Not content with the results of their attempts to destroy Obamacare, President Trump and his Republican cronies are expanding their efforts to eliminate the nation’s social safety net through additional means.
Already attempting to attach work requirements to a number of assistance programs that the GOP regards as morally repugnant freeloading by shiftless leechers rather than the corporate welfare to help employees who are paid wages inadequate to feed and house them and their families that it actually is in the majority of cases, Trump now wants to reorganize the federal government structure to move all programs that he considers “welfare” into one agency.
Politico reports that the plan would consolidate all of the assistance programs to fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health and Human Services which would most likely be renamed to include the politically-loaded term “welfare” in its title.
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Before the Education Department was spun off into its own agency in 1979, the Health and Human Services Department was named the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
The new plan would see the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, moved from the Agriculture Department to the newly reorganized agency which would continue to oversee both Medicare and Medicaid, as well as the only program that falls under the traditional definition of welfare, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF), which provides cash assistance to low-income people.
The reorganization is said to be motivated by recommendations made last year by the conservative activist organization, The Heritage Foundation, which issued its proposal in response to the White House Office of Management and Budget’s efforts to streamline the government to make it more efficient.
The consolidation of all of the social services assistance programs under one agency may make sense from an efficiency standpoint, however, the real motivation behind the proposed reorganization is to impose more stringent work rules on all recipients of public assistance in any form, from Medicaid to food stamps to TANF.
Given that the majority of families receiving food stamps already have jobs, albeit jobs that don’t pay a living wage after years of wage stagnation among low-level blue collar workers as executive pay skyrocketed, the attempts to impose work rules on everyone receiving government assistance ignores the true causes of poverty and the need for assistance to begin with.
Then it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to defunding that department and starving it of resources to the point where it can’t fulfill its obligations and millions are left out in the cold.
You can chalk up Trump’s reorganization plans as just another way that Republicans want to transfer money from the poor to the already wealthy, as if their massive tax giveaway to the 1% wasn’t enough of a gift already.
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.