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What are they saying now?

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What are they saying now?

Terry Dashner……………………Faith Fellowship Church PO Box 1586 Broken Arrow, OK 74013

Think back to the mid 1990s. Do you remember the harangue against welfare reform? Many people in powerful positions spoke against it. In fact, many went on record saying that it would create more problems then it would solve. Did it? Here are the facts.

In her wonderful and well documented book entitled, Do-Gooders How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim To Help (And The Rest Of Us) (Sentinel 2004), Mona Charen records the following.

“When it became clear that President Clinton was ‘going wobbly’ on welfare reform, liberals sent in reinforcements to buck him up. The National Organization for Women (NOW) organized a vigil outside the White House to urge the president to veto the legislation. ‘Millions more will swell the ranks of the poor and hungry as a result of this bill,’ predicted NOW president Patricia Ireland.

“’With 4 to 10 million children scheduled to be cut from the nation’s welfare rolls in the next seven years through caps on AFDC and Supplemental Security Income, two major assistance programs, [Los Angeles County child welfare official Peter] Digre predicts that Los Angeles will see more than 17,000 new cases of child abuse due to poverty and family stress,’ reposted Time magazine.”

Other people “in the know” carped as well. I’ll spare you the agony by mentioning only the names of those who spoke against this sacred cow. Here’s the list: Tom Brokaw, Sam Donaldson, Dan Rather, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Representative Charles Rangel, Robert Greenstein, Senator John Kerry, and Senator Hillary Clinton. (There were many more, but I wanted to keep my comments to two pages.) So, what really happened?

Charen writes, “Welfare reform did of course become law in 1996. Since that time, every wild prediction the liberals made has been proved false. Poverty did not increase by millions; instead, it has fallen precipitously. Women and children are not sleeping under bridges; instead, millions of women have found jobs that give them a sense of pride and help them reach the first step on the economic ladder. Since 1996, welfare rolls have been reduced by 60 percent. The poverty rate has declined from 13.8 percent in 1995 to 11.7 percent in 2003. Some 3.5 million fewer Americans are poor today than in 1995, including 2.3 million children. Poverty among African American children has reached its lowest point in history. Hunger among children has been reduced by half.” I could go on and on and on. But, I won’t.

Did any of the important people listed above recant their stand against reform once they determined the facts? Again Charen writes, “Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton grudgingly acknowledged that ‘we have a lot to celebrate,’ but added, ‘I don’t think that’s the end of the discussion.’ Even as late as 2001, when the dramatic effects of welfare reform were quite undeniable, Barbara Ehrenreich would say only that there ‘were some success stories…But overall, it’s a sad story.’ Jason de Parle, the New York Times reporter who had covered the welfare debate for five years, admits that he was surprised by the outcome, though, unlike most liberals who averted their eyes from the good news, he did not…” You can read the book.

Now why would I write a paper like this? Why would I, a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, write (with an obvious bias) against a government entitlement program—welfare—when it provides money to the poor? May I go on record? I denounce any government program that enslaves people. Many disabled and impoverished people need help. Welfare was designed to help them. It does; however, welfare has been abused to perpetuate dependency, break up the family unit it was suppose to preserve, and has taxed heavily the working poor. This, to me, is criminal. Why? Because the Bible clearly states that people who are capable of working, should work to support their own.

I’ll leave you with a few scriptures to look over: I Timothy 5: 8 “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (NASB).

I Thessalonians 4: 11-12 , “and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, (12) so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need” (NASB).

Keep the faith. Stay the course. And until Jesus comes for us, keep your day job and support your own. This is honorable, and God wills it so.


Pastor T. dash.

About the Author

Pastors a church in Oklahoma.


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