More headlines: Bill Bradley on Welfare & Poverty

(Following are older quotations. Click here for main quotations.)

Economy, not laws, changed welfare stats

Bradley said that the booming economy was more responsible for substantial drops in the number of people on welfare than a 1996 reform law.
Source: Boston Globe, p. A5 Sep 20, 1999

Fundamental changes in welfare law needed

Bradley has challenged the welfare reform law itself. Aides say Bradley hasn’t decided how he’d seek to revise the law, but he made clear that his objections are fundamental and would demand basic changes if he acted upon them as president.
Source: Ronald Brownstein, Boston Globe, p. A23 Aug 18, 1999

Welfare Reform bill addresses wrong problems

I will vote against this bill [which became the 1996 Welfare Reform Act] because it will wipe out every protection for poor families with children but would do nothing at all to repair what is really wrong with welfare. We have made some improvements to the bill, but the fundamental structure is deeply flawed and can only lead to deeper poverty and more dependency.

All we are really changing with this bill is the one thing that is not wrong with welfare-the financial relationship between State and Federal bureaucracies. That is not the problem. The real problems with welfare would remain. The rules that penalize marriage and work. The county bureaucrats. who do nothing to help people take care of themselves. The brutal job market. The deeper cultural forces driving increases in divorce, illegitimacy and teen pregnancy. All these problems would remain. Many would get worse. All this bill does is require States to penalize the children who are the victims of these problems.

Source: Senate Floor Statement, Washington, DC Sep 21, 1995

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