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The Effects of Welfare Reform

By

Summary

The intention of Welfare programs is to benefit low income Americans, especially children. Yet the evidence indicates that children and parents are actively harmed rather than helped by welfare.

Nearly all Welfare aid for children goes to single parent households. But current research indicates that both Welfare dependence and single parenthood have significant deleterious effects on children's development, impeding their ability to become successful members of mainstream society.

  • Prolonged Welfare dependence reduces children's IQ levels. Dependence also reduces a child's earnings in future years; the longer a child remains on AFDC in childhood the lower will be his earnings as an adult. Being raised on Welfare also increases the probability that a child will drop out of school and will be on Welfare as an adult. Analysis shows that these effects are caused by Welfare per se, not simply poverty; a poor child without Welfare will do better than a similar poor child with welfare.

  • Out-of-wedlock childbearing and single parenthood are the principal causes of child poverty and Welfare dependence in the U.S. Children raised in single parent families are more likely to: experience behavioral and emotional problems; suffer from physical abuse; engage in early sexual activity, and do poorly in school. Boys raised in single parent households are more likely to engage in crime; girls are more likely themselves to give birth outside of marriage. These effects are the result of the collapse of marriage per se rather than poverty; a poor child living with a mother and father united in marriage will do better than a similar poor child living in a single parent home.

Conventional Welfare programs were based on the assumption that material poverty or low family income is the principal cause of social and behavioral problems. Thus Welfare seeks to artificially boost household income. But the simple historical record calls into question this basic assumption. In 1950 around one third of Americans were poor; back in the 1920's more than half of Americans were poor by today's standards. If having a low income were the key cause of crime, illegitimacy, drugs, or child abuse, for example, then earlier periods should have been simply awash in those problems. Instead the opposite is the case, most social problems seem to have gotten worse as incomes rose.

Clearly poverty is not the cause behind the growth of these social problems. Instead, it is the ethos within families that is critical; the norms and values imparted to children concerning: marriage, work, education, and self-control. Conventional Welfare, by undermining this ethos (especially with regard to work and marriage), has increased rather than diminished most social problems.

The Goals of Welfare Reform
The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) enacted in 1996 set forth three legislative goals: 1) to reduce dependence; 2) to reduce child poverty; and 3) to reduce illegitimacy and strengthen marriage. The reform has been effective in meeting each of these goals.

  • Reducing Dependence. Since the enactment of Welfare reform, the AFDC/TANF caseloads have dropped by roughly 50 percent. Some argue that this decline in Welfare dependence is due to a strong economy; however, in the last 50 years no previous economic boom has ever resulted in an appreciable decline in AFDC caseload, let alone a 50 percent drop. (See Chart 1.) It is Welfare reform, not economic conditions, that has produced the huge decline in dependence in the mid-1990's.

This conclusion is borne out by an examination of changes in dependence between individual states. The fifty states vary enormously in their rates of caseload decline, but these rates of decline are uncorrelated to differences in underlying state economic factors such as unemployment or job growth rates. States with better economies have not had greater drops in caseload. By contrast, declines in dependence are directly and strongly linked to the rigor of state workfare policies.

  • Reducing poverty Opponents of Welfare reform charged that reform would throw millions of children into poverty. In reality, child poverty has dropped substantially since reform was enacted, from 20.8 percent in 1996 to 16.9 percent in 1999. (See Chart 2.) The black child poverty rate and the poverty rate of children in single mother families are now at the lowest points in U.S. history. States with strong workfare systems have tended to have more rapid declines in child poverty than have states with lenient work requirements.

U.S. Families on AFDC/TANF and Economic Conditions January 1950 to June 2000

  • Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing Starting in the mid-1960's the out-of-wedlock birth rate began a rapid and relentless climb. This increase continued without pause for three decades. (See Chart 3.) Then, in 1993 and 1994, former President Clinton gave a series of speeches on social harm of illegitimacy; he was the first president to address this topic in nearly three decades.[1] He also proposed that Welfare use be limited to two years.[2] Then, in 1994, Republicans gained control of both chambers of the U.S. Congress for the first time in over fifty years. With this political shift came a dramatic change in the rhetoric concerning welfare. It became clear that future Welfare would indeed be time limited and would place a far heavier emphasis on self-reliance. Further, both parties now publicly asserted that illegitimacy was harmful to children and society; the new Speaker of the House of Representatives suggested that children born out-of-wedlock might be placed in orphanages.[3]

Percent of Children Under 18 in Poverty

The very next year (1995) the out-of-wedlock birth rate dropped for the first time in nearly a half-century. In each subsequent year, the rate has remained flat or increased far more slowly than in the pre-reform period. The black out-of-wedlock birth rate has actually fallen each year since 1994.

