News arrived Thursday that welfare spending has jumped 32 percent under Barack Obama’s presidency. Welfare, which encompasses spending on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Section 8 housing, and food stamps, was accorded approximately $1.03 trillion in 2011. It was the single largest expenditure that year, and one that America simply cannot afford.
From 2008 to 2011, food-stamp spending alone increased 71 percent. Why, when the current administration, via the Department of Agriculture, argues that for every $5 spent with food stamps, $9.20 is generated for local communities, have we not increased food-stamp spending 100 percent? Why doesn’t the government pay for everybody’s groceries? (And why, with that 71-percent increase, is it unfair for Newt Gingrich to call Obama the “food-stamp president”?)
In the same time period of these increases, spending on health programs increased 37 percent.
“This is not what a real recovery looks like,” as goes the refrain of Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan. In a real recovery, the citizenry is not so poor that the government feels the need to support it.
Now let’s zoom out a bit to observe the following government calamity: for every $7 the government has taken in under Obama, it has spent $10.95. Jeffrey H. Anderson, for WeeklyStandard.com, puts that into perspective: “That’s like a family that makes $70,000 a year—and is already knee-deep in debt—blowing nearly $110,000 a year.”
This is why each of the four years of Obama’s presidency have shouldered the burden of trillion-plus-dollar deficits. The country cannot sustain such gross irresponsibility.
Permit me a relevant digression:
I overheard a conversation between two elderly acquaintances whom I know have plans to vote for Barack Obama for a second term.
After they both said some flattering things between themselves about the President, one shifted tone and said, “But we really do need to get this entitlement spending under control.”
Person Number 2 turned equally grave, furrowing his brows. ”Oh, I know, it’s sinking us.”
Person Number 1 continued: “And Lord knows we could stand to cut a lot of these departments and agencies [in the government].”
This, I repeat, was a conversation between two Obama supporters. What do they and other like-minded voters think will happen in a second Obama term? Do they not comprehend that we are on the brink and that Obama has been behind the wheel for the last four years? They fully acknowledge the government is too big; they full acknowledge that entitlement spending will be the death of us just as it was the death of Greece; yet they will vote on November 6 for more government expansion and more entitlement spending. It was all I could do to restrain myself from grabbing them both by the shoulders, shaking them, and shouting, “Wake up! Wake up!”
I am no longer feeling dispirited about the upcoming election—I am now confident Mitt Romney will emerge the victor—but I suspect it will still be a close outcome. And if it is—if Romney only beats Obama by a few percentage points—what does that say about voters? Given the state of degradation both economic and cultural, one would think Romney would not just squeeze by, but completely sweep the nation. And since the youth of the country currently too young to vote (what I like to call the gimme-gimme generation) are overwhelmingly selfish brats, the next election, in 2016, will probably see a new wave of Democratic voters.
So while the current election will likely go to Romney, I cannot muster the hope to foresee too many more Republican victories after his, if there are to be any at all.