The stimulus legislation, a.k.a. No Social Worker Left Behind, offers financial incentives for states to enlarge their welfare rolls. This looks like the beginning of a semi-stealthy repeal of the 1996 welfare reform. So it goes, as government, with a confidence disconnected from its current performance, toils to make more and more people more and more dependent on it.
In one wee particular, congressional Democrats want to shrink government. At the behest of the teachers' unions, the $410 billion omnibus spending bill dooms a $14 million (a rounding error on GM's bailout) scholarship program that enables 1,800 children, mostly low-income and minorities, to escape the District of Columbia's catastrophic public schools. But sinking this lifeboat for the poor serves liberalism's dependency agenda: No poor child left outside the government's education plantation.