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Essay / Research Paper Abstract
3 pages in length. A brief look at how views on welfare have changed during the late twentieth century. The writer focuses on recent Presidential administrations and is particularly concerned with the revolutionary value of Bill Clinton's views on welfare. Important legislation such as the Family Support Act of 1988 and the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1994 is included in the discussion. Bibliography lists 7 sources.
3 pages (~225 words per page)
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all create a context in which public assistance criticisms become accentuated. In the last presidential campaign (federal), it looked as
though welfare was going to figure in quite prominently. President Bush brought up the subject whenever he could, claiming to have an agenda "to change welfare and make the
able-bodied work." Some feared that welfare recipients were going to be made the scapegoats for the nations economic ills, and that the president once again would use race as the
subtext. In fact, Clintons views on welfare differed significantly from the former presidents, and understanding those differences is critical to building the public support
that was needed. For few subjects arouse such emotions or generate such fissures in Congress as welfare. Only one significant reform has been approved since the federal welfare statute
was first enacted in 1935: the Family Support Act of 1988. It passed with little opposition as the result of an historic compromise between liberals and conservatives: government must help
welfare recipients obtain work skills, but recipients must reciprocate by attending classes. After that, they must work if they are able, preferably in the private sector, otherwise in a publicly
funded job. That was the theory. In practice, the bills drafters (of whom Clinton was one) knew Congress would not be able to fully fund
the program. So they did the only thing they could: they dropped the requirement that all able-bodied recipients participate. Today only one in five eligible recipients is actually enrolled in
the welfare reform program. By limiting the number and essentially-- by rationing what was available-- the government managed to afford the Family Support Act. A