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"Why I Was Wrong About Welfare Reform"

AGBF

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There is a piece on the OP-ED page of "The New York Times" today that make me both glad and furious beyond words at once. I am glad that one of the people whom I considered totally lacking in empathy and common sense seems to have been driven to his senses by empirical evidence; at least he can be convinced by what he sees. However, I am furious that for a whole ten years, a decade, families with children have been suffering in poverty under the radar of most of the eyes of the United States because Bill Clinton wanted to pander to the worst in the American people.

"TULSA, Okla. — IN 1996, President Bill Clinton signed a controversial compromise bill for welfare reform, promising to 'end welfare as we know it.'

I was sympathetic to that goal at the time, but I’ve decided that I was wrong. What I’ve found in my reporting over the years is that welfare 'reform' is a misnomer and that cash welfare is essentially dead, leaving some families with children utterly destitute.

Every year I hold a 'win a trip' contest to choose a university student to accompany me on a reporting trip to cover global poverty in places like Congo or Myanmar. This year we decided to journey as well to Tulsa, in the heartland of America, because the embarrassing truth is that welfare reform has resulted in a layer of destitution that echoes poverty in countries like Bangladesh."

Link to article...http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/19/opinion/sunday/why-i-was-wrong-about-welfare-reform.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region
 

Dancing Fire

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She is 100% correct with this statement...

Stephanie Johnson, 35, who is raising four children through odd jobs, agreed. “If it was readily available, I’d abuse it; I’d say they’re giving me free money,” she said. “People use these systems as a crutch more than a stepping stone.”
 

arkieb1

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We have an extensive welfare system here, and sure people abuse it, I know of people that are 4th generation welfare recipients, but for everyone person that does abuse the system there are two more that it helps. We have programs here to keep young single mothers in schools giving them and their children access to better resources, and the ones that do finish school often go on to university and to jobs and a better life.

I believe the US actually spends more money on welfare than we or parts of Europe do, so no doubt it's a case of needing to reexamine where it goes to and how it is distributed.

I don't know what the answer looks like but it's not children being brought up in households that have $2.00 a day or less to live on - in Western societies as wealthy as both of ours, that is deeply unacceptable on every level.
 

AGBF

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arkieb1|1466375746|4045765 said:
I don't know what the answer looks like but it's not children being brought up in households that have $2.00 a day or less to live on - in Western societies as wealthy as both of ours, that is deeply unacceptable on every level.
Thank you, arkieb. When President Clinton did away with welfare, he lost my respect. I don't care what he did with Monica Lewinsky.

AGBF
 

arkieb1

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I make the observation that both of our societies need to work out how to reduce the administrative costs of welfare so that more of the money actually goes to the recipients that need it, that would do more good than punishing the most vulnerable.
 

Dancing Fire

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AGBF|1466377009|4045772 said:
arkieb1|1466375746|4045765 said:
I don't know what the answer looks like but it's not children being brought up in households that have $2.00 a day or less to live on - in Western societies as wealthy as both of ours, that is deeply unacceptable on every level.
Thank you, arkieb. When President Clinton did away with welfare, he lost my respect. I don't care what he did with Monica Lewinsky.

AGBF
And Prez. Obama lost my respect b/c. he created more welfare recipients than jobs during his presidency. He will be the only post war President who will not see a 3% growth in GDP during his presidency.
 

partgypsy

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Dancing Fire|1466381133|4045800 said:
AGBF|1466377009|4045772 said:
arkieb1|1466375746|4045765 said:
I don't know what the answer looks like but it's not children being brought up in households that have $2.00 a day or less to live on - in Western societies as wealthy as both of ours, that is deeply unacceptable on every level.
Thank you, arkieb. When President Clinton did away with welfare, he lost my respect. I don't care what he did with Monica Lewinsky.

AGBF
And Prez. Obama lost my respect b/c. he created more welfare recipients than jobs during his presidency. He will be the only post war President who will not see a 3% growth in GDP during his presidency.
Hmm. Economic experts don't seem to agree with your assessment.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/adamhartung/2013/05/16/economically-could-obama-be-americas-best-president/#2550fde931bf
 

ruby59

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Why does this woman have 4 children in the first place?

