Imagine you are standing in a grocery line, waiting patiently for your turn, watching the lady in front of you put her cart-full of name brand food on the counter. You are thinking, "How is she going to pay for all this stuff?" Right then, she pulls out a book of stamps (not postage, either) and pays the cashier one hundred and fifty dollars. With the fifty dollar bill she has stashed away in her wallet, the lady then proceeds to buy two cartons of cigarettes and a magazine. Has this ever happened to you? Does it anger you to know that your taxes are going to a welfare recipient who has more cash than you have even seen in the past two weeks? If it does, then you are not alone.
Many people want the old system for welfare changed and the new system enforced. Welfare has been pushed to the limit, forcing hard working people to pay more taxes, and leaving the government no choice but to make tougher laws to decrease the number of citizens on welfare. At one time a good plan for underprivileged Americans, welfare was constantly misused, forcing the new reforms and much debate.
The new reforms, put into action by President Bill Clinton, have succeeded in dropping the recipients off the rolls. Dan Froomkin, of The Washington Post, says that under the old system, welfare was handed out to anyone for any number of years. The new system, however, requires most recipients to work within two years of receiving assistance, and limits most assistance to five years total (internet). Welfare was also misused by allowing mothers to keep having children, enabling them to receive additional benefits. Froomkin reports that the new reform allows states to establish a policy where welfare families are allowed no added income for the new family members (internet). According to surveys completed by New Republic, welfare rolls have been cut by 3.8 million recipients since 1994 (7). This new welfare reform has helped to reduce recipients, but like all other plans, it has its shortcomings.
On one hand, many people are coming off the rolls and finding jobs. But on the other hand, finding a minimum wage job is not a ticket out of poverty. The chore of putting people off welfare and into the work force can be difficult because welfare pays more than minimum wage, because there are no incentives for a person to work, and because recipients are stuck in their lifestyle (Long 9). Also,...