Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Book Archive-C-SPAN: Washington Journal With Brian Lamb- Christopher Hitchens & Richard Brookheiser in 1996


To put it simply, the best way to help poor people move to the middle class and become self- sufficient and not need public assistance for their daily survival, is to give them temporary financial assistance and child care, so they can survive in the short-term, yes. But to move them out of poverty, they education, to give them an  opportunity to get their GED or go back to high school, as well as go to college like a technical school. So they can get the education and skills that they need, so they can get a good job to support themselves and their family's. And then finally job placement, help them find a good job that they are qualified for. So they can support themselves and their family's on their own and no longer need public assistance.

Along with deficit reduction and balancing the Federal budget, Welfare Reform of 1996, is President Bill Clinton's biggest achievement. It moved millions of people who would probably still be on Welfare Insurance today or working multiple minimum wage jobs just to barely survive today. Had it not been for the 1996 Welfare Reform Law. Millions of people who were on Welfare Insurance twenty years ago, now have good jobs today and some of them even own their own business's or manage a business. Then Governor Bill Clinton who made Welfare Reform a big part of his 1992 presidential campaign, didn't make a big push to pass a bill out of Congress his first two years. When he had a Democratic Congress, including a forty-seat majority in the House.

Even though President Clinton had good ideas on Welfare Reform, like education, job placement and child care. So these single parents could leave the home to go to school or look for work. His calculation was probably that he would never get the votes at least in the House, because the Far-Left flank in the Democratic Party there would never go along with a bill that had time limits for Welfare deficit reduction, the crime bill, Family Medical Leave and of course the nightmarish debacle of health care reform. All things he passed in his first two years except for health care reform. It took a Republican Congress for President Clinton to finally incorporate his ideas as well as republican ideas to make it law. And it was by far the best legislation that a Republican Congress in modern times has ever passed.

What we tried in the 1930s and 1960s with anti-poverty programs, where you essentially just give low-income low-skilled people money and expect nothing from them, that the "cycle of poverty" would just go away on its own, clearly did not work. Sixty-years later poverty was still a big problem in America which is why it was reformed. But in the 1990s we finally saw record reductions in poverty down to as low as 13%. One of those reasons being the economic expansion of that decade. But if you're low-income and low-skilled, you won't see the benefits of any economic expansion. Which is a big reason why Welfare Reform was so important, because it empowered low-skilled people to get the skills that they need to get themselves out of poverty and into the middle class.

Thom Hartmann:"From Tea Party to Coffee Party/Democracy 2.0: The Democratic Socialist version of the Tea Party



When the Tea Party started off it had a very clear message, the Federal Government spends too much, its too big, we have to get the debt and deficit under control, anti Corporate Bailouts and had very strong libertarian leanings and didn't care about Social Issues. This was the Tea Party Movement before the Christian Right merged with them, the Michelle Bachmann's, Sarah Palin's, Herman Cain's of the World merged with them. Which continued to push a certain Fiscal Policy message but still like Corporate Welfare and brought back Social Issues and brought back the politics if you disagree with me then your not a real american. And went back to being Anti Muslim, Anti immigrant, Anti Gay go down the line including Anti Pornography and Anti Adultery. And trying to make anything that they don't like illegal just because they don't like it and trying to tell people how to live their own lives. The original version of the Tea Party with the libertarian leanings I respected as a liberal, even though my approach on these issues is much different. The original version of the Tea Party had a chance to become a major Political Movement in American Politics and perhaps even be able to merge with the Libertarian Movement. But this new Theocratic Tea Party will go no farther then the Christian Right and be seen as another Fringe Movement in American Politics. Because americans especially Independent Voters don't tend to like Big Government Authoritarianism.

Back in late 2009 early 2010 and they didn't get started early enough to be a major factor in the 2010 Mid Term Elections, just look at the Ed Schultz rally, I believe in October 2010. Another movement began to come from the Democratic Party calling themselves the Coffee Party. That was what I would describe as the Democratic Socialist version of the Libertarian Tea Party. That saw their role as to defend the American Welfare State especially during Deficit Reduction. And if anything expand the Welfare State and use government to promote Progressive Policy's to create jobs in America. When you have 9.2% Unemployment, no better time then to try to create jobs. I don't see the Coffee Party becoming much of a factor in the Democratic Party to create positive change. In as far as winning elections and taking back the House of Representatives. For one thing there are not enough of them in Congress, the House Progressive Caucus, what's that 40 members and maybe 5-10 in the Senate. If they were to decide to take on Democratic Members of Congress in an Election Year when the economy will probably still be weak or worst take on the President with their own candidate. Democrats will lose everywhere, they'll have a hard enough time getting reelected on their own. If the Republican Party nominates Mitt Romney for President and the economy is still weak. President Obama will have a hard enough time getting reelected. Because the election will be about his record.

What the Coffee Party can contribute to the Democratic Party in a positive way, is recruiting House and Senate Candidates where the incumbents are republican. Which I believe will get the Democratic Base out to vote for democrats whoever the candidate is, as well as the Get Out to Vote Operations for the fall. To get as many democrats to vote as possible. Otherwise you'll see another divided Democratic Party, just like 1988, 84, 80, 72 and 68 that loses in a landslide to republicans in Congress and the White House. "United we Stand, Divided we Fall".

Click on the link of the blog to see a video from Thom Hartmann on the Coffee Party