In the short run, it may have helped his chances for re-election, but in the long term, it was nothing but a goddamned disaster to shred the safety net in the event of an economic downturn.
I very nearly didn't vote for Clinton in 1996 because of his idiotic, punitive welfare "reform" crap.
Obama is attempting to imitate Clinton's triangulation by trying to gut public education and Social Security and Medicare.
Allowing the states to freelance their welfare programs has resulted in some particularly cruel policies and inequities. Minnesota spends $50 million a year on child care for single mothers receiving welfare benefits who are working or looking for work. New York spends $54 million to serve a population six times as large. Clinton and Gore repeatedly touted the approach taken by Indiana, where welfare reform was instituted by a Democratic governor, Evan Bayh, and his successor in the governor’s mansion, Frank O’Bannon. The pair presided over the shrinking of the welfare rolls in the Hoosier state by 30 percent. There’s no way to know if those people actually found work. It’s possible that the conditions of supervision of welfare recipients simply became unbearable and they left the program and perhaps the state. Under Indiana’s scheme, one missed job-training course means the loss of a welfare check for two months. A second infraction means loss of benefits for a year. A third strike and you’re out for good.
I am sick of the fakers who have undermined the Democratic Party.