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Travis Rowley: Jack Reed’s Scam

Monday, December 26, 2011

 

“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.” – Alexis de Tocqueville

Offering Senator Jack Reed (D) a flattering headline – “Sen. Reed’s Christmas Gift for Homeless: $4.6 Million in Aid” – GoLocalProv reported this week that Reed is bringing home “$4.6 million in federal Continuum of Care funding to combat homelessness.”

This is what passes as a “Christmas gift” in big-government circles – having Washington take money from Rhode Island taxpayers, only to have their US Senator redistribute that money to those who don’t pay taxes. Or, more simply – bringing Rhode Island taxes to Washington, only to redirect those taxes back to Rhode Island.

Here’s your Christmas gift. It’s your wallet!

And I know what you’re thinking: Eighty years of ever-expanding government programs designed to assist the needy, yet we’re still “combat[ing] homelessness?” Maybe it’s time for a different tact.

Seriously, people. You don’t have a home yet?

Liberal Results

Big-government liberalism spawned by the New Deal of the 1930s began to shower scores of do-gooder policies upon the American People, the purpose of most being to eradicate poverty. Eighty years later, poverty still exists.

In fact, with the growth of government, we’ve only experienced an expansion of poverty.

Consider this: How many people were on food stamps before a food stamp program existed? Zero. But years after the initial implementation of the food stamp program, we discover that one out of seven Americans is currently “relying” on SNAP – the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Nice work, liberals.

Democrats still contend, however, that their policies are temporary and aimed at getting people off the government dole. Senator Reed assures us that this latest grant will give people “an opportunity to return to self-sufficiency and independence.”

To liberals, paradise is always just around the corner. One more federal grant will always solve the problem. A further expansion of the welfare state is the path to prosperity.

According to Democrats, the fact that “the demand for beds at shelters [is] at an all-time high” is their chief justification for throwing more government money at the problem. As GoLocalProv.com reports, “The state’s swelling homeless population has caused homelessness advocates to call for more action to be taken by the state this winter.”

Reed has responded to their cries, calling the new “federal funding” a “smart investment.” According to the prominent Democrat, it will help in “reducing homelessness in Rhode Island…We are committed to preventing and ending homelessness throughout the state, and these funds are vital to keeping that commitment.”

Just one more grant!

Democrats’ Poverty Industry

These policies aren’t “smart.” And neither is Senator Reed. He’s just a Democrat – someone who doesn’t understand free markets or human nature; someone who doesn’t truly believe in liberty or independence; someone who only trusts the stability of the world under the conditions that he has the power to control, and provide for, the lives of others.

While the National Journal ranked Sheldon Whitehouse the “most liberal” US Senator earlier this year, according to WPRI, “Jack Reed was right behind him…vot[ing] for liberal policies 81% of the time.”

Last May, in coordination with RI Housing and US Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Reed delivered “$1.2 million in grant funds to support two homeless programs in Rhode Island.” These “new grants” were “in support of ongoing efforts to end homelessness in the state.”

“Ongoing” is an understatement. Five months earlier Reed and HUD had “awarded an additional $4.8 million to renew funding to 44 existing Rhode Island programs.” Several years ago Reed “authored the Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act of 2009.” And in 2008 Reed announced that “the Urban League of Rhode Island will get $200,000 for a program that provides temporary homes and other services to homeless adolescents.” (Providence Journal)

Seriously, people. You don’t have a home yet?

Democrats: Un-American

Democrats simply don’t have the governmental discipline to be responsible stewards of American power, as they continuously shirk the primary warning of America’s founders: “The natural order of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” (T. Jefferson). Two centuries later Ronald Reagan would confront America’s progressives, reminding them, “As government expands, liberty contracts” – only to have Democrats respond with violent demagoguery, informing voters that Republican attacks on the welfare state were rooted in cruelty, racism, and selfishness; that a rollback of government programs would lead to starvation, death, and Jim Crow oppression.

Armed with a flattering perception of themselves as exceptionally bright and caring, progressive Democrats don’t view government as an eternal entity, determined to grow and destined to oppress its subjects. They see government as their brand new tool of social improvement. Therefore, each newly-elected progressive ends up contributing to governmental reach by unleashing his own tired liberalism, never realizing its inherent destructiveness.

If Senator Reed truly wanted to “end homelessness,” he would advocate for the scrapping of all federal welfare programs, and to lower the federal tax burden on Rhode Islanders, actually keeping Rhode Island money in – get this – Rhode Island!

In doing so, the economic impact to the Ocean State would be far greater than Reed’s dribble of federal funds, which, before reaching the state’s homeless population, are inefficiently filtered through progressive entities like Washington, DC and RI Housing.

But Jack Reed will continue to bring back the pork, Rhode Islanders’ money disguised as free federal funds that will undoubtedly “end homelessness” and generate economic activity for the state.

But it’s all a scam. Homelessness will never be solved by Democratic policies. And federal grants don’t generate lasting economic growth. But they do keep Jack Reed in power.

