The most obvious evidence of President Obama's welfare state is in the reversal Bill Clinton's welfare legislation in the stimulus bill.
A provision of the bill would establish a $3 billion “emergency fund” for states to use to pay for increases in their welfare rolls. Significantly the legislative language would reward states for increasing their caseloads, regardless of whether the increase was due to increased unemployment or other economic conditions or simply because the state loosened its work requirements or time limits. It also shifts the base for states caseload reduction bonuses in a way that will discourage states from holding down the growth in welfare. And, while the grant does not eliminate welfare reform’s central concept of replacing the individual entitlement to welfare with a state block grant, it certainly weakens the foundation.
As such, states are now encouraged rather than discouraged to put more people on their welfare rolls.
Of course, this niche of the stimulus bill is only the beginning of President Obama's penchant for welfare within the stimulus. President Obama increased the length of unemployment insurance and increased funding for food stamps. He increased the funding for COBRA, which pays for some one's health insurance when they lose their jobs. Furthermore, the tax credit within the stimulus mean that about half the population now pay no federal income taxes.
On top of this, President Obama signed an increase to the SCHIP bill which significantly increased the number of people eligible to receive free health insurance for their children.
President Obama signed an expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program Wednesday afternoon. "This is a down payment on my promise to cover every American," he said.The President's mortgage bailout plan is another place where President Obama has employed the idea of welfare. In this plan, borrowers struggling to stay on time with their mortgages are given access to loan modifications in which their terms are made better and the government subsidizes this plan. More than that, the ones at the front of the line are the ones most upside down. This plan will subsidize those who's mortgages are more than the value of their homes more than anyone. In other words, the government will subsidize for them not only a better rate but a reduced principle.
Welfare for the citizen is not the only place where the President seems to want to act. He appears to also be a believer in corporate welfare. He has said unequivocally that he will not allow the big three automakers to fail. He is even mulling over a plan for TARP II to keep struggling banks in business. His stimulus plan also includes billions of Dollars for states struggling to keep a balanced budget. As such, the President has hit the trifecta. Whether it is individuals, businesses or even governments, if you can't make it on your own, the President sees it as his duty to use tax payer Dollars to help you make it. Welcome to the welfare state under our new President.