There are a number of fixes to education aid in the proposal, including converting Head Start funding into a block grant to allow states to experiment with different models for early education. A big part of the primary and secondary education component is the consolidation of multiple federal programs into flexible block grants to the states, which allows for more tailored solutions at the community level. The proposal also reforms the accreditation process to allow more institutions and specific courses to gain accreditation, thereby increasing the education options for students seeking federal aid.
Ryan addresses the problem of an exploding prison population and the negative effect incarceration has on upward mobility. He proposes allowing federal judges more flexibility in sentencing non-violent felons who would otherwise be subject to mandatory minimums, and he wants to tailor prison education and rehabilitation programs to those inmates most at risk for recidivism.
Ryan's plan is a thoughtful consideration how to address what is wrong with deferral aid to the poor. As Ryan notes, "Fifteen percent of Americans live in poverty today -- over 46 million people." In that, he sees opportunity: "There's a vast amount of untapped potential in our country." Federal anti-poverty programs have done little to actually reduce poverty ever since Lyndon Johnson began the so-called War on Poverty 50 years ago. Ryan's plan calls for making aid more effective and more accountable, two goals with which Washington is not familiar.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) introduced a sweeping proposal this week to reform how federal and state governments address the issue of poverty in America. His plan, "Expanding Opportunity in America," looks into a number of ways to create new programs and bolster some existing federal programs while eliminating others that just don't work. Ryan is becoming the go-to Republican on poverty policy, which is key for a party that needs a more welcoming message on the subject -- to borrow his upcoming book title, "The Way Forward."
The primary element of Ryan's plan calls for the creation of Opportunity Grants that would change how the government conducts fighting poverty. This brings together 11 existing streams of federal aid -- from food stamps to housing assistance -- into block grants that would allow states to tailor aid packages to the poor based on individual need. States would assign a caseworker to each person applying for aid, and together the caseworker and the individual would create a plan based on short- and long-term goals. These goals would form the basis of a contract in which the states would continue to supply aid so long as the person continued to live up to their end of the agreement -- whether it be finding or maintaining a job, pursuing an education or remaining drug-free.
Ryan proposes changes to the Earned Income Tax Credit. The EITC is one of the few proven ways the government has to reduce poverty and encourage work, and he wants to simplify the application process. In addition, he wants to make all childless adults over 21 eligible to apply. He suggests adding the EITC to each paycheck throughout the year, rather than distributing it as a one-time payment in each year's tax refund.
Political analyst Charles Krauthammer: "The president’s demeanor is worrying a lot of people. From the immigration crisis on the Mexican border to the Islamic State rising in Mesopotamia, Barack Obama seems totally detached. When he does interrupt his endless rounds of golf, fundraising and photo ops, it’s for some affectless, mechanical, almost forced public statement. ... Obama’s passivity stems from an idea. When Obama says Putin has placed himself on the wrong side of history in Ukraine, he actually believes it. He disdains realpolitik because he believes that, in the end, such primitive 19th-century notions as conquest are self-defeating. History sees to their defeat. ... [But h]istory doesn’t act autonomously. It needs agency. ... The world is aflame and our leader is on the 14th green."
Columnist David Limbaugh: "[Barack Obama] does have strong reasons for wanting to fly under the radar when fundraising. As tone-deaf, insensitive and self-absorbed as he is, he is surely at least marginally aware that many Americans find his endless taxpayer-subsidized, partisan fundraising offensive when it proceeds apace amid multitudinous world crises and domestic scandals. There’s also the matter of his partisan tone, which he doubtlessly ratchets up to new levels of stridency when among fellow travelers in the top 1 percent as they join in condemning wealthy capitalists while exempting themselves -- because they care, as evidenced by their liberalism."
Comedian Argus Hamilton: "President Obama spoke a fundraiser in L.A. Thursday and ripped Republicans who legally park their money overseas for lower taxes. They're not being unpatriotic at all. Republicans dream of America someday being the kind of country where they'd be proud to put their money."
MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber was instrumental in crafting ObamaCare. In fact, he was paid nearly $400,000 for consultation with the administration. So what did he have to say about subsidies for buying health insurance? In 2012, he said, "What's important to remember politically about this is if you're a state and you don't set up an exchange, that means your citizens don't get their tax credits -- but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you're essentially saying [to] your citizens, 'You're going to pay all the taxes to help all the other states in the country.'" Translation: Subsidies are available only on state exchanges, not the federal one -- just as the DC Circuit Court ruled the law's text says. The administration still argues that they can give subsidies to everyone, regardless of what the law says. And now that Gruber is forced to defend the law, naturally he claims the exclusion of the federal exchange was "a typo."
This lady is really the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee?
