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The Politics of Poverty: A Voice from Fly-Over Country -- By Robert Hale

 

MINOT, ND -- Poverty in America is not an aberration. It should come as no surprise. It is not accidental, and it will continue to expand.  Poverty in America is big business -- big government business, big hate-mongering business, and great for groups thriving on strife.

Poverty stimulates the growth and power of government, much like war does. Since Lyndon B. Johnson declared war on it, poverty has become the largest growth industry our nation has seen. The poverty industry is larger than the military-industrial complex, larger than the growth of the auto industry, larger than the development of the interstate highway system, larger than the growth of the computer industry. 

Poverty has become the mother's milk of those seeking to divide one group against another, the key ingredient to stimulate envy and hate. The poverty crowd manipulates these passions to grow political and activist clout. Battling poverty drives virtually all political decision making.   

The officers directing the poverty war are the community organizers; the generals are the politicians; the ground troops are the millions of social workers. Their goal, unlike the goal in a shooting war, is not to destroy an enemy, but rather to define an increasing number of people as poor. This goal is being attained beyond the wildest dreams of those promoting the war.

There are victims in this war. They include those who work hard, putting in long hours seven days a week for decades, building successful businesses. President Obama chides these individuals for "not paying their fair share." He ignorantly and arrogantly informs the nation that their success was attributable to government and others, not to the individuals who worked so hard to build their businesses. 

This is the position taken by today's political class. To remain in office so they can take more of what others earn, they need to be elected and re-elected. Their constituency is the welfare crowd, and this constituency needs to be paid for its votes. Yes, they buy these votes with funds generated by the hard work of productive Americans. To justify these policies, the political crowd claims those working are not paying their "fair share." 

The welfare crowd includes more and more groups addicted by unscrupulous politicians to an ever-growing menu of government benefits. Those receiving generous benefits are told they are "entitled" to what they have not earned. They quickly learn that to receive government largess, they need to vote into office those who will use the power of government to give them what belongs to someone else.

They vote to sustain an unsustainable Ponzi scheme. Today, almost 9 million people receive disability benefits -- many, if not most, can work but do not. Tens of millions live entirely on tax-funded welfare. More that 90 million Americans who can work have dropped out of the workforce and are living on government assistance. 

Approximately 40 million Americans receive billions of dollars in food stamps. Millions get subsidized housing, utility assistance, medical services paid with tax dollars, free trade school and higher education, child care, free cell phones, and income tax rebates, even though they pay no income taxes. The list goes on.

In the United States, only 63 percent of those who can work do. They support the 37 percent who do not work. That 37 percent is the margin that elects the political class as generals in the poverty war waged on America. 

Our President is the commander-in-chief of this war on poverty. He understands that to gain, expand, and wield power -- legitimately or not -- requires that a significant portion of Americans become dependent on government. 

High unemployment is a winning strategy for today's political class. It facilitates an ever-expanding government. America has the highest sustained unemployment in its history. Blacks are suffering an unemployment rate of 25 percent, and teen unemployment exceeds 40 percent. These groups are led to believe that they are unemployed because those who actually earn money are greedy and do not want them to succeed. The political class and unions promise to redistribute the wealth if elected. This is a winning strategy.

The politics of envy, hate mongering, strife, greed, and name-calling only destroys; it never builds up anything or anyone. Generations of hard-working, ethical, and honest Americans built a phenomenal store of wealth and good will that once made America the envy of the world. 

The new political class led by community organizers is quickly destroying America's wealth, good will, and moral character. When it is gone, all that will be left is what you see in Detroit, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.

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