Posts Tagged ‘waiver’

For The Record, Barack Obama IS Gutting Welfare Reform As Passed By Republicans In Congress And Signed Into Law By Bill Clinton

September 6, 2012

This piece easily refutes the two lies coming out of the Obama campaign: 1) that Obama somehow isn’t gutting welfare reform by essentially removing the work requirement and 2) that “Republicans did it too” when in fact no they didn’t.

I probably ought to point out here that the Government Accounting Office just issued a statement that Obama circumvented the law in gutting the work requirement of the welfare reform law.

The most dishonest presidency in American history is merely at it again:

Morning Bell: Obama Denies Gutting Welfare Reform
Amy Payne
August 8, 2012 at 9:15 am

The Obama Administration came out swinging against its critics on welfare reform yesterday, with Press Secretary Jay Carney saying the charge that the Administration gutted the successful 1996 reform’s work requirements is “categorically false” and “blatantly dishonest.” Even former President Bill Clinton, who signed the reform into law, came out parroting the Obama team’s talking points and saying the charge was “not true.”

The Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector and Kiki Bradley first broke the story on July 12 that Obama’s Health and Human Services Department (HHS) had rewritten the Clinton-era reform to undo the work requirements, in a move that legal experts Todd Gaziano and Robert Alt determined was patently illegal.

The Administration’s new argument has two parts: denying the Obama Administration’s actions and claiming that Republican governors, including Mitt Romney, tried to do the same thing. In essence, “We did not do what you’re saying, but even if we did, some Republicans did it, too.” Both parts of this argument are easily debunked.

Obama Administration Claim #1: We Didn’t Gut Work Requirements

Ever since the 1996 law passed, Democratic leaders have attempted (unsuccessfully) to repeal welfare’s work standards, blocking reauthorization of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF) and attempting to weaken the requirements. Unable to eliminate “workfare” legislatively, the Obama HHS claimed authority to grant waivers that allow states to get around the work requirements.

Humorously, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius now asserts that the Administration abolished the TANF work requirements to increase work.

HHS now claims that states receiving a waiver must “commit that their proposals will move at least 20 percent more people from welfare to work compared to the state’s prior performance.” But given the normal turnover rate in welfare programs, the easiest way to increase the number of people moving from “welfare to work” is to increase the number entering welfare in the first place.

Bogus statistical ploys like these were the norm before the 1996 reform. The law curtailed use of sham measures of success and established meaningful standards: Participating in work activities meant actual work activities, not “bed rest” or “reading” or doing one hour of job search per month; reducing welfare dependence meant reducing caseloads. Now those standards are gone.

Obama’s HHS claims authority to overhaul every aspect of the TANF work provisions (contained in section 407), including “definitions of work activities and engagement, specified limitations, verification procedures and the calculation of participation rates.” In other words, the whole work program. Sebelius’s HHS bureaucracy declared the existing TANF law a blank slate on which it can design any policy it chooses.

Obama Administration Claim #2: Even If We Did, the Republicans Tried It, Too

Though the Obama Administration is claiming it is not trying to get around the work requirements, it is also claiming that a group of Republican governors tried to do the same thing in 2005. Clinton also said in his statement yesterday that “the recently announced waiver policy was originally requested” by Republican governors.

Heritage welfare expert Robert Rector addressed this claim back on July 19. As Rector explains:

But [the governors’] letter makes no mention at all of waiving work requirements under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. In fact, the legislation promoted in the letter—the Personal Responsibility and Individual Development for Everyone (PRIDE) Act—actually would have toughened the federal work standards. It proposed raising the mandatory participation rates imposed on states from 50 percent to 70 percent of the adult TANF caseload and increasing the hours of required work activity.

The governors’ letter actually contradicts the Administration’s main argument: If the law has always permitted HHS to waive the work requirements, then why didn’t the governors just request waivers from then-President George W. Bush? Why would legislation be needed?

Two reasons: First, it has been clear for 15 years that the TANF law did not permit HHS to waive the work requirements. Second, the Republican governors were not seeking to waive the work requirements in the first place.

Obama’s Evolution from Welfare to Work and Back

President Obama had a convenient change of heart regarding welfare reform when it was time to run for President. In 1998, when he was an Illinois state senator, Obama said:

I was not a huge supporter of the federal plan that was signed in 1996. Having said that, I do think that there is a potential political opportunity that arose out of welfare reform. And that is to desegregate the welfare population—meaning the undeserving poor, black folks in cities, from the working poor—deserving, white, rural as well as suburban.

The same year, he reiterated that “the 1996 legislation I did not entirely agree with and probably would have voted against at the federal level.”

But in 2008, when he was running for President, Obama said he had changed his mind about welfare reform: “I was much more concerned 10 years ago when President Clinton initially signed the bill that this could have disastrous results….It had—it worked better than, I think, a lot of people anticipated. And, you know, one of the things that I am absolutely convinced of is that we have to work as a centerpiece of any social policy.”

