Tuesday, June 19, 2012

In a Recession, Work to Welfare Doesn't Work So Well

Every time you hear Willard Romney or Paul "Eat the Poor" Ryan talk about converting Medicaid and other social welfare programs to block grants, remember this really means states like GA will make it as hard as legally possible to get aid and then, having arbitrarily reduced $ paid to keep people alive, will then take unspent funds to offset deficits in the general budget and pay for tax breaks for the rich and corporations.

Instead of job creators, think baby killers.

[...In Georgia, as in many states, gaining cash assistance has become increasingly difficult since the landmark welfare reform signed into law by President Clinton in 1996. Nationally, the share of poor families with children that were drawing welfare cash benefits plummeted from 68 percent to 27 percent between 1996 and 2010, according to an analysis of federal data by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP). During the same period, the number of poor families with children grew from 6.2 million to 7.3 million....

Budget shortfalls have pared the promised supports. The size of the federal TANF grants to states has stayed flat, but shrinking in inflation-adjusted terms. States are given discretion in allocating the grants, and most have diverted increasing slices of this money to plug holes in their budgets, leaving less for cash assistance.

The one feature of welfare reform that has endured, say experts, is the emphasis on slashing welfare rolls...]


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