Obama administration has aggressively pushed a $433-million plan to buy an experimental smallpox drug, despite uncertainty over whether it is needed or will work

By David Willman,
Los Angeles TimesNovember 13,

Reporting from Washington—

Over the last year,
the Obama administration has aggressively pushed a $433-million plan to buy an
experimental smallpox drug, despite uncertainty over whether it is needed or
will work.

Senior officials have taken unusual steps to secure the
contract for New York-based Siga Technologies Inc., whose controlling
shareholder is billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, one of the world’s richest men
and a longtime Democratic

When Siga complained that contracting specialists at the
Department of Health and Human Services were resisting the company’s financial
demands, senior officials replaced the government’s lead negotiator for the
deal, interviews and documents show.

When Siga was in danger of losing
its grip on the contract a year ago, the officials blocked other firms from

Siga was awarded the final contract in May through a
“sole-source” procurement in which it was the only company asked to submit a
proposal. The contract calls for Siga to deliver 1.7 million doses of the drug
for the nation’s biodefense stockpile. The price of approximately $255 per dose
is well above what the government’s specialists had earlier said was reasonable,
according to internal documents and interviews.

Once feared for its
grotesque pustules and 30% death rate, smallpox was eradicated worldwide as of
1978 and is known to exist only in the locked freezers of a Russian scientific
institute and the U.S. government. There is no credible evidence that any other
country or a terrorist group possesses smallpox.

If there were an attack,
the government could draw on $1 billion worth of smallpox vaccine it already owns to
inoculate the entire U.S. population and quickly treat people exposed to the virus.
The vaccine, which costs the government $3 per dose, can reliably prevent death
when given within four days of exposure.

Report: Sarkozy calls Netanyahu ‘liar’ Microphones accidently left on after G20 meeting pick up private conversation between US, French presidents. Sarkozy admits he ‘can’t stand’ Israeli premier. Obama: You’re fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day!

Report: Sarkozy calls Netanyahu ‘liar’

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Microphones accidently left on after G20 meeting pick up private conversation between US, French presidents. Sarkozy admits he ‘can’t stand’ Israeli premier. Obama: You’re fed up with him? I have to deal with him every day!

French President Nicolas Sarkozy reportedly told US President Barack Obama that he could not “stand” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and that he thinks the Israeli premier “is a liar.”

According to a Monday report in the French website “Arret sur Images,” after facing reporters for a G20 press conference on Thursday, the two presidents retired to a private room, to further discuss the matters of the day.

The conversation apparently began with President Obama criticizing Sarkozy for not having warned him that France would be voting in favor of the Palestinian membership bid in UNESCO despite Washington’s strong objection to the move.

ALL EUROPEAN LIFE DIED IN AUSCHWITZ written by Spanish writer Sebastian


The following   is a copy of an article written by Spanish writer Sebastian
Vilar Rodriguez   and published in a Spanish newspaper on Jan. 15, 2008.
It doesn’t take much imagination to extrapolate the message to the rest of
Europe – and possibly to the rest of the   world.

Date: Tue.   15 January 2008 14:30


I walked   down the street in Barcelona , and suddenly discovered a   terrible
truth – Europe died in Auschwitz   . We killed six million Jews and replaced
them with 20 million Muslims.. In   Auschwitz we burned a culture,   thought,
creativity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen,   because
they produced great and wonderful people who changed the   world.

The contribution of this people is felt in all areas of life:   science, art,
international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the   world. These
are the people we burned.

And under the pretense of   tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to
ourselves that we were cured   of the disease of racism, we opened our gates
to 20 million Muslims, who   brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious
extremism and lack of   tolerance, crime and poverty, due to an unwillingness
to work and support   their families with pride.

They have blown up our trains and turned our   beautiful Spanish cities into
the third world, drowning in filth and   crime.

Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government,   they plan
the murder and destruction of their naive hosts.

And thus,   in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred,
creative   skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness   and

We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews   of Europe and their
talent for a better   future for their children, their determined clinging to
life because life   is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed
by the desire for   death for themselves and others, for our children and

What a   terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe   ..

