Focus Point - Welfare Reform Successes

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. When the Welfare Reform Bill was passed, opponents predicted the end of the world? Well, the world's still here. And for lots of people in it, life's better.

Take Minnesota's experience. According to the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation's study of Minnesota's Welfare Reform Plan, the beneficial effects of moving people off welfare included higher earnings and income for parents, less poverty, an increase in marital stability, and improvements in children's behavior.

Minnesota required welfare recipients to work, and the proportion of them with jobs went up 35 percent. Their earnings went up by 23 percent.

Domestic abuse went down 18 percent, and marriage rates shot up 50 percent.

Yes, there was a downside: the plan was more expensive than originally expected. But unlike decades of welfare money down a rat hole, this is money very well spent.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, flat tax reform at hand.