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Unemployment check came. Break out the Velveeta!
-- Tjames Madison


by h.r.taffs

2002-02-27 21:47:52

Our selected President, George W. Bush, announced his plans for welfare defor. . . I mean reform. The cornerstones of this administration's proposed policies, which are to be piled on top of the already horrific Clinton era "reforms", are work and "family formation." In typical "Republican Stormtrooper" fashion and following very nicely in the wake of the "War on Terror", the GOP is once again launching an assault on the poorest of the poor here in the Good Old US of A, all while claiming these draconian measures are for their own good.

Tuesday afternoon I very nearly crashed my car when I heard Dubya's voice on my radio, talking about how more welfare recipients would have to work, and how his plan would give them "dignity" by requiring a minimum of 70% of adult recipients (instead of the current 50%) to work 40 hours per week (instead of the current 30). Of course, the children of these newly dignified adults will have to be put in some sort of day care, despite studies of Florida workfare recipients which showed a direct correlation between the number of hours of work activity a parent is required to perform and the likelihood of poor academic performance and disciplinary problems in their children. Dignity? Most workfare positions provide training and experience in the lucrative world of custodial work, which I guess from a conservative point of view is like using the "Trash" to clean up the trash. Fuckers!!! These are real, honest Americans. Most of who simply want the opportunity to raise a family and pay their bills and not be treated like some sort of medieval serf.

The average monthly cash benefit in Montana is around $350. If recipients must perform 40 hours of work activity each week to collect a check, that calculates to approximately $2.02 per hour. In a more generous state, a recipient might get $500 a month, or all of $2.88 an hour. It's a good thing minimum wage laws (currently $5.15 an hour, since 1996) don't apply to workfare recipients, or the states could be in deep trouble for violating labor laws. But multi-millionaire President Bush (who was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and has never earned an honest dollar in this life) and his Republican thugs say that working for $2.00 or so an hour will restore dignity to public assistance recipients. These are the same guys that gleefully announced that they did NOTHING while Enron crashed and burned... like alerting the thousands of 401k investors that the Enron executives were dumping their ill-gotten stock options for millions. Doesn't that just make you feel like they're trying to help out the working class? At least Nero played his fiddle. What a friggin joke.

Even more problematic than the slave-wage work requirements which will tear parents from their children is the $300 million Bush proposes for "family formation." This is a program of "incentives" designed to "encourage marriage and two-parent families." It is very strange that conservatives, of all people, would want the government to meddle in the most personal of relationships. But it is certainly typical of the normal Republican doublespeak we've all become so accustom to hearing these days. Marriage is a personal choice, and it is not, as Bush and his cronies claim, a cure for poverty.

Marriage strictly for monetary reasons is unstable and disingenuous at best. At it's worst it is simply trading sex for money and if you tried this sort of operation on the streets of any American city, you'd be talking to the vice squad. Is it right for the welfare office to pimp single moms simply because they haven't enough money for food, shelter, and medical care? Should our tax dollars be spent to create the biggest prostitution ring of all times? It seems to this PDJ reporter that Bush is basically claiming that the best talent these women have to offer in the job market is to lay on their backs and spread their legs. You'd think after nearly a century of real progress in women's rights that the Republicans would have learned a thing to two and would stop trying to force poor women into the oldest profession.

But that's our pResident Bush's welfare "reform" proposal, forcing the most vulnerable families in the United States into lives of slavery and prostitution, at least until their lifetime 5-year time limit is up. Then they can either starve or using their newly developed skills, find a plantation owner or a pimp displaying a "Help Wanted" sign.

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

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