Welfare Reform in the United States Essay

Throughout recent old ages the economic system of the United States of America has been traveling through a major recession. There have been and go on to be irresponsible financial policies that have led to these major jobs that are at the head of the heads and lives of the American people. Picking merely one cause or job to our nations’ economic decay is virtually impossible. yet one of the facets of authorities that is considered for reform rather frequently can be refined to assist excite the economic system now and in the hereafter.

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History in the United States The United States public assistance plan is full of a rich history that began good before the existent system of public assistance was developed by President Roosevelt. The public assistance thoughts stemmed from a really human trait of caring for the needy. Many little plans were developed to seek to assist the lower category. These plans focused on “teaching a adult male to fish” or giving him a short term solution and instruction to assist him hold a better chance in his hereafter. The plans were ne’er designed to be a long term solution for the demands of those people who were enduring through fiscal troubles.

In fact few private and authorities retirement pensions existed in the United States before the Great Depression. The predominating position was that persons should salvage for their old age or be supported by their kids. About 30 provinces provided some public assistance assistance to hapless aged individuals without any beginning of income. Local functionaries by and large decided who deserved old-age aid in their community ( “welfare reform. ” 123HelpMe. com. ) ( transplant-speakers. olhblogspace. com ) “”The New Deal” The accent during the first two old ages of President Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” was to supply work alleviation for the 1000000s of unemployed Americans.

President Roosevelt’s focal point on assisting people become working and financially responsible was an of import portion to the economic alleviation during the great depression. The “New Deal” provided a short term solution and program for the unemployed to go fiscal independent. Most federal money was given to the provinces pay for public works undertakings. which employed the jobless. Some federal assistance besides straight assisted needy victims of the Depression. The provinces. nevertheless. remained chiefly responsible for taking attention of the unemployables ( widows. hapless kids. the aged hapless. and the handicapped ) .

But provinces and private charities. excessively. were unable to maintain up the support of these people at a clip when revenue enhancement aggregations and personal giving were worsening steeply. In his State of the Union Address before Congress on January 4. 1935. President Roosevelt said “the clip has come for action by the national government” to supply “security against the major jeopardies and vicissitudes [ uncertainnesss ] of life. ” He went on to suggest the creative activity of federal unemployment and old-age insurance plans. He besides called for guaranteed benefits for hapless individual female parents and their kids along with other dependent individuals.

By for good spread outing federal duty for the security of all Americans. Roosevelt believed that the necessity for authorities make-work employment ( make-work employment refers to the authorities stepping in and making work/jobs ) and other signifiers of Depression alleviation would vanish. In his reference before Congress. Roosevelt argued that the continuance of authorities alleviation plans was a bad thing for the state: “lessons of history. confirmed by the grounds instantly before me. demo once and for all that continued dependance upon alleviation induces a religious and moral decomposition basically destructive to the national fibre.

To dole out alleviation in this manner is to administrate a narcotic. a elusive destroyer of the human spirit. . . . ” ( F D R: the words that reshaped America By Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Stamford Parker ) As we reflect on these words we can see that America and her leaders have lost sight of the true intent and program behind the public assistance plan. ( citizenjoe. org- Percentage of public assistance disbursement ) “The Social Security Act” A few months subsequently. on August 18. 1935. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act ( Wikipedia. org ) .

It set up a federal retirement plan for individuals over 65. which was financed by a paysheet revenue enhancement paid jointly by employers and their workers. FDR believed that federal old-age pensions together with employer-paid unemployment insurance ( besides a portion of the Social Security Act ) would supply the economic security people needed during both good and bad times. Not by any agencies was Roosevelt connoting he wanted the huge minorities or bulks in age or race to go dependent on the federal or province authoritiess. In add-on to old-age pensions and unemployment insurance. the Social Security Act established a national public assistance system.

The federal authorities guaranteed tierce of the entire sum spent by provinces for aid to destitute and dependent kids under age 16 ( but non their female parents ) . Additional federal public assistance assistance was provided to destitute old people. the destitute blind and crippled kids. Although financed partially by federal revenue enhancement money. the provinces could still put their ain eligibility demands and benefit degrees. This portion of the jurisprudence was pushed by Southern provinces so they could command the coverage made available to their Afro-american population. This is how welfare began as a federal authorities duty.

Roosevelt and the members of Congress who wrote the public assistance commissariats into the Social Security Act thought that the demand for federal assistance to dependent kids and hapless old people would bit by bit travel away as employment improved and those over 65 began to roll up Social Security pensions. But many Americans. such as farm labourers and domestic retainers. were ne’er included in the Social Security old-age retirement plan. Besides. since 1935. increasing divorce and male parent abandonment rates have dramatically multiplied the figure of hapless individual female parents with dependent kids.

This made it much harder for the authorities to dole out the financess for societal security. Since the Great Depression. the national public assistance system expanded both in coverage and federal ordinances. It has become a crutch for many of American citizens. The public assistance plan is non functioning its original intent. From its origin. the system drew critics. The system does non make plenty to acquire people to work. Others merely believed the federal authorities should non administrate a public assistance system. As the system grew. so did unfavorable judgment of it. particularly in the 1980s and ’90s.

