How welfare reform changed America

USA Today
by Richard Wolf

07/18/06

The law signed by President Clinton on Aug. 22, 1996, has transformed the way the nation helps its neediest citizens. Gone is the promise of a government check for parents raising children in poverty. In its place are 50 state programs to help those parents get jobs. In the 12 years since caseloads peaked at 5.1 million families in 1994, millions have left the welfare rolls for low-paying jobs. Nearly 1 million more have been kicked off for not following states' rules or have used up all the benefits they're allowed under time limits. Today, 1.9 million families get cash benefits; in one-third of them, only the children qualify for aid. About 38% of those still on welfare are black, 33% white and 24% Hispanic...

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