HIGHTOWER: Clinton's Welfare Switch

If hypocrits could fly, politicians would be jumbo jets.Last year, Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich, shouting that they were "ending welfare as we know it," locked arms to shove hundreds of thousands of welfare mothers into the job market. Fine, welfare is a bureaucratic nightmare for those on it, and most welfare moms would much prefer a good job.But there is the sticky part. Bill and Newt punted them off welfare, but where are the jobs? We already have at least 35 million folks unemployed or underemployed, and now here come about a million more low-wage workers to join the search. Even if they find a job, they can't afford day-care for their children, nor do most of them have transportation to get to work and back.Not to worry, proclaimed the President in his state of the union address, because I have a plan to get jobs for all of these moms. Bill's scheme is a new, $3-billion a year subsidy program to give up to $10,000 to corporations for each welfare mother they hire.Hello. Has he not just shifted our tax dollars from family welfare to corporate welfare? Must these corporations at least act responsibly by paying a living wage to the mothers? No, no, minimum wage is fine -- a wage that keeps them mired in poverty. Surely, the corporate welfare recipients have to keep these low-wage, subsidized workers on the payroll for a minimum period. Nonsense -- once Clinton's subsidy ends, the company can punt the workers at will!In his state-of-the-union speech, Clinton singled out Monsanto, Sprint, United Airlines, UPS and AT&T for being the first to sign-up, and the Republican congress applauded this news enthusiastically, as though these firms were being altruistic, rather than simply getting in a new corporate-welfare line.Great. Washington has taken us from welfare for the needy, to welfare for the greedy.

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