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COMMENTARY OF THE DAY
Voice Of America
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October 27, 2021
Dems have gone more mad. Democrats used to be the party of working people. Now they sneer at people who work hard. Democrats pushing to pass the Build Back Better bill want a single parent with two kids to be able to take home well over $31,000 a year in cash and noncash federal benefits, tax-free, without having to work. The handouts are even higher in places like New York, which offers generous state benefits too. So why get a job? Nonworking adults are already eligible for food stamps, housing vouchers and health care. Now Democrats want to send them monthly checks if they have kids as well: $300 per kid. The checks — nicknamed Biden Bucks — originated earlier this year to help tide over families who lost their jobs because of COVID. They’ll continue through the end of 2021, but the Biden team wants to convert them into a permanent entitlement beginning in 2022.
House Republicans mock it as “cash-for-kids.” If the bill passes with this entitlement included, economists estimate that at least 1.5 million mostly single adults with children will leave the workforce and sit on the couch instead, while the rest of us pay their tab. Everyone wants to help kids, but Republicans and one lone Democratic senator, Joe Manchin (W.Va) oppose handing out cash to able-bodied parents without requiring them to work or at least train for a job. Democrats and their media allies bash that as cruelty. Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman attacks work requirements as a “time tax and ritual humiliation” on poor people. Really? The rest of us have to work, and there’s nothing humiliating about it.
The political battle over Biden Bucks is key to where we as a nation are headed.
In 1996, President Bill Clinton and a bipartisan majority in Congress passed welfare reform, eliminating cash welfare without work or job preparation. It worked. Child poverty dropped from 13 percent to less than 4 percent; teen pregnancies and welfare dependence plummeted. Democrats want to undo these reforms. Biden himself supported the work requirement then, but he says he’s adamantly against it now. So much for his blue-collar cred. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman admits eliminating the work requirement “represents a philosophical break with the past few decades” and “the obsessive fear that poor people might take advantage of government aid by choosing not to work.”
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