Thursday, July 19, 2012

Obama v. Welfare Reform: Destroying What Works

A poll this month by The Hill found that while two-thirds of Americans believe Obama has indeed transformed America, 56% of those voters believe Obama changed the country in a negative way. Only 35% believe he changed the country for the better. And if you want an example of the types of things Obama has done to generate this kind of animosity, consider what he’s doing to welfare reform.

For decades, the Republicans pushed the idea of welfare reform. Specifically, they wanted to encourage people to get off welfare and start working. The Democrats, however, flat out refused to allow any attempt to make such a change. Indeed, any time the issue came up, they would whine that the Republicans were looking to throw single mothers and their children out into the streets to starve.

In 1994, the Republicans finally got control over the Congress for the first time since 1952. Along with a Republican Senate and a weakened and unprincipled Bill Clinton in the White House, they set out to change America. One area they targeted was welfare reform. To that end, in 1996, they passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. This fundamentally changed the way welfare works in America by:
● Ending welfare as an entitlement,
● Placing a lifetime limit of five years on benefits paid from federal funds,
● Requiring recipients to begin working after two years of benefits,
● Encouraging two-parent families, and
● Enhancing enforcement of child support.
This bill also gave the states vast discretion in how to achieve these rules. Clinton signed this bill after vetoing the first two attempts. And while liberals hated the reform at the time, it’s now been recognized as a significant success, having cut the number of welfare cases by 53% and reversing an unabated upward trend which began in the 1960. Clinton even claims it as one of his biggest achievements.

So guess what Obama wants to do now? Obama has started handing out waivers to states to eliminate the work requirements contained in the bill. Unbelievable. He is attacking a bill which everyone except the extreme left admits worked magnificently. And in a perverse bit of reasoning, Team Obama claims this change is intended to help parents “successfully prepare for, find, and retain employment.” So by eliminating the requirement that people find work, we are helping them prepare to find work. Huh?

Fortunately, the Republicans aren’t sitting still for this. Romney said on Friday:
“The success of bipartisan welfare reform, passed under President Clinton, has rested on the obligation of work. The president’s action is completely misdirected. Work is a dignified endeavor, and the linkage of work and welfare is essential to prevent welfare from becoming a way of life.”
Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan charged that, “President Obama will make it harder for Americans to escape poverty. He is hurting the very people he claims to help.” Others are calling this “a blatant violation of the law.” Rep. Dave Camp called this move “a brazen and unwarranted unraveling” of the law that “ends welfare reform as we know it.” And Rep. Tim Scott of South Carolina said,
“You don’t improve people’s lives with handouts, you improve people’s lives by showing them, as I learned growing up in the inner city in a single parent household, that you can think and work your way out of poverty.”
It’s amazing how Obama keeps trying to refight the battles the left lost in the past and how he doesn’t care that history has proven his side wrong. It’s even more amazing how ready he is to trap a whole new generation on welfare. But keep in mind, there is method here. As we’ve discussed before, almost 50% of Americans now draw their living from government benefits in some form. These people are much more likely to vote Democratic because that is the party who promises to keep the spigot flowing. This weakening of welfare reform is nothing more than an attempt by Obama to add more people to the government dole, much like Obamacare was an attempt to increase the number of people on Medicaid and to hook the middle class on health care subsidies. Obama is trying to snare people into government dependence.

This needs to end.

81 comments:

DUQ said...

I love the cartoon!

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I did too, that's why I chose it. You should be able to enlarge it too by clicking on it.

DUQ said...

This is truly despicable. Obama really is trying anything he can to undo the last 40 years aren't they?

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, Yep. He's the most ideological president we've ever had in my lifetime. He doesn't seem to care at all what the public thinks or who he's hurting, he just wants his policies in place.

Doc Whoa said...

Can the Congress stop this?

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: They are encouraging the very people most likely to have a lot of sit down and stop rather than the typical American get up and go. Even with workfare, a large number of these people are useless. They did a survey about a year after welfare-to-work was passed, and the most common reason that one of the "graduates" got fired on their first day is that they called in to say they couldn't be at work because the cable installer was coming. The thinking is just completely ingrained, and Obama is just reinforcing it. The answer truly is to provide them with the opportunity, then cut them off completely. If they lose the job they got through the program for silly reasons like the one I mentioned, tough. Work or starve.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, Technically, Congress can stop anything. But in this case, that's a practical impossibility. To stop Obama, they would need to change the law and that means writing a bill, getting it passed, getting it through the Senate, getting Obama to sign it (or overriding his veto) and then hoping he doesn't find away to apply it wrongly.

