In Michigan The Safety Net Will Be Less Of A Hammock
You cannot receive welfare from the State of Michigan for more than four years, cumulatively, under a new law signed by Republican Governor Rick Snyder. There are a myriad of exceptions, though, and federal programs like food stamps and Medicaid will still be offered. But the message from the State of Michigan (which has one of the worst performing state economies in the nation) is that the safety net isn’t going to be a hammock any more.
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday signed into law a stricter, four-year lifetime limit on cash welfare benefits, prompting advocates for the poor to warn that tens of thousands of residents will find themselves without cash assistance on Oct. 1.
Michigan’s first-year Republican chief executive said the state will offer exemptions to the limit for those with a disability who can’t work, those who care for a disabled spouse or child and those who are 65 or older and don’t qualify for Social Security benefits or receive very low benefits.
Some recipients who are the victims of domestic violence also may be temporarily exempted.
“We are returning cash assistance to its original intent as a transitional program to help families while they work toward self-sufficiency,” Snyder said in a statement. He noted that the state still will help the poor by offering food stamps, health care coverage through Medicaid, child care and emergency services.
Then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, signed a bill that created a four-year limit starting in 2007. But that law exempted many welfare recipients, including those whose caseworkers said they were making progress toward finding employment.
The 2010 election of Snyder and the simultaneous Republican takeover of the Michigan House gave the GOP a free hand to set its own course on public assistance.
According to the article, some 41,000 people are expected to lose benefits on October 1st thanks to this bill. That, to me, sounds like an enormous savings for the taxpayers of Michigan. Much needed savings, given the state of the state’s budget.
And these are exactly the sort of reforms America needs. We need fewer people on the dole, and more people pulling their own weight. Politicians can talk until they’re blue in the face about how callous and uncaring these policies are, but at the end of the day if we are to be a thriving and prosperous society our citizens must care for themselves.
Some will never do that as long as there’s a government program to lean on.Tags: michigan, rick snyder, welfare