I love how Republicans think. Really, I do. Especially after the latest news about possible changes to the Welfare to Work Program, which was originally backed by Clinton.
The economy is in shambles and the Obama Administration is looking for ways for states to make the welfare to work program easier on the poorest Americans while cutting through red tape faster. The Administration has requested a waiver plan—the details of which can be found HERE.
In response, Republicans at the national level are calling foul. Representative Camp called the waiver plan "a brazen and unwarranted unraveling of welfare reform," while Hatch called it a "power grab."
Is it just me or does the national Republican party line—also backed by Hatch—sound a little bit like Marie Antoinette’s infamous, “Let them eat cake” line?
What are the people with no job skills who can’t get jobs supposed to do in this economy when even some of the most skilled laborers and white collar workers can’t find jobs?
Part of the need for waivers comes from the red tape needed to find gainful employees for the welfare recipients and their families. Even states with Republican governors are asking for waivers; the Obama Administration is listening, but the Republicans at the national level seem more interested in politicizing the issue rather than listening to the individual needs of the states and the people.
The individual that heads that Welfare to Work program is no better; his pitch sounds like the salesman from Glengarry Glen Ross or like Arnold Swarnegger as the Terminator.
A direct quote:
"We will hold states accountable," said George Sheldon, head of the federal Administration for Children and Families, the HHS agency that oversees the program. "If states are not meeting their performance targets, their authority to test new ideas will be terminated."
Let’s be completely clear here.
The Obama Administration is not hijacking the plan. The Obama Administration is looking to find workable solutions within the plan.
Which is slightly different than George Sheldon’s idea, which is to terminate the right to try new ideas. I know that we are living in 2012, but statements like that his and those of Camp and Hatch are absolutely terrifying. I shudder to think what the next progressive step is after the termination of ideas.
Is the HHS facing a cultural revolution of sorts where all workable ideas and solutions are shut out? Or is this a bigger problem that involves issues of class warfare and race at a deeper level?
Either way, it’s important to be wary of the rhetoric. We need to focus on what’s really important, which are the needs of the American people.