RUSH: Richard Cohen, liberal columnist, Washington Post. Can I tell you a little story about Richard Cohen? I don’t think he’ll mind. Peter Jennings used to be married to somebody. I think Kati Marton. I’m not sure who it was. And Richard Cohen and Peter Jennings’ wife had an affair. And Richard Cohen went to Peter Jennings house and knocked on the door and said, “We need to talk about this.” Honest, it’s famous, it’s lore. Doesn’t mean anything. It’s just nice little story to tell. Doesn’t attach itself to the story here, doesn’t mean anything, just a little biographical information. Richard Cohen, the Washington Post today: “The President Who Doesn’t Care” is the headline. (paraphrasing) “The crowds adored Obama, but not as much as he adored himself.”
Richard Cohen, in this piece as you read it, realizes — and he says as much — that Obama is a small, politically driven president; that he’s not at all what was constructed to be. “History was draped over Obama like a cape. His bona fides in that sense were as unimpeachable as Bobby Kennedy’s. The crowd adored Obama, although not as much as I think he adored himself. Liberals were intolerant of anyone who had doubts.
“Obama was not a man, but a totem. A single critical column from me during the campaign triggered a fusillade of invective. The famous and esteemed told me off. I was the tool of right-wing haters, a dope of a dupe. Kennedy had huge causes. End poverty. End the war. He challenged a sitting president over Vietnam. It could have cost him his career. It did cost him his life.”
He’s talking about Robert Kennedy, now.
“The draft is long gone, and with it indignation about senseless wars. Poverty persists, but now it is mostly blamed on the poor.” Oh, speaking of that, I had this in the Stack yesterday and didn’t get to it. From the Weekly Standard: “New data compiled by the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee shows that last year the United States spent over $60,000 to support welfare programs per each household that is in poverty.”
Now, we had this last week when it came out. As usual, you’re on the cutting edge if you’re here first. We mentioned this. The amount of money that we are spending on poverty per capita in this country is enough to wipe it out for one year. Not forever, because the new year then starts and the people who are in poverty are not earning anything themselves.
But we’re spending enough so that there should not be any poverty, and yet there is! How is this explained? “[T]he United States spent over $60,000 to support welfare programs per each household that is in poverty. The calculations are based on data from the Census, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Congressional Research Services.
“‘According to the Census’s American Community Survey, the number of households with incomes below the poverty line in 2011 was 16,807,795,’ the Senate Budget Committee notes. ‘If you divide total federal and state spending by the number of households with incomes below the poverty line, the average spending per household in poverty was $61,194 in 2011.’
“This dollar figure is almost three times the amount the average household on poverty lives on per year,” and yet we’ve still got poverty. Welfare was meant to bring people below the poverty line to a better place, but it doesn’t, obviously. And welfare reform had the work requirement in it, and that was reducing the number of people on welfare, but Obama stripped the work requirements out.
He also stripped the work requirements out of the food stamp program, by the way. That doesn’t get a whole lot of discussion, but he did. The real poverty in this country right now under Obama is the middle class. They’re not classified as poor, not getting a lot of help from the Fed, struggling to keep a roof over their heads. One in six in this country are in poverty, despite what we’re spending. At some point, when are people gonna get clued in that the government can’t solve these kinds of problems?