Archive for August, 2006

Has it been good?? TANF = Temporary Aid for Needy Families

“Child poverty began a most welcome decline in 1993, declining from 22.7 percent then to 16.2 percent in 2000. Since 2000, child poverty rose every year through 2004, back up to 17.8 percent. TANF’s proponents point to the overall decline in poverty over the past decade. A more balanced view acknowledges that there are multiple causes of the decline in poverty through 2000. TANF’s policy changes contributed, but no one should underestimate the significance of a very strong economy in the 1990s. As the ten-year retrospective by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities below documents, employment rates of single mothers shot up from just below 62 percent in 1995 to 73 percent in 2000. But by 2005, employment among single mothers had dropped back to 69 percent. TANF changes almost certainly played a role in the increased work – but TANF without the help of an economy strong enough to reach the poor is not enough to sustain employment or to prevent a rise in poverty. Further, a close look at the policies that contributed to improved outcomes must give prominence to increases in the Earned Income Tax Credit, increased income from child support collections and TANF aid to supplement low-paid work, more child care assistance, and more help with job preparation. These work supports, combined with the good economy, are likely to account for much of the progress that did occur.”

5 year lifetime benefits:
“In the early 90s, 80 percent of poor and eligible families received cash assistance; by 2002, the proportion was precipitously down to 48 percent. Instead of helping families to overcome barriers to employment, in 2003 there were one million moms and two million children with neither work nor welfare, prone to more hunger, illness, and other hardships. “

Wow, the Living Wage debate effect TANF:

“Working parents also need good quality and affordable child care and other supports such as transportation help, child support enforcement, and cash supplements to low earnings. Further, parents with disabilities or caring for children with disabilities need accommodations for their special circumstances. When these supports are in place, families can make genuine progress. That should be our goal.”

I think its true that welfare should be a temporary source of income, allowing people to have a safety-net in life. Shoot I’m on welfare. Many of my student loans are subsidized by the Federal government. Thanks Uncle Sam. TANF was designed to encourage individuals to get off welfare and work, thus welfare-to-work. But there needs to be a true transition from welfare to work. Many mothers can’t work b/c when they lose TANF they also lose child care. Try affording child care while earning $6 an hour. Not to be painted as a complete liberal, I will say that many people choose not to work and would rather use the system to meet their needs. It is these people who are ruining it for everyone else. Unfortunately, these are the ones we hear about on the news. When was the last time we heard a positive story about a woman on welfare who was able to get job training and is now self-sufficient. YES it does happen!

Ok so for welfare to actually work two things need to occur:

1) Individuals need to be able to find a job that will actually pay their basic expenses (including child-care)
2) Individuals need real motivation to wake up each morning and punch a time clock.

The first is easy, the second a littler harder. It is not however, neccessarily the government’s role. We as a church need to step up and help our neighbors overcome barriers in their lives.

Passage Malachi 3:5:
5At that time I will put you on trial. I will be a ready witness against all sorcerers and adulterers and liars. I will speak against those who cheat employees of their wages, who oppress widows and orphans, or who deprive the foreigners living among you of justice, for these people do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.

Quotes from Coalition on Human Needs

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This is a neat and FREE way to let our friends and family know that we appreciate the sacrifices they are making for us in Iraq and around the world.

You and I might not agree with the war, the war plan, or anything else. But if we learned anything from Vietnam it is that we need to support the individuals who have fought the hard battles for us.

Thank you to our service men and women.

This morning Christy and I made an exciting journey to Shelbyville, IN for the Bears of the Blue River 5/10K It was a fun little adventure.

One of the Kenyans I ran with at Taylor, Kip Rop, was there he won the 5K and his Kenyan friend Rueben won the 10K. No money for me this year, oh well.

After the race we had planned on wandering around the festival some. This crotchety old lady was driving her car through the closed area at the start/finish line for the race and asked me how she was supposed to get to Linnie’s Bakery. I tried telling her I had no clue, but downtown was all closed off. She persisted, again I told her I was from around here. She said, “That’s just as well.” geesh whatever happened to manners…

Anyway, we walked around this itsy bitsy little festival in very old school (cool) downtown square. Not seeing anything too exciting we asked someone where “the bakery was”. It was good food and a very quaint little cafe. Not really anything to get to cranky about, but a neat little place.
Linnies on lunchspark
Linnies in the Shelbyville News 1 2 3

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