Obama Administration Weakens Welfare Reform

From the Daily Caller; thanks to commenter ANTHONY for the link.

The Department and Health and Human Services announced the agency will issue waivers for the federal work requirement of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program — considered a central facet of welfare reform in 1996 — Thursday. …
“Thus, HHS has authority to waive compliance with this 402 requirement and authorize a state to test approaches and methods other than those set forth in section 407, including definitions of work activities and engagement, specified limitations, verification procedures, and the calculation of participation rates.”

Redefining qualified “work activities and engagement”. Gosh, that doesn’t sound ripe for abuse, does it???
More government money (and dependency) handed out during a presidential election year – how can this be anything other than politically motivated?
It’s hard to argue, on another front, with Chairman Jordan’s point that this is yet another refusal by the Executive Branch to … well, execute.

According to Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, the memorandum is proof of the Obama administration’s continued disrespect for the rule of law.
“President Obama just tore up a basic foundation of the welfare contract,” Jordan said in a statement. “In exchange for taxpayer-funded TANF payments, the law calls on able-bodied adults to work, look for work, take classes, or undergo drug and alcohol counseling. It’s the tough love that gives people motivation to help themselves…Today’s action is also a blatant violation of the law. After immigration, education, marriage, and religious conscience protections, we can now add welfare reform to the list of laws President Obama refuses to follow.”

We also have to ask how this is justifiable on the fiscal front: macro and priority-wise. The country is currently $15 trillion debt; these “waivers” can only add to it. As for priorities, how would the Obama administration explain this expansion of welfare to state and local public employees around the country facing cuts to their pensions, promised and vested? More importantly, how does he explain it to all of us in view of the decidedly mixed record that the V.A. has in taking care of our returning soldiers, a dubious record undoubtedly caused in part by underfunding?

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10 years ago

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is the new work-free welfare anyway. Enrollment in the program has more than doubled since 1999 and now costs over $200 billion a year. All someone has to do is shop for a doctor who will sign a form saying that their “anxiety” or “back pain” is so bad they can’t work and they will receive government checks for thousands of dollars a month for their rest of their natural lives. Sit in on district court criminal hearings sometime. Every other able-bodied defendant is on SSDI.

10 years ago

More evidence of the incremental disabling of our keystones. Last month: Jobs created=80,000. People added to the “disability” rolls=85,000. Lay back, let Mama govt. give you a credit card and sit by your computer and file for “benefits” while drinking a beer and smoking some “medical” mary-jane….. it’s the newest growth industry.

Sammy in Arizona
Sammy in Arizona
10 years ago

“decidedly mixed record that the V.A. has in taking care of our returning soldiers”
In 2010 President and Mrs Obama gave to 36 different charities. The largest was a contribution of $131,075 to the Fisher House Foundation, which provides humanitarian support to injured members of the United States Armed Forces and their families.
No citation needed

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
10 years ago

SSDI/SSI and veteran’s “disability” is indeed the new welfare along with food stamps, free apartments, heating, air conditioning, babysitting, etc.

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