In light of his prominent role in deficit reduction and the ‘end of welfare’ in the 1990s, Reed’s appointment sends a clear — and troubling — signal about the administration’s domestic policy priorities in the years ahead.
Blog Archive | welfare | Accuracy.Org
WASHINGTON — With re-authorization of key “welfare reform” legislation due in the coming year, activists are mobilizing to place the rights of minorities and women foremost on the agenda. Many indict the current system — established by the 1996 passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act — as a racist and gender-biased structure that keeps the poor in poverty and further burdens disadvantaged families.
The five-year-old legislation has in fact reduced welfare rolls. A White House report in 2000 said that the number of Americans on welfare had decreased from 5.5 percent in 1993 to 2.3 percent in 1999. An argument now rages over whether the point of reform is to reduce the welfare rolls or to reduce poverty. Some activists maintain that these numbers reflect a slashing of America’s “safety net.”
“Welfare rolls dropped by more than half nationally since 1996, but poverty for single mothers is only down 0.7 percent,” reports Ann Withorn, professor of social policy at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. Withorn is a co-author of “An Immodest Proposal,” a series of demands collected by the feminist Women’s Committee of 100 that challenge the gender and race discrimination they find rampant in current welfare legislation. The document contains demands for an end to mandatory work outside the home, a “caregiver’s allowance” that reimburses mothers for work they do inside the home, and a substantial increase in labor standards for women. [Read more...]