Obama Unilaterally Rewrites Welfare Reform
July 14, 2012 6 Comments
Unreported in the mainstream press yesterday, President Obama gutted the 90′s welfare reform law. The will of Congress in passing welfare reform, which was of course signed by President Clinton, was to force work requirements on welfare recipients. That was the whole point of the reform package. So of course Obama is eliminating work requirements thus stripping the law of its entire point and purpose. It’s yet another in a long line of lawless executive actions by Obama. While the media is absurdly questioning whether Romney is a felon, the current President is unilaterally rewriting law in violation of the Constitution.
So what is Obama really up to here? No doubt Obama didn’t like welfare reform when it passed in the mid 90′s. But if he didn’t like the work requirements one wonders why he didn’t push for repeal when he had a 60% Democrat majority in the House and Senate. If Obama believed he could rewrite the entire law via executive order, why didn’t he do that in 2009, 2010 or 2011? Why would Obama choose to rewrite this law, affecting 3 million welfare recipients, in July 2012? On its face it simply makes no sense. Surely the people on welfare who don’t want to work would have loved to not have a work requirement earlier in the Obama administration.
The answer lies in the 1936 election, which Obama seems to be trying to follow. Part of FDR’s New Deal was the Works Progress Administration. The WPA became a government arm of the Democrat Party. The WPA was used as a patronage reward in various cities across the country. It just so happened that Mayors and cities aligned with FDR got the money and the Mayor got to put his guys in charge of the WPA. The WPA was largely funded with discretionary funds, thus enabling FDR and the Democrats to direct funds to where it was politically most expedient. Did I mention people in the WPA, some 3.5 million at the time of the 1936 election, were often forced to donate money to the Democrats lest they lose their WPA job?
So you ask what does the WPA have to do with Obama’s lawless welfare reform rewrite? In October 1936 FDR magically increased pay for those on the WPA rolls. Those folks got that money right before the election. Keep in mind, the economy in 1936 was terrible as the unemployment rate was still 17%. FDR pulled a series of stunts, increasing pay for large groups of welfare recipients and assorted New Deal workers before both the 1936 and 1940 elections. With 3.5 million WPA workers getting more money directly from an order of FDR it surprised no one when 85% of them voted to re-elect the President.
Obama is looking at FDR’s moves in 1936 and 1940 and trying to translate them into a victory in 2012. He’s essentially handing welfare recipients a free gift. Now they get money without having to do any work. Obama is banking on them remembering this at election time, just three months after the no work requirements go into effect. Had he done this in 2009, the three million that are affected would have forgotten. They’re more likely to remember what happened three months before the election. In short, Obama believes he can win this election by appeasing various groups of constituents via executive order. He believes that these law changes, specifically ignoring Congress passed laws, will be felt by his constituents and they’ll then show up on election day.
It’s an interesting, if lawless, strategy. The question is where do these three million lazy welfare recipients live. If they’re in New York, California, Illinois or Texas, Obama is wasting his time. But if there are a significant number in Ohio or Florida he may be onto something. As a former community organizer, perhaps he believes there is general resentment of the work requirements in the black community and thus he believes this move will get blacks who aren’t on welfare to the polls on election day. It’s becoming clear that for the Obama campaign this election is about turnout, specifically whether he can get blacks, Hispanics and other groups to show up on election day.
For the rest of us we have to wonder what’s next. He’s already unilaterally rewritten America’s immigration laws. He’s already refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. Now he’s rewriting welfare laws. This President isn’t only picking and choosing which laws he will enforce, he’s also picking and choosing which laws he will rewrite. He’s ignoring the Constitutional order of government, all to suit his voters. It makes one wonder what he would do as a lame duck for four years.