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Unemployment and Welfare

This essay will let you know the different opinions of federal policy issues involving welfare causing conflicting debates between national, state, and local government and how these conflicting issues relate to federalism. Federalism is “A government system where power and authority are shared by national and states governments, with the ultimate authority derived from the people.

With that been said this essay will also describe the history of TANF and discuss debates about the pros and cons of TANF Temporary Assistance to Needy Families and the problems they are intended to solve or improve and the effectiveness of them both.

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(Levin-Waldman, 2012). When people think about welfare they normally think of Medicaid, WIA Work Investment Act, WIC Women, Infants, and Children and of course AFDC Aid to Families with Dependent Children now TANF, and HUD Housing and Urban Development.

They tend to view it as the federal government giving away the countries money and the taxpayer’s hard-earned dollars to people who cannot support themselves. Majority of people do not like the idea regardless of what and some are sympathetic to the poor and think you should help if you can and are financially stable. They may wonder why they cannot support themselves, why do not they work or go to school, why they are having children they cannot take care of. These reasons are among other things are how people see and view welfare in today’s society no matter what.

The reasons could vary from a person that lost a spouse, or they could have been laid off or fired from their jobs, or maybe their hours were decreased as there could be many other reasons, but there are programs to help people get back on their feet for example, training seminars, workshops, help with schooling and finding jobs as well as day care assistance, nutritional programs, finding housing and other needs. The welfare reform debate has remained very emotional, because it touches on the most sensitive of societal issues: work, family, sex, abortion, personal responsibility, and community integrity.

Welfare reform has become a very important topic in today’s world from fundamental questions about quality of life and how to allocate personal and public responsibilities. We are not sure as a society whether economic security for children is more important than providing clear consequences to parents who fail to play by the rules. We argue whether individual that are not responsible or societal barriers are at the root of welfare dependency.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the nation’s cash assistance program for poor families with children, has not played much of a countercyclical role during the current recession. As unemployment has risen, TANF caseloads nationally have grown much more slowly and state TANF caseloads have not tracked state unemployment growth. Program rules and financing structures limit the responsiveness of TANF in a downturn. As TANF reauthorization is considered, this brief details some relatively small changes that could improve the program’s effectiveness in future recessions (Welfare Reform Act of 2011).

Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), the signature program of welfare in the United States and the focal point of discussions about reform, was terminated in 1996 with the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. This legislation effectively replaced AFDC, Emergency Assistance, and the JOBS program–and the open-ended federal appropriations that supported them–with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. In effect, the federal government began turning responsibility for welfare back to the states.

Pros- Welfare has the benefit of providing much-needed food, medical care and money to citizens who qualify to receive it. Since taxes fund welfare, it redistributes wealth across the population. Welfare also prevents even further social problems by allowing some recipients to maintain their standard of living. For example, unemployed workers who receive an unemployment benefit may be able to keep their homes despite the loss of income, preventing a foreclosure and possible homelessness.

Cons- The biggest disadvantage of welfare is its cost to the local governments that administer it. Even with federal funding, states feel the burden of welfare in each annual budget. Welfare may encourage some recipients not to seek work, since a rise in income would disqualify them from receiving free benefits. It is also an opportunity for fraud, which occurs whenever someone supplies false information to receive welfare benefits without truly qualifying