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By Bill O’Reilly
President Obama and the poor. That is the subject of this evening’s “Talking Points” memo. All the polls say the same thing. Americans who don’t have a lot of money, overwhelmingly support the President. That’s because since Mr. Obama has been in office, welfare spending has increased 41 percent.
Right now about $1 trillion every year is spent on entitlements. Medicaid, the biggest situation but there are 126 anti-poverty programs on the books. Back in 1964, President Lyndon Johnson declared unconditional war on poverty. At that time the poverty rate was about 19 percent.
Since then, America has spent roughly $15 trillion fighting poverty. Yet, right now the poverty rate is above 15 percent. So you can see all the money has not done much to combat the problem.
The reason is that poor education and poor parenting are driving destitution. High school dropouts are almost four times more likely to end up in poverty than those who graduate. And children growing up in single parent families are four times more likely to be poor than those living with both parents.
As long as Americans refuse to educate themselves and family units remain chaotic, you will have a 15 percent poverty rate no matter how much money you throw at it. The statistics I have cited come from a new study by the Cato Institute but as you may know “Talking Points” has been telling you this for years.
In a free society, people have a right to be a moron and no government can stop irresponsible parenting. So, what is the solution?
President Obama believes that the federal government should give money to the poor. Hand it right to them in a variety of ways. The problem with that is that many of the poor will use the money irresponsibly. The high rate of alcohol and drug addiction and other social problems assure a massive amount of waste in the entitlement arena.
Americans are the most generous people on earth. But the truth is that income redistribution doesn’t work. For what the feds spend now on entitlements, every single poor person in America could be handed almost $21,000 a year.
Now, Mitt Romney would be wise to lay out his own anti-poverty program that would be heavy on personal responsibility that if you’re getting entitlements, you have to show where the money goes. It can’t go to buy drugs and alcohol or to be used in a casino.
The Bible says the poor will always be with us and that’s absolutely true. There are always going to be human beings who cannot and will not support themselves. Society must be compassionate but must be responsible in trying to help these people especially the kids.
But right now there is no discipline at all in the entitlement culture. And President Obama simply wants to throw more money at the problem.
And that’s “The Memo.”
Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Chairman Darrell Issa’s office issued the following press release regarding a GSA (General Services Administration) worker bragging about the lavish perks he enjoyed while working there.
Federal Worker “American Idle” Uncovered:
Winning Video Skit from Taxpayer Funded Luxury Las Vegas GSA Convention
Video featuring Federal Employees jokes about never being under Inspector General Investigation, Lavish GSA Spending
The video clips below are from the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) October 2010 Western Region Conference in Las Vegas, NV. It was played on Thursday, October 28, 2010 at the “Capstone Dinner Event.”
Obama better prepare, when I’m Commissioner.
I’d have a road show like [Acting Regional GSA Administrator Jeffrey] Neely, every time you see me rolling on 20s yeah, in my GOV.
Spend BA 61 all on fun.
ATF can’t touch GS-15 guns!
Cause I buy everything your field office can’t afford.
Every GS-5 would get a top hat award.
Donate my vacation, love to the nation,
I’ll never be under OIG investigation.
In congratulating the winner at the conference, Deputy Commissioner of the Public Building Service David Foley presents an award and jokes about the previous night’s lavish “party that was held in the commissioner’s suite,” having to respond to congressional oversight, and Obama Administration efforts to restrict executive pay. GSA Administrator Martha Johnson later resigned after the GSA Inspector General presented findings of abuse and waste of taxpayer dollars at the conference.
Michelle Obama, who has quickly become the Obama campaign’s tip of the spear when it comes to fundraising and vote-getting, is now stumping for children to convince their “great-grandparents” to vote for her husband. At an event at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park – for which tickets cost at least $500 – Michelle said:
I mean, I can’t tell you in the last election how many grandparents I ran into who said, I wasn’t going to vote for Barack Obama until my grandson talked to me, until my great-grandson talked to me, and talked about the future he wanted for this country.
You can get out there with your parents. You guys can knock on doors. I had one young lady who brought me a petition — she’s already working. You can convince wrong people. Sometimes we don’t listen to ourselves, but we will listen to our children.
