According to a report released by the Department of Health and Human Services today, the 1996 Welfare Reform Act has been a rousing success.
The number of Americans dependent on welfare dropped by 4.7 million between 1996 and 1999. The national poverty rate has fallen to its lowest level since 1979, with a total of 5.4 million Americans climbing above the poverty line during the four years following the 1996 law.
Congress is currently debating a change to the 1996 welfare law that could require those receiving dependence to work an additional 10 hours per week. This hour, six hours after the landmark reform act, we ask is the American welfare system on the right track? Not everyone says yes.
June O'Neill, former Director of the Congressional Budget Office in Washington
Terry O'Neil, Vice President for Membership of the National Organization for Women
Robert Rector, Senior Research Fellow in Welfare and Family Issues at The Heritage Foundation
This program aired on June 3, 2002.