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Think Progress notes the 15th anniversary of President Clinton's welfare reform by highlighting one of a series of charts from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities showing that the reform has let too many families fall through the safety net.

CBPP TANF graph
Think Progress:
The number of low-income families receiving welfare has fallen from 68 percent in 1996 to 27 percent today. As the American Prospect’s Jake Blumgart noted, unlike the old system, which could respond to greater need when the economy went south, the TANF block grant program "provides an annual lump sum of $16.6 billion, with no allotted increases for recession, population growth, or rises in the cost of living." It has even failed to keep up with inflation. In short, TANF’s ability to provide income support to those who need it most has declined dramatically.

Thus, during the worst recession in 80 years, TANF only reached 4.5 million families, or less than a third of those living in poverty.

All of this while poverty rates have held alarmingly steady over the past 40 years, but with a demographic shift.

Fewer seniors but more children are poor since the War on Poverty began more than 40 years ago. Also, despite persistent efforts in both the public and private sectors, poverty rates in the U.S. have remained stubbornly the same since the mid-1960s.

It is because wages for low-skill workers have declined, more households are headed by single women and more immigrants arrive in the U.S. with little education, according to research from the Evans School of Public Affairs at University of Washington.

Robert Plotnick, a professor at the Evans School, found that the interplay between earnings, education and demography results in about 14 percent of the U.S. population consistently stuck in poverty. He also found that in 2009, the latest date for which census figures are available, the poverty rate among children was 20.1 percent — 50 percent higher than in 1969. (Note: In the hyperlink to U.S. Census information on poverty, go to Table 3: Poverty Status, by Age, Race and Hispanic Origin.) [emphasis added]

Welfare-to-work doesn't work so well when there aren't any jobs, and the result is a new—and enlarged—population of Americans growing up in poverty. This is a a good lesson for policy-makers who are thinking about changing another critical safety net program, Medicaid. The House Republican budget by Rep. Paul Ryan would do what TANF did, creating a block grant program. The result would be much the same as we see with TANF, an inability of the program to keep up with need or inflation during economic downturns. The blended-rate Medicaid reform proposed by the White House in deficit negotiations would likely do much the same.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 03:48 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The entire system is set up to exclude (21+ / 0-)

    We need to change it back to a safety net instead of a way for employers to get desperate low wage workers.

    If the families could access training with this system it would go a long way towards making sure they will not need it again.

    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 03:54:35 PM PDT

  •  IIRC, the "reform" imposed a maximum 3 year (16+ / 0-)

    lifetime limit on anyone's usage.  I believe some states had exceptions initially, but I wouldn't be surprised if those are gone now.

    This was a very cruel "reform", hitting primarily children.  I was never able to forgive Clinton for going along with it.

    Hey, Republicans, the whole world is watching.

    by TAH from SLC on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 04:15:42 PM PDT

  •  Another rousing "third way" achievement. (10+ / 0-)

    Republicans are like the Weeping Angels: Take your eyes off of them and they'll send you back in time.

    by jazzmaniac on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 04:51:39 PM PDT

  •  Thanks, Bill Clinton! (15+ / 0-)

    You succeeded where Ronald Reagan failed.
    Yours truly, Grover Norquist and Karl Rove

    •  Thanks Newt Gingrich (5+ / 0-)

      is more like it. This was a class of '94 special. Sucking the bad wind like no Congress before and until the class of '10 since. Great to know we've established a new low in representational democracy. Whee!

      Modern Conservatism isn't simply about them owning as much as possible; it's also about breaking anything they can't own.

      by ontheleftcoast on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 04:58:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He still could have vetoed it. But, IIRC, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rainmanjr

        he went for it with the republicans.

        Hey, Republicans, the whole world is watching.

        by TAH from SLC on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 06:19:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You know, he could've. But I'm not going to blame (0+ / 0-)

          a Democrat when there's a Republican who is rwice as guilty.

