Over the past 20 years, Michigan has spent roughly a half-billion dollars annually on what it characterizes as welfare. In return, Washington has rewarded the state with an even greater amount – $775 million a year in federal block grants – which, when joined together, are supposed to help the poor get off public assistance and join the workforce.
But a Bridge analysis reveals Michigan is increasingly diverting welfare-to-work funds to programs that provide neither cash assistance to the poorest families, nor the job-training skills they need to escape poverty.
Nationally, half of all the welfare money controlled by states goes to core programs intended to get those on welfare back to work – cash assistance, child care, and work-related initiatives. In Michigan, it’s less than 25 percent, one of the lowest rates in the country. Records show the state has used much of this money to plug shortfalls in the state budget, or to help families that hardly fit the definition of destitute.
READ THE FULL REPORT HERE: How Michigan ‘games’ the welfare-to-work system | Bridge Magazine