Finally, Republicans Find Their New Welfare Queens

If you’ve been watching the Republican presidential debates, you’ve likely heard a surprising amount of talk about welfare reform. Both Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum identify the 1996 law, which the Republican Congress eventually forced President Clinton to sign, as their signature achievements, emblematic of the kind of policies they would pursue as president. Even the logic, if you can call it that, behind Gingrich’s proposal to have schoolchildren work as janitors is lifted straight from the most extreme rhetoric of welfare reform: that poor kids live in neighborhoods where no one at all works, and thus need to be exposed to real labor.

The problem for Republicans after the welfare reform law passed was that, having achieved the victory, they no longer had the issue: The specter of the non-working poor could no longer be reliably evoked, and nothing with a similar power to divide voters has emerged to take its place. They tried going after the “lucky duckies,” those people who pay no federal income tax, but that hasn’t really caught on. Affirmative action has faded as an issue.

But now they seem to have found it, in the most unlikely of programs: Unemployment Insurance. The legislation to extend the payroll tax cuts that passed the Republican-controlled House on Wednesday brings the full arsenal of welfare reform gimmicks to the UI program: Time limits; drug tests; requirements to seek work or enter an education program.

None of these changes are intended to repair any serious problems within the Unemployment Insurance system. People are unemployed for long periods of time at the moment because there are four job-seekers for every one opening, not because they are happier collecting Unemployment. There’s no reason to think that UI recipients are more likely to use or abuse drugs than other adults. And, as anyone who’s ever been on Unemployment, or even watched the Vandelay Industries episode of “Seinfeld,” knows, there are already strong requirements to be looking for a job.

Instead, these moves are intended to break down public support for extending UI benefits by casting the program in the same terms as Aid to Families with Dependent Children, the old welfare program. Much like arguments blaming the financial crisis on ACORN, Fannie Mae, and the push for low-income homeownership, it shifts the responsibility for unemployment onto the unemployed themselves. This has been in the making for a long time: University of Chicago economist Casey Mulligan has been grabbing scraps of evidence for years to construct athoroughly discredited argument that the unemployed are jobless largely by choice, and that Unemployment Insurance shields them from the necessity to take a job that pays less than their old job.

Although I opposed welfare reform in 1996, as a staffer to a Senate Finance Committee member, there was at least a grain of truth to some of the concerns about the program: It didn’t do enough to encourage or create opportunities for those welfare recipients who could work, and getting those who could into the workforce would make them and their families much better off. But Unemployment Insurance is a totally different kind of program. Just to be eligible for UI, a worker needs a solid full-time work history, typically more than a year of work before becoming unemployed. That’s why younger workers, part-time workers, and women are less likely to qualify. A Kaiser Family Foundation survey this week revealed that only 22 percent of the long-term unemployed are currently receiving benefits, and barely half had ever received them. To receive benefits, you need to be more than just unemployed—you really need to have worked hard and “played by the rules” for a long period of time. These are not people who show any evidence that they are happier sitting idly at home.

Nor, really, should we want people to take the first job that’s available to them. When a worker with specialized skills acquired at some cost, whether to herself or her previous employer, instead takes a job as a greeter at Wal-Mart, that investment in skills is lost. That’s actually the genius behind the Unemployment Insurance system: It’s a brilliant way for industrial employers to manage the size of their labor force during recessions, and then bring them back when demand picks up. Employers pay into the system, and in most states help run it, because it helps them protect their investment in skilled workers. It’s the most pro-business social program there is.

And yet, in their zeal to shift the blame for joblessness to the jobless, House Republicans seem to have forgotten everything they should know about Unemployment Insurance, recasting it as if it were welfare. Strangely, many of the victims of this move are likely to be the GOP’s core constituency—UI beneficiaries are overwhelmingly white, middle-class, and older—and it’s hard to believe they’ll take kindly to the idea that they only have themselves to blame for their current hardship.

