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President Obama Denies Gutting Welfare Requirements

The Obama Administration came out swinging against its critics on welfare reform yesterday, with Press Secretary Jay Carney saying the charge that the Administration gutted the successful 1996 reform’s work requirements is “categorically false” and “blatantly dishonest.” Even former President Bill Clinton, who signed the reform into law, came out parroting the Obama team’s talking points and saying the charge was “not true.”

 

The Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector and Kiki Bradley first broke the story on July 12 that Obama’s Health and Human Services Department (HHS) had rewritten the Clinton-era reform to undo the work requirements, in a move that legal experts Todd Gaziano and Robert Alt determined was patently illegal.

 

The Administration’s new argument has two parts: denying the Obama Administration’s actions and claiming that Republican governors, including Mitt Romney, tried to do the same thing. In essence, “We did not do what you’re saying, but even if we did, some Republicans did it, too.” Both parts of this argument are easily debunked.

 

Obama Administration Claim #1: We Didn’t Gut Work Requirements

 

Ever since the 1996 law passed, Democratic leaders have attempted (unsuccessfully) to repeal welfare’s work standards, blocking reauthorization of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF) and attempting to weaken the requirements. Unable to eliminate “workfare” legislatively, the Obama HHS claimed authority to grant waivers that allow states to get around the work requirements.

 

Humorously, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius now asserts that the Administration abolished the TANF work requirements to increase work.

 

HHS now claims that states receiving a waiver must “commit that their proposals will move at least 20 percent more people from welfare to work compared to the state’s prior performance.” But given the normal turnover rate in welfare programs, the easiest way to increase the number of people moving from “welfare to work” is to increase the number entering welfare in the first place.

 

Bogus statistical ploys like these were the norm before the 1996 reform. The law curtailed use of sham measures of success and established meaningful standards: Participating in work activities meant actual work activities, not “bed rest” or “reading” or doing one hour of job search per month; reducing welfare dependence meant reducing caseloads. Now those standards are gone.
Obama’s HHS claims authority to overhaul every aspect of the TANF work provisions (contained in section 407), including “definitions of work activities and engagement, specified limitations, verification procedures and the calculation of participation rates.” In other words, the whole work program. Sebelius’s HHS bureaucracy declared the existing TANF law a blank slate on which it can design any policy it chooses.

 

Obama Administration Claim #2: Even If We Did, the Republicans Tried It, Too

 

Though the Obama Administration is claiming it is not trying to get around the work requirements, it is also claiming that a group of Republican governors tried to do the same thing in 2005. Clinton also said in his statement yesterday that “the recently announced waiver policy was originally requested” by Republican governors.

 

Heritage welfare expert Robert Rector addressed this claim back on July 19. As Rector explains:
But [the governors'] letter makes no mention at all of waiving work requirements under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. In fact, the legislation promoted in the letter—the Personal Responsibility and Individual Development for Everyone (PRIDE) Act—actually would have toughened the federal work standards. It proposed raising the mandatory participation rates imposed on states from 50 percent to 70 percent of the adult TANF caseload and increasing the hours of required work activity.
The governors’ letter actually contradicts the Administration’s main argument: If the law has always permitted HHS to waive the work requirements, then why didn’t the governors just request waivers from then-President George W. Bush? Why would legislation be needed?
Two reasons: First, it has been clear for 15 years that the TANF law did not permit HHS to waive the work requirements. Second, the Republican governors were not seeking to waive the work requirements in the first place.
Obama’s Evolution from Welfare to Work and Back
President Obama had a convenient change of heart regarding welfare reform when it was time to run for President. In 1998, when he was an Illinois state senator, Obama said:
I was not a huge supporter of the federal plan that was signed in 1996. Having said that, I do think that there is a potential political opportunity that arose out of welfare reform. And that is to desegregate the welfare population—meaning the undeserving poor, black folks in cities, from the working poor—deserving, white, rural as well as suburban.
The same year, he reiterated that “the 1996 legislation I did not entirely agree with and probably would have voted against at the federal level.”
But in 2008, when he was running for President, Obama said he had changed his mind about welfare reform: “I was much more concerned 10 years ago when President Clinton initially signed the bill that this could have disastrous results….It had—it worked better than, I think, a lot of people anticipated. And, you know, one of the things that I am absolutely convinced of is that we have to work as a centerpiece of any social policy.”
One of his 2008 campaign ads touted “the Obama record: moved people from welfare to work” and promised that as President, he would “never forget the dignity that comes from work.”
This evolution is unsurprising, considering the vast majority of Americans favor requiring welfare recipients to work.
President Obama has finally accomplished what Democrats have been trying to do for years. He has even gotten President Clinton to turn his back on one of the signature achievements of his Administration to give him political cover—which Clinton was quick to do. In 1996, Clinton had to compromise and allow the tough work requirements to get the legislation passed.

