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CA welfare state wants more ‘clients’           

poverty_jpg_475x310_q85The Employment Development Department used to be called the “Unemployment Department.” And state welfare recipients are now “clients.”

The majority party in the California Legislature appears determined on expanding social services in the state despite evidence demonstrating that the programs don’t necessarily improve lives, as the very mixed record of the 50-year federal “War on Poverty” confirms. While discussing the need for “safety net” programs for the poorest in the state, legislators always cast a wider net than necessary.

The Assembly held a committee hearing Wednesday about expanding mandatory universal government preschool in California. By Thursday, the Senate Health and Human Services Committee was focused on the CalWORKS program, and how to attract more “clients.” Expansion of the state’s Health and Human Services agency is an obvious goal.

CA has nation’s worst poverty rate

This push to expand government aid programs has as a backdrop California’s poverty rate of 23.5 percent — the highest in the nation and much higher than the national average of 16.1 percent. The U.S. Census Bureau said the high poverty rate was driven in part by California’s high cost of living, which is never a focus of the Legislature.