Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Daily Dose of Depression (DDD)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE [from the Republican Study Committee]    
11.8.2010
   
Tackling Spending: Save $25 Billion by Restoring Welfare Reform


Washington, Nov 8 - With the national debt quickly approaching $14 trillion, Washington needs to get serious about cutting spending. One option the next Congress should consider is to restore welfare reform, one of the most successful bipartisan initiatives of the 1990s.

The 1996 welfare reform law created incentives for states to help people get back on their feet and off of taxpayer assistance.  However, the 2009 stimulus package created a new “emergency fund” under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program which actually incentivizes states to increase their welfare caseloads without requiring able-bodied individuals to work, get job training, or make other efforts to move off of taxpayer assistance.  Specifically, a state must increase its welfare caseloads in order to receive any funding, and states receive an 80% match to cover all expenses associated with increasing their welfare caseloads.  This costs taxpayers $2.5 billion each year.

    “The goal of welfare programs should be to help people get back on their feet as quickly as possible rather than simply expanding dependence on government,” said Republican Study Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA).  “In addition to saving taxpayers $25 billion over the next 10 years, cutting the emergency fund from the President’s failed stimulus package will refocus temporary assistance on its rightful role.”

This is just one of the many common sense spending cuts proposed by the Republican Study Committee.  For more, check out the RSC Sunset Caucus and our FY 2011 Budget Plan.
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Go get ‘em debt reduction tigers! 

Oh wait! 

---  The TANF Emergency Fund no longer exists.  It expired on September 30.  You can’t achieve savings by ending a program that has already ended.

—  Nobody has ever proposed spending $25 billion on the fund.  Earlier this year the House passed a bill to extend it for one year, at a cost of $2.5 billion — one-tenth of the savings that the RSC claims.

---  The TANF Emergency Fund is welfare reform.  In fact, the fund represents welfare reform at its best:  it has enabled states to expand work-focused programs within TANF despite high unemployment and a weak economy.  Using the fund, states placed about 250,000 low-income parents and youth in subsidized jobs, mostly in the private sector.

GO HERE:   Killing Expired Program Won’t Save Money

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