Giving the Republicans a Free Pass on Their Anti-Welfare Rhetoric - ReligiousLeftLaw.com:
by Steven Shiffrin
"The most recent issue of Dissent contains an open letter by Fred Block and Francis Scott Piven to Hillary Clinton in which they argue she should open a national dialogue contesting the claims of the Republican Party about poverty and welfare. Block and Piven rightly argue that change in the “welfare system as we know it” passed by a Republican Congress and approved by President Clinton has severely damaged the poor. The change abolished the Aid to Families with Dependent Children Program and substituted the Temporary Need to Needy Families. The basic idea was that long term welfare encouraged dependency and discouraged work. For a while, in a good economy, the program was thought to be successful. But the program was unaccompanied by a job guarantee and the lack of a guarantee has made a difference. 4.5 million families were in the AFDC program in 1996 when the program was eliminated. Only 1.7 million families were in the TANF program in 2009 despite the acute distress of the economy. The program had been cut by 62%"
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