Persuasive/Controversial Essay: TANF and SNAP welfare programs are a detriment to the U.S.

Essay by alesak1High School, 12th gradeA, October 2013

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Lesak 1

Amber Lesak

Mr. Gaug

AP Government 3

13 May 2013

Welfare "Benefits" Unemployed

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

Welfare began as a federally funded program in the 1930s during the Great Depression for mainly the elderly and disabled, but also the unemployed. Many Americans complained of abuse of the welfare program, claiming the citizens with assistance "were not applying for jobs, having more children just to get more aid, and staying unmarried so as to qualify for greater benefits," ("Welfare Information"). President Bill Clinton passed a reform law in 1996 that turned the welfare system power from the federal government to state governments and required the able-bodied to work or prepare for work. This law essentially established Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and replaced the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills Training (JOBS) program, and the Emergency Assistance (EA) program.

TANF is "a block grant program to help move recipients into work and turn welfare into a program of temporary assistance," ("Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)"). In 2012, President Barack Obama waivered the work requirement for TANF. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families payments are abused by its recipients. Eliminating the welfare work requirement causes dependency; it should be reinstated and the program should be reformed to help further prevent abuse.

Before Obama waived the work requirement for TANF, the recipient of aid was supposed to have work within 2 years and only receive welfare aid for a maximum of 5 years. After the waiver, citizens on welfare do not have a limit on how many years they can receive aid nor are they required to have a job. How is this helping? The program is called "welfare-to-work," but how is anyone getting the motivation to get a job...