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 AGAIN, the lie of Democrats supposedly caring for the middle class. (31)

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AGAIN, the lie of Democrats supposedly caring for the middle class.

If you have followed politics at all, you would know how every time Democrats say they care about the middle class, they never prove it. Their so called caring for the middle class is always accompanied with targeted help such as College tuitions. Tell me how this would help middle class people with no kids going to College. If you truly want to help the Middle class, give them all a tax cut or quit forcing them to buy insanely expensive Obamacare and subsidizing the Democrat low income voting block. Democrats will never do this because they want to control our lives with their targeted approach. They want all our children to go to College regardless if they are College material. This I believe is to allow the many Liberal College professors to do their indoctrination of our student minds.

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2 points

What exactly do you want us to be debating ?

daver(1771) Clarified
3 points

Well ------- We could debate whether or not Democrats have an economic strategy that will actually improve the economy.

How bout this:

Democratic economic strategy is centered around raising taxes and increasing welfare programs, job training programs and now free education programs.

So far it is a failed strategy.

Welfare

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2014/09/the-war-on-poverty-after-50-years

Job Training

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000

Education

http://www.epi.org/publication/class-of-2014/

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/college-grads-disillusioned-unemployed-poll-article-1.1331346

The failure is obvious enough that perhaps we can move to the next question.

Any thoughts on why this failure has occured?

Stickers(1037) Clarified
2 points

The first article does not state that the "war on poverty" is failing in anything other than a notional sense (I apologize if this response is badly written, but my mind is very worn out right now):

"The conundrum of massive anti-poverty spending and unchanging poverty rates has a simple explanation. The Census Bureau counts a family as “poor” if its income falls below specific thresholds,[3] but in counting “income,” the Census omits nearly all of government means-tested spending on the poor.[4] In effect, it ignores almost the entire welfare state when it calculates poverty. This neat bureaucratic ploy ensured that welfare programs could grow infinitely while “poverty” remained unchanged.

Living Conditions of the Poor in America[5]

Consumption by Poor Families. Since the Census Bureau dramatically undercounts the actual incomes of the poor, it should be no surprise to find that the U.S. Department of Labor routinely reports that poor families spend $2.40 for every $1.00 of their reported income.[6] If public housing benefits are added to the tally, the ratio of consumption to income rises to $2.60 for every $1.00. In other words, the “income” figures that the Census Bureau uses to calculate poverty dramatically undercount the economic resources available to lower-income households.

Amenities. Because the official Census poverty report undercounts welfare income, it fails to provide meaningful information about the actual living conditions of less affluent Americans. The government’s own data show that the actual living conditions of the more than 45 million people deemed “poor” by the Census Bureau differ greatly from popular conceptions of poverty.

We can see here that the article states that the bureaus simply fail to report that they're continually expanding "impoverished" to apply to higher income groups than before. However, this does not mean that the war on poverty has failed, rather they are asserting that it's more or less a solution looking for a problem, moving on....

[7] Consider these facts taken from various government reports:[8]

Eighty percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, at the beginning of the War on Poverty, only about 12 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.

Nearly three-quarters have a car or truck; 31 percent have two or more cars or trucks.[9]

Nearly two-thirds have cable or satellite television.

Two-thirds have at least one DVD player, and a quarter have two or more.

Half have a personal computer; one in seven has two or more computers.

More than half of poor families with children have a video game system such as an Xbox or PlayStation.

Forty-three percent have Internet access.

Forty percent have a wide-screen plasma or LCD TV.

A quarter have a digital video recorder system such as a TIVO.

Ninety-two percent of poor households have a microwave.

Poverty, Nutrition, and Hunger. Despite impressions to the contrary, most of the poor do not experience undernutrition, hunger, or food shortages.[10] Information on these topics is collected by the household food security survey of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA survey shows that in 2009:

Ninety-six percent of poor parents stated that their children were never hungry at any time during the year because they could not afford food.

Some 83 percent of poor families reported that they had enough food to eat.

Some 82 percent of poor adults reported that they were never hungry at any time in the prior year due to lack of money to buy food.

