Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Welfare Reform Meets the Law of Unintended Consequences

Welfare Reform Meets the Law of Unintended Consequences

This is the latest article by Phyllis Schlafly

Excerpts:

The Great Society welfare system was recognized by the 1990s as a social disaster that created fatherless children, illegitimacy and women's dependency on government. Channeling taxpayer handouts to mothers provided a powerful financial incentive for fathers to depart; they were not needed anymore.

Unfortunately, policy changes in the 1988 and 1996 welfare laws created similar financial incentives for state governments to exclude middle-class fathers from the home. The law incentivized the states to manufacture "noncustodial" (i.e., absent) fathers and to order money transfers (usually through wage garnishment) to mothers, thereby putting a large segment of the middle class under the welfare bureaucrats.

Formerly, to receive welfare benefits, recipients had to demonstrate eligibility by "need" (i.e., a test measured by income level), but the new policy omitted income eligibility requirements. Without a means test, a high-income mother with custody can use the power of the state to collect from a low-income father.

The federal government annually provides $4.2 billion in block grants to states to serve as collection agencies. States are reimbursed for 66 percent of their costs of child support enforcement activities, 80 percent of their costs for technology, and 66 percent of their costs of DNA testing for paternity.

The more cases the states can create and the more operational expenses they incur, the more federal funding states receive to expand their welfare bureaucracy. No performance standards are required to get this money and, in addition, the feds provide a bonus fund ($458 million in Fiscal 2006) for which the states compete.

This result was accurately predicted by Leslie L. Frye, chief of Child Support for the California Department of Social Services. In testifying to the Human Resources Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee on March 20, 1997, Frye said the new regulations "encouraged states to recruit middle-class families, never dependent on public assistance and never likely to be so, into their programs in order to maximize federal child support incentives."

Many consciences should be burdened with the realization that taxpayer money provides financial incentives to deprive millions of children of their own fathers.

Labels: , , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Listed on Blogwise Blogarama - The Blog Directory Blog Directory