Welfare is something that people either love or hate, depending on your personal beliefs and socio-economic standing. It is nonetheless a vital lifeline for those who are living through poverty; providing for basic needs as they try to build their lives up from the ground.

That is assuming that social welfare works in the first place.

You see, there was this law passed back in 1996 called the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). It was supposed to reform welfare into something more than it used to be. Turns out TANF turned welfare into something less than what it used to be.

For starters, current welfare policies impose a limit of sixty months translating to five years on all benefits. Then certain states experiencing budget shortfalls turned the sixty month limit into forty-eight; meaning those going through welfare only have four years to find work or be cut off completely from any form of aid whatsoever.

Another rather stupid result of TANF reforms is how states like California put up “marriage promotion” programs to marry welfare recipients off the rolls. As if only single women were the only ones experiencing poverty.

The point of all this is that TANF is a failure. Welfare in 1995 served eight out of ten low-income children. Now, only two out of ten children are being served.

The politicians of today don’t realize (or refuse to realize) that grinding poverty is the breeding ground of crime. Welfare support is not the answer to poverty, yes, but it is nonetheless an important bridge that will give poor families the foothold they need to climb up the socio-economic ladder.

The sad part is that the system failed poor Americans when they needed that welfare support the most: in an economic downturn that cost thousands upon thousands of people their jobs.

Last updated: December 16, 2011 by & filed under Blog

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