I can understand 1 oops, but 4.

Sorry, but I have very little sympathy for her.

There needs to be some personal responsibility.
 

Dancing Fire

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ruby59|1466444631|4045966 said:
Why does this woman have 4 children in the first place?

I can understand 1 oops, but 4.

Sorry, but I have very little sympathy for her.

There needs to be some personal responsibility.
That's the one Q even my left winger brother can't never answer. I ask him the Q "why my wife and I as taxpayers can only afford to have 2 kids and people on welfare can afford to have 1/2 dozen kids?" his liberalism mouth then goes silence. I said ...you couldn't come up with a good answer in 20 yrs? ... That is the one Q the liberals can never answer..:devil:
 

partgypsy

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Dancing Fire|1466447726|4045980 said:
ruby59|1466444631|4045966 said:
Why does this woman have 4 children in the first place?

I can understand 1 oops, but 4.

Sorry, but I have very little sympathy for her.

There needs to be some personal responsibility.
That's the one Q even my left winger brother can't never answer. I ask him the Q "why my wife and I as taxpayers can only afford to have 2 kids and people on welfare can afford to have 1/2 dozen kids?" his liberalism mouth then goes silence. I said ...you couldn't come up with a good answer in 20 yrs? ... That is the one Q the liberals can never answer..:devil:
Well the answer is people have children often without the financial means to raise them, either before they are born, or perhaps run into financial difficulty after the children are born. Sometimes the financial difficulties are temporary (how many here had parents who were not well-off when they were children?) sometimes more permanent. Human nature is often to want things, one cannot afford. But most liberals would agree, that even if the parent has made mistakes, that the children shouldn't be punished for those mistakes, such as not having food or shelter. What are you going to do? If someone purchases a car they cannot afford, it can be repossessed. Once the child is born, he/or she is part of our society, and is a societal problem/responsibility.
 

ruby59

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The woman mentioned was not in a position to have kids. She did not have a very stable life and then married an abusive man.

So for her to keep having children was showing a total disregard for them and their welfare.

So why should strangers have more empathy.

And the "well, they are here what are you going to do now" approach is why the situation is getting worse not better.

I am with Dancing Fire. I wanted another child. But it would have meant moving again, taking on another mortgage, more expenses, etc.

But humans are born with a brain. And mine told me it was not a good idea no matter how much I wanted it.
 

ruby59

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Dancing Fire, I was thinking about what the other poster said. If you have a car and cannot afford it it will be repossessed.

Well that is the mindset of people today. I will just buy it, and if something goes wrong, they will just take it back.

And with kids, if I have one and cannot afford it, the government will not let it starve. So they will just take care of it and me.

It is a mindset of some people that is just reinforced every time someone bails them out.
 

House Cat

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ruby59|1466444631|4045966 said:
Why does this woman have 4 children in the first place?

I can understand 1 oops, but 4.

Sorry, but I have very little sympathy for her.

There needs to be some personal responsibility.
Why would you assume that someone would have four kids on welfare. She could have had an incredible job when she had those children and fell disabled. She could have been in a very secure marriage and her husband could have died. LIFE HAPPENS!!
 

ruby59

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Did you read the article?

That was not the case for this woman at all. She was in no position to have 1 child, never mind 4.
 

msop04

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Dancing Fire|1466447726|4045980 said:
ruby59|1466444631|4045966 said:
Why does this woman have 4 children in the first place?

I can understand 1 oops, but 4.

Sorry, but I have very little sympathy for her.

There needs to be some personal responsibility.
That's the one Q even my left winger brother can't never answer. I ask him the Q "why my wife and I as taxpayers can only afford to have 2 kids and people on welfare can afford to have 1/2 dozen kids?" his liberalism mouth then goes silence. I said ...you couldn't come up with a good answer in 20 yrs? ... That is the one Q the liberals can never answer..:devil:
The answer is pretty simple. The more kids, the more government money. Period. Sad, but true in way too many cases. ::)
 

Dancing Fire

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part gypsy|1466448010|4045982 said:
Dancing Fire|1466447726|4045980 said:
ruby59|1466444631|4045966 said:
Why does this woman have 4 children in the first place?

