Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

A Decade After Welfare Overhaul, a Shift in Policy and Perception

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU
 
Herman Munster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 12:30 AM
Original message
A Decade After Welfare Overhaul, a Shift in Policy and Perception
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/21/washington/21welfare....

WASHINGTON, Aug. 20 Ten years after a Republican Congress collaborated with a Democratic president to overhaul the nations welfare system, the implications are still rippling through policy and politics.

The law, which reversed six decades of social welfare policy and ended the idea of free cash handouts for the poor, was widely seen as a victory for conservative ideas. When it was passed, some opponents offered dire predictions that the law would make things worse for the poor. But the number of people on welfare has plunged to 4.4 million, down 60 percent. Employment of single mothers is up. Child support collections have nearly doubled.

We have been vindicated by the results, said Representative E. Clay Shaw Jr., Republican of Florida and an architect of the 1996 law who was vilified at the time. Welfare reform was one of the most successful policy changes in our nations history.

But critics say it has cut adrift some single mothers who seem unable to hold steady jobs and are not receiving cash assistance women who have neither work nor welfare. To help poor single mothers help themselves, officials used a combination of conservative and liberal policy tools. These included work requirements and time limits on public assistance, tax credits for low-income working parents, child-care subsidies and health insurance for people leaving welfare.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Lindacooks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 12:43 AM
Response to Original message
1. The number of people on welfare is irrelevant, as is employment
of single mothers. This is what counts: are these people making a living wage? Is their standard of living going up or down?

With the increasing poverty rate in this country, I doubt that the results are positive.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Stargazer99 Donating Member (943 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 12:54 AM
Response to Original message
2. AFDC was established in the early 30's to support mothers
and their children. Not everyone is able to obtain a job..especially now days with outsourcing running rampant. The ignorant conservative neither lives near or is aware of what a poor person deals with on a day to day basis. If there were living wage jobs for everyone I could understand the conservative stance, but the reality is there is not...denial..and some of the poor are left to a living hell in comparision to the more well to do. But then again I don't think conservatives give a damn along with being ignorant of what the limitations are in being poor. What really pisses me off is the anti-abortion stance of the conservtive. After you are born apprently you don't matter a damn anymore...because the "morality" of the conservative has been preserved for appearances. There are very few conservatives among the poor for good reasons, reality.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
azurnoir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:06 AM
Response to Original message
3. Whats not being said is that
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 01:18 AM by azurnoir
women who move from welfare to work are all too often no better off then they were. Improving the lives of women and children was not the purpose of this change, creating a forced labor group was. At the time in '96 we were in a boom economy and minimum wage companies were starting to have give employees "outrageous" perks time and half for holidays, paid holidays, vacation, and oh no health coverage, albeit minimal. Someone working for minimum wage 40 hours a week would net about the average welfare grant for a women and one child so the decision was made to make them work for it. What if you had more than one child, I asked a welfare worked (a repub) what if some people can not earn enough to keep their children fed and housed the answer "bad things happen to people that make bad decisions" compassionate conservatism at its finest.
Another thing this "reform" was to "balkanize" public assistance when it was a federal program there was a coalition of people working for change on a national level, by making it a states issue that power base was destroyed and state groups get little notice and less support.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:15 AM
Response to Original message
4. Welfare deform was one of the worst things Clinton signed.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ninkasi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 01:31 AM
Response to Original message
5. While I can agree that all men are created equal
in the sense that no one person's life should be more valued than another's, I do realize that not all people are born with the same opportunities. I can state, in sincerity, that the poorest woman on welfare should be equal in the law, and in whatever Deity you worship's eyes to the richest person on earth, but I dispute the notion that they enjoy or benefit from equal opportunity.

A man, or woman, can be born to a wealthy family, and be assured of a slot at a prestigious school, merely by the legacy of his or her father and grandfather going to the same school, and giving hefty donations to the school. A gifted, even brilliant child can be born to a single mom who is either on welfare, or working a minimum wage job, and can not enjoy such privileges. Regardless of that child's intellect, or abilities, the deck is stacked against that child's ability to obtain a quality education, and a well paying job. Even two parent, families, in stable marriages, if both are not paid livable wages, will suffer as well.

We can wish this were not the case, but it is. We have to deal in reality, and one of those realities, IMHO, is that some people will need much, much more help than others in order to achieve success. In order to break the cycle, we should be willing to invest in the effort to provide affordable child care, universal health care, and housing for people who are struggling to break the cycle of poverty. We might be all equal in the sight of God, and the law, but in the real world, some are more equal than others, as Orwell pointed out. We need to make all of us equal to all the rest of us.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
neoblues Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:09 AM
Response to Original message
6. Lies, Damned Lies, and ... Statistics.
Forcing people off assistance and then pointing to the reduced number receiving assistance while claiming it's somehow helped or is a success (as though it magically got those 'lazy' moochers to become productive members of society), is just an example of using numbers to lie--at least, so it seems to me. Likewise pointing to increased employment numbers--when plainly the people involved had to eat... and as has been pointed out, they didn't mention whether these 'employed' people were making enough to live, who was taking care of their children while they work, whether they had medical coverage after the limits had been reached or whatever. I don't know how bad it is, or isn't, but it seems to me that was surely a misleading declaration of "success" and inevitably left out at least half the story (and more probably 90% of the story).
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:18 AM
Response to Original message
7. Reading about this asshole congratulating himself for literally throwing
people out on the streets with no place to go just gets my blood boiling. The fact that they were able to perpetrate this with the cooperation of a "Democratic" President just adds insult to injury. If there is a hell, I know they will suffer at least as much pain as they have brought to us.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Erika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 02:56 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. As Christ says "how you treat the least amongst you"
is how you will be judged. I deplore the GOP worship of money.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. Thanks, but Id rather deal with this life, rather than hoping
against hope that there is another after and that it will be better. If you're belief is incorrect then they just get away with it.

Peace Now.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:24 AM
Response to Original message
9. It doesn't seem to be helping the percent of people in poverty.
Edited on Mon Aug-21-06 07:30 AM by fasttense
There was a steady decline in the percent of people below the "official" poverty level from 1993 until....(you guessed it).... the year 2000. That magical year which brought us a repuke congress and executive branch also brought us an increase in poverty for the first time in seven years. If the program was successful, it would have shown a continuing decline in the percent of people in the US below the poverty level. It didn't. We are still increasing the number of poor in this country. The percent of people below the poverty level hasn't been this bad since 1998. Yet they have the nerve to congratulate themselves on a poverty program that is increasing the number of poor? There were fewer total number of people below the poverty level in 1996 (when the new welfare program was implemented) than there are today. What a successful program, just don't let them "fix" anything else.

Up is down, war is peace, and poor is rich.

http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/histpov/hstpov2....
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
robcon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 07:40 AM
Response to Original message
10. Welfare reform will go down as Clinton's outstanding legacy.
The program worked: lower poverty, lower welfare rolls/payments, improved condition for kids.

This will pay dividends to the country for decades.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Yupster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Whether it worked or not, the Economist
recently had abn article about how just about every country in Europe has decided it woked and is trying to reform its systems similarly, some in big chunks, others in little bites.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Mon Jul 28th 2014, 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC