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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  August 23, 2016 4:00am-6:01am EDT

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welfare intake centers, i have one of which is sitting in welfare intake centers, i have seen on more than one occasion, once that type of demand is put as a precondition for getting the aid, the applicant for the aid say things like, if i have to do all that, i might as well just get a job. lo and behold, they do that. it is remarkable. you can see that effect. one of the things you get from this type of reciprocity is a kind of gatekeeping device. when you look at the overall pre-reform welfare population, there is a group there that is truly in need of assistance. and there is a larger group willing to take every handout if you shove it in their face. one of the things you get when you say we will give you assistance but we expect you to do something substantial in return for that is you weed out the difference between those two
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groups. you will get the people that are looking for the handout coming into the office with far less frequency. that enables you to focus your energies on those in need of aid. it also means there is less abuse of the taxpayer. there we go. in welfare reform, we basically had two goals. the first was to establish work requirements, not just to a game aid to families
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with dependent children, but also work requirements for food stamps. secondly, and most importantly, to deal with the problem of out of wedlock childbearing and increase the number of children born inside marriage. those were important. i think we made some modest progress on both of those fronts. certainly not everything we could have done. this is going to be a very familiar chart. you saw one version of this. this is the temporary assistance with needy family caseload. this goes back to the time of the korean war. this is essentially the same data he was presenting. what we can see is that for a 55 year period, that redline did two things.
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it went flat or went up. the black bars are periods of economic recession. the white bars are periods of economic booms. we have 10 periods of boom on the chart. you notice how may times the red line goes downward? over and over and over again. in fact, although we have 10 periods of economic boom, this caseload went down in how many periods? one. it goes down right here. what happens here? we have welfare reform. the caseload starts going down a little bit before it gets passed why is that? . what drove that caseload down are two effects.
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we have some waivers in this. we are calling welfare recipients into the office and making them do things, thereby reducing the economic utility of [indiscernible] there is this large symbolic affect. i would say that welfare reform started the first time bill clinton said he planned to end welfare as we know it. that message got out there. he's talking about two years and you are off. he did not mean that. or anything remotely like that. but it sounded like he meant it. if you were a welfare recipient, you would say, whoa! and along comes these republican guys and newt gingrich is , talking about putting kids in orphanages. it sounds scary. what i think you see here is all across the country a behavioral
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response to the value messages of welfare. the clear messages, potential welfare recipients will not sit down there and see the participation rate or what the sanction system is in kentucky compared to new york, but they did hear the message that welfare would be limited. there would be an expectation that you were supposed to work rather than spend a lifetime on welfare. you seem to see across-the-board behavioral response. one anecdote to that was that pretty early on in the system we got feedback -- this was probably 1997, about four months after the act was passed. we got feedback from nebraska , and the welfare director was saying, our caseload is going through the floor. we haven't done anything.
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we have implemented no program whatsoever yet. you know why this is happening? because all these left-wing activist groups are out in are telling people those horrible publicans have passed welfare reform. they will throw you off in two years. it is going to be terrible. it is going to be awful. the welfare recipients said, holy toledo. i need to get my act together. we need to get off welfare. they are not going to support me forever. the caseload begins to go down rapidly in response to the symbolic messages. the symbolic message was unrelated to any actual policy. to a considerable degree, a lot of the caseload decline can be attributed to these types of symbolic messages that are taken very seriously than to any action programs. i will say that as you look at
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the line going down, you do find consistently throughout the period that the states that are the most rigorous insisting that the individual must engage in instructive behavior, it will have much more rapid caseload declined that states that are states that are more lenient about that. all in all, what we have here is what i would call a a great philosophical victory. if you go back to right here, 1965 up to the present time, in homes all across america we have the thanksgiving dinner debate. in which we are talking about welfare and uncle joe says, you know, if they just made these welfare recipients go out and
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take a job, they would not be sitting there collecting all that welfare. charles and i have been in this field for a very long time. if you polled all the liberal experts, they would all say how ridiculous. what a idiotic notion when we know there are no jobs to be had. that there are barriers. the caseload is impossible. at the time he passed this in 1993, the prevailing wisdom was that you could reduce the caseload by perhaps 5% over three years. while we were doing this, it was dropping 5% a month. it violated all of the prevailing liberal wisdom about what you could do. what you have here is a very strong philosophical victory for the idea that incentives matter.
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if you reduce the utility of being on welfare, you get a very large behavioral response. as the caseload goes down starting in 1993, we had 59 -- 5 million families on the program. at the present time it is down to 2 million families. families on welfare were by definition automatically poor. welfare never pays enough to bring an income above poverty. as they go off of welfare or never enter it at all, they never come into the office and first place, employment of single mothers surgers up. a large number of mothers are off welfare and are working. you get a poverty effect. what we have here is the poverty status of black children going
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back to 1970 and what you can see is that for 25 years, prior to welfare reform, the black cap -- child poverty rate is black. -- flat. it hovers but never gets below the mid-40's. by 1995, it is actually slightly higher than it was in 1970. 25 years under the conventional war on poverty and black child poverty, the primary liberal goal for these policies, no net change. along comes the mean-spirited republicans who are going to throw children out to the street . what happens? this goes down. in the late 1990's, black child
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poverty was reaching a new low. for reasons i cannot imagine, this was never covered in the new york times or washington post. by 2000, we are down to 30%. if this had been the result of a liberal initiative, oh my goodness. we are talking nobel prize for some members of congress. this happened because we got tough, and we were mean-spirited. not really mean-spirited. it was the result of a conservative policy. we have not heard very much about that. we clearly shifted the baseline of what poverty is. if you look at the poverty among single mothers, the chart is similar. this is the illegitimacy ratio. charles murray and i believe this is actually much more significant and one which we struggled very hard to get into
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welfare reform without a considerable amount of success. this goes back to 1940. the yellow line is the percentage of all births outside of marriage. the beginning of the war on poverty, it is around 7%. by the mid-1990's it is about 34%. one of the things i worked on in welfare reform was simply to create policies that would force a discussion of this issue. this is the underlying cause of welfare dependence. as well as child poverty in the underclass. it was difficult to get members of congress to talk about this. we owe a great deal of gratitude to senator faircloth who worked for years to try to even put this in public discussion with a considerable amount of the republican party saying the
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topic is undiscussable. what i would say is i think there has been a substantial shift. this is the illegitimacy ratio. senator moynahan often described that blue line as something drawn with a ruler going up 1% each year. i think that is right. around the time this reform begins symbolically, when we talk about ending welfare as a lifetime entitlement, the line does move over. if we had gone forward at the prior rate of increase marked with the red dotted line, we would have over 40% of all children being born out of wedlock today. it is only 34%. isn't that a magnificent triumph. i think it is about one and a half million fewer children
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being born out of wedlock. that is a considerable thing. this is not the result of any specific policy. the states were supposed to address this issue, but steered away from it because it is politically incorrect. i think the general symbolic effect of saying that welfare is time-limited, and you are expected to support yourself has caused an alteration in the behavior as well. the challenge for the future is to actually begin to move the blue line down. i will leave that with that. pros and cons. what are the pros of welfare reform? if you are liberal favoring the massive expansion of the conventional welfare system, you have been put on the intellectual defensive. we have not seen expansion. not that spending has not gone up but in terms of new programs, new initiatives for the poor, they are very much on the initiative because the welfare reform is focused on the behavioral roots of poverty and
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dependence rather than throwing additional money at the problem. second, we demonstrated the effectiveness of core conservative ideas concerning reciprocal obligation. thirdly, we have had a rather dramatic declines independence in one program and declines in poverty. fourthly around the time of , welfare reform, we had a significant increase in the debate of out of wedlock childbearing. we got the reduction as a principal goal of the act. it was not carried out. in the last six months, we have passed new provisions under the act that i think will begin to produce a fairly interesting pioneering programs to deal with the key issue in the future. what are the limits or the cons? we have over 50 means tested
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welfare programs. families with dependent children, we also have food stamps, medicaid, earned income tax credits. on and on and on. we reformed only one of those programs. the others are sitting there completely untouched. they are in their pristine war on poverty forms. second, related to that, if you look at parallel programs such as food stamps and public housing, they serve the same people but no work requirements. the reform is much more limited than anyone imagines. we did not reform the welfare informedmply we were -- reformed the one most visible program. third, a great deal of energy about reforming welfare in the that has passed. 1990's. people are bored with it. we have lost the momentum.
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as a dimension, the state did reducingn the goal of illegitimacy as i mentioned, the state did not act on the goal of reducing this. in the summer of 1994, when the contract for america was passed, the republicans were about to assume the majority in the house of representatives, i can remember clearly meeting newt gingrich, talking about the welfare provisions. i said, the one thing you did not get in there that is the most important of all, work for welfare recipients is ok but it will not cure the underclass, what you need is a major school choice provision that would allow underclass children to go to religious schools if that is what the parents want. i said that will do far more for
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the underclass than all of this will. he said, i couldn't get that through the party. we will have to do that in the future. 10 years later, we are still waiting on those issues. we are still waiting for the transformation that is going to be necessary to deal with these issues. >> up next, and our special presentation on the 1996 welfare law, sociology professor sharon hays discusses her book. this portion of the event from 2003 is about half an hour. >> the cultural logic of welfare loss -- laws has always been connected to family and work life. when it was first established as part of the new deal legislation in 1935, the idea was that you would follow the model of family
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life. imagining a proper breadwinning husband and caregiving wife. if the husband was absent, then the state would step in to cape -- take the place of the father for caring for the mother and children. that law basically remained in place in some sense until the 1996 personal responsibility act. the most widely recognized message was that women should work. it doesn't matter they are mothers or if they have kids to care for, like most working women in society today, they should be able to manage both work and the care of their children. these work requirements as you know are given real teeth by the federal time limit.
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after five years it is expected that all poor mothers will become self-sufficient. aren't,they are, -- they will be left without any ', they will be left without any form of government support. in thinking about this, is the law saying that breadwinners are simply a thing of the past and we should think of women as perfectly capable of caring for not only themselves but also their children without the help of a breadwinner? this is where i started and it seems funny to me. as it might to some of you. since this pronouncement occurs at the same time cap politicians, the public, scholars are still expressing a tremendous amount of ambivalence about mothers in the paid labor force and the problems of childcare and the time crunch at home and conservatives and their concern about the decline of family values. how does the law deal with these problems?
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in fact, the message that mother should work is not the only message that you find. as it turns out, the personal responsibly act begins, "marriage is the foundation of a successful society. marriage is an essential institution of a successful society which promotes the interest of children. the promotion of responsible fatherhood and motherhood is integral to the well-being of children." the legislation and goes on to condemn single parenting, deadbeat dads, women who live on the dole. the preamble to the personal is -- responsibility act is in fact a restatement of newt gingrich's contract with america. so in fact, built into welfare reform are actually two visions.
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publicly, i call these the work plan and the family plan. privately, i will call them as i do, bill's plan and newt's plan. in bill's plan we give women childcare subsidies, help with transportation, and then they can work their way up to full independent womanhood. in newt's plan, we make sure that we jail all the deadbeat dads, train people in abstinence education, and by forcing women to work at low-wage jobs and realizing that they cannot afford to raise children on such jobs, they will ultimately learn , if not this generation and by next, that the property chores -- proper choice ---- proper
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choice for women is to get married and stay married. what do these visions look like? how do they play out inside the world of welfare? what are the possibilities for realizing that? the group most directly targeted by the law. particularents are a social group. there were 12 million of them at the inception of welfare reform. there are proximately 5 million today. these people are desperately poor. they live under half of the federal standards for poverty and most have no income at all. the adults in this group are overwhelmingly women. 90%. this is no accident. it is no mere historical footnote.
