Monday, August 27, 2012

On the 'arrogant social workers' of California

n. a. (1970, July 26). Reagan: 'Arrogant social workers'. Boca Raton News, p. 2A.

It's very curious to me that I've never before heard of this dust-up between Governor Reagan and the unionized social workers of California--either from Reagan's fans or foes.  Apparently, $10 million in state funds were scheduled to be cut from California's social services budget.  Coupled with the consequent loss of $15 million in federal matching funds, this would have led to an overall reduction of $25 million in social services.

Reagan came across as uncharacteristically harsh when he labelled the social workers "arrogant."

...the governor charged social workers with "terrorizing" the most needy recipients by ordering their aid stopped.  He [Reagan] insisted the cutbacks which had been scheduled to take effect Aug. 1 were not intended to force any truly deserving recipient out of his home and into a county hospital or nursing institution..."Apparently, the regulation was worded in such a way that they (social workers)  could claim they were adhering to the letter while they violated the spirit...This is a clear subversion of our intent and can only be interpreted as an attempt to sabotage our efforts toward responsible administration of the program."
Admittedly, I'm a Reagan fan--one can't dismiss the influence of that--but the very strength of Reagan's rebuke (combined with the curious subsequent silence on this historical episode) lead me to seriously suspect that his language was more than warranted.

I hope to devote some time in the future to learning more about this budget fight.  Any knowledgeable and documented input from my readers would be greatly appreciated.

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