          Modern Conservatism isn't simply about them owning as much as possible; it's also about breaking anything they can't own.

          by ontheleftcoast on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 07:25:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, I'm not sure about that in this case. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rainmanjr

            He went all in, and as I recall, he supported it.  Not saying he wasn't pushed into it, but he sure didn't resist.

            Hey, Republicans, the whole world is watching.

            by TAH from SLC on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 08:28:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  He campaigned on it. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              shanikka

              Clinton promised to reform welfare in his campaign.  The public very much despises welfare, even today, and Clinton couldn't win without promising to reform it.  There was a lot of abuse in welfare concerning having children for the sake of receiving more of it and the healthcare benefit making being on welfare better than a job without benefits.  Bill did try to resolve the healthcare issue but, again, the American public shot it down.  Scary shit, healthcare.  I hate him for going along with such draconian cuts but blame the heartless majority of this nation who couldn't tolerate helping poor families.

              "Put on your high-heeled sneakers/it's Party time" - Steely Dan.

              by rainmanjr on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 10:08:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thank You (0+ / 0-)

                Folks who excuse Bill Clinton from his championing the "welfare reform" cause are suffering from a failure of memory.  This was one of his signature pieces of legislation.

                And, given the numbers today, it is Working as Intended.

                (Of course, the ideas behind it were by and large bullshit, especially the highly sexist idea that a woman would purposefully have children just to get an extra $50-$75/month in cash benefits and the idea that it was better to force a young person to sit in a warehouse for 32 hours a week - true story! -- than allow her to go to community college during that time since one was "work" and the other was living off the government teat.)

                If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

                by shanikka on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 07:17:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Yet there are still people who think (8+ / 0-)

      he was a great President and call him 'Big Dog'.  This is what happens when the standard for a great President was reduced to Reagan and why some on this site have referred to President Obama as one of the greatest.  

      It's just a name like the Death Zone or the Zone of No Return.All the zones have names like that in the Galaxy of Terror. H.J.F.

      by msstaley on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 04:59:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It seems like presidents are getting worse (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        msstaley, TAH from SLC, Sark Svemes, zaka1

        I was born in 1950 and the best president in my lifetime was LBJ, truly one of the greatest domestically, if you leave out that unfortunate war in Southeast Asia.  Even Nixon and Eisenhower look good in retrospect.

        I don't know why this has happened.  Maybe get rid of primaries and bring back the smoke filled room.  Except that hotels don't allow smoking anymore.

        "We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals, now we know that it is bad economics." Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jan. 20, 1937

        by Navy Vet Terp on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 05:22:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The generations that grew up with (6+ / 0-)

          the Great Depression are dying off.  This leaves us with a country full of people who don't have the same level of compassion but have a much larger level of selfishness.  I imagine that when we have another Great Depression and 2/3rds of the country find out that they have to rely on and help each other just to make it through the day we will see a resurgence in the quality of our political leaders.  While our society has improved in the areas of civil rights over the decades, we have seen a huge decline in the idea of economic justice as a part of public policy.

          It's just a name like the Death Zone or the Zone of No Return.All the zones have names like that in the Galaxy of Terror. H.J.F.

          by msstaley on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 05:45:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Can't rec this enough. It is so sad. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            verso2, zaka1

            Economic justice is the bedrock.  I think Marx got that right.

            And I am not seeing the compassion.  At least not yet.

            I think your comment is spot-on.

            Hey, Republicans, the whole world is watching.

            by TAH from SLC on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 06:13:00 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Actually, the Great Depression (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rainmanjr, auapplemac

            era folks began forgetting in 1968.  By 1980 they were Reagan "Democrats" with a lot help from the who came of age in the 1950s.

            •  Well, to an extent, one could argue that (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Marie, rainmanjr

              we Democrats are suffering from our success.  At the time of the Great Depression and before it the poorest were the elderly.  They had no retirement and had to work until dead or incapable.  After the efforts of FDR, Truman, Kennedy/LBJ they became, as a group, the wealthiest Americans.  In addition, FDR and Truman created a whole new class of Americans due to their support of organized labor, the middle class.  

