Obama wants to enlarge welfare state by ending work-for-welfare

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Government “transfers” or financial assistance is at its highest level on record, of more than $2400 billion a year. But if that POS in the White House has his way, that spending will go up even more — way more.
Our present welfare system is a result of a reform during the Clinton Administration, which requires able-bodied welfare-recipients to work or at least try to find work. But Obama means to undo that reform, which will put even more people on welfare.

~Click graph to enlarge~

Amy Payne writes for the Heritage Foundation’s The Foundry, July 18, 2012:

The Obama Administration made yet another end run around Congress last week—this time, to gut the successful welfare reform law of 1996. If this is allowed to stand, it will mean rewinding years of progress that lifted millions out of poverty.
Before the 1996 reform, welfare was a one-way handout: Government mailed checks to recipients who did nothing in return. The new program the reform law established, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), changed all that. It required able-bodied welfare recipients to work, prepare for work, or at least look for work as a condition of receiving aid. Welfare reform turned “welfare” into “workfare.”
At the time, liberals denounced the new law and predicted dire consequences for America’s needy. They said the reform would do “serious injury to American children” and “substantially increase poverty and destitution.”
There was “absolutely no evidence that this radical idea has even the slightest chance of success,” they said, crying that “No piece of legislation in U.S. history has increased the severity of poverty so sharply.”
In reality, the exact opposite turned out to be true.
After reform, the welfare caseload promptly dropped by 50 percent. As the caseload plummeted, employment and earnings among recipients experienced an unprecedented surge upward. As Heritage’s Robert Rector reported:

As welfare dependence fell and employment increased,child poverty among the affected groups fell dramatically. For a quarter-century before the reform, poverty among black children and single mothers had remained frozen at high levels. Immediately after the reform, poverty for both groups experienced dramatic and unprecedented drops, quickly reaching all-time lows.

Still, the left fought the work requirements. But after legislative attempts to do away with them failed over the years, the Obama Administration decided to rescind the reforms without Congressional approval. This Administration has had no problem acting in an imperial way, rewriting law on its own, whether its new dictates are legal or not. In fact, Heritage legal scholars have determined this latest move is indeed illegal.
What did they hate so much? The reform simply reflected Americans’ willingness to help their neighbors in need, on the condition that welfare recipients do what they can to help themselves as well.
Under the law, some 40 percent of adult TANF recipients in a state were required to engage in “work activities,” defined as unsubsidized employment, subsidized employment, on-the-job training, attending high school or a GED program, vocational education, community service work, job search, or job readiness training. Participation was part-time, 20 hours per week for mothers with children under six and 30 hours for mothers with older children.
In the past, state welfare bureaucrats have attempted to define “personal care activities,” “massage,” “motivational reading,” “journaling,” attending Weight Watchers, and “helping a friend or relative with household tasks” as work activities. Expect far more of this in the future as no-strings-attached handouts again displace workfare.
Instead of helping people get back on their feet—from job training to obtaining employment—welfare will now go back to locking them in a cycle of dependence on the government.
President Obama has made no secret about his plans to expand the welfare state permanently. He has increased spending on federal means-tested welfare (“means-tested” benefits are doled out according to the recipients’ income levels) by a third since taking office. And he plans to increase this even further after the current recession ends, calling for a permanent increase in annual means-tested spending from 4.5 percent to 6 percent of gross domestic product. Overall, President Obama plans to spend $12.7 trillion on means-tested welfare over the next decade.
The welfare-to-work provisions of the TANF law were a real bipartisan success story—which is rare in a federal government with more than 80 means-tested welfare programs that provide cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to poor and low-income people.
At the beginning of last week, only two of these programs had active work requirements. With Obama’s latest order, the list is now down to one.

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0 responses to “Obama wants to enlarge welfare state by ending work-for-welfare

  1. Right now with all the media, including Fox, slavishly following the heinous-crime-du-jour 24/7, the POS has the perfect opportunity to push thru all kinds of unpopular mandates.

    • lol’s…….
      it happens to me all of the time because I get so worked up…
      and my typing and dyslexic spelling 🙂 I spend half my time
      correcting….it’s ALMOST LIKE WORK ! I should get a grant for
      a secretary (that’s the only way I got my thesis finished….) or
      do they call them assistants now ?

  2. Just plain madness…

  3. Plainly,,, Obama is an idiot…

  4. Let Ray Steven’s just released video sum it up >

  5. Gotta get those Demo-rat voters for Nov 6.

  6. edward oleander

    Bring back the WPA and CCC… Best workfare programs ever.

    • edward oleander

      You are SO right!!! There are dozens of small, stone bridges over many of the creeks that flow around south and western Minneapolis, and they all have the little WPA plaques built into them… My dad used to tell the story of his dad’s visit here when I was 2 years old… He saw a couple of those bridges and began to cry… He was laid of from the steel industry in Ohio, and spent years building them out there… He had never seen so many in one place, and was so proud of that, it made him tear up. How awesome would it be to do that again? Modernize it to help people develop new skills in the process, and give them the satisfaction of DOING something, and a reason to up and dressed in the morning.
      There is NO DOUBT that workfare is better in ALL ways than welfare. Just ask my grandpa…

  7. All with the intent of putting ever more strain on those still producing and earning. This is the continued “milking” of what little wealth remains in the hands of United States citizens. So long as there’s a modicum of wealth, there’s resistance to the socialist agenda. Obozo and his ilk would prefer this to be a bloodless coup. Socialists are at heart cowards.

  8. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this most revealing post! Clearly, the solution would have been for the king to LEAVE THE WELFARE SYSTEM ALONE! The welfare reform is something that the Cllinton Administration “did right” shall I say. Obama sees himself as a king and during his tenure, he has by leaps and bounds increased executive powers, which is why he acts as a king. Sickening and very, very wrong!

  9. how the heck are you going to get a typical black person to work most are the size of a baby whale. the majority of people on welfare are black the largest percentage by race are black even though there are more poor white people then the total number of blacks the majority of whites will attempt to find some sort of work rather than rely on handouts and government assisstance. data from this diatribe gleamed from the “american legion magazine” and also it is the white male american middle class that makes up the majority of our combat troops.


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