The Romney ad dinging Obama for gutting the successful welfare reform law of the 90s has libs hyperventilating, and fact checkers working overtime to protect Dear Leader. PolitiFact rated the ad “Pants on Fire“.
Romney’s ad says, “Under Obama’s plan (for welfare), you wouldn’t have to work and wouldn’t have to train for a job. They just send you your welfare check.” That’s a drastic distortion of the planned changes to Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. By granting waivers to states, the Obama administration is seeking to make welfare-to-work efforts more successful, not end them. What’s more, the waivers would apply to individually evaluated pilot programs — HHS is not proposing a blanket, national change to welfare law. The ad tries to connect the dots to reach this zinger: “They just send you your welfare check.” The HHS memo in no way advocates that practice. In fact, it says the new policy is “designed to improve employment outcomes for needy families.” The ad’s claim is not accurate, and it inflames old resentments about able-bodied adults sitting around collecting public assistance. Pants on Fire!
According to the men who helped craft the bill, the assessment that “the Obama administration is seeking to make welfare-to-work efforts more successful, not end them” sounds more like wishful thinking than “fact”. Wednesday morning, the RNC put former House Speaker, Newt Gingrich on a conference call with reporters.
As Clinton’s GOP counterpart during the 1990s welfare debate, Gingrich had high praise for the former president while heaping disdain on Obama, whom he dubbed ‘‘the anti-Clinton.’’Gingrich suggested that the Obama administration’s waiver program is illegal because it would allow Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to relax some restrictions spelled out in a section of the law that Republicans contend is protected from such waivers.However, Sebelius says she has a legal opinion from department attorneys that says waivers are allowed to test if state experiments would improve the program.Gingrich said that’s exactly what you’d expect to hear from liberals trying to undermine welfare reform by stealth.He called Sebelius ‘‘a radical’’ and dismissed views of former GOP aide Haskins, saying, ‘‘I was sorry that he has such a lack of imagination.’’The administration says its waiver plan was prompted by interest from the states, including Nevada and Utah, which have Republican governors. On Wednesday, both states responded.
Mary-Sarah Kinner, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval’s press secretary, said Nevada had not and would not seek a waiver. Ally Isom, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert’s deputy chief of staff, acknowledged that Utah sought waivers but not from work requirements.
Dick Morris, the former Top Advisor to President Bill Clinton during the Welfare Reform Legislation Enactment in the 1990’s, also helped craft the law. He gave the insider’s viewpoint on how Obama did indeed gut of Work Requirements For Welfare Recipients.
On PBS, Judy Woodruff talked to Georgetown University’s Peter Edelman and Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector about welfare reform. A spirited debate ensued:
I should have mentioned – Rerctor won the debate, hands down.