Archive for Monday, January 7, 2013

Brownback defends handling of programs designed to help poor Kansans

January 7, 2013, 3:31 p.m. Updated January 7, 2013, 4:16 p.m.


— Gov. Sam Brownback on Monday defended his handling of programs designed to help the poor in the wake of a report that showed child poverty had increased during his tenure while poor families receiving cash assistance from the state had dropped.

Brownback said the 38 percent decrease in the number of families receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families was because of people who refused to comply with a requirement that they look for a job.

"I think that is a pretty modest requirement," Brownback said. "The best way to get out of poverty is a job," he said.

The Kansas City Star reported during the weekend that the child poverty rate in Kansas had increased from 14.5 percent in 2008 to 18.8 percent.

Approximately 39,000 Kansans received TANF when Brownback took office. Since then, the rolls have decreased by 15,000. That decrease includes 9,000 children.

Advocates for the poor have said the Brownback administration has implemented rules that make it more difficult for low-income families to receive help.

TANF is designed to help the poorest of the poor. To qualify, families can have annual incomes no greater than 28 percent of the federal poverty level, which for a family of four is approximately $6,500.

In 2011, the Brownback administration announced several major changes in TANF, including a reduction in the amount of time people can receive cash assistance over a lifetime to 48 months from 60 months.

Another policy requires that people look for 20 jobs a week as their applications are being processed. Angela de Rocha, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, said the search for 20 jobs a week is flexible.

"That is our goal. But of course each individual case is different, as is each individual community. In smaller communities, obviously this is going to be a steeper hill to climb than in a metropolitan area. Caseworkers do have a certain amount of flexibility," she said. In addition, she said, mothers with infants in their homes are not held to this requirement.

Brownback said his administration is focused on getting people jobs and providing more stable family situations. He has also set up a task force to make recommendations on reducing child poverty.


edgla 3 years, 1 month ago

"...requires that people look for 20 jobs a week ..."

20 per WEEK?? Seems a bit excessive....

Mike1949 3 years ago

It doesn't seem excessive, it is practically impossible on a constant bases. It is a scam so no one can qualify, that is the hidden catch. If you can't qualify, then the state doesn't have to pay anything! When is the majority of Kansans going to wake up? Oh, they aren't, Kansas is controlled by wealthy republicans, and they want slave labor. Kansas may have lost the Civil War, but there are other ways to create slave labor!

bad_dog 3 years ago

Kansas lost the Civil War? All by themselves? Oh, the ignominy...

edgla 3 years ago

This also puts a drain on resources of businesses receiving all of these applications. If you're applying to 20/week you are definitely applying so some that you are under and/or overqualified for.

brianjay1 3 years ago

Nope... I hire and want the applicants for choice. Happy to have them

Fred Whitehead Jr. 3 years ago

You go to the Kansas Workforce Center, there is one here on Iowa street. You ask for help looking fpr workl and then can use the facilities that are provided free of charge to search a number of job opening sites. "Looking for work" means submitting applications in person, by mail or on line, and documenting your search. I just recently had to collect unemployment for a period of time, and it is very easy to do these things if you get off your dead butt and go do what is required and there is plenty of assistance available. Bitching and griping about it will not meet the requirements. Taking an active jobsearch with the state unemployment services will fulfill the requirements to "look for work" If I can do it, anyone who really wants to look for work can do it, there are many people at the Workforce Centers that will assist you.

Lawrence Morgan 3 years ago

Did you have 1 or more kids to take care of? No vehicle, so you had to use the bus? Tell us all what your real situation was.

deec 3 years ago

Is there a workforce center in every community in the state?

brianjay1 3 years ago

p> has hundreds you just have to make effort God forbid

whosrunningthisplace 3 years ago

I am just wondering, in order to qualify for farm subsidies, does one have to apply to 20 farm job openings? Check out the what Sam Brownback and his family qualified for in subsidies. Seems socialism is great as long as the permanent majority clan of Kansas is stuffing the dollars into their pockets. Don't believe me, check out:

Joe Hyde 3 years ago

Not only excessive but impossible to achieve. A family of four with a combined annual income of $6,500 or less will almost certainly not own a vehicle. So forget about meeting the requirement for 20 job applications per week...unless all 20 jobs being applied for involve businesses located within walking distance of their place of residence. Same problem coming up with enough money to buy gasoline, even for 20-applications-per-week job seekers who do own a vehicle.

srothschild 3 years, 1 month ago

edgla -- I just added some further explanation of that from Angela de Rocha with the Bronwback administration.

