The success of welfare reform

Twenty years ago Monday — on Aug. 22, 1996 — President Bill Clinton signed a welfare reform bill that he hailed as the fulfillment of his campaign promise to "end welfare as we know it." At the heart of it were two new rules: Recipients were required to seek work, and they were subject to time limits. The central goal was to reduce poverty and its associated ills by averting long-term dependency.

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act could be seen merely as an effort to save money. More important, though, was fostering the self-respect and independence that go with holding down a job and proving one's economic value. The old welfare system, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, didn't do those — one reason it was widely deplored.

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How to restore the middle class

Bernie Sanders got the ball rolling, forcing Hillary Clinton to mimic much of his stance on free trade and free trade agreements. It wasn't too long ago that Clinton was extolling the Trans-Pacific Partnership as the gold standard for trade pacts. As Sanders' position swayed Democrat

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