Welfare and the Transformation of Electoral Politics

Welfare and the Transformation of Electoral Politics

In August, President Bill Clinton signed a bill that ended the sixty-year-old program for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC).

To be sure, this was not an entirely new development. Since the 1960s, when the welfare rolls expanded, Republican presidential contenders have regularly homed in on welfare, as if it were one of the country’s big problems. And just as regularly, defensive Democrats have tried to ward off the challenge by reciting their belief in “work-not-welfare” and proposing schemes to put recipients to work.

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