The Global Islamic population is approximately 1,200,000,000; that   is ONE
BILLION TWO HUNDRED MILLION or 20% of the world’s population. They   have
received the following Nobel Prizes:

1988 –   Najib Mahfooz

1978 – Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat
1990 – Elias   James Corey
1994 – Yaser Arafat:
1999 – Ahmed   Zewai



1960   – Peter Brian Medawar
1998 – Ferid Mourad


The Global Jewish   population is approximately 14,000,000; that is FOURTEEN
MILLION or about   0.02% of the world’s population. They have received the
following Nobel   Prizes:

1910 – Paul Heyse
1927 – Henri   Bergson
1958 – Boris Pasternak
1966 – Shmuel Yosef Agnon
1966 – Nelly   Sachs
1976 – Saul Bellow
1978 – Isaac Bashevis Singer
1981 – Elias   Canetti
1987 – Joseph Brodsky
1991 – Nadine Gordimer   World

1911 – Alfred Fried
1911 – Tobias Michael Carel   Asser
1968 – Rene Cassin
1973 – Henry Kissinger
1978 – Menachem   Begin
1986 – Elie Wiesel
1994 – Shimon Peres
1994 – Yitzhak   Rabin

1905 – Adolph Von Baeyer
1906 – Henri   Moissan
1907 – Albert Abraham Michelson
1908 – Gabriel Lippmann
1910   – Otto Wallach
1915 – Richard Willstaetter
1918 – Fritz Haber
1921 –   Albert Einstein
1922 – Niels Bohr
1925 – James Franck
1925 – Gustav   Hertz
1943 – Gustav Stern
1943 – George Charles de Hevesy
1944 –   Isidor Issac Rabi
1952 – Felix Bloch
1954 – Max Born
1958 – Igor   Tamm
1959 – Emilio Segre
1960 – Donald A. Glaser
1961 – Robert   Hofstadter
1961 – Melvin Calvin
1962 – Lev Davidovich Landau
1962 –   Max Ferdinand Perutz
1965 – Richard Phillips Feynman
1965 – Julian   Schwinger
1969 – Murray Gell-Mann
1971 – Dennis   Gabor
1972 – William Howard Stein
1973 – Brian David Josephson
1975 –   Benjamin Mottleson
1976 – Burton Richter
1977 – Ilya   Prigogine
1978 – Arno Allan Penzias
1978 – Peter L Kapitza
1979 –   Stephen Weinberg
1979 – Sheldon Glashow
1979 – Herbert Charles   Brown
1980 – Paul Berg
1980 – Walter Gilbert
1981 – Roald   Hoffmann
1982 – Aaron Klug
1985 – Albert A. Hauptman
1985 – Jerome   Karle
1986 – Dudley R. Herschbach
1988 – Robert Huber
1988 – Leon   Lederman
1988 – Melvin Schwartz
1988 – Jack Steinberger
1989 – Sidney   Altman
1990 – Jerome Friedman
1992 – Rudolph Marcus
1995 – Martin   Perl
2000 – Alan J. Heeger

1970 – Paul Anthony   Samuelson
1971 – Simon Kuznets
1972 – Ken neth Joseph Arrow
1975 –   Leonid Kantorovich
1976 – Milton Friedman
1978 – Herbert A.   Simon
1980 – Lawrence Robert Klein
1985 – Franco   Modigliani
1987 – Robert M.. Solow
1990 – Harry Markowitz
1990 –   Merton Miller
1992 – Gary Becker
1993 – Robert   Fogel