The unique and dramatic slowdown in the growth of illegitimacy clearly coincided with Welfare reform. The slowdown is undoubtedly the result of changes in the social messages surrounding Welfare, particularly the new emphasis on limited aid and personal responsibility.

The slowdown is all the more remarkable given the fact that almost no states have active programs designed to reduce illegitimacy or increase marriage. The fact that behavior changed in a positive manner even without specific efforts to promote that change is encouraging; it offers cause for optimism concerning the potential effects of programs specifically developed to increase marriage and reduce illegitimacy in the future.

How Welfare Dependence Harms Children

The traditional Welfare system has led to high levels of Welfare dependence. Dependence, in turn, has profound negative effects on the well being of children. Dr. June O'Neill and Anne Hill, comparing children who were identical in social and economic factors such as race, family structure, mothers' IQ and education, family income, and neighborhood, found that the more years a child spent on Welfare, the lower the child's IQ. The authors make it clear that it is not poverty but Welfare itself which has a damaging effect on the child. Examining the young children (with an average age of five-and-a-half), the authors found that those who had spent at least two months of each year since birth on AFDC had cognitive abilities 20 percent below those who had received no Welfare, even after holding family income, race, parental IQ, and other variables constant.[4]

A similar study by Mary Corcoran and Roger Gordon of the University of Michigan shows that receipt of Welfare income has negative effects on the long-term employment and earnings capacity of young boys.[5] The study shows that, holding constant race, parental education, family structure, and a range of other social variables, higher non-welfare income obtained by the family during a boy's childhood was associated with higher earnings when the boy became an adult (over age 25). However, Welfare income had the opposite effect: The more Welfare income received by a family while a boy was growing up, the lower the boy's earnings as an adult.

Typically, liberals would dismiss this finding, arguing that families which receive a lot of Welfare payments have lower total incomes than other families in society, and that it is the low overall family income, not Welfare, which had a negative effect on the young boys. But the Corcoran and Gordon study compares families whose average non-welfare incomes were identical. In such cases, each extra dollar in Welfare represents a net increase in overall financial resources available to the family. This extra income, according to conventional liberal Welfare theory, should have positive effects on the well being of the children. But the study shows that the extra Welfare income, even though it produced a net increase in resources available to the family, had a negative impact on the development of young boys within the family. The higher the Welfare income received by the family, the lower the earnings obtained by the boys upon reaching adulthood. The study suggests that an increase of $1,000 per year in Welfare received by a family decreased a boy's future earnings by as much as 10 percent.[6]

Other studies have confirmed the negative effects of Welfare on the development of children. For example, young women raised in families dependent on Welfare are two to three times more likely to drop out and fail to graduate from high school than are young women of similar race and socioeconomic background not raised on welfare.[7]

Similarly, single mothers raised as children in families receiving Welfare remain on AFDC longer as adult parents than do single mothers not raised in Welfare families, even when all other social and economic variables are held constant.[8]

How Illegitimacy and Single Parenthood Harm Children

The most obvious consequence of the rising tide of illegitimacy and declining marriage has been a dramatic increase in child poverty. Chart 4 shows data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) which contains a national representative sample of young mothers and their children. The charts divide children into four groups:

  1. Out-of-wedlock-Never Married --- Children born out of wedlock whose mother has never married after the birth of the child;
  2. Out-of-wedlock-Subsequent marriage--- Children born out of wedlock whose mother marries subsequent to the child's birth
  3. Within Wedlock-Divorced--- Children born to married parents who later divorce;
  4. Within Wedlock- marriage Intact--- Children born to parents who were married at the time of birth and remained married

The chart shows the amount of time since birth that a child has lived in poverty for the four different categories of children. Children born out-of-wedlock to never married women are poor fifty percent of the time. By contrast children born within a marriage which remains intact are poor 7 percent of the time. Thus the absence of marriage increases the frequency of child poverty 700 percent. However, marriage after an illegitimate birth is relatively effective, cutting the child poverty rate in half.

