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  • Even More Bad News on Obama HHS Gutting Welfare Reform

    The Obama Administration has created a firestorm by claiming the authority to waive the work requirements of the popular 1996 welfare reform law. But the damage doesn’t stop there.

    The same July 12 guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) states that HHS will not approve policy initiatives that are “likely to reduce access to assistance.” Translation: Obama’s HHS will oppose any policy that actually reduces welfare caseloads and dependence.

    What’s more, stung by criticism for gutting the successful core of welfare reform, 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 to the state’s prior performance.” On the surface, this sounds impressive, but a state can meet this goal merely by raising its monthly employment exits from, say, 5 percent to 6 percent of caseload. That kind of change will occur automatically as the economy improves, even without bureaucratic action.

    The new HHS “standard” is merely a ploy that will allow HHS to exempt liberal states from the regular TANF participation rates without clearly stating what they are doing.

    Given the normal turnover rate in welfare programs, the easiest way to increase the number of persons moving from “welfare to work” is to increase the number entering welfare in the first place. Liberals have traditionally used sham “exit” statistics to pretend to shrink welfare when in reality they were rapidly increasing it.

    Bogus statistics were the norm during the period of rapid growth of the welfare state prior to the 1996 reform. Welfare reform curtailed the use of sham measures of success and established meaningful standards: participating in work activities meant actual work activities, not “bed rest,” “reading,” or doing one hour of job search per month. Reducing welfare dependence meant reducing caseloads. Now those standards are gone.

    President Obama’s stated goal has been to “spread the wealth” by massively increasing the welfare state. Currently the federal government runs more than 80 means-tested welfare programs. These programs provide cash, food, housing, medical care, and social services to poor and low-income persons. Roughly a third of the population—100 million persons—receive benefits from one or more of these programs. (These figures do not include Social Security or Medicare.) Government spending on these programs in 2011 came to $927 billion.

    Last month, among these programs, only three required work. Now the number is down to two as the Obama Administration has ended welfare reform as we know it.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    18 Responses to Even More Bad News on Obama HHS Gutting Welfare Reform

    1. taxedmore says:

      Since the mid 60's we have spent over $16 Trillion on over 70-80 means tested income re-distribution programs for the poor and low income. We are now $15 Trillion in debt and there are more "poor" than ever. How much longer can those people just keep taking and taking and passing their "benefits" from generation to generation?
      BTW – I don't hear any of the progressive liberals telling the people who took the $16 Trillion, without earning it, that they are "Greedy".

    2. Clare Rothi says:

      If these orders violate the Welfare Reform Law I'd like to know what is being done to punish those responsible and to what extent our Congress is using its oversight authority to stop the implementation of these new standards before this turns into a "beast" beyond control.

    3. FedUp says:

      Simple welfare reform = take welfare and give up voting rights…get off welfare and get them back. Then we would see how much politicians really care about the poor, poor, pitiful poor.

      • BoDacious says:

        FedUp: THIS IS THE BEST IDEA I have seen in LONG time! Bravo……….I am going to share this idea right now! Bravo! Only thing is, they will 'cry that their rights are being taken away and that is not American' even though they do not look at the huge sacrifices that go into effect to just HAND OUT MONEY!

      • Ben says:

        They should do this for the super rich to. If you use a tax loop hole or have an account in the caymens then you lose your voting right. Pay a matching percentage as the average middle class person and you get your right to vote back.

    4. Lloyd Scallan says:

      It's not about "welfare reform". It not HSS. It's Obama insuring a continued flow of voters for the Democrat Party.

    5. Rifleman says:

      If he wins in November, Romney will have a lot of housecleaning to do, and a lot executive orders to rescind. If the dp/msm is screaming bloody murder this time next year, I'll know we're on the road to a real recovery.

      • Mike, Wichita Falls says:

        Add to that list of formal executive orders all of the informal ones given to the bureaucracies that are implementing "laws" never passed by Congress and not enforcing legitimate ones such as GHG regs from the EPA, drilling moratoria from DOI, green energy funding from DOE, religiously-objectionable healthcare coverage mandates from DHHS, relaxed border enforcement from DHS, gun running from ATFE, voting rights discrimination from DOJ, etc.

    6. Leon Lundquist says:

      Guys! It is worse than that! This is Kloward-Piven strategy, known strategy from the Weather Underground, and those were actual Domestic Enemies of the United States. How can anybody be surprised? Obama is one of those Liberal Progressives who eschew the Constitution and hate Representative Democracy. All term long Obama has spurned Congress, obviated Congress and Dictated around Congress. See? This is actual Cold War Action, these Progressives are actually Demolition Plutocrats! They lied to get elected! They MIS-represent! How can we call them the Loyal Opposition? So sure! They put us on welfare! But you will notice that every Federal Program is built this way! You can't imagine how cowed the recipients are! Recall it was Welfare Mothers who kicked out Black Fathers from so many homes. But it was Welfare Rules and Regs that dictated the qualifiers which mandated absent fathers. This was the plan, this is the plan of our Domestic Enemy! The Presidential Oath does not say "help the Domestic Enemy."

