President Bill Clinton signed a successful welfare reform law in 1996, which required able-bodied welfare recipients to either work, prepare for work, or look for work in order to receive aid. This law ended the policies that helped generation after generation to receive handouts from the government without doing any thing to get it. President Barack Obama gutted the law by ending the requirement for welfare recipients to work for what they receive. He did this because he needs more people to be dependent on government in order to be re-elected!
Liberals predicted that the poor and needy in
suffer dire consequences if the reform bill were passed; however, just the
opposite happened. There was a surge
upward in employment and earnings among welfare recipients even as the welfare
caseload dropped by 50 percent. In
addition, the rates of child poverty fell after the reform. This reform bill from the mmid-1990s freed
nearly four million adults and three million children from the government
plantation and gave them the opportunity to escape poverty. America
Robert Rector at The Heritage Foundation reported: "As welfare dependence fell and employment increased, child poverty among the affected groups fell dramatically. For a quarter-century before the reform, poverty among black children and single mothers had remained frozen at high levels. Immediately after the reform, poverty for both groups experienced dramatic and unprecedented drops, quickly reaching all-time lows."
Successful welfare programs help people to help themselves. Millions of people need help at one time or another in their lives and deserve to be assisted; however, it is better to give them a "hand up" rather than a "hand out". The old adage is still true: It is better to teach a man to fish than to give a man a fish.
The policy change by Obama was not only illegal, but it is detrimental to all welfare recipients. Instead of being required to work, look for work, or receive training for work, recipients will go back into a welfare cycle of being dependent on the government and will never escape poverty. They will continue to live on the plantation of the federal government.
Benjamin Franklin understood this principle well because he said, "I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it."
The importance of working for our daily needs was instituted by Heavenly Father at the time He expelled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. "And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;
"Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
"In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, …" (Genesis 3:17-19; emphasis added).
Work is a valuable part of life and can bring feelings of self-worth, achievement, and happiness. President Gordon B. Hinckley said, "Without labor there is neither wealth, nor comfort, nor progress….
"I believe in the gospel of work. There is no substitute under the heavens for productive labor. It is the process by which dreams become reality. It is the process by which idle visions become dynamic achievements. We are all inherently lazy. We would rather play than work. We would rather loaf than work. A little play and a little loafing are good - …. But it is work that spells the difference in the life of a man or woman. It is stretching our minds and utilizing the skills of our hands that lift us from the stagnation of mediocrity….
"Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds. There must be labor, incessant and constant, if there is to be a harvest….
"Work is the miracle by which talent is brought to the surface and dreams become reality" (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, pp. 704-707)
Parents must teach their children the importance of work by word and example; otherwise, the rising generation will believe that they are entitled to having their needs met by others. President Spencer W. Kimball quoted President David O. McKay as saying, "We are living in an age of gadgetry which threatens to produce a future generation of softness. Flabbiness of character more than flabbiness of muscle lies at the root of most of the problems facing our American youth" (Faith Precedes the Miracle, p. 122).
Work is a valuable way to spend our time. Youth and adults who are not required to work for their daily needs have too much time on their hands and tend to get into trouble. I wonder how many of the people involved in the "flash mobs" of today come from homes where the principle of work was not taught or modeled. Obama did our nation a huge disservice when he gutted the welfare reform act and took away the requirement for welfare recipients to work for their daily bread.