Good discussion. - promoted by Bob_Neer
I haven’t fully absorbed this yet, but it clearly bears discussion.
20 Years Since Welfare’s Overhaul, Results Are Mixed
“Mixed” seems a bit too kind for what this piece describes.
She notes that before welfare reform, 68 percent of poor families received cash assistance. Today, that’s dropped to 23 percent.
The new program did work for millions of families, but not all. Many of the most disadvantaged people have been unable to get or keep jobs, and they’re worse off than they were before, in part because there’s now a five-year lifetime limit on welfare benefits — and in some states, it’s lower. Arizona this year cut the limit to one year. The idea was that people would be encouraged to find work if they knew their monthly checks would end, but instead, some have been left high and dry.
One year! I am a spoiled college-educated kid from Somerville, and I’ve had one period of unemployment that was longer than a year.
To me, welfare reform is Bill Clinton’s unforgivable sin (and by extension — you know who’s). It’s the root of all liberal distrust of the Clintons.
Sure, one can argue that the country demanded it, “welfare queens,” the shadow of Reagan, etc. But they also could have FOUGHT — they could have made the case FOR welfare as an anti-poverty tool and social safety net.
They made a different choice. If we give President Clinton the benefit of the doubt that he really believed it was politically necessary, then the best we can say is that he chose political necessity over people.
I guess we should just be glad we’re not one of the mixed results.