Much to my wife’s dismay,
I very much enjoy the 2000 comedy/adventure O
Brother, Where Art Thou? Directed by the Coen
brothers, the film chronicles the adventures and misadventures of three escaped
convicts masterfully played by George Clooney, John Turturro,
and Tim Blake Nelson.
One of the most endearing
characteristics of the film is that it is filled with wonderful old-timey
American folk music. The opening scene is set to the 1928 song, BigRockCandyMountain,
sung by Harry McClintock. With lyrics like: “In
the Big Rock Candy Mountains there's a land that's fair and bright; Where the
handouts grow on bushes and you sleep out every night… I'm a goin to stay where you sleep all day; Where they hung the
jerk that invented work in the Big Rock Candy Mountains,” the song is
described as a hobo’s idea of paradise.
Of course, the modern
interpretation would be that the song is a liberal’s idea of paradise. Never
has the U.S.
been so close to realizing this “paradise.” Americans’ level of dependency on
the federal government is at the highest point in our nation’s history.
According to the Heritage
Foundation’s 2012 Index of Dependence on Government, “Today, more people than
ever before—67.3 million Americans, from college students to retirees to
welfare beneficiaries—depend on the federal government for housing, food,
income, student aid, or other assistance once considered to be the
responsibility of individuals, families, neighborhoods, churches, and other
civil society institutions.”
In 1962, the level of
dependence was 19; in 1980 (the base year) it was 100; in 2000 it was 179; in
2010 it was 294. John Merline of Investor’s Business
Daily reports that the Index surged 23% under just two years of Obama’s
Presidency. This was the largest two-year increase since the Presidency of
Also, as I noted in
April, the CBO estimates that 1 in 7 Americans received food stamps last
year, while also estimating this rate will rise until 2014. In case you weren’t
aware, they are no longer called food stamps. In 2008, the Food Stamp Program
became the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). As of the late
1990s, the paper stamps were replaced with an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT)
card that works like a debit card.
You also may not be aware
that, along with the food benefits, EBT cards are also used to provide cash
benefits. Cash benefits can be used to pay for almost any item, and can be used
to make cash withdrawals from participating ATMs, which, of course can be used
to pay for anything.
As anyone with an IQ above
that of Homer Simpson knows, this leads to RAMPANT abuse. The Boston Herald has
reported on several cases of EBT abuse in Massachusetts. Early this year a Massachusetts
commission revealed that 85% of EBT cash benefit transactions during the
month of January were ATM cash withdrawals. The Herald reporting revealed that,
“Unscrupulous merchants and welfare
abusers have pilfered millions in tax dollars.” The BayState
abuse involves not only cash transactions, but also fraudulent SNAP sales.
This is happening across the country. A recent Minnesota investigation
discovered widespread welfare abuse. According to 5 Eyewitness
News, “cigarettes, alcohol, lottery tickets - even tattoos - can be
bought with your money. We found welfare cash can be used for all sorts of
things never intended, from the Twin Cities to the U.S. Virgin Islands. And it's all legal.”
Eyewitness News also
revealed how welfare cash was withdrawn at ATMs inside casinos and bingo halls
and then gambled away, and how millions of dollars are being spent on childcare
that doesn't exist. As I noted
earlier this year, Michigan
has million dollar lottery winners so addicted to their welfare, that even
after coming into fortunes, they still refuse to wean themselves from the
Then there’s the nation’s
“Welfare Queen,” California.
National Review reports that, “The main reason that California is so dependent on welfare is its
uniquely lax enforcement of the provisions of the 1996 welfare reforms.” California is one of
only three states that, after adults have exhausted their welfare benefits,
allow the minors in the family to continue to receive them. Thus, 75% of California’s welfare
recipients are 18 years-old and younger.
Instead of wanting to curb
such dependence, the Obama administration gave us a wonderful visual
demonstration of how they plan to create even more welfare queens in the U.S. when
they unveiled the poster child of our entitlement society, Julia.
And then there is Obamacare. With the Supreme Court’s ruling—declaring the
individual mandate a tax—Americans are now staring at massive tax increase and
well over a trillion dollars in spending over the next decade on yet another
Given all of this, in the
spirit of BigRockCandyMountain, I’ve come up with the theme
song for the Obama administration’s reelection campaign: Barack’s Candy
Mountains. With lyrics such as,
“In Barack’s Candy Mountains there's a land that's fair and bright; Where
the food stamps grow on bushes and you step out every night; Where the TEA
Parties are all empty and the sun shines every day; On the birds and the bees
and the marijuana trees; Where the lemonade springs where Common sings; In
Barack’s Candy Mountains…”
I think I’ve nailed it. Perhaps
I could get Julia to sing it.
Copyright 2012, Trevor
At the Intersection of
Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason