Public Welfare is an important support system of the United States
government. Welfare has its benefits, but the system has pitfalls. Instead of
abolishing welfare as critics of the system suggest, reforms can be made to
correct the problems while government, either on the state or federal level, can
continue to assist the impoverished.
The term welfare is used to describe a variety of programs that provide
income support and create a safety net for poor individuals and families. Such
benefits include Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, food stamps, housing
allowances, and Aid to Families with Dependent Children. Aid To Families With
Dependent Children (AFDC) enables states to provide cash payments to
children that are deprived of the care or support of a parent. In terms of welfare
reform, this is the program most often discussed.
The media has created many myths regarding welfare and the reasons
the system should be done away with.
Stating that the majority of new welfare
recipients are poor, single mothers, claims have been made that poor women
have more children because of the incentives of welfare benefits. It has been
proven that is no correlation between women's choice to have children and
welfare benefit levels. Furthermore, for each additional child, a mother can
expect an additional $90 of AFDC benefits, far too low to serve as any type of
incentive. In addition, those states that provide higher benefits do not
necessarily show higher birth rates among their welfare recipients. Families
receiving AFDC benefits have 1.9 children, just about the same as the national
average. (ACLU 1)
Another myth created by the media concerns the amount of money spent
and the results. It has been said that after spending billions of dollars since the
mid-1960's on anti-poverty programs, there have been little or no results.