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Marco Rubio

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Posted: 07/11/2014 1:42 PM

Marco Rubio 


The Economist had a nice piece focusing on the young senator from Florida:

http://www.economist.com/news/...marco-rubio-and

Where Republican orthodoxy suggests saving poor people from welfare dependency by mercifully reducing the amount of money they receive, Mr Rubio aims to cut welfare spending by reducing the demand for it, keeping funding at the same level but handing anti-poverty programmes over to the states to figure out what works. “I don’t take my children to the circus very often,” he says, “but when I do I have noticed that acrobats tend to be much more daring when they have a safety net beneath them.” Such support “is essential for the success of the free enterprise system”.

BC
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Posted: 07/11/2014 1:55 PM

Re: Marco Rubio 


This has to be the right Republican approach to these issues. Contrary to the casual opinions sometimes expressed here, no one makes a conscious choice between working and living off government grants - no poor person, anyway. The grants aren't that large. 

That said, developing anti-poverty programs that actually work is core belling-the-cat stuff. The social and personal perspectives that limit a person's potential in society are learned at mother's knee, and super hard to change in a large population. There is also the feminization problem, because a mother with young children has only so much time for self-improvement.

The biggest and most practical program would be effective enforcement of delinquent child support obligations.

My mother used to tell me, "Elwood, in this world, you must be oh, so smart or oh, so nice."  For years I was smart.  I recommend nice.  You may quote me. - Elwood P. Dowd

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Posted: 07/11/2014 4:58 PM

Re: Marco Rubio 



Genuine Realist wrote: ..no one makes a conscious choice between working and living off government grants - no poor person, anyway.

You. Must. Be. Joking.

That is one of the most incredibly naive statements I've ever read on this board.  I do not suggest that a majority of folks on the dole make that choice (though it might be close), but there are at least a significant minority that do make exactly that decision.  Even at what we would describe as near subsistence levels, there are many, many people that will choose Cheetos, the couch, and Oprah over going to work.

And when the "safety net" got whacked under Clinton (at the behest of the Repub congress), look what happened....lots and lots of those folks decided a job was now a better deal.  

Simply put: when you pay people who don't have a job - guess what?  They won't have a job.
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Posted: 07/11/2014 5:24 PM

Re: Marco Rubio 


I'm talking about personal observation, friend, over four decades. Please tell me what your hands on experience with the welfare system actually is. 

So I'll stick with my statement. (I excepted the disabled, mentally ill, and so on, who don't have a realistic choice).

Are you aware of the actual support levels for TANF are in the county where you reside? They're not too hard to find. Give me the county and I'll provide you the link.  I guarantee you, they're not at a level that any family could live on comfortably, even at a subsistence level, and certainly not at a level at which anyone would choose the payment over gainful employment. You're buying into one of the more obnoxious myths going around these past few decades.

My mother used to tell me, "Elwood, in this world, you must be oh, so smart or oh, so nice."  For years I was smart.  I recommend nice.  You may quote me. - Elwood P. Dowd

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Posted: 07/11/2014 6:07 PM

Re: Marco Rubio 


I am sure there are some abuses, but I agree with GR. Hrere is some info from the Santa Clara County website:

Basic Eligibility Requirements
Deprivation – A parent or caretaker relative may be eligible for CalWORKs assistance if he/she cares for an eligible child who is without parental support because one or both parents are either absent from the home, disabled, deceased, or unemployed.
Age – Eligibility requirements that relate to age include the following:
Children are eligible until their 18th birthday.  Eighteen-year-olds may continue to be eligible if they are full-time students, regularly attending high school or the equivalent, and expected to graduate before their 19th birthday.
Pregnant or parenting teens (under the age of 18) must live with their parent(s) or other appropriate relative in order to receive CalWORKs.
Children age 6 and older must regularly attend school. Proof that children under the age of six have had age-appropriate immunizations is also required.
Children age 19 or older are NOT eligible for CalWORKs, but may continue to be eligible for other programs, such as CalFresh or Medi-Cal.

