Temporary Assistance For Needy Families

Governor Explains Away Poor Jobs Numbers: Most Unemployed People Are On Drugs

Unfortunately this sought of thing is group-think among certain politicians…

Seen on You Tube post:

Another Republican that stereotypes the less empowered and believes in “liberty” only for a ruling class. What a surprise.

Think Progress

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) is facing an uphill fight for re-election as he battles negative job approval ratings and a slow economic recovery. The state’s unemployment rate has dropped to 7.9 percent, but the “number of people working in Pennsylvania tumbled by about 14,000 in March, following a drop of 6,000 in February.” Private employment has remained flat for 13 months, “growing by a mere 1,000 jobs” and landing the state “49th in the nation for job creation during March.”

During an appearance on a local radio show this week, Corbett sought to explain away Pennsylvania’s less than stellar performance, arguing that the state gained 111,000 private sector jobs since he took office and is “doing better than other states.” But then he grew defensive and complained that “a lot” of businesses are still having trouble filling their ranks because too many Pennsylvanians use illegal drugs:

CORBETT: The other area is, there are many employers that say we’re looking for people but we can’t find anybody that has passed a drug test, a lot of them. And that’s a concern for me because we’re having a serious problem with that.

Watch it:

A Quinnipiac University Polling Institute poll released on Monday found Corbett trailing potental Democratic opponents by at least nine points.

Earlier this month, a state senator introduced a bill requiring drug testing of all recipients and applicants for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families in Pennsylvania. The state is currently “conducing a pilot program in 19 counties of testing only those convicted of felony drug offenses.” Since January of 2012, just two people have failed.

 

Former President Clinton Blasts Romney’s ‘Disappointing’ New Welfare Claim: ‘That Is Not True’

Uh oh, the Romney camp woke up ” The Big Dog” and we all know Bill Clinton does not bite his tongue when he wants to make a point…

Think Progress

Mitt Romney spent Tuesday on a media blitz claiming that President Obama is out to “gut welfare reform.” An ad released by the Romney campaign first pointed to President Clinton as having successfully reformed welfare, before excoriating Obama. However, in a statement, Clinton called Romney’s charge against Obama “disappointing” and “not true”:

Governor Romney released an ad today alleging that the Obama administration had weakened the work requirements of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. That is not true. [...]

The recently announced waiver policy was originally requested by the Republican governors of Utah and Nevada to achieve more flexibility in designing programs more likely to work in this challenging environment. The Administration has taken important steps to ensure that the work requirement is retained and that waivers will be granted only if a state can demonstrate that more people will be moved into work under its new approach. The welfare time limits, another important feature of the 1996 act, will not be waived.

The Romney ad is especially disappointing because, as governor of Massachusetts, he requested changes in the welfare reform laws that could have eliminated time limits altogether. We need a bipartisan consensus to continue to help people move from welfare to work even during these hard times, not more misleading campaign ads.

In reality, the Obama administration is simply giving states the ability to experiment with new work programs, along the lines of a reform that Romney himself requested in 2005.

As the directive from the Department of Health and Human Services states, “HHS is encouraging states to consider new, more effective ways to meet the goals of [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families], particularly helping parents successfully prepare for, find, and retain employment.” HHS says it will cancel waivers that do not further TANF’s goals.

CBS’s AdWatch said of Romney’s ad, “It’s a leap to assume that governors and legislators will seek to return to ‘plain old welfare’ and that the Obama administration will give them the go-ahead.” The Romney camp, however, doubled down on its claims, saying in a statement that Obama is erasing “sixteen years of progress…with one stroke of a pen.”

And none of this deals with the inescapable fact that TANF failed to reach a significant number of needy families during the Great Recession, calling into serious question whether the current program is the best way to administer aid to those who need it.

Indiana Welfare Drug Testing Bill Withdrawn After Amended To Include Testing Lawmakers

Rep. Jud McMillin, R-Brookville, speaks on a motion to fine absent Democrats at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012.

I couldn’t agree more that lawmakers across the country who want to issue drug testing on welfare recipients should be tested as well.  Having said that, I find it hilarious how quickly the Republican member of the Indiana General Assembly withdrew his bill when a Democrat amended the bill so that the legislators would be included in the testing…

The Huffington Post

A Republican member of the Indiana General Assembly withdrew his bill to create a pilot program for drug testing welfare applicants Friday after one of his Democratic colleagues amended the measure to require drug testing for lawmakers.

“There was an amendment offered today that required drug testing for legislators as well and it passed, which led me to have to then withdraw the bill,” said Rep. Jud McMillin (R-Brookville), sponsor of the original welfare drug testing bill .

The Supreme Court ruled drug testing for political candidates unconstitutional in 1997, striking down a Georgia law . McMillin said he withdrew his bill so he could reintroduce it on Monday with a lawmaker drug testing provision that would pass constitutional muster.

“I’ve only withdrawn it temporarily,” he told HuffPost, stressing he carefully crafted his original bill so that it could survive a legal challenge. Last year a federal judge, citing the Constitution’s ban on unreasonable search and seizure, struck down a Florida law that required blanket drug testing of everyone who applied for welfare.

McMillin’s bill would overcome constitutional problems, he said, by setting up a tiered screening scheme in which people can opt-out of random testing. Those who decline random tests would only be screened if they arouse “reasonable suspicion,” either by their demeanor, by being convicted of a crime, or by missing appointments required by the welfare office.

In the past year Republican lawmakers have pursued welfare drug testing in more than 30 states and in Congress, and some bills have even targeted people who claim unemployment insurance and food stamps, despite scanty evidence the poor and jobless are disproportionately on drugs. Democrats in several states have countered with bills to require drug testing elected officials . Indiana state Rep. Ryan Dvorak (D-South Bend) introduced just such an amendment on Friday.

“After it passed, Rep. McMillin got pretty upset and pulled his bill,” Dvorak said. “If anything, I think it points out some of the hypocrisy. … If we’re going to impose standards on drug testing, then it should apply to everybody who receives government money.”

Continued here…