Yes, Romney’s Welfare Ad Is Accurate

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Sebelius is not a laid-back, third-way neoliberal who can be expected to interpret her waiver authority honestly. She’s the doctrinaire feminist loon who “interpreted” Obamacare to require every insurance policy in the country to provide full coverage for birth control.

Kaus points out that the HHS memo announcing that Sebelius could allow waivers from work for “job training,” “job search” or “pursuing a credential” unquestionably constitutes “a weakening of the work requirement.” He adds that it’s also “unfair to the poor suckers who just go to work without ever going on welfare — they don’t get subsidized while they’re ‘pursuing a credential.’”

In a follow-up post, Kaus pointed out that the Times’ own editorial denouncing the Romney ad inadvertently revealed that Sebelius was proposing a lot more than “job search” exemptions from the work requirement.

Both the Times and an HHS memo cheerfully propose allowing hard-to-employ “families” — which are never actual families, by the way — to be “exempted from the work requirements for six months.” Or more than six months. It’s up to Sebelius: “Exempted.”

The work requirements were one of two central features of the 1996 welfare reform law, along with time limits. They were heatedly opposed by the Democrats’ left-wing base at the time, and have been met with massive resistance in some of our more Greece-like states ever since.

A 2005 report by the Government Accountability Office found that some states were accepting such non-work substitutes from welfare recipients as “bed rest,” “personal journaling,” “motivational reading,” “exercise at home,” “smoking cessation,” “weight loss,” and “helping a friend or relative with household tasks and errands.”

(Under Sebelius, the work requirement will also be satisfied with “playing Xbox and eating Doritos.”)

Many liberals, such as those who write for The New York Times, agree that “bed rest” and “personal journaling” should count as a work substitute for welfare recipients. But that’s not what the law says. And it’s certainly not what liberals tell us when they proclaim Romney’s ad “false.”

What “every fair analyst” and “every fact checker” means when they call Romney’s ad “false” is: We, the media, don’t consider exempting welfare recipients from the requirement of having to work “gutting” the work requirements.

“Thoroughly debunked” is the new liberal code for “blindingly accurate.”

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  • traeh

    I read one of the Kaus articles on this and was surprised. I had swallowed the conventional wisdom that the Romney ad on Obama's proposed welfare changes was a lie, and I just assumed both candidates were lying like crazy about each other. But Kaus changed my mind about the welfare ad.

    I wonder if a lot of center-leftists are becoming closet Romney folk. Sometimes I get the feeling that a significant minority of leftie media types are nervous about Obama's real motives and beliefs and are leaning Romney too. I seem to see here and there some of the leftie media questioning Democrat politicians more toughly than in the past. For example, Anderson Cooper in that recent interview with Debbie Wasserman Schulz, who permits herself to lie a bit too promiscuously for the Democrat cause, in which I'm sure she very sincerely believes. Anderson Cooper was fairly relentless with her. And I seem to recall another mainstream media type who was relentless in a similar way with her — Wolf Blitzer.

    We have to win. We have to vote Obama out. But if we don't, the consolation is that a second Obama term will so mobilize Republicans that we might get veto-proof majorities in both houses of congress.

  • Paul B.

    I've been reading Kaus, and find it hard to believe he's still a liberal, or will be voting for obama. He's got too much clarity. Awesome column, Ann. God bless.

  • Resh Yud Yud

    Paradoxical Quote From Ben Stein

    "Fathom the hypocisy of a government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured………
    But not everyone must prove they are a citizen."

    Now Add This, "Many of those who refuse, or are unable ,to prove they are citizens, will receive free
    insurance….
    , paid for by those who are forced to buy insurance because they are citizens."

  • Schlomotion

    Ann Coulter, as usual, is full of it. As a person who lives in Massachusetts and pays $100 a week for doctors I don't even visit, I can safely say that Mitt Romney's Health Care Plan is also a failure.

    • IsraelFirster

      Maybe if you did visit them, all those therapist appointments would actually start reaping dividends.

      • Schlomotion

        Yes. It is well known that Israel Firsters support psychological reeducation camps.

        • reader

          Is this what you see in your shrink? Apparently, your schizophrenia is in a pretty advanced phase.