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they are single parents, and they are disproportionately nonwhite. these linkages are not coincidental. most single-parent families today are headed by women. single-parent families are disproportionately poor. nonwhite families are at greater risk for both poverty and single parenthood. now, what we see then in welfare reform is what has otherwise been called the feminization of poverty. the rationalization -- racialization of poverty. the juvenilization of poverty. adults on thember welfare rolls by a ratio of more than two to one. one in eight children at the inception of welfare reform was supported by a welfare check. as sociologists, we know that
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this group of people are desperately poor not simply because of individual choices, but rather as a result of systematic structured inequalities. that make the poor women, children, and disproportionally nonwhite. when we think about the structure of welfare, we can't -- can think about it as the result of four large historic factors. continuing discrimination of inequality as referenced to race. and rising income inequalities in the american society so that we now hold the place of being the nation among all industrialized nations that has the widest gap between the rich and poor. then, significantly from my point of view, you can look at this population as the result of
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revolutionary changes in work and family life. what you see in work life is a dramatic decline in the number of people who are able to earn what was once called a breadwinning wage. a wage that is high enough to support a family. in family life, what you see is the number of women going out to work. that means the number of families where you must seek outside help for caregiving. this has also been connected to a rise in single parenting. that is your background. how am i doing? i have a good clock to look at. ok. as noted, the single-parent households are the walking representatives of not just inequality but massive change in
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work and family life. they are the poorest of all american citizens. when we think about the possibilities for these families, you should recognize that, of course, all women who are single parents have a hard time managing. but this group also tends to be poorly educated, poorly trained, with employment backgrounds in only low skilled jobs. they are also much more likely than the rest of the population to suffer from physical and mental health problems and many are the victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence. all these factors combine to make it unlikely that these mothers, with on average two children, will be able to raise their family out of poverty.
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in our retail 40% do not have , high school diplomas. sunbelt city, 60% do not test above the eighth grade level. the educational testing institute, something with which most of you are familiar with, have reported that 70% of the people on the welfare role do not have the skill levels necessary to get the kinds of jobs that would support a family of three. what happens inside the welfare office? the single clearest message of the welfare office is the message of work. almost all of the efforts appear to be directed towards this. the first thing you see when you enter the waiting room is a large red banner. 12 feet long, three feet high,
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reading, "how many months do you have left?" under the banner is a list of the jobs available in the area. receptionist, cashier waitress, , data entry personnel, childcare, forklift operator. ratest cases, the wage are not listed. the message is clear. you must get a job. get it soon and accept whatever wages you get. this is not just encouragement to work. it is backed up by a series of stringent requirements. it is also backed up by a series of supportive services. what are called supported services all created by welfare , reform. these include help with childcare, transportation, clothing and supplies, sometimes for rent and utility payments.
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all of this designed to help welfare mothers get head start against future hardship. all of the work requirements of welfare reform backed up by a set of rigid rules. our clients have to sign an oath of personal responsibly for self-sufficiency. the first meeting with employment worker, they are given an intelligence test and are told to begin a job search that must commence immediately. they must also attend a series of job readiness and light skill classes where they are taught how to dress for interviews, how to appropriately defer to their employers, how to handle stress, managed childcare, how to speak proper english rather than street slang, and what kind of job would be best for them. they must also continue to meet
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with their employment counselor continuously. then, depending upon their situation, it will either go to a training program or a work placement. many of you are aware of this. the training programs looks like ged, computer skills, nursing assistant, helper, childcare and even a training course for aspiring guest room attendant. hotel maid. if the training programs did not get mothers into work fast enough, they were placed in a work care placement. sweeping streets, picking up trash. sorting trash. childcare work. bus drivers. kitchen help. you have a sense of the nature of these jobs.
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in all cases, they are unpaid, you are simply working for your welfare check. if you should fail, you will receive a sanction. this is important. about 20%-30% of welfare clients are sanctioned at any given time. this is the primary way of punishing poor mothers for their failure to live up to the rules of welfare reform. the section rate is twice as high as it was prior to reform and being sanctioned as the harshest status of all. you lose your welfare benefits and at the same time you continue to lose your month towards your lifetime benefit amount. most of the welfare mothers i met came to fear being sanctioned. a very effective form of keeping
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them in line. overall, the message is a very powerful message. has it created self-sufficiency? i think many of you also know the answer to this. if you don't know, some examples clearly demonstrate the problems of low-wage work and the additional cost that comes with low-wage work often means that although you look like you have a higher level of income, in fact, you end up with more material hardship than when on welfare. this means inside the welfare office, often those women that are considered the success stories of welfare reform, women
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who are now off the rolls. how many of you are readers of the new york times? the primary way that welfare reform success has been defined as the decline of the welfare roll. in many cases, the success stories of welfare reform would look little different than the failures.
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andrea makes $5.75 an hour. she has $50 a month to cover close, transportation, medical, childcare, laundry, appliances and cleaning supplies. this does not count cable-television and cigarettes. her kids don't have the proper shoes. her oldest once a new outfit for the school year. they turned off her phone last month. she knows he cannot pay her rent this month. andrea is one of the success stories. she has continued to ask for the so-called traditional support that is offered by the welfare office in terms of transportation and childcare because she would otherwise need to leave for children at home alone. that support is time-limited. she is already greatly indebted. maria has five jobs. she keeps changing them in hopes of finding something better.
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something that will raise her above the poverty line. she has a housekeeping for a large corporation, she worked at burger king, taco bell, giant food as a clerk, housekeeping in a local hotel. housekeeping still pays the best. is making seven dollars an hour but she hates it. it is hard and dirty word. it is hard on her back. her coworkers slack off and she has to pick up the extra. she doesn't make enough to make ends meet but she can't quit because none of the other jobs will pay as well. sandy, our last success story. had a good job. working at the salvation army. she was especially happy to be working at the salvation army because it gave her a sense that she was helping disadvantaged people like us out. she worked the night shift.
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her neighbor was taking care of her kids. she wasn't making enough to make it without continued help from the welfare office. she thought maybe she could get a raise. one of her brothers shot and killed the other brother. that meant one brother was dead and the other was on his way to prison. she fell apart emotionally. she lost her job. and disappeared. no one at the welfare office knows where she is, but she is off the welfare roll. the problem is not getting a job, it is finding a job that pays enough to bring the family out of poverty and that is flexible enough to manage the contingencies of raising kids. the odds of finding that job and keeping it if you are a woman with low skills and two kids to care for is not good. if this does not work out so
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well, maybe you could hope that welfare mothers will find themselves a good man who will pay the bills and help with the childcare. life could be better. it turns out that statistically speaking, finding a good man and marrying him is a really good way to get off welfare. what is the welfare office doing to promote this? you see little with daily values at the welfare office. -- family values at the welfare office. children are constant presence. caseworkers often play with them. try to calm those who are unhappy. the welfare office often look to me like a big family reunion without the men.