I can understand 1 oops, but 4.

Sorry, but I have very little sympathy for her.

There needs to be some personal responsibility.
That's the one Q even my left winger brother can't never answer. I ask him the Q "why my wife and I as taxpayers can only afford to have 2 kids and people on welfare can afford to have 1/2 dozen kids?" his liberalism mouth then goes silence. I said ...you couldn't come up with a good answer in 20 yrs? ... That is the one Q the liberals can never answer..:devil:
Well the answer is people have children often without the financial means to raise them, either before they are born, or perhaps run into financial difficulty after the children are born. Sometimes the financial difficulties are temporary (how many here had parents who were not well-off when they were children?) sometimes more permanent. Human nature is often to want things, one cannot afford. But most liberals would agree, that even if the parent has made mistakes, that the children shouldn't be punished for those mistakes, such as not having food or shelter. What are you going to do? If someone purchases a car they cannot afford, it can be repossessed. Once the child is born, he/or she is part of our society, and is a societal problem/responsibility.
Wrong!, It should be the parent's responsibility not the taxpayer's. IMO, That's the reason why our country is heading down the wrong path b/c a lot of people bear no responsibilities for their own action.
 

Dancing Fire

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msop04|1466455950|4046032 said:
Dancing Fire|1466447726|4045980 said:
ruby59|1466444631|4045966 said:
Why does this woman have 4 children in the first place?

I can understand 1 oops, but 4.

Sorry, but I have very little sympathy for her.

There needs to be some personal responsibility.
That's the one Q even my left winger brother can't never answer. I ask him the Q "why my wife and I as taxpayers can only afford to have 2 kids and people on welfare can afford to have 1/2 dozen kids?" his liberalism mouth then goes silence. I said ...you couldn't come up with a good answer in 20 yrs? ... That is the one Q the liberals can never answer..:devil:
The answer is pretty simple. The more kids, the more government money. Period. Sad, but true in way too many cases. ::)
I knew the answer to the Q a long time ago.. ;)) That Q will always shut up my brother's big (liberal) mouth. .. :devil:
 

House Cat

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msop04|1466455950|4046032 said:
Dancing Fire|1466447726|4045980 said:
ruby59|1466444631|4045966 said:
Why does this woman have 4 children in the first place?

I can understand 1 oops, but 4.

Sorry, but I have very little sympathy for her.

There needs to be some personal responsibility.
That's the one Q even my left winger brother can't never answer. I ask him the Q "why my wife and I as taxpayers can only afford to have 2 kids and people on welfare can afford to have 1/2 dozen kids?" his liberalism mouth then goes silence. I said ...you couldn't come up with a good answer in 20 yrs? ... That is the one Q the liberals can never answer..:devil:
You DO understand that this is the very concept that Deb is talking about in the thread. The Personal Responsibility Act was passed in 1996 and part of that act was to end "more money for more children."

What I have read is that they DO get $90 more for food stamps per child. So, if you think that is incentive enough to have a child, then keep thinking this way.

The conservative way of thinking is so flawed and based on 30 year old rhetoric. It is time that you people educate yourself on what is REALLY happening in the world. Why not get angry at CORPORATE WELFARE, since that is where most of your taxes go anyway. Get your head out from under a rock and stop blaming the poor for all of this country's problems.

This liberal has spoken.
 

ksinger

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House Cat|1466517736|4046279 said:
msop04|1466455950|4046032 said:
Dancing Fire|1466447726|4045980 said:
ruby59|1466444631|4045966 said:
Why does this woman have 4 children in the first place?

I can understand 1 oops, but 4.

Sorry, but I have very little sympathy for her.

There needs to be some personal responsibility.
That's the one Q even my left winger brother can't never answer. I ask him the Q "why my wife and I as taxpayers can only afford to have 2 kids and people on welfare can afford to have 1/2 dozen kids?" his liberalism mouth then goes silence. I said ...you couldn't come up with a good answer in 20 yrs? ... That is the one Q the liberals can never answer..:devil:
You DO understand that this is the very concept that Deb is talking about in the thread. The Personal Responsibility Act was passed in 1996 and part of that act was to end "more money for more children."

