The Shrinking Welfare State Essay, Research Paper
Welfare has been the topic of much controversy over the past few years. The welfare program has been important for many people. The purpose of welfare is to assist people who are jobless or can t make ends meet financially. One of the stated purposes of the Personal Responsibility Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, popularly known as welfare reform was to end the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparedness, work, and marriage. To this end, this federal legislation, along with many other changes in state policies before and after passage, has increased incentives and requirements for families receiving benefits to move into work and eventually off welfare.
After reading the article on the Shrinking Welfare State the question I asked myself was should there be a welfare reform? Personally I think welfare reform is more reasonable and feasible rather than abolishing welfare altogether. For one, the redistribution of wealth is necessary to maintain equality among the economic classes. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening each day, and welfare aids the redistribution of wealth. Secondly, doing away with welfare altogether would further impoverish those who are currently under it support. There is still a need for welfare, but amendments to its policies would reduce the cost of its upkeep as well as reduce welfare fraud. Such amendments to its policies can include a voluntary savings plan to reduce the amount of taxes paid or a limitation on the duration support.
To do away with welfare altogether would increase the poverty level in the U.S. Though proponents of this movement site that many people take advantage of welfare, their argument is only half valid. No one denies, that welfare fraud exits, but doing away with welfare away altogether would hurt those residents who truly have a need for the support. Welfare reform can reduce fraud and continue to support families who are truly in need. Doing away with actual food stamps has somewhat helped reduce the cost of this program since the new credit-card-like cards have been introduced. But further reform is necessary to make welfare more efficient. One alternative is to limit the duration of support. Though some laws are already in place requiring employment by a deadline, these laws are still not fully enforced. A welfare recipient should meet periodically with a welfare representative to prove that he or she is actively seeking employment. Furthermore, the amount of welfare support should have a phase-out period. For example, if a family is receiving $500 a month in support, within three months the amount should be reduced to $450, then to $400, and so on. The reduction of support with the passage of time encourages recipients to find employment as soon as possible since the support amount will eventually be eliminated.
So I strongly believe any reforms that are made must be responsible reforms. They must include enhanced job training and job creation. Reforms must also assist low-income working parents find ways to combine work and public assistance in ways appropriate to their circumstances.
The welfare system is an important aspect of American society. It assists the impoverished individuals and families of our nation. It helps support the unemployed during their time of need. The welfare system must remain to help people get back on their feet, as it was designed. However, it must be reformed so that dependence on government aid is avoided.