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Sharp Reduction in Black Child Poverty Due to Welfare Reform
Heritage Foundation PolicyWire ^ | June12, 2003 | Melissa G. Pardue

Posted on 06/14/2003 12:02:50 PM PDT by bruinbirdman

Over six years ago, Congress overhauled much of the nation's welfare system. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 19961 replaced the failed social program called Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) with Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). The reform legislation had three primary goals: (1) reduce welfare dependence and increase employment, (2) reduce child poverty, and (3) reduce illegitimacy and strengthen marriage.

At the time of the law's enactment, many liberal groups made dire predictions about the terrible effect these reforms would have on America's children. In particular, the Children's Defense Fund claimed that welfare reform would cast millions more children into poverty and hunger.

These predictions were wrong, and welfare reform in fact produced the opposite results. Many groups, including academic institutions and public policy organizations, have published a wide variety of research showing the reform's undeniable success. The documentation of this success has already begun to play a crucial role in the TANF reauthorization process scheduled in Congress for the coming months.

Reduced Black Child Poverty

In the almost seven years since the welfare reform law was enacted, economic conditions have improved dramatically for America's poorest families. Welfare rolls have plummeted, employment of single mothers has increased dramatically, and child hunger has declined substantially. Most striking, however, has been the effect of welfare reform on child poverty, particularly among black children.

However, a report recently released by the Children's Defense Fund shows that the number of black children under age 18 living in extreme poverty increased to nearly one million in 2001.5 Extreme poverty is defined as having an after-tax income of less than half of the federally defined poverty line. For a family of three, the poverty line was $14,128 in 2001, which would make the extreme poverty line $7,064 for that year. These findings show an increase of roughly 145,000 black children in the extreme poverty category since the enactment of welfare reform.

Although not incorrect, these findings can mislead readers about the success of welfare reform by focusing on a narrow slice of the entire child poverty population that has otherwise significantly improved under the reformed welfare system. While the number of black children living in extreme poverty is certainly a cause for concern, the overall level of child poverty, particularly among black children, has made tremendous progress:

{} For the 25 years prior to welfare reform, the percentage of black children living in poverty remained virtually unchanged.

{} Since welfare reform, the poverty rate among black children has dropped by one-fourth, falling from 41.5 percent in 1995 to 30.0 percent in 2001.

{}The black child poverty rate is at its lowest point in U.S. history.

{} Since welfare reform, over 1.2 million black children have been lifted out of poverty.

{} Since welfare reform, six black children have been made better off and lifted out of poverty for every black child whose economic condition has worsened.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: afdc; african; black; cdbg; foodstamps; heritage; heritagefoundation; innercity; labor; poverty; section8; selfsufficiency; selfsufficient; singlemother; singleparents; ssbg; taxes; welfare; welfarereform; wic; work
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To: windchime
Thanks for posting that! Wondered the same thing about the black vote -- why do they keep voting RAT when they have done nothing for them!
41 posted on 06/16/2003 8:41:41 AM PDT by PhiKapMom (Bush Cheney '04 - VICTORY IN '04 -- $4 for '04 -
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To: bruinbirdman
I like the story, but hat graphs that exaggerate the slope of change by not starting at zero -- even when I like the numbers.
42 posted on 06/16/2003 8:42:30 AM PDT by js1138
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thanks for posting this!

There's, there's no question that the RATS would love to have 100% of black children in poverty, dependent on government hand-outs. Actually, they'd like to have ALL Americans hopelessly addicted to and fearful of losing some kind of government hand-out. It's the only chance they have at lifetime job security.

43 posted on 06/16/2003 8:48:07 AM PDT by RooRoobird14 ("Clinton is a rapist, Hillary is his pimp")
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To: PhiKapMom
Glad to hear that, because I think it is a good program although I've not looked into the finer details. It sounds like a good idea.

Look I don't mind who is involved as long as they are for the right reasons and they don't sumply puff themselves up for adoration over it.

Every time I hear that Carter is the best ex-President we've ever had, I just cringe. He's a self-promoting jerk, plain and simple. He is the worst ex-President we've ever had, because his destabalizing measures are still wreaking havoc 28 years later.

One word for you. Iran.

Sorry, don't get me started. LOL
44 posted on 06/16/2003 11:15:47 AM PDT by DoughtyOne
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To: DoughtyOne
When I worked for the Air Force, I sat next to a Major who was from Georgia! If you think you are bad about Carter, no one could be worse then him when it came to the peanut farmer. I know after sitting next to him for over a year, I NEVER looked at Carter the same and I didn't like him to begin with!

AFLC (now AFMC) had some people in Teheran working on Government contract when the Shah fell and were able to get on the last plane out -- one was of Iranian descent who was American and they had to hide him in order to get him out of the Country on that last plane. I always blamed Carter and still do.

Looks like we share similar thoughts when it comes to the peanut farmer.

45 posted on 06/16/2003 1:14:57 PM PDT by PhiKapMom (Bush Cheney '04 - VICTORY IN '04 -- $4 for '04 -
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To: PhiKapMom
It sure does. ;-)

Take care.
46 posted on 06/16/2003 2:48:00 PM PDT by DoughtyOne
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To: PhiKapMom
You're welcome! I was a little reluctant to mention it since I couldn't provide an exact quote from Rush's site, but it was too appropriate not to share.
47 posted on 06/17/2003 12:00:34 AM PDT by windchime
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To: bruinbirdman
Meanwhile, in states where "family caps" legislation is enacted as a part of Welfare Reform, abortion rates have risen, particularly among poor blacks.

48 posted on 06/17/2003 5:56:14 PM PDT by Lorianne
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