Out-of-Wedlock Births as a Percentage of All Births: 1940-1998

Additional Social Consequences of Rising Illegitimacy
Children raised by never-married mothers have significantly more behavior problems when compared to children raised by both biological parents. When comparisons are made between families that are identical in race, income, number of children, and mother's education, the behavioral differences between illegitimate and legitimate children actually widen. Compared to children living with both biological parents in similar socioeconomic circumstances, children of never-married mothers have three times more behavioral problems than children raised in comparable intact families.[9]

Children born out of wedlock have less ability to delay gratification and poorer impulse control (control over anger and sexual gratification). They have a weaker sense of conscience or sense of right and wrong.[10] Adding to all this is the sad fact that the incidence of child abuse and neglect is higher among single-parent families.[11]

Being born out of wedlock increases the probability of teen sexual activity.

Boys and girls born out of wedlock and raised by never-married mothers are two-and-a-half times more likely to be sexually active as teenagers when compared to legitimate children raised in intact married-couple families.[12]

The absence of married parents is related to poor academic performance during school years. The longer the time spent in a single-parent family, the lower the education attained by a child. In general, a boy's educational attainment was cut by one-tenth of a year for each year spent as a child in a single-parent home. Controlling for family income does not reduce the magnitude of the effect noticeably.[13]

Perhaps the worse feature of illegitimacy is that it is passed, like a virus, between generations. Being born outside of marriage significantly reduces the chances the child will grow up to have an intact marriage.[14] Daughters of single mothers are twice as likely to be single mothers themselves if they are black, and only slightly less so if they are white.[15] Boys living in a single-parent family are twice as likely to father a child out of wedlock as are boys from a two-parent home.[16] Children born outside of marriage themselves are three times more likely to be on Welfare when they grow up.[17]

Illegitimacy is a major factor in America's crime problem. Lack of married parents, rather than race or poverty, is the principal factor in the crime rate. It has been known for some time that high rates of Welfare dependency correlate with high crime rates among young men in a neighborhood.[18] But more important, a major 1988 study of 11,000 individuals found that "the percentage of single-parent households with children between the ages of 12 and 20 is significantly associated with rates of violent crime and burglary." The same study makes clear that the widespread popular assumption that there is an association between race and crime is false. Illegitimacy is the key factor. The absence of marriage, and the failure to form and maintain intact families, explains the incidence of high crime in a neighborhood among whites as well as blacks. This study also concluded that poverty does not explain the incidence of crime.[19]

Research on underclass behavior by Dr. June O'Neill confirms the linkage between crime and single-parent families. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of

Youth, O'Neill found that young black men raised in single-parent families were twice as likely to engage in criminal activities when compared to black men raised in two-parent families, even after holding constant a wide range of variables such as family income, urban residence, neighborhood environment, and parents' education. Growing up in a single-parent family in a neighborhood with many other single-parent families on Welfare triples the probability that a young black man will engage in criminal activity.[20]

The Effects of Welfare Reform on Dependence

The War on poverty created an expensive Welfare system that encouraged dependence and penalized work and marriage. Until very recently, most liberal Welfare experts argued that the flaws of the Welfare system were unavoidable: Employment for most Welfare recipients was seen as impossible; swollen Welfare budgets and high levels of dependence were inevitable. Even the most aggressive reforms, it was argued, could reduce Welfare caseload by only a few percentage points and would cost more than the existing system.

In last few years, these liberal myths about the impossibility of reducing dependence have been shattered.[21] In the mid 1990's states began significant work-related reforms; this process was greatly accelerated by the passage of national reform in the summer of 1996. Coinciding with these changes was an unprecedented drop in AFDC/TANF caseload, which has declined some 60 percent from its peak level in March 1994.

Once it became indisputable that the AFDC/TANF caseload could drop enormously without a social catastrophe, liberal Welfare experts retreated to another line of defense, claiming that the declines in caseload were the result of economic conditions rather than Welfare reform. However there are definite problems with a primarily economic explanation of caseload changes. Historically, as Chart 1 shows, the link between periods of economic growth and recession and changes in AFDC/TANF caseloads is tenuous at best. Modest increases in AFDC caseloads occurred during some, but not all, recessionary periods. In contrast, although the chart shows eight previous periods of economic expansion prior to the 1990's, not one of these growth periods resulted in a substantial decrease in AFDC caseloads. In fact, previous economic booms coincided either with relatively flat caseloads or with substantial caseload growth (during the late 1960s and early 1970s). In reality, as the chart makes clear, no sustained and significant declines in AFDC caseload occurred at any point before the mid-1990's. Thus, claims that the recent unprecedented drop in dependence has been caused largely by the current economic expansion are clearly refuted by the historical record.

