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Tuesday, April 16, 2002
Congressional budget cuts fail to cure cancer and create world peace
A new study was released showing that the overall condition of welfare children, since the 1996 national welfare reform, hasn't changed significantly. That's very good news; despite all the predictions of disaster from activists, there have been no catastrophes. Welfare rolls have been reduced substantially, and yet the horror stories of children starving to death just haven't materialized.

But that's not good news if you're pro-welfare, and evidently the media is. So how do they spin it? With the headline "Study: Welfare reform hasn't helped kids." That's not exactly inaccurate -- but as a friend pointed out, the headline could just as easily have been "Children not harmed by welfare reform," or it could have been "Taxpayers save money without affecting children."
Mothers facing new welfare rules are finding jobs and earning more money. But they haven't improved their parenting skills, they still have trouble paying rent, and they spend less time with their kids, according to a three-state study that examined details of family life.
So they're working more. They're making more money. They're spending less time with their kids -- but that's hardly a negative, since much of the time they were previously spending with their children was time when they should have been working.

So how can this not be good news?
A top welfare official in the Bush administration agreed that the system is not doing much to improve the lives of children. That's why the administration wants to add improving child well-being to the list of goals for the welfare law, which is being renewed this year, said Wade Horn, who heads the Administration for Children and Families at the Department of Health and Human Services.

"The current goal of welfare is not to improve the well-being of children," Horn said. "It's not an explicit goal."
I thought the goal of welfare was to provide a safety net so that people didn't starve to death. I thought it was the job of parents, not the government, to worry about the well-being of children, especially when the "well-being" is measured so arbitrarily as "time watching television," which this study measured. Silly me.

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