Mike1949 3 years ago

You are just figuring that out?

shadowlady 3 years, 1 month ago

It's bad when you are out of work, but gee whiz, even the ones that are fortunate to have a job can't afford squat. When you are paying high rent, the utitities went up, then there's high gas to get back and forth to work,, insurance on your car, groceries, that has gone up, and then there is high day care, and the state says you are making to much money, and they say your making to much money, and here you can't afford to pay a day care or buy groceries. Brownback has cut back so much even on families that is trying to do for their own but need a little help, and there is none available. So I can just imagine the ones that are out of work. It makes me sick to my stomach.

wood451 3 years, 1 month ago

Take a Tums for you're stomach and a glass of wine for your anxiety lady.
Fear is the greatest motivator. Those that need, should be motivated by fear to try harder to reduce expenses and increase income. This is the only way to escape financial challenges. Counting on taxpayer / government assistance is only a drug that allows a person to escape this undeniable truth.

olkate 3 years, 1 month ago

Did you not read? She can't afford Tums or wine, man!

Positive motivators and incentives work better than fear or handouts, according to the research. Research-based legislation: I know, it's totally unAmerican.

hedshrinker 3 years ago

Fear is considered a good motivator only by sadists and inhumane, stupid jerks,,, ask any animal trainer...yes, being terrified of negative consequences initially pushes people to react (not very thoughtfully or strategically), but ultimately over time, it teaches the subject to despise their tormentor and to attack them first chance they get. If all you care about is short term results and bad bad bad longer term results be damned then I guess you'll fit right in in Kansas under Brownback's regime. That's what they are all about.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 3 years, 1 month ago

"The best way to get out of poverty is a job." Except when the available jobs have wages that keep you at or below the Poverty Level.Get Real. Wages have remained stagnant and incomes have declined. You want a true economic Recovery? You "Job Creators"need to Pay your workers better. Want people off the Government Teat? Pay them a wage they can live on with out needing "entitlements".This is a man made crisis completely caused and controlled by the"Job Creators". Problem with the equation is that the ones at the Top would have to do with a little less. And we know that GREED rules them and that will never happen.

verity 3 years, 1 month ago

I would give you a number of thumbs up if I could.

wood451 3 years, 1 month ago

Why would anyone want to be "at the Top" if their efforts only went to pay those that are not?

Thomas Bryce Jr. 3 years, 1 month ago

Their "Efforts" Are rewarded Handsomely and are not Only for paying those that are not. The ratio of the amount a Have haves over a Have not has increased by staggering proportions.They could have payed their workers more, but They chose to take more. Trickle Down Economics Ceased Right There, into the Pockets of the Top Executives of every Major corporation Or Company. Our wages have stayed the same and there's have gone up a thousand fold. It was Their Choice, not yours or mine.

overthemoon 3 years, 1 month ago

Some people strive for excellence without concern for the money. I know that may be hard to accept, but if the real leaders in our world thought like that we'd all be living in caves.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 3 years ago

If our Real Leaders don't Change something soon, Living in a cave will not be a far fetched notion. It may be a new reality for some even in this day and age.

deec 3 years, 1 month ago

"The minimum wage in the United States has gone up 353% since 1970, and average incomes have gone up approximately 500%. In that same span, however, the cost of basic household goods has gone up 482%, the cost of a four year education has gone up 994%, and the cost of an average home has gone up 917%."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

"While there maybe some who truly need help,"

Wow, that's quite an admission. Doesn't that put some cracks in your extreme judgmentalism of millions of people who you don't know and in whose shoes you'll never walk?