As a group, America’s poor are far from being chronically undernourished. The average consumption of protein, vitamins, and minerals is virtually the same for poor and middle-class children and in most cases is well above recommended norms. Poor children actually consume more meat than do higher-income children and have average protein intakes 100 percent above recommended levels.[11]

Most poor children today are, in fact, supernourished and grow up to be, on average, one inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than the GIs who stormed the beaches of Normandy in World War II.[12]

Housing and Poverty. TV newscasts about poverty in America generally depict the poor as homeless or as residing in dilapidated living conditions. While some families do experience such severe conditions, they are far from typical of the population defined as poor by the Census Bureau. The actual housing conditions of poor families are very different.[13]

Over the course of a year, only 4 percent of poor persons become temporarily homeless. At a single point in time, one in 70 poor persons is homeless.[14]

Only 9.5 percent of the poor live in mobile homes or trailers; 49.5 percent live in separate single-family houses or townhouses, and 40 percent live in apartments.

Forty-two percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.

Only 7 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.

The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Sweden, France, Germany, or the United Kingdom. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)[15]

The vast majority of the homes or apartments of the poor are in good repair and without significant defects.

By his own report, the average poor person had sufficient funds to meet all essential needs and was able to obtain medical care for his family throughout the year whenever needed.

The above are examples of things that require far more disposable income than what the poor could've afforded decades ago. Again, things for poor people are continuing to look up, but somehow this means that the "war on poverty" has failed?

For decades, the living conditions of the poor have steadily improved. Consumer items that were luxuries or significant purchases for the middle class a few decades ago have become commonplace in poor households. In part, this is caused by a normal downward price trend following the introduction of a new product. Initially, new products tend to be expensive and available only to the affluent. Over time, prices fall sharply, and the product becomes widely prevalent throughout the population, including poor households. This is a general sign of desirable economic progress.

Liberals use the declining relative prices of many amenities to argue that even though poor households have air conditioning, computers, cable TV, and wide-screen TVs, they still suffer from substantial material deprivation in basic needs such as food and housing. Here again, the data tell a different story.

Apart from the fact that some of their snark is starting to rear, you can see that they simply are not arguing that living conditions for the poor are static, and that "poverty" is only here because poverty exists as a relative term. However, the article seems to almost completely ignore the argument that these improving conditions are the result of these policies, regardless of whether or not this argument is true, if they're not going to go toe-to-toe with it, then something is up. The closest that the argument goes to addressing that is with:

Do the higher living standards of the poor mean that the War on Poverty has been successful? The answer is no, for two reasons. First, the incomes and living standards of less affluent Americans were rising rapidly well before the War on Poverty began.

Now, I'm not saying that this isn't a decent argument on its own, but they really don't go anywhere to demonstrate how the conditions would've improved without these programs.

You might consider part 2 to be a point that addresses the effects of welfare programs, but this argument is fatally flawed:

Second, and more important, to assess the War on Poverty, we must understand President Johnson’s actual goal when he launched it. The original goal of the War on Poverty was not to prop up living standards artificially through an ever-expanding welfare state. Instead, Johnson declared that his war would strike “at the causes, not just the consequences of poverty.”[16] He added, “Our aim is not only to relieve the symptom of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it.”[17]

In other words, President Johnson was not proposing a massive system of ever-increasing welfare benefits, doled out to an ever-enlarging population of beneficiaries. His proclaimed goal was not a massive new system of government handouts but an increase in self-sufficiency: a new generation capable of supporting themselves out of poverty without government handouts.

LBJ actually planned to reduce, not increase, welfare dependence. He declared, “We want to give the forgotten fifth of our people opportunity not doles.”[18] He claimed that his war would enable the nation to make “important reductions” in future welfare spending: The goal of the War on Poverty, he stated, would be “making taxpayers out of taxeaters.”[19] Because he viewed the War on Poverty as a means to increase self-support, Johnson proclaimed that it would be an “investment” that would “return its cost manifold to the entire economy.”

The author confuses one of the strategies (self sufficiency) with a goal. If eliminating poverty is the goal, then self sufficiency can only materialize in this as a means to the end. The article confuses the strategy with the goal, perhaps because the author himself personally views self sufficiency as more important, and as a ends, and would like to think that Johnson feels the same way?

Conclusion

This lack of progress in building self-sufficiency is due in major part to the welfare system itself. Welfare wages war on social capital, breaking down the habits and norms that lead to self-reliance, especially those of marriage and work. It thereby generates a pattern of increasing intergenerational dependence. The welfare state is self-perpetuating: By undermining productive social norms, welfare creates a need for even greater assistance in the future.

