In addition to being severely underfunded during this crisis, the welfare programs simply aren't set up to help the formerly-middle class people who are trying to get into the system. For instance, here in Pennsylvania, someone I know was turned down because his bank statement showed transfers from Paypal into his checking account, and they counted that as monthly income. He tried to explain that he'd sold everything he had left on eBay, and there was nothing left to sell, but the caseworker wouldn't listen. Contrary to popular myth, it's quite difficult for anyone with any assets at all to get onto welfare:She quotes a WaPo article on the state of the Welfare program:
The number of families getting welfare checks, federal figures show, increased by about 185,000 between the start of the recession in late 2007 and this spring. During roughly the same period, the number of families living in poverty rose by more than 400,000 to record levels, according to the Census Bureau, which reported this week that, in Washington, three out of 10 children were poor last year.
Nearly three years after the start of a grave economic downturn, it now is clear that "despite extremely high levels of employment, that has not translated into welfare increases as much as many people expected," said Douglas J. Besharov, a University of Maryland professor who has studied welfare for years.People are barely hanging on by their fingernails. Not everyone is walking away from their now, over-priced, mortgages. I have friends and family members that are kept awake at night trying to figure out how to pay the simplest of bills: electricity, mortgage or rent, water and of course put food on the table and gas in the car to go to work....that is, if they still have their jobs. People are giving back their vehicles that they still owe money on and are buying what I call 'beaters' just to get around. As long as it runs, its great...right?
Wrong. The Middle Class has been the backbone of our nation for decades upon decades. They were the ones buying homes, cars, RV's, flat screen tv's, etc. and never blinking an eye when the bills came due...they just paid them like they were raised to do. They are the consumers that retail sales depend on.
Problem was/is, they were not saving for this 'rainy day' we call The Recession. No one was it seems...
Next week, the emergency welfare funding for states will end. Since the Welfare program is run by each state differently, its hard to gauge how this will affect our citizenry.
But we are going to find out since Congress has put off this issue until next fucking year.