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The Economists' VoiceTop Economists Take On Today's Problems$
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Joseph Stiglitz, Aaron Edlin, and J. Bradford DeLong

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231143653

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231143653.001.0001

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Cutting the Safety Net One Strand at a Time

Cutting the Safety Net One Strand at a Time

Chapter:
(p.194) Chapter 22 Cutting the Safety Net One Strand at a Time
Source:
The Economists' Voice
Author(s):

Janet Currie

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231143653.003.0022

This chapter attacks four myths that make Congress less inclined to reauthorize welfare programs than it ought to be. The first myth is that poor women and their children benefit from generous cash welfare payments. The second is that anti-poverty programs do not actually fight poverty. The third is that in-kind assistance programs are rife with fraud, waste, and abuse. The fourth is that the responsibility for anti-poverty programs should devolve to the states. Contrary to the general perception, most welfare payments are received in kind (food stamps, in-school nutritional programs, child-care subsidies) rather than in cash; welfare programs do cut poverty; programs are typically not rife with fraud and waste; and state provision would not be more effective than the federal safety net because only the federal budget can insure programs against economic downturns.

Keywords:   welfare programs, welfare policy, Congress, public policy, poverty, poor women, welfare payments

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