1908 – Elie Metchnikoff
1908 – Paul   Erlich
1914 – Robert Barany
1922 – Otto Meyerhof
1930 – Karl   Landsteiner
1931 – Otto Warburg
1936 – Otto Loewi
1944 – Joseph   Erlanger
1944 – Herbert Spencer Gasser
1945 – Ernst Boris Chain
1946   – Hermann Joseph Muller
1950 – Tadeus Reichstein
1952 – Selman Abraham   Waksman
1953 – Hans Krebs
1953 – Fritz Albert Lipmann
1958 – Joshua   Lederberg
1959 – Arthur Kornberg
1964 – Konrad Bloch
1965 – Francois   Jacob
1965 – Andre Lwoff
1967 – George Wald
1968 – Marshall W.   Nirenberg
1969 – Salvador Luria
1970 – Julius   Axelrod
1970 – Sir Bernard Katz
1972 – Gerald Maurice Edelman
1975 –   Howard Martin Temin
1976 – Baruch S. Blumberg
1977 – Roselyn Sussman   Yalow
1978 – Daniel Nathans
1980 – Baruj Benacerraf
1984 – Cesar   Milstein
1985 – Michael Stuart Brown
1985 – Joseph L. Goldstein
1986   – Stan ley Cohen [& Rita Levi-Montalcini]
1988 – Gertrude Elion
1989   – Harold Varmus
1991 – Erwin Neher
1991 – Bert Sakmann
1993 – Richard   J. Roberts
1993 – Phillip Sharp
1994 – Alfred Gilman
1995 – Edward B.   Lewis
1996- Lu RoseIacovino
TOTAL:   129!

The Jews are NOT promoting brain-washing children in   military training
camps, teaching them how to blow themselves up and cause   the maximum number
of deaths of Jews and other non-Muslims. The Jews don’t   hijack planes, nor
kill athletes at the Olympics, or blow themselves up in   German restaurants.
There is NOT one single Jew who has destroyed a church.   There is NOT a
single Jew who protests by killing people.

The Jews   don’t traffic slaves, nor have leaders calling for Jihad and death
to all   the Infidels.

Perhaps the world’s Muslims should consider investing   more in standard
education and less in blaming the Jews for all their   problems.

Muslims must ask ‘what can they do for humankind’ before they   demand that
humankind respects them.

Regardless of your feelings   about the crisis between Israel and the
Palestinians and   Arab neighbors, even if you believe there is more
culpability on Israel ‘s part, the following two   sentences really say it

‘If the Arabs put down their weapons   today, there would be no more violence.
If the Jews put down their weapons   today, there would be no more Israel ..”
Benjamin   Netanyahu

When the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General   Dwight Eisenhower,
found the victims of the death camps, he ordered all   possible photographs to
be taken and for the German people from surrounding   villages to be ushered
through the camps and even made to bury the   dead.

He did this because he said in words to this effect:

‘Get   it all on record now – get the films – get the witnesses –   because
somewhere down the road of history some bastard will get up and say   that
this never happened.’

Recently, the UK   debated whether to remove The Holocaust from its school
curriculum because   it ‘offends’ the Muslim population, which claims it never
occurred. It is   not removed as yet. However, this is a frightening portent
of the fear that   is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving
in to   it.

It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in   Europe ended.
This e-mail is being sent as   a memorial chain, in memory of the 6 million
Jews, 20 million Russians, 10   million Christians, and 1,900 Catholic priests
who were ‘murdered, raped,   burned, starved, beaten, experimented on and
humiliated’ while the German   people looked the other way.

Now more than ever, with Iran   among others, claiming the Holocaust is ‘a myth,’ it is imperative to make   sure the world never forgets.

This e-mail is intended to reach 400   million people. Be a link in the
memorial chain and help distribute this   around the world.

How many years will it be before the attack on the   World   Trade Center ‘NEVER
HAPPENED’ because it   offends some Muslim in the United States ?

Green energy is little more than a way for President Obama to dole out federal dollars to his favorite firms at the expense of coal, oil, and natural gas producers.

Green Energy: Damn the Facts, Full Speed Ahead!

By Neil

In 2008, a group of more than 31,000 scientists signed a petition dissenting from the
position of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
that man-made CO2 emissions are destroying our planet.  More than
9,000 of them have Ph.D. degrees in fields like atmospheric science,
climatology, earth science, and environmental science.  That’s fifteen times
more Ph.D. scientists than are involved in the IPCC campaign.


One of the group’s leaders, the late Professor
Frederick Seitz, said:


The United States is very close to adopting an
international agreement that would ration the use of energy and of technologies
that depend upon coal, oil, and natural gas and some other organic compounds.
… This treaty is, in our opinion, based upon flawed ideas.  Research data on
climate change do not show that human use of hydrocarbons is harmful.  To the
contrary, there is good evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is
environmentally helpful.


Seitz was a first-rate scientist who served as
president of Rockefeller
and president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.  Seitz
was also a recipient of the National Medal of Science.  The agreement to which
he referred is the Kyoto Protocol.


