As welfare officials go, B.J. Walker is something of a rock star. Appointed commissioner of Georgia's Department of Human Resources in 2004, Walker quickly became famous for her push to get virtually every adult off the state's public assistance rolls. By 2006, the state claimed Walker's agency had produced an astounding increase in the work participation rate of its tanf recipients, which in four years had jumped from 8 percent to nearly 70 percent.
So how did Georgia put all those welfare moms to work? It didn't. As the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' Liz Schott explained in a 2007 paper, "the increased work participation rate is primarily a factor of fewer families receiving assistance."
What are people supposed to do if they can't find work? Don't they receive a welfare payment that brings their standard of living to just below the poverty line? I really don't understand.
Citizens, illegal immigrants jostle for dwindling jobs
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