Massachusetts earns an ‘F’ on 2015 Welfare Reform Report Card

Editor’s note: Yes, this report is from a conservative think tank, but I gotta agree … I’ve got a Worcester neighbor who gets subsidized section 8 rent – the government pays her entire rent for the apartment in the Woo three decker where she lives. She also gets Social Security Disability $$ from the government for her asthma and I’m certain the rest of the package: food stamps, Medicaid, fuel assistance, etc but …

… she smokes pot like there’s no tomorrow!

drives a better car than I do!

has a full time boarder who pays her rent (in cash, under the table)!

took a one-week (or two-week, I can’t remember)  vacation in Florida during this past brutal winter!

and, in general, hangs around in her apartment doing things like eating fried fish and chips on Fridays and being snoopy about what goes on in our neighborhood. (She saw some local Worcester youths with guns. Didn’t report it to the police.)

WHAT THE FUCK ARE THESE PEOPLE DOING IN MY CITY?

How are they contributing to the good of WORCESTER?

Bigger question: Why do we all allow them to play the system, cheat the government, rob hard-working taxpayers? And they act AS IF IT’S THEIR RIGHT to do absolutely nothing with their lives!

There are thousands of these knuckle heads in Worcester, sucking up precious oxygen to live another day to be … utterly pointless.

This is why America has gone from being the #1 country in the world in terms of education, jobs, smarts, strength, resourcefulness, upward mobility to #33 or #11 or … pick your list. We suck in so many ways now! Heartbreaking.

I am all about loving and helping our poor kids, our young moms in horrible domestic situations, our frail elderly, BUT WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THE PEOPLE WHO GET $$$ ASSISTANCE aren’t running rough shod over the system, like the person I’ve just mentioned.

Can’t the US or state government send folks out to do yearly checks on these people, so that if they have rent coming in from boarders their rent subsidy decreases – even slightly?

Should they get a government disability check for poor health/asthma if they are smoking weed EVERY DAY?

Cheaters need to be stopped from cheating! Because they are turning MY city into a shooting gallery ( I’m talking heroin AND bullets), a violent, messed up world, a desperate, chaotic world, a place where ignorance grows thick and lush and people begin to accept it as the norm.

“The train has left the station,” one social services worker sighed the other day.

The poopy pothead I just told you about is one of the hundreds of Worcesterites who need to GET OFF THE TRAIN! They know ZERO about functioning in society. They know ZERO about functioning in a civilized, upwardly mobile, resourceful America. The USA we used to be. The horrible thing is: They feel it’s OK to hang around the periphery! And GET PAID TO DO SO.

They are not even happy. How can you be if you’re so disconnected? ! So they self medicate. They smoke, they shoot up, pop pulls to feel great; they abuse their bodies; they choose to wallow in ignorance and their huge flat screen TV’s.  This city is, in many ways, like a huge chunk of America, falling apart at the seams.

I grew up dirt poor on Lafayette Street in Green Island. Many of my childhood memories are like pages ripped from a Charles Dickens’ novel. I’ve shared some of my history with you. Much of it beyond rough and tumble. I saw people like the above person in our Green Island neighborhood.  Yes, they were around back then, but not so many. … We were surrounded by people in pain … alcoholics, layabouts, wife beaters, knife wielders and cheats.

My mother refused to be pulled into the shit. She transcended the shit. The shit made her brilliant and it made me ME. My mom, who died almost three years ago, did not take any government $$/assistance. She was proud and, thank God, determined, sensitive, strong and wicked smart, probably gifted – you had to be to rise above that ocean of urban misery!

She made our lives SPECIAL because she made us all FULLY ENGAGED. IN Worcester, in the American ideal. She and her three girls (my two sisters and I) were all over Worcester!  The public schools, the public library, the parks, the park programs, the Girls Club, the Friendly House, downtown, neighborhood gatherings, our church, school sports teams for my sisters. We were busy and it was GREAT.

Cuz when you’re engaged you get educated, learn stuff, feel a part of something bigger. You are rewarded for your participation. Not in bucks, often times,  but in GOOD FEELINGS/VIBES.

Never underestimate the power of good vibrations!  For my mom: Work every day. Long hours but a steady paycheck. Interaction with her beloved customers at the dry cleaners where she worked, the pride in looking and being professional with customers, the pride in completing a bunch of tasks successfully, the chance to use her brain to do math, work the cash register, the chance to have fun with/ work with co workers and become friends with a few of them.  For us kids: School every day. Hard work but …honors classes, validation from teachers, school plays, fun, sports, music classes, PART OF SOMETHING BIGGER AND BETTER than the pain of our poverty. GOOD VIBRATIONS!!!!

Good vibrations sans drugs, booze, weed, guns!

If you work, no matter what the job, you feel good. If you go to school, no matter at what level, you feel good.

BECAUSE you are part of the action. The system is not perfect. Minimum wage still sucks.  Some teachers still blow. But YOU WORK to make the system better by VOTING, PROTESTING, MARCHING, …

Be a PART OF IT.

The welfare cheats cheat themselves out of A LIFE.

Anyways, here’s the report:

– Rosalie Tirella

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State finishes 49th of 50 states on welfare reform policies

CHICAGO – Massachusetts is among seven states that earned an “F” for its welfare reform policies on the 2015 Welfare Reform Report Card, a comprehensive piece of scholarship produced by four public policy researchers at The Heartland Institute .

Massachusetts was the state with the second-worst welfare reform policies, finishing No. 49 of the 50 states. Alabama, Georgia, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Missouri also earned F grades on the report card.

Nearly two decades ago, in 1996, Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed a reform measure ending the national entitlement to welfare for families with dependent children. Each state implemented welfare reform differently and a natural experiment began, allowing researchers to discover welfare policies that help people become financially independent and escape poverty.

“Massachusetts is a great state. I lived in Massachusetts for two years. There’s some very smart people. You’ve got Harvard; You’ve got MIT. There is no reason in the world why Massachusetts can’t do better,” MacDougal said.

“If you look at our one-page summary for Massachusetts, it jumps right out at you,” Mac Dougal said.

Four of the five policy measures that we evaluate are F:

“They are at the bottom in work requirements.

“They are at the bottom, they have no cash diversion – and the majority of states do have cash diversion.

“Their time limits are out at the outer edge. So people can hang around on the rolls a long time without taking the steps they need to get work.”

“And the sanctions… the sanctions are proven by the economic studies to have a real effect on stimulating people to find work. So all you have to do is have 4 Fs out of 5 and you can earn your way to the bottom,” Mac Dougal said.

The 2015 Welfare Reform Report Card grades five policies key to the goal of welfare:

raising the standard of living of the nation’s poor by moving them to work and self-sufficiency.

Those five policies are work requirements, cash diversion, service integration, time limits, and sanctions. Massachusetts’ grades:

To read the welfare reform report card – and compare Massachusetts to every other state in the union using an interactive map – visit heartland.org/welfare-reform.

The Heartland Institute is a 31-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems.