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OBAMA AND WELFARE POLICY
OBAMA AND WELFARE POLICY
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Obama's Mushrooming Welfare State

  • From 2008 to 2011, federal welfare assistance (in America's 79 means-tested federal welfare programs) grew by 32%, from $563.413 billion to $745.84 billion annually. According to Heritage Foundation Senior Research Fellow Robert Rector, the spike in federal welfare spending during Obama’s first two years in office was two-and-a-half times greater than any previous increase in American history, after adjusting for inflation.
  • According to a CNS News report, “Obama’s spending proposals call for the largest increases in welfare benefits in U.S. history ... a spending total of $10.3 trillion over the next decade on various welfare programs. These include cash payments, food, housing, Medicaid and various social services for low-income Americans ...”


Obama Has Long Opposed Welfare Reform

  • When he was an Illinois state senator in 1996, Obama spoke from the floor against implementing the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA), which was ultimately passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. That welfare-reform bill placed certain limitations on how long a household could continue to receive benefits, and instituted a work requirement designed to move people off the welfare rolls and into paying jobs. Ultimately, PRWORS reduced the number of households participating in the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFCDC) program by 60%, from 5.1 million to 2 million.
  • Upon joining the U.S. Senate in January 2005, Obama quickly set out to undermine the welfare-reform law. Consider that in 2005, Congress closed a loophole that had permitted some states to circumvent the legislation by defining as “work” such activities as bed rest, personal care activities, massage, exercise, journaling, motivational reading, smoking cessation, weight loss promotion, participation in parent-teacher meetings, or helping friends or family with household tasks and errands. Obama strongly objected to the closure of that loophole.


Ending the Work Requirements for Welfare

  • On July 12, 2012, President Obama's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a policy directive eliminating the federal work requirements that were the essential ingredient of the 1996 welfare-reform bill (PRWORA). Thus did Obama promote the further expansion of the American welfare state.


Illegal Aliens Who Have Never Paid Taxes Are Now Eligible for Federal Tax "Refunds"

  • On February 11, 2015, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told Congress that even illegal immigrants who had never previously paid taxes would be able to claim back-refunds of the Earned Income Tax Credit – which allows even people with no tax liability to get money from the government – once they received Social Security numbers under President Obama's executive action on deportation. "Under the new program, if you get a Social Security number and you work, you'll be eligible to apply for the Earned Income Tax Credit," said Koskinen. This would be the case even "if you did not file" taxes, he elaborated, as long as the illegal immigrant could demonstrate that he or she had worked off-the-books during those years.
  • According to a Washington Times report: “That expands the universe of people eligible for the tax credit by millions. [Koskinen] said only about 700,000 illegal immigrants currently work and pay taxes using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, but as many as 4 million illegal immigrants could get a stay of deportation and work permits under the temporary amnesty, which would mean they would be eligible to claim back-refunds if they worked those years.”

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