The welfare check isnít what it used to be

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The welfare check isnít what it used to be

Post by T on Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:27 pm

The welfare check isnít what it used to be

Twelve years ago, Bill Clinton and the U.S. Congress ended "welfare as
we know it." Gone was the idea of an open-ended entitlement for those
mired in poverty. In its place came Temporary Assistance for Needy
Families and the notion that families could ó and should ó work their
way out of their impoverished straits.

The single most stunning effect of the 1996 TANF law has been the
winnowing of welfare caseloads. Even in cities such as New York that
had long hosted large numbers of people in need of assistance,
caseloads tumbled and remain at historic lows. Since TANF went into
effect, they are down nationally between 50 and 90 percent, depending
on the city or state.

According to a recent Urban Institute report, more than half of all
post-2005 TANF recipients have at least two significant barriers to
work. "The people coming for assistance now," says Kevin McGuire,
who oversees TANF in Maryland, "are people with physical, mental and
emotional problems."

Excerpts from The Congressional Quarterly


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