As the War on Poverty passes the half-century mark, it is time to rein in the endless growth in welfare spending and return to LBJ’s original goals. As the economy improves, total means-tested spending should be moved gradually toward pre-recession levels. Able-bodied, non-elderly adult recipients in all federal welfare programs should be required to work, prepare for work, or at least look for a job as a condition of receiving benefits.

Finally—and most important—the anti-marriage penalties should be removed from welfare programs, and long-term steps should be taken to rebuild the family in lower-income communities.

Yep, my last question was answered. Instead of talking about the war on poverty in conclusion, this guy is just talking more and more about how welfare programs don't jive well with the idealized individualism. This entire article is peppered with charts and an enlongated narrow page to seem esoteric and factual, but it really is just doing it in a rather handsome and well crafted attempt to credit ideological drivel, which is the clear priority. I don't think that the author really cares about whether or not the war on poverty has merits, just whether or not it meets whatever ideal(s) that the author has. Perhaps the war on poverty is, and was, a solution looking for a problem, but if exogenous factors have solved the problem, then it could not have lost, perhaps not won either, but certainly not lost.

I would move onto education and job training, but my mind is now exhausted. Perhaps later, or maybe I'll get lucky and someone else will do it for me later today.

2 points

http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2014/09/the-war-on-poverty-after-50-years

vs

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/ files/docs/50th_anniversary_cea_report_-_final_post_embargo.pdf

They say that poverty, instead of taking the natural course and raising by 1.7%, fell by more than a third. This includes cutting poverty for the elderly by more than 50% and cutting deep poverty by nearly three-fourths.

They also explain why their statistics are better than the Heritage numbers.

There is a further element of deception in that Republicans repeatedly block implementation of Democratic initiatives (infrastructure plan, minimum wage, progressive taxation, etc.), and then blame Democrats for not being effective enough.

2 points

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000

If you just change the timeline on that series to go all the way back, you will see that it has markedly increased since the mid 60s

2 points

http://www.epi.org/publication/class-of-2014/

This shows that the biggest recession since the great depression (which was already underway when Obama came into office), has had a negative effect - well, duh...

That is not the question at hand - it is whether it would be better or worse without Democratic programs.

2 points

stickers,

That was an excellent analysis on the poor. What you are saying backs up something I have been advocating for a long time. That is NO FREE MEDICAID. Just about every person can afford at least 40 dollars a month to contribute to their medical needs a month.

How any liberal can advocate that all those people on Medicaid can't afford to contribute monthly is beyond me. You just proven that essentially nobody should receive free health care. Way to go! People need to make choices in their life on what to cut back on, cable tv, cell phones, internet service. Not to mention all the other little things poor people can adjust to so they can contribute to their health care and not rely on the middle class to give them a hand out.

2 points

stickers,

That was an excellent analysis on the poor.

I think you are actually referring to the Heritage link that Daver posted.

Just about every person can afford at least 40 dollars a month to contribute to their medical needs a month.

A) About half of all enrollees in Medicaid are children - ref

B) Even if they could, that wouldn't necessarily mean that they should - it may be far more efficient to means test up front and periodically audit than to setup a system to allow 50 million small monthly payments and then track and enforce penalties for non-payment, etc. And, what should the penalty be anyway - you (or your child, etc.) don't get healthcare?

C) While they certainly overlap, the numbers are a bit skewed in terms of Medicaid recipients since the Heritage population of poor people is not the same as the population of people eligible for Medicaid

D) This does not support the idea that the poor aren't better off (the topic of the debate), if anything it goes against it.

Stickers(1037) Clarified
1 point

That was an excellent analysis on the poor. What you are saying backs up something I have been advocating for a long time. That is NO FREE MEDICAID. Just about every person can afford at least 40 dollars a month to contribute to their medical needs a month.

How we should gear our current policy is clearly going to be different than how it was, or what would've been optimal then. Although I'm a bit uneasy about medicaid, it has more to do with it's impact on cost of healthcare, not some personal philosophy of right/wrong which I'm sure you apply to your political views.

How any liberal can advocate that all those people on Medicaid can't afford to contribute monthly is beyond me.

I'd be inclined to agree with you, but which liberals, again?

You just proven that essentially nobody should receive free health care. Way to go!

I've copy pasted from a source demonstrating that those living above the bottom 10% can readily cover their healthcare, I'm not going to argue on here that they should or shouldn't be aided in doing so, or whether or not it should be covered for them, that's a different discussion entirely.

People need to make choices in their life on what to cut back on, cable tv, cell phones, internet service.

