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Governor plans to completely eliminate welfare for families

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is proposing to completely eliminate the state’s welfare program for families, medical insurance for low-income children and Cal Grants cash assistance to college and university students.

The proposals to sharply scale back the assistance that California provides to its neediest  residents came in testimony by the administration this afternoon at a joint legislative budget committee hearing. It followed comments by the governor earlier today that he would be withdrawing a proposal to help balance the budget with billions of dollars of borrowing and replacing it with program reductions.

The proposals would completely reshape the state’s social service network, transforming California from one of the country’s most generous states to one of the most tightfisted. The proposals are intended to help close a budget deficit estimated at $21.3 billion.

—Eric Bailey

Comments () | Archives (262)

Mr. Bailey comments that some strategy would result in "transforming California from one of the country’s most generous states to one of the most tightfisted."

Last time I checked and wholly unrelated to political postures, an entity which is insolvent and swamped under debt MUST become "tightfisted." Any debt counselor would advise this for an individual facing massive, self-inflicted debt. The choices would be abrogation of debt via whole or partial bankruptcy or, more preferable, becoming "tightfisted" and paying off the debt.

That politics wants to pretend government is exempt from this well-known truth shows that politics has become insanity incarnate. The simple arithmetic rules the situation, and the political posturing is in the long term meaningless.

Debt will be managed, because getting a new credit card to pay off your old one is never the answer it seems. Rather it is gasoline poured on a fire. When such a strategy is followed to its end, all the words in the world mean nothing. More debt for the state of California to answer its problem with debt? The structure of the question itself shows the lunacy of such a notion -- a notion which has been prevalent for decades, and is now coming to its special ripeness, as do all Ponzi schemes.

AMAZING how many people want to abandon us californians because of those who voted in governor arnold. have you forgotten what horrible choices we had to begin with? and have you forgotten that we're the most populous state with the third largest land mass? in 2007 we had the largest GDP in the entire country! our state alone is responsible for 13% of the nations GDP! our state's economy is larger than all but 8 nations in the entire world! you want a good movie? television series? a good bottle of wine? you want some of the best produce in the world? we're responsible for nearly 20% of all dairy in the US! and you're just going to abandon us in this time of need? what comes around goes around - remember.

o yeah reduce the budget by cutting the education of the future working class *roll eyes

With the welfare cuts so go the illegal aliens. Hopefully they will go back to where they came from and probably to a better economy then is here in California.

It's look like the total crash is showing is feet in california !
If the same thing was going one here in France (where I'm living) it will be the revolution immediately !

Why doesn't the Governor just use out of the CAFR funds like he is supposed to/ Isn't that what they are for?


"Americans can clean rooms, flip burgers, sweep floors and pick lettuce, just like they did 50 or 60 years ago, just pay a living wage!"

Jobs like those don't deserve a "living wage". Those are unskilled starter jobs... stepping stone jobs... not a career.

houston, we definitely have a problem........
we used to laugh at the "pesant" society... but the pesants had land to feed themselves and a measure of independence. They were squeedzed in a protection racket ........ but whats it like to be unemployed in surburbia with no basic welfare system... ?

I am for pulling welfare for most. I think it is abused by illegals and irrresponsible teens who get pregnant with the feeling welfare is their right. I do believe their needs to be a safety net for some cases however. For example the elderly and children. I believe a scale back is in order. Or shift some of the funds to charities whom could at least still give out food. With that being said, there are alot of other programs that could also be cut. We give Millions of dollars to saving the owls,field mice and seals. I think God can take of the animals.
We are a lazy culture,that needs to stop. If you are not a tax payer..i.e. illegals they should not benefit from our services. We are a nation of laws..sorry folks!!!
We need to return to the principals of the constitution.
Read the 5000 year leap it explains where we have lost our way, but we can get back on track.

Only good thing about this is that it will bring down the government of california and probably the us government when the people realize the fascist kleptocracy that is now running our nation through such actions.

So many of you people posting here are giving evidence of why welfare should be eliminated. I won't have food, I won't be able to attend college unless I have a Cal Grant,(paid for by citizens), etc. etc. Good Lord, go and get a job, you lazy worthless bunch of morons. Neither I, or any other taxpaying Californian owes you people squat. Get a life and get some self respect.

