In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 15, 2006 / 21 Menachem-Av 5766

A decade ago welfare reform critics predicted the world would end

By Clarence Page

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Ten years have passed since President Clinton signed a tough welfare reform law in August 1996. I feared the worst. Ten years later, it feels good to be wrong. The worst has not happened, but the success is mixed.

Clinton signed the law with Republican support, fulfilling his promise to "end welfare as we know it" and make welfare "a second chance, not a way of life." The law was not as tough as two earlier Republican-backed bills Clinton vetoed that would have cut Medicaid, child care and other benefits for those moving from welfare to work.

Yet, even the late Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan, D-N.Y., a longtime critic of the way welfare had bred long-term dependency, feared thousands of poor children would wind up "sleeping on grates."

"In our confusion we are doing mad things," he lamented on the Senate floor. "The premise of this legislation is that the behavior of certain adults can be changed by making the lives of their children as wretched as possible. This is a fearsome assumption."

A study by the Urban Institute, a liberal-leaning Washington-based think tank, agreed, estimating the bill would plunge 1.5 million adults and 1.1 million children below the poverty line. Three Clinton administration officials quit their jobs in protest.

"So much for welfare as we knew it." I wrote warily at the time, "Now, we wonder, what welfare will we know? Or, more to the point, what kind of poverty will we know?"

Ten years later, I can happily report that few, if any, families have been sleeping on grates. Boosted by a robust economy in the late 1990s, many families, three-fourths of whom are headed by single moms, have entered the world of work with some assistance from public aid offices that learned to function more like employment-service agencies.

Earnings for the poorest 40 percent of families headed by women doubled from 1994 to 2000, before a recession that wiped out almost half of that gain.

Teen pregnancies have continued a decline that began a couple of years before welfare reform was passed and child support collections are up.

Child poverty rates have dropped, particularly among blacks and Hispanics. The overall child poverty rate fell from 20.8 percent in 1995 to 17.8 percent in 2004, which means 1.6 million fewer children were living in poverty, happily proclaims Robert Rector, a Heritage Foundation research fellow who helped draft the reform legislation.

However, his liberal counterparts in Washington's think tank communities are quick to respond that child poverty already had begun to decline a couple of years before the bill was passed and has been rising since a historic low of 15.9 percent in 2000 when the economic boom cooled.

Unfortunately, a disturbing number of former welfare recipients have merely moved to the ranks of the "working poor," still struggling to make ends meet with a subpoverty income.

Those who have mental illness, substance abuse, criminal records and other such complications in their lives have the least success in gaining or keeping employment.

And more than half of those eligible for welfare payments do not receive them, indicating the new system discourages many deserving people from even submitting an application.

The Bush administration is pushing for tougher requirements — with a goal of getting at least half of those on welfare into job training, community service or some other alternative activity. That's only a modest part of what needs to be done. The next round of welfare reform needs to take into account the needs of the new working who were produced by the first round.

With that, welfare reform should expand into a pro-work, anti-poverty program, which means inclusion of what may be the largest group left behind: young males, particularly young, undereducated black males.

Recent university studies have found that both the economic boom and welfare reform, which is aimed mainly at mothers with children, left young black males worse off than before by every economic measure. Reaching this group will require more than government action. It will require widespread public and private-sector action at the national and neighborhood levels. But the welfare debate is a good place to begin. We've made unexpected progress in the fight against welfare dependency. Now let's fight poverty.

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© 2006, TMS