Share This Page

Corbett on welfare waivers: No thanks

| Friday, Sept. 28, 2012, 9:01 p.m.

In no uncertain terms, Gov. Tom Corbett has rejected the Obama administration's re-election-year pander allowing states to dispense with the work requirement under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

What Pennsylvania's welfare recipients deserve is a lifeline, not a noose.

“The flexibility offered through this potential waiver will simply lock states into another round of caseload expansion and escalate welfare spending,” Gov. Corbett writes. “More importantly, it will handicap our ability to ensure that an effective safety net is preserved for the truly needy ... .”

That's precisely what happened previously when Pennsylvania's TANF program went limp on the work requirement — and full-time job placement for adult recipients fell “significantly,” Corbett writes.

Moreover, of six states that have reduced their welfare rolls during the recession, four match work requirements with time limits, writes Elizabeth Stelle for the Commonwealth Foundation. Nationwide, “stagnant welfare rolls experienced unprecedented declines” after welfare reform, with its work requirement, in 1996, according to The Heritage Foundation. Millions of families transitioned from the government dole to work and newfound independence.

Work restores not only a paycheck but self-dignity and self-respect. As Corbett says, Pennsylvanians “deserve better” than a welfare redux.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.