Thursday, August 9, 2012

Scream Loud And Point

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers today made the following statement on President Obama’s dismantling of bipartisan welfare reforms:

Welfare reform is an example of bipartisanship at its finest, with Republicans and Democrats coming together to solve a problem that had plagued our country for decades. It was among the most significant reform efforts of our lifetime. Barack Obama opposed bipartisan welfare reform and now, as president, he is moving to undo one of its central components. By making an end run around Congress and taking this ill-advised, unilateral action, President Obama has shown that he doesn’t have the popular support to gut welfare reform through the legislative process – and that he doesn’t seem to care.

How exactly is President Obama dismantling welfare reforms? If you, unlike our fair congresswoman, were to read the memo from the Department of Health and Human Services for yourself you would learn that this is not a change to the national welfare system. 

HHS is issuing this information memorandum to notify states of the Secretary’s willingness to exercise her waiver authority under section 1115 of the Social Security Act to allow states to test alternative and innovative strategies, policies, and procedures that are designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families.

HHS is requesting pilot-program proposals. And there's more.

In providing for these demonstrations, HHS will hold states accountable by requiring both a federally-approved evaluation and interim performance targets that ensure an immediate focus on measurable outcomes.  States must develop evaluation plans that are sufficient to evaluate the effect of the proposed approach in furthering a TANF purpose as well as interim targets the state commits to achieve.  States that fail to meet interim outcome targets will be required to develop an improvement plan and can face termination of the waiver project.

HHS will measure the outcome of the pilot program and the state will either improve the program or be terminated if it's not working. That's exactly what the dismantling of welfare reform looks like--if your singular goal in life is to say and do everything and anything possible to limit Obama to a single term.


Spokane Al said...

Hank, the counter-argument to your point is that HHS does not have the authority to legally waive these requirements.

Anonymous said...

What's lost here is the bipartisan bigotry of the "reforms" themselves. The Democrats are actually inviting Bill Clinton to give their keynote! Think about that: Clinton gutted welfare, caused the Great Recession by deregulating banks, and brought on wage loss and structural unemployment with his trade deals. Oh, and then he took in over $150 million in speech fees from the corporations that profitted the most from these deals, including Goldman Sachs.

Today Obama's administration announced the end of investigations into Goldman, slipping the announcement under the Friday night media radar. No criminal charges, of course. Enjoy the volleyball game.

Just in time for the campaign donation season! Goldman basically paid for Obama's 2008 run.

They certainly got their money's worth.

The only welfare either party cares about is the corporate variety.

Anonymous said...

It's time to scream loud and point fingers at Mary Schapiro (head of the SEC) and Eric Holder (Attorney General), as well as at two Presidential candidates, for letting Goldman Sachs get away with crimes in exchange for campaign donations.

The Obama administration has set a new benchmark of corruption.

The New York Times is hiding the story of the day deep in a blog here:

While Democrats and Republicans are cooperating by arguing about the fake welfare story. The real welfare story, of course, is the money we gave to Goldman Sachs, and the heavy losses of our homes, jobs, and futures.

Not that the partisan "stakeholders" give a shit, right?

Hank Greer said...


Secretary Sebelius has a legal opinion from her department attorneys that says waivers are allowed to test if state experiments would improve the program. If that opinion is in question, then the courts can make a determination.

This will allow test programs run by any state that wishes to participate in an attempt to improve the welfare program. It does not merit the hyperbole of "dismantling welfare reform".

But it's an election year and every speck of mud counts.

anon2 said...

Just checked to see if Rich Cowan has called to reopen the investigation into Goldman Sachs' criminal activity, as well as for investigating Obama and Bush administrations coverup of wrongdoing at the investment bank.

Cowan has at least demanded that Geithner face a criminal investigation, right?

No, nope, and nope.

Looks like he and McMorris Rodgers continue to walk in lockstep, united against interests of Eastern Washington citizens.

Anon2 again said...

Just checked to see if either candidate for US Rep has a plan to rebuild the safety net destroyed by Clinton and Bush.

Nope. No difference. Silence or hostility.

Neither will investigate Wall Street, neither has a credible plan to help folks screwed by Wall Street.

Anonymous said...

Having Bill Clinton speak on behalf of workers would be about as appropriate as having David Duke speak on behalf of the NAACP.

Noble Jimmy Carter can't get his parking voucher endorsed at the convention, but ol' corrupt Bill, who screwed us over, deigns to land his corporate jet for the keynote. Wow.

Do the Democrats have any sense of self-parody at all? How much more corrupt can they (we) get?

I'd never accuse the President of having a conscience, but if he had the smallest bit of morality left in him, he'd resign and let the Democrats nominate Barofsky or Lawsky or someone. Hell, Bill McKibben!

Fire Holder and Geithner before resigning, though.

The present election compares disfavorably even to those corrupt prezs of the Gilded Age.

Where's Grover Cleveland when ya need him? Crack open the Bourbon!