              In good economic times it is easier to think that you are your own success and think that you deserve it and others less successful are their own failures and Reagan took full advantage of that.  Republicans had been spouting since FDR about the size of the government and how horrible it was to be taxing people but it was with Reagan they really got into the groove.

              Before Reagan even Republicans thought that poverty was something the government had a duty to fight.  Once Reagan created the myth of the Welfare Queen who stole our hard earned tax dollars to spend on her furs and Cadillacs and filet mignon it was very liberating to the middle class who could oppose those anti-poverty programs over waste and corruption in the programs while not putting down the 'deserving poor', whoever they were.  

              After the Reagan era of 'greed is good', even the Democratic candidates for President stopped talking about poverty.  Heck, they even joined in on beating up on the poor a la Bill Clinton and his phony welfare reform.

              So, in the end, I don't believe we will see much compassion return to the general country until we see large numbers of people have a moment (like FDR when struck down with polio) where they realize they rely on one another instead of just pretending they earned it all themselves.  It seems like we are getting there and I only wonder if it will be a long downward spiral or a quick off the cliff moment.

              It's just a name like the Death Zone or the Zone of No Return.All the zones have names like that in the Galaxy of Terror. H.J.F.

              by msstaley on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 07:24:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Another it's-not-a-bug-it's-a-feature moment. And (4+ / 0-)

    the middle class wonders how it got to the state it's in today.

    "It is an unhappy fact of politics that victory goes to the pressure that will not let up." David Bromwich

    by CarolinNJ on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 04:53:59 PM PDT

  •  Does anyone have a current chart... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Horace Boothroyd III

    The one posted  ends in 2009?

    Obama 2012 http://whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com/

    by jiffypop on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 04:58:19 PM PDT

  •  One of the uglier moments of the Clinton (12+ / 0-)

    presidency, along with NAFTA, Rwanda and Gramm-Leach-Bliley.

    Rwanda was the only of these he ever apologized for.

    "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

    by Mogolori on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 04:59:44 PM PDT

  •  All part of the Red Army Motto: "Die, early, and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WheninRome, Marie

    quietly, and where we don't have to look at you."

    "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

    by jm214 on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 05:06:35 PM PDT

  •  Tell me about it... (12+ / 0-)

    ....I just signed up today for aid here in Minnesota. I have to go through a "Diversonary Work Program" before I can get any aid.

    I have not had a real job in 4 years. I worked as an HVAC installer until 2007, when I became a stay-at home parent. In late 2009 I got divorced. I looked for a job in the HVAC industry, but found nothing (many heating & air companies went under with the collapse of the housing market) I went through all of my savings, cashed out my 401k/IRA and took out a lump sum payment on a pension. Of course, I maxed out my credit cards in hopes that things will get better.

    Last year I got an ABA-approved paralegal certification (that is NOT as impressive as it sounds) and worked as a temp for six months (the assignment ended in Feb.). Out of desperation in May I started driving a taxi. I usually work 7 days a week as an "independent contractor". After paying my lease for the cab and gas my take home pay is sometimes less than $100 per week (summer is considered the "slow season"). Now I am facing eviction (I failed to pay August's rent and there is NO way, barring a miracle, that I can pay September's due next week.

    In my spare time I have been looking for jobs, pretty much anything at this point. Although I thought I would be "employable" in two different industries (HVAC & paralegal), there is a huge glut in both markets and I am near the bottom in both. In HVAC it is because I have been out of the industry for over 4 years and there are many laid off installers who have worked far more recently. When it comes to paralegal I have only 6 months of real working experience and maybe another 6 months of experience via my education. There are a great many number of paralegals with much more experience that are unemployed right now.

    So like I said, this morning I went to downtown St. Paul and applied for any and all aid I may be eligble for. After turning in my application I had a brief interview (during that interview the social worker called the electric company and got them to delay by 30 days my scheduled shutoff this week) where I was informed I need to participate in a Diversionary Work Program and I have an appointment this Thursday morning. I was told that in this program I am to spend 40-hours/week searching for a job (not really I problem since I am searching for jobs already).

