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May 8, 2024

Beltway Liberals Are Playing Name Games to Expand the Welfare State

Higher prices aren’t the only kind of inflation coming out of Washington these days. Wildly inflated group names are on the rise, too — and they’re being used as a tool to expand government welfare benefits given even to able-bodied adults without dependents. That’s the term long used by the Department of Agriculture to describe those in their prime working years…

April 4, 2024

Biden’s ‘Tax Cut’ Rhetoric Is Really Just Code For Benefit Increases

President Biden’s rhetoric about his new budget proposal suggests it is full of tax relief for working families. For example, one White House fact sheet is headlined “The President’s Budget Cuts Taxes for Working Families and Makes Big Corporations and the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share.” Taking from the rich to give more to working (and even non-working) families is a…

February 9, 2024

Resolving to Learn Lessons from Record Pandemic Fraud

Congress doesn’t make New Year’s resolutions, but if it did, digesting our new report on pandemic fraud would be a good one. Released last week, the new report (“Pandemic Unemployment Fraud in Context: Causes, Costs, and Solutions”) details the how and why of record unemployment benefit fraud during the pandemic. Enacting even some of our policy resolutions…

January 11, 2024

To Better Promote Work, Stop Subsidizing More Benefit Collection

Never shy about lampooning government dysfunction, Ronald Reagan famously said that if you want more of something, subsidize it. But even the Gipper couldn’t have imagined today’s growing zeal to subsidize getting more people on government benefits, which undermines work and leaves too many on the sidelines of the economy. Welfare programs achieve that dubious distinction…

July 26, 2023

How Worker Benefits Turn into Welfare

The disparity between what the federal government collects in taxes and what it spends was never greater than during the pandemic, when annual deficits peaked at $3.1 trillion in 2020. Even today, when the president swears Bidenomics is “working everywhere,” annual deficits exceed $1.5 trillion, and are expected to only grow. One little-noticed driver of record deficits was…

June 27, 2023

House Republican Plan Penalizes Marriage

If there was something liberals used to hate most about welfare reform, it was policies that promoted more work and smaller welfare caseloads. For example, during debate about 1996 reforms, Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun (D-IL) asked what would happen to families if they didn’t meet proposed work requirements: “Do we put them on trains and send them out West?” Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) said those reforms “can only encourage a…

June 14, 2023

Why Behavioral Requirements Are Vital to Welfare Programs

Just as the welfare-to-work policies of the Clinton administration jump-started a remarkable improvement in the lives of black women, work requirements, such as those included in the recent debt ceiling bill , have proven successful in other programs. Improving behaviors is crucial if we want more struggling families to distance themselves from poverty. Unfortunately, many liberals have labeled these efforts racist,…

May 3, 2023

Work-for-Welfare Gains Traction Among Republicans

Last week, U.S. House Republicans included expanded work requirements for Medicaid, food stamps, and cash welfare benefits in their legislation to extend the federal debt limit. As employers continue to struggle to find workers, states, too, are trying to prod benefit recipients on the sidelines of the economy back into work. Republican members of the Wisconsin assembly recently approved a…

June 15, 2022

Second Time’s the Charm?

Early last year, Senator Mitt Romney proposed a new approach to family policy that exposed some significant rifts among right-leaning policy wonks who care about fighting poverty and supporting family formation. This week, Romney (together with fellow Republicans Richard Burr and Steve Daines) has offered a revised version of the idea that might just have what it takes…