Thomas Bryce Jr. 3 years ago

What is fair about keeping workers wages stagnant for decades while the upper class kept rising? This is about a conscious decision made by those at the top that they DESERVE more than You or I. Has nothing to do with how hard you work. Some one decided you do not deserve to make as much as they do. Hard work has been devalued and those that do hard work have been demonized simply for asking employers to keep wagers in line with inflation and the Cost of Living. Not everyone can be a Job Creator. NavyVet, I am an ArmyVet. You , sir, are preaching to the choir.

verity 3 years, 1 month ago

Either Brownback is totally delusional or he knows exactly what he's doing.

Brownback/Koch and minions don't want to help the poor, certainly not get them out of poverty. They want us all to be poor---a two-class system.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 3 years, 1 month ago

Thanks for the encouragement.I don't think Gov. Brownback is delusional and I don't think he REALIZES the long term impact of what he is doing. He is just doing the bidding of his keepers. He is a puppet.

Mike1949 3 years ago

You are just now figuring that out? Not to be condescending, but the majority of people have figured that out years ago!

Thomas Bryce Jr. 3 years ago

Figured this out years ago. Just stating the obvious.

verity 3 years ago

I figured out early in the G W Bush administration that destroying the middle class was the agenda and Brownback/Koch is pushing it even harder. I keep repeating it because a lot of people post as if they don't realize that.

Kathy Theis-Getto 3 years, 1 month ago

..and they better start building more, they will be needed when shammy b is finished.

TruthDisguisedAsFiction 3 years, 1 month ago

So Brownback's saying these lazy children need to start looking for some jobs if they want food. That's a pretty modest requirement, right?

olkate 3 years, 1 month ago

One week down. Three more to go before February.

verity 3 years ago

I forget the exact percentage now, but years ago when I was looking for a job, I recall that a very low percentage of jobs are actually advertised in the newspaper. From all the resumes I sent answering newspaper ads, I got one or two interviews over a period of about five months. It takes a lot of research to job hunt. I got a directory (before much internet access), drove around to places and dropped off a resume, talking to people when I could. I got a number of interviews that way, but no job. I finally got a job because a relative told a friend that I was looking and her place of employment just happened to need someone with my skills , which, at that time, not a lot of people had.

I had to travel 400 miles round trip for the interview and stay in a motel overnight. Then, after I got the job offer, I had to drive back, find a place and move in less than two weeks, which is how I ended up back in Kansas. I was lucky I could afford to do that and had no dependents or anybody else to consider when I moved.

Looking for a job is not easy. Actually finding one---well, I'm certainly glad I don't have to look for one in this climate.

verity 3 years ago

I meant I was lucky being able to uproot and move, not ending up in Kansas.

I did have a number of good years until Brownback.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years, 1 month ago

Sounds like career moochers are in the cross hairs... no problem with that here.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

Of course not-- it feeds your insatiable Schadenfreude.

question4u 3 years, 1 month ago

"Brownback said the 38 percent decrease in the number of families receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families was because of people who refused to comply with a requirement that they look for a job."

This isn't a direct quote, so he might not have actually said something that dumb. He can't actually think that changing the number of months for which people living in poverty can receive assistance hasn't decreased the number of people receiving assistance, can he? If it hasn't, then why did his administration make that change in the first place?

It certainly would be wrong for those living below the poverty level to "refuse" to "look for a job," but on the other hand it seems like a pointless exercise if Brownback is right that Kansas lacks jobs. Isn't that why wealthy business owners will now pay no Kansas state income tax? Why should every other worker shoulder the costs of state government for those business owners if there are already so many jobs that no one has any excuse for living below the poverty level? What is the reason for creating more jobs if there are already more than enough to go around?

Flim-Flam Sam is the master at demonstrating that in Kansas government you CAN have it both ways and no one will call you on it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

The whole "job creators" mantra is a fraud. The people who like to claim that mantle for themselves have already done what it takes to pad their bottomline while tanking the economy for everyone else. Making government "lean and efficient" is just code for wringing what's left of a collapsing economy for most of us so they can continue to ride in the wake of the race to bottom that's their real economic goal.

geekin_topekan 3 years, 1 month ago

"because of people who refused to comply with a requirement that they look for a job."

