla would be the second Indian guy to be implicated in these sorts of global warming intrigues. The first was the U.N. IPCC sexual harrasser Rajendra Pachauri, (on the right, above), who predicted that the Himalayas would melt. He later admitted that his predictions were false. And then his career melted after the victims of his sexual harassment came forward to accuse him.

Climate change science, for a change

Atmospheric temperature measurements though April 2015
Atmospheric temperature measurements though April 2015

(Image source: Dr. Roy Spencer, University of Alabama – Huntsville)

The best measurements of the Earth’s temperature are the atmosphere measurements, not the surface measurements, because those are more easily tampered with.

The Daily Caller summarizes the atmospheric measurements, which have not been changed to fit the global warming narrative.


[…][N]ew satellite-derived temperature measurements show there’s been no global warming for 18 years and six months.

“For 222 months, since December 1996, there has been no global warming at all,” writes climate expert Lord Christopher Monckton, the third viscount Monckton of Brenchley

“This month’s [satellite] temperature – still unaffected by a slowly strengthening el Niño, which will eventually cause temporary warming – passes another six-month milestone, and establishes a new record length for the Pause: 18 years 6 months,” Monckton adds.

[…]Scientists have already pushed back against NOAA’s new study. The news site Mashable interviewed about a dozen climate scientists not involved in the study, and nearly all of them said “the study does not support the authors’ conclusion that the so-called warming pause never happened.”

“Instead, they said it simply proves that changing the start and end dates used for analyzing temperature trends has a big influence on those measurements, a fact that was already widely known,” Mashable reported.

I think this important, because global warming alarmism is being pushed by the secular left, especially onto young people in public schools. This affects government spending, which is ultimately paid for by us – the taxpayers. I don’t know about you, but as a Christian, my priorities for my money are much different than those of secular leftist bureaucrats and crooked “scientists”. People who are taken in by global warming lies will vote for bigger government to limit industry (fewer jobs are created) and to regulate personal consumption (higher costs of gas, heating and cooling, electricity). This again results in less money for me to run my life plan, which is focused on serving God. So, as a conservative and a Christian, I am all over this issue, and you should be as well. Show people the evidence, let them decide. Otherwise, the secular left will be making the rules that we have to live by.