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Guest Blogger: Reboot the Welfare System
Posted By Rep. Jim Jordan On March 21, 2011 @ 3:00 pm In Family and Religion | 7 Comments
To most Americans, the phrase “welfare reform” conjures memories of a bipartisan law that President Clinton said would “end welfare as we know it” in 1996. So why – 15 years later – has the situation only gotten worse?
First, a little background (watch this quick video , too). The 1996 law replaced a failing program (AFDC) with a new one (TANF) that required able-bodied adults to either work or prepare for work in order to receive benefits. These requirements have helped millions of families become able to provide for themselves again.
So far, so good … except that combined state and federal welfare spending has almost doubled since 1996. Americans have spent $16 trillion on welfare since President Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty in 1964, and we’re slated to spend another $10 trillion or more over the next decade. But even with all these resources put toward assistance for the poor, poverty is actually higher today than it was in the 1970s .
Decades of experience prove we can’t just throw money at the problem of poverty. We need a smarter approach that promotes self-reliance and acknowledges the interconnected nature of all our anti-poverty programs. That’s why it is vital to have welfare reform now.
The aim of welfare should be to help people reach the point where they no longer need it. Yet our current system too often fails to meet that goal, even as the financial costs grow unsustainably. Don’t let the system crash. Reboot it with the welfare reform now. 
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) is Chairman of the Republican Study Committee
The views expressed by guest bloggers on the Foundry do not necessarily reflect the views of The Heritage Foundation.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2011/03/21/guest-blogger-reboot-the-welfare-system/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://www.foundry.org/wp-content/uploads/Jimjordan.jpg
 this quick video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6g7tj7NLQU
 higher today than it was in the 1970s: http://www.familyfacts.org/charts/320/the-official-poverty-rate-has-declined-minimally-since-the-late-1960s
 welfare reform now.: http://blog.heritage.org../?p=54888
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