Welfare Experiments

Are states leading the way toward national reform?


Reflecting widespread dissatisfaction with the national welfare system, Bill Clinton pledged an “end to welfare as we know it” during the 1992 presidential campaign. Now it appears unlikely that Congress will act this year on the welfare reforms proposed by Clinton. That means the states will continue to set the pace on reform. In recent years the states have been experimenting with a wide range of programs -- from limiting benefits to two years to denying additional benefits to welfare parents who have more children. Some observers say these and other state experiments, typically being tested in one or two counties or communities, will show the country what works and what doesn't. But others question the use of states as testing grounds at the expense ...

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