 

Both Presidents have now revealed their true feelings about welfare—and there’s no denying it.

 

 

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ATTN: REAL CONSERVATIVES
What follows is Member Tater Salad's

response to the warning issued in the posting:


"HOW THE ELECTION, ( AND YOUR LIBERTY ) WILL BE STOLEN FROM YOU"


CLICK HERE:


http://tpartyus2010.ning.com/profiles/blog/show?id=3180617%3ABlogPo...


IT COULD NOT HAVE BEEN STATED BETTER.....READ ON!


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Comment by Tater Salad 22 minutes ago
Plain As The Nose On Your Face (please read)


By Alex Gonzalez in TeaParty Patriots Of Florida (Files) · Edit Doc

I received this as an e-mail and HAD to share with my fellow patriots. Terrifying, to say the least.....

It is as plain as the nose on your face. If you edit, or "pick and choose" to read what comes across your email, this is one that must be read. The American people must realize what is going on, before it's too late, because by then, it will be just that....too late. Please pass this on, and help educate people.

TO: Americans everywhere

I was sitting at my keyboard halfway through my writing a letter to you about how Barack Obama was fulfilling his pledge to "Transform America" by "Changing the fundamentals of America", so that our government would become the plantation, he the owner, and we the slaves, when this article by Steve McCann appeared in my in box. After checking it for accuracy, and finding it so, I am presenting it to you, for I could not say it better.

...Is it already too late?

Obama's Second Term Transformation Plans

The 2012 election has often been described as the most pivotal since 1860. This statement is not hyperbole. If Barack Obama is re-elected the United States will never be the same, nor will it be able to re-capture its once lofty status as the most dominant nation in the history of humankind.

The overwhelming majority of Americans do not understand that Obama's first term was dedicated to putting in place executive power to enable him and the administration to fulfill the campaign promise of "transforming America” in his second term regardless of which political party controls Congress. That is why his re-election team is virtually ignoring the plight of incumbent or prospective Democratic Party office holders.

The most significant accomplishment of Obama's first term is to make Congress irrelevant. Under the myopic and blindly loyal leadership of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, the Democrats have succeeded in creating an imperial and, in a second term, a potential dictatorial presidency.

During the first two years of the Obama administration when the Democrats overwhelming controlled both Houses of Congress and the media was in an Obama-worshiping stupor, a myriad of laws were passed and actions taken which transferred virtually unlimited power to the executive branch.

The birth of multi-thousand page laws was not an aberration. This tactic was adopted so the bureaucracy controlled by Obama appointees would have sole discretion in interpreting vaguely written laws and enforcing thousands of pages of regulations they and not Congress would subsequently write.

For example, in the 2,700 pages of Obama Care there are more than 2,500 references to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. There are more than 700 instances when he or she is instructed that they "shall" do something and more than 200 times when they "may" take at their sole discretion some form of regulatory action. On 139 occasions, the law mentions that the “Secretary determines." In essence one person, appointed by and reporting to the president, will be in charge of the health care of 310 million Americans once Obama Care is fully operational in 2014.

