Welfare Reform Should Come With Goals and Results
(Washington, D.C.) – Welfare and entitlement spending constitutes nearly three quarters of the federal budget, and the percentage of Americans relying on government for part or all of their subsistence has grown to nearly 50 percent. This runs counter to the general expectation that employment growth and wage growth lead to reduced dependence on taxpayer-funded programs. According to new research, twenty years have passed since Congress and the president last worked together on a review and reform of federal welfare programs. In fact, of the 80 programs that comprise the federal welfare system, only the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program saw significant revision in the 1990’s. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the federal welfare state he intended it to provide “security against the major hazards and vicissitudes of life.” Instead, this research suggests that many Americans struggle to gain independence and prosperity, and instead become dependent on government help.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:
“The problem with federal welfare programs is that they are proving ineffective at helping beneficiaries achieve independence and prosperity, or enabling them to earn and save to build a better future. These programs are on an unsustainable course, and they are not working properly. Welfare programs are meant to provide assistance in our time of need, so we can get back up and be self-sufficient, but for all too many of those most in need, the have given the wrong incentives – essentially trapping them in a cycle of dependency that cannot be broken.
Instead of endlessly trying to expand taxpayer-funded assistance, we must respect and encourage people’s capability to work, produce, and be self-sufficient. Welfare programs should be reformed with an eye toward identifying trends and successfully addressing them, so that families have a chance to make their lives better by creating value for others. Instead of taking pride in a growing number of dependent Americans, we should incentivize a healthy workforce that can bring economic prosperity for all.”