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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: One last question. President Obama today, talking about the health care, said that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, it’s a good example. He’s talking about judicial activism.
Your thoughts of calling — of his remark about — and much broader — I showed you the longer quote, but calling the Supreme Court an unelected group looking at the health care law?
MITT ROMNEY, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Isn’t this wonderful to finally have a liberal talking about judicial activism? I think we can come together on this. We’ve been concerned about judicial activism for years and years and years.
What the president’s complaining about, however, is that the Supreme Court might actually apply the Constitution to the bill that he passed! And the whole purpose of the Supreme Court is to make sure that Congress does not pass laws that are in violation of the Constitution.
And so judicial activism is not following the Constitution. Judicial activism is departing from the Constitution, which is what they’ve too often done on issue after issue.
I applaud the fact that the Supreme Court looks to be taking the responsibility of following the Constitution seriously. And if the president complains about a Supreme Court that follows the Constitution, he’s coming from a very different world than the world that the founders, and frankly, that the judicial history has described for America.
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SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: And tonight, the vetting of the President continues as we bring you another edition of “The Real Obama.” Now, in this installment, we shine the spotlight on an executive order that the White House was hoping that you would never learn about. Now, the President signed the national defense resources preparedness executive order late Friday afternoon. And since that time, now the measure has been virtually ignored by the mainstream media. Now, to order essentially gives the president of the United States absolute power over any and all American resources during both times of peace and national crisis. Now, this includes, but it’s not limited to food and livestock, water, plants, energy, health resources, transportation and construction materials and gives the government the ability to, quote, “control the general distribution of any material, including applicable services in this civilian market.” Now, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney laughed off a question about the document at today’s briefing. Let’s take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Online commentary suggests this gives the executive branch the power to allocate energy, food, water in either peace time or wartime and there are conservative blacks that are pushing the notion that suggests the White House preparing for war with Iran. Can you explain what this executive order was?
JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I cannot explain that reaction to it. I think it was a fairly standard and routine piece of business.
HANNITY: Now, everybody is laughing about this executive order. In fact, some have suggested this would give the President of the United States the authority to declare basically Martial Law during times of peace. And to be sure this is simply the latest string of actions taken by the administration that ignore the basic principles of our constitution.
Joining me now in tonight’s edition Real Obama, Jay Sekulow, from the American Center for Law and Justice and FOX News contributor Lanny Davis. Guys, welcome back.
LANNY DAVIS, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I’m laughing about it Sean, how are you?
HANNITY: Well, let’s give a little history here. Jay, we will start with you. Because this was actually signed a similar national defense resources preparedness by Bill Clinton. You have similar executive orders signed by device Dwight Eisenhower, George W. Bush, but there’s a difference. There are some things that changed in this that I think has brought, I think legitimate criticism and concern. Can you go through that?
JAY SEKULOW, AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE: Well, I think you are absolutely right. The idea of this act is nothing new. Presidents have had this since the 1950s. But what is different about this one, the difference than any of the other ones is the definition of national defense. It is incorporated what is called the Stafford (ph) act I don’t not want to get overly technical. But this gives the President much more authority than any of the previous acts. In fact, Lanny may remember this. The previous acts didn’t give incorporation of the Stafford act, which is a civil situation where the President would have unlimited authority, subject, of course, to checks and balances. We can’t ignore checks and balances here. But the definition of national defense is broader than it has ever been under any of these previous executive orders.
And I think that’s the most significant aspect of this. And by the way, the President is getting flack from the left and the right. The left said, this is preparation for the war with Iran, that’s why the President is doing this. A potential war in Iran but the concern about the energy resources of our country, and of course conservatives ever saying, this is unchecked power. There’s a balance here but the one thing that’s very different, Sean, is the fact that the national defense definition is different than it has ever been in much broader than it has ever been.
HANNITY: All right. Lanny, this very specific section and Jay, correct me if I’m wrong, is 801J, if I recall.
SEKULOW: J, that’s correct.
HANNITY: And why would the President change that definition? And Lanny, you are an expert in media, nobody is as good as you. If you want to release something that you don’t want people to find when you are in a White House, when do you release it? Late on a Friday afternoon hoping nobody pays attention to it.
