BUILD THE TROUGH AND THEY WILL COME
By Betty Freauf
July 26, 2007
President Lyndon B. Johnson on March 16, 1964 sent a special message to Congress asking for a Declaration of a War on Poverty, also known as the Great Society. This idea by Johnson was nothing new. Franklin D. Roosevelt in his Second Inaugural Address delivered in January of 1937 also used a plethora of observations couched in illogical governmental double speak regarding the poor and now we have presidential candidate John Edwards, who lives in a mansion and gets $400 haircuts following the same absurd political rhetoric. Both he and Obama are also advocating Universal Health care coverage.
The first thing the voters should ask is “If a guy like Edwards gets ripped off by his barber, who would rip off America if he got elected president?” Apparently his message wasn’t resonating with these “common folks” who get less than $20 haircuts so at a recent rally he admitted he learned his lesson. He now gets “cheap” haircuts. Matthew 26:11 says “For ye have the poor always with you” and Ecclesiastes says there is “nothing new under the sun.” Suddenly Edwards wants voters to believe this son of a mill worker is just one of the common folk but the “common folks” don’t get invited to join the powerful elite. Edwards wowed the Bilderberg elite with his speech at their 2004 retreat in Stresa, Italy.
Figuring he would run for president in 2008, Edwards was looking for support from all corners of the world which brought him to Oregon the summer of 2006 to “test-drive” themes including a “new” national War on Poverty and recently we saw him and his wife, Elizabeth, on a three-day tour through New Orleans for photo ops with a gaggle of reporters following. Oregon, one of the misnomer “blue” states at election time on the “left” coast seems to have the reputation of being the “test” state for socialist ideas. Where does Edwards plan to get the money for his “new” national War on Poverty? We’re fighting a war in Iraq and earlier this year Comptroller General David Walker noted that “net social insurance commitments and other fiscal exposure continues to grow and total approximately $50 trillion…up from about $20 trillion in fiscal year 2000.” The rubber is beginning to meet the road. America is insolvent? A prominent government analyst in Oregon is telling lawmakers to prepare for tougher times warning less and less help will be forthcoming from Washington, D.C. David Osborne said “For the rest of your careers, you are going to be managing in an environment of fiscal scarcity that is going to be quite severe.” In other words, there is no free lunch!!! What Big Brother giveth, he can also taketh.
Because this article isn’t going to be politically correct to many people, before you begin sending me nasty e-mails, let me tell you my boring story. I was born on a farm where my dad was a laborer (no unions, minimum wage or retirement benefits) a few years after FDR came into office. They put me in a cardboard box because my folks couldn’t afford a crib. My dad’s landlord provided the shack in which we lived - minimum bare necessities – a roof over our heads! It had no electricity and no indoor plumbing with the exception of cold water to a kitchen sink. The pipes froze in the winter months so we had to carry water from a cistern that had to be cleaned of dead mice and filled from a windmill before the winter months arrived. When I was old enough, my dad lowered me into that deep, dark, cold cistern in a bucket and I had to scrub the concrete to ready it for the clean water.
Hot water came from utensils on the stove that operated even during the hot summer months in order to cook and heat the irons my mother used on Tuesday to iron the clothes she washed on the motorized washing machine on Mondays. I hated Monday morning during summer vacations but the clothes had to get on the line to dry so the noisy machine on the porch had to start. We had no refrigerator. My parents got their news from a radio powered by a battery. We had Saturday night baths behind the kitchen stove in a tin tub. The wood had to be trucked in by us before the snow began to fall. It was our yearly family all-day outing and it was cold, hard work and no picnic. Initially, my dad farmed with horses which had to be fed.
Illiteracy was at an all-time low at the turn of the century. Due to a childhood disease and not being able to attend school, my dad could read road signs and write his name but that was it. My mother didn’t know he was illiterate when she married him. However, he was a whiz at math. He used to kid me for having to use a pencil and paper to do a simple math problem that he did in his head and fortunately he married my mother, an avid reader, who, with her eighth grade education was able to read, comprehend, spell, and communicate with the cursive written word better than most Ph.Ds today. It should be noted that at the turn of the century, people with an 8th grade education could become teachers by passing a test and being certified by the superintendent. Both my parents were bilingual speaking English and German fluently.
Neither my husband’s parents nor my parents ever had a credit card. They paid cash or they didn’t buy it. On a laborer’s salary, my parents managed to save $8,000 and paid cash for the widowed landlady’s “mansion on the hill” in town with a population of about 100, thirteen years after they were married. The landlady wanted to move to her home on the lake and I had my first bath in a four-legged cast iron tub in a bathroom.
