Schwarzenegger and the Doomsday Scenario

California has a $24.3 billion deficit. That’s more that the Gross Domestic Product of at least half of the countries in the world. The governator finally has come up with a good idea. Instead of rasing taxes again, which depresses revenue and kills jobs, Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to cut spending. Imagine that!

The terminator even wants to terminate welfare!

This has been called the “doomsday scenario.” While it may be a ploy to get the Democrat legislators to agree to cut other programs, it’s not a bad idea. Here’s why: California’s welfare program is not working! In fact, it is the worst in the entire country.

Scheduled for the chopping block is CalWORKs, an acronym for California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids. It is the state’s so-called welfare-to-work program, which replaced Aid to Families With Dependent Children, as part of the 1997 welfare reform plan.

AFDC is now known as TANF, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.

While TANF initially was successful because of the perceived work requirements, the program had holes big enough to drive a Mack truck through and California has exploited all those holes. Yes, CalWORKs is now a joke, a cruelty joke, that saps money from taxpayers – not just in California but the entire nation — encourages, fraud, abuse and slothfulness.

California’s caseloads have grown to 525,000 which represents more than a fourth of the caseloads for the entire country. That’s because the work requirements are the weakest in the country. Also, welfare administrators have engaged in some slight-of-hand.

Welfare advocates argue that the program is successful but Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation, one of this country’s leading experts on poverty and welfare, says, “When you examine the statistics, that argument breaks down faster than an ice cube on Santa Monica Boulevard.”

I ran the numbers using the latest figures from the Department of Human Services. ( What an eye opener! In 2006, California had 449,971 total caseloads, but of those, there were only 169,333 families. A whopping 263,797 of those caseloads are listed as “child only” families. If the adult in the family fails to cooperate, he or she is simply eliminated from the program and the check goes directly to the child who, of course, is not required to work. Think I’m making this up? In California, the number of persons receiving this money who are subject to sanction for not cooperating (the politically correct term is participating) is blank. In other words, the state isn’t even trying to enforce the work requirements. It doesn’t care!

Here is the bottom line. The number of “participating families” (working or preparing for work) is only 37,244 or roughly 22 percent, which is dismal. However, when you compare the 37,244 to the actual number of caseloads, it is roughly only 8 percent, which is an outrage.

Is it unreasonable to expect someone taking welfare money to actually work or prepare for work? Some 97 percent of Americans say, “No!” In fact, most people expect those requirements to be enforced.

Of course, many of the welfare recipients in California are the children of illegals, whose parents come to the welfare office to sign them up and should be deported, along with their child, back to their country of origin.

Many of their parents are actually working illegally in this country so they are costing the state and the country many times over by taking the jobs of citizens or legal residents, by working under the table and not paying taxes and by taking this additional “free” money for their child or children because they can.

Rector says that if the TANF recipient, or a parent of the recipient, were required to report to the welfare office for work, even in this down economy, the majority will readily find work. The rest will begin preparing for work or will disappear simply because they are already working off the books or living with the father of their children or someone else who is supporting them. Bear in mind, these TANF funds represent only about five percent of the welfare money available to poor families so it is hardly a doomsday scenario but it is a good place to start.

This time, Schwarzenegger – though he may not know it – is not that far off base.

California does not deserve a bailout. It deserves a sharp kick in the pants. If California where a human being, the foot could be applied in the area around Sacramento.

8 thoughts on “Schwarzenegger and the Doomsday Scenario

  1. Governor Perry of Texas said in a radio interview last week that of all the jobs created in America in 2007 that 70 percent were in Texas.

    No state income tax.
    Low corporate tax.
    Right to work state.
    Fiscally solvent state.

    What part of the 70% of US jobs came from California?


  2. As an American and Californian I am fed up with the abuse of our welfare system in this State.
    I guess the lazy applicants and lazy govenment officers who do not bother to check applicants are guilty of sucking the honest worker dry. Now the hammer is coming down and free hand outs will not be so free for muchers. Illigals, we do not owe them a living off our hard earned dollar. We will all have to bite the bullet and do with less.


  3. Excellent, Jane! Is anybody listening? I guess if all the illegals vote it will be hard for the politicians to take anything away from the “voters!” I seem to remember one had to be a “citizen” and I remember having to pass a literacy test when I first voted. We can’t clean up this mess until we clean up the polls.


  4. Unfortunately, if Kalifornia terminates welfare, many of the moochers will head north instead of south to their homeland… and Oregon already has a $4billion budget shortfall and “across the board” cuts are proposed for state workers (including welfare case workers)… We can’t afford them here either, but consider, if half of American’s citizens are working and there are 10 million “undocumented aliens” here from Mexico, and they all go home, it will open up about 5 million jobs for someone… that would be 3% of America’s workforce, and would drop the unemployment rate from around 10 to something like 7 percent, while saving billions in benefits to non-citizens. What if?


  5. It’s fairly well documented that the loss of jobs through the recession is hitting those with limited education and skills (i.e. most TANF recipients) the hardest. I would be interested in seeing the Heritage Foundation research that demonstrates the majority of TANF recipients looking for a job will readily find work. Perhaps you would care to link to it?


  6. Interesting to look at Alberta Canada circa 1995. Premier Klein cutback welfare successfully. Neighbor provinces saw an uptick in their welfare rolls. Seems some welfare receipients were able bodied enough to move locations but not enough to work.


  7. California is ungovernable. It is broken and can’t be fixed. Those who broke it are in charge of fixing it and they don’t want to. The president pro tem of the state senate Darrell Steinberg was quoted in a Sacramento newspaper as stating the the problem with California is that there are not enough things to tax. With cap & trade the feds have now figured out how to tax air so that item is already taken. Those few Californians left who actually pay taxes are fleeing rapidly. Soon there will only be a few thousand left who will have to pay everything!


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