The Public Interest

The mirage of welfare reform

Frank Levy , Frederick C. Doolittle & Michael Wiseman

Spring 1977

PRESIDENT Carter has promised to submit a welfare-reform package to Congress in the not too distant future. The time seems right. The welfare explosion of the late 1960’s has subsided, as have the echoes of anti-welfare hysteria. A new wave of research has dramatically increased our understanding of the current welfare system. As a result, the Presidents analysts should find it easier to design an intelligent proposal with favorable political prospects. But this is not to say that any drastic “overhaul” of the system is a foregone conclusion. Indeed, that is unlikely-and probably undesirable.

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