D.C. Welfare Recipients Don't Try to Work? That's Not News to The Washington Post

Here’s a good definition of what The Washington Post doesn’t find newsworthy. The big headline on the front page of Monday’s Washington Examiner was “Most on D.C. welfare don’t look for work: 22% of able recipients meet job-search rules.

A quick Nexis search of The Washington Post finds no attempt to report on this sad fact in the last few weeks. Examiner reporter Eric Newcomer explained:

Only about one in five D.C. welfare recipients able to work did the necessary job searching required by law to be eligible for government payments in fiscal year 2012, according to Mayor Vincent Gray's budget proposal.

Those requirements can include job training classes or participating in community service activities.

Just 22 percent of welfare recipients whose cases are managed by private vendors -- a majority of those receiving federal funding in the District who have been determined eligible to work, according to the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute -- met federal guidelines. That's even lower than the District's 26 percent target...

Deborah Carroll, the District's Economic Security Administrator, said the District has worked to improve its vendor-monitored work participation rate which she said was as low as 3.8 percent in 2010.

So perhaps this “D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute” is a cabal of conservatives? This is some ham-handed Mitt Romney race-baiting-with-welfare-takers scheme?

Nope. Elissa Silverman, presently running as a Democrat for the open at-large seat on the D.C. City Council, is on leave from this institute. She’s also a former Washington Post reporter. We know this the Post’s own endorsement editorial for liberal Republican Patrick Mara:

Of Mara's opponents, attorney Paul Zukerberg (D) is an authentic new voice with a smart grasp of the issues, a commitment to pragmatism and a powerful message about marijuana laws making criminals out of too many of the District's young people. No matter the outcome of Mr. Zukerberg's candidacy, the conversation he has started about decriminalization must continue, and we hope he stays on the political scene. Democrats Matthew Frumin , an attorney and Ward 3 activist, and Elissa Silverman , a former Post reporter now on leave from the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute, are both committed to improved ethics and have advanced well-meaning approaches.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis