Dutch: on Welfare & Poverty

As CA Governor, opposed AFDC as rewarding lack of work

[As Governor, Reagan addressed] California’s exploding welfare system. “Here in California,” he warned, “nearly a million children are growing up in the stultifying atmosphere of programs that reward people for not working, programs that separate families and doom these children to repeat the cycle in their own adulthood.”

Reagan had especial contempt for government touts whose job performance was appraised by the length of their welfare client lists. “They go out and actually recruit people to be on welfare,“ he complained. His prejudice against AFDC was practical as well as moral. He believed it discriminated against the destitute-by encouraging the shiftless to promiscuity.

The California Welfare Reform Act became law in August 1971. Reagan called it ”probably the most comprehensive“ such initiative in American history. It had an inspirational effect on welfare policy across America, but Reagan would have to wait until 1996 before his basic dream, the repeal of AFDC, became a reality

Source: Dutch, by Edmund Morris, p. 368-9 & 376 Jan 4, 1971

Many homeless choose to be; ACLU fosters homelessness

I asked, "What about the homeless? Do you think you could have done anything for them?"

Reagan said, "Well, it's been so exaggerated. Millions, there aren't millions. Real research reveals probably 300,000 or less, nationwide. And a lot of those are the type of people that have made that choice. For example, more than 40% of them are retarded, mentally deficient people, that is the result of the ACLU. Look at the girl in NY who went to court after Koch had ordered her to get off the street and be put in a shelter. She went to court and actually fought, under her Constitutional rights, to go on living in that cardboard box on the street."

Source: Dutch, by Edmund Morris, p.645-646 Jan 9, 1988

  • The above quotations are from Dutch, a Memoir of Ronald Reagan
    by Edmund Morris.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Welfare & Poverty.
  • Click here for more quotes by Ronald Reagan on Welfare & Poverty.
2008 Presidential contenders on Welfare & Poverty:
Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Gov.Mike Huckabee
Rep.Duncan Hunter
Sen.John McCain
Rep.Ron Paul
Gov.Mitt Romney
Sen.Fred Thompson
Gov.Tommy Thompson
Sen.Hillary Clinton
Sen.John Edwards
Sen.Mike Gravel
Rep.Dennis Kucinich
Sen.Barack Obama
Third Parties:
Green: Rep.Cynthia McKinney
Socialist: Brian Moore
Independent: Mayor Mike Bloomberg
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