Dissolving Welfare Reform Via Policy Directive

With the media’s attention turned elsewhere this past week, a major policy revision by the Obama Administration.

Welfare reform replaced the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children with a new program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The Heritage Foundation played a pivotal role in building bipartisan consensus for the reform and providing many of the recommendations that became part of the law. The whole point was that able-bodied adults should be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving welfare aid.

This reform was very successful. TANF became the only welfare program (out of more than 70) that promoted greater self-reliance. It moved 2.8 million families off the welfare rolls and into jobs so that they were providing for themselves. Child poverty fell, and single-parent employment rose. Recipients were required to perform at least 20–30 hours per week of work or job preparation activities in exchange for the cash benefit.

Now, Obama’s HHS is claiming that it can waive those work requirements that are at the heart of the law, and without Congress’s consent.

When it established TANF, Congress deliberately exempted or shielded nearly all of the TANF program from waiver authority. They explicitly did not want the law to be rewritten at the whim of HHS bureaucrats. In a December 2001, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service clarified that there was no authority to override work and other major requirements: “Effectively, there are no TANF waivers,” it reported.

But that did not stop the Obama Administration, which has been increasing welfare spending at an alarming rate already. President Obama has added millions to the welfare rolls, and his Administration has come under fire lately for its efforts to expand and add more Americans to the food stamp program.

Source: Morning Bell: Obama’s Imperial Presidency Dissolves Welfare Reform.

The end result? Likely increasing dependency on government with no way to pay for the increased government spending that will result.  At the expense of economic growth.

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Obama’s Sneaky Treaties

Seems the current administration is working to advance European liberalism in America.

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are entering negotiations over — or seeking ratification of — five treaties that could radically limit our national sovereignty and the reach of our democratic institutions. Particularly scary is that the treaties, once signed and ratified, have the same status as constitutional law and cannot be altered or eclipsed by Congress or state legislatures. And their provisions must be enforced by U.S. courts.

Those who wish to preserve our sovereignty and democratic control over our future must rally to block these treaties, either by pressing Obama and Clinton not to sign them or by blocking their ratification.

One of the treaties deals with offshore oil drilling.

The Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) has been signed, and the Obama administration — with the aid of RINO Sen. Richard Lugar (Ind.) — will push for its ratification as soon as Lugar’s primary in Indiana is over this year. LOST requires that the United States pay an international body half of its royalties from offshore drilling. The body would then distribute the funds as it sees fit to whichever nations it chooses. The United States would only have one vote out of 160 regarding where the money goes. LOST will also oblige us to hand over our offshore drilling technology to any nation that wants it … for free.

A second treaty deals with children.

Rights of the Child — Even more fanciful is a treaty Clinton plans to negotiate setting forth a code of rights for children, to be administered by a 14-member court set up for the purpose. The draft treaty obliges rich nations to provide funds for shelter, food, clothing and education for children in poor nations. This provision could create grounds to litigate to challenge the level of foreign aid we give as inadequate to meet our treaty obligations. Already, leftists in the United Kingdom are using the treaty to attack welfare cuts by the Cameron government.

Head over to the source to learn about the other treaties being worked on that could threaten our sovereignty.

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“Abdication of Leadership” On Budget Disappointing

The lack of leadership when it comes to a budget by President Obama is very disappointing.  From Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI):

“I am deeply disappointed in this President’s abdication of leadership when it comes to prioritizing Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars.  The decision to delay the release of his budget again could not come at a more precarious moment for our fiscal and economic future.  This will mark the third time in four years the President has missed his statutory requirement to present a budget on time, while trillion-dollar budget deficits continue to mount.  As the President announces another missed deadline, tomorrow marks the 1,000th day Senate Democrats have gone without any budget at all.

“Having buried Americans under trillions of dollars of debt, the President and his party’s leaders remain unwilling to account for their spending spree.  The lack of credible budget plans from the President and his party’s leaders raises the question: What are they hiding?  Given their refusal to advance serious spending restraints and reforms, the President seems unwilling to specify the extent of the job-destroying tax increases and disruptive health-care rationing required to make a dent in his borrowing binge.  The merciless math of Washington’s current fiscal trajectory requires tough decisions and principled leadership, which leaders are supposed to offer in the form of budgets.  Rather than tackle these challenges head-on, this President continues to punt, while his party’s leaders in the Senate have simply abandoned responsible budgeting altogether.

