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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Democrats, Obama Dismantle Welfare Reform

In one fell swoop, Obama and the Democrats dismantled the bipartisan welfare reform of 1996.

Robert Rector, a prominent welfare researcher who was one of the architects of Clinton's 1996 reform bill, warned last week that Obama’s stimulus plan was a “welfare spendathon” that would amount to the largest one-year increase in government handouts in American history.

Douglas Besharov, author of a big study on welfare reform, said the stimulus bill passed by Congress and the Senate in separate votes on Friday would “unravel” most of the 1996 reforms that led to a 65% reduction in welfare caseloads and prompted the British and several other governments to consider similar measures.

In the American political lexicon, welfare has since become a dirty word – often referred to as the W word – and nothing arouses US tabloid ire more than the hint that taxpayers’ money is being wasted.

Perhaps that's why Obama has a new term for the same old welfare - "tax cuts" - and the media are only too happy to go along with the new terminology even though they're the furthest thing from tax cuts.