In my recent book, The Constitution – I’m Not Kidding and Other Tales of Liberal Folly, I wrote that soon we might hear this coming from the Obama Administration:
The White House takes a stand against homelessness with its new Will Work for Food program. All able-bodied men, women and children will be provided food in lieu of cash payment for work. New federal regulations will define work as “not sleep.”
Last week, President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a directive that gives states the opportunity to waive the federal work requirement as a condition for receiving welfare aid under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
What’s the difference between the two paragraphs above? Very little except I was joking and the Obama Administration is serious. Or, to put it another way, I was writing a joke and this administration is one. (My attorneys will be looking into a possible copywrite infringement claim.) Apparently, President Obama was serious when he said that his administration would look at any idea – even those that are just made up and not meant to be taken seriously. But, as we have seen, any goofy idea is bound to be taken seriously by this bunch, especially if it’s really expensive. (See Obamacare, Stimulus, Cap and Trade, Solyndra, Fast and Furious – I could go on and on but I have limited space.)
The TANF program was part of Bill Clinton’s welfare reform that replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Welfare reform was one of the crowning achievements of the Clinton administration, even greater than redefining the meaning of “is”. Throughout his presidency Obama has warned against “returning to the failed policies that got us into this mess.” Yet he has signaled he will gleefully return to the failed policies that existed prior to welfare reform of the mid-nineties, thereby assuring this mess gets messier.
The Obama re-election campaign slogan is FORWARD. This is forward? If they think this is forward, perhaps they need a better GPS. Maybe a more appropriate re-election campaign slogan would be OOPS!
Curtice Mang is the author of the new book, The Constitution – I’m Not Kidding and Other Tales of Liberal Folly. He can be contacted at www.mangwrites.com, where one can also purchase his book; or contact Curtice at mangwrites at cox.net.