Welfare Reform .Welfare reform under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act is generally regarded as a great success. A closer review of the research, however, reveals that the celebration of welfare reform has been premature. While moderately successful in reducing the disincentive to leave welfare, welfare reform has been largely unsuccessful in moving long-term unemployed, difficult-to-place individuals off cash assistance. Overall, the new welfare law is a second-best solution to welfare dependence. Until policymakers take a preventive approach and make welfare no longer available to, or an attractive option for, women considering making untenable life choices, the US will continue to spend endless taxpayer dollars trying to clean up its dependence problem. "Four Years of Welfare Reform: A Progress Report", by Lisa Oliphant is published by the Cato Institute.
By Cato Institute,US.
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Welfare & Social Security
Audit of Wisconsin Works (W2) .The Legislative Audit Bureau of Wisconsin have issued this evaluation of the famous welfare to work scheme. They find that while employment has increased slightly, the jobs are often low paying. The numbers receiving assistance have decreased dramatically. The W2 scheme operates at a higher public cost than the previous AFDC programme. The report includes data on public expenditure and effect on outcomes (welfare caseloads, employment, and income of participants). is published by the Legislative Audit Bureau of Wisconsin.
Privatizing Social Security .Critics of plans to privatize Social Security (pensions) in the US and turn them into individual accounts invested in the stock market have five main objections. First, that there is no crisis in the funding of social security. Second, that the reform would merely involve shifting retirement investments from the bonds currently held by the Social Security Trust Fund to stocks held in personal accounts, which would not produce any general economic benefits and could not sustain higher benefits across the board. Third, that personal accounts would imply benefit cuts for many retired people. Fourth, that survivors' and disability benefits would also be threatened. And finally, that the guarantee offered by the government is exchanged for the risk of the stock market. The Failed Critique of Personal Accounts by Peter Ferrara rebuts and responds to each of these arguments in turn. This paper should be read alongside materials from the Cato Institute's Social Security websitePublished by the Cato Institute.
By Cato Institute ,US.
Earned Income Tax Credit These surveys analyse the geographical location of the recipients of the Earned Income Tax Credit - the US precursor to the UK Working Families Tax Credit. In several cities it is suggested that a local EITC could complement the federal tax credit and provide additional help to working families. For example, New Jersey has recently enacted a refundable state-level tax credit which matches the federal credit at 15%. The Brookings Institution also recommend that cities run education and outreach campaigns, similar to that carried out by Chicago, in order to increase the take up of the EITC. Other useful EITC sites can be found at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities EITC Analyses and the Joint Center for Poverty Research EITC Information Clearinghouse" is published by the The Brookings Institution
By The Brookings Institution ,US