I swear I have original content stewing. However, work is heavy so here’s a good re-blog.
Yesterday, the Republican Study Committee issued a press release announcing one of its first ideas for tackling spending: eliminating the TANF Emergency Fund, which the RSC says would save $25 billion over the next decade “by restoring welfare reform.” There are so many problems with this proposal that it’s hard to know where to begin. Here are the facts:
- The TANF Emergency Fund no longer exists. It expired on September 30. You can’t achieve savings by ending a program that has already ended.
- Nobody has ever proposed spending $25 billion on the fund. Earlier this year the House passed a bill to extend it for one year, at a cost of $2.5 billion — one-tenth of the savings that the RSC claims.
- The TANF Emergency Fund is welfare reform. In fact, the fund represents welfare reform at its best: it has enabled states to expand work-focused programs within TANF despite high unemployment and a weak economy. Using the fund, states placed about 250,000 low-income parents and youth in subsidized jobs, mostly in the private sector.
Republicans are proposing savings from non-existing programs because they can only agree on tax cuts. The Republican party hasn’t been fiscally conservative since the days of Eisenhower. Every time a Republican tax cut makes it into law, the deficits open wider.
That or House Republicans are so ignorant of the government they’re trying to run that they honestly don’t know the program ended September 30th.
Which is scarier? I think the former is.