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where is the message of family and welfare reform -- in welfare reform? it is -- are you staying awake? ok. it is in the antiabortion bonus, the abstinence education program. the prosecution of statutory rapists. the provision of childcare funding and above all, the paternity and child support enforcement system meant to go after deadbeat dads. just briefly, the law offers a $10 million illegitimacy antiabortion bonus to the states that can bring down the number of children born without raising the abortion rate. you know that.
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it did not work out quite the way they hoped. nowhere in the law as did the slightest hint of funding for birth control. there is $50 million for the support of abstinence education programs across the nation to target those populations were -- who are most at risk. it is meant to teach the social and psychological benefits of abstinence. the law offers funding for programs that enforce and promote the enforcement of statutory rape laws. it refers to the problem of young women that need to be protected against predatory older men. then the law brings with it some
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good news. what looks like good news. a massive influx of child care dollars. this is good news. there is no question that women who are trying to manage on low-wage jobs need the help in childcare funding. the problem is that less than one third of welfare families nationwide actually get help and less than 1/7 of the low income families were technically eligible for federal childcare subsidies are actually receiving them. this is because the federal government keeps running out of money. in fact, as it turns out, this is not a big surprise because it is about twice as expensive to subsidize the childcare for welfare mothers as it is to simply give them their welfare check.
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hence, most welfare mothers don't get the subsidies. i would love to tell you about the family cap but we don't have time for that. the paternity requirements of the child support system. here is the one place on the surface that we see men in the law. the personal responsibility act. it seemed sensible on the surface that those fathers failing to pay child support for
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their children and their children end up desperately poor, makes some sense they should be helping. they are themselves poor men. large numbers of poor fathers are now in jail and prison for their -- many low income men now owe 10-40,000 dollars in child support and the annual incomes are $6,000 a year. they are paid to pay that back -- their failure to pay that means they are in prison. the child support enforcement system for many low income people has meant that more and more men simply going to hiding to escape the child enforcement authorities. this is not because they are bad men, it is because they can make no income if they are jailed. so, for many low income women, they recognize this and are reluctant to follow through on
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child support enforcement. according to the personal responsibility act, if they do not, they will be sanctioned off the welfare rolls. and there are women afraid to comply. we will leave that aside. the attempt to create a sustainable life through the rules and regulations of the welfare office so far have not been highly successful. actually, just a couple of days ago, there was a debate on npr with a conservative from the family relations council who believed that the real solution was the continued marriage promotion effort that are now working their way through the u.s. senate. the idea that marriage would be more systematically promoted
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within the welfare office is a solution that you can think about yourself. overall, the result of welfare reform thus far has been discouraging for those of us who were hoping that it might actually help low income families. what we have seen with the decline of the welfare rolls is that two thirds of mothers no longer on welfare are nonetheless still living in poverty with their children. large numbers of former welfare recipients have simply this disappeared off the radar screen. no one can track their fate. they really end up in those national statistical renderings. they do seem to show up in national studies on cities and
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states across the nation that are now going to the federal government begging for more money because their homeless populations and their hungry populations continue to grow at an alarming rate. so, if you look at the reality of welfare reform, over time i suggest that although it will creep up on us slowly, we will see in the long run is increasing rates of homelessness, poverty, hunger, an ever greater strain on the working poor, increased children in foster care, on the streets or living in substandard living conditions. higher crime rates.
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higher rates of drug abuse. more prostitution. rising numbers of people in mental hospitals and prisons. all of this will be trackable over the next 10 years. armadale caseworkers already noted the rise of foster care children. mothers are not able to support their children simply give them to the foster care system. sunbelt city, the clients report to make rising rates of hunger, drug abuse, prostitution and crime among former welfare mothers. what does this tell us about the possibilities for creating real solutions to problems in work and family life today?
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to the extent that welfare reform offers a vision of full gender equality for the promise of women independent from both men and miserly employers has been a dismal failure. i think of the promise of women independent and women citizenship that my mother who i grew up with, that middle-class women had seen in a lifetime that young college women now expect. the real possibilities of women independent from middle-class women have in some ways come with the cost of the difficulties of women independence for the poor.
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in thinking about what real solutions if you stop to thing about what welfare mothers themselves told me, on the one hand the welfare recipients i met longed to be full-fledged members of the public sphere. they want to work, they want to achieve self-sufficiency. they want to achieve what ph th marshall called social citizenship. they regularly interpret the cultural message of welfare reform as the possibility that women could be independent and self-sufficient. it is a message that includes women independence not just from a welfare check it also from women independence from men.
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at the same time though, most of them also offer a second side to their dreams of a future. they long to be in two parent middle-class families. many of them have children to create the families of the dreams. the notion of being independent from them is not the same as being separated. instantly means that they want to be able to survive on their own terms.
