Persuasive Essay On Welfare Reform

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In 2009, the U.S Census revealed that more than 43.6 million Americans, or 14.3 percent of the population was living in poverty. This represented the largest amount of Americans living in poverty since the Census began taking records in 1959. Since the government launched the War on Poverty in 1965, the U.S has spent more than $15 trillion on welfare. Yet, instead of decreasing poverty rates, they have increased. Today, more Americans live in poverty than in 1960, with more than 46 million Americans living at or below the poverty line. The government today maintains 77 programs aimed at welfare, which provide anything from cash and food, to housing and medical care. For many recipients, these programs provide more benefits than a full-time job would. Welfare Reform In 1996, welfare was reformed and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families replaced the AFDC. At first, the bill was met with stiff resistance. Politicians like Senator Danil Moynihan blasted the bill, proclaiming the new law was “the most brutal act of social policy since reconstruction.” Marian Edleman of the Children’s Defense Fund critically acclaimed the new proposal, saying it “will hurt and impoverish millions of children” and that it would “leave a moral blot on [Clinton’s] presidency and on our nation that will not be forgotten.” The intentions of reform were to offer states new flexibility in fighting poverty and incentivize work. The new reforms targeted workforce participation rates and rewarded states for decreasing welfare caseloads. In turn, states were allowed to apply the new savings towards other programs like jobs placement and childcare. It also required states to ensure at least fifty percent of welfare recipients were employed or enrolled i... ... middle of paper ... ... revenue were raised from families by the imposition of a federal sales tax, the analysis demonstrates that poor families would pay a higher tax rate to finance the costs of minimum wages than more affluent families. As shown in figure 3, families with incomes in the lowest 20 percent would pay the equivalent of a 2.4 percent sales tax, whereas families with incomes in the top twenty percent and top forty percent would pay the equivalent of a 1.7 percent sales tax. Thus, the lowest income group would pay a higher rate than the top income groups.” Conclusion Less than 25 percent of households in poverty with children maintain full-time jobs, with the average poor family working only 16 hours per work. According to Jay Richards of the Heritage Foundation, if these families worked a typical 40-hour week, child poverty rates would decrease by nearly 75 percent.

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