The Leaflet: Putting Welfare to Work
President Trump and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker separately launched important welfare reforms. Though separate initiatives, both are working to increase self-sufficiency among welfare recipients and restore government back to its proper role.
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) separately initiated important welfare reforms. The reforms address different welfare systems but have the same goals: promoting a culture of work and self-sufficiency among welfare recipients and restoring government back to its proper role.
Trump’s executive order aims to reform the bloated, multi-billion-dollar national welfare system, which has strayed far beyond its initial mission to assist the most vulnerable and help them become self-sufficient. Trump believes current welfare programs, which President Barack Obama vastly expanded, breed government dependence, contribute to family breakdown, and perpetuate the poverty cycle.
Trump’s executive order outlines several “Principles of Economic Mobility,” including: (1) adding work requirements for welfare eligibility and strengthening existing ones; (2) streamlining services and consolidating duplicative programs to reduce bureaucracy; and (3) encouraging private enterprise and local solutions to combat poverty.
The executive order states the federal government should invest in workforce development programs and grant to state and local governments more flexibility in how they design and implement welfare programs. It also instructs officials across government departments to review all welfare regulations to ensure they align with the principles in the executive order and to recommended regulatory changes, if needed.
In Wisconsin, Walker signed nine welfare reform bills into law. These bills constitute the Wisconsin Works for Everyone reform package, which Walker has been promoting over the past year. The Wisconsin reform measures will: (1) extend work or job training requirements to able-bodied adults with school-aged children; (2) request a waiver from the federal government to create a health savings account for Medicaid beneficiaries; and (3) establish asset restrictions for recipients of food stamps and child care subsidies.
In 2015, Wisconsin was given an “A” grade in Heartland’s Welfare Reform Report Card. In January 2018, John Nothdurft, director of government relations, testified in support of the reform bills in a Wisconsin joint committee hearing.
As welfare rolls in the Badger State decrease, Wisconsinites can expect stronger economic growth, a lower unemployment level, and the availability of additional state funds that could be used to address pressing needs, such as infrastructure redevelopment and education.
To learn more about free-market, pro-liberty solutions, read The Heartland Institute’s Ten State Solutions to Emerging Issues. This concise booklet provides several solutions to state lawmakers interested in fixing their welfare programs, which have become a colossal strain on the limited budgets of most states. Solutions include work requirements, consolidating redundant agencies, eliminating fraud and abuse, and applying for 1115 demonstration waivers to give states flexibility in administering Medicaid.
What We're Working On
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In this Research & Commentary, Heartland Policy Analyst Tim Benson writes about a new fiscal analysis of Nevada’s tax-credit scholarship program by the Nevada Policy Research Institute. The program saves $1.14 in state education funding in fiscal year 2018 for every dollar in Modified Business Tax revenue lost from scholarship contributions. The savings accrued from the expansion of the program to 25,000 students, just 5 percent of statewide public school enrollment, would be the equivalent of adding $116 million in education funding.
Energy & Environment
New England Imported Natural Gas from Russia This Winter
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Budget & Tax
Gov. Murphy’s Tax Hikes Would Create Large Burden for New Jersey’s Economy
In this Research & Commentary, Glans examines a series of proposed tax hikes in New Jersey that would negatively impact the state’s already floundering economy. “Instead of increasing taxes on higher earners and entrepreneurs and relying on sin taxes, New Jersey’s elected officials should focus on making the state a more attractive place for businesses and workers, a goal that would best be accomplished by restraining spending, lowering tax rates, and reducing unnecessary regulations,” wrote Glans.
From Our Free-Market Friends
Buckeye Institute Identifies Tax Loopholes that Should Be Closed
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