“While the President’s failures delay the Fiscal Year 2013 budget process, House Republicans remain committed to advancing solutions that get American back on track.  We deserve better than a President unwilling to meet his legal and moral obligation to tackle our nation’s most pressing challenges.  We deserve better than the President’s path to debt, doubt and decline.”

President Obama should be ashamed, as should all the Democrats in the U.S. Senate, of the continued failure to pass a budget. There should be extreme disappointment that not one of them wants to be held accountable.

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Deliberately Destroying America

That is what the Obama administration, through the actions of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Interior, is doing.

It is the crime of the century that America, home to some of the world’s greatest reserves of coal, natural gas and oil, is being deliberately destroyed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior as they do everything in their power to restrict access and drive energy producers out of business.

It is common sense that a nation that cannot produce sufficient electricity to turn on its lights and power its manufacturing sector will be destroyed if current Obama administration regulations and actions continue. Our vital transportation sector and all others that utilize petroleum-based products will suffer, too.

While President Obama babbles about millionaires and billionaires, everyone will be impoverished by the loss of jobs and revenue our energy sector produces now and can produce in the future.

This isn’t an “energy policy.” It’s a “no-energy policy” and it is a guarantee of economic disaster.

Obama’s decision to reject a permit for Canada’s XL Keystone pipeline is just one example. It is a job-killer and a revenue-killer. There are thousands of pipelines serving America’s energy needs and the XL Keystone pipeline would ensure that Canada’s own vast energy reserves would flow to America. It is one of our key trade partners, and Obama has slapped it in the face.

Take a look at what the Department of Interior has done recently to contribute to destruction.

In early January, Ken Salazar, the Secretary of the Interior, announced a new 20-year, million-acre ban on uranium mining for federal lands in Arizona, despite the fact that these lands hold the highest-grade of known uranium deposits in the United States. It is an outrage that a new GOP-Congress will have to overturn if the nation is to be assured of sufficient uranium to power its nuclear plants and for weapons development. If the ban remains, these uranium resources would be inaccessible until 2023!

Tom Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research said that Salazar’s announcement “further compounds a man-made energy crisis that has been planned and executed in Washington, D.C.”

Then there’s the EPA and their contributions to this deliberate destruction.

At the same time we are learning of enormous natural gas discoveries that can reduce our energy bills and turn sleeping little towns into boomtowns, environmental organizations have launched a vast propaganda campaign against “fracking”, a technology that has been safely used for more than fifty years. Their claims about dangers to the nation’s supply of fresh water are baseless. Their claims that fracking has caused earthquakes in Ohio are absurd.

Need it be said that the Environmental Protection Agency has turned its eyes on fracking and is working on a report due later this year that will likely call for harsh crackdowns on its use and more regulations to throttle the expansion of natural gas extraction?

The EPA has just released a report of those power plants that top the list of its regulation of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. There is no basis in science to justify the reduction of CO2. Indeed, since it is a gas on which all vegetation depends, much as oxygen is vital to all animal life, reducing it would impair great crop yields and healthier forests.

These regulations are based on the global warming hoax that blamed CO2 for warming the earth. That is utterly false. The Earth is currently in a perfectly natural cooling cycle and the climate of the Earth is almost entirely based on the Sun—solar radiation—along with the actions of oceans, clouds, and even volcanic activity that spews tons of particulates into the atmosphere.

Coal-fired power plants account for fifty percent of all the electricity generated in the United States. Fifty percent! And yet the EPA is determined to shut down dozens of them providing that vital factor in the lives of all Americans and the economy, nor does this take into account the billions that energy producers have spent to upgrade their technology to reduce emissions.

The result is a continued drop when it comes to America’s economic freedom ranking.

The 18th annual Index of Economic Freedom, was released on January 12th by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, measures the many factors that contribute to the economic health of a nation—things like property rights, regulatory efficiency, open markets, free trade and labor policies.

Economic freedom is declining worldwide as governments try to spend their way out of the global recession. The United States fell to 10th place. In 2009 it ranked 6th, in 2010 it was 8th, and in 2011, it was 9th.

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