The results are clear: states that have embraced the spirit of welfare reform, including lifetime benefit limits, work requirements, short-term cash diversion programs and service integration, have seen the greatest reduction in welfare dependency. The states that have failed to implement these reforms continue to see generational poverty and dependence on state programs, along with dismal results in returning able-bodied adults to the workforce.
Now, however, many of the states that had implemented successful welfare reforms are applying for federal waivers in the food stamp program for the time limits and work requirements. Here at FGA, we’re documenting an alarming spike in spending on food stamps (SNAP). In some states, such as Nevada, food stamp dependency has risen as much as 219% in the last decade. Ironically, the same reforms that have created so many successes in the TANF program are being reversed in the SNAP program, with a corresponding explosion in spending.
There’s quite a snapshot of the federal government: create a problem for the citizens, decades later get around to somewhat undoing the problem, then blow it all out of the water with more “helping.”
This could be an interesting thing for the GOP to bring up to Hillary. She’ll be busy painting the Republicans as heartless haters of the poor, yet welfare reform was her husband’s biggest legislative success, even if the GOP did all the work he’s been taking credit for. It will be tempting to her to want to praise the “help” people are getting now, although it would undercut Bubba’s pride and joy.
And we all know that she’s really running on Bill’s record. Fun times.