John Oliver on the abuse of TANF

The program known as TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) “provides states and territories with flexibility in operating programs designed to help low-income families with children achieve economic self-sufficiency.  States use TANF to fund monthly cash assistance payments to low-income families with children, as well as a wide range of services.”

On the latest episode of his show, John Oliver describes how this program has been abused so that a lot of the money does not go to the people it was meant for.

Part of the problem is that although it is a federal program, rather than the federal government giving the money directly to needy people, conservatives lobbied to have the federal government give it in the form of block grants to states who were given guidelines on how the money could be spent. But the guidelines were loose enough to allow states to siphon money away to build things like a new college volleyball stadium. This is why proposals to convert federal programs into block grants to states should always be viewed with extreme caution.


  1. sonofrojblake says

    Funny, in the uk “benefit cheats” are people who e.g. claim disability when not entitled. I.e a group who do exist, but are tiny and cost the system, and crucially the public, almost nothing overall.

    The US does”benefit cheating”, and it’s already rich people stealing off the poor. One again I wonder why anyone with ANY choice would even visit the place, much less live there. What a horrible shithole.

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