This is in response to Assemblywoman Lucy Killea's desire to spread San Diego's workfare program throughout the State of California. ("State Should Adopt 'Workfare' Program Similar to San Diego County's," May 19.)
Workfare in San Diego is a requirement for those receiving Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). Therefore, it is primarily a female project. It forces the free labor of masses of females in the marketplace without responsibly addressing child care. It created thousands of latchkey children. It assumes that female welfare recipients are lazy and must be bludgeoned into taking jobs. It literally replaces all training programs and forces all welfare women into low-skill, low-paid welfare cycle jobs or free labor.
The most recent study of San Diego's workfare program confirms that workfare does not substantially increase jobs and actually creates extra welfare costs to the taxpayer. Thirty-three percent of the females studied got jobs with no workfare assistance at all. In addition, workfare actually interfered with the welfare males' getting a job. More men got jobs without workfare assistance.
Nor does workfare save taxpayers' money. According to the study, the taxpayer pays out-of-pocket costs totaling $119 net per workfare participant in addition to regular welfare costs. Further, state statistics show that San Diego County had steady levels of welfare caseloads and expenditures that never went down during the workfare program. Thus, the difference between San Diego and other California counties is that we spend much more. Yet we are continually told that workfare saves taxpayers money. It does not.