    What really pisses me off is the attitude behind making people go through a program where they have to devote 40 hrs./week searching for jobs that DO NOT EXIST. Also, I WORK already and work LONG hours. My problems is not that I am some sort of lazy freeloader, believe me, I would rather have NEVER had any need for any aid at all.

    Wow, thanks for letting me vent, I had to let it out.  I opposed Clinton's welfare "reform" 15 years ago. I NEVER expected 15 years later that I would be applying for it.

    "...if my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine..."

    by lams712 on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 05:08:58 PM PDT

    •  Seriously (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lams712, TAH from SLC, LI Mike

      your not a freeloader, all of this crap is intended to humiliate a person, I can't believe what you have been through.  I don't think there are that many job opportunities to apply to for 40 hours a week.  

      We are not the problem, it isn't us!  It is the people creating the problems that are taking resources away from the people.  Wall Street, Washington, corporations, NAFTA, are what is hurting us, it is not us or that we are lazy, or not trying it is that the level of corruption is so bad that they are making life damn near impossible to live in this country.

      When I had to apply for disability " I went through a humiliating physical examine for Social Security, it was more of an interrogation, and I was so ashamed.  Have you seen that now disability payments are supposed to run in out in like 2018?  More fear and to make it worst I read the comment section under the article that said most of the disabled are faking it, or freeloaders.  I think some of the comments were intended to intimidate those on disability.  But, my G-d, I felt like slashing my wrists after what I read.  I and others are running out of options to just keep a roof over our heads and stay alive.

      Believe me, we are going through some weird dark age or something, it picked up speed during the Clinton years, and now we are in the height of it.  But, you are not, I repeat not a freeloader.  

      I was a social worker and during the Clinton years most of our jobs were being eliminated and mothers with children were cut off assistance and programs were being eliminated and defunded.  Good programs that made a difference.  It was a step in destroying the social fabric, our safety net, the next step was NAFTA.  And no one in Washington can fix any of this?  Perhaps start with limiting NAFTA and taxing overseas corporations, and with Welfare, if your country is in the toilet and you have high percentage of unemployment then there should be an exception to the three years limit.

      But all they are doing is sitting on their hands, killing more safety nets, and sweet talking BS to get re-elected.  Ugh!

      If you are digging yourself into a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging!

      by zaka1 on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 05:55:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, many abuse these safety nets (0+ / 0-)
        It is the people creating the problems that are taking resources away from the people.  Wall Street, Washington, corporations, NAFTA, are what is hurting us, it is not us or that we are lazy, or not trying
        We might still have such programs if people had reported those collecting fraudulently to the welfare/disability agencies and those agencies had properly investigated the allegations.  Many Americans are lazy and destroy safety nets for those who really need them by bilking the systems.  It's difficult for, say, welfare to spot such a claimant but could take action if properly informed.  Yes, this means civilian oversite but investigation would usually determine whether a complaint had validity.

        "Put on your high-heeled sneakers/it's Party time" - Steely Dan.

        by rainmanjr on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 10:25:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You deserve (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lams712

          a donut for your comment, but I'll pass.  You should be ashamed of yourself pushing this kinda of crap.  Do you really know these people?  I don't think so.  

          Your pushing right wing proganda.  This is simply scapegoating people.  So now you want to report people who you think are scamming the system, this is right out of Stalin play book.

          If you are digging yourself into a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging!

          by zaka1 on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 10:58:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's not all crap! While 60 Minutes was (0+ / 0-)

            known for outing fraudulent businesses, they also did reports about people who were abusing disability.

            What about all the doctors and clinics that defraud Medicare and Insurance companies. Many times they need cooperating patients to accomplish their thievery.

            You can't deny that there are people who want to get something for nothing. And it's not just the rich. What about those who don't report a deceased family member who received SS and keep on cashing the monthly checks?

            Being poor doesn't automatically make someone an angel.

            These cheats are thieves. They are taking food out of the mouths of kids and from the deserving...yes, the deserving.

