Obama’s misleading welfare ad

Mickey Kaus Columnist
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Obama’s misleading welfare ad: Barack Obama posed as a tough welfare reformer** when he ran for president in 2008, his campaign boasting in a TV ad that:

He passed a law to move people from welfare to work, slashed the rolls by eighty percent.

This while the screen said “The Obama Record: Reduced welfare rolls nearly 80%.” [Emphasis not added]

When he became president, though, Obama named opponents of welfare reform to key positions in the Department of Health and Human Services. Now they’ve gotten him in political trouble by sneaking out a new policy opening the door for states to weaken the work requirements in the law (in a way that contradicts the “Work First” philosophy behind the 1996 reform).  Earlier in his term, Obama enthusiastically signed a Dem stimulus measure that was explicitly designed to encourage states to add to the welfare rolls.

Whatever you think of Romney’s ad–it’s oversimplified, like Obama’s 2008 ad–Obama deserves to be busted for his original I’m-a-welfare-slasher con, no? …

P.S.: Former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson, a genuine pioneer of left-right welfare reform–his W-2 program, negotiated with liberal Dems, required work but offered public service jobs to back it up–has just won the Wisconsin GOP primary for U.S. Senator. Thompson’s reform was the sort of successful policy innovation you don’t see from the stagnant Obama White House. … Even Ur-Obamaphile Jonathan Alter laments Obama’s “creativity gap.” He needs to send himself a stern email. …

** Backfill: Bryan Preston beat me to this point. …

Mickey Kaus