Income Limits and Payment Amounts – The following rules are related to income and how it is used when figuring out CalWORKs eligibility and payment amounts:
A family’s gross non-exempt income, minus $90.00 for each employed individual, must fall below the amount shown on the Minimum Basic Standard of Adequate Care (MBSAC) Chart below. (The MBSAC Chart, for example, shows that for a family of three, MBSAC is $1,200.00. This means that, in order to qualify for CalWORKs, this family’s gross [before taxes] non-exempt income, minus $90.00 for each employed individual, must be under $1,200.00.)
Any money the family currently has available to meet their needs is counted as income.  Income includes but is not limited to: Job earnings, Unemployment Insurance Benefits, Disability Benefits, Social Security Benefits, and so on. The net income amount must be less than the amount shown on the Maximum Aid Payable (MAP) Chart for the family size.
The chart below shows income limits as well as the maximum amount of money a family can get each month through CalWORKs. The amounts are set by the State.  Your Eligibility Worker will tell you exactly how much money you will get after figuring out how much money you already have coming in.  To figure out what monthly payments to you will be, the Eligibility Worker will also look at other information such as how much the things you own are worth.

maximum aid payments (map) and
minimum basic standards for adequate care (mbsac) charts
effective march 1, 2014 to june 30, 2014 

Number of Eligible  Family Members in the Same Home Maximum Amount of Aid Payable to the Unemployable Maximum Amount of Aid Payable to the Employable MBSAC (adjusted income must fall below the applicable amount listed)
1 $ 369 $ 333 $ 591
2 606 542 968
3 750 670 1,200
4 891 800 1,424
5 1014 909 1,626
6 1,140 1,021 1,828
7 1,252 1,122 2,009
8 1,366 1,222 2,187
9 1,475 1,321 2,372
10 1,586 1,419 2,575
Note: Payments are not based on the actual living expenses of the family.  If eligible, the family receives a set amount of money, and it is their responsibility to determine how to meet their household expenses.

Property – A CalWORKs family can own up to $2,000 of real and personal property. Real property includes land, houses, and other buildings. Examples of personal property include checking and savings accounts. If a family has a parent or caretaker 60 years of age or older, the property limit is increased to $3,250.

If you own and live in your home, it is not counted as property.

Citizenship – The applicant and his/her family must be United States citizens or have satisfactory immigration status. The immigration status of all noncitizens is verified with the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS), formerly Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS).  If an immigrant entered this county as a sponsored noncitizen, the income and resources of the sponsor will be considered in determining CalWORKs eligibility.
Employment – Once it is determined that you meet the CalWORKs eligibility requirements, another determination is made based on whether the adults are employable or unemployable.
All parents or caretaker relatives must participate in CalWORKs Employment Services activities unless they are exempt.
Employment Services participants are assigned to activities meant to lead to a job and eventual self-sufficiency. Necessary supportive services, such as child care and transportation, will be provided.

Child Support – All absent parents are responsible for the financial support of their children. The custodial parent or caretaker relative must provide sufficient information to locate the absent parent(s) to determine the absent parent’s financial responsibility.
The absent parent will be contacted by the Local Child Support Agency (LCSA) to pay back all or part of the CalWORKs money received.
Child support is counted as income and CalWORKs recipients who receive direct child support are required to assign their support rights to the County.
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Posted: 07/11/2014 7:17 PM

Re: Marco Rubio 



Genuine Realist wrote: I'm talking about personal observation, friend, over four decades. Please tell me what your hands on experience with the welfare system actually is. 

So I'll stick with my statement. (I excepted the disabled, mentally ill, and so on, who don't have a realistic choice).

Are you aware of the actual support levels for TANF are in the county where you reside? They're not too hard to find. Give me the county and I'll provide you the link.  I guarantee you, they're not at a level that any family could live on comfortably, even at a subsistence level, and certainly not at a level at which anyone would choose the payment over gainful employment. You're buying into one of the more obnoxious myths going around these past few decades.
In addition to the fact that the requirements are tough and the benefits not all that high, there is the sheer stigma of being on assistance.  That's the reason that there has been a move to rename the food stamp program to SNAP, and to provide debit cards rather than actual "food stamps".  Then there is also the bureaucratic hassle of obtaining the assistance.  The same people who note that the government cannot do decent customer service at the post office or DMV seem to believe that it is only too eager to be helpful to poorly educated "undeserving" welfare beneficiaries.  As I'm sure GR can relate, it is a royal pain to "prove" that one's income is low, and the bureaucratic hassles are numerous, and difficult to overcome, especially for someone of low educational attainment. 

