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Welfare Reform: Obama Runs on Clinton Legacy While Dismantling It

Welfare Reform: Obama Runs on Clinton Legacy While Dismantling It

President Obama spent nearly a trillion dollars of our children’s and grandchildren’s money in a Kenyesian binge that not only hasn’t lowered unemployment or created economic growth, but likely got in the way of what would’ve been a stronger economic recovery had Obama simply done nothing. This is a difficult economic record for a sitting president to run for reelection on but, with the help of a corrupt and complicit media, Obama’s not only a couple of points ahead of his challenger in the polls; he’s pulling off the neat trick of running on Bill Clinton’s record even as he dismantles Clinton’s legacy — including welfare reform.

From an ad the Romney camp released today:

Under Clinton and the Gingrich congress that reigned him in, America saw boom times – an extension of an unprecedented economic growth period that started with Reagan’s tax cuts in the early eighties and was interrupted only by a single short-lived and shallow recession that, ironically, would be the downfall of Reagan’s successor, George H. W. Bush.

During the ’90s, Clinton got out of the way of the economy, Congress controlled spending, tens of millions of jobs were created, and the economy exploded.  Because most of America was working and paying taxes (instead of unemployed, paying no taxes, and draining revenues through welfare and food stamps), tax revenues flooded into the Treasury, and we enjoyed the first federal surpluses in years.

This is exactly the opposite of what President FailureTeleprompter has done. Instead, Obama went full-Kenyesian, exploded the deficit into the trillions; micro-managed, punished, and terrorized the free market with Dodd-Frank and ObamaCare; and constantly creates economic uncertainty with non-stop class-warfare talk and promises of tax increases.

And yet, although he is a Bizarro-Clinton, Obama is attempting to sell himself as Clinton II based solely on the fact that Clinton raised taxes on the wealthy. To hear Obama and the media tell it, these tax increases are the secret sauce that made the 1990’s the 1990’s.

Our president is nothing if not an audacious liar:

Let me just point out that the approach that I’m talking about has also been tested. Just like their theories have been tested and didn’t work, my theories have been tested. The last time they were tried was by a guy named Bill Clinton. And we created 23 million new jobs, went from deficits to surplus, and we created a lot of millionaires to boot.

In Oakland, California, on Monday, the president said the deficit cannot be reduced “without asking folks like me who have been incredibly blessed to give up the tax cuts that we’ve been getting for a decade. I’ll cut out government spending that’s not working, that we can’t afford, but I’m also going to ask anybody making over $250,000 a year to go back to the tax rates they were paying under Bill Clinton, back when our economy created 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history and everybody did well.”

Let me count the lies….

1. “We created 23 million jobs…” —We? This is Obama pretending his economic plan in any way resembles Clinton’s, when the complete opposite is true.

2. “…asking folks like me who have been incredibly blessed…” —No one blessed these folks, unless their last name is Kennedy – most of them they worked their butts off.

3. “I’ll cut out government spending that’s not working, that we can’t afford…” So says the president who normalized the word TRILLIONS into discussions of our federal budget and deficits.

4. “…but I’m also going to ask anybody making over $250,000 a year to go back to the tax rates they were paying under Bill Clinton, back when our economy created 23 million new jobs, the biggest budget surplus in history and everybody did well.” —Yeah, because it was those tax increases that created the economic boom and nothing else. What about what Clinton didn’t do? Clinton didn’t terrify the free market with Obama Care (though he tried), didn’t suppress job creators with Dodd-Frank, didn’t run around demanding tax increases on job creators, didn’t demean job creators, and didn’t explode the deficit in ways we never imagined possible.

Naturally, the media’s letting Obama get away with this, just as they let him get away with quietly dismantling one of Bill Clinton’s most popular and effective policies — welfare reform. The Romney campaign is going to attempt to make this an issue today, but the media will almost certainly be more interested in week five of obsessing over the fact that Romney is releasing the same two years of tax returns Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) did.

But here are the facts:

In a blatant challenge to the legislative branch, Obama by executive order tossed out the Clinton-era welfare reform that required able-bodied aid recipients to work, saying the federal government will no longer enforce the law.

This follows the president’s unilateral rewrite of immigration law, using an executive order to implement elements of the DREAM Act, which Congress refused to adopt. He also has thumbed his nose at the No Child Left Behind Act, and has put in place cap-and-trade carbon rules that were specifically rejected by Congress.

He can’t do these things, by any reading of the Constitution. And yet he is. Because Congress, whose powers he is usurping, hasn’t risen to stop him.

The Constitution separates powers between the legislative, administrative and judicial branches to more effectively limit government authority, and thus protect individual liberty.

Obama apparently does not recognize those constitutional limits on his power.

The work requirement is the whole reason welfare reform has been so successful:

[Rep. Dave] Camp, one of the original authors of the legislation, called the move “a brazen and unwarranted unraveling” of the law that “ends welfare reform as we know it.”

“Welfare reform provided states a simple deal: fixed federal funding and enormous flexibility in exchange for a requirement that they engage welfare recipients in work and related activities,” Camp, R-Mich., wrote in a statement. “In response, states helped record numbers of low-income parents go to work, earnings soared, and dependence on welfare and poverty plunged by record levels.”

At times, Republicans unfairly suggest that Clinton was muscled into signing welfare reform by the Gingrich Congress. This is unfair. Clinton ran for president on reforming welfare. One of the more memorable centerpieces of Clinton’s ’92 campaign was ending welfare as we know it.  

And now, with yet another illegal and un-Constitutional stroke of the pen, Obama’s ended welfare reform as we know it.


Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC

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