            Progressives will win when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

            by auapplemac on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 03:16:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh yes (0+ / 0-)

              now that 60 minutes says it is true let's all jump on each other and judge who is the true "deserving."  Some disabilities you can't see, for instance you can't see End Stage Renal Disease, or MS until it becomes severe or someone is having a flare up (and there are different levels of it), some cancers you can't see, some mental illness you can see by looking at someone, etc.  

              We have a friend of the family that has bone cancer and you can't see it, he is very sick, but people are asking why he isn't working, blah, blah, blah.

              This is setting people up to be judged and you can't  judge who is deserving and not deserving by eyeing them?  Are you personally able to judge who is deserving and who isn't?  

              One 60 minutes show and now everyone is out to hunt down the cheaters?  All I'm saying is this is opening up deserving people getting hurt by individuals like you who think they can judge who is deserving and who is not.

              If you are digging yourself into a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging!

              by zaka1 on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 12:42:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What about medical records?!! I think renal (0+ / 0-)

                failure just might be detectable along with MS, etc.

                One 60 minutes show and now everyone is out to hunt down the cheaters

                So no one has ever cheated the government or insurance companies?

                Your argument holds as much water as the Sahara.

                Progressives will win when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

                by auapplemac on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 09:13:47 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well (0+ / 0-)

                  usually you can't get disability without major medical records and proof of your disability.  Then there are reviews every so often of your condition.  Now, who's argument doesn't hold water.

                  I would imagine cheaters get caught more often then not.  I'm not saying that there are not cheaters, but you have no idea what some disabled people go through being judged by others.  

                  What you didn't get was the comment I responded to said we should have people report people they think are cheaters, and what I was stating is that some disabilities you might not be able to see that is why they are called hidden disabilities.  You could report someone for cheating when they might honestly be sick and how would you know if you don't have personal access to the medical record?  Answer is you wouldn't.

                  If you are digging yourself into a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging!

                  by zaka1 on Fri Aug 26, 2011 at 06:38:25 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's not hidden to Disability (0+ / 0-)

                    A disease not easily seen might get reported by a citizen but it would be documented by a Dr.  It's not like disability would simply stop because of a single person's complaint.  Not only has 60 min's and other MSM reported on fraudulent claims but, yes, I knew someone who collected  disability but could have worked and a few who collected unemployment for full terms without looking for work.  Welfare was famous for people having children to collect more $ and staying on the rolls to have healthcare.  I understood the latter but why should someone get Govt healthcare by not working when those of us who are working can't?  That was wrong.  But such abuses make the public sick of the programs and more likely to vote for ending them.  Then the truly disabled, or unemployed, or starving family can't get assistance.

                    "Put on your high-heeled sneakers/it's Party time" - Steely Dan.

                    by rainmanjr on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 08:34:45 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  This is what (0+ / 0-)

              disabled people get all the time:

              http://youtu.be/...

              If you are digging yourself into a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging!

              by zaka1 on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 02:40:48 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  To all those who don't know why (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, TAH from SLC, Marie, Irons33

    making subtle changes to SS (that take it from an entitlement/insurance to a welfare program) actually can destroy its usefulness, here's Exhibit A, guys/gals.

  •  it's still devastating to Native America (9+ / 0-)

    this is one of the worst things that has happened to Indian reservations in the last fifty years. It has left so many single mothers without any safty net at all and has caused untold misery in places with endemic 75% unemployment and the USA's worst poverty rates.

    This is why I curse Bill Clinton every day and hate him to the depth of my soul. Each time I see the suffering of our children I spit once again on Clinton and all his DLC stands for.

    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

    by cacamp on Mon Aug 22, 2011 at 05:16:05 PM PDT

    •  Why are their so many single mothers? I'm not (0+ / 0-)

      speaking about Native Americans. I'm not speaking about divorce, but those women who think nothing of getting pregnant and have no way to take care of them financially. Where are the fathers.

      Why do some women let themselves get pregnant? Once may be an accident, but more than once?

      How many have multiple kids without thinking about providing for them?

      I consider it a form of child abuse.