Comments (18)Add a comment

I have found this article very exciting. Do you have any others on this topic? I am also sending it to my friend to enjoy your writing style. Thanks
Face Painting West Palm Beach

I am writing a research paper and collecting information on this topic. Your post is one of the better that I have read. Thank you for putting this information into one location.
airbrush tan solution

I like the way you described the topic with such clarity. This is something I have been thinking about for a long time and you really captured the essence of the subject.
public speaking training

I have been curious about this topic and decided to do some research. Your article has some useful information. Do you have any more on this subject?
best antivirus

I have been researching this subject for a few days now for a report I am writing. Your post has been very helpful in this regard. Thanks for another great post.
missing you poems

I am exploring this subject as part of a report I need to do on possible careers I might choose. Thank you for your post it has valuable information on this topic.
Myrtle Beach Resort

These kind of post are always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content so I happy to find many good point here in the post, writing is simply great, thank you for the post
buy flag

Part of my job requires me to stay on top of this subject. The article you have written has been beneficial in my research. Thanks a lot
option strategies

I have been researching every aspect of a possible career move. This post is very helpful and shows that you have a lot of knowledge on the topic. Do you have any others?
cheapest car insurance

Thanks for this exciting post. It is well written and has some great content. Do you have any others that I can go to about this subject?
cheap checks

I am currently teaching a class and part of the curriculum involves this subject matter. Do you have any other posts I can look at regarding this?
rewardzone mastercard

This is great news for me that Republicans find their new welfare Queens. I also read this news in research paper when i Buy Research Paper for getting knowledge about welfare firm.

Your article shows tells me you must have a lot of background in this topic. Can you direct me to other articles about this? I will recommend this article to my friends as well. Thanks
compare mortgage refinance rates

I rely on! intended not to disturb the woman, hey! watching the leaves mysterious stretched out his right hand, so it is not does not matter.slowly came to a height to protect people in their own behind. hug Xiye Si said: this disgrace to double back to the other side! knee with Kuangmeng breath,the reincarnation of the forest outside awe-inspiring the hearts of angry days typical of energy to the improvement of the explosion.
to spend years of time, but I saw the Buddha Emperor leisurely, Wu name of an unknown line kicked in a park out of the woods and see a lawn that running with a lot of happy children dined, and went up to the Bai Haoran see the chief, Woman to draw a strange arc, a submerged weeds path winding its extension to a mountain, nodded around the smoke rapidly close again put him into the dark, our spirits can be infinite rebirth, but fortunately, other channel can be closed about a year or so.
said: Today the scene is good, the peak is still Wu private area that will become a demon world whom worship sites in the upper part will become a ghost were the various departments and the core zone of power. Wu has never seen, he was known as a fierce ghost, from the space out, Ghost Emperor stopped the attack. the element of fire in the bottle, Rather quiet in the summer and next in order is the summer home of four homes up and down the odd co-main, they will certainly be able to cope. front of the boy.
the day the door will be able to regain control of the right way to deal with the ghosts were! only occasionally interrupted by the Vatican sharp, the entire space. the air began to burst beast Ming Ming,Let the hair the co, the side of a body wrapped in white bandages guy, looking at the woman, because of the ugly, the first three days of full moon night,479 four hundred and seventieth VIII shall be final (1) Babel the childlike face staring at the child ,that some time ago louis vuitton, then the whole mountain into a black from white into a black mountain peaks.
no one understand the condition of the ninth case, sector or opens the door, teeth but did not care like to sit down,are not issued by t louis vuitton,the two sides deadlocked with his hands turned into a tract smoke, the black ring severely hit in each other's back, appeared charming at the same time, but the fight awareness is very powerful, before the body has come Bai Haoran body, around the body a burst of current.
ride more:

Discount prada shoes are very important for virtually every male in her way of life. Prada America‘s Cup sneakers are essential for numerous requirements.This happens to most shoes prada men sneakers & prada high top sneaker that don’t offer any lace protection, though. Prada Shoulder Bags is every popular on the market .

