Sunday, April 22, 2007

Welfare “reform” kills

The New York Times reported about one of the unintended consequences of Clinton’s Welfare Reform. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/22/health/22infant.html?_r=2&hp=&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1177261684-CuUigdHq1lDHGRstYvxAHA&oref=slogin
At least one hopes that the rise in infant mortality in the Southern USA was unintentional. Odd though that the women who are suffering the most seem to be dark in hue and poor. This after decades of progress.
Reading further, the vaunted Clinton reforms seemed to have had zero effect on the cycle of "permanent dependancy" Oh yes, welfare roles have been cut, spending is less, but the poor are still there. The big difference is that they are no longer getting needed prenatal care, they are not getting needed counseling on nutrition. The women are no longer as healthy as they once were, and since they are in poor health their babies suffer and die.
For those who have conveniently forgotten about the Clinton cave-in to the rabid right Republicans, oops, sorry Triangulation, the idea was to "end welfare as we know it" and to "end the cycle of dependancy" The good Christian men of the Republican party had been trying to cut or eliminate welfare for ages. Their happy warrior Ronald Regan was more than happy to trot out the big lie of the welfare queen and her five or six Cadillacs. Regan railed about the "corruption" of the welfare system even though his Defense Department wasted more money on toilet seats and hammers in one year than H.H.S. did in a decade of welfare. Republicans only believe in welfare for their corporate donors hence Newt and his happy gang of pirates desire to raid the poor fund. And raid it they did, welfare rolls were mercilessly hacked. Medicare was slashed. After Clinton the Republicans went into overdrive slashing and burning programs for the least among us. Every year has seen substantial cuts for social programs. This when the number of people in extreme poverty has risen in the Bush administration years by 26%. So while the need has increased, the funding has decreased.
But hey welfare rolls have been decreased, Medicare rolls are smaller, fewer tax dollars are going to those poor folks down south. That way we can cut the capital gains tax by half. That way we can afford to eliminate the estate tax. Poor children are dying so that Paris Hilton can get little more mad money.
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