Current Events vs. Founding Documents

This column presents facts regarding the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Wisconsin State Constitution, and various other documents in reference to modern topics. Mark hopes to encourage interest in those works so that others can consider whether our government is practicing within its constitutional limits. In the last category, he may indicate his opinion. Mark is a resident of New Berlin. Readers are encouraged to visit the following sites for more information on the United States Constitution and Thomas Jefferson's views on politics and government.

Why Aren't Democrats Suspicious ?

Constitution, checks and balances

Entry 176

Current Event

According to, January 15, 2013

Obama claims Republicans have 'suspicions' on programs aiding poor, seniors

President Obama cranked up his criticism of Republicans in the days leading up to the start of his second term, going so far as to suggest the rival party has "suspicions" about feeding poor children and ensuring seniors' access to health care.

The comments came during the president's final news conference of his first term Monday. While claiming he's fairly "friendly" and open to talks with Republicans, he leveled some unusually tough accusations at the GOP -- effectively impugning their motives for deficit reduction.

The president claimed that what's "motivating and propelling" House Republicans may be "more than simply deficit reduction."

"They have a particular vision about what government should and should not do," Obama said. "So they are suspicious about government's commitments, for example, to make sure that seniors have decent health care as they get older. They have suspicions about Social Security. They have suspicions about whether government should make sure that kids in poverty are getting enough to eat, or whether we should be spending money on medical research."

Conservatives did not take kindly to the president's allegations.

The president, in his remarks, was apparently referring to Republicans' push to cut Medicare spending as well as food stamps.

But on the former, Republicans say they're trying to reform the program in order to stabilize and save it -- while addressing a major driver of the U.S. deficit. On the latter, Republicans note that the food stamp program's rolls have swelled to 47 million in recent years -- and have pushed to tighten qualification requirements.


According to  Deseret News,  July 11 2012

Study: $15 trillion in welfare spending has had little impact since 1964

In this Oct. 6, 2009 photo, people shop at the Costco Wholesale Burbank store in Burbank, Calif. Costco began accepting food stamps at its warehouse clubs nationwide in 2009 after testing them at stores in New York. (Associated Press)

A policy analysis released by the Cato Institute in April shows that despite nearly $15 trillion in total welfare spending since President Lyndon Johnson began the "war on poverty" in 1964, the poverty rate in the United States has remained relatively constant.

In 1964, the national poverty rate was around 19 percent and falling, while the current poverty rate is expected to be around 15.1 percent and climbing. It is now at the highest level in nearly a decade.

According to the Cato report, the federal government will spend more than $668 billion to fight poverty in 2012. State and local governments will spend an additional $284 billion, amounting to $20,610 for every poor person in America, or $61,830 per poor family of three.

Federal money for fighting poverty is divided amongst 126 separate anti-poverty programs. The programs include 33 housing programs, 21 food or food-purchasing assistance programs, 8 different health care programs and 27 cash or general assistance programs. Seven different cabinet agencies and six independent agencies administer at least one anti-poverty program, the report stated.

In this Nov. 24, 1965 file photo, Sargent Shriver, director of the Office of Economic Opportunity, gives a news conference said in that the Anti-Poverty Program has been effective in its first year in operation in reaching the poorest sections of the country. (Associated Press, )

The largest federal welfare program is Medicaid, with spending topping $228 billion in 2011, excluding funding for nursing home or long-term care for the elderly. Other programs include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the Earned Income Tax Credit, Federal Pell Grants, the National School Lunch Program, Head Start, Work Investment Act Youth Activities, Summer Food Service Program for Children, TRIO Upward Bound, Weatherization Assistance for Low Income Persons, WIC Grants to States, Rural Rental Housing Loans and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Outreach and Participation.



According to, September 4, 2012

As national debt passes $16 trillion, GOP blasts Obama's policies

(CBS News) Hours before Democrats were set to officially kick off the Democratic National Convention, the Treasury Department on Tuesday announced that the national debt has surpassed $16 trillion for the first time in American history - giving Republicans fodder for criticism as Democrats celebrate their party and the president.

In a statement following the announcement, House Speaker John Boehner targeted President Obama's economic record, casting the news as "another sad reminder of President Obama's broken promise to cut the deficit in half."

"This debt is a drain on our economy and a crushing burden on our kids and grandkids, and it's yet another indication that the president's policies have made things worse," he argued.


The President vs. The Constitution


Founding Document

The US Constitution, Amendment 10

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

We the People:


If it doesn’t work and is unconstitutional, why do it?  Avoiding welfare alone would have nearly eliminated the national debt.  So Republicans are suspicious of expensive unconstitutional programs that aren’t effectively helping the poor. The question is this; why aren’t congressional Democrats suspicious?

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Page Tools