July 16, 2012
“The Obama administration is gutting welfare reform by claiming the authority to be able to waive work requirements,” Heritage Foundation expert Jennifer Marshall said Friday on Fox News.
“Work requirements, of course, were the heart of the success of welfare reform passed in 1996,” she added. But last week, these requirements were simply waived by the administration, despite being explicit in the legislation.
This raises the specter of further increases in welfare spending. Heritage’s Amy Payne notes that “President Obama has added millions to the welfare rolls, and his Administration has come under fire lately for its efforts to expand and add more Americans to the food stamp program.”
Heritage experts, including Robert Rector, were instrumental in making welfare reform such a popular initiative that even many liberal politicians favored it. President Bill Clinton enacted a welfare reform plan based on Heritage ideas in 1996.
“The welfare reform law was very successful,” Rector explains:
In the four decades prior to welfare reform, the welfare caseload never experienced a significant decline. But, in the four years after welfare reform, the caseload dropped by nearly half. Employment surged and child poverty among affected groups plummeted. The driving force behind these improvements was the rigorous new federal work requirements contained in the TANF law.
What do you think of the administration’s decision to gut welfare’s work requirements?