Fifty years after President Johnson started a $20 trillion taxpayer-funded war on poverty, the overall percentage of impoverished people in the U.S. has declined only slightly and the poor have lost ground under President Obama.
Aides said Mr. Obama doesn’t plan to commemorate the anniversary Wednesday of Johnson’s speech in 1964, which gave rise to Medicaid, Head Start and a broad range of other federal anti-poverty programs. The president’s only public event Tuesday was a plea for Congress to approve extended benefits for the long-term unemployed, another reminder of the persistent economic troubles during Mr. Obama’s five years in office.
“What I think the American people are really looking for in 2014 is just a little bit of stability,” Mr. Obama said.
Although the president often rails against income inequality in America, his policies have had little impact overall on poverty. A record 47 million Americans receive food stamps, about 13 million more than when he took office.
The poverty rate has stood at 15 percent for three consecutive years, the first time that has happened since the mid-1960s. The poverty rate in 1965 was 17.3 percent; it was 12.5 percent in 2007, before the Great Recession.
About 50 million Americans live below the poverty line, which the federal government defined in 2012 as an annual income of $23,492 for a family of four.
President Obama’s anti-poverty efforts “are basically to give more people more free stuff,” said Robert Rector, a specialist on welfare and poverty at the conservative Heritage Foundation.
“That’s exactly the opposite of what Johnson said,” Mr. Rector said. “Johnson’s goal was to make people prosperous and self-sufficient.”
The president’s advisers defend his policies by saying they rescued the nation from the deep recession in 2009, saved the auto industry and reduced the jobless rate to 7 percent from a high of 10 percent four years ago.
Gene Sperling, the president’s top economic adviser, said Mr. Obama has pulled as many as 9 million people out of poverty with policies such as extending the earned income tax credit for parents with three or more children and reducing the “marriage penalty.”
“There are things that this president has done that have made a big difference,” Mr. Sperling said Monday.
The White House again is pushing for an increase in the federal minimum wage, this time advocating a Senate bill that would raise the hourly rate to $10.10 from its current $7.25. Mr. Sperling said that action would lift another 6.8 million workers out of poverty.
“It would make them less dependent on government programs. It would not add to the deficit one penny, but it would reward work and reduce poverty,” he said.
The president is expected to use his State of the Union address Jan. 20 to pressure Congress to raise the minimum wage. He made the same pitch a year ago.
Democrats are advocating issues such as unemployment benefits and the minimum wage especially hard this year as the class-warfare rhetoric heats up to frame the congressional midterm elections. House Republican leaders oppose increasing the minimum wage and want unemployment benefits to be paid with savings elsewhere in the budget. Mr. Obama is insisting that the benefits be extended without offsets.
Washington Times: That’s rich: Poverty level under Obama breaks 50-year record
UNITED NATIONS, August 28 (RIA Novosti) – A record number of Libyans are leaving the country amid new airstrikes, outgoing UN Libya envoy, Tarek Mitri, told the UN Security Council Wednesday.
“In Tripoli, we have seen an unprecedented movement of population in an attempt to escape the fighting,” Mitri said.
“The damage inflict on the public institutions in Tripoli’s southern and western sections – including the airport, the main oil depot, roads and bridges – is nothing less than tragic,” he added.
Despite the destruction of the airport, many are leaving the Tripoli airport and the country as a whole.
“Conservative figures for those displaced are estimated at over 100,000, with at least another 150,000 having sought refuge abroad, including workers, who also fled the country,” Mitri said.
The UN Support Mission in Libya has pulled out its international staff, including Mitri, who is to be replaced as UN envoy by Bernardino Leon of Spain on September 1.
On August 7, a small team led by Mitri’s deputy traveled to Tripoli to explore options for an unconditional ceasefire.
“While all engaged constructively with our proposals, it is clear that more work is needed to overcome mistrust between the parties to the conflict,” he said.
Libya is currently facing its worst wave of violence since the 2011 overthrow of the country’s long-standing leader Muammar Gaddafi and the subsequent civil war. Clashes between government forces and Islamist-allied militias, armed with weapons, seized from Gaddafi government ammunition depots, have continued in the country for months. Many countries are evacuating their citizens and diplomatic staff from the country.
TRIPOLI, Libya – An Islamist-allied militia group says it has “secured” a U.S. Embassy compound in Libya’s capital, more than a month after American personnel evacuated from the country over ongoing fighting.
An Associated Press journalist walked through the compound Sunday after the Dawn of Libya, an umbrella group for Islamist militias, invited onlookers inside. Windows at the compound had been broken, but it appeared most of the equipment there remained untouched.
A commander for the Dawn of Libya group said his forces had entered and been in control of the compound since last week.
A video posted online showed men playing in a pool at the compound. In a message on Twitter, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Safira Deborah said the video appeared to have been shot in at the embassy’s residential annex.
Fox News / AP: Islamists have ‘Secured’ US Emabassy In Tripoli, Libya
Larry Klayman, the founder of Judicial Watch and now Freedom Watch, and a former U.S. Department of Justice prosecutor who helped break up AT&T, today announced that he and other plaintiffs have filed a civil lawsuit in federal court in D.C. (Case no. 14-1484) under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act “RICO” for criminal acts by President Barack Hussein Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the U.N. Secretary General for laundering U.S. dollars to the terrorist organization HAMAS. This money has been foreseeably used to buy rockets and construct tunnels to attack Israel and terrorize and kill American and dual American-Israeli citizens who reside or are located in Israel.
As set forth in the complaint, which can be viewed at http://www.freedomwatchusa.org, the defendants have conspired to send money, that is hundreds of millions of U.S. Dollars to HAMAS, under the false pretext that this financial support will be used for humanitarian purposes. However, as recently reported by Voice of America and the New York Times, the recent killing of the chief HAMAS financial officer by the IDF confirmed that these U.S. dollars, only some of which was found in his bombed out car, has predictably fallen into the hands of HAMAS’s terrorist wing which controls and was elected by Gazans to govern over them.
Larry Klayman, the lead plaintiff had this to say upon filing suit: “The nation and the world have increasingly come to see that Obama views himself primarily as a Muslim and acts accordingly in favoring Islamic interests over Judeo-Christian ones, and the complaint lays out Obama’s history in documented detail. This includes his actions calculated to harm the nation of Israel. His facilitating and ordering financial and other material aid to HAMAS, along with his equally anti-Israel Secretaries of State Kerry and Clinton, and the U.N. Secretary General, is just the latest deadly chapter in what amounts to criminal activity which has logically resulted in harm and death to Jews and Christians and threatens the continued existence of Israel. That is why he and the other defendants were sued under RICO and other relevant laws.”
For more information, contact Freedom Watch at (424) 274-2579 or email@example.com
(Reuters) – President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for rebels seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government, U.S. sources familiar with the matter said.
Obama’s order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence “finding,” broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the rebels oust Assad.
This and other developments signal a shift toward growing, albeit still circumscribed, support for Assad’s armed opponents – a shift that intensified following last month’s failure of the U.N. Security Council to agree on tougher sanctions against the Damascus government.
The White House is for now apparently stopping short of giving the rebels lethal weapons, even as some U.S. allies do just that.
But U.S. and European officials have said that there have been noticeable improvements in the coherence and effectiveness of Syrian rebel groups in the past few weeks. That represents a significant change in assessments of the rebels by Western officials, who previously characterized Assad’s opponents as a disorganized, almost chaotic, rabble.