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    Dependence on Government at All-Time High

    The 2012 Index of Dependence on Government, released today, should be a wake-up call for America. Published by The Heritage Foundation for the past 10 years, the Index tracks the growth in government dependence dating back to the early 1960s. This year’s edition shows an alarming trend. Among the most … More

    What Saturday Night Live, Welfare, and Harry Potter Have in Common

    If there’s one thing Saturday Night Live is good at in an election year, it’s lampooning politicians—whether it’s been Chevy Chase as Gerald Ford, Darrell Hammond as Bill Clinton, or Dan Akroyd as Bob Dole. But last weekend, SNL offered up an unusually insightful bit of non-presidential social commentary—this time … More

    Welfare Dependence Keeps Growing

    According to a recent Wall Street Journal article citing 2010 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly half (48.5 percent) of America’s population now lives in households that receive some sort of government benefit. That is nearly a 10 percent increase over the middle of the recession in 2008, when … More

    Maine Conservatives Leading the Way on Welfare Reform

    Proving they are serious about mitigating their citizens’ dependence on government welfare programs, conservative members of Maine’s state legislature continue to push the state towards meaningful welfare reform. Although some proposed legislation has faced setbacks in committee hearings, members have succeeded in drawing attention to the fiscal and economic challenges … More

    Restoring Personal Responsibility in Welfare

    Fifteen years ago, Congress voted to “end welfare as we know it.” As a result, the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program was created (in place of the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children), which, for the first time, inserted work requirements and a five-year time limit for … More

    PODCAST: What's the Truth about Poverty?

    In this week’s Heritage in Focus, researcher Rachel Sheffield discusses her new report on poverty in America. PODCAST: What’s the Truth About Poverty? Is there a difference between what the U.S. government’s facts and figures really say about poverty in the United States and Americans’ conception of poverty? Has big government … More

    Michigan Takes on Welfare Reform

    In the national effort to overcome dependence on government, Michigan has just moved one step forward toward ensuring that welfare promotes self-reliance. On Tuesday, Governor Rick Snyder (R) signed legislation to place a four-year time limit on cash assistance benefits for welfare recipients. In 2006, Michigan passed similar legislation under … More

    Welfare Reform Turns 15

    Fifteen years ago today, after lengthy battles between a Republican-led Congress and a Democratic White House, President Bill Clinton signed into law the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, otherwise known as welfare reform. Among other changes, the act inserted work requirements and time limits into the nation’s … More

    10 Two-Letter Words That Inspired Gov. Paul LePage to Reform Maine

    He left home at 11 after a rough childhood, spending time on the streets, yet managed to finish both high school and college. He later went on to work as a Pepsi-Cola truck driver, at a meat-packing plant and as a short-order cook. This is the story of Gov. Paul … More

    Welfare Spending Under the Boehner Plan

    Bob Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities claims that the Boehner budget is a form of “class warfare.” He says that “if enacted, it would produce the greatest increase in poverty and hardship produced by any law in modern U.S. history.” What Greenstein disingenuously fails to acknowledge … More