Another way to disentangle the effects of Welfare policies and economic factors on declining caseloads is to examine the differences in state performance. The rate of caseload decline varies enormously among the fifty states. If economic conditions are the main factor driving caseloads down then the variation in state reduction rates should be linked to variation in state economic conditions. On the other hand, if Welfare polices are the key factors behind falling dependence, then the differences in reduction rates should be linked to specific state Welfare policies.

In a 1999 paper, "The Determinants of Welfare Caseload Decline" the author examined the impact of economic factors and Welfare policies on falling caseloads between January 1997 and June 1998.[22] (Useful data on state Welfare policies were not available beyond that period.) This analysis showed that differences in state Welfare policies, specifically stringency of sanctions and timing of work requirements were highly successful in explaining rapid rates of caseload decline. By contrast, the relative vigor of state economies, as measured by unemployment rates, changes in unemployment, or state job growth had no statistically significant effect on caseload decline. (See Table 1.)

  • During the period analyzed, states with immediate work requirements and strong sanctions for non-compliant behavior had an average caseload reduction of 50 percent.

  • By contrast, states with weak sanctions and no immediate formal work requirement had an average caseload reduction of 14.2 percent during the same period.[23]

Thus while the overall health of the U.S. economy has been a positive background factor contributing to the reduction of Welfare dependence, the economy has been neither a sufficient nor a primary factor in that reduction. The huge state variations in the rate of caseload decline cannot be attributed to differences in state economic factors, but can be convincingly explained by differences in the rigor of work-related Welfare reforms. Policy reform, not economics, has been the principal engine driving the decline in dependence.

Critics may charge that it is easy to cut caseloads simply be kicking individuals off Welfare whenever they commit a minor infraction. In reality, very little of the present caseload reduction is the result of states using sanctions simply to remove individuals from the rolls. Instead, serious work requirements sharply reduce dependence because they lower the attractiveness of Welfare compared to private sector employment.

Effects of Welfare Reform on poverty

During the debate over of Welfare reform in 1995 and 1996, reform opponents shrilly predicted that the reform would produce large increases in child poverty. In reality, decreases in dependence would have had beneficial effects on children's long-term development, even if they were accompanied by decreasing family income. However, as Chart 2 shows, the fall in the national AFDC/TANF caseload has resulted in a significant decrease in child poverty, not an increase.

Indeed, if the earned income tax credit, Food Stamps, and other means-tested benefits are counted as income, the child poverty rate now stands at 12.0 percent, the lowest rate since 1979. The black child poverty rate and the poverty rate of children living with single mothers are now at the lowest points in U.S. history.

This positive picture is confirmed at the individual state level. Wisconsin, for example, which has led the nation in reducing dependence, is also among the leading states in reducing child poverty. Wisconsin has cut its child poverty rate almost in half and now has one of the lowest rates of child poverty in the nation.

In general, those states, which have strong workfare systems and strict sanctions for non-compliant behavior by recipients, have seen more rapid drops in child poverty. By contrast, states, which have weak work requirements and lenient sanctions, on average, have seen the least decline in child poverty.

Effects of Welfare Reform on Out-of-Wedlock Births

As Chart 3 shows, when the War on poverty began, 7.7 percent of American children were born out of wedlock. Today, that figure is 33 percent. The collapse of marriage among blacks has been particularly disturbing: At the outset of World War II, the black illegitimate birth rate was slightly less than 19 percent. Beginning in the late 1960s, however, the rate of black illegitimate births skyrocketed, reaching 49 percent in 1975 and 70 percent in 1995. Rapid increases in illegitimacy are also occurring among whites. The illegitimate birth rate among whites is 26 percent; among white high school dropouts, it is 48 percent.

In nearly every year since the mid-1960s, the percentage of births that were out-of -wedlock increased steadily. However, starting in 1995, there was an abrupt shift in the growth of illegitimacy. The growth of the white out-of-wedlock birthrate slowed considerably, and the black rate actually declined slightly.

