The article below by David Blatt from Oklahoma Policy Institute begins by talking about Nicholas Kristof’s visit to Tulsa. The New York Times columnist chose the city as one of the places to see the results of a 20 year experiment about welfare.
It is always good to know the background of how we end up where we do …
In 1996, Bill Clinton in his role as president, passed legislation that put the restraints on welfare. As a result, restrictions placed on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program made it increasingly demanding and difficult to qualify for. Things like work requirements, strict time limits, and harsh penalties for non-compliance became the norm.
According to the article and findings, if we look at Oklahoma today, we see that welfare barely exists in the state.
Here is some data from Oklahoma Policy Institute on point: “A monthly average of just 2,469 adults were enrolled in TANF in Oklahoma in fiscal year 2015. That’s less than the number of women in Oklahoma prisons. Prior to the 1996 law, Oklahoma provided cash assistance to half of all families in poverty; now it goes to fewer than one in ten. The share of poor families receiving cash assistance in Oklahoma is less than half the national average (23 percent) and eighth lowest in the nation. Even during the depths of the recession in 2008-2010, while the number of children in families with no working parent rose substantially, the number of TANF recipients barely budged.”
It seems that there is no place today where the Clinton clan has not weaved its misery.