The recent move by the Bush administration to impose stricter guidelines on welfare families makes no sense. But it does put back into the pocket of the government some of the tax break it wants to provide for the upper 1% of the population in the form of the estate tax revision.
The CEPR, Center for Economic and Policy Research, has several studies and articles up about this newest ruse the Bush administration is pulling on us,as a country, to restrict the lowest rung of our population further into the downward spiral of poverty while at the same time doling out tax breaks to the folks that for all intents and purposes..don't fucking need it or deserve it.
Heather Boushey has an excellent read up on TomPaine.com about the newest "sanctions" against welfare mothers who are also going to school. The goal, a noble one, is to get their shit together and get off the welfare rolls. They are for the most part single woman with multiple children. They are young women with little or no education past middle school in some cases.
Excuse me, but someone has to take care of the kids. They don't babysit themselves. We know in many cases they do babysit themselves, but its stupid and illegal to do so. Accidents happen when children watch themselves and their siblings. As the oldest of five, I was babysitting at the age of 7. Was that intelligent? Hell no. Did my mother have a choice? Fuck no. She wasn't a welfare mother however, my father was out to sea for 9-16 months at a time and being moved from city to city did nothing to help my mother create a network of friends and neighbors that could help her when she had to go to work at a strange hour, or some other emergency came up.
But back to the present and the Bush administrations "new rules" for welfare parents going to school.
As Heather points out here in her writeup over on TomPaine : "The new welfare rules set down by the Department of Health and Human Services last week establish uniform definitions of what constitutes work or work preparation activities for welfare recipients, limiting states’ ability to make these determinations. For example, the new rules require that a welfare recipient who is in school cannot count their study time towards their work requirement unless it is done in a supervised study hall. States have no leeway in interpreting this rule if, for example, the student has small children and needs to study at home at night after the children go to bed."*snip* "The administration claims that limiting state flexibility in implementing work requirements will help families become more self-sufficient, but, in reality, their actions work in the opposite direction. To be independent, families need to be able to be able to work and provide care. Denying families access to help when they need it most does not make them self-sufficient, it means they go without."
Another point I would like to make is this: Why do we need more federal interference in oversight regarding welfare money? We don't..we need less big government and more states rights. States have a better understanding of their residents at this level than the Feds do. Its common sense...right?
Umm..no. Not when your speaking about the asshats that run the Human Services Dept. Another snip of Heathers article here; "The administration's move to limit state flexibility implies that the states have been lax in moving families off welfare. Yet, the truth is that caseloads have fallen dramatically. In 1994, welfare caseloads hit a height of 14.2 million equal to 5.5 percent of the U.S. population. Since then, caseloads have fallen to less than 2 percent of the U.S. population, where where they had been in the late 1960s, before the welfare rights movement."
So..we are significantly lowering the percentage of inhabitants that are on the welfare rolls, but the current administration feels it necessary to tighten the noose already around the necks of the poor.
This coming from a President who ran his yap about the value of the family. The importance of maintaining our familys as the backbone of our country. You remember that battle cry during his election run don't you, my dear reader? The sanctity of the family....
Well, thanks Georgie, you just jerked us out again you bastard.
And you showed us once again, who's important to you. The top 1% of the population.
Tags; Welfare,Family Values,Estate Tax