It is no accident that this halt or slowdown in the growth of illegitimacy coincided with the debate and national passage of Welfare reform. Prior to the mid-1990's there had been a 30 year taboo on discussion of illegitimacy. While marriage disintegrated few politicians in either party were willing to even mention the topic. However, in 1993 and 1994, this gag rule was breached; then President Clinton gave a series of speeches on the social harm of illegitimacy. In 1994, serious legislation to reduce illegitimacy was introduced in both the House and the Senate; this legislation opened a vigorous public discussion on the harmful effects of illegitimacy for the first time in three decades. Both parties publicly acknowledged that illegitimacy was harmful to children and society. During this period press treatment of illegitimacy and its links to Welfare expanded tenfold.

In addition, in 1993, then President Clinton proposed placing a two year time limit on the receipt of AFDC.[24] Many states began moderate self-sufficiency programs placing work-related behavioral requirements on AFDC recipients. Most critically, in 1994, Republicans gained control of both chambers of the U.S. Congress for the first time in over fifty years. Republican control of Congress heralded a dramatic change in the rhetoric surrounding welfare. Through the "Contract with America" and repeated public announcements, it became clear that future Welfare would indeed be time limited and would place a far heavier emphasis on self-reliance. The newly elected Speaker of the House of Representatives suggested that children born out-of-wedlock might be placed in orphanages.

It was no mere coincidence that just one year later (in 1995) the illegitimate birth rate fell for the first time in nearly a half-century. In subsequent years the rate remained flat or increased only slightly. This slowdown in the growth of out-of-wedlock childbearing is undoubtedly the result of changes in the social messages surrounding Welfare, particularly the new emphasis on limited aid and personal responsibility.

The slowdown is all the more remarkable given the fact that almost no states have active programs designed to reduce illegitimacy or increase marriage. The fact that behavior changed in a positive manner even without specific efforts to promote that change is encouraging; it offers cause for optimism concerning the potential effects of programs specifically developed to increase marriage and reduce illegitimacy in the future.

Recommended Policies

Future Welfare reform should be focused on three themes: encouraging marriage, requiring work, and controlling costs.

  • Encouraging marriage. The erosion of marriage is the principal cause of child poverty, Welfare dependence, and a host of other social problems. The Welfare reform act of 1996 established illegitimacy reduction as a principal goal with the expectation that state governors would take the lead in developing innovative programs to restore marriage.[25] But, today, only a handful of governors even mention marriage and no state has a significant program to reduce illegitimacy.[26] Thus, it should be no surprise that the illegitimacy rate has not fallen more, and for whites has even begun to creep slowly up again. A major challenge in Welfare reauthorization will be to create new programs that carry out the original goals of PROWRA to increase marriage and reduce illegitimacy.

In the future, 5 to 10 percent of federal TANF funds should be allocated to pro-marriage programs in at risk communities. These should include: pro-marriage education in high schools, public ad campaigns, marriage mentoring programs for young couples at risk of having children out-of-wedlock, pro-marriage counseling and services for pregnant non-married women participating in Medicaid, and divorce reduction programs.

  • Requiring work. Welfare should not be a one way handout. Yet current data suggest that roughly half of the two million mothers presently on TANF sit idly on the rolls and are not engaged in any activity leading toward self-sufficiency. As part of reauthorization, states should be required to have 90 percent of their adult TANF recipients engaged in work activities or off the rolls. If this sort of serious work requirement were established, it would be reasonable to expect the national TANF caseload to fall to 700,000 or lower by the year 2010.

  • Controlling Costs. As the TANF caseload continues to fall, there is no reason to maintain the high historic levels of federal TANF spending. Future TANF authorization levels should be cut by 10 percent.

Robert E. Rector is a Senior Research Fellow at Title of The Heritage Foundation.

Show references in this report

Endnotes

1. Former President Clinton gave three major addresses on the harms of illegitimacy in 1993 and 1994. He was the first president to address this topic since Lyndon Johnson. These speeches played an important role in changing public perceptions and in opening subsequent political discourse on the issue.

2. Former President Clinton merely intended that a small percentage of AFDC recipients would be required to work for benefits after two years on the AFDC rolls. However, his proposal was generally represented as "two years and off." Most politicians and the public thought this meant a termination of cash aid after two years on the rolls. In addition, a number of state governments were introducing their own work related reforms with a new emphasis on personal responsibility from 1993 to 1996; these programs may also have contributed to the halt in the growth of the illegitimacy rate in the mid-1990's.

3. Former President Clinton gave three major addresses on the harms of illegitimacy in 1993 and 1994. He was the first president to address this topic since Lyndon Johnson. These speeches played an important role in changing public perceptions and in opening subsequent political discourse on the issue. In addition, a number of state governments were introducing their own work related reforms with a new emphasis on personal responsibility from 1993 to 1996; these programs may also have contributed to the halt in the growth of the illegitimacy rate in the mid-1990's.

