The Pros And Cons Of Welfare Reform

2515 words - 10 pages

The Pros and Cons of Welfare Reform

There have been numerous debates within the last decade over what needs to be done about welfare and what is the best welfare reform plan. In the mid-1990s the TANF, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Act was proposed under the Clinton administration. This plan was not received well since it had put a five year lifetime limit on receiving welfare and did not supply the necessary accommodations to help people in poverty follow this guideline. Under the impression that people could easily have found a job and worked their way out of poverty in five years, the plan was passed in 1996 and people in poverty were immediately forced to start looking for jobs. When the TANF Act was up for renewal earlier this year, the Bush administration carefully looked at what the TANF Act had done for the poverty stricken. Bush realized that, in his opinion, the plan had been successful and should stay in effect with some minor tweaking. Bush proposed a similar plan which kept the five year welfare restriction in place but did raise the budgeted amount of money to be placed towards childcare and food stamps. Both the TANF Act and Bush's revised bill have caused a huge controversy between liberal and conservative activists. The liberals feel that it is cruel to put people in a situation where they can no longer receive help from the government since so many people can not simply go out and get a job and work their way out of poverty. They feel if finding a job was that easy, most people would have already worked their way out of poverty. The conservatives feel that the plans, such as the TANF Act, are a surefire way to lower poverty levels and unemployment rates as well as decrease the amount of people on welfare. Both sides make strong arguments about the welfare reform and what should happen using logos, ethos, and pathos; the liberals fight against the plans while conservatives support the proposed plans.

Many different forms of logos are used in the liberal argument but most of the logos is soaked in pathos making their argument truly heart-felt. Types of logos used are cause and effect, facts and statistics, and arguments by definition. There is a fair balance between each type of logos argument used. The main argument that is made by the liberals is that many people simply want ?assistance? from the government; they don?t want to be ?dependent? on the government. This is an argument of definition that is strongly supported in the Mother Jones article ?Without a Safety Net.? In this article they state that ?poor single mothers had their own form of unemployment insurance--welfare. Most welfare recipients worked . . . falling back on public assistance when a child got sick or a car broke down? (Enreneich and Piven). It becomes clear that the liberals want to help the poor along with helping them get on the road to supporting themselves. Since most of the jobs available to people in poverty pay...

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