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the kind of struggle that is embedded in these two visions is a struggle that is faced by many americans today. >> now the final portion of our program marketing 20th anniversary of the 1996 welfare law. the speaker is ron haskins a brookings institution. he worked on the law as a congressional staffer. he discussed efforts to reduce poverty at a senate finance committee hearing. if you missed any portion of this program, you can watch it in its entirety on our website >> i included a figure in my testimony. it has two big surprises. we made no progress is 1975. the poverty rate among the elderly is the most likely to be poor and is lower than for children. those are two exceptionally important facts. we need to buckle down and figure out what to do about poverty and concentrate on children. between the state and federal government, we spend about a trillion dollars on these
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programs. this number has increased almost every year since 1965. the idea that we are not spending enough money is probably incorrect. we should be spending it -- it may not be focused on the poor. some of the programs may be unsuccessful. we're spending a lot of money. a lot of that is on health care. 45% of it. congress decided to spend the money. the nation has made a great commitment to helping the poor. it increases every year. third issue, the causes. the first is work rates. the long-term decline of work among males. the work rate among young black
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males, before the recession, we have a real problem with male employment. for reasons that are not clear. females, the opposite. they work more. married women had joined the labor force. never married mothers. the poorest group of mothers have had a spectacular increase in employment and even today, the likelihood that they have a job is greater, about 20% and it was before welfare reform. that group is working a lot. wages. these are astounding. the wages at the 10th percentile and below our where they were 30 years ago. it is hard to make progress against poverty as we are always going to have temper sent of people below the 10%. as long as wages there don't increase, no matter what we do, it is a real problem. if they work full-time as a minimum wage, they will not be
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out of poverty. family composition is the fifth horseman of the apocalypse. it is the biggest cause of poverty. we have had a huge increase with poverty rates for five times the rate they married couple families. about 70% of black children, 45% of white children, born outside of marriage. the probability of being poverty is very high. education is a very big issue. i would say that our educational system at the preschool level, k-12 and post secondary needs a lot of work. i would not say it is a joy. i think the most promising is fiscal. a key strategies to fight poverty.
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personal responsibility is key. we are still going to have a brake problem if people don't make choices. we have to do something about people's decisions to drop out of school, decisions to work, decisions to get married. the first strategy is give them money. that is what we did with the elderly. we have a low elderly poverty rate as a result of social security. that strategy will not work for young able-bodied americans because americans don't think able-bodied people to get welfare. the second strategy is to do everything possible to encourage and force people to work and subsidize their income. this is a highly bipartisan solution. work requirements and very generous work support. medicaid, income tax credit, childcare.
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we have passed at least 40 pieces of legislation to make our system more friendly to working families. the two other strategies -- we need to emphasize work and maintain the work support system. the child tax credit. the two other things i mentioned, education. we should focus on preschool. we have instructed to that high-quality preschool can make a big difference. i think our childcare that we spend, we can improve the quality. we have lots of strategies.
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we can reduce teen pregnancy. we have strategies. we have a number of programs including more coverage of comprehensive family-planning services and mass advertising campaigns and teen pregnancy programs. if we spend more money, we would reduce nonmarital birth rates. thank you, mr. chairman. >> as we wrap up this look at the 1996 welfare laws, 20 years later, we're joined again by matt from the washington post. it is reported that hillary clinton support for the 1996 welfare law hurt her relationship marion wright edelman. what might we see from the president hillary clinton on the welfare issue?
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>> it was very controversial at the time she signed it. he resigned from his position in the clinton administration and protest. there was some acrimony between the first lady and her mentor at the time. as to what hillary clinton's policies would be if you were elected, it is difficult to say. she has said she would like to increase the federal minimum wage which could improve wages for people who are working by not making their much money. she has also said she would like to limit expenses on childcare to about 10% of any family's income. as a result, people with very little in the way of income would have substantial subsidies from the federal government in order to make sure the kids are taken care of while they are working.
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that policy would help make ends meet. >> it donald trump wins the election, what could we see out of a trump administration? >> of course, donald trump positions on these issues have changed. it is difficult to predict his policies. however, donald trump and paul ryan have indicated some willingness to cooperate on these issues. paul ryan has a number of very detailed ideas on how the country's public assistance program should be reported in paul ryan is able to convince donald trump to take an interest in his ideas and you can imagine that donald trump might endorse paul ryan's proposal to turn
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over major public assistance programs to state governments. paul ryan argued that given the states control of how these programs are administered would allow the states to solve the problems that people in poverty expense in the daily basis. the states have a unique perspective. all the other side, democrats tend to oppose paul ryan's idea of creating a block grant in turning that money over to the states because they do not trust state officials to administer the money in a way that is bare and puts the interest of america's poor first. >> who else is driving this? >> that is a very good question. one has to mention senator
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bernie sanders who ran unsuccessfully as a candidate for the democratic presidential nomination. in addition to that, one might mention some other liberal members of congress such as rosa delauro and others. it does remain to be seen. the composition of the congress next year will be different. who will be a leader and he will be a leader and he will remain are questions. >> thank you very much for joining us. >> coming up this morning, health care scholar at the american enterprise institute
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.his room -- a short anecdote this room was filled with posted gingrich and they were about to vote on the merged welfare reform bill. castleresentative mike had come in with a centrist bill at the last minute which was quite upsetting. the rules committee decided that castle could prevent -- present his version. it would be voted on and if he lost, he would lose the support of the ways and means bill. the representative is agitated about this. he is in the back corner, in the closet pacing back and forth with the door open.
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he sees castle conferring with two or three other people. he says, that is out of protocol. you can't be dealing like that. you have to be on the up and up. he goes over to check it out. he comes back in the closet and says, don't worry about it, they are talking about something else. the representative says, i am such a suspicious person. i am a flawed individual. he concludes by saying god is not finished with me yet. i would love to work with a guy that has that kind of humility and it doesn't happen often. we are cosponsored by the secretary innovation group which is an organization about which i am the executive director that has members that are human services secretary making up 46% of the country. and we deal with policy issues and programmatic issues and
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management issues. i have three colleagues here today. the first is from the university of maryland. all right. glad you're here. >> you were a lot nicer when you used to work for me. [laughter] >> i'm going to go through in three minutes what happened between 1984 and 2001. president reagan made modest
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changes to the eligibility in the first budget bill. and three years later, 1984, charles murray published losing ground which created a lively debate and no introduction to this group is necessary. professor larry mead who is with us today from new york university, just two years later, broke beyond entitlement. a basis for welfare reform. as a group of important thinkers convened by aei, they published the new consensus on family and welfare in which a bipartisan group, one of our cosponsors, was a primary author. and suggested both sides of the left and right could coalesce around the idea of mutual obligation.
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after members of the clinton administration, he concluded that society. one of our panelists here today at wrote a long and influential article that became a book. a public job at a wage slightly below minimum is the only way to promote work as a condition. in 1988, official david elwood proposed a two year time limit after which work is required for some sort of job guarantee.
