Gee...think anyone in the MSM media is covering the greatest change in welfare in many years?
Not just a change in welfare but a revolution in welfare that will make government benefits an open-ended commitment with no responsibility on the part of recipients to improve their own lives. This is why one of the most important articles published last year was "Senator Stealth (How To Advance Radical Causes When No One’s Looking)."
That article took a backward glance at Obama’s career and revealed a pattern of slipping in seemingly innocuous items in legislation that actually have dramatic consequences. This is what we can expect from this most “transparent” and “open” of Administrations : trickery, smoke and mirrors, and deception: all with the willing complicity of journalists.
Twelve years ago, President Bill Clinton signed a law that he correctly proclaimed would end "welfare as we know it." That sweeping legislation, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, eliminated the open-ended entitlement that had existed since 1965, replacing it with a finite, block grant approach called the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program.
TANF has been a remarkable success. Welfare caseloads nationally fell from 12.6 million in 1997 to fewer than five million in 2007. And yet despite this achievement, House Democrats are seeking to undo Mr. Clinton's reforms under the cover of the stimulus bill.
Currently, welfare recipients are limited to a total of five years of federal benefits over a lifetime. They're also required to begin working after two years of government support. States are accountable for helping their needy citizens transition from handouts to self-sufficiency. Critically, the funds provided to states are fixed appropriations by the federal government.
Through a little noticed provision of the stimulus package that has passed the House of Representatives, the bill creates a fund for TANF that is open-ended -- the same way Medicare and Social Security are.
In the section of the House bill dealing with cash assistance to low-income families, the authors inserted the bombshell phrase: "such sums as are necessary." This is a profound departure from the current statutory scheme, despite the fact that, in this particular bill, state TANF spending would be capped. The "such sums" appropriation language is deliberately obscure. It is a camel's nose provision intended to reverse Clinton-era legislation and create a new template for future TANF reauthorizations.