Back in May, California’s Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed to eliminate cash assistance for the state’s poorest families altogether. Legislators, poverty researchers and poor parents alike greeted with astonishment his unprecedented call to drop the state’s welfare-to-work program, known as CalWORKs.
CalWORKs, an acronym for California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids, is the state”s welfare-to-work program. It replaced another program, Aid to Families With Dependent Children, in 1997 as part of federal welfare reform. While the old program, enacted during the Great Depression, gave poor parents direct cash grants, CalWORKs and other programs nationwide require recipients to work or look for work; provide job training and child care; and set a 60-month limit on benefits (which is why the federal program is called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). TANF gives states broad discretion in how to spend their federal block grants. Since the program was enacted, the number of people on welfare in California and nationwide has dropped dramatically.
The governor’s proposal would make California the only state in the nation to reject Temporary Assistance to Needy Families block grants, the federal program that allows states to draw funds as long as they impose strict time limits and work requirements on recipients.
Rejecting the $3.7 billion federal grant would save the state its matching portion of $1.8 billion. But it also would result in the loss of $600 million in federal stimulus funds — money economists and poverty watchers say is desperately needed to invigorate a moribund economy.
Today Governor Schwarzenegger of California has cut $656m from welfare and healthcare programs as he strives to curb a $26bn budget deficit. Arnold Schwarzenegger invoked his veto authority on Tuesday to cut the cash from state programs as he signed an $85bn budget plan for 2010.
“Those are ugly cuts and I’m the only one that is really responsible for those cuts because the legislature left – they didn’t want to make those cuts,” he said. The additional cuts include $80m from child welfare programs, $61m from county administration over government sponsored healthcare for the poor and $52m from Aids prevention and treatment projects.
Healthy Families, a low-cost health insurance programme for poor children, will lose $50m, while $6.2m will be cut from state parks.
Schwarzenegger said that he used his veto powers to fill a reserve fund that he says is needed for times for unexpected emergencies such as earthquakes and wildfires.
He said additional cuts were needed to build a $500 million reserve fund after the state Assembly rejected about $1.1 billion in revenues from local transportation funding and by allowing new offshore oil drilling. With much of state spending tied up by federal and constitutional requirements, the Schwarzenegger administration wants to ensure the state has a cash cushion in case of emergencies such as earthquakes and wildfires. California’s economy has been hit by the housing market slump and high unemployment, and the latest efforts to close a $26 billion shortfall came just five months after lawmakers and the governor ended months of negotiations to close a previous $42 billion deficit. The governor and lawmakers hope the revised spending plan will end California’s cash crisis and let the state stop issuing IOUs. Schwarzenegger’s finance director, Michael Genest, said it would take days for finance officials to finish analyzing the revised budget’s impact on cash flow.
“It’s not going to happen overnight, but they’re going to work on it,” Schwarzenegger said of Genest and the state treasurer and controller. Genest warned that even with the revised budget deal, California will need to borrow $8 billion to $10 billion to cover its cash needs this year, and the state is likely to face another $7 billion to $8 billion deficit in the 2010-11 fiscal year.
Legislature Sabre Rattling
But Darrell Steinberg, the state senate president and a Democrat, criticized the decision. “We will fight to restore every dollar of additional cuts to health and human services … This is not the last word,” Steinberg said in a statement.
California’s budget deficit stems from the national economic crisis. State tax revenues have fallen after hundreds of people in California lost their jobs and their homes. The compromise 2010 budget plan was formulated in the hope that the state will no longer have to issue IOU-style promissory notes to vendors. But Michael Genest, Schwarzenegger’s finance director, said on Tuesday that California will probably need to borrow between $8bn and $10bn to cover its immediate cash needs for the rest of 2009.The state could face a budget defcit of between $7bn and $8bn in the 2010-11 fiscal year, he said.
Why Are People Poor?
This question is often overlooked when deciding a budget for a state or a nation. All of the leading industrial powers now provide for the poor. But none of them ask this simple question, why are people poor.
The answer is simple, and may not be solved by the state at all:
The lack of the family unit
As we become more and more industrialized, basic human needs, such as a family unit are lost. People are too busy. People are rushing to make a paycheck. People are struggling to get ahead, which is a losing battle because the rich are looting, pillaging and raping the government to take the middle-class’s money. People are moving away from family to take jobs elsewhere. The people they leave behind are relegated to the fate they built for themselves. People don’t know how to be good parents to begin with.
With a loss of the family unit, such things as young mothers being horrible examples of motherhood are far more prevalent. With the loss of the family unit, those that would financially provide for someone normally is lost.
We all talk about this silly debate about “gay marriage”. Again, government has wrestled the debate from the public and made it governmental issue. It was never a governmental issue to begin with. Government didn’t invent marriage. The church invented marriage. Government simply was forced to recognize it. Private companies were forced to recognize it. If then the people or the church finally takes a stand [and they are the wimpiest people on the planet right now] and says it’s a sacred institution, not a secular one, then government would have to bow out. Therefore if you say marriage is a sacred institution, then maybe the church can heal the society. Surely, the government cannot legislate the family unit. With that recognition then, people can finally realize taht government can’t provide answers in cases of questions of poverty.
Why are you poor? Because you have no family. Look at all the “poor” people that came to our shores and made it, the Jews, the Italians, the Irish. They made it because they stuck together. For those who are too obtuse to recognize this, and get on their high horse talking about segregation is wrong, they really need to just go die somewhere in the corner. Actually, the only people they scream this at, are Blacks. The Jews, Italian, Irish and Asian all kept to themselves, grew and thrived and no one said anything. As soon as two Black people get together, we have cops, abolitionist, de-segregationist, law suits all coming to seperate Black people.
This has to be said. Mind you, there are more poor White people in America, than the entier population of Black people in America, but normally you don’t hear that. People are made to think that poverty is a Black thing. Some of the wealthiest people in America are Black people. Some of the leading corporations in America have Black CEO’s, members of the board, upper tier executives, but you don’t hear about that.
Company: American Express
Position: Chairman and CEO
Company: Delphi Corporation
Position: Chief Executive Officer and President
Company: Aetna Inc.
Position: Chairman and CEO
Company: Xerox Corporation
Position: CEO, Director
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