Welfare Reform

All Forms of Government Welfare Should be Abolished By: Michelle M. Flores 12/11/08 Strayer University PHI 210 Professor James Poteet All Forms of Government Welfare Should be Abolished Welfare is defined as “governmental provision of economic assistance to persons in need. ” (wordnet. princeton. edu). There are many programs that are currently implemented to aid and assist families in need. Under new laws, Maryland has re-named its assistance programs to Family Investment Programs.
Some of these programs include: TCA- Temporary Cash Assistance, Food Stamps, WIC – Women Infants and Children Program, Child Care Assistance, Medical Assistance, Section 8- housing assistance, Energy Assistance and many other programs. To qualify for such programs, a family must have a minor child or a pregnant woman, and the parent must have applied for child support from the absent parent. It is said that the family applying must show a need for assistance. (peoples-law. org). Currently, the United States is in a financial recession. This recession has made many Americans rely and depend on such assistance from the Government.
With all of these and many more programs implemented, when is enough, enough? How much assistance should be offered to a single family or person? What programs are actually necessary and/or beneficial? I will provide a brief synopsis of a few programs below. Temporary Cash Assistance Temporary Cash Assistance is a government allowance in the form of cash. Qualifications for this program are as follows: Household sizeGross Income 1 person or a pregnant woman$216. 00 a month or less 2 persons$380. 00 a month or less 3 persons$482. 0 a month or less 4 persons$583. 00 a month or less 5 persons$675. 00 a month or less (peoples-law. org). The current minimum wage in Maryland is $7. 25. (epi. org). This means that a single person or pregnant woman cannot work anymore than thirty two hours a month or eight hours a week to qualify for this benefit. The average person works at least thirty to forty hours per week, which is about four times the qualifying allowance. What kind of job will allow a person to work only eight hours a week?

