Obama repeals Clinton’s welfare reform law

On Thursday, the administration sent a letter to all states that…wait a minute…the President cannot repeal a law, only Congress can.  Let me begin again.  “Obama overturns Clinton’s welfare reform law”.

On Thursday, the administration sent a letter to all states that…wait a minute…the President cannot overturn a federal law, only the federal courts can.

Having no constitutional place to turn, let me tell you what happened.

Under the 1996 law [signed by President Clinton], states are required to document the number of hours that welfare recipients spend in paid jobs, voluntary work or other activities directly related to finding employment. States can lose federal funding for their welfare programs if they don’t meet targets for recipients’ participation in these activities.

States can now opt out of the requirements…at least the “work” requirements if they can propose an alternative to actually “working”, or actively seeking work.

On Thursday, the Department of Health and Human Services sent states a letter saying they could get a federal waiver to those rules if they proposed better ways to help recipients find permanent, well-paid jobs.

It is anyone’s guess what a state could propose “to help recipients find permanent, well-paid jobs” other than requiring part-time jobs for welfare recipients, and job training for welfare recipients, which, of course, is already the law.

Apparently, the administration is not happy with either of those two requirements.

Curiously, the absence of those two requirements in our then existing welfare program caused President Clinton to sign the law in the first place.


13 replies
  1. TexasDB
    TexasDB says:

    The states could take advantage of this by declaring ?Welfare Collector? an occupation ? after all someone has to do it.? By doing this, the states could declare welfare an income and tax it per the following logic:
    If, TAX = PENALTY (ACA ruling)
    And, WELFARE = 1/PENALTY (inverse of penalty)
    And, INCOME = 1/TAX (inverse of tax)
    Then, INCOME = 1/(1/WELFARE)?.or?.INCOME = WELFARE
    No wonder SCOTUS made a penalty equal to a tax…

    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      I think you may have passed the matchbook cover test to be a White House adviser to the president should the current resident win a second term to extend his “imperial presidency”. ?God forbid.

  2. JBS
    JBS says:

    I see this elimination of the work requirement as pure pandering to welfare recipients to get their votes. States can sub? in lesser requirements, i.e. paid welfare collector. Welfare recipients won’t have to adhere to the Clinton era law and have Obama to thank. States can now tick off the box that says “client is meeting expectation of the (amended) law).
    I won’t even broach what those particular jobs could be. Especially the volunteer type.
    Obama never does anything without political gain, so, who is the winner and who is the loser here? And the winner is: Very simply Obama, he has loosened and eliminated the onerous work requirements for those on the dole, states won’t have to check and Obama gets the votes for being “compassionate.”
    The biggest losers are: the taxpayers (an endangered species), the welfare recipients themselves, and their community. Work has a therapeutic quality. (Try not working) One’s self-concept and self-image are enhanced through accomplishments — this is where self-esteem comes from.
    Oh, the other winner: if being on the dole can be considered a job and the money comes from the state/federal coffers, then recipients could organize and become union…

    • JBS
      JBS says:

      . . . members.?
      After all, they are “state employees.” Democrats and union parasites in every state will welcome that.
      God forbid! We already have a pox on out lands.

    • stinkfoot
      stinkfoot says:

      That brings up a frightening new facet to the entire picture- welfare unions bargaining for richer and richer packages at the expense of the actual working class- sold on the premise of compassion for the less fortunate but actually calculated to bring the private sector economy to its knees… so the question becomes, “who’s really less fortunate?”
      Clearly our liberal state government is beholding almost exclusively to union interests; how else do moves like the forced unionization of private daycare providers and PCAs via legislative circumventing and constitutionally dubious executive order even begin to make sense?

      • JBS
        JBS says:

        Unions were voluntarily formed to empower erstwhile powerless individuals.? Banded together, they could exert pressure on the state for more money, enhanced benefits, state car, vacation, pension, etc. The list of possible concessions is mind boggling. Let’s not give Malevolent Malloy any ideas.
        Welfare collectors, those on the dole, are paid by the state. Recipients could be voluntarily or involuntarily unionized. Union bosses don’t care where the money comes from. Democrats would love the likely votes. Win-win for the statists; wagon pullers lose.
        Welfare collector does mimic a legitimate job title.?

        Much to my chagrin.

  3. Plainvillian
    Plainvillian says:

    Isn’t Mr. Obama obsessed with the first person? pronoun?? Why would he think he needs anything but an edict to change the law?

  4. Eric
    Eric says:

    Hey SOS… great read, but I would’ve entitled the article, “Obama Brakes Clinton’s Welfare Law!”

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