NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

The Next Step In Welfare Reform

June 1, 1999

Back in 1996, opponents of welfare reform predicted enactment would mean hordes of children going into foster care, mass homelessness and states racing each other "to the bottom" in providing benefits. But all available data prove none of these worst-case scenarios has occurred.

  • Since the passage of reform, the national welfare caseload has plummeted by more than 40 percent.
  • The Welfare to Work Partnership reports that 11,000 businesses are hiring and largely keeping those who have moved off welfare.
  • The typical former recipient is now making $7.20 an hour.

Rep. Bill Archer (R-Texas), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, is now working with other GOP leaders on "Welfare Reform II" -- which will focus on helping poor fathers.

But President Clinton is seeking to expand welfare-to-work and child care programs.

While the evidence clearly points to the astonishing success of the reforms, liberal groups are reportedly gathering on computers what data is available on any failures and searching out case histories of individual hardships to counter the claims of reform supporters.

Source: Cheryl Wetzstein, "Welfare-Reform Data Dispel Critics' Worst-Case Scenarios," Washington Times, May 31, 1999.


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