As of October 1st, cuts were made from the proposed 40,000 recipients on welfare. Seventy-five percent of recipients have children at an averaged age of seven (“Sacrificing Children to Enrich Corporations and Politicians”, 2011). Long-term recipients, who’ve received cash benefits for a “life span” of four years, will be cut off immediately.
Why should you care?
- Most women are renters. Children will be effected since they’re in the household.
- Utilities likely to be shut off. Children will be removed by law. (Foster care is now hiring).
- College students are no longer eligible for food.
- Instead of 24 weeks, now it’s 20 weeks for unemployment insurance.
- Low Income Energy Efficiency Fund — gives energy assistance funding every year to DHS, THAW, and Salvation Army — has been completely eliminated by ABATE and Attorney General, and the Michigan Court of Appeals. (Federal money available, but “not enough”).
- Corporations will receive $1.8B in tax breaks
Letters were sent out in August to over 10,000 families stating their “federal lifetime limit for cash assistance will likely be reached by October (Campbell, 2011)”. The Michigan Welfare Rights Organization (MWRO) led a non-violent protest action, ‘Resurrection Marches’, every Thursday, outside of the Michigan State Building (also known as Cadillac Place) on W. Grand Blvd. An oversized copy of the letter was held high during marches.
President of the Michigan League for Human Services, Gilda Z. Jacobs, says up to [45,000 (Kramer & Baker, 2011)] children will be affected by the reform bill (Campbell, 2011). The effects of cutting state expenses can very well increase the number of homeless children. “[Snyder] should be helping citizens become more sustainable, instead of putting up barriers to economic stability. A lot of people use cash assistance to pay for rent”, says Jacobs.
A class action lawsuit was filed in federal court last Friday in an attempt to stop the state from imposing the 48-month limit on cash assistance (Gongwer News Service, 2011). It is assumed pulling the plug on the poor’s last life line will benefit the state budget. What isn’t mentioned is the increase in spending once the children are placed into foster care. A family of three or more may receive about $500-600 per month. Guardians of foster children are allotted around the same amount PER child. How is that for cutting costs?
U.S. Representative John Conyers requests citizens to “inquire of the state representatives and state senators… to show who was supporting this incredible backwards step in terms of providing social services to the citizens of this state (Campbell, 2011)”. What some aren’t aware of is the “time limitation” and its presence in the Clinton Administration’s welfare reform bill. It’s referred to as “The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.
Why not cut extravagant investments in police, corporations, and wars? Retirees and cadets are pocketing city and state dollars on drugs and strippers. Businesses absorb money, but aren’t hiring enough “long-term” candidates. A massive “Virtual March on Wall Street” is scheduled to take place this Wednesday. Funds are used to keep soldiers away from their families to fight overseas for — why are we there again???