Additions to Welfare” In 1992. Democratic campaigner. Bill Clinton. ran for president assuring to “end public assistance as we know it. ” Yet a complete patch to a federal and province entity that provided support and stableness to 1000s would stultify the economic system and leave all those in the system to fend for themselves after being on a system that did everything for them.

Then in 1996. a Republican Congress passed and President Clinton signed a reform jurisprudence that returned most control of public assistance back to the provinces. therefore stoping 61 old ages of federal esponsibility ( “Constitutional Rights Foundation” hypertext transfer protocol: //www. crf-usa. org/bill-of-rights-in-action/bria-14-3-a-how-welfare-began-in-the-united-states. hypertext markup language ) . When the federal Aid to Families with Dependent Children ( AFDC ) plan began in 1936. it provided hard currency assistance to about 500. 000 kids and parents. By 1969. the figure had grown to about 7 million. Over the old ages. Congress added new plans. President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty” provided major non-cash benefits to AFDC receivers every bit good as to other destitute individuals.

In 1964. Congress approved a nutrient cast plan for all low-income families. The following twelvemonth. Congress created Medicaid. a federal and province funded health-care system for the destitute elderly. handicapped individuals. and AFDC households. In 1974. during the Nixon presidential term. Congress established the Supplemental Security Income ( SSI ) plan to supply assistance to the destitute aged. blind. and handicapped. This plan made up the last major constituent of the federal public assistance system. By 1994. more of the nation’s destitute households. aged. and disabled received federal public assistance than of all time before.

Aid to Families with Dependent Children entirely supported more than 14 million kids and their parents. By the 1990s. AFDC supported 15 per centum of all U. S. kids. In most instances. these kids lived at place and were cared for by a individual parent. normally the female parent. who did non work. In August 1996. after 18 months of argument. Congress passed and President Clinton signed into jurisprudence the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act. This public assistance reform jurisprudence ended 61 old ages of AFDC guaranteed hard currency aid to every eligible hapless household with kids.

The new jurisprudence turned over to the provinces the authorization to plan their ain public assistance plans and to travel receivers to work. Under the new jurisprudence. the Impermanent Aid for Needy Families ( TANF ) plan. funded by federal block grants and province money. replaced AFDC. States are given broad discretion in finding eligibility and the conditions under which households may have public assistance. But Congress tied a figure of rigorous work demands to the federal block grants:

• Adults having household cash-aid benefits must travel to work within two old ages. States may relieve a parent with a kid under 1 for no more than 12 months. States had to hold 25 per centum of their public assistance caseloads at work in 1997 and 50 per centum of their caseloads at work by 2002. States who fail to run into these demands will lose 5 per centum of their federal block grants ( hypertext transfer protocol: //www. welfareinfo. org/history/ ) . Each grownup is limited to no more than five old ages of hard currency aid during his or her life-time. But provinces may relieve up to 20 per centum of their caseloads from this bound.

A 1995 survey by the Cato Institute revealed that the value of the entire benefit bundle received by a typical public assistance receiver averaged more than $ 17. 000. runing from a high of over $ 36. 000 in Hawaii to a depression of $ 11. 500 in Mississippi. In 9 provinces welfare pays more than the mean freshman wage for a instructor. In 29 provinces welfare pays more than the mean starting wage for a secretary. In 47 provinces welfare pays more than a janitor makes. In the 6 provinces benefits exceed the entry-level wage for a computing machine coder ( hypertext transfer protocol: //www. heritage. org/ and World Wide Web. cato. org ) .

America can be on her manner to economic stableness and growing one time once more if we obtain a complete apprehension of the rich history of the populace public assistance system. We can come closer to assisting our citizens be financially independent. we can go a more civilized and sophisticated society. When we embrace the true intent behind the original constitution of public assistance plans and supply people with an chance to populate within their agencies when they need aid. and learn them how to supply for their hereafter. so we will be able to foster assist our state and our economic system.

We will one time once more go the world’s taking economic power and our citizens will be the force behind that great power. PROPOSAL A Plan for Modern Reform One of the greatest ways we can assist America recover the great power it one time had is by electing a leader who can assist us work out some of the fiscal issues we face. specifically public assistance. Republican Presidential campaigner Mitt Romney is that individual. Sing the current public assistance job he stated. ““Fundamentally. this is a argument about the best manner to assist person take a fulfilling life.

We know that the best system isn’t about a press release but a manus up. ” –Source: imperativeness release on public assistance reform ( July 2005 ) “People want a opportunity to work so they can construct self-sufficient lives alternatively of trusting on a public assistance cheque that will maintain them trapped in poorness. By supplying support services and inducements where necessary. we want to give public assistance recipients the chance to accomplish independent and carry throughing lives. ” –Source: imperativeness release on public assistance reform ( January 2005 ) We must non let people to mistreat the public assistance system.

We need to set up and follow rigorous guidelines and Torahs for having public assistance. We must besides develop a system to assist people acquire off of the plan and halt mistreating the system. Mitt Romney has offered a fully fledged elaborate economic program when he announced a 59-point occupation and economic proposal during a address at the McCandless International Trucks franchise in Nevada. Las Vegas on September 6. 2011. Called ‘Day One. Job One’ . the plan’s chief aim would be to “restore America to the way of robust economic growing necessary to make occupations. “ .