How is this fair to those who work more than that and are still struggling to get by living paycheck to paycheck? It’s not! Are these families using this cash assistance to help pay bills or to live lavishly? What type of control is used here? There is no control, so absolutely none. Now, I am not saying that families who receive cash assistance should not be able to buy luxury or feel good items, but these items should not be a priority before bills are paid. If you cannot afford to keep your lights on, you should not be in the bar buying alcohol or in the salon getting your hair and nails done. This is absurd!
I love to see my tax dollars going to hair nails on a woman that is not working, but yet I work full time and cannot afford to have my hair and nails done as often as those women do. SNAP SNAP otherwise known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is the new name for the Food Stamp Program. SNAP is a government allowance that provides needy families with the benefit to buy food. This program provides a family with a card similar to a debit or credit card that holds the benefits allotted to said family. If a person or family qualifies for cash assistance, they will automatically qualify for SNAP.
The income guidelines are as follows: Household SizeGross IncomeNet Income 1 person$1,127. 00$867. 00 2 persons$1,517. 00$1,167. 00 3 persons$1,907. 00$1,467. 00 4 persons$2,297. 00$1,767. 00 5 persons$2,687. 00$2,067. 00 (peoples-law. org). With minimum wage at $7. 25 per hour, a person can work an average of one hundred and seventy two hours a month for an average of about thirty two hours a week.
What are the problems with this program? How do we make certain that the needy families and children of those needy families are actually receiving the allotted benefits? The government cannot control this either. Many times these benefits are sold to those who are not needy for half or less than what they are really worth. Meaning, a person not being supplied with this benefit can buy the card from a needy person and go into a market and buy a hundred dollars worth of groceries for only fifty dollars. The non-needy person has then saved a lot, but the child of a needy family is at home with less available food.
This sickens me that a parent can literally take out of their child’s mouth just to get cash to do God knows what with. WIC WIC is the Women, Infants and Children Program. This program covers pregnant women, new mothers and children under five who have a nutritional need. The income guidelines here are: Family SizeIncome per monthIncome per year 1 person$1,604. 00$19,240. 00 2 persons$2,159. 00$25,900. 00 3 persons$2,714. 00$32,560. 00 4 persons$3,269. 00$39,220. 00 5 persons$3,824. 00$45,880. 0 This program supplies mothers with infants or young children with milk, cheese, beans, oatmeal, cereal and several other nutritious items. This program is very beneficial to the family, as it maintains the health of babies, young children and mothers. I feel as though this is a wonderful program. With every up there is a down. Welfare fraud is huge in America. Welfare fraud is described as “the intentional misuse of various state funded Welfare programs. ” (spamlaw. com). Fraud comes in many forms and may consist of withholding income, household size information or providing false information to obtain benefits.
Here we have people obtaining benefits and are not deserving of them. One for instance is the purchasing of the SNAP card. Welfare fraud is very expensive. “It costs the system millions in misused benefits every year. ” (spamlaw. com) “Welfare fraud has been widely criticized by advocates of the system because this abuse makes funds less available to those who actually need the benefit. It has also been criticized by opponents of the system who believe the crime creates situations where hard working taxpayers are supporting the middle class and a lavish lifestyle for criminals.
These critics have coined the terms ‘welfare Cadillac’ or ‘welfare Queen’ to instances or individuals associated with welfare fraud” (spamlaw. com). All actions of welfare fraud should be avoided if you are approached to be involved in such acts. These crimes are punishable by the full extent of the law. If a person is convicted of welfare fraud and put in prison, are our tax dollars not going to further take care of them? In prison inmates are fed, clothed and nursed to health. Not to mention they have to be guarded by correctional officers or policing staff.
Wow, what a vicious cycle. We take the benefits from them in the free world, but then again support them in the locked up world. I am so glad that my hard earned tax dollars are supporting such trash. The new changes in the Welfare program were created to help families achieve independence. What is the government doing to help achieve such independence? What programs are implemented to get these needy families back into the work force, not to depend on the government? The Welfare reform in the early 1990’s led to a huge reduction in Welfare dependency. Under the old AFDC (Aid to Families with Dependant Children) program, states were given more federal funds if their welfare caseloads were increased, and funds were cut whenever the state caseload fell. This structure created a strong incentive for states to swell the welfare rolls. Prior to the reform, one child in seven was receiving AFDC benefits. ” (Conn Carroll). At this time, President Clinton created programs that allowed families to learn new skills and help them transition back into the work force. This reduced Welfare dependence and required welfare recipients to prepare for employment.
This is what really needs to be done. However, with the new financial crisis that the United States is currently seeing, it is harder for those with minor skills to obtain work. President Obama has enacted stimulus bill that abolishes welfare reform and adds new welfare spending. “It is clear that – in both the House and the Senate stimulus bills – the original goal of helping families move to employment and self-sufficiency and off long term dependence on government assistance has instead been replaced with the perverse incentive of adding more families to the welfare rolls.
The House bill provides four billion per year to reward states to increase their Temporary Cash Assistance case loads; the Senate bill follows the same policy but allocates less money. ” (Rector & Bradley). This is crazy. The funds should be allocated by the amount of unemployment per state, not a gross figure overall. There are some states that are better off financially than others. The funds should be divided accordingly. “In the first year after enactment of the stimulus bill, federal welfare spending will explode upward by more than twenty percent, rising from $491 billion in FY 2008 to $601 billion in 2009.
This one year explosion in welfare spending would be, by far, the largest in U. S. history. ” (Rector & Bradley). Since the enactment of the welfare reform in the early 1990’s, many Americans have become less dependent on the welfare system. Clinton gives great thanks for being re-elected partially due to his signing of the welfare reform bill. Great job and wonderful efforts President Clinton! In my opinion Welfare is an incentive for people to sit at home and not work, to not be responsible for themselves or their families. Don’t get me wrong, I do see a need for assistance programs, only when necessary.
Do I think that all forms of government welfare should be abolished? No, I do not. Surprised by this answer? I knew you would be. I agree that these programs should be implemented for those who are in crisis and desperately need them. These programs should not be used and abused at American’s leisure. Considering the tough economic times we are in right now, I agree that many Americans need help. Especially those who have lost their jobs and those who are aggressively seeking employment, but cannot find it. However, this help should only be temporary.
New reform needs to be implemented. Education and services need to be offered to get people back into the work force and off of government dependency. With all of the current programs offered, me as a single mother has a huge incentive to quit my job, stay at home and collect all the government has to offer. Then, I may be able to buy lobster in the grocery store rather than 80/20 ground beef. WORKS CITED Carroll, C. (2009). Stimulus Bill Abolishes Welfare Reform. Retrieved November 7, 2011 from http://blog. heritage. org/2009/02/11stimulus-bill-abolishes-welfare-reform/print/ Fox, L. 2007). What a new Federal minimum wage means for the United States. Retrieved November 7, 2011 from http://www. epi. org/publications/entry/ib234/ Rector, R. and Bradley, K. (2009, February). Stimulus Bill Abolishes Welfare Reform and Adds New Welfare Spending. Web Memo No. 2287 Published by the Heritage Foundation http://www. peoples-law. org/income/gov-ben/family_investment_program. htm What is Welfare Fraud? Retrieved November 7, 2011 from http://www. spamlaws. com/welfare-fraud. html http://wordnetweb. princeton. edu/perl/webwn? s=welfare

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