September 29, 2012

Corbett, TANF, and The Welfare Waiver Myth

As usual, we start with an editorial at the Scaife-owned Tribune-Review:
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.
Note that the Scaife's braintrust uses the verb "to dispense with" in its description of the TANF work requirement.

Too bad that description just isn't true.  The work requirement under TANF is not being "dispensed with".  How do I know?  In its discussion of the now-debunked Romney ad on TANF, they say:
Work requirements are not simply being “dropped.” States may now change the requirements — revising, adding or eliminating them — as part of a federally approved state-specific plan to increase job placement. [Emphasis added.]
If you're not a fan of factcheck, how's about CNN?  They called the debunked Romney ad "nuts."

So the braintrust's frame is simply wrong.  But guess what we find when we dig just a little deeper?

First the Trib:
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.
Never a mention of the millions Scaife's given to the Commonwealth Foundation.

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