You Had One Job…

In 1996 The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act was passed, giving states control of welfare.

The site history.com reports:

Building on policies that had been passed by Reagan, and a foundational principle of “personal responsibility,” TANF added work requirements for aid, shrinking the number of adults who could qualify for benefits. This legislation also created caps for how long and how much aid a person could receive, and well as instituting harsher punishments for recipients who did not comply with the requirements.

Under President Obama, those requirements were loosened because of the recession. The Republican Congress under President Trump had discussed putting work requirements back, but somehow those requirements didn’t make it into the farm bill.

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial yesterday about the recently passed farm bill. The article notes that there was bi-partisan support for the farm bill.

The editorial states:

How bad is the bill? Even Iowa Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley, himself a farmer, was outraged because the package granted federal subsidies even to distant relatives of farmers that don’t farm.

…Scott Faber of the Environmental Working Group, a left-leaning environmentalist organization that has been critical of farm subsidies, notes that more than 1,000 “city slickers” who live in major American cities get farm subsidies. It’s absurd.

All in all, the nearly $1 trillion a year spent on farm subsidies and food aid is a massive waste, given that farmers on average have higher incomes than those who are taxed to subsidize them

As Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute points out, farm incomes in 2017 were 32% higher than average U.S. household incomes, while about 60% of subsidies for the three main farm programs went to the biggest 10% of farms. Welfare for the rich.

Meanwhile, the the new bill also provides “promotional funds” for farmers markets, research for organic farming, and money to train more farmers. It also grants more money to veteran and minority farmers. Everyone gets a handout, it seems, whether needed or not.

The editorial concludes:

In our increasingly socialized farm economy, nearly everyone is too big to fail. Which means the rest of us pay for it. President Trump, focused on other things, will likely sign this awful Farm Bill. After all, it has that golden seal of congressional approval: It was “bipartisan.” All that means is both sides found ways to rip off taxpayers.

The bill did not include work requirements for food stamps recipients. The Republican Congress had one job regarding the farm bill…

Fear Mongering For Fun And Profit

Yesterday’s Washington Examiner posted an editorial by the newspaper staff on the practice of using fear to block Republican attempts to cut the federal budget.

The editorial states:

“To be a little melodramatic, the budget would kill people,” New York Times columnist Paul Krugman recently told CNN about House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity. “No question.” With the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief fund set to run out of money Thursday, and with none of the federal government’s 12 appropriations bills signed into law so far, you can expect a lot more melodramatic quotes like this one in the coming weeks.

Oddly enough, when faced with a Congress that was not going to give it more money, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) discovered that it actually did have enough money to finish the fiscal year.

The editorial reminds us that sixteen years ago, when the Republican Congress was debating welfare reform, Bob Herbert in the New York Times warned its readers that welfare reform “would hurt many people, would kill some and would help no one.”

The editorial at the Washington Examiner reviews the history:

Herbert could not have been much farther from the mark. Two years later, after President Clinton had signed welfare reform into law, New York Times journalist Jason DeParle reported that “welfare rolls have fallen more than 40 percent in three states that have been among the most energetic in urging recipients to work: Oregon, Wisconsin and Indiana. And caseloads have declined by 25 percent or more in 16 other states.” DeParle’s article said nothing about people dying in the streets of Portland, Milwaukee or Indianapolis.

Please follow the link to the Washington Examiner editorial for more examples of using fear to avoid reducing the size of the federal government. The cure for fear is knowledge, and it is time for American voters to understand the negative impact on America of an ever-increasing government.

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