 

Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is chairman of the RI Young Republicans and a consultant for the Barry Hinckley Campaign for US Senate.

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Comments:

W. Walwyn

You're a terrible human being. The idea that you'd sit down to write this, with Christmastime fast approaching, is beyond the pale. If anything, it should invalidate your argument from the start. Is compassionate conservatism dead? Replaced by this selfish "me-first" attitude? To think you inhabit the same world as decent people. Astounding.

The reality is that your argument is so flawed as to be ridiculous. You say that the welfare system is "ever-expanding" over the last eighty years, as though the last thirty years happened in an alternate universe where the welfare system expanded rather than was reduced. Don't you read history? Reaganism, welfare reform, the Bush years. Did these things just not happen to you? Are you willfully ignoring the past? Welfare programs have been systematically gutted to be less effective.

But they do work (http://www.offthechartsblog.org/taking-stock-of-the-safety-net-part-6-it-works-but-it-doesnt-do-enough/), even now. Despite the best efforts of politicians to make them fail, they continue to work.

Another ridiculous point is your approach to reliance on SNAP. How could anyone rely on SNAP before it existed? It's like saying that there were no car crashes before cars came along. Duh! But without them, we'd all be riding horses and taking trains. The same is true here. Because you know what would be happening if one out of seven Americans weren't using SNAP? They'd be going without meals, possibly starving to death.

The reality is that such policies do work. Take Sweden as the best example. Everywhere else, nations are experiencing austerity as their governments cut social programs to respond to the various crises. In Sweden, no such thing is taking place. Growth in the economy is far higher than the United States (http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/five-economic-lessons-from-sweden-the-rock-star-of-the-recovery/2011/06/21/AGyuJ3iH_story.html?nav=emailpage), and they did it with some automatic Keynesian economics; even as they went through welfare reform at around the same time as us, they never went as far as we did.

It doesn't matter how "big" or how "small" a government is if it works. The argument shouldn't be about size, it should be about efficiency and effectiveness. Irresponsible Republicans (not all, by any means) have spent the last thirty years attempting to incapacitate popular social programs so they'll become unpopular, so that they can then say "hah, these don't work at all!" It's like setting the fox to watch the hen house. The only issue here is that the irresponsible Republicans like yourself keep failing, because the programs continue to work. So congratulations, you're incompetent as well.

What's worse than all this, though, is your aim to brand those who disagree with you as Un-American. Shame on you. The demands for policies aimed at alleviating poverty are integral to America, capitalism, and democracy. Thomas Paine (the Founding Father extolled by Glenn Beck) argued in "Agrarian Justice" for social benefits. So did Adam Smith (the founder of capitalism) in "the Wealth of Nations". And the Levellers, some of the first proponents of democracy in the English language, advocated assisting the needy while advocating democracy for the first time.

I can expect to appeal to you on fact though, because the reality is this: you're a squawk box, designed not to look at facts but to distort things to your point of view. You can't be convinced, or argued with. You don't feel shame. If you did, you'd never have written this column.

The problem is, Mr. Rowley, that where the rest of us see a needy person and think that must be some way to help, perhaps that something can be done, you see a leech looking to steal your wallet. What a sad world you live in. Do you see potential girlfriends as tax breaks? Does the thought of children make you think of burning money? You must live in a world without decency, without empathy, without human emotion, a true Hobbesian dystopia. I'm glad that I and the rest of America don't inhabit that world. And I wish you'd stop trying to bring it into ours.

W. Walwyn

Sorry, I can't expect to appeal to you on fact. That was a misprint. Much like this whole column should be.

W. Walwyn

Merry Christmas.

Michael Trenn

Typical liberal response to another well-written Rowley piece. Alternate ad hominem attacks with unproven statements of opposition. Walwyn cites Sweden as the big example of how liberalism works. If the United States were a small, homogeneous country with a single dominant resident culture, we would be Sweden, too. Walwyn talks about other countries cutting back on social programs without saying why. The reason is massive debt due, in major part to overly generous (wait for it-- drum roll) Social Programs! The problems of the rest of the Eurozone have not affected Sweden. Yet.

lillian larkin

Travis Rowley ...that annoying mosquito in any room.
How about the the frostbit and sick homeless population have a lie down on your front door so you can actually kick them as you come and go... make for a nice Bah Humbug...Mr. Scrooge?
Everytime I watch you on T.V. or catch a bit of your writing I think how proud your family must be.

Sierra Lee

i thought this article was GREAT!! Keep it up, Travis.

Drew M

WALWYN clearly didn't understand rowley's "food stamp" point....And could WALWYN have demonstrated his liberal "demagoguery" point ANY better?? Without food stamps, "They'd be going without meals, possibly starving to death." Rowley is a "terrible human being""??? AAhhhh!!!

