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  • U.S. Welfare System Fails to Support Work

    Last Monday in The Washington Post, Charles Lane drew attention to the need for getting work incentives right in federal policy. “The Americans with Disabilities Act…enshrines the notion that every American can and should hold a job,” he pointed out, but the Social Security Disability Insurance “creates a quasi-right not to work.”

    That policy inconsistency mirrors the situation in federal welfare programs generally, especially now that the Obama Administration has taken a step against work requirements as the foundation of sound welfare policy. Just a few weeks ago, the Administration issued a directive to gut work requirements from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program—one of only three welfare programs that has any type of work requirement.

    The vast majority of Americans agree that able-bodied people should be working or at least preparing for work in order to receive government assistance. While liberals have argued that work requirements are unjust and mean-spirited, it was such requirements that helped millions of people move from welfare into jobs after the 1996 welfare reform law was implemented.

    TANF, which was put into place under the reform law, inserted work requirements into the largest cash assistance federal welfare program. And it was an overwhelming success. Whereas the previous four decades prior to welfare reform saw no decline in caseloads, the rolls decreased by roughly 50 percent within five years of TANF’s implementation. Poverty rates for single mothers with children (the primary beneficiaries of TANF) also declined precipitously during that time. For African Americans, child poverty dropped to its lowest level in U.S. history.

    TANF’s work requirements are not onerous, either. Recipients are required to work between 20 and 30 hours a week, and “work” can mean a variety of different activities. For example, if recipients are unable to find employment, they can pursue a GED, perform community service, or complete job training activities.

    Restoring work requirements in TANF and extending these requirements to additional means-tested welfare programs, including food stamps, is a crucial step toward helping those in need achieve self-sufficiency.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to U.S. Welfare System Fails to Support Work

    1. Bobbie says:

      It's self reliance of the American people that made America the strength she once carried. This man is convincing the masses self reliance doesn't exist which means he is destroying not only the minds limitless abilities self taught, but independence of, for and by the people. He steps right into the robin hood story to suggest robin hood stole from the rich? robin hood stole from the rich government royals who were oppressing the people by stealing from them. Obama isn't robin hood, he's the rich government royalty oppressing the people by stealing from them their freedom, liberties, purpose, money and soul dignity pretending to be robin hood, exploiting the rich (by his slanderous, speculative judgment) as cover! The only rich this man wants to tax are the honorably rich. The rest of them are paying off the president to put us where the president is revealing his governance. Controlled in a socialist, communist society!

      • Bobbie says:

        Sorry to the thumb down that thinks America is here to make your life at the expense of others! You've been misinformed and America is done being taken advantage of by people playing dumb! Robin hood, stole from the rich evil government! Sounds exactly what President Romney articulates. Give back to the people and put government where it belongs!

    2. ValerieKLazarus says:

      This article makes some of the ugliest assertions I've ever seen about decent American people. I have an able-bodied gentleman friend who gets SSD because he suffered a spinal injury from the base of his skull down. He needs benefits because it's the only way he can afford treatment for this debilitating condition he will have for the rest of his life. Like quite a few Americans out there, his job prospects are tenuous at best, but I can say that when he's not working on construction he's miserable and he knows it. I give him work to do around my house whenever I can and right now he's redoing my bathroom floor. He loves to work.

      Here is what will happen to him if he tries to get full-time employment: he will lose his SSD, which gives him regular access to doctors who help him manage chronic pain from his pinched nerves, and he may end up homeless when work dries up, as it usually does. He does top-notch construction work and the wicked people who will can pay him generally give him $50 a day for it, which he gratefully accepts.

      The reason work is not mandatory when you're on Welfare is because the corporate prisons we have in this country will pay prisoners 68 cents per day. Goods produced by contract labor or prison labor destroy the ability of normal citizens who are not imprisoned to make a living wage. That is why corporations like WalMart and MicroSoft are secretly lobbying for lax restrictions on "illegals" — because, as Bill Gates said in a CNN interview, "I can't AFFORD to pay my workers a living wage." This is your wonderful corporate capitalism at work. Corporations don't care where they get the labor, they want to pay as little for it as possible. If you want to defend someone's "right to work" (which I've never read about in the Constitution) you open the door to nonstop peon camps all across this nation and you enforce poverty for everyone, because small businessmen will no longer be able to compete with prison goods in the marketplace.

      I'm anxious to hear your intelligent responses to this comment.

      • saveamerica says:

        "corporations don't care where they get their labor?" When they could conduct their business by self governing they cared to have the best qualified hired! what a lefty loony! Corporations can't care today since the pathetic people's government mandated no discrimination in areas that need to be. But honorable businesses do care if they want their corporation available. You talking pointed heads have to listen to your ignorance in order to heal your mental deficiency. This article didn't disrespect any decent American people. It's about scammers, leaches and frauds inside and out running a government we can't control but forced to pay. There are peon camps today hosted by democrats, for each set of the indignant who are given a false sense of worth. People will accuse what's going on by their opposition when they are in fact the guilty party. It's called government entrapment and low life running it.

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