US states are making drastic cuts to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. The TANF is a welfare program financed by block grants to states from the federal government. In 1996 the creators of TANF assured that a TANF Contingency Fund would be available to provide help to people during economic declines however that funding was all used up December of 2010. Recently, the US has slashed funding for the TANF program, which is leaving seven hundred thousand families facing harsher economic difficulties because of the cuts.
Because of these TANF cuts, the government estimates that twenty-five percent of American children will be living in poverty shortly. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) reported areas of cuts made by the states. The first is that monthly cash assistance benefits have been cut in many states, which has pushed thousands of families deeper into poverty. Secondly, the time limits for receiving TANF benefits have been shortened. In California and Arizona, families used to receive benefits for 60 months but now these states have shortened it to only 18 months.
Because these cuts are being implemented by both democratic and republican governors as well as the federal government, the author feels that it’s an overall strategy of the ruling elite to eliminate whatever social gains have been made since the early twentieth century.
Article Title: Cuts in U.S. Welfare programs hit hundreds of thousands of poor families.
Source: World Socialist Web Site/May 30, 2011
Author: James Brewer
Student Researcher: Claire Lueders, Sonoma State University
Faculty Evaluator: James Dean, Sonoma State University