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Paladino's Welfare Reform

by on August 23, 2010

He may not get points for political correctness, but he deserves credit for proposing something different than the status quo.

Republican candidate for governor Carl Paladino said he would transform some New York prisons into dormitories for welfare recipients, where they could work in state-sponsored jobs, get employment training and take lessons in “personal hygiene.” Paladino, a wealthy Buffalo real estate developer popular with many tea party activists, isn’t saying the state should jail poor people: The program would be voluntary.

But the suggestion that poor families would be better off in remote institutions, rather than among friends and family in their own neighborhoods, struck some anti-poverty activists as insulting.

Insulting?

“Instead of handing out the welfare checks, we’ll teach people how to earn their check. We’ll teach them personal hygiene … the personal things they don’t get when they come from dysfunctional homes,” Paladino said.

New York, like other states, receives a federal block grant to provide cash and other forms of welfare to very low-income residents. Federal law already requires welfare recipients to do some form of work to receive benefits.

New York’s welfare rolls have grown slightly during the recession, while food stamp eligibility has almost doubled, according to the state.

We should all be able to agree that the welfare system isn’t working.  Paladino’s ideas do have some merit. Welfare, as it is right now, does not do enough to get people off welfare.  If the state is going to be in the business of welfare, then it’s goal should be make itself obsolete.

Now, I heard some ridiculous rhetoric on the radio this morning, likening Paladino’s ideas to “labor camps” for poor people — I don’t know whether that was a comparison to Nazi labor/death camps or Franklin D. Roosevelt’s internment camps, but who would have thought free room and board, plus training and education was such a terrible thing? Imagine that, instead of just cutting checks to untrained poor people, the state provides them with housing and education so they can make it on their own. Holy crap, Paladino must be a bigotted, anti-poor, racist, rich white Republican!

It’s time the far left put an end to their rhetoric. Instead of pointing fingers and shouting “racist” or “bigot” or “insensitive” they should come up with their own ideas on how to fix the system without flushing more money down the toilet. Right now, we continue to throw money at the problem and nothing changes.

It’s time to end the era of taxpayer-funded entitlement and begin an era of empowerment. Paladino’s plan does more to empower the poor to improve themselves than anything any Democrat has proposed.

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One Comment
  1. HuffPo was slandering Paladino on this topic.
    Take I wild guess as to what I was called for commenting on the matter…

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