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  • Obama Ends Welfare Reform as We Know It, Calls for $12.7 Trillion in New Welfare Spending

    Last Thursday, the Obama Administration quietly issued new bureaucratic rules that overturned the popular welfare reform law of 1996. This was an illegal move, and it completely undoes years of progress that helped millions of Americans.

    What Welfare Reform Accomplished

    The 1996 reform replaced the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program with a new program called Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). At the core of the TANF program were new federal work standards that required able-bodied welfare recipients to work, prepare for work, or at least look for work as a condition for receiving aid. Welfare reform turned “welfare” into “workfare.”

    Under the old, pre-reform AFDC program, welfare was a one-way handout: Government mailed checks to recipients who did nothing in return. Reform changed that. The new TANF program was based on fairness and reciprocal responsibility: Taxpayers continued to provide aid, but beneficiaries were required, in exchange, to engage in constructive behavior to increase self-sufficiency and reduce dependence.

    The TANF work requirements were not onerous. Under the law, some 40 percent of adult TANF recipients in a state were required to engage in “work activities,” which is 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.

    This drove liberals to apoplexy. They denounced the reform as an “awful” policy that would do “serious injury to American children.” According to them, reform was “blaming the victim” and workfare was “slavefare.”

    Prior to welfare reform, the AFDC caseload had not declined significantly at any time since World War II. After welfare reform, the caseload promptly dropped by 50 percent. As the caseloads plummeted, employment and earnings experienced an unprecedented surge upward.

    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.

    None of this reduced the left’s antipathy for welfare reform. The left had strongly opposed work requirements in welfare in 1996. When TANF faced reauthorization in 2001, they again aggressively sought to repeal federal work standards; they repeated the attack in 2006. For the most part, they lost those battles. But they were not done.

    The Obama Administration Rewinds Progress

    Having lost repeated legislative battles to abolish workfare, the left has now gone backdoor, using an arcane bureaucratic device called a section 1115 waiver to declare the actual work standards written in the TANF law null and void and grant federal bureaucrats carte blanche authority to devise new replacement standards.

    This legal maneuver clearly violates the letter and intent of the TANF law. The Administration cannot use a section 1115 waiver to modify or weaken TANF’s work requirements.

    How will this power grab be used? 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 one-way handouts again displace workfare.

    Clearly, the real welfare-to-work provisions of the TANF law should be restored. But we should also remember that TANF is only one small program in a much larger welfare state. The federal government operates more than 80 means-tested welfare programs to 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 down to one.

    Obama has increased federal means-tested welfare spending by a third since taking office. Last year, combined federal and state spending on means-tested welfare hit $927 billion. (Social Security and Medicare are not included in this total.)

    Welfare spending amounts to $9,040 per year for each lower-income American. If converted to cash and simply given to the recipients, this spending would be more than sufficient to bring the income of every lower-income American household to 200 percent of the federal poverty level (roughly $44,000 per year for a family of four).

    Remarkably, Obama plans to increase spending on means-tested welfare spending further after the current recession ends, spreading the wealth through a dramatic, permanent expansion of the welfare state. The President’s own budget calls for a permanent increase in annual means-tested spending from 4.5 percent to 6 percent of gross domestic product. Combined annual federal and state spending would reach $1.56 trillion in 2022. Overall, President Obama plans to spend $12.7 trillion on means-tested welfare over the next decade.

    Our nation should take the opposite course. Welfare-to-work requirements should be restored in the TANF program. Similar work requirements should be established in parallel programs such as food stamps and public housing. Finally, when the recession ends, total welfare spending should be rolled back to pre-recession levels.

    Posted in Culture [slideshow_deploy]

    34 Responses to Obama Ends Welfare Reform as We Know It, Calls for $12.7 Trillion in New Welfare Spending

    1. steve h says:

      I thought Heritage and conservatives were all for state waivers. You are when it comes to so many other programs like Medicaid. Why would you oppose state waivers here? Especially since the states have the option for a waiver, not a requirement. Seems like you just want to complain abotu every single thing Obama does, even when he pushes your health care proposals.