DAVIS: I used to release things at 10:00 on July 3rd. That was a really good.
HANNITY: Yes, that’s a good time, I got it. I got it.
DAVIS: Nice to hear you, jay, being your scholarly self.
SEKULOW: You too.
DAVIS: And I want to compliment Sean Hannity for the first time in a long time.
HANNITY: Oh, boy.
DAVIS: Of not being slanted and describing this as a bipartisan act that actually goes back to Franklin Roosevelt, Jay and to Harry Truman.
DAVIS: Not just the.
HANNITY: By the way, Lanny, we got to that part. You know, you are wasting valuable airtime. We got that now.
DAVIS: You won’t let me compliment you, Sean.
HANNITY: I know, during the show.
DAVIS: The second point I want to make, other than Sean Hannity being a good guy, is that this is really not a significant risk to America. I don’t know why he made those changes, to answer your question, but there’s no risk here because every President needs authority in times of emergency such as a nuclear attack or something that is another 9/11, and this authority has been on the books. And President Obama won’t misuse it. The real question is, why are the extremes on the left and the right so quick to jump beyond the facts and look at the worst possible interpretation? You look at some of these —
HANNITY: Because — because of the way the president has acted. For example, we have a very specific process for recess appointments and with the National Labor Board appointments. The president, remember he didn’t go through that process.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That’s right.
HANNITY: Conservatives like myself, Jay, I think would argue the health care mandate is not constitutional. The Cato Institute actually has the top ten instances where the president is pretty much thumbed his nose at the constitution. And so there is a suspicion, Jay.
SEKULOW: Yes, I think the biggest problem here is context. It isn’t a document dump in the sense it comes late on a Friday evening. That’s an interesting situation. Second is the context of the other situations you talk about.
The attorney general, the “Fast and Furious” situation then the attorney general said he was concerned about what the NYPD was doing, which was clearly within the law and I think the Department of Justice has now backed off on that, wisely.
But you look at the context and then the definitional aspect. The definition is the problem. I don’t believe, and I agree that the president can get away with this because, number one, you have a Congress, you have an active media, that’s why we are here tonight.
But you have to ask yourself why this overly broad definition of national defense? Why incorporate the Stafford Act, which talks about foreign and national interests and tsunamis and situations, which the president would have control over under normal source/
But why do you have to expand it in the form of the executive order? That’s the concern. Executive orders have been challenged before in court. That’s the thing here. I don’t understand the national defense issue. That’s the biggest thing.
HANNITY: And I think what this is, you know, Woodrow Wilson progresses like yourself, Lanny, one thing we conservatives have a problem is you guys believe in this concept that the constitution is a living, breathing document.
And so you can ignore issues like checks and balances and separation of powers like in the case of recess appointments. So I think we are looking at this differently. And that is in this particular case, does it give a president pretty much impunity to do whatever they want? Why change the definition considering the president has thumbed his nose at the constitution in the past?
DAVIS: First of all, my point of view is he hasn’t thumbed his nose and if the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. Let the Supreme Court decide that, not Jay or Mr. Justice Hannity.
But most importantly, this is more reflective of the paranoia on the left and the right that is going on in America and polarizing this country so badly. Jay and I — Jay is a conservative and myself as liberal are able to exchange views in a civil way.
But Sean Hannity is a civil moderator. What’s going on, on the Twitter and the internet is lunacy. If you read some of these comments, it’s not Jay analyzing this calmly.
And nobody is mentioning Ronald Reagan. I’m only saying that it’s the extreme interpretation that causes the polarization in this country and we shouldn’t be contributing to it.
HANNITY: I say things like Republicans want dirty air and water and want kids with autism, down syndrome fending for themselves. He’s never contributed to this at all.
DAVIS: I don’t like the rhetoric. I don’t like the extreme rhetoric. Sometimes I think the president has gone too far and so has the Republican Congress. And when there was a Republican president, there were recess appointments, guys.
HANNITY: Not recess appointments while they were in session. That never happened until Obama.
DAVIS: It was one senator. The senator was — the session was one senator holding the floor.
HANNITY: Excuse me.
DAVIS: And that was an abuse.
SEKULOW: The constitution says recess appointments only when they are in recess and they aren’t in recess.