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then in 1987, president reagan created the interagency low income advisory board that was intended to be a one-stop shop for the states that wanted to pursue welfare reform waivers. the family support act was passed based on an education and training model. unfortunately, the caseload went up by about one third in the four years it was implemented. the results came in that seems to confirm, from california, a workforce deployment force yields better results from education and training. in 1992, arkansas governor bill clinton ran on the promise to and welfare as we know it. the phrase the invention of bruce reed, one of our panelists today with thought leadership emanating from the aggressive policy institute. two years later, the task force on welfare had three cochairs
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and had published work and responsibility act in the month of june, 1994. after the first two clinton years in 1990 four, newt gingrich decided to nationalize the election with 10 promises made, one of which featured welfare reform, and in the 1990 four election, republicans took the house and senate and increased their statehouses from 19 to 30. and the contract bill was introduced in january of 1995. after that, there were several iterations of the bill. on the third try, president clinton signed a modified bill. including former deputy assistant who is with us today. immediately after the
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implementation of the bill, the big three indicators which are employment, dependency, and poverty all simultaneously moved strongly in the right direction. in the fourth out of wedlock birth caused the increased rise. no social legislation has been as studied and as debated as the welfare reform legislation, which is one reason why 20 years later, we're still debating it. in this room, we have the peole who helped, design, and implemented the original coalition. represented by larry mead and a
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public school of public policy. they were at the forefront of that push and we have secretaries represented here. and with that, i will jump right in. governor thompson, i have a question for you. you were elected to start serving in january of 1987. a long serving governor through 2001. in your election, you featured welfare reform as a major policy platform that may have played a large role in defeating an incumbent. where did you get the idea that welfare reform is a major issue that would be worthy of featuring in your campaign. >> thank you, jason, for inviting the governor and myself.
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he and i competed against each other in michigan, wisconsin. he would refine it and make it better and i would steal it back. we had a tremendous contest going on who could do the best job possible and welfare reform. it was a labor of love between both of us. understand the situation i inherited. the conservative republican, nobody thought had a chance to win whatsoever. the governor running for reelection, and i was the only governor that year to defeat an incumbent governor in the united states. we had a terrible problem in wisconsin. to increase welfare payments, any kind of causal relationship or response whatsoever.
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people from all over the midwest were coming to wisconsin to get on welfare reform. the new york times was following several of those individuals and wrote stories about them. it got so mad -- there were signs put up that says, if you want more money, all you have to do is pay $25 and get a round-trip ticket to madison and get on welfare, cash your check and come back and live in chicago. if everybody is already here in wisconsin because of the welfare payments, he thought he was going to put me down. it was a line that got me a
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great deal of publicity throughout the state of wisconsin and we started welfare reform after we got elected. people were misusing and taking advantage of the system that became a huge issue in wisconsin. there were several reasons i won that year, mostly economic. but the welfare reform ideas were starting to take form in wisconsin before any place else because other people were abusing the system. they were fed up in order to attract more people from other states. >> you jumped in with five demonstrations. it became well-known throughout the country. where did it come from?
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most of the audience knows that unless exempted teenagers and families including parents must attend school regularly in order to receive the full check. >> i was sick and tired of building prisons in milwaukee. what i did is i invited welfare mothers to come to the executive residence and have lunch with me. i got my best ideas from welfare mothers. welfare mothers came and lunched with me. i am surprised the republican governor would invite them to residence and talk about
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welfare reform. we've got to do something about keeping our children in school. that was one of many ideas that came out of my lunches. >> governor, i have a question for you. you were the governor of michigan from 1991 to 2003. when you took office, you inherited a budget deficit. you decided to end general assistance which was highly controversial at the time. what was your thinking? >> thank you to you and the innovation chiefs for having us all here today. it was signed by president clinton. quite a historic day. going back like tommy, he was the only one and i was the only
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one to beat an incumbent in 1990. he was from a larger town than me. there were no traffic lights. they were $2 billion, and we were worried that one of the problems, michigan had been losing a lot of jobs. we didn't have much capacity to be raising revenue. we are not spending it too little and we are not spending it very well. looking at all the problems, it was a program for a single
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childless adults and states didn't even have the program. it would not have been in most of the country controversial. it was embedded in the michigan program for some time. we kept pointing out that we did maintain safety nets there in terms of food stamps and help benefits. and it was about 20 hours a week at minimum wage that would more than replace the general assistance. we removed people from needing assistance to more independence and you can start that by going to work. the first money you earn gets you that much closer to the day. that was the decision, that was just the beginning, one of the interesting things. this also became something i
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know that members of the majority switched and 94 and focused on the ability to create different kinds of partnerships. we were being criticized that it would lead to a dramatic rise. and it was clearly in an acceptable risk. one fellow that couldn't be here today is dr. jerry miller. he was very much involved, the counterpart in jerry had been the budget director. he had been down here with the state budget. it was more than the state budget when he left. this is actually a bigger
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department. with the leadership of the salvation army, we could enter into a contract to work with us on homelessness. they only had 100 plus years of experience there. that contract with stunningly successful because what we would do, we had these toll-free numbers. call the army. so we saw the tv camera going out and taking a shot of someone in the street and saying what is going to happen to this person. they would ask the press secretary and the governor. we came across this person. it was the work the salvation army did.
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and the army itself had to deal with at little bit internally. they hadn't been in that level of interconnectedness with the governor. and what is interesting, the biggest pushback we got from some of the people who needed help, i don't want to go to the salvation army because you have to get up to the morning, there are chores to do. there are restrictions on my freedom here. so anyway, that got us started. like tommy said, there was a tremendous competition in the early 90's. >> let me ask governor thompson about something that led to that competition. governor thompson, the reagan white house had an official,
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chuck hobbs, whose job it was to help states think of and submit to the federal government for welfare. he told me he didn't know if any governors were going to meet with him or pay attention to him. he said i got off the prop plane in harrisburg, pennsylvania, and the governor met with me. no one had a better relationship beginning in the late 80's. can you tell us what you're thinking was at the time? at the end, there's 45 states. he started in the late 1980's. did you know it would be a soon -- tsunami.