One of his 2008 campaign ads touted “the Obama record: moved people from welfare to work” and promised that as President, he would “never forget the dignity that comes from work.”

This evolution is unsurprising, considering the vast majority of Americans favor requiring welfare recipients to work.

President Obama has finally accomplished what Democrats have been trying to do for years. He has even gotten President Clinton to turn his back on one of the signature achievements of his Administration to give him political cover—which Clinton was quick to do. In 1996, Clinton had to compromise and allow the tough work requirements to get the legislation passed.

Both Presidents have now revealed their true feelings about welfare—and there’s no denying it.

Obama is counting on the ignorance and increasing depavity and cynicism of the American people.

The Terrible Disaster Of ObamaCare Is Now Beginning To Be Realized

October 16, 2010

On top of the disgrace that has already been done to the Constitution, we now see certain companies and unions getting a pass.   Certain groups are getting a pass, but the government health care bill relies on those who don’t want it and don’t need it being forced to pay for it.  On top of the 30 who have already received waiver deals (with McDonalds being the primary example), more than a hundred companies and unions (totaling 144 thus far) are petitioning to be opted-out of something that we were promised would be wonderful for them.

The American people now now that they have been led by the nose and duped by lies.

From Rasmussen, October 12:

Nearly three-out-of-four voters (73%) believe it is at least somewhat likely that the new health care law will cause some companies to drop health insurance coverage for their employees, including 47% who say it is Very Likely. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters finds that just 19% think that’s unlikely.

While 84% of Mainstream voters it is at least somewhat likely that some companies will drop health insurance coverage for their employees, most Political Class voters (52%) say that is not likely to occur (see more on the Political Class-Mainstream divide).

To address the reality of some companies threatening to drop coverage, the Obama administration announced last week that 30 companies and organizations – including McDonalds and the union for New York City teachers – have been granted one-year waivers from certain requirements of the new national health care law.

But voters don’t think such waivers are the way to go. Only 21% believe it is better for the government to grant business exemptions to the health care law on a case-by-case basis. Sixty-four percent (64%) disagree and say the better course is for the law to be revised so that it can apply to all businesses.

If ObamaCare forcing people to purchase insurance from private insurance companies that the government designates wasn’t already unconstitutional enough, now we’ve got the government saying that some don’t have to follow the unconstitutional law, while saying others do have to follow the unconstitutional law.  Hey, Obama, can some of us get waivers from laws against murder and rape, too?

But ObamaCare isn’t just unconstitutional; it is also a massively expensive  boondoggle.  We’ve already seen 9% premium increases related to ObamaCare just for next year.  We’ve seen dozens of multi-billion dollar write downs from many companies from Verizon to Caterpillar.  We’ve discovered that small businesses will be forced to follow a rule to file 1099s on any expenses over $600 (the 1099 requirement on expenses for businesses).  And that is just one example out of many how ObamaCare is going to put businesses out of business.

Unions and businesses now basically agree: ObamaCare represents the future destruction of both medicine and business.  It is massively expensive.  It will ultimately bankrupt whoever it touches.

That’s right; even the UNIONS who supported this vile monstrosity are now pleading to be exempted from it.  Almost 400,000 teachers from the United Federation of teachers – one of the biggest supporters of ObamaCare who gave a lot of money to help lobby FOR the bill – are now trying to avoid being under it.

The support this bill had is now totally gone.  Incredibly, not only are NO Democrats touting their votes for ObamaCare, but many Democrats are running ads saying they voted AGAINST it.  That’s how damn evil this law Democrats passed is.  But the Obama regime and the Democrat Party leadership continue to try to shove it down our throats.

And as bad as it is, most Americans haven’t begun their share of the suffering that ObamaCare will bring, yet.  Barack Obama looked at the American people and lied without conscience or shame.  He said that the health care mandates would not be a tax.  But now the administration is saying that, yes, the mandates will amount to trillions of dollars in new taxes shoved down the throats of the American people.

A lot of people will be shocked to find out that they were so profoundly lied to.  And then they will be outraged as 16,500 new IRS agents start coming after them with stiff fines for failing to comply with the boondoggle law.
This is just the tip of the iceberg.  As in the iceberg that sunk the Titanic.  Democrats lied to us when they said that ObamaCare would reduce costs.  They lied to us when they said it would bend the curve.  They lied to us when they said you could keep your doctor, or your plan.  They lied to us when they said it would be good for jobs and the economy.  The fact is that ObamaCare will ultimately cause the United States to implode if it is fully enacted.  It will be the anvil that broke the camel’s back.

Unless we elect enough Republicans to repeal a terrible law that they always said would hurt the American people.