Monday, May 17, 2010

Bye Bye, CalWORKs

It will never happen, but Governor Schwarzenegger has proposed ending cash payments for welfare recipients in California.  By the way, I love the irony of naming the current welfare program "CalWORKs".

Despite having 12 percent of the nation’s population, California has 32 percent of the nation’s welfare cases, and one reason is that California’s welfare system contains numerous loopholes and exemptions that keep benefits flowing to children whose parents have “lost” their benefits by breaking the rules or failing to find employment within the five-year time limit. Critics of Schwarzenegger’s proposal argue that two-thirds of the 1.4 million people enrolled in CalWORKs are children. The problem is that the children don’t get the checks; the parents do. As when humanitarian aid is delivered to a corrupt banana republic, the money ends up rewarding the bad actors.

Schwarzenegger will not end welfare in California, but he’s adopted the correct negotiating position in the debate. The benefits of shrinking the state’s cash-welfare system would go beyond its relatively small budgetary impact — axing the whole thing would only save $1.6 billion — and have more to do with extending the gains from the 1996 law. If California Democrats are worried about their state looking like a Third World country, they should focus more on reforming its kleptocratic public sector and less on opposing measures designed to discourage dependency.

Posted via email from The Blue Pelican

No comments: