Welfare Reform: Two Decades of Success

welfare-state-607x286Did the 1996 law throw 3.5 million American children into third-world poverty? No.

Two decades ago, on August 22, 1996, President Bill Clinton signed a landmark welfare-reform bill (the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act) into law. At the time, liberals proclaimed that the bill would slash the incomes of one fifth of American families with children and push 2.6 million people into poverty. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D., N.Y.) famously predicted the bill would leave children scavenging in the streets, “sleeping on grates, picked up in the morning frozen.”

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