Ivar Giaever, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, resigned from the American Physical Society because of its
position on global warming.  So did University of California professor Hal
Lewis.  When Lewis resigned, he said that the global warming movement was a “scam” and a
“pseudoscientific fraud.”


Even so, our government is imposing strict controls to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions in hopes of staving off global warming even
though earth’s atmosphere is cooling.  Meanwhile, the cost to you and
me is higher energy prices, higher inflation, a lower standard of living, and
fewer new jobs, since every product we buy has an energy cost component.  Under
orders from the president, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving ahead aggressively with regulations to reduce
CO2 emissions.  President Obama’s misguided effort to stay the course
by fiat or by executive order is very expensive, and it’s a price that we can
ill afford to pay — especially now, as our economy is struggling to recover
from the Great Recession.


Global warming alarmists have resorted to fixing data, hiding data, and other things to keep people from learning the
truth.  They are motivated by blind faith in a theory that isn’t supported by
the facts.  It’s a perfect example of anti-science at work in the scientific
community.  To deny that our climate is cooling, you have to ignore a mountain
of hard data, and the facts are mounting year by year.  For example, it was
comical to watch the participants at the December 2010 U.N. Global Warming
Summit in Cancún, Mexico dress for winter as temperatures plunged to a 100-year record low.  That kind of thing is happening all over
the world, and it’s not anecdotal data.  It’s a global trend that only die-hard
global warming alarmists refuse to accept.


Did you know that the number of global weather
tracking stations has been reduced, and disproportionately, the eliminated stations are
in colder regions?  Global warming alarmists have continued to report data
showing global temperatures rising despite the fact that colder locations have
been taken out of the data set, and they haven’t bothered to divulge that fact.
If you take cold readings out of the data set, average temperatures rise, but it
has absolutely nothing to do with the climate.  Similarly, if you included the
temperature inside my oven in the data set, average temperatures would
rise…but it would be an act of fraud.


The climate is cooling, and it’s been
cooling since 1998.  Eventually, the truth will prevail, but in the
meantime, President Obama continues to retard progress at great cost to the
American people.  The only people profiting from global warming hysteria are
global warming alarmists who are selling a pig in a poke.  President Obama is
firmly in their camp.  In fact, he is their champion.


The United States has been blessed with enough
resources to meet our energy needs and to export our surpluses, but we have not
developed them the way we should.  Instead, we have been cowed by liberal
progressives who would rather see our economy go down the tubes than develop
what they consider “dirty energy.”


In 2008, the U.S. imported almost 13,000,000 barrels of oil per day, or about 57% of our total
oil consumption.  Although our energy needs have been increasing rapidly, the
U.S. didn’t build a new refinery between 1998 and 2008, even then
over the strong objections of liberal progressives.  In 2008 alone, the U.S.
spent almost $500,000,000,000 on imported oil.  That’s half a trillion
dollars that we didn’t need to spend.  Our dependence on foreign oil is putting
our economy (not to mention our national security) at risk.


Saying that the U.S. is rich in energy resources is an
understatement.  At today’s consumption levels, we have enough coal to meet our
needs for the next 500 years.  We have 22,450,000,000 barrels of proven oil reserves, and we are
finding new oil reserves all the time.  The U.S. has 250 trillion cubic feet of proven natural gas reserves.  We
are finding new gas reserves daily, and we are discovering new ways to tap into
hard-to-get gas deposits.  Putting that in perspective, the U.S. has more energy
in natural gas than the entire Middle East has in oil.  It’s disgraceful that
we’re putting our economic and national security at risk to import strategic
resources that we have in abundance.


T. Boone Pickens, one of the world’s leading oil and
gas men and an energy investor, has launched a campaign to reduce our dependence
on foreign oil by developing our natural gas reserves.  His plan is called
the Pickens
.  Pickens deserves our support, but we need to do more.  We must
develop our coal, oil, and natural gas reserves.  We also need to develop wind
energy, solar energy, and hydrogen energy.  There is absolutely no excuse for
the United States to import oil and gas from another nation.


