Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Nation: This Week in Poverty: Greg Kaufmann: "Revealing The Real TANF": How To Build Off of Welfare To Work

This Week in Poverty: Revealing the Real TANF

This is not This Week in Poverty from FRSFreeStates exactly, chances are I'll have another post about it this week. But The Nation Magazine a very Progressive more Social-Democratic or Democratic-Socialist magazine. Has a weekly feature in it called This Week in Poverty written by Greg Kaufmann one of the things I like about The Nation. Even though its a magazine I rarely agree with but the fact they focus on these issues even with their Big Government solutions. Is a very contribution that should be respected.

Welfare to Work or TANF which stands for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families which is a public assistance program. That was designed to assist families where the parent or parents lack the skills in order to be able to make enough money to support themselves and their families. But its a contract, these parents get cash assistance to help them pay their bills to go along with things like Food Assistance. And Medicaid but what the country gets in return paid for by tax payers run by government. Is that the adults on this program have to prepare themselves to go to work. Finish their education so they have the skills that they need to get themselves a good job that would allow them to pay their own bills. And work not get kicked but work themselves off of public assistance and TANF was created to replace the old. Welfare Insurance System back in 1996, a Bi Partisan agreement between Conservative-Republicans and. Liberal-Democrats passed in a Republican Congress signed by Democratic President in 1996.

In 2009 as part of the 2009 American Recovery Act, President Obama along with the then Democratic Congress. Passed their own welfare reform which is knowing that with the Great Recession, with all of the jobs that would be cut. Especially for low skilled workers who perhaps have just entered the workforce. That instead of employers cutting these jobs, the Federal Government would subsidize these workers. So they can stay employed, continue to get work experience as well as job training. Again the theme I've been promoting, work and opportunity over dependence but thats just one example. You want to cut poverty in America and have less people on public assistance and more working. Then they have to have the incentive to work and be able to take care of themselves and that means. Making more money working then not working and having an economic system that promotes work and. Independence over public assistance and dependence.

So how you do that, for people who aren't working and on public assistance. First of all that would no longer be the case, if you are on any type of public assistance and physically and mentally capable of. Working full time but perhaps just lack good skills to get a good job and be successful in life. If you are on public assistance with these characteristics, you are either working, going to school or job training. Or  a combination of all of those things but once you sign up for public assistance you'll be expected to. Either be working at the time you sign up and if you are unemployed you'll be in school or in job training. And for the people who just signed up and haven't found classes or job training yet. And there is a window for people to go through before they are back in school like when classes start and that. Sorta of thing but these people would make less then people who aren't working but are already in education or job training.

So when TANF comes up again this year, people who are working will make more then people who aren't working. That would be my first reform but I would set up three pay scales for people on public assistance. For people who just got on public assistance, they would make less then people going through education and job training. And people on public assistance but who are working would make more then unemployed people who are not in education or job training jet. Or are going through that but don't have a job yet. That we promote education, work and independence over being uneducated, unemployment and dependence.

Roosevelt Institute: Bo Cutter: A Forecast For The 2013 State of The Union Speech

A Forecast for the 2013 State of the Union Speech

Representative Chris Van Hollen is my Representative in the US House and is also the Ranking Member of the Budget Committee. In English that means the lead member of the minority of that party, perhaps not plain English but if you have any idea how Congress works, that should be enough. And Rep. Van Hollen is also one of the up incoming stars in the Democratic Party and not just in Congress. I believe he has a future statewide or nationally past the House if ever decides to do that but we'll see. Rep. Van Hollen gave a speech today along with Republican Representative Tom Price the Vice Chairman of the Budget Committee. Today at the National Press Club in Washington about the economy and the debt and deficit. Rep. Van Hollen gave a speech saying for America to create what he called an. Opportunity economy, opportunity great word for Liberals as I pointed out last week, paraphrasing Van Hollen. There are certain things that the Federal Government has to do. That the private sector doesn't want to do or can't do in order for the economy to succeed to create this opportunity economy. Which I'm about to layout.

The term I use is opportunity society but the goals of an opportunity economy which if I had to guess. Was a term that was developed by the House Democratic Leadership as their confidence is up now after. Picking up eight seats in the 2012 elections and will be a factor in the 113th Congress even though they are still the House Minority. But with a divided House Republican Caucus thats just lost seats after expecting to pick up more to go along with a Republican Senate and a President Mitt Romney. House Democrats think they have a real shot at taking back the House in 2014 and are now putting an agenda. And a strategy to accomplish that and I'm guessing opportunity economy is part of that but wherever the term came from. Its an important term and something Democrats need to focus on as we've moved away from being a Social-Democratic Big Government party from the 1960s and 70s. But want to be a factor and not concede to the Reagan Revolution from the Republican Party.

So what is an opportunity economy, an economy thats built around opportunity for as many Americans as possible to be successful in life. Not an economy thats just tilted to the top or creating a superstate designed to take care of everyone. And protect people from the freedom to make decisions but an opportunity economy where as many people as possible would be responsible for living their own lives. So how do we create such an economy like that and where does governments role come into see that such an economy can come about. And that gets to things like a sound and modern public infrastructure system, which we currently don't have. A sound and modern public education system that we currently don't have, a national energy policy. That promotes and invests in American natural resources and allows for the private sector to be able to develop them for the country. Which we currently don't have and a tax system that promotes success and independence, to go along with economic and job growth that we. Currently don't have.

What the United States still does very well and probably an area where we still lead the World is in research and development. Which is something we need to continue to subsidize no matter what comes from tax reform. But an opportunity economy would be an economy where as many Americans would have a good opportunity to be successful and independent in life. Based on what they do with it and something that House Democrats as well as President Obama should be pushing for.