Welfare

This essay has a total of 868 words and 5 pages.

Welfare



"No one likes the current welfare system." As described in a report edited by Isabel V.
Sawhill, an author of The Urban Institute, not many individuals were pleased with the
welfare system preceding its reform in 1996. Governors complained that federal law was
overly prescriptive, and were willing to take less federal money in return for more
flexibility. The public believed welfare to be an "anti-work" and "anti-family" program.
Welfare recipients found dealing with the system degrading and demoralizing; most would
prefer to work. At this time, many believed that welfare benefits (including food stamps)
were insufficient to move a family above the poverty line. It did not provide sufficient
state flexibility, did not encourage work, did little to reduce poverty, especially among
children, and was responsible for the breakdown of the family, especially for a "rising
tide of out of wedlock births."The following year, the Welfare Reform bills were passed.
These bills would substantially thwart the current social conflicts on this subject. They
would replace Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) with block grants to the
states with a fixed federal payment. They would also prohibit states from using federal
money to provide assistance to families for more than five, and eliminate federal welfare
payments to legal immigrants, reduce SSI benefits for children, and make a variety of
changes in the Food Stamp Program. This reform program was designed to decrease
dependency on government assistance and to shift more responsibility for social programs
to states. Supporters of the program argue that the changes will improve administrative
efficiency and increase work and earnings by welfare recipients. In general, the program
would assist in saving public funds with a minimal change in material hardship and
poverty. Critics argue that the changes in welfare spending are so large, that low-income
families would be hurt and poverty increased, even if the changes motivate more welfare
recipients to exchange dependency for employment. The debate is simple enough, but the
argument on welfare’s benefits and drawbacks is not. On the pro side of the argument, in
support of welfare reform, the program aids poverty-stricken families as well as the
economy. Not only would the bill discourage and decrease dependency on the government,
but would encourage "freeloaders" to work, thereby salvaging the public tax money.
Welfare generally assists poor families survive in the current economy by providing a
means for them to obtain food while they search for a job. These families receive
foodstamps, to purchase food, and a reasonable amount of financial aid. On the
contrary, welfare is currently a great government expense that is financed by the tax
paying citizens of the country. Federal tax rates throughout the country are extremely
high and welfare, along with Medicare and Medicaid, are main contributors. The purpose of
welfare is to aid a person with monetary need in "getting by" until they can find a job to
support themselves, but this seldom occurs. Some argue that there are plenty of poor
families that get along without welfare and its benefits. Many poverty-stricken families
have multiple jobs and work extremely hard to get by, while others just sit and collect a
welfare check from the government. There exist a great number of people that abuse the
welfare program. These individuals may enroll in welfare without the intention of ever
getting a job. Others trade foodstamps for cash or drugs. These ideas, or facts, can be
Continues for 3 more pages >>




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