BC
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Posted: 07/11/2014 7:46 PM

Re: Marco Rubio 



Boston Card wrote:
Then there is also the bureaucratic hassle of obtaining the assistance.  The same people who note that the government cannot do decent customer service at the post office or DMV seem to believe that it is only too eager to be helpful to poorly educated "undeserving" welfare beneficiaries. 
BC
+1

and this belief seems to be true for both sides depending on the issue.
Eric

"And now my friend, the first-a rule of Italian driving.  What's-a behind me is not important."
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Posted: 07/11/2014 8:46 PM

Re: Marco Rubio 




Are you aware of the actual support levels for TANF are in the county where you reside? 
Wouldn't welfare would include other forms of assistance as well, including but not limited to,

Section 8 housing
SNAP
Medicare
TANF

If you live in Palo Alto, what would the aggregated benefit be for an unemployed mother with 3 children when taking into account all forms of assistance?

I have spent over 40 years both working and socializing in low income ghettos, and from my observations, in too many instances, welfare does appear to sap a person's motivation to find work.

From my vantage point and real life experiences, doesn't seem to be a myth at all.

Last edited 07/11/2014 9:00 PM by Ninong

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Posted: 07/12/2014 5:27 AM

Re: Marco Rubio 



Ninong wrote:

Are you aware of the actual support levels for TANF are in the county where you reside? 
Wouldn't welfare would include other forms of assistance as well, including but not limited to,

Section 8 housing
SNAP
Medicare
TANF

If you live in Palo Alto, what would the aggregated benefit be for an unemployed mother with 3 children when taking into account all forms of assistance?

I have spent over 40 years both working and socializing in low income ghettos, and from my observations, in too many instances, welfare does appear to sap a person's motivation to find work.

From my vantage point and real life experiences, doesn't seem to be a myth at all.
you probably mean Medicaid.

on assistance to the poor broadly writ live above, you should probably look at the subsidies provided to the other end of the SES scale.  start with the tax entitlements.
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Posted: 07/12/2014 6:25 AM

Re: Marco Rubio 


Oops, thanks, yes Medicaid..

In regards to welfare, I am not suggesting the programs that are out there are not needed, only that to suggest to that they do not impact personal behavior is wrong from my experiences.  

We need a social net.  I just wish we could create one which encourages people to behaviors which lead to getting off of it.  I am not smart enough to figure out how to do that, but as an example I would be all in on giving people on welfare a bonus depending on their kid's school attendance, doing their homework, etc.  

There are basic values which most middle class people share, personal responsibility, value for education, honesty, active parenting, etc.  Given that money is probably the best way to modify people's behaviors, it would be nice to structure welfare to help people in the short run while also encouraging behaviors which will lead to personal development and more social success in the long run.  

Hell, "Madison Avenue" is expert at manipulating people.  Ild be all for paying for advertising/marketing companies to have an ongoing serious campaign to encourage certain behaviors in low income areas.  We could start by trying to sell the idea of being an active father.  I get my greatest joys in life actively parenting my children.  That concept should be easy to sell through pictures, commercials, using well known figures from low income communities.   

With respect to tax entitlements, couldn't agree more.  Again, I am not smart enough to know about all of the tax entitlements out there, but I am positive there are lots (hundreds?  Thousands?) which would make my blood boil if I knew about them.  But as an example, why we are subsidizing expensive homes through mortgage deductions seems absurd to me.  Farm subsidies, I guess they are important in some instances, but shouldn't we means test them?  Maybe we do, I dont really know.  But I am all in cleaning up the tax code.  

I got a little off track there.  My point was simply a rejoinder to the above poster who in his experiences has not seen welfare impact personal behavior.  In my experiences, it does, and often.

Full disclosure:  I guess I am on welfare of sorts, I got my first Obamacare subsidy starting this past January, and have every month since.  I had been on a completely adequate high deductible policy, it was cancelled, and my rate went from 400 a month for a family of 5 to just over a thousand.  It is better insurance insofar as the deductible is lower, but I am accepting the subsidy provided for it.  So, I too am on welfare I guess.   Hey, that is another tax entitlement I think we could get rid of, employee sponsored health care.  But at this point, seems a bit hypocritical for me to complain about that given I am getting a subsidy myself now.

