Thursday, August 18, 2016

Conservatives' Government Dependency Fairy Tale

Acclaimed Mensa member and Wrangler jeans spokesperson, Sheriff David Clarke, following the calamity in Milwaukee, has fingered "progressive policies" as the cause of the protests.
The growth of the welfare state” encourages the destructive behavior seen on Saturday and Sunday nights...
“These progressive policies have hit the black community like a nuclear blast, and until we reverse this government dependency, that’s what creates all of this – and encourages it, by the way,” Clarke said.
Just like the good little conservative soldier he is, Clarke regurgitates right-wing tripe on cue.

In case you haven't heard, everything the Democrats, liberals, etc. have ever done is the cause of everything bad in the world. Nevermind reality or facts, everything the Democrats, liberals, etc. have ever done is the cause of everything bad in the world.

TANF Continues to Weaken as a Safety Net
In 2014, for every 100 families in poverty, only 23 received cash benefits from TANF. This is down from the 68 families for every 100 in poverty that received cash assistance when TANF was first enacted in 1996. This ratio, which we call the TANF-to-poverty ratio (TPR), has declined nearly every year since 1996 and reached its lowest point in 2014.
Improving the State of Our Welfare State
By the time Bill Clinton first ran for president, the concept of public assistance had diminished to such an extent that that he pledged to “end welfare as we know it.” He fulfilled this promise when he signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act of 1996. With the stroke of a pen, the government’s largest direct cash assistance program for families with low or no income AFDC was replaced by the more restrictive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. What was called “welfare reform” at the time was in fact an attempt to lessen the financial commitments of the federal government. It also included several features advanced by conservatives, including time limits on assistance, connecting benefits to work effort, and a block grant structure that gave states greater discretion in how to distribute resources.
The End of Welfare as We Know It
More than 13 million people received cash assistance from the government in 1995, before the law was passed. Today, just 3 million do.

If nothing else, these policies were an effective way to reduce the number of people on welfare rolls. People on the left and right agree that they helped change a program that was in need of reform. But there were real human costs too: Those who didn’t find jobs, who weren’t working, who lived in states trying to reduce their cash-assistance programs, were left to struggle on their own...
Today, in large part because of welfare reform, the safety net—the set of government efforts to come to the aid of the country’s citizens when they are down on their luck, much of which has existed since the Great Depression—is thin and getting thinner. And this thinning goes beyond welfare, which gives needy families cash support: On April 1, between 500,000 and one million childless adults will lose access to food stamps (officially known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP). This is the belated consequence of a rule that was part of Clinton’s welfare reform, which stipulated that childless adults can only receive three months of food stamps if they aren’t employed at least 20 hours a week or in a training program. For years states received waivers for the rule, but in many states, governors have chosen not to ask for extensions for this year.
How the rise of America’s massive military welfare state led to the decline of the civilian welfare state
Over the past four decades in the United States, as the country has slashed its welfare state and employers gutted traditional job benefits, growing numbers of people, especially from the working class, grasped for a new safety net – the military. Everyone recognizes that the US armed forces have become a global colossus. But few know that, along with bases and bombs, the US military constructed its own massive welfare state. In the waning decades of the 20th century, with US prosperity in decline, more than 10 million active‑duty personnel and their tens of millions of family members turned to the military for economic and social security.
Reality appears to be almost the exact opposite of what Clarke claims. It has been, in fact, the decline of the welfare state and the lack of investment in the poorest persons and neighborhoods that has caused the current situation.

Too much money for stadiums and the well-connected, not enough investment in the needy and underprivileged.

In can also be argued that our recently militarized police state has diverted dollars from more appropriate investments in the communities that need it most. We keep increasing our police force in communities nationwide, claiming a need for law and order. But, what if, rather than employing a force to "keep order," we were, instead, investing in community institutions and assets, schools, real estate renovations, public spaces and jobs for these economically blighted neighborhoods? Rather than employing a force to lock down a neighborhood, why not try a New Deal-like infrastructure investment and jobs program targeted at these distressed areas?


Another aspect of this issue in which Republicans, Conservative, Right-Wingers, etc. are hypocritical and wearing blinders - where are the their complaints about corporate welfare? We have millionaires and billionaires with their hands out asking for public dollars for stadiums, business parks, factories and on and on. These are The Haves asking for more...and getting it. Talk about a culture of dependency.

Wisconsin's Corporate Welfare
Corporate Welfare
Where Are The Conservative Calls For Accountability For Corporate Welfare Recipients?

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