Graph for the Day, October 19, 2010

Janice Shaw Crouse
Welfare Reform: The Argument

Though we cannot know the future, there are also some things we do know -- namely, that the current welfare system in general, and Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in particular, is a present-day horror.  During the last three decades, it has piled up a terrible body count in terms of wasted and lost lives.  It pays people to act in socially irresponsible ways ...  

-William Bennett (August 18, 1996)

"We estimate that the welfare reform provisions would increase the number of persons in poverty by 2.6 million. ... Most of the increase in poverty occurs for families with children.  About 1.1 million more children would be moved into poverty, an increase of about 12 percent."[1]      

- Urban Institute (July 26, 1996)

Welfare Reform: The Evidence:


1975-1996 AFDC Entitlement Era

Average gap between mother-only and married-couple child poverty rates: 42 percentage points.

1997-2009 TANF Block Grant Era

Average gap between mother-only and married-couple child poverty rates: 34 percentage points.



Data source: U.S. Census Bureau.  Calculations by author.

Janice Shaw Crouse, author of Children at Risk (Transaction, 2010), heads the Beverly LaHaye Institute, the think tank for Concerned Women for America

[1] Sheila R. Zedlewski, et.al., Potential Effects of Congressional Welfare Reform Legislation on Family Incomes (Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute Press, 1996), http://www.urban.org/publications/406622.html

Welfare Reform: The Argument

Though we cannot know the future, there are also some things we do know -- namely, that the current welfare system in general, and Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in particular, is a present-day horror.  During the last three decades, it has piled up a terrible body count in terms of wasted and lost lives.  It pays people to act in socially irresponsible ways ...  

-William Bennett (August 18, 1996)

"We estimate that the welfare reform provisions would increase the number of persons in poverty by 2.6 million. ... Most of the increase in poverty occurs for families with children.  About 1.1 million more children would be moved into poverty, an increase of about 12 percent."[1]      

- Urban Institute (July 26, 1996)

Welfare Reform: The Evidence:


1975-1996 AFDC Entitlement Era

Average gap between mother-only and married-couple child poverty rates: 42 percentage points.

1997-2009 TANF Block Grant Era

Average gap between mother-only and married-couple child poverty rates: 34 percentage points.



Data source: U.S. Census Bureau.  Calculations by author.

Janice Shaw Crouse, author of Children at Risk (Transaction, 2010), heads the Beverly LaHaye Institute, the think tank for Concerned Women for America

[1] Sheila R. Zedlewski, et.al., Potential Effects of Congressional Welfare Reform Legislation on Family Incomes (Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute Press, 1996), http://www.urban.org/publications/406622.html