Welfare Reform: The Clues Are in Wisconsin

By Dionne, E. J., Jr. | Nation's Cities Weekly, October 6, 1997 | Go to article overview

Welfare Reform: The Clues Are in Wisconsin


Dionne, E. J., Jr., Nation's Cities Weekly


In baseball, when your team is headed for oblivion, the magic words are: "Wait `til next year." In the debate over what happens now that welfare has been abolished, the magic phrase is: "Look what Tommy Thompson has done in Wisconsin."

Tommy Thompson is the Republican governor of Wisconsin. He was pushing the cause of pro-work welfare reform long before Congress took it on. Republicans like to point to Thompson to show that welfare reform is not synonymous with being indifferent to the fate of poor people.

The problem is that few people listen carefully to what Thompson actually says about building a practical alternative to the old welfare mess.

"Most people, when they talk about welfare, especially in Congress, they think you're going to have time limits and save a lot of money," Thompson told the National Conference of Editorial Writers.

That hope, he said, is false.

On the contrary, Thompson argued, a state that's serious about moving welfare recipients to work needs to spend more money, not less -- on health care, child care, transportation and training.

Wisconsin has done that, even as it has cut its welfare rolls by 65 percent in a decade. When Thompson took office in 1987, the state spent $12 million a year on child care. By 1998, it will be spending $180 million annually. Thompson has also proposed a health care reform -- called Badger Care -- to let the working poor buy into Medicaid.

"That may be a liberal philosophy," says this politician who's proud to describe himself as both "conservative" and "progressive." His health idea may even be a little "socialistic," he said. But he added: "It's the right one."

Thompson is not a miracle worker and his welfare reform plan, known as W-2, has critics. But at the least, Wisconsin is beyond welfare reform's rhetorical stage. "Precisely because Wisconsin is ahead of the other states, even conservative politicians found out a little sooner that simply cutting isn't going to solve problems," said Linda Gordon, a professor at the University of Wisconsin here and a student of welfare. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

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.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Welfare Reform: The Clues Are in Wisconsin
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

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?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.