On the Record

Welfare Reform Changes Women’s Lives

Ron Haskins

Rachel Jones: The 1996 law that scrapped the decades-old Aid to Families with Dependent Children program created a revolution of sorts as millions of women entered the workforce. One man who helped shape the law sums it up simply: “Goodbye, welfare queen; hello, working mother.”

Ron Haskins: The intended beneficiaries have responded like they took it right out of a playbook.

Jones: Ron Haskins is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington. Ten years ago, he advised house republicans about welfare issues. He also helped write the Taniff law.

Haskins: Now the typical welfare story is that mom gets up at five, takes her kids to two different places, goes to work for eight hours and retraces her steps, or has trouble getting out of an eight-dollar-an-hour job.

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