Michigan Republicans, Republican-Fail — July 15, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Mich GOP kicks the poor while they are down, limits lifetime welfare to 4 years


Times are tough. People are out of work and many have been for a long time. You can almost imagine Michigan Republicans sitting around smoking cigars and drinking 20 year-old scotch wondering…wondering…

“Hmmmm…let’s see…we shortened the time they can get unemployment, slashed aid to the working poor, cut education, eviscerated labor unions (especially teachers hahahahahahaaa) and started taxing old people. Hmmm…what MORE can we do…? Wait! I got it! Let’s limit how long people can be on welfare!”

So, that’s just what they did.

More than 12,600 welfare recipients and their children will lose monthly checks averaging $511 effective Oct. 1.

The Senate passed a House bill today that imposes a strict 48-month time limit on benefits

There is no grandfather clause in the measure, approved 24-12, which tightens the original 2006 benefits cap that allowed for benefit extensions if the recipient was in job training or unable to work. That means most recipients who are or will be past 48 months on Oct. 1 will be cut off.

Gov. Rick Snyder supports the bill that would save some $77 million. Recipients could no longer apply to the Department of Human Services for an extension beyond the 48 months. Nor could DHS make allowances for those it determines should be exempt from work requirements.

On its face, this might seem reasonable. Four years should be enough for anyone for their whole life, right? Wrong, at least in some cases:

Jennessa Ramos is a working single parent with two young children. She’s had state benefits for nearly seven years, but come October 1st she could lose her cash assistance benefits.

“I want to be successful I want my kids to have the best but it’s hard when I can’t have help and secure myself,” said Ramos.

On Wednesday the Republican-controlled Senate passed a house bill that puts a 48 month cap on State welfare benefits.

“There are some that abuse it too,” said Senate Majority Leader Richard Richardville. “So it’s difficult in legislation to separate the abusers from those that really need it.”

“Sorry, baby. This bath water has got to go and you’ll just have to go with it. Down the drain you go! Bwaahahahahahaaaa!!!”

This is going to be yet another drain on local communities.

Democratic state Senator Morris Hood: “What’s going to happen to those folks? Where are those 12,000 people going to go the next day?”

“We can’t do everything for everybody,” says Republican state Senator Mark Jansen. “I think when we say to people, you have a four-year maximum that you can use these services, every month counts and so I think they will be motivated way before four years are over with to go out and start looking for other opportunities.”

Michigan’s welfare time limits would be among the strictest in the Midwest. Indiana limits benefits for adults to two years, with no limit on benefits for children.

Gilda Jacobs, president of the Michigan League for Human Services, says: “We really don’t know what the unintended consequences are going to be. I do not believe that the faith community and the non-profit world has the ability to absorb folks who are going to need extra help.”

Yeah, that’ll motivate ’em. Because it’s such a cushy life in Michigan living on the public dole. I was going to quit my job and go on welfare until they did this.

The Detroit Free Press woke from its slumber long enough to call this “unfairly harsh”.

Tough times make stricter welfare rules unfairly harsh

The legislation broadens Michigan’s lifetime 48-month cap and arguably gives Michigan the Midwest’s harshest welfare limits.

Employment and education programs that target low-income families — most of them federally funded — are already inadequate, and they won’t be beefed up to support the changes in Michigan’s welfare laws. The new cap would apply even to some families living in areas without access to the Jobs, Education and Training (JET) program.

Thousands of Michigan families, living in communities unprepared to care for them, are likely to fall back into poverty without a safety net, as Gilda Jacobs, CEO of the Michigan League for Human Services, has warned.

Even with additional job training, nearly 20 counties in Michigan have unemployment rates of 25% or higher. Where are people supposed to find gainful employment?


[T]he cap adopted by the state Senate, which would save the state roughly $70 million, would affect 12,600 families in the middle of a nasty recession and high unemployment. Some families would start losing payments, averaging $515 a month, as early as Oct. 1. Backers of the bill are foolishly assuming a robust recovery would create enough good-paying jobs to employ those losing assistance.

You want to know just how cold these son of bitches are? Check this out:

Republicans rejected a Democratic amendment that would have provided for extensions for recipients living in counties where the unemployment rate exceeds 25 percent of the statewide average.

Cold. Heartless. Utterly predictable. But, hey, it saves them $77 million. That should be good for another percentage point or two tax break for their business buddies, eh?