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Hullabaloo


Monday, April 08, 2013

 
A Correction

by digby

I've been schooled by Obama supporters that he isn't the first president to cut Social Security benefits as I wrote in this post.   I was unaware that Aid to Families With Dependent Children fell under the Social Security administration, so when Bill Clinton  "reformed welfare as we knew it" the cuts came under Social Security.  I doubt that most people think of Social Security as "welfare" or know that "welfare reform" was a cut to Social Security benefits, but technically it was. 

So, I amend my statement: No Democratic president has ever before in history proposed a cut to Social Security Retirement benefits. I'll have to check to see if any have ever been bold enough to cut disability and Veterans benefits before (which the Chained-CPI will do.) 

Now hat it's been brought up, it must be pointed out that "welfare reform" has turned out to be a travesty, as many of us predicted it would at the time:
Perhaps no law in the past generation has drawn more praise than the drive to “end welfare as we know it,” which joined the late-’90s economic boom to send caseloads plunging, employment rates rising and officials of both parties hailing the virtues of tough love. 
But the distress of the last four years has added a cautionary postscript: much as overlooked critics of the restrictions once warned, a program that built its reputation when times were good offered little help when jobs disappeared. Despite the worst economy in decades, the cash welfare rolls have barely budged. 
Faced with flat federal financing and rising need, Arizona is one of 16 states that have cut their welfare caseloads further since the start of the recession — in its case, by half. Even as it turned away the needy, Arizona spent most of its federal welfare dollars on other programs, using permissive rules to plug state budget gaps. 
The poor people who were dropped from cash assistance here, mostly single mothers, talk with surprising openness about the desperate, and sometimes illegal, ways they make ends meet. They have sold food stamps, sold blood, skipped meals, shoplifted, doubled up with friends, scavenged trash bins for bottles and cans and returned to relationships with violent partners — all with children in tow.
Bill Clinton's long term legacy will prominently feature this hideous betrayal of the poor.

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