- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Under the subterfuge of helping the economy, Barack Obama’s stimulus legislates vast new spending programs to finance liberal policy goals that are unnecessary and undesirable. The flow of taxpayers’ money will be so gargantuan as to make Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society expansion of the welfare state look puny.

Barack Obama revealed his long-term goals in a radio interview on Chicago’s WBEZ-FM in 2001. Asked about the Earl Warren court decisions that started long lines of activist decisions in many areas, Mr. Obama argued that the Warren court didn’t go far enough: The Warren court changed the laws, but failed to address the economic issues to bring about “redistributive change.”

Mr. Obama complained that “the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth” or “economic justice” and failed to “break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution.” The stimulus is designed to break through those constitutional restraints on government action.

Here are some of the major “change” provisions of the more than 1,000-page act that all admit no member of Congress read before passage. This list doesn’t include any of the dozens of “porky” items Sen. Chuck Schumer, New York Democrat, boasts Americans don’t care about (and usually don’t know about):

(1) The stimulus repeals the essentials of welfare reform passed by the Republican Congress in 1996. It was reluctantly signed by President Clinton after he realized the public was demanding reform, and after it proved popular, he tried to take credit for it.

Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society welfare was probably the worst of all liberal policies because it was directly responsible for destroying marriage by subsidizing illegitimacy and divorce, thereby creating a matriarchy dependent on government handouts. It wasn’t poverty that destroyed marriage in the lower-income classes - it was the liberal policy of giving taxpayers’ money to women, thereby making the husband and father irrelevant and even an impediment to the flow of easy money.

By setting limits on government handouts, the 1996 welfare reform encouraged welfare recipients to get jobs or job training, to make themselves self-sufficient, and to end their long-term dependency on government.

The Obama stimulus increases the taxpayers’ money that the federal government gives to the states for welfare, and reverses incentives by giving bonuses to states that put more people on welfare. The stimulus is even worse than the Great Society policies of the 1960s. That is a good example of the Obama goal to spread the wealth around (regardless of the harm it does).

(2) The stimulus calls for nearly doubling federal spending on education, which means doubling federal control. This money gives Mr. Obama the opportunity to spread his friend William Ayers’ “social justice” teaching (i.e., that America is an oppressive and unjust society) throughout K-16 education.

This goal will be facilitated by Mr. Obama’s appointment of Arne Duncan for secretary of education. Mr. Duncan - like Mr. Obama and Mr. Ayers - is an alumnus of the Chicago political machine. He made news last year with his plan to open a “gay-friendly” Chicago public high school with a curriculum teaching “the history of all people who have been oppressed and the civil rights movements that have led to social justice and queer studies.” The gay-friendly school to be called “Pride Campus” was quietly put on hold after the announcement of Mr. Duncan’s appointment as education secretary.

(3) The stimulus calls for Obama “change” by giving government control over access to medical treatments plus surveillance over online medical records for every American. This gives the bureaucrats power to decide which procedures have “clinical effectiveness,” and may be used as a means of nationalizing the health-care industry and rationing medical care.

(4) The stimulus greatly expands by about $23 billion nearly every element of the welfare state, including food stamps, Medicaid eligibility, the Earned Income Tax Credit, WIC (Women, Infants and Children benefits), and child-support enforcement for single moms. The governors have just awakened to the fact that the stimulus will require their states to raise business taxes if they accept this new free money.

(5) Mr. Obama’s claim that the stimulus cuts taxes is a fraud. A large percentage of the alleged tax “refunds” is just another handout because it will go to people who don’t owe any income taxes.

(6) The announced purpose of the stimulus is to create jobs, but Mr. Obama’s photo-op to illustrate this at Caterpillar Tractor in Peoria turned into a political donnybrook. National television showed Mr. Obama speaking to some of the 20,000 whose jobs have been outsourced by Caterpillar and implied the stimulus will enable them to be rehired.

Minutes later, Mr. Obama was contradicted by Caterpillar’s CEO who warned that, on the contrary, more layoffs are coming. It looks like the stimulus will create more government jobs plus an estimated 300,000 jobs for illegal aliens, but not much for anyone else.

Phyllis Schlafly is a lawyer and nationally syndicated columnist.

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