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Welfare rolls in South Carolina are expanding at the second-highest rate in the entire nation, a collaborative effort of the new (old) federal policy on assisting needy families and our state’s abysmal economic climate.

According to data collected by The Wall Street Journal and the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Palmetto State has seen a 23% increase in welfare caseloads over the last year, ranking it second in the nation behind Oregon’s 27% increase.

From this morning’s Journal:

… the demand for cash assistance is squeezing funds for job-training programs targeted both at the unemployed with little work experience and unemployed professionals with extensive work experience.

In South Carolina, for example, the vast majority of welfare funding is being directed to the cash-assistance program, leaving little to actually help people find jobs and get off welfare.

Wait, we’re surprised by this?

Not only is our crappy economy producing more unemployed people than practically every other state in the nation, but the governmental agencies that are supposed to be handling the increase can’t walk and chew gum at the same time – and are accountable to no one for their performance (or lack thereof).

Bigger picture, though … why would South Carolina put money into finding people jobs? That’s just not profitable anymore, governmentally-speaking.

After all, President Barack Obama’s “stimulus” bill – you know, the one that South Carolina politicians were so greedy to get their grubby paws on – came with strings attached.

For example, it completely undid the welfare reform law passed by President Bill Clinton a little over a decade ago and reinstituted the “bounty system” for state welfare caseloads.

Once again, government will be incentivizing state governments to put people on welfare (to the tune of a $4 for $1 federal match) rather than taking them off of government assistance.

Hmmm … wonder how that’s going to play out …