The best chance here would be that Romney gets elected and cancels the waivers or reins them in.

BevfromNYC said...

Why can't he concentrate his efforts on trying to fix things that are broken like the unemployment numbers. Oh, wait that IS his way of fixing that. It makes my head want to explode. But, as his agile Press Sec't the mostly incapable Jay Carney said yesterday in response to an inquiry as to why he has not met with his Jobs Council this year, he said "there's no specific reason except the President has obviously got a lot on his plate." Gee, how different from any other Presidency!

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I couldn't agree more. I've met many of these people as clients and they simply don't have the slightest bit of shame. They are happy to live on benefits and to find ways to keep their benefits. They have no aptitude for work and they have no work ethic.

Now that's not to say that short-term recipients are like that, but there is a vast underclass who have decided to live off the government. And the longer you allow them to get benefits, the more entrenched they become and the more people (relatives, children) they pull into the lifestyle.

What Obama is doing here will is a despicable action by Obama -- it's aimed at the people who need a shove the most, and its intended to make them permanent wards of the state.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Well, to be fair to Obama, he did inherent 9% unemployment from Bush. . . oh wait, it was 6%. Hmm.

But yeah, he is busy -- golfing, politicking, raising money.

In any event, that's a good question why he won't work on unemployment. I think the reason is his ideology can't help unemployment and he knows it. So he's using his term to try to achieve long-term ideological goals rather than serve the country's needs and he's hoping he can buy enough votes.

Doc Whoa said...

So this is yet another reason we need Romney in office? Man, those are piling up fast!

Doc Whoa said...

Bev, Carney is one of the worst press secretaries ever because he's just not good at evading questions.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, Yep, yet another reason to vote for Romney. There are dozens I can think of at this point.

I tend to think of Carney as a joke.

DUQ said...

So what's the ultimate risk here? How bad can something like this be?

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, That's a good question. The number of welfare cases went up every year from the 1960s until this law was passed. Then they fell by 53% once the work requirements took hold.

I would estimate that in states where the work requirement is eliminated (places like California would probably do this), you could be looking at a doubling of welfare cases over a short period of time.

And a lot of that money will end up being federal tax money. So basically, a responsible state like Texas would end up subsiding (again) an irresponsible state like California.

DUQ said...

Yuck.

AndrewPrice said...

That about sums it up. And the bigger cost will the destroyed lives, but the left never really cares about those.

ellenB said...

They're going to keep doing this right up to the end. Right until the last minute of his presidency, he's going to issue orders trying to undermine everything.

AndrewPrice said...

Ellen, Probably true. He has no reason not to. Fortunately, Romney can undo almost everything he does the minute he takes office. Some of the rules will be hard to withdraw and some of the waiver may take time to undo, but all the rest can be undone.

ellenB said...

The irony here is that Obama will be undoing what the media has labeled as Clinton's achievement. I find that very strange.

AndrewPrice said...

Ellen, Yep. That's yet another irony of Team Obama. Just the fact this thing worked you would think would be reason enough not to undo it, but ideology trumps all other things in this administration.

Tennessee Jed said...

Barrack Obama has revealed his true character in this election cycle. He is just doling out as many goodies as he can. Agree, great cartoon.

ScyFyterry said...

A 53% fall and they think it's a good idea to undo this? Are they nuts?

BevfromNYC said...

ScyFyterry - Yes, yes they are nuts...

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, That he has. At first, I think he tried to hide his ideology except in his appointments. But after the first year, he's really gone all out to push pure ideology without caring about the consequences.

AndrewPrice said...

Terry, I think it's pure ideology, honestly. I don't think they care that this will hurt people, all they care about is getting enough people hooked on government that they can win arguments like nationalized healthcare.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That is possible too. LOL!

rlaWTX said...

