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Blogger/Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday the 13th: Obama Gut's Clinton's Welfare Reform

Today In Washington, D.C. - July 13, 2012:
Bill Smith, Editor: Congress is in weekend recess. The House will reconvene Tuesday, July 17th. The Senate will reconvene on Monday.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 73-24 to table an amendment with House-passed small business tax deduction to S. 2237 (Small Business Jobs and Tax Relief Act). Even Republicans Sens. Rubio, Toomey, Demint and several other Republicans voted with the democrats to table the amendment. After Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) blocked all other amendments, the Senate then blocked cloture on the Landrieu substitute amendment to S. 2237 by a vote of 57-41 and on the underlying bill by a vote of 53-44.

With everything else going on with Congress, we forget the Executive branch is where most actions occurs that affect more spending or the trampling on of American's rights and liberties. Amid everything happening in Washington, the following saga may possibly be the biggest story of the week So, let's review what the Obama administration was doing between campaign stops. Amy Payne of the Heritage Foundation offers up the bad news report below on this Friday the 13th.

Before presenting her article, let's recall that President Bill Clinton worked with Congress to implement successful Welfare Reform. What is now happening is that President Obama is trampled on President Clinton's welfare reform. Obama is taking actions which lead to more dependency on the Government and may be an apparent effort to influence voting in the short term by reducing people looking for employment or needing jobs. By removing the the responsibility provisions for Welfare recipients, less people must pursue jobs, employment assistance or education (to remain on welfare). He is also hiding again the weakest among us who need help from their communities and not from Big Government.

Before sharing the full article, A Summary:
The imperial Presidency has overturned Congress and the law again. Not content to stop at rewriting immigration policy, education policy and energy policy, yesterday, President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an official policy directive rewriting the welfare reform law of 1996. The new policy guts the federal work requirements that were the foundation of the Clinton-era reform.
This is BIG deal in that President Obama has bypassed Congress and the law again. His action has replaced the personal responsibility attached to welfare or at least placed it on the back-burner by dictatorial fiat.

The work requirements, being responsible, and getting help for training and or education were key part of President Clinton's reform. The number of people on Government Welfare plummeted under the Clinton reform. The Clinton reforms required welfare recipients to assume responsibility to cooperate in seeking assistance. They were assisted in this effort by community teams called TEA (Transition Employment Assistance )Coalitions made up of business leaders, educational experts, and caring members of the community. Each person's capabilities, skills and needs were reviewed and an individual plans put in place to help and to fund the needed effort to assist the welfare recipient towards meaningful employment. If the welfare recipient refused, the lost access to welfare. Many pursued job training and or education courses and the government continued their welfare assistance while in the local TEA Coalition coordinated community support to aid women with needed child care, transportation, etc., while the welfare client attending counseling, evaluation. job training or academic programs. The funding needed for training or education and seeking new jobs was covered by the program or other assistance. The majority in the programs received assistance with personal or medical problems, gained in self-esteem and discovered that they could be free of government dependency (the welfare system), have careers and care for their children. The welfare roles under President Clinton declined significantly. In Clinton's home state of Arkansas, welfare dropped to nil as communities stepped forward to assist trough TEA Coalitions.

I served for a couple years on our county's initial TEA Coalition and participated in coordinated efforts in the state. In our county, welfare dropped to almost zero and all physically and emotionally capable people gained employment and independence. Interesting, while their were complaints by clients, government staff members of various levels involved in supporting the welfare programs complained that success was leading to risk of reduced funding and agencies reducing jobs. They preferred more Federal funding and that meant more needy welfare clients. The biggest hindrance to the total success of the Clinton welfare reforms was government bureaucracy

The full story:
by Amy Payne, The Morning Bell: The imperial Presidency has overturned Congress and the law again. Not content to stop at rewriting immigration policy, education policy and energy policy, yesterday, President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an official policy directive rewriting the welfare reform law of 1996. The new policy guts the federal work requirements that were the foundation of the Clinton-era reform.

While this real news occurred yesterday, most of the media remained fixated on political ads and speeches, letting a major and unilateral shift in America’s welfare system go nearly unreported.