We have already spent more than $2,000,000,000,000 on a vast array of stimulus programs since
President Obama took office.  That’s several times more than will be needed to
fully develop all of our energy resources.  We have squandered our wealth to
reward individuals and groups that supported candidate Obama in 2008 while our
critical economic and security needs have gotten scant


Green energy alternatives may satisfy our energy needs
one day, but this much is certain: today, green energy is little more than a way
for President Obama to dole out federal dollars to his favorite firms at the
expense of coal, oil, and natural gas producers.  The science and technology do
not exist in green energy areas to meet even a smidgen of our energy needs.
That’s what the facts tell us, and ignoring the facts is costing us jobs and tax


Neil Snyder is a chaired professor
emeritus at the University of Virginia.  His blog,
SnyderTalk, is posted
daily.  His latest book is titled
If You Voted for Obama in 2008 to Prove You’re Not a
Racist, You Need to Vote for Someone Else in 2012 to Prove You’re Not an

Blame Our Failing Schools for Occupy Wall Street

Blame Our Failing Schools for Occupy Wall Street

Posted By Bruce Thornton On November 2, 2011 @ 12:20 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 143 Comments

Having taught in a state university for thirty years, I’m not surprised by the ignorance on display among the Occupy Wall Street protestors. From kindergarten to university, for decades our schools have abandoned the teaching of basic facts and foundational thinking skills, and replaced both with leftish received wisdom and stale mythologies, all the while they have anxiously monitored and puffed up students’ self-esteem.

This lack of critical understanding and ignorance of simple fact characterize the main theme of the protests, that the wealthy “1%” of Americans have gamed the system to enrich themselves at the expense of everybody else, an analysis redolent of Scrooge McDuck cartoons or Frank Capra’s portrait of Old Man Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life. But these caricatures are woefully uninformed about how a global, free market economy works. For example, the protestors rail about growing “income inequality,” but they forget that this expansion of the wealth of top earners has been accompanied by that same cohort’s paying more and more of the total federal tax bill, so that today nearly half of tax-filers pay nothing. Nor do they consider the issue of income mobility: from 1999-2007, about half of households in the bottom quintile had moved up the income ladder, while nearly half of households in the top quintile had moved down.

As for those greedy “millionaires” who refuse to pay their “fair share,” in this same period, half were millionaires only once, and only 6% were millionaires for the whole nine years. Indeed, as the Treasury Department reports, among the top 1/100 of 1 percent in 1996––the group Mother Jonesdemonized for obscenely increasing their wealth over the last 30 years–– only 25% remained in this group in 2005, and the median real income of these taxpayers declined over this period. Finally, according to the Treasury Department, “Median incomes of all taxpayers increased by 24 percent after adjusting for inflation. The real incomes of two-thirds of all taxpayers increased over this period [1996-2005]. In addition, the median incomes of those initially in the lower income groups increased more than the median incomes of those initially in the higher income groups.” No doubt things have gotten worse for many because of the recession, but there are plenty of people to blame beyond the “1%” and Wall Street villains, from the federal appointees running Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to the home buyers lying on mortgage applications.

This obsession with income inequality, moreover, reflects profound ignorance of capitalism’s revolutionary genius. To the protestors, the fact that top earners increased their income more than others did is prima facie evidence of capitalist skullduggery. They seem to think that a Steve Jobs or a Bill Gates has a zillion dollars because they somehow purloined money that in a just world other people would have had. Of course, in reality Microsoft and Apple have created hundreds of thousands of jobs and enriched others at the same time the corporations enriched themselves. That’s how capitalism works: it creates wealth that indeed spectacularly benefits the few, but that also raises the living standards of the many by creating jobs. More important, it is a dynamic, open system, one that creates opportunities for the clever and hardworking. And it has been wildly successful, so much so that today, young people who in the past would have started work at 16, can now spend several years of extended adolescence in colleges and universities, where they can earn impecunious degrees in subjects like Medieval French Poetry or Postcolonial Literature, and then loaf about lower Manhattan protesting the evil system that has rescued them from the drudgery of farm labor or factory work, and given them nutritious cheap food, healthy bodies, straight white teeth, and gadgets like X-Boxes and I-Pads.
But to the therapeutic sensibility and the entitlement mentality cultivated by the schools, this success in spreading wealth to historically unprecedented numbers of people is not as important as the system’s failure to measure up to utopian standards and equally enrich everybody no matter how lacking in virtue or talent. The “creative destruction” of capitalism––which promises not wealth and success for everybody, but the opportunity for everybody to strive for success and wealth through their talents and virtues––is an intolerable injustice, one that must be remedied by the coercive power of the state. Hence according to a survey conducted by Democrat pollster Douglas Schoen, 65% of the Manhattan protestors believe that “government has a moral responsibility to guarantee all citizens access to affordable health care, a college education, and a secure retirement—no matter the cost.” Of course, that attitude is exactly what has created the looming economic crisis fueled by runaway entitlement costs that if not reined in, will double by 2050 and consume every dollar of federal tax revenues. The protestors are also ignoring the federal government’s role in creating the housing crisis by coercing and enabling banks to issue sketchy mortgages. And let’s not forget the fed’s role in inflating via federal subsidies the higher education bubble that has doubled tuition every nine years, and saddled so many of the protestors with the “injustice” of student loan debt, which since 1999 has increased 511%, and now totals $1 trillion.

