3. Of course they are weakening the work requirements: Bill Clinton says it’s “not true” that “the Obama administration ha[s] weakened the work requirements of the 1996 Welfare Reform.” Jonathan Alter righteously declares: ”Romney welfare attack on BO phony. It’s GOP govs who want the welfare waivers and they don’t weaken work requirements.” And he’s going on MSNBC to tell it! Kleinblogger Dylan Matthews tweets to me: “None of these waivers have been proposed let alone approved. I have no idea how you think you know their contents.” Er, because I’ve read the initial HHS memo on the waivers, and they give their examples of the sort of waivers they want to grant, and they weaken work requirements. For example, HHS said states “may want to consider”
Projects that test systematically extending the period in which vocational educational training or job search/readiness programs count toward participation rates, either generally or for particular subgroups, such as an extended training period for those pursuing a credential.
Translation: you’ll keep getting a welfare check for “training” or for “job readiness,” or for going to school for an “extended … period,”even though the law would otherwise say it’s time to get to work. This may be a good idea. It may be a bad idea. But it’s a weakening of the work requirement. (It’s also unfair to the poor suckers who just go to work without ever going on welfare–they don’t get subsidized while they’re “pursuing a credential.”)