      Neither does the Oaths of our Congressional Representatives! We actually have an Enemy and they do everything they can to destroy our Nation! On all fronts, simulteneously! The root of all lawlessness in America is the lawlessness of NOT hanging Traitors!

      • Carol, AZ says:

        No tree necessary my friend.
        Just one quick trip to dump the traitors South of the USA border.The cartels take no prisoners.
        Announced recently here, 60% of all Meth is now coming through PHX.
        The blood bath that continues for control of shipping points is not reported: What is:
        57,000 MX people slaughtered and thousands more missing.
        The new age stimulus money in the billions through banking has never been discussed by anyone.
        The DOJ is suing Sheriff Joe and the Sheriff Dept for doing their job.That decison should be announced in a couple of days. It won't surprise anyone when rioting begins.
        Yes, the K/P strategy is working as planned.

    7. jlb says:

      Welfare is a right here in America and some people will just have to pay for it. Obama 2012

      • Bobbie says:

        your welfare is your own until you put it in the hands of government to hand to you what your mind was made to think for you to do for yourself! To look forward to the government handing out welfare says so little of people…

      • Carol, AZ says:

        Here's the bottom line that you and others like you failed to understand.
        We are flat ase broke in this country,( in the trillions) trying to print our way out of the coming disaster.
        If you can't understand the trickled down effect listen to the news coming from CA as the State Capital announces bankruptcy in three other counties have as well with others that will soon follow.
        So here's the news blast that no one has the guts to tell the rest of the welfare Access card holders. Welfare funding will be the first to go. Doesn't matter what Bo, Bo wants for his newly created banana Republic. The Federal ATM machine will be closed down so save critical path jobs. That's the elephant in the room Jib. No money, no welfare.

    8. Carolyn says:

      I do not understqnd why people would prefer to sit on their butts and do nothing instead of making an attempt to better themselves. Welfare is not a right. It is assistance for people that really need it. If a person is bodily able to work they should get a job instead of looking for a handout

    9. He did nothing of the kind and this author knows it. He simply gave more freedom to the states to administer the program as they wish. This freedom was requested by many republican governors, including Mitt Romney. There is a codicil in the law that would not allow states to take out the work requirement. This headline is FALSE!

    10. Mike says:

      Somebody at Heritage has their facts wrong ! If you take the time to read the entire HHS memo, it simply DOES NOT allow for ANY exceptions to the work requirement regarding welfare ! What it DOES do is allow the Republican Governors of Utah and Nevada some flexibility in administering the program, something Mitt Romney ALSO requested in 2005. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinions but you're NOT entitled to your own facts. Too bad Mr. Rector doesn't see it that way.

    11. Cnsrtv Libraltarian says:

      Re: this whole welfare issue, in the specific example of flexibility for the states the truth is summarized by the following from a NYT article, yes, but backed up with actual documentation, not just biased, opinion:
      Last year, an aide to Brian Sandoval, the Republican governor of Nevada, asked to discuss flexibility in imposing those requirements. Perhaps, the state asked, those families hardest to employ could be exempted from the work requirements for six months while officials worked with them to stabilize their households.
      Utah, also led by a Republican governor, asked for relief from some federal reporting requirements, and urged that refugee families be treated differently when seeking welfare benefits because of cultural barriers.
      Reacting to these kinds of requests, the Department of Health and Human Services issued a memo last month granting states some flexibility . . . if states can find better ways to get welfare recipients into jobs . . . .
      The department “is only interested in approving waivers if the state can explain in a compelling fashion why the proposed approach may be a more efficient or effective means to promote employment entry, retention, advancement, or access to jobs,” according to the memo. . . . all waivers would have to move 20 percent more people from welfare to work.
      [This] was exactly the kind of flexibility sought in 2005 by 29 Republican governors, including Mitt Romney of Massachusetts.
      This [claim that] . . . Obama has “removed the requirement of work from welfare.” . . . could not be more wrong, but this is what happens when a flailing campaign searches for a wedge issue to gain popularity among blue-collar voters. Mr. Romney’s empty promises to magically turn around the economy are losing effectiveness, so why not vilify welfare recipients and portray the president as coddling them?

    12. Ruth says:

      I can't keep up with all the acronyms in Washington. Please don't make me look up TANF (4th paragraph in above article).
      Thanks.

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