What I have read is that they DO get $90 more for food stamps per child. So, if you think that is incentive enough to have a child, then keep thinking this way.

The conservative way of thinking is so flawed and based on 30 year old rhetoric. It is time that you people educate yourself on what is REALLY happening in the world. Why not get angry at CORPORATE WELFARE, since that is where most of your taxes go anyway. Get your head out from under a rock and stop blaming the poor for all of this country's problems.

This liberal has spoken.
This has to be hell for you House Cat, after all the first-hand knowledge of this you've given us in threads past, to know that not a single damn thing you've ever said gives anyone pause. I honestly don't know how you continue to tilt at the windmill of ignorance that simply refuses to accept that the situation is more complicated than the zombie stereotype of the promiscuous black welfare queen with 10 kids and a Cadillac.
 

Dancing Fire

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House Cat|1466517736|4046279 said:
The conservative way of thinking is so flawed and based on 30 year old rhetoric. It is time that you people educate yourself on what is REALLY happening in the world. Why not get angry at CORPORATE WELFARE, since that is where most of your taxes go anyway. Get your head out from under a rock and stop blaming the poor for all of this country's problems.

This liberal has spoken.
I am, b/c 30 million of Americans is unemployed thanks to Obama's Admin who have no idea on how to create jobs... :wall: less jobs = more people must depend on welfare.

http://blogs.wsj.com/briefly/2016/06/03/may-jobs-report-the-numbers/
 

AGBF

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ruby59|1466449802|4045996 said:
And with kids, if I have one and cannot afford it, the government will not let it starve. So they will just take care of it and me.

It is a mindset of some people that is just reinforced every time someone bails them out.
You do realize that in the United States now, as in most of the Third World, no one is bailing people out; they are having children; and the children are starving. Right?

Or did you, also, skip the article I posted?

AGBF :read:
 

AGBF

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AGBF|1466355809|4045672 said:
"TULSA, Okla. — IN 1996, President Bill Clinton signed a controversial compromise bill for welfare reform, promising to 'end welfare as we know it.'

I was sympathetic to that goal at the time, but I’ve decided that I was wrong. What I’ve found in my reporting over the years is that welfare 'reform' is a misnomer and that cash welfare is essentially dead, leaving some families with children utterly destitute.

Every year I hold a 'win a trip' contest to choose a university student to accompany me on a reporting trip to cover global poverty in places like Congo or Myanmar. This year we decided to journey as well to Tulsa, in the heartland of America, because the embarrassing truth is that welfare reform has resulted in a layer of destitution that echoes poverty in countries like Bangladesh."
This is to refresh people's memories about what was in the article I posted. The writer of this piece was a conservative SOB who WANTED to end welfare back in 1996. The only thing that changed is that he has now looked around.

AGBF :read:
 

Dancing Fire

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AGBF|1466527738|4046319 said:
ruby59|1466449802|4045996 said:
And with kids, if I have one and cannot afford it, the government will not let it starve. So they will just take care of it and me.

It is a mindset of some people that is just reinforced every time someone bails them out.
You do realize that in the United States now, as in most of the Third World, no one is bailing people out; they are having children; and the children are starving. Right?

Or did you, also, skip the article I posted?

AGBF :read:
And they are having children, so who is at fault ?
 

AGBF

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Dancing Fire|1466528114|4046322 said:
AGBF|1466527738|4046319 said:
ruby59|1466449802|4045996 said:
And with kids, if I have one and cannot afford it, the government will not let it starve. So they will just take care of it and me.

It is a mindset of some people that is just reinforced every time someone bails them out.
You do realize that in the United States now, as in most of the Third World, no one is bailing people out; they are having children; and the children are starving. Right?

Or did you, also, skip the article I posted?
And they are having children, so who is at fault ?
Whose fault is it in Bangladesh? Want to start a program like the one-child one in Communist China with forced abortions, or would you just rather starve the living babies and children we already have in this country? That's what we are doing now.
 

