Why Is America Going Broke? This Might Have Something To Do With It

From the UK Daily Mail, which seems to be truly expert at ferreting out these American examples (perhaps they’re even more successful in uncovering domestic horrors across the pond)…

A woman encouraged her husband to have sex with a 12-year-old girl so that she would get pregnant and they could claim extra cash benefits.

Alicia Bouchard even sat and watched while her 26-year-old husband had sex with the underage girl at their Florida home.

According to an arrest warrant, the 41-year-old wanted the girl to fall pregnant so that she and her husband would have extra income from state benefits.

Bouchard is alleged to have actively encouraged her husband to sleep with the girl who had been staying at their home in Jackson County, Florida.

The sex and benefits scam began after the girl, who has not been named, told Bouchard that she was sexually active.

Want a little more? How about a wafer-thin mint…

Mrs Bouchard is alleged to have persuaded her to sleep with her husband Matt, telling her that ‘the worse that could happen is you would get pregnant’.

Her husband told authorities after his arrest on under age sex charges that it was his wife’s goal that a pregnancy would lead to more income for the household.

I’m in the middle of reading Mark Steyn’s new book After America: Get Ready for Armageddon, and he recovers an outstanding quote from Alexis de Tocqueville, of which he remarks “There is a famous quote by Alexis de Tocqueville. Or, rather, it would be famous were he still widely read. For he knows us far better than we know him.”

And the quote, which is a little long, reads as follows…

Over these is elevated an immense, tutelary power, which takes sole charge of assuring their enjoyment and of watching over their fate. It is absolute, attentive to detail, regular, provident, and gentle. It would resemble the paternal power if, like that power, it had as its object to prepare men for manhood, but it seeks, to the contrary, to keep them irrevocably fixed in childhood… it provides for their security, foresees and suplies their needs, guides them in their principal affairs…

The sovereign extends its arms about the society as a whole; it covers its surface with a network of petty regulation – complicated, minute, and uniform – through which even the most original minds and the most vigorous souls know not how to make their way… it does not break wills; it softens them, bends them and directs them; rarely does it force one to act, but it constantly opposes itself to one’s acting on one’s own… it does not tyrannize, it gets in the way: it curtails, it enervates, it extinguishes, it stupefies, and finally reduces each nation to being nothing more than a herd of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.

Does that not completely prophesy, some two centuries early, precisely the society which would produce the Bouchards?

You cannot pay government benefits to people who see statutory rape as a sound financial investment.

Byron York, in a Washington Examiner piece yesterday, uncovers some startling numbers on the current federal deficit and where it came from. Over the last four years since 2007, when the federal government ran an idyllic deficit of only $160 billion, York notes that revenues are down some $338 billion and Social Security ($162 billion) and Medicare ($119 billion) have increased incrementally based on an increasing number of retirees and higher health-care costs. But an explosion in non-defense discretionary spending in those four years accounts for a staggering percentage of our current fiscal terror.

A lot of the higher spending has stemmed directly from the downturn. There is, for example, spending on what is called “income security” — that is, for unemployment compensation, food stamps and related programs. In 2007, the government spent $365 billion on income security. In 2011, it’s estimated to spend $622 billion. That’s an increase of $257 billion.

Then there is Medicaid, the health care program for lower-income Americans. A lot of people had lower incomes due to the economic downturn, and federal expenditures on Medicaid — its costs are shared with the states — went from $190 billion in 2007 to an estimated $276 billion in 2011, an increase of $86 billion. Put that together with the $257 billion increase in income security spending, and you have $343 billion.

York notes a host of other spending, on things like Obama’s stimulus and TARP, and regrettably he leaves out the abandonment of federal welfare reform the stimulus occasioned. But his closing is germane to the above…

The bottom line is that with baby boomers aging, entitlements will one day be a major budget problem. But today’s deficit crisis is not one of entitlements. It was created by out-of-control spending on everything other than entitlements. The recent debt-ceiling agreement is supposed to put the brakes on that kind of spending, but leaders have so far been maddeningly vague on how they’ll do it.

This issue could be an important one in the coming presidential race. Should Republicans base their platform on entitlement reform, or should they focus on the here and now — specifically, on undoing the damage done by Obama and his Democratic allies? In coming months, the answer will likely become clear: entitlements someday, but first things first.

We’re going to have to have a reckoning in this country soon. The political reckoning is all but marked on the calendar for November of next year; the polls indicate the Obama presidency will be dissolved with a lusty vigor by the American public at that time, and the state-by-state numbers are beginning to portend doom for a large swath of the 23 Democrat senators up for re-election in the coming cycle as well.

But while the political reckoning is eminently necessary, it’s not the crucial reckoning the country needs. That would be a cultural reckoning. Because a culture in which even the lowest trash among our citizenry would actually consider child molestation as a means of securing government benefits is a culture perhaps fatally wounded. And this is just an extreme example of what goes on every day; the excuse-making, the dumbing-down, the acceptance of permanent victim-status and the herding of the timid and industrious animals into competing interest groups. Our welfare state has blown a hole in our national character, and that’s an even bigger disaster than our budgetary or political woes.

We can’t afford people like the Bouchards in a country beset with enemies and competitors who envy and despise us. We can’t tolerate parasites like these anymore.

We have to bring back shame in this country. And we have to learn to say no to people, in order to force them to provide for themselves.

It’s the only way. And we’re running out of time.

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