Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Welfare Five years ago, President Clinton signed a welfare reform bill which ended a 61 year guarantee that poor families would receive cash assistance. Some believe that it ended the pattern of trapping single mothers in poverty. Others feel that it gave mothers an escape route to refrain from working and depend on the government to take care of their families. With both viewpoints in mind, Congress will have a very important decision to make on September 30, 2002; the law will then expire and it requires new legislation to continue.

There have been both positive and negative results from the welfare reform bill. Politicians in support of the bill are constantly stating the positive statistics. The bill has shown a 50 percent cut in the number of welfare recipients. As families in poverty increased, families with both parents present in the household increased. Republican representative, Clay Shaw of Florida felt that it was successful.

He stated that "it has given people control over their lives. It has made the parents role models to their children." Those in opposition to the Welfare Reform bill feel as though the biggest step to take is one to eliminate the dependency trap. Some people believe that benefits including health care and nutrition should be limited to children and those that are able should get out and work. They feel as though the United States has spent billions of dollars on welfare but has done little to reduce poverty. Automatic assistance to the poor threatens families by subsidizing children born out of wedlock and households with single parents.

Step 2 in their plan involves redefining what should be expected from the poor population in America. If an individual is able to work then he or she should do so. However it is also...