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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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 Sept. 15, 2006 / 22 Elul 5766

Clinton got it right on welfare reform

By Jeff Jacoby

Jeff Jacoby
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Lillie Harden was a 32-year-old mother of three from Little Rock, Ark., when Bill Clinton met her at a governors' panel on reforming welfare in 1986. Harden had collected welfare for two years before finding work and had come to speak about her experience. Clinton asked her what was best about being off welfare. Her reply: "When my boy goes to school and they say, 'What does your mama do for a living?' he can give an answer."


Ten years later, when Clinton was in the White House, he invited Harden to join him as he signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 — welfare reform — into law. In his remarks, Clinton recalled her answer of a decade earlier, and added: "I have never forgotten that."


For all that Clinton got wrong, welfare reform was one thing he ended up getting very right. He had vetoed two previous reform bills passed by the Republican-controlled Congress, and when the House and Senate came back with a third bill, liberal pressure for another veto was intense. But political strategist Dick Morris warned Clinton that a third veto could cost him the 1996 election, and so, pronouncing it a "historic opportunity to do what is right," he signed the bill.


The chorus of outrage from the left was deafening. Marian Wright Edelman, chairman of the Children's Defense Fund, warned that Clinton's signature would "leave a moral blot on his presidency and on our nation." Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont denounced the bill as "anti-family, anti child, and mean-spirited." Hugh Price, head of the National Urban League, declared that "Washington has decided to end the War on Poverty and begin a war on children." Ted Kennedy labeled the new law "legislative child abuse." Daniel Patrick Moynihan went so far as to call it "the most brutal act of social policy we have known since Reconstruction."


Over and over it was said that welfare reform would wreak social devastation, throwing vast numbers of people, including a million children, into poverty.


Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey fretted that poor children would be reduced to "begging for money, begging for food, and even . . . engaging in prostitution." Peter Edelman, the husband of Marian Wright Edelman and an assistant secretary of health and human services, resigned in protest and condemned the new law in a long article — "The Worst Thing Bill Clinton Has Done" — in The Atlantic. It predicted, among other things, "more malnutrition and more crime, increased infant mortality, and increased drug and alcohol abuse . . . increased family violence and abuse against children and women." All in all, he concluded, this "terrible legislation" would do "serious injury to American children."


It did none of those things.


What it did do was end the condescending attitude that the poor were incapable of improving their situation, and that "compassion" consisted of supplying money indefinitely to women who had children, but no husbands or jobs. That approach had lured millions into lives of dependency, subsidized an explosion of fatherlessness, and infected whole neighborhoods with a bias against work and marriage. The bill that Clinton signed replaced that deadly condescension with respect. For the first time, welfare would come with strings attached: work requirements and time limits designed to encourage responsibility and self-sufficiency.


The results speak for themselves. Since peaking in 1994, the nation's welfare caseload plummeted by 60 percent, falling from 5 million families to fewer than 2 million. Welfare recipients went to work in droves. The employment rate among those who had been likeliest to slip into long-term dependence — young mothers who had never been married — soared by nearly 100 percent. And as more and more mothers left welfare and got jobs, more and more of their children were lifted out of poverty.


Far from throwing a million kids into the streets, welfare reform sent the child poverty rate tumbling, from 20.8 percent in 1995 to 17.8 percent in 2004. In black communities, where welfare had done the most damage, the decline was even more dramatic. "Black child poverty plummeted at an unprecedented rate, falling to 30.0 percent in 2001," Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation recently testified before Congress. "In 2001, despite the recession, the poverty rate for black children was at the lowest point in national history."


Not everything has been reformed. There is clearly more work to do. The 1996 law affected only the basic welfare program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC). But dozens of other welfare entitlements, such as food stamps and Medicaid, still operate under the old rules. And while the out-of-wedlock birth rate is no longer skyrocketing, it is still far too high — as are the poverty and social chaos it begets.


But there is no disputing that welfare reform has been a shining success. Ten years later, it is clear that the Republican Congress that passed the law and the Democratic president who signed it turned out to be truer champions of the poor than those who inveighed against it so hysterically.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist. Comment by clicking here.

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