No, people really do need cell phones, and in some cases internet.

Not to mention all the other little things poor people can adjust to so they can contribute to their health care and not rely on the middle class to give them a hand out.

No, the support really does come from the rich.

zico20, I didn't come here to express my opinions on current policy, just to challenge the validity of the claim that the "war on poverty" has failed. You can, and I'm sure that you have, done research on your own part to help you decide for yourself what should and shouldn't be done today, but my intention was to talk about the past and not speculate on what should be done now.

If you truly want to help the Middle class, give them all a tax cut

They did exactly that. There were 25 tax cuts in the stimulus (ref), and Obama pushed for and signed the bill that made tax-cuts for the middle class permanent (the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012). ref

daver(1771) Clarified
1 point

It is true that the standard of living has risen for the people in poverty as well. Its not Democrats who don't care its extreme left wing Progressives that have hijacked the party, who are only interested in control.

JustIgnoreMe(4290) Clarified
1 point

Like who? What criteria can one use to tell the difference?

FromWithin(8240) Disputed
1 point

What planet do you live on? My property taxes have been going up non stop year after year. There is never a tax cut for home owners in Blue states. The tax cut you refer to is the one Bush created and Obama just allowed it to keep going. Then Obama forced through the biggest tax increase on the middle class in our history with Obamacare.

1 point

The tax cut you refer to is the one Bush created and Obama just allowed it to keep going.

Regardless, Obama supported it and signed the bill making it permanent (counter to your prejudice). Moreover, there were tax cuts in the stimulus bill I referenced which were not extensions of prior cuts, so your argument would not apply there.

There is never a tax cut for home owners in Blue states.

Never? Being hyperbolic doesn't help your argument - it actually makes it more easily proven false. Just had to google - democrat proposed property tax cut - and boom, first hit (only a week old):

http://www.wnyc.org/story/cuomo-proposes-property-tax-cut/

Then Obama forced through the biggest tax increase on the middle class in our history with Obamacare.

You've been misled by people propagandizing statistics that say what they want and not relevant or meaningful ones.

http://www.factcheck.org/2012/07/biggest-tax-increase-in-history/

They want all our children to go to College regardless if they are College material.

Silliness. Obama continually advocates for (and has put money towards) vocational training (ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, etc.), and Democrats created Job Corps as one of LBJ's Great Society programs.

Do you ever tire of being so far afield from reality?

FromWithin(8240) Disputed
1 point

hogwash! Democrats constantly say that every child should be able to go to college.

JustIgnoreMe(4290) Clarified
2 points

And for you "should be able to" means forced to go?

"They want all our children to go to College regardless if they are College material" is not the same as "every child should be able to go to college".

Correct?

I gave you half-a-dozen links showing Obama supporting vocational training, and mentioned LBJ's Job Corps - there are additional statements and actions by Clinton (ref) and other Democrats. Facts do not support your version of reality.

1 point

How is this worse than the Republicans who don't even care enough about the middle class to lie to them? How is this worse than the Republicans who only help the middle class when it also benefits the rich?

FromWithin(8240) Disputed
2 points

The GOP believes in smaller Government. They know that Government is NOT the answer, it is the problem. This is why the GOP wants to allow our free market to grow as it will when Government gets off everyone's back. Government must lower taxes, stop giving out free cell phones, quit bailing out irresponsible choices, and quit pandering to the segments of our population that does nothing but live off the middle class tax payers. Stop the easy food stamps and make able bodied people stand in food bank lines. They would save billions and millions of Americans would all of a sudden not need the free food because they have money for food if it means not having to stand in line.

Not one GOP member voted for the lie of Obamacare. THAT ALONE should make you vote for them next time. Do you like supporting and rewarding blatant liars? Obamacare is the largest tax increase on the middle in my lifetime.

You can't keep punishing the workers and rewarding the non workers. THAT IS INSANITY!

Coldfire(1014) Disputed
3 points

The GOP believes in smaller Government.

Actions speak louder than words. The GOP may tout that slogan but they are still in the business of running people’s lives; primarily in the area of civil liberties, monopolizing industry and defense spending (which accounts for the largest portion of US discretionary spending).

Stop the easy food stamps and make able bodied people stand in food bank lines. They would save billions and millions of Americans would all of a sudden not need the free food because they have money for food if it means not having to stand in line.

