We have expressed several times

We have expressed several times our admiration for Minnesota’s new Governor, Tim Pawlenty. In particular, we have endorsed Tim’s proposal to reform Minnesota’s welfare system by enforcing work requirements, a policy which is consistent with an article we wrote a couple of years ago contrasting Minnesota’s welfare system with Wisconsin’s much more work-oriented approach. (See “Welfare Reform” link at left.) Here is more evidence that Tim’s efforts are on the right track: “Anti-poverty groups say Pawlenty’s plan for welfare system will fail”.
The inevitable failure of Pawlenty’s proposal was announced yesterday by “a coalition of social service, labor and religious groups.” Why? Because it is based on “a failed experiment in welfare reform in Wisconsin.” The groups attacking Pawlenty were particularly incensed by his proposal that people who refuse to follow the State’s work rules should have their welfare benefits cut off. (At present, the worst that can happen if someone repeatedly refuses to work or to participate in training is a 30% cut in benefits, and that sanction is rarely applied.) Yesterday’s “coalition” explained that “For us, the sanction is a red flag that the person needs more help to get them on track.” So that consistently flouting the State’s rules results in “more help,” not a loss of benefits. As to Wisconsin’s “failed experiment,” that state’s “W-2” program reduced welfare rolls by 90%. We call that success; the fact that the welfare “rights” lobby calls it failure speaks volumes about their real agenda. These “anti-poverty” groups are in fact pro-poverty.


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