Cali's self serving legislators couldn't figure out that the welfare state and open borders cannot live together. Now they have broken the state for good. the people of Cali voted for the idiots and the LA times wants them to pay the idiots even more taxes. Again, a stupid idea as any money the govt gets it is taking from the private economy, taking the jobs and growth with it. Seems like the californians still can't quite figure it out....kick all of them out and vote in independent candidates, get rid of the illegals and close the border or close down welfare, your choice. Any republicrats are all the same, rotten to the core, same as DC. california is now the perfect example of "how not" to do things. all the middle and upper class families are moving out, all the smart companies are moving out, it is a vacuum that will take decades to rebuild, leaving the aged and Illegals. Glad to have left in 2002, my commute is 5 minutes, my kids are not going to a prison camp school and are not scared for their lives of gun toting gangsters. there are so many better places to live. california is now irrelevant, the people of the state and their legislators are to blame, kalifornians were dreamin that they could have their cake and eat it too, but alas, there is no free lunch.

I agree with Jolene.
There will not be any good to come of this folly. People will die, and horribly. Cutting welfare programs is not an option. I also cannot believe its actually being considered. But have no fear, it will never pass. Not ever. Not with so many lives depending on it illegal or otherwise.

"Californian" You are a complete disgrace and its horrifying to me that you are even intelligent enough to even use a computer. Dont spout your idiocy to us, go find some illiterate sheep.

As for the rest of you. You should be ASHAMED. How dare you attempt or even think about cutting CHILDREN who are INNOCENT off much needed financial assistance and medical coverage? It is disgusting that you would even think for one second that is a viable option. Open your eyes. There will NOT be applause from the masses... What there will be is CHILDREN dying in the streets of starvation and disease. Think about it.

I cannot believe that there are people on here selfish enough to be okay with this. Its very hard to find jobs now with the way the Country and State is in debt and welfare has helped many people throughout the years it doesn't last a lifetime but only helps people get back on their feet. I'm sorry not everyone chooses to marry some rich man and be so self absorbed to say that welfare is for irresponsible teens and immigrants like our governor right....? Not every child has grown up with everything but it's not their fault and taking away the little they have is painful to see. There are people who appreciate what they are given not out buying designer clothes and new cars and those are the people who don't use gas guzzling vehicles and continue to work in the fields protecting what little green we still have. Maybe if the selfish rich people of the world would give up some of their hardly worked for money our country would be a little better! I watched Americas Most Wanted and a 5million dollar reward for a tip on a drug dealer who is number 27 on Forbes only in the United States! Where is the money for that coming from?

what about the billions of taxes going to the big fat ceos isnt that welfare that they are receiving and by the imigrants lol every european descendent is related to imigrants who came to steal land check your local librarys and you still have the odasity to act like you have a right to call people names and by the way if you want the jobs that the farm workers have go and apply im sure you will get hired and probly quit the same day, and dont forget the thousands of laid off workers who had to go and apply for welfare im sure you know someone. I agree there needs to be limits on the lazy people taking advantage of the whole system but there are good people who use it when it is really needed it....

Problem: Too deep in Debt
Solution: Stop paying illegals 13M/yr in Medicaid, Social Security, Healthcare, WIC, FoodSTamps, TAF etc and only help out working US citizens/families/Disabled Vets and REAL disabled people. (The definition of DISABLED needs to be REALLY tightened up.) STOP PAYING DAYCARE FOR NON-WORKING PEOPLE!! Help out only those who are ACTUALLY WORKING such as single mom's (most who's kids have dead-beat fathers who arent paying child support and need help with the outrageous costs of Childcare.) Oh ya, there needs to be a program to get dead-beat parents to PAY THEIR OBLIGATIONS!! THen a lot of parents can GET OFF THE SYSTEM.

When you eliminate ALL Welfare Programs, you hurt the most needy: children and the elderly. What about those 70-80yr olds who lost their retirements/living $$ in the stock market the past few years?

So alot of you want to cut $$ for pregnant teens - THAT is a STUPID idea: they can't finish their schooling to improve their family's life nor feed their child - stress makes them abuse their child, they end up in jail which causes taxpayer $$. HOW ABOUT STOPPING SEX ED IN THE SCHOOLS MORONS?!! Teen pregnancy has only escalated since that decision was made!! Back in the day before SEX ED (and by the way, the abortion industry wasn't booming back then) they didn't have this EPIDEMIC. So lets take away the innocence of children younger and younger by force-feeding them sex on TV, Movies and sex ed in the schools before their brains can even understand sex and then promote ABORTION (which makes rich doctors get richer - and who are in the politician's back pockets) (and oh, ya, lets fund ABORTION WITH TAX DOLLARS to Planned Parenhood) these abortions - which increases risk of Breast Cancer and other health and mental health issues which then are also making the rich doctors richer - WOW Great plan liberals!! LETS BRING BACK THE MORALS, AMERICA!!!

everybody got here illeagally some how not one of us belongs here rather is from now or hundreds of years ago.So leave all the illegal people alone they work harder than anyone else.They are willing to work wherever and wheneverthe job belongs to whoev er wants to work.Its the stupid govenor hes trying to take from the poor and leave the rich people.We need our modern day robin hood. for the people complaining on here about werlfare to illegals let them have the right to work here if you did there woulndt be so many people on welfare and we wouldnt be having this problem. Quit complaing this isnt any specific persons country its everones.ii understans like send the criminals and murderes back to their country but everyone has a right to be here and try to make a living

Please welcome the world's seventh largest economy to the third world. Where's our welcoming committee? I expect NGOs throwing bags of rice off the backs of trucks. Where's Doctors Without Borders?