But, the purpose of the Welfare office is to INCREASE their roles - doncha know that?
just like every other "entitlement" program -
http://dailycaller.com/2012/07/19/usda-partnering-with-mexico-to-boost-food-stamp-participation/

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, As a practical matter, that is how entitlement offices work. They see their mission as getting as many people on benefits as possible. It never dawns on them that they should be trying to get people off benefits.

Here's your link: LINK

ScyFyterry said...

Bev, I'm going with nuts as well.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, That's the kind of thing which drives me crazy. Why in the world are we trying to come up with ways to hand out more benefits to Mexican immigrants????!!!! Aren't they supposed to swear they won't go on benefits when they come here?

AndrewPrice said...

Terry and Bev, Nuts is probably more accurate. LOL!

ScyFyterry said...

rlaWTX, That stinks! Why are we giving money to people who aren't even Americans?

Kelly said...

OT: Romney is selling a shirt now which says "I built my business Mr. President." :D

AndrewPrice said...

Kelly, I saw that. Well played by Romney indeed. In fact this is the first time I can think of a candidate jumping on the t-shirt bandwagon. And doing it so quickly is really impressive. Usually someone like the RNC comes along with shirts like this six months later.

His campaign is a well-oiled machine of innovation.

BevfromNYC said...

Occam's razor - The simplest answer is usually the right one (or something like that) So we all can agree - They are NUTS!!

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Your logic is sound... unlike this administration.

I wonder how we can get a commitment order to have them all taken away to a rubber room somewhere?

ScyFyterry said...

Here's what Romney said about that comment today:

"It wasn't a gaffe. It was his ideology. I don't think the president understands what makes this country great."

Hurray Mr. Romney!

ScyFyterry said...

Bev, Doesn't Occam's shower cap also say never trust a Kenyan masquerading as an American president? I think I read that online somewhere.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Great post, Andrew!

Obama is like a militant, aggressive drug dealer trying to create new addicts...by force if necessary.

Here's a bit of good news:
Apparently, the new Batman flick actually shows some OWSer types (they ain't called that in the film) as violent, class warfare patsies consumed by envy.

In essence, the truth about the OWSers that the MSM decided not to report.
Bane is also one of them.

I believe Nolan when he says he wasn't trying to make a political statement with this flick.
Just showing believable bad guys that ain't the usual bad guys hollywood directors usually like to show (we all know who that is, most the time).

ScyFyterry said...
"rlaWTX, That stinks! Why are we giving money to people who aren't even Americans?"

Because they vote democrat.

AndrewPrice said...

Terry, He whips out the zingers now and then and when he does, he's more on target than any Republican politician in my lifetime.

I think people still don't like the stand-offishness, but that's just the way he is. I personally trust someone like him much more than a politician who is good at using his voice to sound like my best friend. Those are the guys you need to watch out for. With Romney, what you see is what you get and I suspect you can trust his words. With the smoother guys, the only thing you know for sure is that you don't know anything.

Joel Farnham said...

I like what Santorum said about Obama concerning Obama's Executive Order. "Sounds like a two-bit dictator."

Andrew,

It is galling that the one piece of legislation that Clinton signed where everyone could be justifiably proud of, Obama signed away. I am waiting for Obama to give out an Executive Order which compels a presidential candidate to turn over ten years of tax returns.

AndrewPrice said...

Terry, LOL! I'm not familiar with that principle, but it sounds very wise.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Thanks! :)

I believe Nolan as well when he says he wasn't trying to make a statement. And I believe Bain's creator when he says he wasn't trying to make a statement for the Democrats (ironically, since Bain is a bad guy, the statement would go the other way anyway). I read this morning that they do a good job of ripping into some OWS types and that makes me want to see the film. The last film had some conservative themes and I get the feeling Nolan traffics in conservative ideas, even if he isn't a conservative (I have no idea, as I've never looked into it). So this one might do the same.

Obama is like a drug dealer. He wants to hook as many people on government benefits as possible because he knows those people tend to vote Democratic. It's despicable to create dependence, but that's his goal. I have no doubt about that because the Democrats have been open for years about needing to make more people reliant on the government so they can get them to agree to bigger government.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, It is amazing that Obama would attack the one piece of Clinton's legacy everyone liked!

Actually, to be fair, the left never liked it. They claimed the reduction in welfare numbers had to do with economic growth and not anything about kicking people off welfare. But that's ridiculous because of the sheer volume of the numbers and the fact it reversed a 40 year trend. That's a fundamental change, not just lucky economic times.

Yeah, I saw that Santorum said that and I should have added that to the article. I think the Republicans are hitting on all cylinders here.

Good luck on the taxes thing. That would never stand scrutiny in court. Congress could do it, I supposed (though ten years sounds unreasonably long since the IRS only requires you to keep about 3 years). In any event, I think it's great they're still spinning their wheels on that idiotic issue and on Bain. Those are two issues nobody cares about.

Ed said...

Joel, I don't think the Democrats actually want to do that because they have more to hide. They're all rich, they got that way crookedly, and yet they claim to represent the poor. I think it's all just for show at the moment.

Ed said...

Andrew, This is just another example of why we need to toss this bum back out of office. He's trying very hard to fundamentally transform the nature of the country and that needs to be stopped and reversed. I hope Romney's up to the task.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I think it's just a bluff too. Most of their attempts to impose requirements on politicians are just for show. The public... that's different. But politicians... that's just for show.

On transforming the country, I think Romney's up to the task. He seems to have a plan and he seems determined. I guess we won't know until it happens, but I have faith.

NightcrawlerER said...

Batman's going to rock. I trust Nolan to put out another great film. The guy hasn't disappointed me yet.

I am Batman said...

I will rock you.

Ed said...

Andrew, I think it's a bluff. There are too many Democrats with all kinds of nasty things hidden in their past that they won't want to release.

I hope you're right about Romney.

AndrewPrice said...

Nightcrawler, Batman's a wuss and Nolan's a hack. ;)

Just kidding, please don't hunt me down and kill me. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Hey speak of the Devil, Mr. Batman, you're cool. Now please quite stealing Queen lyrics.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, Of course, I'm right. When have I ever not been right? :)

... yeah, I hope so too.

tryanmax said...

Oh, so now Batman's a vigilante lyricist, as well? What a world.

tryanmax said...

I believe the Democrats' motto is: "It if ain't broke, break it."

AndrewPrice said...

FYI, John Nolte has an excellent piece about the politics of the new film: LINK

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Apparently he has no respect for the laws of lyrics which allow songs to escape to the radio on technicalities. ;)

AndrewPrice said...

I do believe that is the Democratic motto. And if it isn't, that seems to be page one in their policy guide.

K said...

To today's Democrat, it's already broken and has been since the evil Reagan. They're jonesing for a return of the progressive 30-40s or at least Johnson's Great Socialist Society.


Check this out, but keep a barf bag ready:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16K6m3Ua2nw

That pretty much presents the left position in a nutshell. The country used to be great when Mussolini admired our progressive policies. Now, thanks to the Republican hindrance of almighty government we suck.

AndrewPrice said...

K, That's probably true. No doubt the Democrats would love a return to the 1930s/1940s style progressivism, where everyone looked to FDR's Uncle Sam to take from those who have to give to those who want, and to do so without a hint or trace of requirements or values.

AndrewPrice said...

K, Whoops. Here's your link: LINK

That's the clip that convinced me to never even turn on that show. And from what BH is reporting these days, it sounds like I made the right call.

DUQ said...

Joel and Andrew, I see Pelosi making a joke of the Democratic attack. What a stupid person she is. She said that she would happily release her taxes "when she runs for President." Oh, so this is the "only Romney" rule.

You know, if they're going to criticize Romney, then they should all be forced to release their taxes.

I can't wait to look over Pelosi's taxes for deductions for broom oil, eye of Newt extract, and Hooked on Phonics so she could read the bills she sponsors.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, LOL! Clearly she didn't buy the Hooked on Phonics or she wouldn't have said we would need to pass the law before we knew what was in it!

Jen said...

I believe like a lot of others on the idea of keeping people on welfare--it's all about control for those on a power trip. I despise control freaks, and these lib/progressives are the epitome of that. May they all go down in flames. Anybody got a light?

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, I think that's true. I think it's about control, not helping people. If it wasn't about control, they would try harder to make sure these people got the help they needed (including training in improving their values) and then got transitioned to work. Instead, they fight anything that would get people off welfare because this is about votes.