By telling this story, I’m amazed at what a rough life I had but I never knew I was poor and I never heard my parents complain. My clothes were clean for school. In fact, I looked better in my starched, ironed dresses than the sloppy kids in torn jeans I see in school today. I only tell you this story because the majority of the folks reading this article will never have lived under my circumstances. Only a few oldies will relate to my living conditions. We had no rent subsidies, no food stamps, no Medicare but we did have a free public education, which was much better than it is today. During the war, my mother carried a big purse full of ration stamps.
FDR came along with his entitlements and an influx of Marxists, pinkos, socialists, fellow travelers and New Deal leftists followed Roosevelt including Lyndon Baines Johnson and his “Great Society” which was to end riots, crime, hatred and covetness and today we find ourselves bankrupt, taxes and social spending at record levels and with the influx of illegals, we are farther from racial peace than ever.
One should wonder how, during his 12+ year reign, paternal FDR, totally helpless from polio, continued to transition America from a Republic to a democracy believing that all authority and control should be centralized in Washington, D.C. Obviously FDR had some very competent handlers – the same type of handlers that other past and current presidents use. Instead of comparing President Bush to Hitler and calling him a dictator, as the Democrats do, they should be comparing him to FDR.
How did FDR help pull it off? College professors encouraged their students to worship at the shrine of St. Franklin and these students surreptitiously were slipped into policy-making positions in all the governmental departments and so it is today. A former chairman of that now defunct Un-American committee fought a desperate battle to expose red subversives but the liberal reaction was sure and swift. Every federal department, especially the Department of Justice, rejected his requests and refused to cooperate. When the House Committee on Un-American Activities began investigating this communism infiltration, embarrassed FDR said it was a serious mistake. Familiar names such as Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White, Soviet spies, served in the Roosevelt Administration.
So with all that good will in these numerous programs, why do we still have poverty and the “victimology” mentality which race-hustlers such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton exploit? Because the money isn’t for the poor, but for those who claim to represent the poor, writes Dave Daubenmire. Yes, indeed, there is “gold in them thar poverty programs.”
The poverty line in 1959 was $3,000 when proponents created the Job Corps by distorting the number of unemployed teenagers followed by vocational training that was insufficient to meet modern needs. As an example, at the time there was a severe shortage of help in many hospitals but no Job Corps center anywhere in the entire country offered nursing or nurses’ aid courses. The make-work conservation programs would take boys off the streets for six months to two years and then send them back with no better skills than they had before and a Congressional investigation in late 1965 showed more staff than Job Corps members and that poor screening was largely responsible for the low number of graduates.
The scandals ranged from misspending of federal funds to stabbings and other forms of violence at Job Corps centers largely the result of a poorly prepared program launched on a crash basis for political gain. Director of the Office for Economic Opportunity (OEO) was R. Sargent Shriver – think the Kennedy dynasty and more nepotism. Sargent Shriver spent $43.8 million for personnel compensation in 1966, estimated it came to $73.3 million in 1967 and expected it to hit $86.2 million in fiscal year 1968. The OEO ran up extraordinary costs in order to open centers quickly (haste makes waste) with the usual governmental screwups. Books written about the War on Poverty describe malfeasance, allegations of corruption, and charges of misuse of “poverty” funds.. And like the contracts being handed out without any accountability in Iraq, company representatives nearly fell over each other in their scramble for OEO contracts.
In an Astoria, Oregon program for girls, contraceptive pills were passed out. Ninety percent of the girls were black. It was reported that the job corps girls would swim out to Japanese lumber ships to meet the sailors and on weekends the federal government bussed both black and white boys from Job Corps in other parts of Oregon and put them up in the fanciest motels in town. But “Poverty is where the money is.”
In my day, families in my neck of the woods survived on the father’s income. The dollar was worth a dollar; we had no single mothers on welfare or an epidemic of illegal drug abusers. To survive today with run-away inflation, it seems like the average family needs to have three jobs or have no jobs and be on the dole. More people are now choosing handouts as a shortcut to survival, while some government workers, who retire as millionaires, are learning to work the system from another angle.
It has recently been alleged to me by two different sources that some postmasters plan to apply for stress disability about a year before they are due to retire so they don’t have to pay income tax on their disability payments. An attorney assists them in this fraud. It has further been alleged that one postmaster is already collecting a military disability for a knee injury but if you ask him which knee was injured, he can’t remember. Yup! Build the trough and the pigs will come!
God was right again. The poor will always be among us either caused by some catastrophe while others in poverty have caused their own problems due to laziness and downright irresponsibility and the government becoming an enabler only encourages more of that type of behavior.
© 2007 Betty Freauf - All
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Betty is a former Oregon Republican party activist having served as state party secretary, county chairman, 5th congressional vice chairman and then elected chairman, and a precinct worker for many years but Betty gave up on the two-party system in 2004 and joined the Constitutional Party.