Thursday, February 09, 2006

Welfare American-style (2)

Brief history. In 1996 President Clinton scrapped AFDC, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (think DPB) and replaced it with TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). The big difference was a moral one. People were now expected to find work or get involved in some activity in return for the assistance they received.

The legislation was passed at a federal level. Federal funding going to states to provide welfare was then controlled or limited according to the application of these new rules. That's how the local bureaucrats were incentivised.

The results were that by the end of the nineties caseloads had dropped nationally by 60 percent. But because the targets has been reached the pressure went off and the TANF caseloads have become static once more.

Now Congress has re-authorised the reforms with its latest budget. States are required to move 45 percent of the new caseload levels into work within the next year. The second wave begins.

What have we done over the same period? Fiddled.

No comments: