Welfare reform is officially on life support in NYC

posted at 11:31 am on March 8, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

While it may seem counterintuitive to some readers, there was a time when New York City was actually a role model for welfare reform (and workfare) in the United States. During the period from 1995 to 2000, the welfare rolls in the Big Apple actually dropped from more than 1.1 million to a bit over 500,000 – essentially cutting it in half. But that was before the arrival of brand spanking new Democrat Mayor Bill deBlasio. Among his many other “progressive” reforms which are beginning to roll out, the New York Post issues a dire warning regarding his plans to install Steve Banks as the city’s new welfare commissioner.

Banks is uniquely qualified to return New York to its former status as America’s dependency capital. For the last quarter-century, he has been suing the city over its welfare and homeless policies, inevitably seeking looser rules for eligibility, fewer requirements for work or lesser sanctions for noncompliance. As a result, he is deeply versed in the city’s internal protocols governing the distribution of assistance, and already understands where the regulatory levers are to open wide the aid spigot.

Banks is best known for a 25-year-long lawsuit that conferred on families claiming homelessness a court-enforceable right to housing at taxpayer expense — an entitlement that exists nowhere else in the country. But Banks and his Legal Aid Society have been equally diligent in fighting welfare reform. Their principles throughout are in perfect sync with de Blasio’s view that government, rather than personal initiative and self-control, is the ultimate guarantor of individual success.

If Banks believes there are better solutions to poverty than government programs, he hasn’t let on. “[Family] homelessness is a horrible symbol of a failure of a whole broad range of government policies,” he said in 2007. Actually, the steady stream of single mothers seeking taxpayer-provided apartments is a symbol of family breakdown; the number of married, working, drug-free families claiming homelessness is close to zero.

Banks is a disaster waiting to happen in terms of the city’s financial and social stability. As the Post editorial points out, his long history of statements and professional pursuits has left little doubt that he feels someone earning $20,000 a year is no better off than someone collecting $20,000 worth of government benefits — even though the former is engaged in life-affirming activity and has a real chance at future advancement.

How will the long term effects of Banks’ stewardship sit with New Yorkers? It may not do much to bolster deBlasio’s numbers if the homeless problem begins to swell once again, and his initial standing in the polls is nothing to write home about. The mayor’s job approval is already underwater after the botched (some say intentionally) handling of snow removal following the recent storms, as well as his SUV caravan being seen violating traffic laws and his attempts to muscle the police department after a crony of his was arrested.

Oddly enough, though, the Mayor seems to have one thing in common with Barack Obama. While his job approval numbers are south of 50, nearly 60% still say they “like him” and 65% feel that he “represents people like them.” I suppose that’s what it takes to succeed in New York City these days. Effective job performance doesn’t hold a candle to they really, really like me.


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“How do you like me now, Big Apple taxpayers!!!!”

ladyingray on March 8, 2014 at 11:34 AM

NYC = one humongous liberal slime pit. It’s hopeless, so just keep it from oozing beyond its borders.

rplat on March 8, 2014 at 11:37 AM

It’s really embarrassing that anyone would care about whether a politician is “likable” or “cares”, because as far as I can tell those things have nothing to do with competence or ability to execute sane policies.

JEM on March 8, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Using imminent domain, De Blasio and Banks seize WTC 1, convert it to housing for the homeless.

BobMbx on March 8, 2014 at 11:45 AM

I had dinner the other night with someone who is well-established in the NYC/Broadway entertainment industry who seemed quite negative about this clown. Thinks he’s probably way too liberal to be anything resembling effective in running the city.

dpduq on March 8, 2014 at 11:47 AM

…New York gets what they deserve…it’s all downhill for them…again!

KOOLAID2 on March 8, 2014 at 11:50 AM

During the period from 1995 to 2000, the welfare rolls in the Big Apple actually dropped from more than 1.1 million to a bit over 500,000 – essentially cutting it in half.

Anyone else know what happened during those years…

ladyingray on March 8, 2014 at 11:54 AM

The mayor’s job approval is already underwater after the botched (some say intentionally) handling of snow removal following the recent storms, as well as his SUV caravan being seen violating traffic laws and his attempts to muscle the police department after a crony of his was arrested.

At least he (or a subordinate) didn’t close a lane a GWB.

Akzed on March 8, 2014 at 11:56 AM

It’s really embarrassing that anyone would care about whether a politician is “likable” or “cares”, because as far as I can tell those things have nothing to do with competence or ability to execute sane policies.

JEM on March 8, 2014 at 11:44 AM

You have to raise the voting age to even have a chance at what you seem to be wanting. :) Even then, you’d have to get more people to emotionally mature beyond High School. Until then, this is and stays a bizarre popularity contest, rules for making choices intact.

. . . maybe we could turn off the TVs, get past some of –Nah; that’s crazy talk.

Axe on March 8, 2014 at 11:59 AM

Banks is a disaster waiting to happen in terms of the city’s financial and social stability.

Excellent.

Midas on March 8, 2014 at 12:17 PM

It’s really embarrassing that anyone would care about whether a politician is “likable” or “cares”, because as far as I can tell those things have nothing to do with competence or ability to execute sane policies.

JEM on March 8, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Unfortunately, that’s a solid majority of voters. It’ either personal traits/perceptions, or pseudo issues like birth control or binders of women.

forest on March 8, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Yep, here we go again – or, still.That ‘Progressive’s” policies will drive the best of the worst from that pestilential hole, but they’ll still take their leftist mind-set with them, telling the locals,”Well, THIS is how we do it up North”…

vnvet on March 8, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Are you having fun yet NYers?This clown is just warming up. Enjoy the suck!

jeffinsjvca on March 8, 2014 at 12:28 PM

NYC = Detroit 2.0

They are already chasing off a chunk of their tax base. Things can unravel there quickly.

eMatters on March 8, 2014 at 12:30 PM

It’s really embarrassing that anyone would care about whether a politician is “likable” or “cares”, because as far as I can tell those things have nothing to do with competence or ability to execute sane policies.

JEM on March 8, 2014 at 11:44 AM

Unfortunately, that’s a solid majority of voters. It’ either personal traits/perceptions, or pseudo issues like birth control or binders of women.

forest on March 8, 2014 at 12:19 PM

A solid majority of voters? Hell, it’s a solid majority of Hot Gas commenters, whom I’ve always liked to think are a cut above average in the intellect department. We are so effed.

gryphon202 on March 8, 2014 at 12:36 PM

How about putting an ankle monitor on every supporter refusing to allow them to leave the City until their term is up. Reap/sow- fools.

hillsoftx on March 8, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Left in 2011, haven’t looked back (visits yo family and friends notwithstanding).

NY2SC on March 8, 2014 at 12:43 PM

In related news…

NYC soon to be on life support thanks to LIV and Manhattan elite limo liberals voting for a communist clown as mayor.

Even some “homeless” are concerned that they may have to sell their 60 inch flat-screen TV’s and downgrade to puny little 55 inchers.

ZeusGoose on March 8, 2014 at 12:44 PM

“yo” = “to”

NY2SC on March 8, 2014 at 12:44 PM

His approval is underwater already? But he’s not even hung up his coat in the mayor’s office. That didn’t take long. Too bad, NYC, you don’t get a Mulligan.

MJBrutus on March 8, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Getting the government they voted for……good and hard.

iurockhead on March 8, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Has the exodus, the spreading diaspora of NY high-achievers started yet? It would be interesting to track that.

iurockhead on March 8, 2014 at 1:04 PM

New York deserves everything they get for electing these fools. Zero sympathy.

rmkdbq on March 8, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Has the exodus, the spreading diaspora of NY high-achievers started yet? It would be interesting to track that.

iurockhead on March 8, 2014 at 1:04 PM

It started when Giuliani left office, it will go into hi-gear now. I have a love/hate relationship with NYC, I’ve lived/worked there, I have family there, but I can’t help but think that they are getting what they deserve. It’s going to get much worse, too, and they will never stop making the same mistakes over and over.
Those charter schools were saving lives, giving kids who had no chance what so ever a slim one. Of course this trotskyite POS (Deblasio) had to put an end to them. He simply murdered thousands of futures to placate a teachers union that is so corrupt that it prevents child molesters from being fired.

V7_Sport on March 8, 2014 at 1:28 PM

The Mayor’s latest moniker that seems to be catching on is: “One Term”.

diogenes on March 8, 2014 at 1:30 PM

deBlasio is going to lay waste to everything Giuliani ever did for NYC. Kinda like what Obama has done in Iraq by laying waste to all the American blood shed for that country.

HiJack on March 8, 2014 at 2:05 PM

Obama, deBlasio, Carter, Pelosi. All are examples of the failure of democracies. Man simply cannot rule himself properly.

HiJack on March 8, 2014 at 2:07 PM

The Mayor’s latest moniker that seems to be catching on is: “One Term”.

diogenes on March 8, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Is a recall election allowed in NYC?

slickwillie2001 on March 8, 2014 at 3:07 PM

It’s only a matter of time before the NYSE relocates to Dallas.

Another Drew on March 8, 2014 at 4:02 PM

I am completely looking forward to Times Square being a complete sh**hole den of pimps, hookers, and dope-slingers again.

Although, that’s a step up from what it is now, a theme-park for the dull-witted.

And the next-gen CBGB will certainly produce a better noise than the most recent effluent, Lady Gag-me.

So, New Yorkers will get their voted-for government -good and hard- and the rest of will get real entertainment value from the Rotten Apple once again.

Win-win.

M240H on March 8, 2014 at 5:38 PM

“yo” = “to”

NY2SC on March 8, 2014 at 12:44 PM

This street lingo is more complicated than I thought. So what does “dog” equal?

mankai on March 8, 2014 at 6:35 PM

Just don’t ask ME to bail them out.

SouthernGent on March 8, 2014 at 7:04 PM

It’s only a matter of time before the NYSE relocates to Dallas.

Another Drew on March 8, 2014 at 4:02 PM

There’s space for them in downtown Dallas. In the Internet age, there’s no reason for them to be located in NYC.

Ward Cleaver on March 9, 2014 at 1:16 AM

How about putting an ankle monitor on every supporter refusing to allow them to leave the City until their term is up. Reap/sow- fools.

hillsoftx on March 8, 2014 at 12:41 PM

But this time, Snake Plisken is golfing in Florida and can’t be interrupted bothered.

Gene Hunt on March 10, 2014 at 1:45 PM

I am not From U.S but last year i visited New York and i was astonished to saw the city, one word awesome. I hope the welfare organization have worked too hard. Go ahead.

legal assistance of western ny

JasonMarks on April 24, 2014 at 10:01 AM