It has become increasingly clear to me as the current Republican-controlled legislatures at the state and federal level are intensifying their attacks upon this nation's poorest and most vulnerable citizens by threatening to eliminate entire social service programs that it is high time for all state public welfare programs to be overseen at the federal level.
- Food aid is federally funded: SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), which is commonly referred to aa food stamps is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Corbett and Public Welfare Secretary Gary Alexander are enforcing a draconian $2,000 asset limit on food stamp recipients despite the fact that 35 states have eliminated that asset test altogether and others have raised it to $5,000. In Pennsylvania there is negligible food stamp fraud, 30 percent of Pennsylvanians who are financially qualified never even apply and the state has to pay $160 million to operate its SNAP program no matter how many people are served.
- Section 8 or low-income housing and shelter assistance are federally funded.
- Medicaid is federally funded.
- Medicare and Social Security are basically federally funded public welfare programs specifically for senior citizens.
- Requiring all public welfare employees to requalify for their positions by completing federal applications and being subjected to federal employment rules, laws, standards and testing would hopefully end any illegal passing of client information to outsiders and raise the standard and improve the delivery of social services.
Timothy J. Mullen