Editorial: Long-term thinking for welfare

THE FEDERAL government calls its principal program of cash aid to the poor Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), a product of the welfare reform enacted under President Bill Clinton in 1996. The word “temporary” referred to the program’s goal of moving recipients into jobs as opposed to permitting long-term dependency. Yet over the years, it has acquired a second, ironic meaning: The law itself is temporary. Congress has not enacted a full-blown TANF reauthorization...

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