She was recently on a Nevada political talk show and while talking about the recent BOcare subsidy issue said:
“Just take a state like Nevada, where you have a governor who refused to implement a state exchange and as a result people who get Affordable Care Act health-care plans are getting them on the federal exchange”
Umm...the Nevada Governor did put in a state exchange. He was the 1st Republican Governor to do that. I think that same brilliant advisers who are telling Obama what to say are coaching Debbie as well...
Comedian Jimmy Fallon: "Congressman Raul Labrador said that impeaching President Obama isn't a good idea, because, quote, 'no one wants President Joe Biden.' And that's when Biden realized why Obama picked him as a running mate."
A new study from Duke University and the University of Munich offers an interesting perspective on socialists: They cheat. After working with 259 participants who grew up on opposite sides of the Berlin Wall, researchers concluded, "The longer individuals were exposed to socialism, the more likely they were to cheat on our task." In fact, it wasn't close: "East Germans cheated twice as much as West Germans overall." Researchers noted "the political regime of socialism has a lasting impact on citizens' basic morality." They surmised the reason for this is the general scarcity of goods in a socialist system. Forced "equality" can have that effect. Moral of the story: Don't play Monopoly with socialists.
BO and his cronies didn't like a Washington Post article accusing the Obama administration of knowing about the impending wave of Central American children in 2012 yet doing nothing. Press Secretary Josh Earnest blasted the Post for using anonymous sources: "I'm not suggesting that they shouldn't run their story," he said, but "greater weight should be granted to those who are willing to put a face and a name with specific claims."
Reporters were quick to point out the White House scheduled a news call that very afternoon about its release of a job-training report using -- you guessed it -- anonymous White House officials. It's just another example of Obama's "unprecedented level of openness."
Vice President Joe Biden gave the answer in an interview with The New Yorker, albeit unwittingly (though that should go without saying, given Biden's witlessness). While bragging about his gung-ho, macho political attitude, Biden related a story about meeting Putin -- a story he pledged was "absolutely, positively" true, meaning there is a three in four chance it is complete fiction.
But, taking the vice president at his word, the story went like this. Biden met Putin at the Kremlin in 2011. They found themselves standing face to face. "I said, 'Mr. Prime Minister, I'm looking into your eyes, and I don't think you have a soul," Biden related to interviewer. "And he looked back at me, and he smiled, and he said, 'We understand one another.' This is who this guy is."
The last line from Biden is the key to the story: He sees Putin's response as a defeat for Putin somehow, a denial of his humanity. Putin, Biden seems to be saying, is an inhuman James Bond villain -- and for some reason, Biden thinks this widespread perception of Putin makes him weak.
Questions about immigration and citizenship are questions about irreversible decisions that can permanently change the composition of the American population and the very culture of the country -- perhaps in the direction of the cultures of the countries from which illegal immigrants have fled.
During the era of epidemics that swept across Europe in centuries past, people fleeing from those epidemics often spread the diseases to the places to which they fled. Counterproductive and dangerous cultures can be spread to America the same way.
Willful ignorance is not the way to make immigration decisions or any other decisions. Yet the Obama administration is keeping secret even where they are dumping illegal immigrants by the thousands, in communities far from the border states.
Looking before we leap is not racism -- except in the sense that anything the Obama administration doesn't like is subject to being called racist.
Americans who gather to protest the high-handed way this administration has sneaked illegal immigrants into their communities can expect the race card to be played against them. The time is long overdue to stop being intimidated by such cheap -- and dangerous -- political tactics.
We have no way of knowing how many of those children are carrying what diseases that will spread to our children. And we already know, from studies of American children, that those who are raised without fathers in the home have a high probability of becoming huge, expensive problems for taxpayers in the years ahead, and a mortal danger to others.
A hundred years ago, when there was a huge influx of immigrants from Europe, there were extensive government studies of what those immigrants did in the United States. There were data on how many, from what countries, ended up in jail, diseased or on the dole. There were data on how well their children did in school.
As with most things, some immigrant groups did very well and others did not do nearly as well. But today, even to ask such questions is to be considered mean-spirited.
Such information as we have today shows that immigrants from some countries have far more education than immigrants from some other countries, and do not end up being supported by the taxpayers nearly as often as immigrants from other countries. But such information is seldom mentioned in discussions of immigrants, as if they were abstract people in an abstract world.
In a recent confrontation between protesters against the illegal flood of unaccompanied children into the United States and counter-protests by some Hispanic group, one man from the latter group said angrily, "We are as good as you are!"
One of the things that make the history of clashes over race or ethnicity such a history of tragedies around the world is that -- regardless of whatever particular issue sets off these clashes -- many people see the ultimate stakes as their worth as human beings. On that, there is no room for compromise, but only polarization. That is why playing "the race card" is such an irresponsible and dangerous political game.
