Ten years ago today, Bill Clinton signed welfare reform into law. As we look back on the results of those 10 years, itâ€™s worth reflecting on just how wrong the critics were.
At the time the bill was signed, the welfare rights lobby warned that â€œwages will go down, families will fracture, millions of children will be made more miserable than ever.â€ One frequently cited study predicted that more than a million children would be thrown into poverty.
Rep. Jim McDermott wasnâ€™t satisfied with that prediction â€” he raised the estimate to 2.5 million starving children. Welfare advocates painted vivid pictures of families sleeping on grates in our cities, widespread starvation, and worse.
The New York Times claimed â€œthe effect on our cities will be devastating.â€ Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) predicted â€œHungry and homeless childrenâ€ would be walking our streets â€œbegging for money, begging for food, evenâ€¦engaging in prostitution.â€ The Nation warned bluntly, â€œpeople will die, businesses will close, infant mortality will soar.â€
If one listened to the welfare lobbies, you would have expected to be stepping over bodies in the streets every time you left your house.
Some detailed statistics and an important message for all those anti-Social Security Reformers out there as well. A good read. Bill Clinton also wrote up a nice piece in the New York Times on the subject recently. Just goes to show reform can work, the big problem is getting the politicians in Washington to work together to formulate a plan. Clinton practically had to pull teeth to get his legislation passed. It shouldn’t have to be this hard. Why is Washington so single minded? The Reps are too damn stuborn, and the Dems are refusing to work with anybody. Pathetic. Clinton’s reforms show that concessions and working together can accomplish great things. The idea being that if a system works, you continue to move forward. Now how about we apply that to Social Security and get something accomplished?