The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

October 3, 2012

Your View: Truth vs. rumor

By Jim Williams
Special to The Globe

JOPLIN, Mo. — Marilyn Beasley’s letter of Sept. 10 states in part: “I can prove the facts to back up what I write.” Is she serious? If so, is she suffering from short-term memory loss? Most likely her information comes from an unreliable source, namely, Fox News.

Being said, I feel obligated to prove the writer wrong.

I make reference to her column of early August, which reads “Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services issued a directive under Section 7/12/12 to declare the work standards written in the Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act to be null and void which sends a message to welfare recipients they no longer need to make an effort to find work.”

To ascertain the credibility of Beasley’s commentary I contacted local and state Social Services. They informed me they didn’t have the slightest idea what the writer was talking about.

Direct communications with Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C., informed me no such directive was issued by President Obama or his staff. Personal conversations with the press agency of the Department of Health and Human Services also confirmed it was not true.

However, there were a few state governors (mostly Republicans) who requested the administration to their state, stating it would be more cost effective, eliminate duplication of work and expedite the claim processing. Our president had no objections to their requests with the following stipulation: They would continue to fully comply with the Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act and Temporary Assistance guidelines.

In Bill Clinton’s address to the National Democratic Convention he criticized the GOP for creating lies about the president and wanting to null and void the work standards written in the act.

No sarcasm intended, hopefully the writer will never have to apply for welfare assistance as she’ll learn it’s not as easy as she believes.

Jim Williams

Joplin