In the protestors’ desire to empower the federal government even more, we see how the ignorance of history enables such delusional utopianism. For underlying these demands is the necessity for redistributing income in order to advance the idea of radical egalitarianism, and that is a notion whose resultant tyranny and bloody failure is documented on every page of history, from the French Revolution to the Soviet gulags. But how would the protestors know that history? What passes for history in most schools today is a melodrama of Western wickedness against the oppressed “other,” accompanied by feel-good romances about the achievements of marginalized minorities. It reminds me of Jane Austen’s satiric History of England, in which she says her purpose is to “vent my spleen against & shew my hatred to all those people whose parties and principles do not suit with mine, & not to give information.” The result is the sensibility we see among many of those camping out in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park: a penchant for decrepit ideas that are seductive to immature and undeveloped minds steeped in a sense of entitlement and an arrogant assurance of their own righteousness.

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Obama’s food-stamp dole at record levels

Obama’s food-stamp dole at record levels



Nearly 15 percent of the population — 45.8 million people
–  were on the food-stamp dole in August, the Wall Street Journal
reported. How come?

According to the paper, it’s all because of the horrible
economy, with the number of people on food stamps having risen 8.1 percent in
the past year.

What the WSJ doesn’t mention is that the exploding use of
food stamps has much to do with changing attitudes over the years about what
food-stamp recipients are entitled to — and that now includes junk food and
sugary drinks. In addition, soaring levels of fraud have helped to drive soaring
food-stamp use, according to a recent Op-Ed in The Journal, “The Food-Stamp Crime Wave.” (Do WSJ
reporters read their paper’s Op-Ed page?)

Interestingly, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried some
months ago to stop the use of food stamps for sugary beverages like soda pop in
an effort to curb exploding levels of diabetes and obesity among New Yorkers. However, the
Obama administration rejected Bloomberg’s proposal for eliminating soda. Among other
things, administration bureaucrats claimed Bloomberg’s plan lacked “a clear and
practical means to determine product eligibility, which is essential to avoid
retailer confusion at point-of-sale and stigma (emphasis added) for
affected clients.”

Stigma? Now that’s an interesting word, because there is no
stigma left anymore for those using food stamps, which incidentally are no
longer actually “stamps” but debit cards that you swipe like a credit card. And
food-stamp cards can buy just about anything your stomach
desires. Nationwide, 6 percent of
food stamp benefits are spent on sugary beverages, according to the United
States Department of Agriculture, which administers the food stamp program and
that was the source of the WSJ’s statistics about soaring levels of food-stamp

As to fraud, that WSJ Op-Ed by James Bovard noted that “The
number of food-stamp recipients has soared to 44 million from 26 million in
2007. Not surprisingly, fraud and abuse are rampant.”

Among other things, he explained:

Millionaires are now legally entitled to collect food
stamps as long as they have little or no monthly income. Thirty-five states have
abolished asset tests for most food-stamp recipients. These and similar
“paperwork reduction” reforms advocated by the United States Department of
Agriculture (USDA) are turning the food-stamp program into a magnet for abuses
and absurdities.

Ultimately, soaring food-stamp use is not just another
anti-poverty program for the Obama administration. It’s all about “spreading the
wealth around.”