Last edited 07/12/2014 6:53 AM by Ninong

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Posted: 07/12/2014 9:42 AM

Being Precise 


I didn't mean to claim moral worthiness for all the population on TANF and other assistance. There are certainly a fair percentage of lazy and shiftless, although a sizable percentgage (I believe the majority) are fatherless families headed by women desperately trying to make ends meet. 

What I did mean is that there is no one who sits down, compares government benefits to employment, and decides that they'd rather live on the dole. And I'll stand by that. 

I will also add that for ANY graduate of Stanford, or any elite college, to look at the safety net package, and decide it's too rich, does not sit well.

My mother used to tell me, "Elwood, in this world, you must be oh, so smart or oh, so nice."  For years I was smart.  I recommend nice.  You may quote me. - Elwood P. Dowd

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Posted: 07/12/2014 10:30 AM

Re: Being Precise 


BTW, totally agree on dead beat dads.  I imagine we are working hard to track them down, I just wish there was a way to be better at it.  It it were up to me, I wouldn't leave a dad with anything more than basic housing, basic food, and medical care, and all else somehow gets to his kids.  

Quite frankly, watching poverty up close, and then thinking about it is very depressing, most particularly when watching the working poor, those moms doing everything in their power to get it right, but simply without the skills to improve their lot.  And then beyond that, the kids.  It is just sad to walk into a group setting of low income kids, and know, almost all of them will also end up low income, both working and not working.  

As I said, I am all for spending money to help less fortunate people, I just wish we could be better at it.  And I get frustrated by those who fight for the status quo as if what we are doing is working.  We are helping people survive, but not helping them improve themselves, or at least not from what I have seen.  

One last qualification, there are many many very resourceful low income people.  It is freaking hard to be poor, and many of them have figured out all sorts of ways to supplement their govt help in both legal and illegal ways.  I have known people on aid who do nails and hair in their homes, buy and sell stuff at flea markets, sell drugs, are prostitutes, and on and on.

Like any sub group of people, there are some very high functioning/creative and resourceful folks, and some very low functioning folks who just cant get out of their own way.  But to be sure, the real tragedy is having to watch the kids who grow up in low income areas as the culture and values which permeate just dont lend themselves to social mobility, and given all that this country has to offer for someone wiling to play by the rules and work hard, it is tragic to watch all that opportunity go to waste.   

But I agree, let's start by getting the dads.

Stanford Football made it cool to be a nerd.  We need to figure out a way to make it cool to be a dad.

How about tax breaks for rappers who write a song about fatherhood, or education, or personal accountability, that then reaches X number of sales?  The more people who buy it, the more of a tax break you get?  

Much more interested in that sort of tax break than helping someone be able to afford a $700,000 home instead of a $500,000 one due to the mortgage deduction.

While I believe there are some people who simply dont care about poor people, my sense is that everyone on this board does, it is just a function of what is the best way to do that.  And reasonable minds can disagree there.

Bonus food stamps for any mom who can convince a child's father to volunteer in his classroom, or coach a team at the local rec?  Happy to subsidize that.  Great long term investment.

Last edited 07/12/2014 11:52 AM by Ninong

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Posted: 07/12/2014 11:40 AM

Re: Being Precise 


There's no question that people get themselves into these messes out of poor life choices, be it drug dependence, lousy sexual habits, indifference to educational opportunity, or what not. There is also no question that some of it is moral choice. What it is NOT is a cost benefit decision that welfare is a better deal than a good job. Even the ones that have done most to shoot themselves in the foot feel cheated and frustrated. The difference is that they blame everyone but themselves for their predicament.

The conservative element may be amazed, but Congress has never passed a poverty program intended to enable and preserve a class of welfare recipients. (Middle class entitlements are a different matter). They're all intended to be stop gap measures to get someone, and particularly whole families, back into upward mobility. They don't work in large measure (there are a signficant number of individual successes) because human nature is just not that malleable. We all have imperfect wills, and there is a lot more momentum towards despair in the ipoverished than there is in other classes. Absolute powerlessness corrupts as thoroughly as absolute pwoer. The devil's refrain is 'what's the use?'

