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Welfare Reform Essay

2683 words - 11 pages

Aid to Families with Dependent Children is commonly known as AFDC, the program was in place to help needy families. When enacted in 1935, it was designed to help widows with minor children. The cost was shared between the Federal and State governments. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands had an AFDC plan. The benefits of AFDC were calculated by what is known as a standard of need. Each state set its own standard of need that is how much it cost a family to live in that state. There were certain requirements that people who received benefits must meet. The family must have a child that was under the age of 18, they must be a resident of the state ...view middle of the document...

The main reason the Social Security Act of 1935 came about was due to the large number of people unemployed, there was also the threat of uprising by the displaced workers. In the 1930's, Communism was a big threat to the United States. I feel one of the reasons the Social Security Act of 1935 passed so easily through both houses of Congress was the threat of Communism. During in 1930's in the US there were mass lay-offs. This caused mass demonstrations by the workers. The administration was scared and felt there was a threat to the American way of life and more importantly a threat to Capitalism. In the 1930's, Communism was a new idea and the negative results of the system was not yet clear. President Roosevelt realized this and did everything in his power to keep Capitalism in place in the US. I feel that the main reason the President Roosevelt introduced the Social Security Act of 1935 was less out of his concern for the American people and more out of the fear of Communism.Overall, I feel that AFDC helped and hurt the American people. AFDC provided for many people to feed and provide for their families. AFDC also created generations of people who were dependent on public assistance. When the welfare reform act of 1996, also known as PRWORA and TANF was enacted, it was the first time AFDC was completely revised in its sixty-year history. As I said earlier in this paper, one of the main problems of AFDC was the generations of people who became dependent on the benefits. Mothers on public assistance give birth to children who became dependent on AFDC.Before he became a Senator from New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote what is known as the Tangle of Pathology. This was a series of steps that Moynihan thought that people who receive public assistance experience, mainly intercity African Americans. It starts out with a young married girl becoming pregnant. She has the child and raises it as a single mother, with no male parental figure. There is a focus on street life, gangs and drugs. The main point of Moyniham's "Tangle of Pathology" is that the dependence on public assistance goes on generation after generation. These children rarely graduated from high school and some never make it passed middle school. A speech that Senator Moynihan gave on September 16, 1995 showed his feelings about welfare reform that was going to be signed by Bill Clinton. He said, "The best thing that can be said of this bill is that it's not as bad as it might have been". He also said in the same speech that the bill would endanger the well-being of the poorest children in society. Even though Senator Moyniham and President Clinton differed on welfare reform, they remained political allies and Hillary Clinton went on to take Senator Monahan's seat in Congress when he retired.When Bill Clinton ran for the Democratic nomination in 1992, he promised to the voters to change welfare, as we know it. He was very active in changes to welfare when he was Governor of Arkansas....

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