A New Name for Welfare Reform: Poverty

As Congress begins debating the reauthorizatin of welfare
legislation this month, you’ll hear plenty of preaching from
Capitol Hill conservatives about ‘personal responsibility.’ But out
in the real world, the combination of a jobless recovery and
draconian welfare reform is clearly becoming a prescription for
poverty, notes Mark Engler in TomPaine.com. Between 1995
and 1999, according to the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund,
the percentage of eligible families who actually received welfare
benefits dropped from 84 percent to 52 percent. Conservatives will
hail that development as proof that welfare reform works, writes
Engler, but ‘slashing welfare rolls and reducing poverty are not
the same thing.’
Joel Stonington

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