      • @TexasJul says:

        Because it's illegal in this case, although I realize that the Bonehead in charge has no qualms ~ obviously ~ about violating law or the Constitution, but it's illegal. 1115 ~ on purpose ~ only applies to certain things SPECIFICALLY ~ because lawmakers didn't want it applied to this SPECIFICALLY. Once again, this Pretender In Chief has over-ridden law illegally.

      • James says:

        @steve h – the reason to oppose this waiver is because defining what constitutes "work" is one of the factors used to determine if someone receives a welfare check. So the cost to the federal treasury can increase if the states decide that "journaling" is work. If the money given to the states for welfare payments was set to where the amount didn't change based upon what is defined as work then it would be appropriate for the states to decide what is work. You are right that most conservatives are all for state waivers but those are waivers that let the states decide how to allocate the money the federal government grants to them and not waivers as to how it's determined how much money the feds grant.

      • TexasJul says:

        Dude ~ What planet are you on? Not even once has he considered the Republican plans ~ and, there were many. Republican Congressmen had a website that had many alternatives that they wanted considered before this crap the 111th Congress passed ~ and, not ONE Republican voted for ObamaCare. It is NOT a bipartisan bill in any shape or form. Are you totally clueless?

      • karen Gaines says:

        You are clueless!

      • mona callender says:

        trolls are leaches and people killers….they suck the very life and blood out of every tax payer and that is still not enough….. People who are receiving money from the American Tax Payers. Are really the ones that getting snowed with this President. They some how do not realize that if he gets elected again there will be no rich people other than those sitting in the white house…..so what you get Steve from the government will have to be divided up with the other people that obozo puts in bankruptcy.. so get prepared Steve to start sharing your income from the tax payers and your food stamps and see how far that gets ya…..yep you and other leaches will have to share with all the other tax papers that used to pay that bill and if he gets re-elected again, after he has taxed everyone to death….I will be there with my hand out to…..it would be nice to take a break although I got a feeling we will be fighting for out food…..so yeah we will stop complaining and just let things happen ok with you…..

      • noirswann says:

        You're right about complaining about everything Obama does, because he is so wrong all the time.

    2. ryan says:

      When operating inside a corrupt system, chances of getting something done in favor of the common people are very low. We're currently inside a system that has been rotten to the core and talks about all this spending and that spending is just kicking the can down the road; all is deficit spending; in other words, it's all debt-based.

      People need to wake up to this "reality" that has been manipulated for eons by the cabal. whatever you are voting for is voting for the same group of people who control both parties behind the scenes. The president has been the puppet all along. You think you have been living in the free country; thing again. And if you don't wake up, there is not much of a country left at all.

      I cordially invite you to listen to the following audio. If you find it informative, please spread the words.


    3. Shannon says:

      Hey Steve, don't worry, you will still get your welfare check…

      • jillian says:

        I wonder if Steve used his writing in this space to qualify for thework requirement?

    4. @LadyFyreAZ says:

      Obama was for Welfare to Work before he was against it, even claimed credit for it! Obama’s 2008 Campaign Ad, “Dignity” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p47xSvTzRv0

      He says he “passed a law to move people from welfare to work, slashed the rolls by 80%.” Actually, the Illinois law was a required follow-up to the 1996 federal welfare reform law worked out by President Clinton and the Republican Congress. Welfare rolls did go down by nearly as much as the ad says, but Obama can’t claim the credit!

      • John Hunter says:

        If 0 buma does anything that we think is good for America, it is probably
        to keep his followers asleep, and hopefully to lull others to sleep, so
        as to keep or get more votes.

        he hates America and his goal is to destroy America, and he is doing
        a very good job at it.

    5. @drfredc says:

      Seems this is all a big political gambit that allows the Obamacrats to buy votes by singing to their masses that the evil GOP will take away their free welfare benefits. Never mind that the US is borrowing money from future generations to pay for this song — deficits only matter to those with a job and money. That's not the intended audience.

    6. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Yes, it is.