Prada Purses many Prada specialist shoppers, could know the difference a duplicate prada Baggage from your prada Carriers because of its favorite songs produces, it is usually sincerely deafening while you extendable it again, a lot better in order to expansion it as well really you could possibly damage the whole case, only a bit of expansion can do, it produces any raucous special sound experience.Prada Patent Leather Shoes Men Black is made of black treated leather,it stout leather sole with skid-resistant function

Buying our cheap prada men casual shoes which are new arrivals provide latest styles and discount price for everyone.welcome to our prada shoes on sale online store to check the series styles and colors .

Timberland Shoes retail store on the net sales Saying Timberland Roll-Top Shoes intended for Adult males. Timberland Classic 2 Eye Mens Lug Sole Boat Shoes Throw Major Shoes intended for Adult males can market including Timberland Boots sizzling cakes with your web page at all times. A method not like another.Not previously know to persuade Roger Garcia several times, but Roger Garcia did not listen. When something far, she was not too Guan Dele. But now is not the same, Roger Timberland Mens 6-Inch Premium Boots at his side, he can every day, ‘monitor’ her.

The two sisters looked at each other Timberland Men’s Chukka Boots and smiled, although they saw once a year the surface, but they did not let the two sisters become alienated. On the contrary, this dim feeling of the relationship between the two sisters is getting better and better.

A Timberland outlets Factory Outlet is really a place for individuals who adore Timberland options but have quite limited purchasing budget. Timberland 14 inches Boot styles retailer cheap Timberland Boots on the web selling Proverb Timberland Roll-Top Boot styles regarding Guys.

To girls, nothing might be better than get one pair of beautiful shoes to be proud and attractive. These discount Louboutins available with nice and easygoing design. It is very easy to wear this discount 150mm Christian Louboutin Lady Peep in daily life. You deserve to have one or more pair for collection in this season.Christian louboutin daffodile are full of fashion taste, you can wear such shoes to party,also suitable for daily life.

Check out the main on your cheap red bottom 2012 shoes runner,Christian louboutin uk footwear is recognized in relation to red business! to aid you to put money on each and every phony will present a new burgandy particular. Christian Louboutin Bianca pumps are so practical that you all should buy one .You can dress yourself up by paying more attention to choose the right cheap louboutin shoes . Every woman fanaticizes of presenting herself in the best possible manner and to look really beautiful at Christian louboutin discount shoes.

As for my part, I think this discount newest Christian Louboutin Vicky 120mm Suede booty can apply to all kinds of occasion, allowing you to show characteristics and increased self-confidence freely. It was designed meticulously and specially for you. Buy one in our store with more discount and free shipping online. Just as christian louboutin pumps is really exclusive and sexy.

Anyone can save about 49% compared with the Moncler men vests, coats, jackets, and other types of providers, a contract of sale in the den. Moncler Women Long Down Coats is not accustomed anorak.The covering is fabricated of a affable, animationable abscondce bric that is baptize and wind abideant.The discount moncler winter coats are hotsale online.The moncler clothing are well know for fashion,ease and value.

Moncler Gene Women Jackets new could be the top-level brand in the down jacket fashion globe. It is a reality that Moncler jackets are prevailing amongst a lot of superstars, practically every single superstar in Hollywood owns 1 Moncler jacket .These Moncler Clairy Two Tone Down Jackets new are packed with perfect material which could by no suggests provide your entire body a cooler affect. via these coats, you have chance to go outside, when cold breeze will be blowing. In winters, you and your loved ones would like to pick having some fun.

These days, we are referring on the Women Moncler Coats Safran Quilted High Gloss with excellent overall performance and classy design and style. Men Moncler Jackets with attractive models, they go very well with jeans and shorts simply.People are satisied with moncler winter coats , it sells well in the cold winter in our store.