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>> i was doing one thing at a time but i was hoping for a soon -- a tsunami. >> i had a chance to talk to president reagan. he said i was unsuccessful. i'm counting on you and other governors to come forward with good ideas. i have set it up to make it easy for you. i remember the conversation on a thursday afternoon in waukesha. he said, i'm counting on you to come up with new and innovative ideas. every time i call him, he was there. i have president reagan, george bush, and i was the only that got through three presidents on welfare reform.
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everybody wanted to help and do something because they saw the problem like john and me and other governors that wanted to do something to change it. >> you set the dynamic because you had proposed one or two every year. if you were opposed to welfare reform, you didn't get any rest in the state legislature. what do you think about that? >> tommy is right. they gave me memoirs as part of the reagan revolution. it is interesting, because we got started with president bush 41 in office. he was pretty stunning in 1992 to have a democratic candidate for president.
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talking about ending welfare as we know it. but that was a pretty decisive moment. there was no slacking off on waivers once president clinton took office. in one sense, it validated what we had been doing. if you look from wisconsin and the northern industrial states, let's say the generosity of the welfare programs were somewhat less than what we had been dealing with in the northern states. if they are talking about welfare reform, we sure as heck got to be talking about welfare
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reform because the disparity is pretty significant. >> you were in 1995 and 1996, the critical year before the chair of the republican governors association. what a team that was, one heck of a powerhouse. >> we call it the glory years. >> you were looking for the maximum amount of flexibility. you said it's no better than liberal micromanagement. what is your current thinking about the relative balance between having strong work requirements while you also have a block grant as opposed to an
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unfettered block grant entirely. >> i believe the nations governors were in no way interested in some race to the bottom. i don't think that was ever a fair criticism. we heard that from one part of the debate. on the other hand, we had people that were supposed to be allies that wanted to give us a lot more help and direction. they had forgotten this concept that we were pretty keen on. it let the states work on this and let us try to solve some of these problems. that competition among the states will give you some pretty good results. we didn't need conservative micromanagement as a replacement for liberal micromanagement. micromanagement was the problem. give us flexibility and let us try to solve the problems. the fight, obviously, in 1995,
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you have a republican house for the first time in 40 years. speaker gingrich at incorporated welfare reform and it was part of that. it probably has to be the speaker because he's navigating. you have different agendas. doing policy and big things as we talk about. and he invited governors to sit at the table and say, what do we need? bill weld was very much in
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reform mode and there were others out there. but we were able to bring some of the top staff people to the states. they set around and worked with guys. it was in the region of the first two bills that got vetoed. and finally in august, the medicaid and out. we got the program gone. 10tanif replaced it. we got taken to the cleaners on maintenance and effort. it was insurance against the race to the bottom and i thought an overly restrictive maintenance of effort.
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it deprives us of flexibility. >> what you did with the flexibility you had which was quite extraordinary, you created a welfare program in which everyone participated in work activity. wisconsin works had no exemptions. you put out project zero in which the goal was to make certain that there were zero people at the end of the. doing nothing -- end of the period doing nothing. it was universal engagement. at that time, you put people in
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categories of can work or can't work. you guys both overrode that thinking with this universal engagement. >> people put themselves in the category of never work. it was 1995 we changed the name. we want to communicate to everyone that the support is expected to be transitional. we got some waivers on this. making work pay, it used to be federal rules were ridiculous. we started getting a cut in benefits. how am i going to work? so we ended up in a situation where in michigan, the rule was the first $200, you have 200 more dollars. >> president clinton said if i don't get the bill i want to reform welfare, i will reform it one waiver at a time. governor thompson took him up
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on that. he handed a personal copy of the waiver request which he referenced on the subsequent saturday and said we are going to do this. >> if my memory serves me correctly, jason turner had something to do with this. >> it was actually quite unusual. >> on what he just said, i brought these welfare mothers in. i gave this speech on the floor of the house. congressman, they said welfare mothers really want to work. you've got to give them the tools to do it. if we go to work, we use -- we lose our health care.
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we got health care for their children. it would you go to work? i said, ok. what if we provide you with daycare. they said yes, but i got pregnant when i was 14 or 15 and a dropped out of school and i don't have any skills. what if i provide vocational education? they said yes, but most of the jobs are not in the neighborhood that i live. what if we provide transportation? the fact that welfare mothers actually wanted to go to work if
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they had the tools, don't take the money away from them, put it back in. we asked the government to give us a waiver for the money we would save for health care and transportation and education. that is really the keys to making it. if you give women the opportunity with tools, they will do it. that is what we did and what a lot of governors did throughout america. >> the other group that gets engaged here is the case workers themselves. a lot of people will come into this work, they want to sincerely help people. they were keeping track of statistics. they were just doing data. it was interesting. it different families had different needs. they didn't have the right clothes. you had all kinds of things going out but the case workers
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had to get to know the case and the family and the situation. everybody who was on public assistance, they were in a position where they were training to work in a volunteer situation. and we knew exactly what it would take to move that family to the next step. >> the biggest criticism today is that it is a funding stream and not a program. funds are going to other things. can each of you comment on that criticism? >> will pick on that. it is the lowest it has ever been. they also declined during that. there is other statistical
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evidence that it worked. i would argue, let the governors maintain flexibility. had we been able to block grant medicaid, i don't know what it would look like. we were the three republicans
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that sat endless hours. >> every time they leave the room, they would send him back. >> we can buy it without medicaid. [talking over each other] [laughter] >> had we done that, we would have had a lot. where we are today is, yes there
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is continued work to be done. it is not something like the president did. if you get the environment we get back then, we had people on both ends. they were very troubled by different things. tommy and i made the case, look. there is one difference between us and the people in the think tanks. we are running programs. we are talking to people. give the men and women the legislatures the chance. the other alternative isn't very good. go ahead. >> it did work. poverty went down and we had a
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caseload of over 100,000. we went below 10,000 of people on afdc. you got to management and you got to change it. if you're going to make any program work, you've got to have people like john endler and jason turner make the change necessary to keep it going. it really did, they wanted it to work. we were very skeptical and we were very upset. it was the furthest thing from our mind. we wanted the best program possible.