The object of all these programs is to offer hope without reinforcing the life choices that led to the dilemma in the first place. Easier said than done - my favorite metaphor of 'belling the cat' applies. Strategy is always easy, tactics are always hard.

I feel exactly the same about critics of poverty programs who condemn the Iraqi and Afghani War as failures because they didn't lead to modern Western polities in a few years. But anyone expecting that a millenial's worth of history was going to be altered in five years was insane. The best we could hope for was decisively altering the historical trajectory, which we did. In the same way, you are not going to be able to end completely the poverty culture. All you can do is offer a way out to those who choose differently.

My mother used to tell me, "Elwood, in this world, you must be oh, so smart or oh, so nice."  For years I was smart.  I recommend nice.  You may quote me. - Elwood P. Dowd

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Posted: 07/12/2014 12:33 PM

and yet.... 


stories abound of those who have worked/risen from poor circumstance and achieved...

work, motivation and education, even in very tough/negative circumstance can overcome

I also agree bad luck and bad circumstance often make that difficult... but it is possible
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Posted: 07/12/2014 3:27 PM

Re: and yet.... 


Totally possible, and exciting to watch when someone "gets it.."  

In theory, not complicated at all, and in practice also not complicated, well for some, just look at any number of immigrant communities who arrive here and are socially mobile within one generation, Asians, Nigerians, many Hispanics, etc.  

But that is  also what makes it all the more frustrating to see it happen so infrequently in some communities.  We know it can happen, we know what it takes, but how do we transfer the values which would ensure social mobility to those who need them most?  

Oh well, enough already I guess.

Bottom line, I guess I agree with Rubio.  Let's not take away the net, but let's please try something new and different at the same time.
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Posted: 07/12/2014 8:40 PM

Re: and yet.... 


A series of terrific posts Ninong.!

Politically will we ever get past grandstanding and onto compromising on real solutions? noidea
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Posted: 07/12/2014 8:47 PM

Re: Being Precise 



Genuine Realist wrote: I didn't mean to claim moral worthiness for all the population on TANF and other assistance. There are certainly a fair percentage of lazy and shiftless, although a sizable percentgage (I believe the majority) are fatherless families headed by women desperately trying to make ends meet. 

What I did mean is that there is no one who sits down, compares government benefits to employment, and decides that they'd rather live on the dole. And I'll stand by that. 

I will also add that for ANY graduate of Stanford, or any elite college, to look at the safety net package, and decide it's too rich, does not sit well.
And I dont' think that was the position that drew the response.  There are some to choose to live on the streets etc.  Always have been.  It is, I think, a relatively small minority.  The bigger issue is fatherlessness.  I'll stick to that one as well.

"I pledge - on the souls of my grandchildren - that I will not be the one to break the peace that we have made today."

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Posted: 07/12/2014 9:08 PM

Interesting comment from the article... 


"On climate change ... Mr Rubio is hardly a breath of fresh air. Most scientists, he says, agree that man is to blame, but he sees no point in imposing heavy economic costs on Americans for uncertain benefits."

As far as I'm concerned Rubio nails it on climate change. 

"I pledge - on the souls of my grandchildren - that I will not be the one to break the peace that we have made today."

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Posted: 07/12/2014 9:58 PM

Re: Interesting comment from the article... 



lex24 wrote:

"On climate change ... Mr Rubio is hardly a breath of fresh air. Most scientists, he says, agree that man is to blame, but he sees no point in imposing heavy economic costs on Americans for uncertain benefits."

As far as I'm concerned Rubio nails it on climate change. 

"I pledge - on the souls of my grandchildren - that I will not be the one to break the peace that we have made today."

Rubio and you should pledge on the soul of your grand children that you won't  stand against taking measures to make sure of leaving them a livable environment.
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Posted: 07/12/2014 11:17 PM

Re: Being Precise 


Actually, if you look at my very first post, that's what I did say. Then the thread was hijacked.

My mother used to tell me, "Elwood, in this world, you must be oh, so smart or oh, so nice."  For years I was smart.  I recommend nice.  You may quote me. - Elwood P. Dowd

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