      Yes, I am judgmental. It's people like this that gave Welfare a bad name. It's not just the "Welfare Queen" stories that Reagan promoted.

      Progressives will win when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

      by auapplemac on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 03:26:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It sucks being old and poor (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lams712, TAH from SLC, Marie

    on an individual level.  Having so many youth being poor and needing assistance creates a nightmare society now and down the road.  Tragic in so many ways...

  •  the problem with the average conservative (5+ / 0-)

    the annual amount spent on Welfare (by the Federal government through the states) is $16.6 Billion.

    the annual amount given by the government to oil companies (who are making record profits of the high price of oil) in subsidies is between $35 billion and $77 billion.

    that's just the corporate welfare for a handful of companies in one industry - there's plenty more for other companies in other industries.

    conservatives have been completely snookered by spinning in conservative media circles that seek to make the poor the scapegoats for people's troubles to distract form the real theft going on at the top of the elite circles.

    •  I know Dems who don't like welfare cheats be (0+ / 0-)

      they in corporate towers or a subsidized apartment.

      They want their taxes to be spent wisely and for those who are in real need.

      Progressives will win when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

      by auapplemac on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 03:28:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Question (0+ / 0-)

    If trigger mechanism is set off from the SC, will this program have to be cut as well?

  •  Actually poverty rates is falling for all groups (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    auapplemac

    Actually if you look at the racial brakdown- the poverty rate is indeed falling for whites, blacks and hispanics from the mid 60's to now.

    The reason why the overall rate remains unchanged is because the racial mix of this country has changed quite a bit since the mid 60's. The poorer hispanics make up a larger proportion of the population than the richer whites.

    But if you look at poverty among hispanics:
    73 24.9% (1st year for the stats)
    74 28.9
    75 32.6
    76 27.7

    06 19.4
    07 17.1
    08 19.3
    09 18.3 (last year for the stats)

    It is in fact getting better all the time. It's just that the number of hispanics in the country has increased faster than their improvement in poverty rate.

    Similar to the school test scores numbers.

  •  worse than broken (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lams712, zaka1

    I'd like to invite everyone to apply for any form of public assistance just for the sake of seeing what it really is.  To say that it is a bureaucratic nightmare is not sufficient.  Applicants are sent from mandatory appointment to mandatory appointment, to sit in a depressing gov't building for an entire day.  Then again for another day.  It actually prevents people from looking for work.  The stress of having benefits stripped away for one misstep or gov't error is another factor that creates needless anxiety (and the consequential impact on health and well-being).  It's a thoroughly demeaning experience.  I've come to the conclusion that the process itself creates another level of futility.  

    The so-called workfare or job training programs are entirely ineffective.  In NY, they are run by non-gov't organizations that must be receiving $ for the enrollees.  These programs are not realistic and many "train" people for jobs that no longer exist in this economy.  Aside from utterly failing the most needy individuals, the programs also do not deal with the numbers of (formerly) middle class people that are getting an unexpected introduction to this aspect of society.  If the present Welfare system represents the health of our society, we are in (more) serious trouble.  

    FYI, some places like NYC require workfare-like training for foodstamps exceeding 3 months.  How this is even feasible in this economy, I don't even know.

  •  Two questions... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    auapplemac

    1) How is poverty defined?  I thought it was based on a % of average/median income.  If that's true, than won't there always be a % of people in poverty?  My guess is that our families in poverty are above the global median income.

    2) Aren't there hundreds of anti-poverty programs other than TANF (EITC and child credits, 45% of population not paying any federal income tax, Section 8, Medicaid, food stamps, school lunches, etc?  I was under the impression that total gov't expenditures on these programs is higher now than in 2000, which was higher than 1990...

    Any links?

  •  Your Chart Demonstrates (0+ / 0-)

    That TANF is working as intended.  Since the point was to throw folks off the rolls and make it a hard row to haul to get back on, especially if they'd ever needed it before.

    Thanks to that bastion of liberalism William Jefferson Clinton.

    If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

    by shanikka on Tue Aug 23, 2011 at 07:18:55 AM PDT

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