The Public Interest

The end of welfare as we know it?

Amy A. Fowler & Douglas J. Bersharov

Spring 1993

ONE OF THE loudest—and most bipartisan—rounds of applause during Bill Clinton’s 1993 State of the Union address came when he reiterated his promise to “end welfare as we know it.” During the campaign, Clinton repeatedly said that welfare benefits should be time-limited, and that, after two years of job training and education, welfare recipients who can work should be required to do so. “’We have to end welfare as a way of life,” he told Congress and the nation, “and make it a path to independence and dignity.”

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