For Crying out Loud: Women's Poverty in the United States

By Diane Dujon; Ann Withorn | Go to book overview
Save to active project

WE DON'T ALL AGREE THAT
WELFARE HAS FAILED
Ann WithornONE OF THE MOST CONFUSING EVOLUTIONS OF CONTEMPORARY welfare politics began around the time when Congress passed the Family Support Act in 1988 with bipartisan support. Mainstream politicians, writers, and policymakers created the great lie that, even though there are differences over what exactly to do next, still today:
Everyone agrees that welfare, as we know it, has failed.
All responsible (intelligent) people agree that welfare must end and be replaced with a program more in harmony with the "basic values of the American people."

The most clear example of this problem occurred during the Contract with America's Welfare Reform debate in March 1995. For once, many House Democrats rose up and protested long and hard about the need to retain a federal commitment to income maintenance, and against the cruelty of the Republican proposals. The next day, President Clinton chided House Democrats for being "too partisan." "After all, we all agree that welfare has failed," he intoned unctuously. "Let's tone down the rhetoric" ( Boston Globe, 25 March 1995).

However, in the mid- 1980s, Massachusetts welfare officials had made public speeches that agreed with welfare rights activists that the system was punitive and demeaning. When I make speeches, people consistently began their remarks with "We all agree. . . . " I try to present a view that grapples with the complexities of the issue.

____________________
The handouts that follow are ones that I give out before I speak. They are a quick summary of how different the arguments that "welfare has failed" are for welfare activists and for opponents of real reform. I also use the handouts to answer the question: "So what do we really agree on?

-201-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
For Crying out Loud: Women's Poverty in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 414

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?