The continued growth in public welfare spending is unsustainable. The federal government is responsible for much of the welfare system, but states can adopt reforms that preserve welfare resources for the most vulnerable. By enacting reforms that promote work and independence, Pennsylvania can right-size state welfare spending and help more Pennsylvanians get back on their feet. Taxpayers deserve a welfare system that compliments a strong economy.

Welfare

Even Big Government Advocates Understand the Welfare Trap

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • February 6, 2012

Big government lobbyists and CF don’t agree on much with welfare, but funnily enough, even they acknowledge that Pennsylvania’s welfare system keeps people in poverty. It [a food…

Media

Read More: Even Big Government Advocates Understand the Welfare Trap

Welfare

Yes, Welfare is for Poor People

  • Nathan Benefield
  • February 2, 2012

The Department of Public Welfare announced its plan to impose an asset test for food stamp recipients. The proposal would limit food stamps to most households with under $5,500…

Media

Read More: Yes, Welfare is for Poor People

Taxes & Economy

The “Facts” on Food Stamps

  • Elizabeth Stelle, Nathan Benefield
  • January 31, 2012

City Paper contributor Daniel Denvir tries to diminish the impact of our Philadelphia Inquirer column on food stamps by offering “facts” in rebuttal. Unfortunately, most of these “facts”…

Media

Read More: The “Facts” on Food Stamps

Taxes & Economy

SNAP Back to Reality, Senators

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • January 24, 2012

Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Senate Democrats’ Twitter, @PaSenateDems, comes some high-stakes rhetoric during a Capitol press conference today. In reaction to the Pa. Department of Public Welfare’s decision to reapply…

Media

Read More: SNAP Back to Reality, Senators

Taxes & Economy

Welfare Reforms Protect Poor, Taxpayers

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • January 24, 2012

Regardless of where you stand on taxpayer-funded entitlements, few Americans argue against the maintenance of temporary safety nets or modifications aimed at ending welfare fraud, waste and abuse.

Commentary

Read More: Welfare Reforms Protect Poor, Taxpayers

Taxes & Economy

Do Millionaires Need Food Stamps?

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • January 11, 2012

For the past few years, politicians in Harrisburg and Washington have considered it a “success” to put more families on welfare. The result is an abundance of loopholes that allow…

Media

Read More: Do Millionaires Need Food Stamps?

Welfare

Protecting Medicaid for the Poor

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • December 19, 2011

The Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare has trimmed Pennsylvania’s Medicaid rolls by 150,000 people since August. Welfare spending advocates and organizations receiving welfare dollars…

Media

Read More: Protecting Medicaid for the Poor

Welfare

Getting Serious About Welfare Abuse

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • November 25, 2011

The Department of Public Welfare’s effort to curb fraud and abuse continues. This week the Department announced the creation of a new office, the Office of Program Integrity. This…

Media

Read More: Getting Serious About Welfare Abuse

Taxes & Economy

100,000+ Improperly Get Pa. Med Benefits

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • October 27, 2011

Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare testified that hundreds of thousands of individuals were improperly receiving Medicaid, taxpayer-funded health care for the poor and the disabled. Capitolwire writes:…

Media

Read More: 100,000+ Improperly Get Pa. Med Benefits

Welfare

Welfare Funds for Home Bowling Alley

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • September 29, 2011

What do bowling alleys, chandeliers, and six-person hot tubs have in common? They’ve all been purchased with state welfare funds. Yesterday Tim Costa, executive deputy secretary of the Department of…

Media

Read More: Welfare Funds for Home Bowling Alley

Taxes & Economy

Welfare Fraud Persists

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • August 12, 2011

The LIHEAP heating assistance program is once again under fire from Auditor General Jack Wagner. A 2007 audit lead the district attorney of Philadelphia to charge 18 people with…

Media

Read More: Welfare Fraud Persists

Government Accountability

PA House Passes Four Reform Bills this Week

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • April 13, 2011

The Pennsylvania State House has been especially productive this week, passing four pieces of key legislation that CF blogged on last week.

Media

Read More: PA House Passes Four Reform Bills this Week

Taxes & Economy

House Republicans Introduce Welfare Reforms

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • April 6, 2011

Public Welfare is both the largest—at over $27 billion in total spending— and among the fastest growing programs in the Pennsylvania state budget.  In…

Media

Read More: House Republicans Introduce Welfare Reforms

Education

80 Ideas for a Prosperous Pennsylvania

  • January 17, 2011

Pennsylvania must undergo a rapid transformation to reverse the poor policy decisions that have eroded economic freedoms and brought the state to its present condition.  To provide a roadmap for…

Report

Read More: 80 Ideas for a Prosperous Pennsylvania

Taxes & Economy

Immigration Verification and Welfare Fraud

  • Elizabeth Stelle, Nathan Benefield
  • October 6, 2010

Thank you for allowing the Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives, a non-partisan educational institute based in Harrisburg, to submit written testimony concerning HB 1359, which would require proof of…

Testimony

Read More: Immigration Verification and Welfare Fraud

State Budget

What Happens to PA Budget without FMAP Money

  • Nathan Benefield
  • August 2, 2010

Gov. Rendell is supposed to meet with lawmakers today to discuss options if Congress doesn’t approve the $850 million in federal FMAP funds. Pete DeCoursey (subscription) breaks down the…

Media

Read More: What Happens to PA Budget without FMAP Money

State Budget

How to Reduce Welfare Fraud

  • Nathan Benefield
  • July 28, 2010

Following Matt Brouillette’s commentary on whether Tom Corbett (should he win) can balance the budget and keep his ‘no tax’ pledge,…

Media

Read More: How to Reduce Welfare Fraud

Taxes & Economy

Video: Welfare Fraud

  • Nathan Benefield
  • June 18, 2010

CF Research Associate Elizabeth Stelle gives testimony on welfare fraud and abuse in Pennsylvania in this latest video, courtesy the PA House Republican Policy Committee. You…

Media

Read More: Video: Welfare Fraud

State Budget

Welfare Fraud and Abuse

  • Elizabeth Stelle
  • June 2, 2010

Good afternoon, my name is Elizabeth Stelle, and I am a research associate with the Commonwealth Foundation for Public Policy Alternatives, a non-partisan educational institute based in Harrisburg. Thank you…

Testimony

Read More: Welfare Fraud and Abuse

Taxes & Economy

Perpetuating Fraud And Mismanagement

  • February 9, 2010

The Department of Public Welfare will receive additional federal funding to support its Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This amount will be used to increase grants by…

Media

Read More: Perpetuating Fraud And Mismanagement

State Budget

Medicaid Errors in PA Cost Upwards of $320 Million

  • Nathan Benefield
  • February 2, 2010

In a news release, PA Auditor General Jack Wagner estimates that – using the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare’s (DPW) estimated error rate – improper Medicaid payments cost Pennsylvania taxpayers…

Media

Read More: Medicaid Errors in PA Cost Upwards of $320 Million