Jen said...

Andrew, I know that there are some who just want to game the system, but won't necessarily vote Democrat. They've been screwed, so they want to return the favor. I know that's what I'd do if I were in that position.

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, That's true. And in my experience a lot of these people actually don't even vote.

But all in all, the Democrats are making a bet that these people will vote in much higher percentages for Democrats than they would have if they all had jobs and led responsible lives.

And that's a fair bet.

Jen said...

Andrew, I know these Dummocrats bet on it. They should still fear the unknown. I know of someone who went on unemployment because she had no choice, but there's no way she'll vote for the Dems.

AndrewPrice said...

Jen, That's true. And the perfect example is the old folks vote. In the 1980s and early 1990s, they were securely in the Democratic camp because the Democrats kept talking about the Republicans trying to slash Medicare and Social Security. And the Republican played into that at times.

But over time, they realized the Republicans weren't trying to kill those programs and the Democrats raiding them. So old people have slowly shifted to the Republicans because of other issues.

AndrewPrice said...

Here's something rich (and off topic). Karl Rove -- the man who ran the Bush White House's strategy of "bend over and take it without every fighting back" -- is warning that Romney isn't responding forcefully enough to Obama's attacks.

Somebody please ship Rove back to Texas... via a slow, leaky boat to China.

Joel Farnham said...

And while you are at it with Rove, take Eric Erickson with you. Eric just "knows" Romney is going to cave on the tax returns issue.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Unbelievable. Everyone on the right wants him to cave on the tax issues, but now he's going to be attacked if he caves? Why does this sound more like conservatives are trying to set Romney up as damned if he does, damned if he doesn't?

In any event, I'm getting the sense Romney won't cave. He seems to have decided (rightly) that there's no point in releasing the rest, that it would only do him harm, that no releasing the rest isn't doing him harm, and that it would be an invasion of his privacy. So he seems pretty determined. But who knows?

It will be interesting to see what happens next, that's for sure.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

It is amazing and stupefying. Did you also see that Palin's people are angry that Palin hasn't been invited to the convention? Whoops...no one has been invited.

Instead of graciously accepting a possible mistake, they are "trying to clear up the spin". They are so ready to take offense.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Wow. What has happened on the right? How did we end up with so many people who are so ready to attack our own side? It seems that every time I turn around, someone is slandering Romney or conservatism generally and whining about something.

I'm wondering, honestly, if this isn't a sign that all these people are on the way out? When I look at the list of whiners, they all seem to be connected with Washington Pre-2009.

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

It could be that, especially with Erickson. He has very little to show with RedState. With Palin's people, I think it is more a knee jerk reaction coupled with a little sour grapes.

I like what American Spectator has come up with lately. They back what Romney is doing. And one writer there tore into Zimmerman's Judge.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, Excellent article! Thanks! I think the ending in particular pays off when they name Will, Kristol and NR as people who seem intent on playing the game on behalf of Obama.

On Erickson, he really doesn't have much to show, does he? They had this huge head start, so much in fact he got a gig on CNN. But it seems to have gone nowhere and I think the reason is they just weren't insightful enough.

On the Palin people, there is indeed a load of sour grapes. Almost every time I've heard from that camp lately, it's sounded like whining and sour grapes.

I didn't hear what they said about Zimmerman's judge, but some of what he's done has been ridiculous, like releasing the statement from the cousin. How do you get a fair trial after that kind of publicity?

Individualist said...

Andrew

I have been hearing that Obama has been reducing the unemploymnet numbers by not counting people who are no longer looking for a job.

So by granting waivers and allowing people to spend the rest of their life on welfare they will never look for a job and thus make his employment statistics look better.

I am reminded of the SNL character by Billy Cristol...

"for me Fernando it IS muuch better to Loook Good than to Feel good....."

Obama is a new kind of Prog ... not a Feel Good liberal but as Look Good liberal

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, That's how they count official unemployment -- they exclude people who've given up looking for work. I suspect there is something more long term going on here than reducing the unemployment number.

Doc Whoa said...

I saw Pelosi saying that journalists should need to release their taxes too. Not a smart thing to do, threatening journalists.

AndrewPrice said...

Doc, I saw that. She's really something else.

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