Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support held a hearing on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and its role in providing assistance to struggling families.
The Obama Administration’s witness, Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families, Carmen Nazario, included in her testimony a request to extend for a year the TANF Emergency Fund at a cost of $2.5 billion. This would extend a $5 billion program created in the Stimulus package last year that severely undermines the success of welfare reform. It essentially pays states for every new TANF case added to the caseload creating a perverse incentive to grow the size of the welfare state.
Robert Rector, Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, testified at the same hearing that federal and state welfare spending under the Obama Administration is already on a trajectory to spend $953 billion in 2011 on means-tested programs for the poor. This prompted the Ranking Republican on the Committee, Congressman John Linder, to ask Ms. Nazario, “Is it your testimony that $953 billion is not enough?” See her response in the video above.
Rector’s testimony went on further to say:
President Obama’s increase in federal means-tested welfare spending during his first two years in office is two and a half times greater than any previous increase in federal welfare spending in U.S. history, after adjusting for inflation.
According to the long-term spending plans set forth in Obama’s FY 2010 budget, combined federal and state spending will not drop significantly after the recession ends. In fact, by 2014, welfare spending is likely to equal $1 trillion per year…..$10.3 trillion over the next 10 years. This spending will equal over $100,000 for each taxpaying household in the U.S.
It’s clear from the President’s 2011 budget as well as those testifying on behalf of the Administration that continuing to increase welfare spending at historic levels is a priority despite the record level deficit. In these tough economic times, President Obama is intent on keeping his promise to “spread the wealth” while at the same time bankrupting America.