Ending Welfare As We Know It

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Clinton’s credit for these reforms, of course, is somewhat disingenuous. A Republican landslide in the 1994 election gave them control of Congress for the first time in 40 years, putting the former president in a tenuous position. He chose to adapt, and the 1996 welfare reform act was the epitome of such adaptation. Barack Obama, on the other hand, didn’t let the drubbing his party took in the 2010 election faze him. He has chosen to ignore that mandate and force-feed his leftist ideology to the American public, even if it takes executive orders, or Cabinet level-decrees bypassing Congress, to do so.

Bill Clinton sought to triangulate. Obama’s strategy is far more thuggish: my administration will do whatever we want, and we dare someone to stop us. “We had been attempting to highlight the inability of Congress to do anything,” former White House chief of staff William M. Daley said last April. “The president expressed frustration, saying we have got to scour everything and push the envelope in finding things we can do on our own.”

Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), chairman of the House Ways and Means committee, and one of the original authors of the reform bill, called this strategy “a brazen and unwarranted unraveling” of the law that “ends welfare reform as we know it.” Orrin Hatch (R-UT) also expressed his displeasure. “I’m disappointed that after years of sitting on their hands and failing to propose any significant improvements to the TANF programs, the Obama Administration is once again over-stepping their authority and attempting to circumvent Congress through an unprecedented bypass of the legislative process,” he said. Both men have written a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius requesting a “detailed explanation of your Department’s legal reasoning behind the guidance,” and noting that the authority to waive the work requirements in the TANF program is an authority “not asserted by any other Secretary in the 16 years since the TANF program began.”

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney offered his take on the change as well. “President Obama now wants to strip the established work requirements from welfare,” he said, further noting that “the linkage of work and welfare is essential to prevent welfare from becoming a way of life.”

No doubt it is — just as there is virtually no doubt the president is trying to break that linkage for naked political gain. Much like last week’s revelation that the Department of Agriculture was actively soliciting Spanish-speaking people to join the food stamp program (a gambit they dropped after an expose by the Daily Caller) this move smacks of nothing more than the latest effort to increase the size of the dependency class that Democrats consider essential to their political well-being. Progressive ideology would already be consigned to the ash heap of history were it not for the overt effort of its adherents to convince substantial numbers of Americans that their dependency on the state is nothing more than an integral component of “social justice.”

The administration claims that the “new steps we have taken will give states more flexibility in how they operate the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program,” as George Sheldon, acting assistant secretary for the Administration for Children and Families contends. Yet there is no ignoring the reality that such flexibility is being implemented by decree. It reveals the utter bankruptcy of an administration that knows it can’t get Congress to implement its ideologically suspect agenda. Thus, their “solution” for congressional intransigence is reduced to three words: Congress be damned.

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  • stevefraser

    You would never know this listening to the Party of Stupid.

  • truebearing

    In the short term, Obama is trying to buy votes, or more precisely, motivate his minority base to vote because they have something to lose…easy, lazy money. This shows what contempt he has for fellow blacks.

    In the long term, this is all about the Cloward-Piven strategy of destroying the economy with debt. Obama will solidify his base of illiterates, illegals, addicts, malingerers, and pathologically envious by handing them money, with no expectations. The strain on governmental budgets everywhere will in turn raise the intensity of the communists calls for taxing the rich out of existence. This is pure evil…. or typical Obama.

    • Sprinklerman

      "This is pure evil…. or typical Obama."

      Shouldn't that be…"This is pure evil…AND typical Obama."?

      • kendrick1

        Please quit straightening the deck chairs while the ship is sinking.

    • Grob Hahn

      It's amazing the array of dirty tricks Obama and democrats in general routinely employ. Obama has very little in common with most black Americans so it should be no surprise to see him use them over and over. The man has the perfect disguise and too many black Americans seem to think that a slice of the pie is headed their way as long as Obama is "king" (I'm still amazed how few black Americans understand term limits). It really doesn't matter. If Obama loses, we'll have riots that will be denied as racially motivated. However, if Obama wins, we'll have riots because of false pride giving way to reckless empowerment. The misdirected (but directed nonetheless) army will march either way. Look at the "successes" they have already had as they riot all over America.

      Obama has played them SO well.

      • Jim_C

        When your dumbass predictions don't come true, will you come back and apologize?

  • Oneputt

    A suggestion for a Romney Campaign website: Obamafordictator2012.com

  • Johncdavidson

    Every cabinet member in Obama's administration should be on trial for treason if our legal system worked properly..

    • Jim_C

      You should be tried as a juvenile for having a juvenile understanding of law and treason.

  • pagegl

    This is another example of the leftist definition of bipartisanship: do it my way.

    • Jim_C

      "What I've said about compromise and bipartisanship is I hope to build a conservative majority in the United States Senate so that bipartisanship becomes Democrats joining Republicans to roll back the size of government, reduce the bureaucracy, lower taxes and get American moving again."

      ~ Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock

      WHAT??? You mean Republicans have the same definition?

  • Glennd1

    You really have to wonder what these folks are thinking. I know, so,e of you are thinking he wants to collapse the system, but really, how can anyone look at this program and not call it a roaring success? I heard one leftist discussing it, who was complaining about how hard it was on the single mothers, some sob story about walking to work for a couple of miles for a menial job. Wow, what about all those single mothers who aren't on welfare, isn't it hard for them to work too? And maybe, this disincentive could convince people by example that being responsible about reproducing is a good idea. Sigh…

  • BS77

    46 million on food stamps. millions on welfare and unemployment. millions getting subsidized housing, medical care, transportation and education….how long can this bubble last before it pops?

  • mark

    Stop the contant doul………………….get a job. They have money for Macdonalds, the lottery they are the size of gorillias, but they are starving………..I'm sick of my tax dollars going to 14% of the population who refuse to work and they're fathers of they're children won't marry them!!!!!!!!