Reconciliation Act

As a result, so too will this change in values and beliefs, parallel, the continued dependence on welfare, despite Congressional efforts to curb such dependence. Since more than 40% of children are born into broken homes, and within the African American community, nearly 80% of children grow up without a father in the home, the stigmatism that comes from being on welfare, or from receiving some sort of government assistance is not longer as embarrassing as it once had been. (Johnson, 2007 pg. 19)

The negative aspects that once accompanied welfare programs and those who relied upon them, simply does not exist to the same degree that it once did. This, is very unfortunate and leads to the pessimism that the welfare program can ever afford to reform itself completely so that only those who are in the most desperate needs, and which is to no fault of their own, require temporally help from the government. By 1994, more than 15% of every child in America was receiving some form of government assistance.

(Wolf, 2007 www. usatoday. com) Criticism of the program and its liberal ways in which it dolls out the nation’s hard earned money, paralleled the increase of the program. There was still and always being those who regard going on welfare as one of the most humiliating things that they ever had to do in their lives. There were those that did not abuse the system and used it while they were enduring their temporarily set backs. There were others, especially in Congress, who realized that the system was being abused.

One of President Clinton’s 1992 campaign promises was to “end welfare as we know it. ” (Wolfe, 2006, www. usatoday. com) This made millions of people who were on the fence politically, to vote for a democrat for the first time in their life. However, such promises, or threats as they were seen by Democrats. Created anxiety and even rage; rage to the point that two of Clinton’s Cabinet members, resigned in disgust over the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act.

One of the major problems came from the situation that the Democrats had created more than thirty years before. What was going to happen to those people when their payments ceased? Unfettered welfare payments, had decreased the need for one to secure useful joy employment skills. How were intervals going to find a job when they lacked even the most basic skills? President Clinton proposed the idea of government creating these jobs but the Republicans rejected that. An increase in the earned Income Tax Credit was passed for those working parents who had small children in the homes.

Even though the program was not perfect, it constituted a shift of ideas and priorities and millions of Americans, tired of paying into a governmental assistance program that was being misused to staggering lengths and demanded reform. In the immediate days before the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act went into law, there were some who were skeptical about this new law. There are many Americans who look to Europe’s form of socialism with envy as they seek an elimination of the social classes as well as full comfort for the poor and those who do not want to work.

The welfare system , even before the reforms of 1996, horrified many Europeans who feel that it is the job of the government and the working classes to take care and support those who cannot or who do not want to work. There has been in America, and still are to this day, who continue to envy the economic and social systems that is becoming an increasing aspect of Europe. This, along with some of the aspects of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act created a degree of worry and skepticism. This was seen on the August 1, 1996 episode of PBS’s Jim Lehrer News Hour.

The famed historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin stated: “I fear we’re going back to some of those attitudes to save these kinds who are born to the wrong parents are somehow going to be penalized because they were born in the wrong place, to the wrong race, and I think we’re really turning backwards, both in our attitude toward governments and out attitudes towards poor people themselves. ” (Lehrer, 1996 www. pbs. org) Michael Beschloss, another Presidential Historian stated: “Bill Clinton was wrong, He took us to the right, and this is disastrous.