Negotiating Our Own Demise
A comment from the “stunned” Senate Majority Leader Teresa Paiva Weed in yesterday’s Projo article raises a couple of beguiling questions:
As a tradeoff for the new work requirements and time limits the state adopted in 1996, she said, Rhode Island made subsidized health care and childcare available so, she told the luncheon audience, talk today about “cutting welfare” to save any significant money would have to mean significant cuts in health and childcare.
First of all, with whom was the state “trading off” for work requirements? Is this another instance of Rhode Island’s negotiating with the recipients of its largesse?
Second, if the health- and child-care benefits were a substitute for cash, anyway, why should the state treat them any differently as far as cuts are concerned? Of course, we’d probably be right to suspect that the “trade off” was actually a transfer to a give-away made more secure by the infamous “what can we do” factor. “What can we do? Let the children suffer?”
It’s one thing to take away the money for somebody’s cable bill. It’s another to take away the extra food money that we gave him so that he could afford to pay his cable bill himself.