The population of the US in May, 2012, was about 314 million. Now the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee say that about 107 million US citizens receive some type of means-tested welfare. That figure does NOT include people receiving Social Security benefits or Medicare. For all you Democrats/Progressives, that’s over one third of the US population. The Senate Budget Committee says that, “The federal government administers nearly 80 different overlapping federal means-tested welfare programs.”
What is, in my humble opinion, most frightening about all of this is the GROWTH of the entitlement programs. It illustrates a shift in the views of the country. No longer is there a stigma or negative connotation attached to receiving a hand-out, to getting something for nothing. In fact, we providers (taxpayers) are now looked upon as suckers.
Food stamps and Medicaid are two of the most expensive welfare programs.
Since 2000, the number of people receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, the new name for food stamps) has grown from 17 million to 45 million, a 165 percent increase. Food stamp spending, under Obama, has risen by over 100 percent. Spending has more than doubled since 2008, and spending is projected to be an “estimated $770 billion over the next 10 years.”
Since 2000, the number of Medicaid recipients has grown from 34 million to 54 million, a 59 percent increase. When Obamacare kicks in 2014, the number is expected to rise by an additional 19.6 million.
And, as the committee points out, “These figures include not only citizens, but non-citizens as well.”
So, with those numbers in mind, let’s see what Obama has been up to regarding welfare. He will continue his shenanigans as long as welfare recipients are allowed to vote.
The Obama Administration issued a memo on Thursday, August 2, 2012, stating that it would issue waivers to states on work requirements for participation in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families act (TANF). President Bill Clinton signed “Welfare Reform” into law in 1996, which replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) program, and the Emergency Assistance (EA) program with TANF as the nation’s welfare program. TANF requires recipients to be working or engaged in work-related activities in order to continue to receive welfare assistance from tax payers. Obama’s memo would grant waivers to states so that the definition of work can be greatly expanded and weakened.
Welfare recipients must work as soon as they are job-ready or no later than two years after receiving welfare. Recipients could be on welfare for up to two years without a job or satisfactory “work participation.” Now states can include such things such as “hula dancing and attendance of weight watchers programs” as activities that would meet the work requirements in order to receive welfare benefits. As Rich Mitchell says, “Citizens pay taxes from their hard-earned income and would expect that anyone receiving a portion of those taxes does something productive to deserve the assistance. America does not want to pay people to go to dancing lessons or diet classes.”
Section 1115 of TANF provides the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) with the authority to grant waiver to states for work requirements, but the work requirement and definitions are in section 407, not 1115. Work requirements were put in a separate section specifically to prevent this kind of action. Where is AG Eric Holder on this? I don’t expect we’ll hear a peep from him since he is truly Obama’s lap dog.
As Mitchell says, Obama, by dictatorial fiat, has:
“… illegally gutted President Clinton’s Welfare Reform. He hasn’t directly redefined the work requirements, but by granting the states waivers and demanding higher participation, he has guaranteed that states will game the system and individually weaken existing work requirements directly in contradiction to the intent of the law.”
I guess that’s just another way for Obama to increase welfare participation, and to buy votes.
By the way, here is a source that presents the Federal Budget in graph form. It is from the Heritage Foundation, and it will make your blood boil.
But that’s just my opinion.