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The New Welfare Reform
Finally the Democrats and Republicans have found something to agree on. They are both ready to get tough on welfare reform at the state and federal levels. Both parties also agree that doling out public funds to the poor, many which are single mothers with their children, only makes them more dependent on an already overburdened and floundering system. The whole time undermining self-sufficency and work ethic.Joel Handler, a national expert on welfare states "The facts point to the recycling of old methods used in the past and have failed.
In Texas and nationally the tremendous burden on the welfare systems arde being blamed on the illegals and women who are on public assistance but keep having babies to raise benefits or to stay in the system. This may in part be true. I do not understand why if you have 2-3 children you can not support, why would you have another?? But that is a personal choice.
I raised 4 children on my own. I worked at a fast food restuarant in the afternoons and attended a job training program "SER Jobs For Progress". This training gave me the secretarial skills I needed to obtain a decent paying job. The training took a year. The only assistance I recieved was the $ 3.35 an hour for attending school and paid child care. Upon graduating I had a new feeling of self esteem and a desire to continue my education.
Many women on public assistence would be glad to find a job but have less than the required marketable skills and the added burden of childcare.
Solid Welfare reform needs to include a specific cutoff time, maybe 3 years in which the parent will recieve job training, childcareand continued benefits. At the end of the 3 years the parent should be able to obtain a decent paying job that would support the family and the public funding should cease. Instead of allowing a parent with a under school age child to lay up and draw benefits, using the child as an excuse continue the childcare assistence. In the end I belive it would be less expensive. Any able bodied adult should be required to work and take responsibility for the family after the three year period.
One downfall I see in my plan is the economic crisis we encounter ourselves in today. The available jobs are low-paying with no benefits. I do understand what it is like to have to choose between putting food on the table and paying the rent. If their is a child involved the choice is obvious. True reform should have job training, job assistance, increased labor markets, and universal health care. Until we increase the job market, and reduce poverty, Welform in its self means nothing.
Another problem in the welfare refore is the amount of fraud and corruption. Many parents in order to be egilible to receive an increase in benefits make false statements such as saying" the other parent is not in the household so that persons income is not counted." They also put vehicles, land and other things that would disqualify them into other persons names. Many sell their benefits. For each two dollars in foodstamps sold, the person recieves $ 1.00, an example is person sells $ 50.00 and receives $ 25.00. The majority of the time, the money is spent on alcohol and drugs. The ones who wind up losing are the children involved. Stricter methods of verification are needed, maybe scanning the authorized persons thumbprint at the checkout. They are fingerprinted when they apply and are approved for benefits, so taking it one step farther could only help, this could include home visits.
In closing, I don't know the answers, but under already strained budgets, I believe the job training and childcare program that I attended is a viable alternative to just supporting beneficiaries for a lifetime. This trend also carries over to the children growing up around it. It thus becomes a cycle which costs tax payers billions of dollars a year.
Do you know a solution?? I would appreciate your comments and feedback on this issue or any other one I have written.