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There is a strong moral case for welfare reform. Welfare binds the poor with the soft chains of good intentions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that there are 5.7 million job openings, but also reports that there are 7.1 million unemployed in our country. A compassionate response to the unemployed is not meager payouts every month to keep them alive. Genuine compassion means focusing on getting every level of government out of the way and creating conditions in which these 7.1 million unemployed individuals can get into those 5.7 million job openings, take pride in their work, help others by being productive citizens, and flourish.
The Clinton administration understood this, and recognized how government handouts threatened the ability and drive of people to succeed. In 1992, Bill Clinton promised to “end welfare as we have come to know it.” He followed through on his campaign promise when he signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act into law on August 22, 1996.