Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Strategy to Ignore Poverty

[LP note: How about cutting welfare for the wealthy, like tax deductions for so-called business meals and 2nd homes? Naw, it's much easier to screw the downtrodden. They don't fight back so hard. Or pay to get Congress elected.]

Eduardo Porter, NYT
OCT. 27, 2015

Arizona, where I was born, in July became the first state to cut poor families’ access to welfare assistance to a maximum of 12 months over a lifetime. That’s a fifth of the time allowed under federal law, and means that 5,000 more people will lose their benefits by next June.

This is only the latest tightening of the screws in Arizona. Last year, about 29,000 poor families received benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, 16,000 fewer than in 2005. In 2009, in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Depression of the 1930s, benefits were cut by 20 percent.

And if Paul Ryan, the Republican lawmaker from Wisconsin who is expected to become speaker of the House, has his way, poor people in many other states can expect similar treatment in the years ahead.

A bit of history is necessary to understand how we reached this point. Two decades ago, when the Clinton administration agreed with a Republican-controlled Congress to “end welfare as we know it,” Washington replaced the poor’s entitlement to aid from the federal government with a fixed block grant to states.

(More here.)

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