Dancing Fire

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Deb
I don't wanna starve any babies. I just wanna see more responsible parents.
 

ksinger

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Dancing Fire|1466528114|4046322 said:
AGBF|1466527738|4046319 said:
ruby59|1466449802|4045996 said:
And with kids, if I have one and cannot afford it, the government will not let it starve. So they will just take care of it and me.

It is a mindset of some people that is just reinforced every time someone bails them out.
You do realize that in the United States now, as in most of the Third World, no one is bailing people out; they are having children; and the children are starving. Right?

Or did you, also, skip the article I posted?

AGBF :read:
And they are having children, so who is at fault ?
It sure as heck is NOT the children. If the punishment (zero money/zero food) you say you want for the parents but not the children, ends up harming the children - and it does - then your heart, your intentions, your rationale, amount to exactly ZIP: you are starving children.
 

ruby59

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It sure as heck is NOT the children. If the punishment (zero money/zero food) you say you want for the parents but not the children, ends up harming the children - and it does - then your heart, your intentions, your rationale, amount to exactly ZIP: you are starving children.

_______________________________________________

What about the parents? Don't they have any regard for their own children who they are bringing into this world with no way to care for them.

It is not like they are helpless to do anything about it. There are so many different kinds of contraception out there to avoid unwanted pregnancies.

And to be honest, I am more concerned about my husband who will probably work to the day he dies so I can get health insurance that is so much worse then the policy we used to have thanks to Obama care but 4 times the price.

And I am taking more hours at work as well, at a time we should both be thinking about retirement.

So no I do not have much compassion for people who refuse to take any responsibility in their lives.
 

ruby59

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This has to be hell for you House Cat, after all the first-hand knowledge of this you've given us in threads past, to know that not a single damn thing you've ever said gives anyone pause. I honestly don't know how you continue to tilt at the windmill of ignorance that simply refuses to accept that the situation is more complicated than the zombie stereotype of the promiscuous black welfare queen with 10 kids and a Cadillac.

______________________________________________________

Ignorance is not accepting the fact that many middle class people are sick and tired of the status quo.

My husband is a CPA. And part of his job is overseeing money earmarked for the poor. And stories of those who know exactly how to work the system might make even you angry.
 

monarch64

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3 women were mentioned and quoted in the article. Perhaps people should actually read it first before commenting. It is glaringly obvious who did NOT read it.

The 35 year old DF quoted who has 4 children and is working odd jobs to support them did not make mention of the circumstances under which she came to have 4 babies. Because this is an article about welfare apparently it is ok to assume that she had the last 3 so she could take advantage of the system. Where exactly in this article is that stated as fact?

Is it perhaps possible that she had 3 children and was doing fine taking care of them, maybe with someone else (a husband, a father to 1 or all of them?) and lost a job or couldn't find work or wasn't able to work full time? Did she divorce and the father(s) is unable to make support payments? None of that is mentioned in the article. But those are all possibilities no one wants to talk about--instead there is an automatic assumption that "this woman" (singular, or collective, I can't even tell) is just another system abuser stealing your hard-earned money to feed her brood of ill-gotten, illegitimate babies. :rolleyes:

Two suggested solutions to the problem of welfare abuse and the breakdown of the welfare system were presented at the end of the piece. 1. to create programs for children, not parents, so that they have food to eat. 2. that women be given the option of free, long-term birth control. Instead of examining and discussing those or other solutions, posters are focusing on 1 of 3 women quoted in the article, or blending all 3 into 1 with all the issues although that was not the case. And this is the problem with a lot of U.S. issues--people want to zero in on the problems and rage and moan instead of focusing on creating solutions with a modicom of practicality and common sense.

The author, as well as one of the women quoted, already acknowledged that the system has been and will continue to be abused. So why on earth people thought it was cool to come in here saying "that woman" (referring to all 3 women) should not have had more than 1 child because she couldn't afford them just shows the head-in-the-sand attitude of many. Stop REACTING to the issues and BE PROACTIVE by creating solutions or voting for those who do.
 

ruby59

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to create programs for children, not parents, so that they have food to eat.
___________________________________

In our school system and I am sure many others, children are given free breakfast and free lunch. And then when taken to after care programs they are given dinner as well.

Also, even in our small state we have numerous food pantries run by the various Churches.
 
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