August 10, 2012

Obama guts welfare’s work requirements – Slick Willy to the rescue [Darleen Click]

The Obama camp is scrambling because productive citizens naturally sit-up and say, “Wait a minute” if that portion seized from their paycheck to “help the less fortunate” is being used to buy beer and nacho Doritos for able-bodies to sit at home with the x-box and flat-screen tv. Bill Clinton rides to the rescue with a statement

Governor Romney released an ad today alleging that the Obama administration had weakened the work requirements of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. That is not true.

The act emerged after years of experiments at the state level, including my work as Governor of Arkansas beginning in 1980. When I became President, I granted waivers from the old law to 44 states to implement welfare to work strategies before welfare reform passed.

Now, see what Slick Willy does there?

So Clinton seeks to use waivers he granted in the early 1990s to justify Obama’s effort to use waivers to overturn the 1996 law.

Clinton does not actually lie. He rightly says that the waivers he granted applied to the old law and program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), not to the new law and program, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). Although AFDC had permitted HHS to waive provisions relating to work, the TANF reform did not permit such waivers.

Clinton was in the White House for four and a half years after the passage of welfare reform, but he never once suggested he had authority to waive the work standards in the new TANF program — although he had vetoed an earlier version of the bill. It was obvious that no such waiver authority existed.

More important, the old AFDC statute contained numerous provisions blocking states from operating “workfare” programs. The waivers Clinton had granted were to enable states to bypass those anti-work obstacles. The 1996 reform, for the first time, required states to establish workfare programs.

Clinton granted waivers to the old program allowing states to require work.

The Left has always hated work requirements. Obama’s newest chapter in his “If Congress doesn’t do what I want, I’ll do it on my own” book has him, by “directive”, making TANF whatever he decides it to be

The new Obama dictate asserts that because the work requirements, established in section 407, are mentioned as an item that state governments must report about in section 402, all the work requirements can be waived. This removes the core of the TANF program; TANF becomes a blank slate that HHS bureaucrats and liberal state bureaucrats can rewrite at will. […]

In the past, state bureaucrats have attempted to define activities such as hula dancing, attending Weight Watchers, and bed rest as “work.” These dodges were blocked by the federal work standards. Now that the Obama Administration has abolished those standards, we can expect “work” in the TANF program to mean anything but work.

And Obama’s claim that his new fiat requires 20% more people to exit welfare is just another sham

Stung by criticism, HHS now claims that states receiving a waiver must “commit that their proposals will move at least 20 percent more people from welfare to work compared [with] the state’s prior performance.”

This sounds impressive, but a state can accomplish this merely by raising monthly “employment exits” (people exiting welfare to take a job) from, say, 5 percent to 6 percent of its caseload. That kind of change will occur automatically as the economy improves.

Liberals traditionally use sham “exit” statistics to pretend they are shrinking welfare, while in reality they’re increasing it. Given the normal turnover rate in welfare programs, the easiest way to increase the number of individuals moving from “welfare to work” is to increase the number entering welfare in the first place.

Forward! to a dependency!

Posted by Darleen @ 7:55am

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