I do mind that Cal Grants will be cut because it helps me pay for my education and I am planning to transfer to a 4 year college in the fall of 2010. To be honest I don't care if they cut down the welfare to familes. I know so many families in my community that lie to the government saying they don't know where the fathers are and they get checks. The fathers live with them! Even in section 8 housing they stay there and leave early before someone from the county checks the living conditions. Checks to pay for new cars instead buying things that their children need. What is the point of having welfare checks pay for cars! It angers me because my mom asked for welfare when I was a child and for health insurance and they asked if my mom knew where my father was and she said yes. She didn't lie and because she told the truth, we didn't receive food stamps or health insurance or any kind of help to pay for our apartment. She had to work many hours, I barely got to see her. If welfare were to be kept, the government needs to have these women go to school instead of sttaying at home watching tv and buying things that are not necessary. No one is going to tell the truth but we need to start cracking down on all these families what are receiving money and aren't returning anything to the community or state. People can argue with me but everyone has to realize that there are families who actually need this more than the ones who lie. Yes it will be hard to weed out all the ones who lie about the family status but don't you think it is suspicious of they get welfare for 1 or 2 children and the next year they're asking for more help with their other 3 kids? Has anyone noticed this?

This is a disgrace. There are people who temporarily need to be on welfare and my family was one of them. So was I. Now we are really well off. We pay back by doing volunteer service. Perhaps it cost working people and for that we are sorry. But it is also true that we gave back in our many subsequent jobs, some of which paid so badly that it is clear someone profited hugely from us. However the attitudes here expressed show that California is really post-Christian or something weird and hateful. Next earthquake guys, may wipe YOU out. Will I help you? Hey, I live somewhere else. Why should I? Morally - why should I? You tell me.

The problem with the welfare program is that it's not being used only by those in temporary need. There are many people who have used it as a means of living. Those families have been welfare recipients for generations.

The question should be one of ousting the abusers. They are one of the main problems with the program in CA, and elsewhere in the country. Can benefits for the leeches. The reduction in spending will help the budget issue CA is currently facing.

I'm remembering a time when California was the target for the Enron scam. California and little old ladies, according to remarks made by Enron traders back then. Look it up - - Enron, Cheney & California on Google.com
We lost over $30,000,000 because of that scam. The Bush Justice Dept. was trying to keep tapes by Enron traders from going to a Washington state power company, probably because of the implications. Those tapes were finally retrieved and reported almost word by word by CBS back in 2004. Did we ever get any of that money back? I bet there's a lot sitting in foreign banks. The whole thing still makes me mad, especially now when we're down in the dumps, financially and spiritually.

This is a tough issue. When I was young, my father left my mother with 2 boys and no support. We were on food stamps and some assistance when times were difficult (in Florida). We weren't on it for less than two years, but my mother found decent paying work and affordable day care. This is how welfare is meant to work. It's a safety net for families that need help. My mother remarried, worked many years in marketing and put us through college. The investment in helping our family led to us becoming contributing members of society that pay back to the system in tax revenue. But this was in the late seventies.

Now thirty odd years later of stagnant wages, I don't think the same public assistance can help people get off of welfare. The cost of child care, healthcare and all other expenses has skyrocketed. I think if my mother was on public assistance today, we may never have gotten out of the place we were in. I don't think its fair to simply point at people on welfare and say hey you are a deadbeat because you cannot lift yourself up. Especially now with the current economic situation. College grads of the last five years are already finding out that their thirty thousand dollar education is worthless in the job market.

Where were all these people on this comment page complaining about illegals, etc for the last twenty five years. Most likely voting for the conservatives (Republican and Democrat alike) that brought us deregulation, decreased protections for workers, globalism and other neoliberal policies that have eviscerated the middle class. These policies are directly responsible for the hardshipsa we are experiencing now.

At the same time, I am a realist. California is going to have to make hard decisions to get out beneath the budget deficit. California has to cut somewhere and the most vulnerable members of society will likely pay the price. Next in line is government services such as public education, the police force and fire departments.

Before you start pointing fingers, ask yourself what you did to stop this mess. And then, please try to find some compassion for the less fortunate.

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