Fifteen trillion dollars: That’s how much American taxpayers have forked over in the name of helping the poor since 1964. And what do we have to show for it? A poverty rate that has barely budged, an entrenched bureaucracy, and a population — like that of Greece and Portugal, two welfare-state basket cases — increasingly dependent on government handouts.
These are the conclusions of a recent Cato Institute report on the American welfare state by Michael Tanner, Cato’s director of health and welfare studies and author of The Poverty of Welfare: Helping Others in Civil Society. It is hardly an encouraging read, to say the least.
With the 2012 political season heating up, many people are calling for a ban on the SuperPacs created in the wake of the 2010 Supreme Court Citizens United decision. A few on the left have even called for a constitutional amendment to ban corporations from making political advertisements, for fear that corporations have come to dominate elections in the United States.
In one sense, they are right. But it's not the SuperPacs. The corporations that have been dominating the public debate for decades are the media empires. Right now, six corporations control most of the television, radio, and print publishing networks that Americans see on a daily basis. They drive the debate, and the social issues behind the debate.
Beneficiaries of the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program can expect to see their checks cut to 79 percent by 2016, according to the program's trustees.
Presumed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney recycled establishment Bush-era foreign policy neoconservative apparatchiks June 23-24 in a weekend retreat at the Chateaux at Silver Lake in Park City, Utah, where Romney feted some 800 of his top political contributors. The gathering featured addresses by former Bush administration officials Karl Rove and Condoleezza Rice, and highlights concerns non-interventionists have about what a Romney administration foreign policy would look like.
On Monday the Supreme Court issued its ruling on the constitutional challenge filed against the Arizona immigration statute. In the decision, one of the four provisions at issue was upheld, while the remaining three were struck down.
The part of the law (Arizona State Bill 1070) upheld by the justices is that permitting law enforcement to verify the immigration status of anyone even briefly detained as a part of a routine stop.
The justices struck down the three remaining provisions of S.B. 1070 that were up for review.
The U.S. Supreme Court definitively reaffirmed its 2010 Citizens United v. FEC decision in a 5-4 ruling that struck down a Montana state law banning independent expenditures on behalf of political candidates by corporations. The Supreme Court ruled that the law violated the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the freedoms of speech, press, and assembly.
The Montana law the court struck down in the case American Tradition Partnership, Inc. v. Bullock had required that a “corporation may not make ... an expenditure in connection with a candidate or a political committee that supports or opposes a candidate or a political party.”
Many Americans are justifiably anxious about drone use by the federal government against the American people, but the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations says that concerns about our privacy are overblown.“While many are understandably anxious about the seemingly inevitable expansion of drones a cross the United States, I argue that many fears are either overblown or based on misperceptions,” wrote Micah Zenko on the Council on Foreign Relations website June 21.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue has demoted a veteran firefighter for posting politically incorrect comments about the Trayvon Martin case on his Facebook page.
Brian Beckman was a captain in the urban fire department until mid-May, about a month after he got riled about the Trayvon Martin case and said so on his own time at his Facebook account. He attacked the prosecutor, Martin’s parents and the ubiquitous hoodie.
The firefighters union will fight the demotion, its chief said.
Word out of Iowa is that Ron Paul won a majority of that state’s delegates to the Republican National Convention to be held in August in Tampa, Florida. This is contrary to the story told on election night in January when first Mitt Romney and then, after a recount, Rick Santorum was declared the winner of the Hawkeye State’s caucus.
After what the Des Moines Register described as a "two-day tug-of-war marked by bouts of angry shouting," backers of the Libertarian-leaning Texas congressman won 23 of the state’s 28 total delegates.
President Obama, after years of criticizing George W. Bush's power grabs, is now aggrandizing even more power to the presidency.
On Thursday, the U.S. Senate passed the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012, 64-35, with the support of 46 Democrats and 16 Republicans. The measure will fund agriculture, farm, and nutrition programs for the next five years at a projected cost of $969 billion over the next 10 years.