The Effects of Welfare reform.

The Personal responsibility and work Opportunity act was passed and signed into law in 1996. The legislation is also known as Welfare reform. The act redistributed welfare delivery, and structure from the Federal government to state, and local governments. Allowing states to determine their own model for welfare. Since then some states have placed more requirements for welfare recipients  then the act placed.
Some of the major provisions of the PRWORA of 1996 include but are not excluded to:
1)      Requiring welfare recipients to be actively in search of employment. Limiting benefits for beneficiaries who do not obtain employment two years after receive benefits.
2)      The act also placed a 5 year lifetime limit on benefits paid by federal tax dollars, however there are some exceptions for children.
Now we are on to the real felt effects of Welfare reform. Firstly A study conducted by “The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities,” published in 1999[Yes over ten years ago] found that from 1993-1995 poor families income increased by near $1,000. However the poorest families income after the passage of Welfare reform decreased even though the economy was experiencing significantly better economic growth. Their income fell by around $750 dollars in the two years preceding legislation. [1]
Other findings from the study show a significant drop in the number of children leaving poverty or extreme poverty. From 1993-1995 2.4 million children were lifted out of extreme poverty, compared to only 360,000 in 1995-1997, this is again despite a better economy during the latter years. [1]
The above mentioned effects are a bit shocking and disappointing for the well being of American families yet there's more.  
Before the welfare reform act 12 million Americans were on welfare, after the act the number of Americans on welfare fell to 5 million in 2001 or by 60%. Total yearly benefits for those on welfare fell by around $200 or by 10%. Total welfare spending equaled 28 billion dollars in 1996, and 24 billion dollars in 2001.[2,3] If your scratching your head wondering, “How come total welfare spending only fell by 15% when the number of people on welfare fell by 60% and their benefits fell by 10%?”[2,3]
The answer lies in the fact that the major effect of Welfare reform was a substantial increased in administration costs, commonly known as  bureaucracy, and wasteful spending. In fact the total amount of administration costs increased by 300%. [2,3]. After doing the math I found that we could double the number of people on welfare without adding a cent to the total cost of welfare, if we simply repealed “The Personal responsibility and work Opportunity act (welfare reform)”. The savings would come in the reduction in wasteful spending.
The major reasons why welfare reform increased wasteful spending include but don’t exclude:
1)      A decentralized system. Instead of one federally operated program there are now 50 different ones.
2)      Requirements on welfare recipients such as that they must be actively looking for a job. There’s tons of paperwork that has to be done to prove you’re looking for a job and it takes government time and employees to make sure you’re following the requirements.

Feel free to copy and past these realities as you desire.

Footnote #1
Footnote #2
Footnote #3



Pelosi and Gingrich as early enforcers

I was moved by Jonathan's piece to think about how bipartisan the G-Man had been in his first days of legislative hegemony.

As a crude and entirely unscientific comparator, I looked at the first page of House roll call votes in the 104th - that is #1-99 - to see how much amending activity had been allowed to the first bills to come to the floor.

There's more...

Again, a problem with Pelosi promises

Yet again, the Signora proclaims a program for a Dem-controlled 110th House - this time in an interview with the AP.

There have been so many stabs at such a program in the last year or so that, if the final version coming into the stretch doesn't smell fresh as a daisy, it's hardly surprising.

There's more...

Dean: "Do you want more of the same, or do you want real change?"

Cross-posted at the DNC Blog and DailyKos

On Tuesday, Nebraska and West Virginia hold their primary elections.  Friday marks the last day of the candidate filing period in Florida and Nevada.  This weekend Utah, Minnesota and Illinois host district and state conventions.  The 2006 election season is in full swing and Democrats are ready.

Governor Howard Dean said it best this weekend on ABC's "This Week":

"We want real change in this country, and that's the central election issue. Do you want more of the same, or do you want real change? Because the Democrats are ready to lead again."

There's more...

Blowout Lessons 1994 vs 2006

2006 (like 1994) was an off year election. To win with lower turnout requires either:
 - Persuading Independents,
 - Turning out the base
 - Being lucky with complacent opponents

Blog Wisdom (BW) asserts that a Dem 2006 blowout will require leadership, not just Republican failure. We are frequently reminded these days that the Republican Party and George Bush are experiencing a lot of negatives right now: The 190th Do Nothing Congress, Failure in Iraq, Immigration. My local US Rep, Diana De Gette at the Denver County Assembly admitted the Dem strategy of standing by to watch the Republicans collapse, asserting something to the effect of: If they are failing just fine without us, intervening might disturb the process.

The lesson from the 1994 Republican blowout is one of GOP Positives, not Dem Negatives. Look at chart number 4 at the recent  "Public Disillusionment with Congress", which is directly linked to on the flip...

There's more...


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