Obama’s Idea Of Change: Bringing Back Welfare Queens
Even as Barack Obama plans one of the largest tax increases in history through his cap and trade scheme, one that will break a campaign promise and disproportionately affect the poor & the middle-class, he has seen to it that the states are being incentivized to dramatically ramp up the number of people receiving welfare.
But today’s Washington seems little impressed by the achievement of reducing the welfare rolls from over 5 million to below 2 million in the course of a decade. Congress’ big-spending “recovery” package reverts the federal-states welfare funding arrangement to the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) system — in some respects making it worse than those bad old days.
“For the first time since 1996, the federal government would begin paying states bonuses to increase their welfare caseloads,” noted Heritage Foundation scholars Robert Rector and Katherine Bradley in an analysis released last month.
“Indeed, the new welfare system created by the stimulus bills is actually worse than the old AFDC program because it rewards the states more heavily to increase their caseloads,” they added.
Under Congress’ new scheme, “the federal government will pay 80% of cost for each new family that a state enrolls in welfare; this matching rate is far higher than it was under AFDC.”
Rector and Bradley found that in the first year welfare spending will see its highest rise in history, an increase of more than 20% to exceed $600 billion. The overall cost over the next decade is estimated to reach $1.34 trillion.
In response to the argument that the magnitude of the current financial crisis and economic downturn mandates this welfare reversal, the Heritage analysts point out the existence of a quickly accessible $2 billion contingency fund for the states under welfare reform. Congress could easily have expanded that fund; instead, it chose to repeal reform.
Slate.com blogger Mickey Kaus is a liberal who is proud that Clinton and other Democrats embraced one of the most successful domestic reforms of recent decades. Last month, he reminded his readers that big labor interests view the workfare requirements of welfare reform as a threat to their members’ inflated salary levels.
Kaus added, however, that the biggest-spending, Edelmanesque liberals “don’t really need to be pressured into relaxing work requirements. They’ve never liked work requirements, including ‘workfare,’ and are always looking for an excuse to say ‘It’s OK to come back on the dole.’ “
Yes, that’s just what America needs: more people “on the dole.”
Of course, during the campaign, the man who actually makes Bill Clinton look honest by comparison, Barack Obama, ran an ad that included this line,
“He passed a law to move people from welfare to work, slashed the rolls by 80 percent.”
But soon as he gets into office, one of the very first things Obama did was to work to get millions of new people on welfare.
That’s just one more thing Obama lied to the American people about and the GOP should make a big issue out of it in 2010.