Unfortunately, poor people who really need food stamps must
now endure the “stigma” of being lumped together with the many deadbeats now on
the food-stamp dole.

Debunking Obama’s Latest Jobs Myth

Debunking Obama’s Latest Jobs Myth

Mike Brownfield

November 3, 2011 at 9:37 am


Imagine a high-speed train zooming down hundreds of miles of glistening train track stretching across sunny California, connecting Anaheim to San Francisco. It’s a bullet train dream, and it’s a prime example of President Barack Obama’s latest plan to create jobs in America. The trouble is that this dream is far from reality.

The Los Angeles Times reported this week that the California high-speed train–which is funded in part by $3 billion in federal grants from President Obama’s stimulus–is now expected to cost $98 billion, twice what was expected, and will take an additional 13 years to complete, extending the project to 2033. Questions remain about where the funding will come from, whether the project is viable, and whether the projected ridership will even materialize.

But projects like these are central to President Obama’s plan to put Americans back to work. Speaking yesterday from Georgetown Waterfront Park in Washington, D.C., Obama declared that his plan will “put hundreds of thousands of construction workers back on the job rebuilding our roads, our airports, our bridges and our transit systems.” And that is, of course, all at the expense of the American taxpayers.

The President once called these projects “shovel ready,” meaning that as soon as money arrived from the federal government, workers could be on the job. He made it sound as easy as flipping a switch, but unfortunately it didn’t work as planned. Despite a $787 billion stimulus package, America’s economy continues to languish with 14 million out of work and a 9.1 percent unemployment rate. The President joked, “Shovel-ready was not as shovel-ready as we expected.” Though he didn’t use the phrase “shovel-ready” in his remarks yesterday, the implication was still there. If Congress approves his jobs plan, he argued, all the construction workers sitting on the sidelines will be put back to work overnight.

But that’s not the way things work in the real world. Associated Press and Congressional Research Service reports show that infrastructure spending does not create jobs and, in fact, can even have a negative effect. Heritage’s Patrick Knudsen explains:

Building and repairing roads and bridges neither creates net job growth nor boosts the economy in the near term.

First, increasing government spending on these projects simply moves resources from one place to another — it may employ construction workers, but only by reducing jobs in other sectors. Further, the money never gets out the door soon enough to promote near-term job growth.

And then there’s the President’s flawed argument that since others are doing it, the United States should be, too. “How do we sit back and watch China and Europe build the best bridges and high-speed railroads and gleaming new airports, and we’re doing nothing?” he asks. It’s not a new line of argument from the President, and it leaves out some very important facts.

Dating all the way back to the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama spoke of the need to “invest” in infrastructure in order to be competitive with the likes of China. At the time, Jim Geraghty reported at National Review Online that while Obama puts China on a pedestal, he entirely overlooks some serious problems with transportation in China–namely, stories of severe power shortages affecting the country’s exports, an episode where 500,000 train passengers were left stranded for days, and outbreaks of violence where airplane travelers were left grounded without accommodation. And that’s not to mention the working conditions under which China builds its infrastructure.

Meanwhile, Europe, which heavily subsidizes its passenger rail systems, receives a poor return on its investment. Heritage’s Ron Utt explains that despite massive spending, passengers are opting for more efficient transportation in the air:

In Europe as a whole (EU-27), rail accounted for only 6.1 percent of passenger travel in 2007, including travel by air and sea. Buses accounted for 8.3 percent of the market, and air travel accounted for 8.8 percent. Despite Europe’s huge investment in passenger rail, its market share declined from 6.6 percent in 1995 to 6.1 percent in 2007. Over that same period, commercial air increased its share from 6.3 percent to 8.8 percent. By providing faster service and competitive prices, it took passengers away from rail, buses, and autos.

But to hear President Obama tell the story, building a European- or Chinese-style infrastructure is the key to the future–and to creating new jobs. Workers are ready to go, and all they need is your money to get started. But this is something we tried once already with the last stimulus, it didn’t work, and it’s not going to work this time, either. Obama’s infrastructure plan is a train that shouldn’t leave the station, headed for a bridge to nowhere, and jobs are the last thing that it will deliver.