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GOP cheers Trump’s meaningless return to Clinton’s welfare plan, because nothing matters

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In 1996, President Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, thereby ending 61 years of depression-era Aid to Families with Dependent Children, i.e. classical liberal handouts.

Now the Trump administration wants to restore PRWORA back to the original Clinton law, but it’s a useless gesture.

Clinton didn’t really want to sign a Republican welfare bill, but he wanted to balance the budget, and spur economic growth through workforce participation. So he signed what TIME Magazine reported he called “a decent welfare bill wrapped in a sack of s–t.”

In 2012, Barack Obama, acting as a monarch, gutted much of PRWORA’s positive attributes by allowing states to get around work training requirements.

But it really didn’t matter, because Obama, in 2009, with a Democrat majority in Congress, shoved the Earned Income Tax Credit down our throats. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (a.k.a. “The Stimulus”) threw $787 billion away, much of it in the form of EITC giveaways.

Just about every liberal state (and more than a few red states) have copied the federal government’s EITC, and that has become the primary money mover for many welfare families. There’s no support test for the EITC. You don’t have to be looking for a job, you just take the easy money.

Trump’s Health and Human Services Department denied the one, and only, waiver applied for in 2015–which the Obama administration sat on for no good reason. So Ohio doesn’t get a TANF (“Temporary Assistance for Needy Families”) waiver. And it wouldn’t have mattered either way.

Yet Trumplicans offered enthusiastic cheering for a meaningless paper chase that accomplished exactly nothing.

“Chairman Brady believes that work requirements are essential to providing Americans with real paths out of poverty and up the economic ladder,” said Shane McDonald, spokesperson for House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady. “Today’s action by the Trump administration ties in seamlessly to the work that he and the committee are doing to deliver policy solutions that truly improve the lives of American families nationwide.”

Here’s an idea. Get rid of the expanded EITC under the 2009 stimulus. But they won’t do that because it expires in 2019 anyway.

Nothing matters.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Doug Olson

    August 31, 2017 at 6:51 am

    This is typical of Trump’s “achievements”. All bluster and no substance. We saw this with the Paris Accord, where he signed the intent to get out, but it doesnt take effect for two years… plenty of time for him to change his mind or come up with a worse deal. We saw this with the rescinding of some regulations that, in the scheme of things, doesn’t eliminate the over-reach of government. Frankly, I am tired of Trump’s definition of “winning” and I want to go back to the true definition.

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