Bryan Sullivan

Liberals will never recognize that Republicans/Conservatives like Rowley are ALSO trying to help the poor/homeless - just not via socialism. This article is about a corrupt redistributive system (bringing money to DC, then bringing it back to RI, and winning votes because of it). It's also about actually achieving "RESULTS" for the poor. But liberals are content being CONSIDERED the compassionate ones, even if their policies continue to HURT the poor.

Therefore, this was a WONDERFUL Christmas article. Thank you, Travis R. Merry Christmas.

Jonathan Flynn

Yes, the conservative Republicans are helping the poor in a Malthusian kind of way. Thinning the herd is the very definition of compassionate conservatism. W. Walwyn should have a column.

Odd Job

Thieving liberals love redistributing wealth to their voter base.
'Walwyn' searches through the carcasses of broke socialist style gov'ts in Europe to find one where apparently this works and uses this as as proof of its viability...too funny!

Jonathan Flynn

Has Travis ever had a real job, other than leading a band of young misfits, shilling for a rich egomaniac and selling vanity press publications at potluck dinners and loser gatherings? Just wanted to know.

Walt Jones

==========================

Wow, this article, if it can even be called that, sounds just like something you would read in an edition of the Onion. Just amazing. Rowley's arguments don't even deserve a counterargument. Why, because he is full of hatred. It's like trying to argue with a racist.

Travis passionately hates the homeless, and he despises liberals. He actually thinks Democrats' goal is to destroy the country. Yeah, he's one of those. So rational discourse isn't going to do much.

I'm not sure what's more troubling, the fact that GoLocal allows this nonsense to be posted on its website, or that a possible senate candidate is taking advice from Rowley. Either way, this is the final straw. I am done with GoLocalProv. It's been good, they have some great writers and interesting stories, I love 'Side of The Rhode'! Sadly, that's finished for me. I could look past the disorganized comment posting system (I use equals signs). I could even look past the horrific clip art they place next to their stories. But I can't look past this. GoLocal is giving a megaphone to hateful person. I can't support that. I hope Travis Rowley is worth it. THIS IS ONE MORE READER WHO IS LEAVING FOREVER

=================

Walt Jones

PS This article is terribly written. The last two paragraphs seem like rough notes and Rowley just sent it in to beat a deadline. GoLocal editors, are you getting your "money's worth"? Also, there is a very simple grammatical error contained in the third-to-last paragraph.
==============

Drew M

The last several paragraphs are actually where Rowley proves that HE is trying to help the homelessness, and Reed is merely taking part in a corrupt and harmful system of wealth redistribution. Only a liberal would fail to see that Rowley is actually trying to HELP the poor in this article...Rowley's frustration is clearly aimed at LIBERALISM, not the homeless:
____

If Senator Reed truly wanted to “end homelessness,” he would advocate for the scrapping of all federal welfare programs, and to lower the federal tax burden on Rhode Islanders, actually keeping Rhode Island money in – get this – Rhode Island!

In doing so, the economic impact to the Ocean State would be far greater than Reed’s dribble of federal funds, which, before reaching the state’s homeless population, are inefficiently filtered through progressive entities like Washington, DC and RI Housing.

But Jack Reed will continue to bring back the pork, Rhode Islanders’ money disguised as free federal funds that will undoubtedly “end homelessness” and generate economic activity for the state.

But it’s all a scam. Homelessness will never be solved by Democratic policies. And federal grants don’t generate lasting economic growth. But they do keep Jack Reed in power.
_______

Art West

Excellent article, Mr. Rowley. The "progressive" comments denouncing the article unfortunately reveal just how unaware progressive minds are of the failure of tax-and-spend policies. These pork policies don't eradicate poverty, homelessness and other social ills -- they support the environment for these conditions. How much better if we sent far less of our tax money off to Washington and kept it here to create a robust local economy. Such an economy would help lift all boats.

Aaron Regunberg

Man oh man, this goes way beyond being based on flawed logic. Can't decide if Mr. Rowley's arguments are more disgusting or more stupid. I guess there's no need to decide, though.

Drew M

Another wonderful liberal argument, this time from the socialist Aaron Regunberg. Welcome to the "Rowley Comments Section" ---- where no one who disagrees with what Travis has to say ever feels obligated to actually formulate an argument. It's quite telling.

Bryan Sullivan

that's how Brown U. liberals (socialists) are taught to argue, Drew . Rowley is a conservative, so just call him either racist, sexist, homophobic, "disgusting," or "stupid"....Just demonize and mock him. Then nobody will bother listening to him. Nice try, Aaron. But some of us see right through you.

Real Clear

"Democrats simply don’t have the governmental discipline to be responsible stewards of American power"
Travis,what a joker. Democracy needs to rein in Capitalism. The Great Depression proved it. This last recession revalidates it. If not for the pieces of the New Deal now in place, this recession would look like the Great Depression.
I don't think daddy got his money worth sending you to Brown.

Mike Govern

Excellent, clear thinking piece. As opposed to the knee-jerk feel good non-thinkers whose policies just promote more of the same. You want more of something? Subsidize it. These people don't understand that their so-called generosity is actually exacerbating the problem....




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