The same is true in the 2,319 pages of the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act which confers nearly unlimited power on various agencies to control by fiat the nation's financial, banking and investment sectors. The bill also creates new agencies, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, not subject to any oversight by Congress. This overall process was repeated numerous times with other legislation all with the intent of granting unfettered power to the executive branch controlled Barack Obama and his radical associates.

Additionally, the Obama administration has, through its unilaterally determined rule making and regulatory powers, created laws out of whole cloth. The Environmental Protection Agency on a near daily basis issues new regulations clearly out of their purview in order to modify and change environmental laws previously passed and to impose a radical green agenda never approved by Congress. The same is true of the Energy and Interior Departments among many others.

None of these extra-constitutional actions has been challenged by Congress. The left in America knows this usurpation of power is nearly impossible to reverse unless stopped in its early stages.

It is clearly the mindset of this administration and its appointees that Congress is merely a nuisance and can be ignored after they were able to take full advantage of the useful idiots in the Democrat controlled House and Senate in 2009-2010 and the Democrat Senate in the current Congress.

Additionally, Barack Obama knows after his re-election a Republican controlled House and Senate will not be able to enact any legislation to roll back the power previously granted to the Executive Branch or usurped by them. His veto will not be overridden as there will always be at least 145 Democratic members of the House or 34 in the Senate in agreement with or intimidated by an administration more than willing to use Chicago style political tactics.

The stalemate between the Executive and Legislative Branches will inure to the benefit of Barack Obama and his fellow leftists.

The most significant power Congress has is the control of the purse-strings as all spending must be approved by them.. However, once re-elected, Barack Obama, as
confirmed by his willingness to do or say anything and his unscrupulous re-election tactics, would not only threaten government shutdowns but would deliberately withhold payments to those dependent on government support as a means of intimidating and forcing a Republican controlled Congress to surrender to his demands, thus neutering their ability to control the administration through spending constraints.

Further, this administration has shown contempt for the courts by ignoring various court orders, e.g. the Gulf of Mexico oil drilling moratorium, as well as stonewalling subpoenas and requests issued by Congress. The Eric Holder Justice Department has become the epitome of corruption as part of the most dishonest and deceitful administration in American history. In a second term the arrogance of Barack Obama and his minions will become more blatant as he will not have to be concerned with re-election.

Who will be there to enforce the rule of law, a Supreme Court ruling or the Constitution? No one. Barack Obama and his fellow-travelers will be unchallenged as they run roughshod over the American people.

Many Republicans and conservatives dissatisfied with the prospect of Mitt Romney as the nominee for president are instead focused on re-taking the House and Senate. That goal, while worthy and necessary, is meaningless unless Barack Obama is defeated. The nation is not dealing with a person of character and integrity but someone of single-minded purpose and overwhelming narcissism. Judging by his actions, words and deeds during his first term, he does not intend to work with Congress either Republican or Democrat in his second term but rather to force his radical agenda on the American people through the power he has usurped or been granted.

The governmental structure of the United States was set up by the founders in the hope that over the years only those people of high moral character and integrity would assume the reins of power. However, knowing that was not always possible, they dispersed power over three distinct and independent branches as a check on each other.

What they could not imagine is the surrender and abdication of its constitutional duty by the preeminent governmental branch, the Congress, to a chief executive devoid of any character or integrity coupled with a judiciary essentially powerless to enforce the law when the chief executive ignores them.

Conservatives, Libertarians, the Republican Party, and Mitt Romney must come to grips with this moment in time and their historical role in denying Barack Obama and his minions their ultimate goal. All resources must be directed at that end-game and not merely controlling Congress and the various committee chairmanships.

I would add but 6 words to those above mentioned, Conservatives, Libertarians, the Republican Party and Mitt Romney, to say "and we the American people also", must come to grips with this moment in time and our role in denying Barack Obama his lifelong goal of "transforming" us into his slaves working on his government plantation.

Please forward this to all you can, maybe together we can save America for ourselves and those who will follow after us.

 
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Comment by PHILIP SCHNEIDER on August 12, 2012 at 6:35pm

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