Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 25, 2005 / 16 Adar I, 5765

Poor-mouthing the Bush budget

By Rich Lowry


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | After baseball, President Bush's favorite sport is beating up on the poor. Or so we are told by critics of the new Bush budget. New York Times hyperventilator Paul Krugman recently wrote, "It may sound shrill to describe President Bush as someone who takes food from the mouths of babes ..." then, of course, went on to so describe him. Bush has not yet been seen swiping Gerbers from babies at any campaign event, nor does his budget effectively do the same.

Critics say Bush wants to deny food stamps to 300,000 hungry people and child care to another 300,000 deprived kids. These charges are baldly oversimplified and rather rich coming from the same people who oppose extending the most successful anti-poverty program in the past 30 years — the 1996 welfare-reform law. For many liberals, the poor apparently exist only to be a line item in the federal budget, where they should be left undisturbed by any strenuous effort to end their soul-killing dependence on government.

The administration's budget proposes tightening up eligibility for food stamps. When the 1996 welfare reform created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, food-stamp eligibility was extended to anyone receiving any TANF-funded service. This includes activities reaching people who have earnings that exceed the traditional food-stamp eligibility requirement of a gross annual income less than 130 percent of the poverty line. According to the Office of Management and Budget, some states make anyone receiving even a TANF-funded pamphlet eligible for food stamps.

The administration wants to restore the old eligibility requirement. The $36 billion a year spent on food stamps would be reduced in 2006 by $57 million. If this is class warfare, it's not exactly "shock and awe."

Both food stamps and child-care spending — which the administration wants to hold steady — should properly be considered together with welfare reform and the effort to renew it.

Food stamps itself could use reform. It has all the worst features of the old pre-reform welfare, fostering the long-term dependence of nonworking single parents. According to Robert Rector of The Heritage Foundation, half of food-stamp aid goes to recipients who have been on the program for 8.5 years or more. Of the aid that goes to families, roughly 85 percent goes to single-parent homes. Adding a work requirement to food stamps for the able-bodied could have the same catalytic effect as the 1996 welfare reform, which reduced dependence, child poverty and out-of-wedlock births.

Donate to JWR


Congressional Republicans have wanted to reauthorize and strengthen the 1996 welfare reform for three years now, but Democrats have blocked them. Notably, Republicans have proposed spending $1 billion more over the next five years on child care. By blocking the bill, Democrats have therefore effectively said "no" to $200 million of additional day-care spending every year for the past three years. Who's keeping deprived kids off day care now?

Welfare reform relates to child-care spending in another way. As the 1996 reform decreased dependence and the amount of money spent on cash welfare benefits, more funds were available to be redirected into child care. According to a Heritage Foundation analysis, federal and state spending on child care increased from $3.2 billion in 1996 to $11 billion in 2002. Two-thirds of the new spending came from funds freed up by welfare reform, in an implicit bargain that said, "We won't pay you not to work, but we will pay to support your working."

Renewing welfare reform now is so necessary because the work requirements from 1996 have become obsolete. States are no longer required to do much to encourage recipients to work. Meanwhile, very little has been done to attack the welfare problem at its root — single parenthood — by encouraging marriage. The 1996 reform helped slow the rate of out-of-wedlock births, suggesting more effort here could have results. But realizing the necessity of strengthening welfare reform requires viewing the poor as more than a federal line item.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and the media consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.



Comment by clicking here.



Rich Lowry Archives





© 2005 King Features Syndicate