4. M. Anne Hill and June O'Neill, "Family endowments and the Achievement of Young Children With Special Reference to the Underclass," Journal of Human Resources, Fall 1994, pp. 1090-1091

5. Mary Corcoran, Roger Gordon, Deborah Loren and Gary Solon, "The Association Between Men's Economic Status and Their Family and Community Origins," Journal of Human Resources, Fall, 1992, pp. 575-601.

6. Corcoron et al.

7. R. Forste and M. Tienda, "Race and Ethnic Variation in the Schooling Consequences of Female Adolescent Sexual Activity, Social Science Quarterly, March 1992.

8. Mwangi S. Kimeny, "Rational Choice, Culture of Poverty, and the Intergenerational Transmission of Welfare Dependency," Southern Economic Journal, April 1991.

9. Deborah A. Dawson, "Family Structure and Children's Health and Well-Being: Data from the 1988 National Health Interview Survey on Child Health," paper presented at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America, Toronto, May 1990.

10. E.M. Hetherington and B. Martin, "Family Interaction," H.C. Quay and J.S. Werry (eds.), Psychopathological Disorders of Childhood (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1979), pp. 247-302.

11. A. Walsh, "Illegitimacy, Child Abuse and Neglect, and Cognitive Development," Journal of Genetic Psychology, Vol. 15 (1990), pp. 279-285.

12. Research by the Heritage Foundation based on the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth

13. Sheila F Krein and Andrea H. Beller, "Educational Attainment of Children From Single-Parent Families: Differences by Exposure, Gender and Race," Demography, Vol. 25 (May 1988), p.228.

14. Neil Bennet and David Bloom, "The Influence of Non-marital Childbearing on the Formation of Marital Unions." Paper given at the NICHD conference on "Outcomes of Early Childbearing," May 1992.

15. Sarah S. Mclanahan, "Family Structure and Dependency: Early Transitions to Female Household Headship," Demography, Vol. 5, No. 1 (1988), pp. 1-16.

16. William Marsiglio, "Adolescent Fathers in the United States: Their Initial Living Arrangements, Marital Experience and Educational Outcomes," Family Planning Perspectives, Vol.19 (1987), pp. 240-251, reporting a study of 5,500 young men.

17. Kristin Moore, "Attainment among Youth from Families that Received Welfare." Paper for DHHS/ASPE and NICHD, Grant #HD21537-03.

18. Arthur B. Elsters et al., "Judicial Involvement and Conduct Problems of Fathers and Infants Born to Adolescent Mothers," Pediatrics, Vol. 79, No. 2 (1987), pp. 230-234.

19. Douglas Smith and G. Roger Jajoura, "Social Structure and Criminal Victimization," Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, February 1988, pp.27-52.

20. M. Anne Hill and June O'Neill, Underclass Behaviors in the United States: Measurement and Analysis of Determinants, New York City, City University of New York, Baruch College, March 1990.

21. See Robert Rector, "Wisconsin's Welfare Miracle," Policy Review, March/April 1997.

22. Robert E. Rector and Sarah E. Youssef , "The Determinants of Welfare Caseload Decline" Report of the Center for Data Analysis, The Heritage Foundation, May 11, 1999.

23. Based on a regression analysis holding the rate of unemployment in the state constant. The values predicted by the regression model closely conform to the actual observed values in the states. The mean caseload reduction over the 18 month period among the states with both a strong full check sanction and a formal immediate work requirement was 55.2 percent. The mean caseload reduction among the fourteen states with weak sanctions and no immediate work requirement was 16 percent.

24. Former President Clinton merely intended that a small percentage of AFDC recipients would be required to work for benefits after two years on the AFDC rolls. However, his proposal was generally represented as "two years and off." Most politicians and the public thought this meant a termination of cash aid after two years on the rolls.

25. Much of the discussion about illegitimacy has been deliberately sidetracked into the non-controversial and far less important topic of "teen pregnancy." Only around 15 percent of out of wedlock births occur to girls under 18. Illegitimacy is primarily a problem of young adult men and women. Teen pregnancy could be eliminated completely without having much effect on the far larger problem of illegitimacy.

26. Governors George W. Bush of Texas, Frank Keating of Oklahoma, and Mike Leavitt of Utah have been unusual in their willingness to speak out in defense of marriage.

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