Huckabee Attacks HHS Waivers To States As Attempt To 'Gut' Welfare Reform


Here we go with Mike Huckabee and former HHS Secretary and now candidate for Senate, Tommy Thompson pushing the latest right wing freakout over something the Obama administration is doing to help Americans who are struggling and looking for work in this lousy economy.

Think Progress explains why they're both wrong here: Why Granting Waivers To States Is Not An Attempt To ‘Gut’ Welfare Reform:

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced this week that HHS will grant waivers to states under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) law. The waivers will allow states to experiment in order to improve “welfare to work” programs that help low-income Americans find jobs.

Republicans and the conservative blogosphere have denounced the move, saying it would “gut” the 1996 welfare reform law. GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney called it a “misdirected” move that decoupled “the linkage of work and welfare” that “is essential to prevent welfare from becoming a way of life.”

Despite the GOP’s concerns, however, the waiver process will have benefits for a welfare reform law that has struggled to live up to the program that preceded it. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities notes, the waivers and the new requirements would force states to set specific measures that they will have to reach; if they fail, the waiver will be canceled. The waivers will also give the states more flexibility in linking employment and education and tailor ways to better use their limited resources.

Most importantly, CBPP notes, it will increase, not decrease, the focus on employment: [...]

Republican support for flexibility, Levin said, appears to extend only to reducing benefits to low-income Americans. “Curiously, some of the same voices that pay lip service to the virtues of state flexibility now appear to oppose providing waivers under the TANF program,” he said. “It turns out that Republican support for state flexibility is a one-way street – they support flexibility when it comes to reducing assistance for needy Americans looking for work, but they oppose giving states greater discretion in helping people find work.” While Republicans oppose the waivers, states are coming out in favor of them.

Don't tell that to Huckabee or Thompson though. They're too busy fearmongering and race baiting and pretending the Democrats just want to make all those lazy black people out there dependent on government and "enslave them." Never mind the fact that most of the people using these programs are white.


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