There’s a fundamental flaw in this assumption that food stamp recipients are just lazy and looking for handouts. It ignores the fact that the majority of welfare recipients already have jobs. So why is it still a problem for people to survive without aid if they are employed?

The largest contributing factor to poverty is not caused by the government giving back the money that taxpayers earned in the form of food vouchers or healthcare, it’s caused by a deliberate theft in the form of inflation. That is, increasing the money supply so that the value of the dollar decreases. Value of the dollar decreases, retailers increase prices to compensate for any loss in profit and the cost of living goes up without any sufficient changes to income. In this way, the Owners of the country effectively funnel money in their direction.

Not one GOP member voted for the lie of Obamacare. THAT ALONE should make you vote for them next time.

It’s when you say things like this that I honestly begin to wonder if you’re just trolling.

You can't keep punishing the workers and rewarding the non workers.

You’re definitions of ‘workers’ and ‘non-workers’ are probably questionable. The working class (Those of us who work and earn less than 70k a year, and yes, many of whom still struggle to make ends meet and so apply for aid) suffer as a direct result of republican policies which only benefit themselves and other wealthy people.

Tell me how this would help middle class people with no kids going to College. If you truly want to help the Middle class, give them all a tax cut or quit forcing them to buy insanely expensive Obamacare and subsidizing the Democrat low income voting block.

I'm no political expert, but helping kids go to college, who just so happen to be in the middle class, helps save money for the parents doesn't it? I'm pretty sure there are plenty of middle class citizens with college bound children.

Secondly, I thought Obamacare was for those who couldn't get regular healthcare. If we are talking middle class then I imagine a good percentage of the middle class being able to afford another kind of insurance.

FromWithin(8240) Disputed
1 point

WOW! read the post once more! I said helping the middle class should help all of the middle class, not just the ones with kids going to college. The middle class GETS NO SUBSIDIES with Obamacare.

1 point

Pardon me for misreading the introduction, but this wasn't intensively clarified. I feel as if you could have done a better job at creating a good debate description. Also, I believe most middle class children do plan to attend college. So I think this helps the majority of middle class citizens with college bound students.

I always love it when Democrats feel so good about themselves by stealing money from my paycheck to give to someone else. IT'S NOT YOUR MONEY!

1 point

Democrats and Republicans agree that we should avoid waste, fraud, abuse, etc. but I never have a problem with paying my taxes because I always think - how much do I owe a soldier that just died? - then it seems a mere pittance.

If you think America is great, what do you think is a fair price for that greatness? Or, do you think that such a country occurs freely/naturally?

daver(1771) Disputed
1 point

Democrats and Republicans agree that we should avoid waste, fraud, abuse, etc. but I never have a problem with paying my taxes because I always think - how much do I owe a soldier that just died? - then it seems a mere pittance

Really -- You think that's where your tax dollar is being spent. If only that were true we would not see "Wounded Warriors" suffering the neglect of their own country. My mail box is full of requests for money to help our veterans. The closest your tax dollar comes to helping is the bloated, corrupt, ineffective embarrassment we call the VA.

Don't go of on this tangent to divert the topic.

FromWithin(8240) Disputed
1 point

You act as if Government is law biding and responsible with our money. Are you kidding me? Does it bother you when politicians go to places like Hawaii to have conventions and meetings staying in expensive hotels with expensive food, etc.? Does it bother you when they paid $1000 for toilet seats in the military? Have you seen the waste & corruption of Government these past decades?

To compare what we owe a soldier with what the Government takes for itself is ludicrous.

I think America has been great but is on the path to corruption and bankruptcy. Our country came to be from a people who said we will not take it any more. They went to war with Britain for the very freedoms and liberties being taken from us by this extremist Liberal Democrat party. I pray there will never be a need for another civil or revolutionary war.

JustIgnoreMe(4290) Clarified
1 point

What are we spending money on that we shouldn't be?

Do you think it is irresponsible to cut tax revenue until the first question is answered clearly?

FromWithin(8240) Clarified
1 point

You are kidding right? You are that totally blind not to know how much Government wastes? How long has the GOP been trying to get serious talks about the flat tax, or sales tax to simplify our tax codes and get rid of most of the corrupt IRS. Do you have a clue how many billions that would save? Oh i forgot, the IRS is used to single out conservative groups and discriminate against them so the Democrats refuse to simplify our tax codes.

There are thousands of ways to save money in our Government if they were not mostly corrupt. Private business must balance their budget but Government just prints more money until we go bankrupt.