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Obama Admin. to Issue Waivers From Federal Work Requirement in Welfare Program

by Doug Powers – 07/13/2012

In 2006, Bill Clinton wrote this in a New York Times op-ed:

On Aug. 22, 1996, after vetoing two earlier versions, I signed welfare reform into law. At the time, I was widely criticized by liberals who thought the work requirements too harsh and conservatives who thought the work incentives too generous. Three members of my administration ultimately resigned in protest. Thankfully, a majority of both Democrats and Republicans voted for the bill because they thought we shouldn’t be satisfied with a system that had led to intergenerational dependency.

The last 10 years have shown that we did in fact end welfare as we knew it, creating a new beginning for millions of Americans.

In the past decade, welfare rolls have dropped substantially, from 12.2 million in 1996 to 4.5 million today. At the same time, caseloads declined by 54 percent. Sixty percent of mothers who left welfare found work, far surpassing predictions of experts. Through the Welfare to Work Partnership, which my administration started to speed the transition to employment, more than 20,000 businesses hired 1.1 million former welfare recipients. Welfare reform has proved a great success, and I am grateful to the Democrats and Republicans who had the courage to work together to take bold action.
[…]
The 1996 Welfare Act shows us how much we can achieve when both parties bring their best ideas to the negotiating table and focus on doing what is best for the country.

People were getting off welfare and getting back to work. Great news… unless you feed off dependency in order to stay in power.

Fast forward to this week:

The Department and Health and Human Services announced the agency will issue waivers for the federal work requirement of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program — considered a central facet of welfare reform in 1996 — Thursday.

The “Information Memorandum” states that the agency will be issuing waivers for TANF’s work participation requirements for parents and caretakers as a way to find new approaches to better employment outcomes.

“While the TANF work participation requirements are contained in section 407, section 402(a)(1)(A)(iii) requires that the state plan ‘[e]nsure that parents and caretakers receiving assistance under the program engage in work activities in accordance with section 407,’” the memo, signed by HHS Director of the Office of Family Assistance, Earl Johnson, explained. “Thus, HHS has authority to waive compliance with this 402 requirement and authorize a state to test approaches and methods other than those set forth in section 407, including definitions of work activities and engagement, specified limitations, verification procedures, and the calculation of participation rates.”

“New approaches to better employment outcomes”? The first thing that comes to mind to accomplish that is to vote this bunch out in November.

Of course, in defense of Obama, having a federal work requirement after he and the rest of the Dems have trashed the economy could be considered cruel and unusual punishment. It’s like having a “go find a gallon of water” requirement for people being released into the Sahara Desert.

Members of Congress are pointing out that the administration can’t legally do what they’re doing:

The American Thinker reported Friday that House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp and the Ranking Member on the Senate Finance Committee Orrin Hatch sent a letter to HHS Secretary Sebelius Thursday expressing “deep concern” about the memo and demanding a legal reasoning behind the guidance by Monday.

“Simply put, if Congress had intended to allow waivers of TANF work requirements, it would have said so in the statute,” the pair wrote. “Instead, Congress did the exact opposite and explicitly prohibited waivers to section 407 work requirements among other sections of the Social Security Act.”

Legal reasoning? Since when does Obama need to legally justify his decrees?

Romney responded:

“President Obama now wants to strip the established work requirements from welfare,” Romney said. “The success of bipartisan welfare reform, passed under President Clinton, has rested on the obligation of work. The president’s action is completely misdirected. Work is a dignified endeavor, and the linkage of work and welfare is essential to prevent welfare from becoming a way of life.”

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The ruling……

Amnesty….Obama-style

Obama the Leaker…

Obama believes the most important issue of second term is ‘climate change’

by Ed Lasky – American Thinker – 06/11/2012

President Obama is quoted in a New Yorker column by hooked-in journalist Ryan Lizza as believing the most important issue to address in his second term would be climate change

“Obama has an ambitious second-term agenda, which, at least in broad ways, his campaign is beginning to highlight. The President has said that the most important policy he could address in his second term is climate change (italics mine), one of the few issues that he thinks could fundamentally improve the world decades from now. He also is concerned with containing nuclear proliferation.”

Do we have the most obtuse President ever in the Oval Office? 

Tens of millions of people out of work or underemployed; pension funds at risk; the entitlement crisis is getting worse every day it is unaddressed; the oncoming “fiscal cliff” threatens to throw us into another recession (predicted by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office; Taxmaggedon begins on January 1st; our deficit is enormous and we have accumulated trillions of dollars of debt under his presidency with nothing to show for it other than high unemployment and high debt; and Barack Obama believes climate change trumps these concerns?

He has political tin ears.

Is he so surrounded by an entourage of yes people, is he so swayed by wealthy environmentalist who shower donor dollars on him, is his vision so occluded by the blinders that he apparently must wear when he is not in public that he does not realize the public is increasingly skeptical of the claims that there is such a thing as man-made climate change?

The promoters of this faddish idea have been caught manipulating data to justify their claims and have been caught (ClimateGate) trying to prevent the release of scientific data that would rebut their charges. Voters in coal mining states know what damage his current policies have caused, as do workers who would otherwise be employed right now building the Keystone XL pipeline. His climate change obsession has already caused many billions of taxpayer dollars  to be lost (Solyndra was merely the most highly publicized of bankruptcies among the many green schemes backed by his donors). Over 70 percent of Obama’s Department of Energy loans and grants went to “individuals who were bundlers, members of Obama’s National Finance Committee, or large donors to the Democratic Party.”

Electricity prices have already skyrocketed-as he predicted and as he wanted when he was a candidate in 2008- when mandates for clean energy have been imposed on the public (ask Californians how they feel-especially during summer). He told us in 2008 that his plans regarding climate change would necessarily make electricity prices “skyrocket.”)

The cap and trade proposals that he tried to push through Congress early in his Presidency failed to gain traction as Republicans opposed them and as his attention shifted towards passing the stimulus and ObamaCare — but seemingly he has not given up on his quest to try to ram them through again in a second term. As a poker player, he must like to double down on losing hands.

Barack Obama is out of touch with what Americans want and believe (“the private sector is doing fine”) and as shown by his ObamaCare agenda , he does not really care what voters think or what their priorities may be. Yet we will pay the price for his follies.

The best way they can express to him their views comes in early November. Ryan Lizza may have just done Mitt Romney a big favor.

“Decisive or “Close”?

The Washington Post answers that question with a resounding “four-tenths of one percent.”

When Barack Obama defeated John McCain 52.9 to 45.6 percent, the WaPo reported it as a near landslide win:

On Tuesday, when Scott Walker defeated Tom Barrett in the Wisconsin recall election by a margin of 53.2 to 46.3 percent, it was a squeaker:

Bias? What bias?

(h/t Newsbusters)