Has Blowsalot ever hit the bricks pushing a stroller because childcare assistance was cut and daddy's nowhere in sight? How is that a refusal?

overthemoon 3 years, 1 month ago

So maybe looking for work someplace other than Kansas would be the ticket. This state is going to h*** in a handbasket, why stay??

verity 3 years ago

Looking for work in another state is expensive. Moving is expensive. Uprooting a family is difficult and expensive. If you live near extended family, they might be helping with child care and so forth. If you're living with family, housing costs will certainly go up. What if you move and then lose your job because the company decides to cut back? I've known that to happen in more than one instance.

Armstrong 3 years, 1 month ago

The something for nothing crowd is getting wound up tonight I see

olkate 3 years, 1 month ago

The nothing for nobody crowd seems pretty rowdy as well.

bad_dog 3 years ago

Is the "d" is Tide silent?

Just wondering...

3 years, 1 month ago

the problem with the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" concept makes many assumptions based on an individual's mental and/or physical capability to hold down a 40 hour a week job, assumes reliable transportation for work, and last but not least, affordable & accessible child care, for the mother or father or guardian. this is a 3 legged stool that is extraordinarily difficult to maintain with very limited funds, even with a local support network of friends & family. i know many, many families that struggle to maintain this 3 legged stool that are not in dire straits, but one loss of one of the legs will tip them straight over to poverty quickly.

Armstrong 3 years, 1 month ago

Sounds like more excuses. If you want something bad enough -car, job, home, food... you will find a way to get it. If you do not want to achieve anything in life be prepaired to accept what get.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 1 month ago

Sorry to disappoint you, but life in the real-world isn't amenable to change through mindless sloganeering. Clicking her heels three times may have worked for Dorothy, but that was a big-budget Hollywood production, not real life.

3 years, 1 month ago

yes armstrong, you are right, if someone is not able to maintain that stool and they need something bad enough, they will turn to crime to get it. thank you for pointing that out.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

"Clearly you are not a person without a degree"

I'd have to question whatever institution issued any such degree.

Bob Hechlor 3 years, 1 month ago

This is what happens when the people elect someone to lead who chooses ignorance. Brownback continues to have only a couple of real constituents, known as the Koch brothers. It is easy to lead if you only have to please two people and they give you your talking points and your policy directives on a regular basis.

James Nelson 3 years ago

Lets not forget they also give him and his cronies all the campaign funds they could ever need.

James Nelson 3 years ago

20 a week? That is no step for a stepper. Brownie should make it 100 a week. Now there would be someone who wants a job. How about it governor? Let us get 95% off the TANF rolls.

kippcolorado 3 years ago

Wow. The people of Kansas are just dumbed-down stupid these days, aren't they? Your state is now ruined for at least a generation, probably more. And Dolph Simons still rules the Lawrence media. You all have really screwed yourselves. Hope you'll like living in the Mississippi of the Midwest. BTW, the Governor and his oil friends are also fracking your water supplies, so be sure to save up for bottled water. Just throw the bottles in the landfills.

olkate 3 years ago

Thanks for judging an entire state of people based on the legislature elected, as if the state were not horribly gerrymandered and everyone voted for the same person. The people of Colorado are acerbic and generalizing these days, aren't they? BTW, a whole state of people can't be "ruined" because the ruling parties are making poor legislation. This attitude takes even more power away from people without money or status just when they need to claim it the most.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years ago

With any luck Kipp... Most of our career moochers will choose to move to Colorado and your tax payers can support them. Yes, we have a few that are actually poor, but the vast majority of who we call poor have cell phones, heat, air conditioning, housing, subsistance, medical, mental, dental, good vehicles, flat screen TV's and do not have to worry about losing their jobs (Income) or taking a pay cut like we who actually pay taxes enjoyed last week with the tax holiday not being continued. Not a one of those moochers have anything to worry about. With any luck, the tax payers of Kansas will let you in Colorado enjoy these folks for a while.

jimmyjms 3 years ago

"Yes, we have a few that are actually poor, but the vast majority of who we call poor have cell phones, heat, air conditioning, housing, subsistance, medical, mental, dental, good vehicles, flat screen TV's ..."

