The Corner

Welfare Reform in the ‘Spending Reduction Act’

One aspect of the spending-cut proposals outlined by Rep. Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) in his speech at the Heritage Foundation today is welfare reform. Congressman Jordan’s plan would reign in out-of-control welfare spending, encourage job creation, and reform welfare programs to help lift low-income families out of poverty.

Even with our country heavily in debt, spending on welfare programs — which number more than 70 — will cost taxpayers $1 trillion per year over the next few years. In addition, Jordan observed, the current welfare system has only grown, adding more people to the rolls rather than helping to lift people out of poverty.

He plans to introduce legislation in the near future that would cap welfare spending at 2007 levels when the current recession subsides and, after that, allowing it to grow at the rate of inflation. His bill also builds on the success of the TANF welfare reform of the ’90s, putting strong work requirements in food-stamp and housing programs.

This is a bold vision and one that would accomplish much for a country desperately in need of fiscal relief. It has the potential to save trillions of dollars while empowering families to move from dependence on government and into self-sufficiency and providing for themselves.

Katherine Bradley is a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

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