In his latest column in the Durant Daily Democrat, new state Senator Josh Brecheen says he has been told many times that Oklahoma Department of Human Services employees "have encouraged prospective clients to quit a job or to not declare cash income in order to qualify for state aid. ... This is not just an isolated event. It occurs often."
Moreover, in a forthcoming publication called Oklahoma Policy Blueprint 2011, OCPA points out that under Oklahoma's current welfare system, "a young woman of modest means may find that she is economically better off remaining single than marrying the father of her children. Even if she does marry the father of her child, she may find herself better off economically to separate. In many cases, we literally bribe poor young women to leave the fathers of their children or never marry them in the first place."
These sorts of perverse incentives are ... well, perverse. It's time for Oklahoma's new center-right government to start fixing some of these things.