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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Getting It Wrong Twice

    Growing up remember when your Mom advised you, haste makes waste; slow down and get it right.
   Apparently the speedy folks in the state welfare department are orphans.
    The social safety net crowd is up in arms over the state's mad dash to remove the needy from the welfare roles and to get them off the food stamp program, too.
    The leader of all this is Maura Corrigan recently of the Michigan Supreme Court with an admirable track record of helping children.
    Which is why some advocates for the needy are scratching their collective heads.
    Item:  The state legislature enacts an end to welfare benefits after 48 months.  Ms. Corrigan and company get caught by the courts for moving too quickly without adequate notification or due process for those about to be booted off. Under a court order, the department does a make good and finally gets it right the second time.
    Item:  Seeking to eradicate fraud which has plagued the food stamp program, Ms. Corrigan decides anybody who owns a car worth over $15,000 is obviously pretty well to do and therefore does not deserve food stamps.  Rumor has it she strolled into a welfare office and saw a Hummer out front which prompted the new policy.
    Let's dismiss that as folly because if it was true, it would hardly reflect the due diligence and logic that a former jurist might apply to running a department where the lives of individuals are on the line.
    The no car thing quickly circulates and the pro-needy folks were wondering how their clients will look for or get to work; What if they were given the car as a gift?  What if they lived in the car?  What if they bought the car when they were well off but have now fallen on hard times?
     All the "what if's' apparently escaped the "thinking" in the bowels of the  welfare department which found itself the subject of a question at a governor's news conference.
     Although he didn't cast aspersions on the policy, because Gov. Snyder is not an aspersion- caster by nature, he was asked if the decision should be changed.
     He advised that it was under review and since it had become a "typic of discussion," which was a polite way of saying there was consternation all over the joint, he awaited the results of that review.
     Several days later the quickly enacted car ownership miscue was just as quickly revised.
     Memo to Human Service Department:  See Mom's advice in paragraph one.


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