Most state governments can improve the effectiveness of their efforts to help those in poverty.
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 ended the national entitlement to welfare and gave states considerable latitude in designing their own programs. Some governors and legislators took full advantage of the opportunity and produced spectacular results, reducing welfare rolls as well as poverty and unemployment. Other states have been less active and less effective. What did successful states do, and what did unsuccessful states fail to do?
Successful welfare reform can save lives and produce positive effects on multiple generations. It can save taxpayers billions of dollars and help address such serious social maladies as crime, alcoholism, and teenage pregnancy. And it can demonstrate that government programs can be successfully devolved from the national government to states.
The Heartland Institute's experts on entitlement policy are available for legislative testimony, speaking engagements, and media interviews.