Sunday, October 7, 2012

Lyin' Ryan Betrays Romney, Walker

About six weeks ago, Mitt Romney was going around the country spreading his race-baiting to get his base all riled up. Romney was accusing President Barack Obama of making it easier for "those people" to stay on economic assistance:
Many of those voters are economically disaffected, and the Romney campaign has been trying to reach them with appeals built around an assertion that Mr. Obama is making it easier for welfare recipients to avoid work. The Romney campaign is airing an advertisement falsely charging that Mr. Obama has “quietly announced” plans to eliminate work and job training requirements for welfare beneficiaries, a message Mr. Romney’s aides said resonates with working-class voters who see government as doing nothing for them.
A couple of days later, Scott Walker threw in on the race-baiting by sending a letter to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. His attempt to besmirch Obama backfired when she responded and corrected his misstatements and told him that it simply puts the onus of getting people to work on him, something which he is simply incapable and/or unwilling to do.

But there was something that Romney and Walker didn't take into consideration when they launched their attack.

That something was Lyin' Ryan, who did the very thing that they accused Obama of (emphasis mine):
The bill allows states to consolidate all state-federal aid programs, such as aid for Women, Infants and Children, food stamps and TANF into a single “Workforce Investment Fund.” But if they do, all the eligibility requirement for those programs fall by the wayside. “Thus, for example, if TANF funds were consolidated into the WIF,” CRS’ David Bradley explains, “TANF program requirements (e.g., work requirements) may no longer apply to that portion of funding because the TANF funding would not exist (i.e., it would be part of the WIF and thus subject to WIF program requirements).” Translation: State governors would be able to eliminate the welfare work requirement entirely by creating a Workforce Investment Fund. That’s a much bigger change than anything the Obama administration has proposed on welfare.

This isn’t unprecedented. The Bush administration pushed for a welfare “superwaiver” that would allow states to waive just about every requirement, including the work requirement. “The superwaiver proposal passed the House three times: in 2002, 2003, and 2005,” CRS’ Gene Falk writes (pdf). “The legislation would have had the effect of allowing TANF work participation standards to be waived.” All three times the proposal was backed by Paul Ryan, John Boehner, Rob Portman and most other Republicans in the House. (The relevant roll call votes are here, here and here.)

Waiving the work requirement may or may not be a good idea. But despite what the Romney-Ryan campaign’s ads say, Paul Ryan is the only person on the national ticket to have supported doing it.
No wonder they dropped that line of attack so quickly. Not only did they have their facts wrong, but their rock start VP nominee did the thing that they thought was so bad.

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