Tag Archives: welfare reform

Eilimination of CalWORKS Puts the Lie to “Welfare Reform”

Back in the day, St. Ronald Reagan, used to talk a lot about welfare reform.  To him, everybody on welfare was making $150,000/year cheating the system.  That he couldn’t actually point to a real case was no matter. He simply knew it was the case. So, the best solution was to hack the system to pieces.

Reagan didn’t deal the big blow to the welfare system that he had really wanted, that was to be left to the “New Democrats.” He did find plenty of time to eliminate mental health care and toss thousands of veterans on to the street, so don’t you worry about St. Ronny.

But those who decided that the system needed to be exploded talked about the need to get the poor into jobs. Those lazy “welfare queens” needed to stop sitting at home with their children and go to work. That child care often costs more than their wages was no matter.  But, in a perfect world, we would be able to provide affordable Head Start style preschool programs to all. And, in the end, getting people into the workforce is generally a good thing if done properly.  We need to work to ensure that we don’t end up putting children into a situation where they have nobody to care for them and no food.

If these are your goals, then CalWORKS, California’s Welfare to Work program would be something worth doing, right?  CalWORKS helps out needy families who are living below the poverty line while requiring that the recipients work.  But, Arnold has once again slated CalWORKS for elimination, which would make California the only state in the nation without a welfare to work program.

What does it say if we so lightly consider tossing aside help for California’s working poor?  Are we really concerned about getting people into the workforce, or simply cutting the social safety net?

On another note, is there an argument that somehow the jobs situation would be better if we cut CalWorks while not increasing upper income taxes?  Money to CalWORKS recipients is spent, churning money through our economy.

But this isn’t really about what’s best for the state any more. We’re in the business of moving wealth upwards these days. We can’t let something as trivial as a child going to school hungry get in the way of that.

So Much for a Compassionate Governator

(Welcome to the post-honeymoon era. – promoted by blogswarm)

What’s going on here? I thought that Ahhnuld wanted to provide health care to poor children…
But now, he wants to cut welfare aid to these same kids. So they can go to the doctor for a check-up, but they can’t eat and they can’t have a roof over their heads? I really don’t get this. If this is “post-partisan cooperation”, then I’m not particularly impressed.

More after the jump…

So what’s going on here? I opened the LA Times this morning to find this:

The proposed $465-million reduction in California’s welfare budget came two days after the governor promised that his second term would feature “post-partisan” cooperation.

It was met immediately with resistance from Democrats, who expressed bewilderment that the governor would attempt to cut welfare aid to children in the same week his administration is expected to move forward with a plan to expand health insurance to many of the same children.

Wow, so much for a Governor with even an ounce of compassion for poor children! I guess he doesn’t really care about “post-partisan cooperation”, either! Why target poor kids like this? Sorry. but I don’t get it…
And neither do I get this:

“It’s ironic that the governor is proposing healthcare for poor kids while taking away their breakfasts,” state Senate leader Don Perata (D-Oakland) said of the cuts, which would affect more than 40,000 families. “Even Republican Gov. [Pete] Wilson, at the time he negotiated welfare reform, agreed that children should not suffer for the behavior of their parents.”

The plan alarmed advocates for the poor, who predicted that eliminating the cash payments of several hundred dollars a month would substantially increase the risk of homelessness for those families.

Schwarzenegger’s proposal also would eliminate this year’s cost-of-living increase for welfare recipients.

HUH??!! WTF??!! So it’s OK for poor kids to have health care, but not a place to live and food to eat. Again, I don’t get Ahhnuld’s “logic” here. Either we care about the well-being of these at-risk kids, or we don’t. Yes, yes, I understand that this could be Ahhnuld’s way of offering an olive branch to the wingnut GOPers in the Legislature…
But why sacrifice the needs of poor children, just so that there’s less “welfare spending” in the budget, just so that the wingnuts can be a little happier with this?

If this is what Ahhnuld meant when he talked about being “bipartisan”, then I don’t want any of this…
And I don’t think that all the California families living in poverty want it either.

(As always, this is cross-posted at my blog.)