Category: Welfare Reform

Working Toward Welfare Reform

By Benita M. Dodd To hear progressive groups tell it, states are hurting low-income Americans by requiring “food stamp” recipients to find work or face three-month limits on receiving benefits. Many being forced off the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are unable to prove that they are disabled and need continued assistance, goes the mantra, and anyone urging these individuals off the program and into jobs has no compassion for these hapless, helpless, poor Americans. The narrative is far from the truth. Requiring able-bodied adults without dependents at home to work provides a helpful, productive path to self-sufficiency.   Time limits are nothing new to SNAP, which “helps low-income individuals and families purchase food so they can obtain a nutritious… View Article

Georgia Works! Through Jobs Programs for Homeless

By Bill McGahan Georgia Works! helps formerly incarcerated and homeless men become productive citizens. Since our founding in 2013 we have helped 311 men get jobs, remain clean and get an apartment, and virtually all have not returned to prison. We have an additional 170 men in the program today, all working toward full-time employment. When a man comes to our voluntary program we ask him to do three things: Be clean of alcohol and drugs (we drug test everybody weekly) Take no handouts from the government or anyone else Work Over the course of 6-12 months we work with each of our clients on their “obstacles” to employment: the lack of a driver’s license, wage garnishments, criminal history, lack… View Article
A little over a year ago, Georgia Public Policy Foundation President Kelly McCutchen’s commentary, “The Dignity of Work,” shared the scope and vision of the nonprofit organization Georgia Works. In September, Ross Coker, the Foundation’s Director of Research and Outreach, visited the organization for an update. By Ross Coker Ross Coker Georgia Works and its founder Bill McGahan exude a driven sense of purpose, a Spartan outlook on why they’re there and what they do. The organization occupies an old city jail facility, nestled among other justice center buildings near downtown Atlanta. McGahan is quick to point out, “There’s nobody here, you’ll notice. That’s because they’re all out working.” This is an apt summary of the mission of… View Article

Guide to the Issues: Welfare Reform

Principles: Helping people move from dependency to self-sufficiency should be the primary focus of the safety net. Making work pay is essential. Working more hours or getting a pay raise should not set families back financially Programs should target benefits to the most needy. Enrollment should be coordinated to eliminate fraud and abuse and enhance efficiency. Programs should be temporary rather than permanent, with few exceptions. Recommendations: Increase public education on the availability of the Earned Income Tax Credit Strengthen work requirements Implement a cash diversion program Integrate public and private services to improve efficiency and accountability Implement commonsense welfare fraud prevention practices Facts: The federal government spent $799 billion on 129 programs for lower-income Americans in 2012.[1]Together… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd Twenty-one more Georgia counties will reinstate food stamp time limits in 2017 for able-bodied adults without dependents, according to the Division of Family and Children Services. BENITA DODD August marks the 20th anniversary of the transformative Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. This bipartisan welfare reform legislation signed by President Bill Clinton on August 22, 1996, dramatically transformed the nation’s welfare system, implementing strong welfare-to-work requirements and incentivizing states to transition welfare recipients into work. The law, which created Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and replaced the 61-year-old Aid to Families with Dependent Children, also implemented stricter food stamp regulations. Those included time limits for some recipients and a lifetime ban for drug felons, which… View Article
By Geoff Duncan For generations, government has tried to solve the issues surrounding poverty by adding new programs or growing existing ones.  Much to the surprise of bureaucrats, the outcomes from this approach are uninspiring. Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute found the federal government spent $1 trillion on 126 different anti-poverty programs in 2013 without making a dent in any of the key metrics around poverty. Government has led us to believe if we simply pay our taxes on time each year it will take care of the needy and we can move on with our busy lives. Remind me again: What is the definition of insanity? This past legislative session, Georgia launched an innovative approach to tackle issues… View Article

Georgia Is Moving Forward on Welfare Reform

By Logan Pike and John Nothdurft Georgia’s dreadful welfare system is perhaps one of the worst in the nation, but the Legislature has an opportunity to reform the failing program and provide significant, lasting changes that will improve the lives of thousands of Georgia’s citizens. The Georgia Senate passed a welfare reform bill that will improve opportunities for upward mobility and self-sufficiency and protect those people who truly need assistance. The bill has been offered in large part as a result of four important hearings held in 2015 by the Georgia House Study Committee on Welfare Fraud, chaired by state Rep. David Clark (R-Buford). Those hearings were created to study the “conditions, needs, issues, and problems regarding Georgia welfare programs.”… View Article
By Harold Brown Harold Brown, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Charity is from the noblest of impulses. But it must come from the heart; governments can’t do it. Most democratic governments have representatives who feel it, but charity can’t be built on taxes. Charity is not giving away someone else’s goods. The two main problems with the government urge to care for the needs of its citizens are making it fair and knowing when to quit. It is bad enough to pay taxes to the federal government to fix roads, airports, foreign dictators and commerce. The ever-increasing use of tax dollars to give as cash or benefits to individuals is enough to push us over the psychological (and fiscal)… View Article

The Dignity of Work

By Kelly McCutchen KELLY McCUTCHENPresident, Georgia Public Policy Foundation For most people, chronic homelessness among men would not be the first choice among problems to tackle in inner-city Atlanta. Millions of dollars in government and charitable programs give some of these men a warm bed at night, but that hasn’t changed the underlying challenges that keep them on the streets. Yet that’s exactly where Bill McGahan started. McGahan had an audacious idea: Create a program where “upon graduation the goal is a permanent job and permanent housing for each man.” “When men enter the program they are typically dependent on drugs and handouts. When they leave, the goal is to never be dependent again.” In 2013, he created Georgia Works,… View Article

Principles for Professional Licensing Reform

Gov. Rick Snyder recently announced plans to reform professional licensing in Michigan, writes Mackinac Center for Public Policy policy analyst Jarrett Skorup. Gov. Snyder has proposed a set of principles to guide reform: There must be a substantial harm or danger to the public health, safety, or welfare as a result of unregulated practice, which will be abated through licensure. The practice of the occupation must require highly specialized education or training. The cost to state government of regulating the occupation must be revenue neutral. There must be no alternatives to state regulation of the occupation (such as national or third-party accreditation) which adequately protect the public. The scope of practice must be clearly distinguishable from other licensed, certified,… View Article

I thank you for what you do. For 15 years you’ve been researching and writing on issues that matter. You take on tough questions, you apply innovative thinking, you push for action, and you do it all without regard to politics.

President George W. Bush more quotes