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>> management is the key as well as policy. identify yourself, please. >> my name is cheryl buford and i have my own consulting group. i am wondering about the impact of charitable choice as an amendment to the 96 welfare reform and what you saw as the impact of that. >> i'm not sure i'm able to give you good analysis. have put it under the category of whatever flex ability can be created.
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whatever can be done constitutionally or legally, i'm all for it. much of the charity was faith-based in the beginning. i certainly have no problem going back to the people that are the most experienced. >> in recent years, there is discussion of tenant authorization. there is flexibility for education and training. you both talked about education and training. is there a way to think about
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work requirements and education and training? >> and for jobs that are available, don't train them for jobs. it's got to be a key part. especially vocational training. there are so many jobs out there. it can help a lot of welfare mothers get out of welfare. >> you sit that debate out.
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the national report card, it is 5%. it is the nation's population. how in the world can any of us except that in a digital society? we spend 600 -- 600 and $50 billion a year. i think it's in everybody's interest to get that. it's paying dividends for us. is to be able to do something. it's not about who didn't get admitted to college.
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>> we invited all the governors and we were along with that. >> it was very involved. they realized education is just welfare reform -- welfare
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reform. that is why education is so important. >> i was in wisconsin during w-2 . i saw it more than i wanted to. i am interested in that it has done so much welfare reform. had you think the experiences translate. >> i think they are causal related. he was very much involved in jack camp. he is passionate about it like i was trying to change welfare for the better. not to save money but to actually give poor people an opportunity to get out and get into a meaningful job. wisconsin was leading the effort back then when he was starting
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to run for congress that he definitely carried that to washington and will continue to carry it to washington. >> and you have a lot of governors like the two of you that bring things to congress and say, i want to do that. if we don't have manned from the bottom, we don't have anything o work with in congress. >> both of us labored in the minority in the legislature and we had the stomach for too many years a lot of things we didn't like. but atomic got to the governor's office, we had all these ideas. >> stand up, announce, and she will bring it to you. >> [inaudible] they are going to out punch the federal government.
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do you have enough faith that most states are led to deliver on that? [laughter] >> that is why we are coming back. [laughter] >> we are as good once as we ever were. that's the song? >> let me be honest. i think most governors, congressman, and senators run for the right reasons. you will find exceptions but most governors, republicans and democrats, is dedicated to doing what is right for their state and their people. >> we have room for one, at most two.
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yes, in the back. just are talking and we will get it to you. >> i am with the pakistani spectacle. my question is when the -- within the context of the overall economy. most people who have computers and the use of videos, but they get their electric supply cut off. is that a problem of mindset. >> people should pay their bills. it is fascinating to me that people will pay a phone bill but in detroit, they weren't paying the water bill because the city did not collect the water bill.
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people will make rational economic decisions. you are helping people try to move from poverty to independence. the great leader kind of working with families. how do you manage money and how do you do these kinds of things in a co we realize you have to pay electric bills. detroit, they were paying electric bills, just not water bills. >> last question right there. >> i'm kathleen kelly frank. i worked in policy around welfare reform from 1985 to 1995. governor thompson, when you talk about you will reduce the welfare rolls from 100,000 o
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10,000, less than 10,000, are there any longitudinal studies documenting what happened to the 90,000? the family stability increase, children with better outcomes? did the parents get employment to earn a living wage? or did most or all of them simply drop out of the system? are there such studies? >> there is study after study of what took place during that time. the young lady over here was also part of it. >> two years or three years or four years after the implementation, the state went on to its computer system and tracked down everybody. we figure out what happened and how many were still employed after two years.
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there is an extraordinarily high number that found employment in the 60's or 70's. we will get you that. we will get you that study. with that, the team is there. >> we had a stronger economy. right now, i met the business roundtable. >> come on, john. no commercials. >> we measure these things and it is a very poor economic. what a difference the economy makes. there might be more jobs if we had a room more -- if we had a more robust economy. >> let me think the former rga and nga champion -- chairman. thank you for coming.
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[applause] >> thank you, jason. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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reform ford welfare the new republic back in the day, or i thought i was covering it.
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i saw the democratic side, not so much the republican side. ron hoskins on the phone and he would say, i have this big problem, but i will take care of it. i learned that every other reporter in town was doing the same thing. he controlled the entire press tour of washington. we have a really good panel from the congressional perspective. .e have ron we have robert rector, who, at
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the heritage foundation was the prime over of a lot of the .orces that led to the bill he is basically unstoppable. and senator talent, who as a member of congress, if you read ron's book, he has the sentence that comes after the anecdote about senator talent being worried about castle, you can get a lot done if you work with people like him. he was also a very important player on the bill. so, basically this is a historic session. i'm sure we will get into fights. i hope you fight among yourselves because i will not be able to do it. i would like to partition it into before the contract -- >> i would like in between.
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ok -- mr. kaus: ok, from the mid-80's, were ever you want to start, how did we get there? what do you think the key elements were? as a moderated gimmick, at some point in the proceedings, throw when what the worst mistake you made -- the robe and what the worst mistake you can throw in the most million movie made. if you have an opportunity to throw that end, throw that in. ron, will start with you. mr. haskins: this was not a topic anyone was talking about. before clinton was president, ways and means was talking about where -- welfare, it was always a natural topic. when clinton was elected, several members noticed that whenever he was behind, especially in the midwest in the
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polls, he would haul out welfare reform. and it worked. there was a lot of -- i would call it almost jealousy that here is a democrat making time talking about welfare reform, and i think it turned out to be important later because it so to the idea that he did it primarily for political reasons. i personally never believed that. clay shaw who was eventually the chairman of the subcommittee, the most important republican in welfare reform, other than robert rector, of course, -- here is what i think happened.
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first, we developed a team of experts. now, you will be amazed to hear a lot of republicans could not spell afdc. [laughter] they didn't know anything about welfare reform. it was very important we developed a team of people who really knew what they were talking about and people like shaw, jim talent -- i will bet you a nickel, you did not know much about it before we got into this debate, but he was a fast learner. and we had several like that. the second thing was, we worked off of doing the policy and passing a bill in congress depends on a lot of relationships. i think that is one reason we have trouble passing bills now. these relationships developed over 3, 4, 5 year periods.


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