Media Blog

IBD Nails It on Welfare Reform

An excellent editorial from Investor’s Business Daily on welfare reform:

But today’s Washington seems little impressed by the achievement of reducing the welfare rolls from over 5 million to below 2 million in the course of a decade. Congress’ big-spending “recovery” package reverts the federal-states welfare funding arrangement to the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) system — in some respects making it worse than those bad old days.

“For the first time since 1996, the federal government would begin paying states bonuses to increase their welfare caseloads,” noted Heritage Foundation scholars Robert Rector and Katherine Bradley in an analysis released last month.

“Indeed, the new welfare system created by the stimulus bills is actually worse than the old AFDC program because it rewards the states more heavily to increase their caseloads,” they added.

Under Congress’ new scheme, “the federal government will pay 80% of cost for each new family that a state enrolls in welfare; this matching rate is far higher than it was under AFDC.”

Rector and Bradley found that in the first year welfare spending will see its highest rise in history, an increase of more than 20% to exceed $600 billion. The overall cost over the next decade is estimated to reach $1.34 trillion.

National Review was banging this drum in February with “Ending Welfare Reform as We Knew It.”

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