Citation, please? Oh, what's that? You're full of it?

Liberty275 3 years ago

Applying for 20 jobs a week is a bit excessive. OTOH, I can send 20 resumes to random companies in about an hour via email. If the system is a scam, just scam better than the system.

verity 3 years ago

Sure you can, and you probably won't get even one reply, let alone an interview. So you scam the system, but you don't get a job. Actually looking for a job takes a lot of time and effort and probably some money. Often it takes having connections and, for a job that pays a living wage, training and experience.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

Our illustrious Republican leaders are only capable of empathy if it involves the Koch Bros. and their plight.

chicago95 3 years ago

Not a defense -- just some additional facts....

"Many States Cutting TANF Benefits Harshly Despite High Unemployment and Unprecedented Need"

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

"Austerity" measures such as this, combined with right to work laws, will mean that the race to bottom, and its barely survivable wages, will find a home in many places in this country. If you don't like those wages, you can join the 20-25% of the population that's unemployed or underemployed at any given time. Welcome to Greece (just as the far right has been promising us.)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

Without context, it's meaningless. You provide no context.

Greg Cooper 3 years ago

Where the hell is Trabert? I'm feeling in need of some of his words of wisdom to get over this feeling I have that the governor has little, if any, feeling for the poor of the State of Kansas, or any idea whatsoever what it is to ask twenty outfits a week for a job and be turned down, or even where these twenty places can be found.

Perhaps I'll simply shut my eyes and close my ears to the (probably self-induced) plight of the 18.8% of povery-stricken children and their families who are my neighbors and the consumers of the goods and services that the governor and his hench, I mean comrades, supply to those who can afford them.

For God's sake, people, we're reading here about nearly one in five children--CHILDREN!-- who have few, if any, of the comforts of life, let alone the basic necessities. Are we, Kansas, this heartless? Is it so important that we stand by our political "principles" to the detriment of CHILDREN who have no control of where or to whom they born or in what circumstances?

Those of you who have intimated that the poverty rate is overblown, that poverty is the fault of the poor, that bootstraps are better than life preservers, take a look at the world around, and outside, of you. Yes, there is much that some of the poor could do. But there is so much that they can not do that you take for granted, and now you advocate and cheer for rules and regulations that make it more difficult to raise CHILDREN who have no control.

But take heart, ye loyal Kansas Republican wanna-bes, soon there will be little left to worry about other than where we are going to bury all these kids who didn't apply for enough jobs and starved to death. "Sir, I want some more" will become illegal. And you who advocate the current Republican line will be very happy that you don't have the poor and disadvantaged and elderly to bother you any longer. Have a great day, you all, and please don't worry about anyone else. You've made a world where compassion and concern are outre', and kindness and love are reserved for those who can afford it. Congratulations.

verity 3 years ago

I never could make any sense out of what Mr Traubert said. But then, I can't make any sense out of the replies I receive from Moran, Roberts and my esteemed US Rep., Pompeo. They string together words, but they make no sense.

63BC 3 years ago

According to this paper, Kansas poverty among kids was 24% in 2010 when he was elected and 20% now.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

You're comparing the results of two different reports.

But even what's reported in this article--

"The Kansas City Star reported during the weekend that the child poverty rate in Kansas had increased from 14.5 percent in 2008 to 18.8 percent."

-- says that child poverty has increased, not decreased.

So, what was your point?

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

Wow, that was a pretty long string of baseless assumptions and affiliated straw men.

verity 3 years ago

I'm going to repost what I posted on another article several days ago.

"Most of the workers I know were very dedicated despite often being treated like dirt by their employers. They may have disliked their employers, but they had pride in themselves and still went above and beyond in their jobs."

