Monday, February 03, 2014

One more federal jobs program

Rep. Susan Del Bene, new Congresswoman from Medina, Wa, has a big win. Another federal jobs program.

How many are there now? Who can count them? Find them? Mitt Romney said in 2012 that there are 49 that report to 8 different agencies. And even Politifact claimed his statement to be “Mostly True.” His error? Trivial. They found 47 programs in 9 agencies. How do they overlap?

She requested a $30 million program to train food-stamp recipients for work in the “Farm Bill” that passed the US House of Representatives last weeks. In a surprise of the legislative process she got 7 times more - $200 million. She based her request on a program Washington has called Washington State Basic Food Employment and Training (BFE&T). It’s for SNAP (food stamp) recipients, but only for those not participating in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) WorkFirst work program. Services are provided through community or technical colleges and/or community based organizations (CBO). And furthermore… It gets complicated, of course.

BFE&T’s homepage claims that over a 2-year period 72% got jobs with a median pay of $11.00 per hour. That sounds good to me. But why do we need yet another federal jobs program? Why? Because it would take time and effort to dig through the existing 47 to find which one is a close-enough fit.

Since Del Bene's is a federal program much of its benefits will go to middle class people who get paid to put on poorly focused classes and other services that the needy find hard to get access to.

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