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Wikipedia--policy excerpts.pdf

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Political Science
POLI 101
Paul Quirk

Collection from Wikipedia and elsewhere Note This is a collection of article excerpts from Wikipedia and a few other sources on different aspects of public policy in the USI have edited out some of the mechanical features Table of Contents links to the editing function and the like and omitted unneeded passages The purpose of reading this material is simply to provide some concrete examples of important policies and programs in the United States so that our discussions do not seem so abstract There are a lot of details for example numbers You do not need to memorize themExcept where otherwise noted all material is quoted directly from WikipediaPQWelfareUnited StatesThe welfare system in the United States began in the 1930s during the Great Depression After the Great Society legislation of the 1960s for the first time a person who was not elderly or 18disabled could receive aid from the American government Aid could include general welfare payments health care through Medicaid food stamps special payments for pregnant women and 18young mothers and federal and state housing benefits In 1968 41 of families were headed 18by a woman on welfare by 1980 the percentage increased to 10 In the 1970s California 19was the US state with the most generous welfare system Virtually all food stamp costs are 20paid by the federal government In 2008 287 percent of the households headed by single 21women were considered poor Before the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 welfare was once considered an openended right but welfare reform converted it into a finite program built to provide shortterm cash assistance and 2222steer people quickly into jobs Prior to reform states were given limitless money by the federal government increasing per family on welfare under the 60yearold Aid to Families with 23Dependent Children AFDC program This gave states no incentive to direct welfare funds to the neediest recipients or to encourage individuals to go off welfare the state lost federal money 2423when someone left the system Nationwide one child in seven received AFDC funds 20which mostly went to single mothers In 1996 under the Bill Clinton administration Congress passed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act which gave control of the welfare system back to the states Because welfare is no longer under the control of the federal government there are basic requirements the states need to meet with regards to welfare services Still most states offer basic assistance such as health care food stamps child care assistance unemployment cash aid and housing assistance After reforms which President Clinton said would end welfare as we
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