    7. Bobbie says:

      getting up in the morning is slavery to Obama's bunch! What is steve h talking about? waivers shouldn't have to exist when it isn't constitutional and when it isn't constitutional done behind the backs of the people shows America has a president that doesn't serve AND protect his people. Just takes advantage by manipulation, fabrication and negative influencing. The feds are out to confuse and abuse!! They aren't protectors or defenders of we the people. The feds protect and defend themselves and big business at our expense THINKING THE PEOPLE they give handouts to will be there for the government once they take up arms against the innocent. ! NO BENEFIT TO AMERICA!!!! Obama's American "change?" Land of the pathetic, home of the depraved. Compliments from the President!

      I pray people will find they are much better than this American President presents people to be!

    8. GHK says:

      So I guess you can expect nothing to change in GOP governed states…since they're against this, and surely won't increase "handouts".

    9. JeanB says:

      Geez !!!! Just once I would like to see something from this SOB that does not make me MAD, sick to my stomach or just plain scared. God help us.

    10. Tom Blair says:

      To TexasJewel: At least one RINO (Republican In Name Only) did vote for ObamaCare…Sen Bill Nelson (R-FL).

    11. racindavid says:

      But… owebama's not a socialist….

    12. kenny9876 says:

      This is quite simply the Cloward-Pinhead strategy–overwhelm the system as a means of total societal breakdown. Obama is a dangerous man, sort of like a crazed child in a candy shop. He must be politically emasculated before he can do any further harm. Everything this clown does is inane.

    13. kim newlin says:

      We are almost $16 trillion in debt, do not have enough to pay for medicare and social security, are cutting defense, and have added Obama care which OMB/CBO says will cost $2 Trillion over 10 years and orginally we were told it would not cost us one thin dime and now he wants to add $12.7 trillion for wellfare? Congress must take action immediately to change this or impeach him before he bankrups the good ole USA!

    14. Obama giving more more of or tax $$$ to Welfare Recipients (Looter Class) to buy votes. How is this even close to a responsible person. He is purposefully destroying our Culture, Economy and American Way of Life. He intends to deploy Socialism…read Communism.

      The affluence and great life America and the West enjoy will go away as do all countries that embrace Communism. We must fight this Racist President who has divided the country along Racial, Economic, Sexual Preference, Religious and Ethnic lines. He truly is a Manchurian Candidate.

      He came out of obscurity despite his complete lack of experience in both domestic as well as foreign policy. In fact, Barack Obama’s experience is so thin that it isn’t even possible to ascertain exactly what he stands for, given that he voted ‘present’ on over 130 Senate bills.

      He has no Integrity.

    15. Merriel says:

      Where is this $12.7 Trillion coming from? China already owns us and I don't know of another country that can loan it to us. Maybe we should hit up the 7 states that are part of the United States, not counting the 50 that are part of us. We also could STOP sending money to countries that don't even like us. Of course, that is almost every country in the world because of our Incompetent in Chief.

    16. Old Jarhead says:

      Welcome to our new system of governance called INEPTOCRACY! Good bye Amercia, Hello Greece!

    17. spl00 says:

      USDA under fire for working with Mexican Government to offer food stamps to illegal aliens despite 14 billion dollars in fraud, waste, abuse and 42 million Americans on food stamps at a cost of 72 billion dollars and cities declaring bankruptcy and forced to lay off cops, firefighters, other public safety officials and reduce or eliminate public services and programs.

      Illegal aliens are allowed to obtain pilot's licenses and run/own flight schools without background checks while we are groped, poked, prodded and old lady's underwear and 4 year old girls are examined by TSA agents.

    18. Art Rettig says:

      How about $12.5 billion in new business and industry to rebuild America! Instead of welfare to create more lazy and fat people! We create jobs!

    19. Sam says:

      Congress needs to get some nads and fight back!

    20. Ash says:

      Add that to the over 1 trillion for Medicare and Social Security outlays, and we have pretty much the entire Federal revenue.

    21. just me says:

      lmao , someone expects the recession to end?

    22. Why not offer FREE college tuition OR vocational training to get people off of welfare? Keep giving away FREE cash every month & expect nothing in return will produce lazy incompetent Americans. This must be Obama's latest tactic to try to win the election…but it's not good for the people or our country

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