By Columnist Charles Payne
These days listening to President Obama has become like listening to pop radio, not only is it the same song over and over but it’s a song that we’ve heard decades ago. I guess politics reflects real life or vice-versa but all of a sudden what’s new is old except presented as new. Take the year’s biggest hit Blurred Lines from Robin Thicke, which the heirs of Marvin Gaye and astute music lovers swear is a (unauthorized) remake of Got to Give it Up.
That 1977 hit from the soul master Gaye was playing in our house when the infamous blackout of New York struck New York City that summer so it’s a big part of the Payne family story. I think Blurred ripped it off. There are also lawsuits against Lil Wayne for supposedly ripping off the Rolling Stones Play with Fire and Alicia Keys from going back to Hey there Lonely Girl that first hit the charts in 1962.
In Washington President Obama has followed the lead of liberals, going back to enlightened European scholars of the 1800’s, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon Banes Johnson. It is the LBJ tune, however, that seems like we keep hearing when the Commander in Chief speaks. In the process we are reminded that good intentions of so-called Great Societies can’t be legislated or produced by the whims of occupants of the Oval Office.
Still the slate of ideas hammered away at each encounter by President Obama comes from that Great Society hymn sheet.
• Economic Opportunity
• Elementary Education
• Clean Water
• Healthcare Insurance reform
The War on Poverty
Earlier in the week, I wrote that America hasn’t won a war in decades besides Grenada but the war on poverty is without a doubt the nation’s biggest failure. Not unlike wars with nations that have inferior weapons but stern resolve, this battle hasn’t been lost for fire power. Trillions of dollars have been pumped into the system to ostensibly “help” the disadvantaged but somehow poverty not only has remained firmly rooted it has actually gotten worse. There is no doubt in my mind the reason for this is we have picked the wrong targets to attack and forgot in the end to arm the disadvantaged to fight for themselves.
In the most recent report on poverty and income from the Census Department several shocking developments, already known on Main Street, were officially confirmed.
Median Income of $51,000 is less than $55,627 in 2007, the year before the Great Recession hit, and lower than the $56,080 back in 1999. We are reminded why family matters.
• Married couple $75,694
• Family household $64,053
• Female (no husband) household $34,003
• Male (no wife) household $48,634
• Female single $26,016
• Male single $36,989
The rate of poverty has climbed back to match levels of 1993, 1883 and 1965, when the war against poverty was at its strongest and promises were made but never fulfilled.
While incomes have rolled back to 1988 levels, poverty levels are on the cusp of moving even farther back in time.