Welfare To Work And Other Imminent Economic Priorities

By Chandrashekar (Chandra) Tamirisa, (On Twitter) @c_tamirisa

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On November 23, 2008 I had transmitted some economic policy suggestions to The White House as a part of my application to the Obama-Biden transition team to be adviser to president Obama in the West Wing.

I had then informed senior staff at the Federal Reserve where I was employed that The White House could come calling inquiring about me given that I was already an employee of the United States government. Setting aside the utter lack of intellectual integrity and character of the Federal Reserve as an institution for the time being, I shall revisit my advice now, again for the purpose of the economy and the American people:

First, quoting myself, “[B]uying state and local debt to infuse funds into states that request them and to prevent a creep of the financial crisis into state and local debt” is a mechanism I had suggested. It has now come up more expediently because of the abject failure of the Obama administration’s and his Federal Reserve’s economic policies, in particular since I left the institution on 06/16/2010.

Second, in view of the recent public comments by former president Bill Clinton defending his welfare reform law quite appropriately:

“Statement by President Bill Clinton on Governor Mitt Romney’s New Television Advertisement

New York, NY — Governor Romney released an ad today alleging that the Obama administration had weakened the work requirements of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. That is not true.

The act emerged after years of experiments at the state level, including my work as Governor of Arkansas beginning in 1980. When I became President, I granted waivers from the old law to 44 states to implement welfare to work strategies before welfare reform passed.

After the law was enacted, every state was required to design a plan to move people into the workforce, along with more funds to help pay for training, childcare and transportation. As a result, millions of people moved from welfare to work.

The recently announced waiver policy was originally requested by the Republican governors of Utah and Nevada to achieve more flexibility in designing programs more likely to work in this challenging environment. The Administration has taken important steps to ensure that the work requirement is retained and that waivers will be granted only if a state can demonstrate that more people will be moved into work under its new approach. The welfare time limits, another important feature of the 1996 act, will not be waived.

The Romney ad is especially disappointing because, as governor of Massachusetts, he requested changes in the welfare reform laws that could have eliminated time limits altogether. We need a bipartisan consensus to continue to help people move from welfare to work even during these hard times, not more misleading campaign ads.”

and in my response to an article the president sent to his followers on Twitter @blog44 (@vj44, Valerie Jarrett, his senior adviser) and as posted by me on The White House Linkedin group’s discussion “Advising the Advisor: We Want Your Ideas”

* The White House Blog ‏@blog44

http://WH.gov : Welfare, Work and America’s Governors http://goo.gl/fb/5Hz7c

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* Transformations ‏@c_tamirisa
@blog44 Country First, partisanship next, @senjohnmccain
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from New York, US
* PM – 12 Aug 12 via web · Details

* Transformations ‏@c_tamirisa
@blog44 Welfare is obviously a state program with some federal overlap in healthcare.
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* Transformations ‏@c_tamirisa
@blog44 States can put welfare recipients back to work first.
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* Transformations ‏@c_tamirisa
@blog44 We do not want Orange County (within states) type of situations. Keep state governments robust and fully employed.
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* Transformations ‏@c_tamirisa
@blog44 We can deal with federal debt later.
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* Transformations ‏@c_tamirisa
@blog44 AT THE MOMENT, all 50 state budgets must be brought to balance with federal debt without cutting services.
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* Transformations ‏@c_tamirisa
@blog44 States have budget balancing rules. Federal government does not. Who should invest in states without raising their debt levels?
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* Transformations ‏@c_tamirisa
@blog44 At issue, Mr President, [ultimately, it is not the responsibility of the states or the federal government] to create welfare to work jobs. It’s the responsibility of the uninvested $32T’s offshore (exactly 2 times the total amount dispensed by the Federal Reserve since 2007).
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The above policy priority, besides being caused by economic uncertainty due to the incompetence of the Federal Reserve since the 1990s, has become imminent because of the Chinese and European downturns: China may no longer continue to buy US bonds nor will the oil exporting countries which are flush with cash but with their own domestic needs to fulfill.

State and local financial crises, similar to Orange County’s in 1994, can cause tensions within the union if states are required to keep their budgets in balance and meet welfare reform requirements on their own in the absence of adequate real investment by the financial markets.

Washington must incur higher budget deficits in the immediate term to keep state and local budgets in balance without cutting services as I have advised in 2008 and to maintain social stability. States and localities, improvising on my 2008 advice to suit the current circumstance, should be prohibited from any debt issuance. As a part of this process welfare reform law requirements can be met by the states by hiring welfare to work participants.

There are other ways to deal with the US dollar and debt in the immediate to the long terms both through higher domestic investment and government and tax reforms (since I wrote the article pointed to by this weblink, US national debt has risen by $3 trillion and is at 100% of gross domestic product, creating untenable conditions which can precipitate a currency crisis in 2013 should economic growth slowdown into the negative territory later this year).

More imminently, however, a change at the helm of the Fed is necessary to get the job done.


About Chandrashekar (Chandra) Tamirisa

This entry was posted in Economics, Financial Regulation, Fiscal Policy, Health, Transformations LLC. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Welfare To Work And Other Imminent Economic Priorities

  1. now 1776 @1_776
    @slone Welfare: Write your member of Congress or contribute $1/person at any frequency if you want me to do that @paulryanvp @newtgingrich
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    2:39 PM – 9 Sep 12 · Details

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