The Mitt Romney campaign is continuing to assert that Obama has eliminated any requirement that welfare recipients work. His ad says that Obama has made it so that welfare recipients do not have to work or train for a job, but can simply lay at home and "collect a check."
The Washington Post, NY Times, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, Politifact, etc. (everyone except Fox) has said this is false. Even Newt Gingrich told Anderson Cooper, "we have no proof" of that. Yet Mitt Romney and Fox continue to run with it. Why? Because it works.
In the minds of every displaced and agitated white working class man, it conjures up an image of every black person they are afraid of receiving something for nothing. That is where this campaign is right now. They have to exploit the fears and ignorance of those who engage in the most unsupported conspiracy theories when faced with the reality of an electorate -- and an elected official -- who does not share their features, names, or traditions.
They are relegated to stirring up the emotions of the most fearful part of their base because they have no good policy ideas. Their approach to mitigating the deficit would be to return us to the same laissez faire economics that got us into this mess in the first place, while at the same time making it so that the wealthiest Americans -- the only people not affected by the recession -- would pay less taxes than ever.
Perhaps one of the most important people calling Romney a liar on this welfare claim is Bill Clinton. He actually signed the welfare reform act into law in '96, which is what Romney is now saying has been "gutted" by President Obama. The truth is that Obama gave to Governors the discretion they asked for in implementing the work requirement for welfare recipients. Several of these governors were Republicans. BUT there is no provision allowing states to simply hand out welfare checks as an allowance for sitting at home. Most importantly, welfare recipients could have the option of going to school instead of having to take the first job available to someone in their position. Such flexibility actually increases the likelihood that welfare recipients can escape dependency on welfare, something that Republicans should be excited about. Indeed, Republicans do like the idea which is why some of them asked for it, and why Newt Gingrich cannot help but grin and giggle when it comes up. And again, it would be up to Governors not the President. This actually gives more power back to the states -- something else Republicans would be giddy about if it were not election season.
Below is a list of sources calling the Romney claim FALSE: