Safety Net: Welfare and Social Security, 1929-1979

By Blanche D. Coll | Go to book overview

3
Planning Welfare Programs

AS FIRST CONCEIVED by the Committee on Economic Security, the Department of Labor was to play the leading federal role in the administration of programs authorized by the Social Security Act. Under this plan, the two insurance programs, unemployment and old age, were to be administered by a Social Insurance Board within Labor, while the Children's Bureau, also within the Labor Department, would be responsible for Aid to Dependent Children, child welfare services, and maternal and child health programs. The major exception to Labor's dominance was the administration of Old Age Assistance. The committee assigned OAA to the FERA because OAA was a relief program. Arguing that ADC was also a relief program, FERA turf protectors Aubrey Williams and Josephine Brown won their point with the committee. As presented to Congress both OAA and ADC were to be administered at the federal level by the FERA.

The Ways and Means Committee, however, was prejudiced against the Department of Labor and Secretary Perkins--in no small part due to her protection of the Civil Service against patronage--and opposed assigning the administration of permanent programs to an emergency agency. Ways and Means placed public assistance, along with the insurances, under the administration of the Social Security Board, an independent agency created by the committee with representation by the two major political parties. The decision to keep public assistance and insurance in one agency followed good administrative practice--to keep like functions together. These programs were closely related. In testifying on the bill, Witte argued that in time old age insurance (OAI) would reduce the need for

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Safety Net: Welfare and Social Security, 1929-1979
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • 1 - This Business of Relief 1
  • 2 - From the Cradle to the Grave 34
  • 3 - Planning Welfare Programs 54
  • 4 - The Unsettling Question 80
  • 5 - An Orphan Program 103
  • 6 - The Main Stem 124
  • 7 - The Safety Net 149
  • 8 - The Welfare Mess 176
  • 9 - More Than a Salvage Operation 205
  • 10 - Workfare 239
  • 11 - Welfare Reform 257
  • 12 - To End Welfare as We Know it 277
  • Notes 289
  • Bibliography 319
  • Index 331
  • About the Author 348
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