Source: Allison Linn / NBC News
Here’s one thing both critics and supporters of the modern welfare system agree on: The direct assistance program as we knew it in the 1980s and 1990s is dead and gone.
“It’s a very different program than it was in the past. The comment about welfare queens is much less justified now,” said Ron Haskins, a key adviser of the Republicans’ welfare reform effort who now works at the Brookings Institution.
Two decades after President Bill Clinton promised to “end welfare as we know it” — and nearly four decades since President Ronald Reagan repeatedly derided the “welfare queen” while on the 1976 presidential campaign trail — far fewer families are receiving cash and voucher assistance, and a larger share of less educated single moms are working.
Still, experts are deeply divided on how successful tax and welfare reform efforts of the 1990s have been in improving the lives of less educated single mothers, especially in the wake of the Great Recession and weak recovery.
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