Welfare Reform

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Welfare Reform Welfare is a public assistance program that provides at least a minimum amount of economic security to people whose incomes are insufficient to maintain an adequate standard of living. These programs generally include such benefits as financial aid to individuals, subsidized medical care, and stamps that are used to purchase food. The modern U.S. welfare system dates back to the Great Depression of the 1930’s. During the worst parts of the Depression, about one-fourth of the labor force was without work. More than two-thirds of all households would have been considered poor by today's standards. With a majority of the capable adult population experiencing severe financial misfortune, many Americans turned to the government for answers. In response, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt led a social and economic reform movement attacking the Depression. Part of his newly enacted “New Deal” program was the Social Security Act, enacted by Congress in 1935. This act and established a number of social welfare programs, each designed to provide support for different segments of the population. Recently Roosevelt’s Social Welfare Program has become a topic of heated debate. Welfare has come a long way since Roosevelt, it was once a system that help those in need until they could get back on their feet, now welfare has turned into a system that feeds money to a group of people that have become to lazy to find work. Talk of replacing the old system with a welfare program that will emphasize putting welfare recipients to work has become very frequent. More and more stated are now beginning to adopt a “welfare-to-work” program, leaving other states to simply ponder about the idea of “taking people off the system.” Those in favor of welfare reform argue that a welfare-to-work program will cut the amount of people on welfare causing a surplus of funds. These people base their idea on the overwhelming success of those states who have already adopted such a program. Nationwide, welfare caseloads have declined significantly since the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. In the few months since the bill went into effect the amount of welfare caseloads are down by approximately 2 million. Figures also show that Alabama reduced its welfare enrollment by 48%, and Indiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Tennessee reduced theirs by 49%. In Wisconsin welfare was reduced by 58% and Wyoming’s cases dropped an amazing 73% (Source: Dept.

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