Friday, November 28, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Obama’s war for poverty

By
March 01, 2014 |

This year is the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s War on Poverty and there has been lots of discussion of whether it worked or didn’t. It didn’t, at least as regard its advertised purpose of reducing poverty. But it didn’t do anything to worsen it, either. That’s President Obama’s record.

The pain has been terrible, as you can find by asking about black teens and discovering that their unemployment rate is up to a horrifying 38 percent. That’s one fact mentioned by Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, in something he wrote for National Review Online. Other facts: Food stamp use has increased 50 percent to 48 million people and Social Security disability has been rising by a million a year.

It’s the worst recovery since World War II, and yes, I know, President Obama has an explanation for all evil in the universe – George W. Bush – and some of his defenders add that, geez, this was a really bad recession, Obama was up against a recalcitrant Congress, recoveries are complicated and give the guy a break.

I’d say along with other critics to take some of that list into consideration and then agree that Obama has been a major factor through his fiscal recklessness, his total incompetence as a negotiator and a constantly divisive rhetoric that has rendered trust and compromise feathers in a hurricane.

Even now he continues to miss the point, as in conveying in press leaks about the 2015 budget that he’s giving up on the idea of restructuring Social Security. Fixing that program and other entitlements is crucial for dealing with a bloated debt. The Washington Post reports, however, that Obama figures the era of austerity is over, and I’d say listen to Charles Blahous about this so-called austerity.

A trustee for Social Security and Medicare, Blahous observes that the four biggest deficits in close to seven decades, along with three years of record spending in that stretch, occurred during Obama’s first term. He notes that projections are that we will get more excess like that in the 2020s, thanks in part to what Obamacare is going to cost us.

Because the deficits have come down lately, many have joined Obama in yawning about the debt. Don’t, says the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office, which has noted it will be a towering threat during the next decade, lowering wages, vastly complicating budget management and maybe going “boom” in a new fiscal crisis that would leave darned few of us alone.

Part of Obama’s answer is to take away an additional half-million jobs. That would be the possible cost of the minimum wage hike he wants, according to the CBO, which also points out that a third of the increased wages would go to families with total incomes three times higher than the poverty level. Yes, many of the worst off would be helped, but not a ton. They would go from poor to not quite as poor.

We also get this income inequality talk that is little more than gouging some who made it big for the sake of applause and more taxes. To be sure, the administration is up to some decent things, such as trying to fix a malfunctioning Head Start pre-K program launched as part of the War on Poverty, though further expansion of such programs should likely be left to states and localities that have often done a much better job.

The main thing in fixing poverty is a tough thing, say experts at both conservative and liberal think tanks. It is prompting cultural change that keeps fathers around to help mothers and keeps teens from dropping out of school. I think dramatic White House leadership on such fronts could help a lot more than beating up one group in order to make another group grin.

Jay Ambrose is an op-ed columnist for McClatchy-Tribune. Readers may send him email at speaktojay@aol.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 2 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Mike KirchubelMarch 01, 2014 - 9:17 pm

    What a load of sowell.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodMarch 01, 2014 - 9:44 pm

    We need to start with an understanding that dealing with income and wealth disparity is more than for "grins." Our success as a nation is measured in part how well our economy maintains a middle class, with a standard of living that allows participation in the better things of life than mere survival. That's accomplished not just be income distribution but by how our nationally-generated wealth is spent on programs, such as health care, that allow income to go further. Check out the link I've provided if you haven't already. It's hard to have a meaningful discussion if people aren't starting with the same facts, or without facts at all. youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsMNovember 25, 2013

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Solano Turkey Trot draws 2,600 to college

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Il Fiorello schedules olive milling day

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Early Black Friday shoppers take advantage of deals

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Eagle Scout project adds floating docks at Rockville Park

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
.

US / World

‘Guardian angel,’ community join to give man home

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
US celebrates Thanksgiving with parades, turkey

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Tons of marijuana seized in Central California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 4 Comments

 
Gorilla death prompts San Francisco Zoo changes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Health agents still unpaid after plan’s rollout

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
California Burger King employee finds $100,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

At 1 month, US Ebola monitors finding no cases

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Families asked to host visitors for pope’s US trip

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Researchers discover ‘pre-cancers’ in blood

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Ferguson gives thanks after a quiet night

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

35 arrested in Oakland after protest march

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
A glance at Ferguson: Then, now and the future

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

For some, location of Brown’s hands irrelevant

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Colorado mastodon bones show ancient warmer Earth

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment

Queen of crime writing PD James dies aged 94

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Ebola aid dogged by coordination lags in Guinea

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Taliban attack rocks upscale Kabul district

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Small quake rattles California wine country

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Living

Today in History: Nov. 28, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Nov. 28, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Movies just another course on Thanksgiving

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Poor health is no excuse for not behaving like a caring person

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

Horoscope for Nov. 28, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
.

Entertainment

Week in preview: Nov. 28 to Dec. 4, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Review: ‘Madagascar’ spin-off hatches family fun

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Prison theater transforms Colombian inmates

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Singer John Mayer among ‘Late Late Show’ subs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Review: ‘Horrible Bosses 2′ doesn’t work

By Jake Coyle | From Page: B2

 
Reading Harry Potter gives clues to brain activity

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Talking songs with She & Him

By Kim Durbin | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment calendar Nov. 28, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B4

 
Cosby testimony describes accuser’s spiked story

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Sports

College notebook: Many happy returns for Arizona’s Bondurant

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Sherman’s big night leads Seattle past 49ers again

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7, 1 Comment | Gallery

Rookie quarterback Carr is Raiders’ silver lining

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
US cities urged to keep price tags down for 2024

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

5 investigated in FIFA WCup bid corruption probe

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Johnson shines in Detroit’s 34-17 win over Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Eagles roll over Cowboys 33-10 for NFC East lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Signups for Friday, Nov. 28, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B10

No. 9 UCLA must overcome Stanford for Pac-12 title

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Business

Kia’s ‘Soulful’ first electric car

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

 
Automakers aim to drive away car computer hackers

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

OPEC keeps oil output on hold despite low prices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
3 Reasons holiday shoppers will spend cautiously

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

.

Obituaries

 
Deanna L. Haines

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Esther Ringler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9