Scott Winship, Walter B. Wriston Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, joined Federalist Radio to talk about his latest report, “Poverty After Welfare Reform,” that looks at poverty in America 20 years after the landmark antipoverty reform act passed.
With so many types of government programs and benefits going in different directions, it can be difficult to tell what’s actually working. “In 2014 there were fewer kids who were poor, even if you don’t count any cash or non-cash benefits from the government. Few poor children than there were in 1996 when you count all cash benefits including welfare,” Winship said. “So that says to me it was earnings and work.”
Winship said there are elements to poverty that we still aren’t sure how to address such as single parenthood and out-of-wedlock births. “Why not just provide a very clear financial incentive for people to delay their childbearing until after their married and so I’ve proposed a fairly big increase in child tax credit for married couples,” he said.