Tag Archives: welfare reform

Ducey’s cruel move on welfare continues the legacy of “reform”

Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com

New Republic welfare cover
This was seriously on the cover of the New Republic in 1996.

Gotta love this headline and lede:

Facing $1 billion deficit, Arizona sharply limits welfare

PHOENIX (AP) — Facing a $1 billion budget deficit, Arizona’s Republican-led Legislature has reduced the lifetime limit for welfare recipients to the shortest window in the nation.

Low-income families on welfare will now have their benefits cut off after just 12 months.

Oh, yes, it’s all about the deficit. Sure it is.

The cuts of at least $4 million reflect a prevailing mood among the lawmakers in control in Arizona that welfare, Medicaid and other public assistance programs are crutches that keep the poor from getting back on their feet and achieving their potential.

“I tell my kids all the time that the decisions we make have rewards or consequences, and if I don’t ever let them face those consequences, they can’t get back on the path to rewards,” Republican Sen. Kelli Ward, R-Lake Havasu City, said during debate on the budget. “As a society, we are encouraging people at times to make poor decisions and then we reward them.”

I saw several people on social media wondering how Arizona could enact such limits to TANF when these are federal dollars in question. Understanding that requires historical context that the AP report touches on briefly in the very last paragraph: Continue reading

On the obsessive focus on poor people’s morality

Per Gawker:

Ta-Nehisi Coates of the Atlantic and Jonathan Chait of New York have, over the past week, been engaged in something equal parts duel and duet in the pixels of their respective magazine’s websites. Their debate has plumbed the depths of race and racism in America, working out the questions of civic and historical responsibility in a public forum with respect and grace. As readers and citizens we are privileged to bear witness to this dialogue. They’ve also thrown some damn good shade at each other, so let’s look at that.

The Gawker piece provides a quick synopsis of the debate (you should read all the links) and since then Coates (who is the clear winner in my opinion) has followed up with this and this, which I cannot recommend enough. Continue reading