          • Schlomotion

            Apparently you think DISA style trolling is still in vogue.

        • IsraelFirster

          Fraid not. I leave the reeducation camps to the colleges.

        • tagalog

          Israel First? Wouldn't such an organization be likely to be located in Israel? Don't we Constitutional-type, Declaration-of-Independence-lovin' Americans say that a nation can have any kind of camps it wants within its own borders as long as they don't affect our national security?

    • tagalog

      So, add the $100/week ($5,200/year) to the "tax" for not buying health care insurance under Obamacare (that's what, about $2000?), and you're paying $7,200/year or so for health care insurance you don't even use.

      And what's the payoff? The assurance from government that your money is going to pay for the health insurance of the poor.

      In a free market, you wouldn't have Obamacare you don't use, Romneycare you don't use, and you could pay the premium for private health care insurance either on your own or through your employer, pay a great deal less than $7,200 a year, and the entire community around you wouldn't have to undergo these economic contortions in the name of insuring 40 million allegedly uninsured people. The poor would receive their health care via social welfare programs that already exist and laws that require health care facilities to provide emergency care, with us picking up the tab via tax increases that we can vote on, so that we can control how much we are called upon to pay for these services. John Locke and Adam Smith in action. But nooo, we have to have Marx and Engels.

      By the way, the CBO figures on the financial gutting of Medicare and Medicaid to fund Obamacare, and the lack of state registries and involvement of the states in federal health plans means that about 30 – 32 million people will still be uninsured when Obamacare finally takes effect in what, 2014, so Obamacare will cost a wealthy nation's economic health and insure about 6-8 million people, leaving the rest right where they were in 2009, a health care insurance market that disincentivizes private insurance, and lower dollars going to health care providers and research and development.

    • tagalog

      The good news about Romneycare is that it's a state program under the 10th Amendment, which acknowledges the power of the states to do such things, while Obamacare is a federal program that will be nationwide, so if someone REALLY objects to Obamacare, they can't move to some other place in America where they don't do Obamacare, as they could move to, say, New York or Connecticut if they didn't like Romneycare.

    • Ghostwriter

      Still reveling in Jew bashing,huh Schlomotion? I wish you'd stop it. It makes you sound unintelligent.

  • kafirman

    NPR joined the chorus of hand-wringing leftists herds, full of incredulity at the lies in Romney's ads. NPR cited Politico's and WaPo's Pinocchio lies.

  • cynthia curran

    Well, the way to get rid of Welfare is to convinced more illegal immigrants whose children are more on the free and reduce lunches in states like Ca and Texas is to go home. Just doing the Alabama plan of giving blacks less welfare doesn't work by itself since blacks like Hispanics also have a large portion of children on free and reduce lunch programs they need higher job skills by finishing school, getting rid of job competition in the construction industry to get their children off the dole. States like Texas and California with lower black populations have most of the people on the dole that are foreign born, changed legal immigrant and get some illegal immigrants to self-deport.

    • tagalog

      Or, assuming Romney defeats Obama in November, Romney could just do what Obama does: sidestep Congress and the People by issuing executive orders, making absentee appointments, and delegating his duties to administrative agency heads. Just be king, that would be great, right? Well, at least as long as the king is in our party…

  • cynthia curran

    Center for immigration studies Texas; native born on dole 40 percent and foreign born 60 percent,. Orange County Ca native born 19 percent and foreign born 56 percent. San Diego native born 27 percent and foreign born 56 percent. Is there a pattern here. Republicans want foreign born to support themselves for legal immigrants so support that.. Harris, Dallas and Austin are the caused of Texas having 40 percent native born on the dole since they also have a lot of second and third generation Hispanics and blacks that are on the dole. Suburbs stats are similar to Orange County and San Diego where its mainly foreign born.

  • patriotwork

    Think of what Slo just said: He pays $100 a week and Romneycare is a failure. What is he inadvertently saying about Obamacare?

    • Schlomotion

      Oh, I'll advertently say that Obamacare produces a gigantic and moist vacuum as well. They are both pushing the bad ideas of The Heritage Foundation.

  • Lillith

    Stop feeding the trolls people, just ignore them!