Former Senator Rick Santorum argues in [a recent] Wall Street Journal that gaining work skills through better access to education and skills training should be an essential part of welfare reform.
We agree — but these are exactly the kind of improvements that the Obama Administration’s recent announcement about waivers for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which Mr. Santorum harshly criticizes, is designed to promote.
Fixing rules that discourage states from helping TANF families get education and skills training should be a top priority for Congress when it renews the welfare law. In the meantime, the Administration has said it will consider granting waivers from certain provisions of the law for states that want to test whether there are more effective ways to meet TANF’s work goals — such as by allowing a longer period of vocational education in order to improve employment outcomes. A state like Nebraska could seek a waiver so it could continue its approach of allowing recipients to complete high school or get a GED as a stand-alone work activity without risking fiscal penalty.
“We need to help clear a path for poor and low-income Americans to achieve their dreams,” Mr. Santorum writes. That’s exactly right, and by allowing states to look for better ways to connect families to employment, the Administration has taken a step in the right direction.
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i'm the leftist liberal you've been warned about - the one who genuinely supports the expansion of the welfare state. i love politics and data and graffiti and street art and am far too lazy to use my shift key. if you need to reach me, you can email to abbyjean at the google email service.