Welfare reform replaced the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children with a new program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The Heritage Foundation played a pivotal role in building bipartisan consensus for the reform and providing many of the recommendations that became part of the law. The whole point was that able-bodied adults should be required to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving welfare aid.

This reform was very successful. TANF became the only welfare program (out of more than 70) that promoted greater self-reliance. It moved 2.8 million families off the welfare rolls and into jobs so that they were providing for themselves. Child poverty fell, and single-parent employment rose. Recipients were required to perform at least 20–30 hours per week of work or job preparation activities in exchange for the cash benefit.

Now, Obama’s HHS is claiming that it can waive those work requirements that are at the heart of the law, and without Congress’s consent.

When it established TANF, Congress deliberately exempted or shielded nearly all of the TANF program from waiver authority. They explicitly did not want the law to be rewritten at the whim of HHS bureaucrats. In a December 2001, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service clarified that there was no authority to override work and other major requirements: “Effectively, there are no TANF waivers,” it reported.

But that did not stop the Obama Administration, which has been increasing welfare spending at an alarming rate already. President Obama has added millions to the welfare rolls, and his Administration has come under fire lately for its efforts to expand and add more Americans to the food stamp program.

This is a chronic problem: Over the past two decades, welfare spending has grown more rapidly than Social Security and Medicare, education, and defense. The TANF reform was one small step in the direction of reducing Americans’ dependence on government programs and getting them back on their feet. Cutting its work component is likely to unnecessarily swell the ranks of welfare recipients and with no way to pay for it.

Heritage experts Robert Rector and Kiki Bradley explained further in their comprehensive analysis of yesterday’s announcement:
In the past, state bureaucrats have attempted to define activities such as hula dancing, attending Weight Watchers, and bed rest as “work.” These dodges were blocked by the federal work standards. Now that the Obama Administration has abolished those standards, we can expect “work” in the TANF program to mean anything but work. The new welfare dictate issued by the Obama Administration clearly guts the law.
Obama certainly didn’t tell people he was going to gut welfare reform when he was running for President in 2008—and why would he? “Welfare horror stories helped elect Ronald Reagan,” wrote Mickey Kaus of The Daily Caller. “A promise to ‘end welfare as we know it’ elected President Clinton…And in 2008, Barack Obama didn’t dare suggest that he wanted to do what he has done today.”
While the 1996 welfare reform successfully moved people from welfare into work, it did not “end welfare as we know it.” Now, however, the Obama Administration has ended welfare reform as we know it. The President cannot hide his disastrous unemployment record by depriving Americans of the hope of a job. He should immediately reverse this course, and offer constructive ideas for economic growth rather than government dependence.  Fact Sheet on Welfare Reform

Tags: Washington, D.C. Senate, House, Obama administration,HHS, Morning Bell, TANF, welfare, welfare reform To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 2:03 PM - Post Link

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a clarion call to the men and women of the United States of America: make a stand NOW. You must make a peaceful and civil stand now! When you stand you shall stand upon the Constitution. We The People must say enough is enough! We have had enough of the Executive branch going around the Legislative Branch.

President Obama's motivations matter not. The results of his actions matter not. The methods that Obama has used to impose his will are unacceptable. We have a Law and limits on Executive power for a reason. Look at the DOMA Law, the Immigration issue, and not this welfare issue. The more people there are on welfare, the less money there is for everyone on the welfare rolls. By allowing the States to ignore the searching-for-work requirement yes more people will jump on the welfare rolls. This will mean less money available for them and the people already on the welfare rolls.

The Law excluded the Search-for-Work requirement from being waived for a reason. Now, without
Congressional action, President Obama and his administration has rewritten the law. In doing so he and his admin. have violated the checks and balances. They have made law without the consent of the Legislature.

He may have the purest motives. His motives don't change the fact that he is acting more like a Ruler than a Leader. Who do YOU, the People, want running the USA? A ruler or a leader:

http://lifelightandliberty.blogspot.com/2012/07/shall-we-have-rulers-or-leaders.html

7/14/2012  

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