Do Republicans realize they’ve just called for the repeal of welfare reform?

Do Republicans realize they’ve just called for the repeal of welfare reform? April 13, 2012

The “welfare reform” passed during the Clinton administration was based on the idea that welfare recipients would be required to work.

Welfare reform was billed as the end of the free ride for all those lazy moms sitting at home doing nothing except raising their kids and cashing their AFDC checks. The new law replaced the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children with TANF — Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. And TANF meant those lazy moms were going to have to earn that assistance.

Those of us who objected to this new law at the time argued that, actually, those moms already were doing work — they were raising their kids. This objection got slapped down by, among others, the Republican Party, which insisted at the time that raising kids wasn’t real work and didn’t count.

This led to some odd aspects to the work requirement for TANF. Stay home and raise your kids and you’re not counted as working. But if you and your neighbor swap kids for the day, you could both declare yourselves to be in the daycare business, because taking care of someone else’s kids does count as work.

In any case, I was pleased yesterday to learn that the Republican Party has changed its mind:

Bravo! Welcome to the proper side of this debate!

And now that they’ve conceded that mothers who stay at home to raise their children are, in fact, doing work, I assume the next step will be for GOP lawmakers to get right to work themselves rewriting the work requirements for TANF to acknowledge that, yes, “Moms Do Work,” and that therefore it’s redundant and wrong to tell the single mothers receiving TANF that this important and difficult and legitimate work doesn’t count.

Or maybe not.

Maybe the slogan on the GOP’s banner above was just shortened for space. It might be that what they’re really saying is “Wealthy White Married Moms Do Work That We Count As Work, But Non-Wealthy and/or Non-White and/or Non-Married Moms Who Stay Home With Their Kids Are Still Just Lazy Freeloaders And Their Work Still Doesn’t Count.”

One or the other. The Republican Party cannot say “Moms Do Work” and “Mom’s Work Doesn’t Count” at the same time.

Seriously, the Mom-a-palooza of the past 48 hours hasn’t changed the Republican Party line. Women with children are still being tag-teamed by the free marketeer and the social conservative wings of the GOP. No matter what women do, it’s their fault. If they get a job and earn a living in the marketplace, then it’s their fault because they should be staying home to raise their children. If they stay at home to raise their children, then it’s their fault because they need to stop being so lazy and go get a job. If you’re a mother, the GOP says, then whatever it is you’re doing is wrong.

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  • Marla

    Are you seriously comparing wanting a fucking Ferrari to having children? Are you that delusional?

  • Jenny Islander

    I just, as in literally just now, got off the phone with Alex at the local Baptist food bank, which is also the local TFAP distribution point.  This time last year, a 1-2 person household could pick up 30 pounds of food per month and there was always a lot of protein in the box.  Now it’s 15 pounds of food per month and he only gets high-protein items once or twice a year.  And there are more cuts coming.

    What the hell is this supposed to do?  What, if people are hungry enough they will sell organs or turn to prostitution or pull $20,000 out of their butts and start a business with it?

  • Lori

      What, if people are hungry enough they will sell organs or turn to prostitution  

    Both of which are illegal and will actually get you thrown in prison, unlike the illegal things that the already rich do in order to become richer (see: Wall Street fraud & the total lack of any bankers ending up in the slammer for it). 

    Breaking the law because you’re poor and desperate: Bad character, needs to be locked up to keep the rest of us safe

    Breaking the law because you’re just that greedy and besides the rules don’t apply to you: Engine of growth and/or job creator

  • Jenny Islander

    Yes, but being clapped into jail for breaking the rules because obeying the rules would lead to starvation will render you conveniently invisible.  Being poor is just fine with our fine amurrican punditry as long as you are poor and silent.

    Oh, and for anybody going 30 POUNDS OF FOOD THEY DIDN’T PAY FOR MAH TAX DOLLARS AAAIEEEE, this portion of the 0.59 cents of your tax dollar that goes to welfare programs, back before it was cut, provided, basically, one item per 1 or 2 people per day.  One can of beans.  One can of creamed corn.  One jar of spaghetti sauce.  One box of figs.  Now that same item has to stretch for two days.  One can of creamed corn, two people, two days.

  • Makabit

    I’m sorry, but what you’re saying simply doesn’t make sense from an actual chemical perspective, unless there is something I’m really, really missing.

    If the artificial hormone cycle fails, and your body sends out an egg, you are not more likely to be fertile during and shortly after the week on spacer pills, in fact, you are less likely to be so, because that is the least fertile time in the natural cycle. You’re not protected just as long as you’re taking the hormones, then not protected during that week of spacer pills.

    If you believe that your personal body chemistry might make the pill an ineffective method of birth control for you, then that’s a matter for you and an MD or NP to assess, and you’re wise to rely on other methods. But for the great majority of women, your suggestion that the week your period begins is a time when you’re most likely to get pregnant on the pill, and need extra birth control, is simply not factual. 

    If you don’t primarily rely on BCP for birth control, then this may not be important knowledge to you, but it is important knowledge to many, many women.

    I’m not trying to be a jerk here, but there is a lot of misinformation about birth control out there, and I try to spread good information when I can.

  • doggril

    Best as I can tell, they believe you can just shove kids right back up the vagina, as comments about how personal responsibility would fix all of this neatly ignore the whole “but what about the kids standing right in front of you? How does what their mother should or shouldn’t have done 10 years ago feed and clothe them NOW” thingy.

  • One good thing that has resulted from this incredibly long argument: I have finally got off my arse and volunteered for the local foodbank. Thank you, Mo, for getting me enraged enough about the plight of the poverty-striken to volunteer…

  • Also: always known them as brown onions. I have never before realised that non-Aussies call them something else.

    *is weirded out*

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    On the bonuses from this thread:

    I’ve noticed a whole bunch of new (at least to me) names in this conversation. Welcome, anyone who is new or newly delurked :)

  • JustoneK

    The best thing about this thread was the recipes.

  • belledame

    Hi.  I’ve made occasional attempts to be more spiritual.  Does anyone have any good ideas about how to deal with (even by distance) Republicans without being reduced to strangling rage?  Thanks. 

  • belledame

    Seriously?  I fucking KNOW that I’m luckier than 90% of the people here.  That’s neither here nor there.The point I’m making is, people shouldn’t HAVE to be lucky in order to afford the things they need to survive.  My point is that everyone should be able to get to a grocery store that sells fresh vegetables (organic or otherwise).  Everyone should get a good education, including comprehensive sex education.  Everyone should be able to eat, pay the rent, AND pay for utilities, and everyone who can’t afford to do so without help should be able to GET that help without having to be treated like some kind of subhuman.

    This really does seem to be what it boils down to.  Many of the problems we face as a society are only still problems because a significant part of the population doesn’t WANT to solve them; because they don’t believe their welfare is connected with those other people, and because whatever it is that makes them tick, they need other people doing worse than they are to make it all worthwhile.
    Yeah, part of it is just bureaucratic/systematic incompetence.  Part of it you could maybe chalk up to culture and personal experience.  Part of it is the hoarding impulse: more is more is based on -some- universal principle, I guess.  But a lot of it?  Some people didn’t get enough hugs or something as children, and they’re taking it out on the rest of us by being greedy, miserable bastards.  That’s pretty much the it.  

    What do you do with that?  Since we can’t actually strangle people and that really wouldn’t help in the long run anyway.  But, what?  Seriously. 

  • belledame

    Seriously, what do these people tell their kids when their little friend wants to use the crayons they’ve been bogarting all morning?  

  • It’s easier to share when the stuff you’re asked to share isn’t perceived as central to your being. It’s ironic that children, generally self-focussed anyway at that age, are also group-social enough that they normally put up only a nominal fuss before finding out that sharing means you get the thing back you gave away, under the usual circumstances.

    I guess the fact that society imbues money and the physical objects obtainable with money with such importance is why some adults seem to have forgotten how to share when nicely asked.

  • Guest

    They’re not; they’re a quarter at the one by me now, but, I mean, you know that condoms can fail? You know that women with blood-clotting issues are advised against using hormonal birth control? You know all this, right?

  • OuyevolituB

    Exactly.  It’s also probably why Planned Parenthoods are shutting down left and right in Texas.  Yes, it’s somewhat due to a-hole Rick Perry cutting funds.  But those funds only accounted for a third of the cost to run the clinics.  So, surely when news of the funding issue hit the news there should have been a massive influx of donation money to Planned Parenthood, right?  Well, there wasn’t and now three more clinics are closed in the Dallas area. 

    People suck.  It’s sad that we have to  rely on the government to forcefully take money from tax payers so we can give it to charity and not just do it for the sake of being a good person. 

  • Jenny Islander

    Re “financial stability”:

    You can work all you want for financial stability and still watch the rising cost of living eat every raise and then some.

    You can work all you want for financial stability and still watch your raises evaporate because you’re a great employee, but the company just can’t give raises right now.

    You can work all you want for financial stability and still not be able to find a job that will get you out of the hole.

    You can work all you want for financial stability and still have everything you worked for wiped out by the costs of catastrophic injury or illness in a country that provides no safety net.

    You can work all you want for financial stability and still have your credit rating shot to pieces because the bank screwed up.  So now you can’t get a loan to do the work you need to do on the house to make it more saleable.  Or get many jobs–they check credit now, you know.  Or replace your rusting car with something that doesn’t drink money.  Or buy new glasses, which aren’t covered under your vision plan.  And nobody will ever punish the bank.  It’s all on you and your bad choices.  You should have known about the secret memos proving their corruption years before they were leaked.

    Every pair of bootstraps comes pre-greased.

  • I have monster headphones.The monster beats headphones‘s concept is in the depths of my mind.I listen to music with monster diddybeats everyday life.

  • Tying this into the recent blogging about lotteries, I can see why people would buy lottery tickets.

    Hell, it’s why I buy them.

  • Dlainieb3

    It is apparent that you buy the party line, that “social conservatism” is evil. I am black, have been black ALL my life, and will die black, and know that we as a people are socially conservative by tradition. The politics of the welfare “nanny” state has been trying to create something else out of the masses of black humanity. The sorriest thing to happen to us as a people is to depend on government, especially welfare. We always saw that as a last resort for those down on their luck. It has now become a human right with no shame for those with no initiative to do any better.

    Our mommas have always worked, usually for the white woman, but they also raised the white woman’s children (a la “The Help”). In my city, the white women were not Republican, so don’t think that the animal that represents your political views makes you more or less racist.