Friday, July 13, 2012

Obama weakens welfare reform–again | The Daily Caller

Obama weakens welfare reform–again | The Daily Caller:

Obama Weakens Welfare Reform Again
By Mickey Kaus

Obama weakens welfare reform (again): Here are some quick initial reactions to the administration’s apparent surprising (and possibly illegal) attempt to grant waivers of the work requirements written, after great effort, into the 1996 welfare reform law.  I’m posting Thursday night; the story should break for real tomorrow (Friday). This will be updated over the next few days if possible.

1. The guts of the 1996 welfare reform were a) welfare was ended as an “entitlement” (controlled by the feds) and transferred to the states, as a “block grant” subject to certain requirements; and b) one of those requirements was that a certain percentage of each state’s welfare caseload had to be working or preparing for work. A great deal of effort was put into defining what qualified as work, and making sure that work actually meant work and not the various BS activities (including BS training activities) the welfare bureaucracies often preferred to substitute for work.

2. As of several years ago, the details of these work requirements turned out to matter less than the general signal they sent, that no-strings welfare was over and even low-income single moms were supposed to work. As a result, the welfare rolls shranks so rapidly (roughly by half) that many states never faced the detailed work requirements (since they got credit for everyone who left welfare).

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