The real issue when it comes to immigration is not simply what particular immigration policy America should have, but whether America can have any immigration policy at all.
A country that does not control its own borders does not have any immigration policy. There may be laws on the books, but such laws are just meaningless words if people from other countries can cross the borders whenever they choose.
One of the reasons why many Americans are reluctant to keep out illegal immigrants -- or even to call them "illegal immigrants," instead of using the mealy-mouthed word "undocumented" -- is that most Hispanics they encounter seem to be decent, hard-working people.
This column has pointed out, more than once, that I have never seen Mexicans standing on a street corner begging, though I have seen both whites and blacks doing so.
But such impressions are no basis for deciding serious issues about immigration and citizenship. When we do not control our own borders, we have no way of knowing how many of those coming across those borders are criminals or even terrorists.
French Algerian author Albert Camus (1913-1960): "The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants, and it provides the further advantage of giving the servants of tyranny a good conscience."
Columnist Mona Charen: "Obama began relations with Russia with a 'reset.' The premise of this new start was that relations between our nations had deteriorated due to the policies of former President George W. Bush. ... Bush may have clung too long to the hope of moderating the criminal in the Kremlin, but Obama had even less excuse. He had the benefit of Bush's experience. He had witnessed Putin's invasion of Georgia in 2008, his unflagging support for Iran and Syria, his use of oil and gas to intimidate Ukraine and other nations, his obliteration of democracy in Russia, his muzzling of the press, and his systematic murder of domestic critics. Funny that Obama would have thought that responsibility for the decay in relations should be laid at the feet of Bush."
Columnist David Limbaugh: "I don't know a single conservative who supports muzzling leftist thought or speech, no matter how repugnant he may find it. Yet leftists are strongly supportive of various measures to suppress, even outlaw, conservative speech, from campus speech codes to the Fairness Doctrine. There is no way to describe this disparity in terms of moral equivalence. I sincerely believe there is a reason liberals engage in this behavior far more than conservatives. It is because many of them believe that their ends, which they believe are vastly superior, justify their means. I've seen it so much that I suspect it is inherent in leftist ideology."
The rolls of red tape have streamed from the Obama administration's offices thanks to the president's so-called "Year of Action." The cronies in Washington have already saddled the nation with $100 billion in regulatory burdens in just six months -- with more regulations expected in the coming months, like the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed greenhouse gas standards. The burden works out to about $330 per person, but some states have been hit harder than others. "The manufacturing and energy industry are primarily affected, and thus, so is the Midwest," The Federalist's Sam Batkins writes. "Ohio and Pennsylvania ranked third and fourth in 2014 regulatory burdens, with more than $11.4 billion in combined costs. Michigan and Indiana are also in the top ten, with $6.3 billion in burdens between them. On a per capita basis, the energy-rich states of Alaska, Wyoming, and Louisiana, are all in the top five. Their average per-person regulatory burden: $640, or three times Maryland's paltry share of $209." Such burdensome regulations don't exactly help the middle class.
In a ruling that could undo ObamaCare, a three-judge panel of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that billions of dollars in health insurance subsidies are illegal under the wording of the "Affordable" Care Act. CNBC reports, "[S]uch subsidies can be granted only to people who bought insurance in an Obamacare exchange run by an individual state or the District of Columbia -- not on the federally run exchange HealthCaregov. Plaintiffs in the case known as Halbig v. Burwell argued that the ACA, as written, only allows that often-significant financial aid to be issued to people who bought insurance on a marketplace set up by a state." Maybe Congress shouldn't pass laws before they read them? There might be something crippling in there...
BO has a soft spot for the American Burying Beetle that would (supposedly) be threatened if they build the Keystone Pipeline. Atleast that is today's excuse...
If current solar projections are any indication, the globe may be entering a new period of global cooling. SI meteorologist Paul Dorian explains: "It appears that the solar maximum phase for solar cycle 24 may have been reached and it is not very impressive. ... In fact, this solar cycle continues to rank among the weakest on record which continues the recent trend for increasingly weaker cycles. ... There have been two notable historical periods with decades-long episodes of low solar activity. The first period is known as the 'Maunder Minimum' ... and it lasted from around 1645 to 1715. The second one is referred to as the 'Dalton Minimum' ... and it lasted from about 1790 to 1830. Both of these historical periods coincided with below-normal global temperatures in an era now referred to by many as the 'Little Ice Age.'" So what does all this mean? "If this trend continues for the next couple of cycles," writes Dorian, "then there would likely be more talk of another 'grand minimum' for the sun." Only time will tell, but at this rate, alarmists will be clamoring "global warming" hubris through chattering teeth.