The first time I quoted Robert Rector’s statistics, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (they preceded Media Matters) wrote this big, long piece — picked up word for word by the AP — about how I lie and make things up. And all I was doing was repeating Bob Rector’s statistics on poverty in this country compared to around the world. It is the statistic that shows how many people in poverty in this country own their house, how many have two cars, how many have a cell phone, how many have TVs.
It would astound you.
Bob Rector’s research has done that and has compared poverty here to poverty in Europe and poverty in Asia. And poverty here is not poverty. It’s not real, real, dirt poverty like it is around the rest of the world. I pointed this out. I quoted Rector. I got creamed for four years in the mainstream media for lying and making things up. Bob Rector wrote welfare reform. Bob Rector is the guy who wrote it. This is what Heritage does. We told you that too.
Heritage works with members of Congress. Heritage was instrumental in putting together the Reagan tax cut plan, Kemp-Roth, and Rector was involved in writing welfare reform in the ’90s. That ended up having the work requirements in it. So Rector showed up on the NewsHour on PBS with Judy Woodruff. We’ve got three sound bites of Robert Rector saying he wrote welfare reform and that Obama has undone it.
RUSH: Okay. Last night on the PBS NewsHour co-host Judy Woodruff was talking to Robert Rector, senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation. She says, “Robert Rector, how do you see what Governor Romney is charging here?”
RECTOR: I happen to have written most of these requirements. What the Obama administration has done is taken these and said (tears a sheet of paper). “They are gone! They are out of the picture. They no longer have any meaning in law, and we’re going to replace them with something else. But you should trust us that we’re not planning to really alter the program.” Their action was completely illegal, and it violates and wipes out the entire core of reform.
RUSH: There’s the guy that wrote it! Robert Rector. He wrote welfare reform. He just said that Obama has ripped the work requirements out of it. “It’s illegal. It violates and wipes out the entire core of reform.” Now here’s Judy Woodruff talking to the guy who just said, “I wrote it. It’s been gutted.” Judy says, “But, as I understand it, it’s giving states more flexibility to figure out ways to get people to work, Mr. Rector.”
RECTOR: It’s allowing states to be exempted from the participation rates entirely. They say that they will waive or do away with all of Section 407. That is the entire work requirement in the bill. Every aspect, every clause, every phrase is now invalid. It’s no longer is binding, and they’re going to replace it with something they will design unilaterally with no input from Congress. And that will be something that will be far more lenient than the existing law. The left-wing of the Democratic Party has opposed this law from the beginning. Half the Democratic Party voted against it in ’96. They attempted to repeal it in 2002; they were unable. They’ve now used the bureaucratic tactic to wipe it out.
RUSH: “Oh, but wait! But wait! What about the waivers these Republican governors, these two guys asked for so they could make it even harder for people to get welfare? They had to work even harder and even longer!” We kept hearing that all week. Rector said, “No, they’ve just done away with all of Section 407. That’s the entire work requirement section of the bill. It’s gone.” So all this is a crock about these governors asking for waivers. Judy Woodruff finally says, “Well, let’s broaden this out, Mr. Rector. Let’s talk about the state of poverty in the country. What about the characterization…?”
RECTOR: There are over 80 programs that the government spends — directs — targeted aid to poor Americans. Eighty programs. This year we spent $927 billion on those programs, not including Social Security and Medicare. One hundred million individuals receive aid. It’s $9,000 per recipient. Of those 80 programs, only three had work requirements. Now it’s two. There are 100 million recipients, a third of the US population. The missing welfare state in our poverty statistics is greater than the GDP of most nations in the world.
RUSH: And there, ladies and gentlemen, you have the truth of it all. Do you want me to run through the numbers again here? Eighty programs. Think of “redundancy.” Think of how many school lunch programs there are. There’s school breakfast and school dinner now. They’re piled one on top of another. And each one is to “fix” something ostensibly wrong in the existing program, which government created in the first place. So the government comes in, “solves” something. But that doesn’t work. It just makes it worse.
Then the government comes in with a “fix” that makes the program bigger and worse and the cycle repeats. So now we’re talking about poverty. We have 80 programs. The federal government spent $927 billion on those programs. (Think of it as a stimulus plan.) It doesn’t include SocSecurity and Medicare. One hundred million people in this country receive “aid” now. It averages $9,000 per recipient. Now, of those 80 programs, only three of them had work requirements — and Obama couldn’t handle that!
The Democrats couldn’t deal with that.
So one of the 80 programs was welfare reform from 1996. It’s gone now. So only two of the programs have work requirements now, and there are 100 million recipients. One-third of our population! And that last line: “The missing welfare state in our poverty statistics is greater than the GDP of most nations in the world.” Now, this has been his area of specialty: Cataloging, characterizing, reporting on poverty in this country.
Then he’s compared it to poverty other places in the world and it’s not even close. So we’re still back to the politics of this. In the midst of Obama trying to suppress the white, working class vote, he does this. He guts the work requirements, and Romney is able to cut an ad. The white, working class voters now get whipped into a frenzy. They get ticked off at Obama. The Obama team shot themselves in the foot. So how do they fix this?
Well, let’s go to the unions next. Because the unions are “white people,” but they’re considered blue collar. But what if…? Let’s go to sound bite 21 and 23. Richard Trumka yesterday in Washington, at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast event. Trumka is the president of the AFL-CIO. And they had a discussion on the union’s roles in politics. We have a couple of bites. Here’s the first…
TRUMKA: When it comes to the working people, there’s no contest. Barack Obama is more for working people than Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney is for the very rich. He doesn’t identify with us. He doesn’t understand what we go through every day. He doesn’t understand the decisions that we have to make.
RUSH: They’re back now to suppressing the vote, you see? (paraphrased) “Romney is this distant, rich guy who doesn’t even care about us. Doesn’t care! A guy’s wife dies and Romney’s not concerned. Romney made it possible! He made sure they didn’t have any health care.” All of it bogus, as you know, but this is the effort. Trumka had one more thing to say…
TRUMKA: I think he loses and Obama wins, because I think the American public are (sic) tired of the old economy. They see through it. They don’t want the economic winners to be able to make the economic policies that are going to continue to stop them and their kids from getting ahead.
RUSH: The world’s upside down. He wants the losers to write economic policy. Yep, yep, because Americans are “tired of the old economy.” That’s the Bush economy, obviously. What the American people are tired of is what’s happening right now. That’s what they’re sick of. The thing they don’t know is that it’s Obama’s economy. That point has not been made clearly enough as far as I’m concerned.