Over my career, I've known very few people such as you describe.

roadwarrior 3 years ago

Living wage, sure. But should the salary for cleaning houses really be high enough to pay for 2 children and an out of work father ?? or, 5 children ? What level of "living" are our expectations of 'a job' based on ?

tomatogrower 3 years ago

If you live in a small town, how are you going to apply for 20 jobs a week? You might be able to to it, even in Lawrence, but many places won't let you fill out an application, unless they are hiring. How stupid.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years ago

Not to worry. If you live in a small town, they'll cut you some slack for a couple of months before they cut you off.

Armstrong 3 years ago

Too bad the unemployment problem can't be solved by excuses, they are in overabundance for the gimme crowd.

Armstrong 3 years ago

Hasn't Dobama been in charge 4 of those last 10 years. Hmmm

seriouscat 3 years ago

Individual Subsidy Recipients 1 to 18 of 18 in Kansas Last Name: BROWNBACK Rank Name Location Subsidy Total 1995-2011 1 Glen R Brownback Parker, KS 66072 $ 395,511.74 2 James R Brownback Parker, KS 66072 $ 348,400.58 3 Loyd A Brownback Mound City, KS 66056 $ 233,385.15 4 Mary K Dare Brownback Mound City, KS 66056 $ 81,562.18 5 Sam Brownback Topeka, KS 66610 $ 48,852.00 6 John Brownback Mound City, KS 66056 $ 42,424.04 7 Leo Brownback Mound City, KS 66056 $ 25,350.01 8 Carlene L Brownback Centerville, KS 66014 $ 25,263.40 9 Marion Brownback Centerville, KS 66014 $ 19,760.06 10 Alan L Brownback Lyndon, KS 66451 $ 5,765.00 11 Keith Brownback Centerville, KS 66014 $ 3,687.00 12 Herbert Brownback Lacygne, KS 66040 $ 2,831.00 13 Nancy E Brownback Lyndon, KS 66451 $ 2,631.00 14 Mary L Brownback La Cygne, KS 66040 $ 1,611.00 15 Clyde Brownback Parker, KS 66072 $ 1,337.00 16 B T Brownback Blue Mound, KS 66010 $ 1,273.00 17 Leona L Brownback Caldwell, KS 67022 $ 1,199.00 18 Leora Brownback Parker, KS 66072 $ 594.00

hedshrinker 3 years ago

stop stop stop, the brownbacks are multiplying like the sorcerer's apprentice's broom(s)! Ack!!!!!!!

Cant_have_it_both_ways 3 years ago

You should spend as much time finding a job.

JW1944 3 years ago

Oh gee howdy, a family of 4 can't survive on $6500 a year? Let's see $400 a month might buy you a broken down 50 year old trailer to live in with no insulation, that's $4800 a year, that leaves about $35 a week for utilities, food, clothes, car payment, car insurance, gas, tires, school costs, Dr. bills, Dentist bills, + don't forget that Brownbutt raised taxes on the poor by 5000%. Brownback probably spends $6500 on one of his "non-political" parties at the Governor's mansion where they sit around smoking big cigars, eating caviar, drinking champagne & figuring out more ways to scr*w the poor!

hotel69 3 years ago

My wife and I started out below the poverty level at one point. I worked three jobs and she worked two while I went to school so I could improve my skill set. We did not own a big screen t.v., we did not get our furniture from rent a center and we did not own IPhones. So, it can be done! People today have a sense of entitlement and think owning luxury items is their right. Help those that need it and cut off the freeloaders.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

So, between the two of you, you managed to find and hold 5 jobs. Congratulations! And, it sounds like you were lucky in that you didn't have any kids that you needed to spend any money on or time with.

jafs 3 years ago

That's great!

Of course, it's also unfortunate that you had to work 5 jobs between the two of you to get out of poverty - I'd like for people to be able to do that with 1 job each.

Pete Nachbar 3 years ago

This good Catholic man has nothing but the best intentions for the poor .
Take all reproductive rights away from women, allow them to have multiple children with no means to care for them . Ignore New Testament Teachings such as the Beatitudes. Support Pro Death Penalty Candidates in your party .

Go to Church on Sun .

Sunny Parker 3 years ago

Keep reproducing and rely on the govt to feed your kids. It's the American way!

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