The History of Welfare in America Essays

2746 Words11 Pages
Welfare has been a safety net for many Americans, when the alternative for them is going without food and shelter. Over the years, the government has provided income for the unemployed, food assistance for the hungry, and health care for the poor. The federal government in the nineteenth century started to provide minimal benefits for the poor. During the twentieth century the United States federal government established a more substantial welfare system to help Americans when they most needed it. In 1996, welfare reform occurred under President Bill Clinton and it significantly changed the structure of welfare. Social Security has gone through significant change from FDR’s signing of the program into law to President George W. Bush’s…show more content…
In his State of the Union speech on January 4, 1935, President Roosevelt told Congress that it was necessary to create federal unemployment and old-age pension program, as well as benefits for single mothers and poor children. On August 18, 1935, President Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act. This was a federal retirement program for people over the age of sixty-five, and it also created unemployment insurance. In 1936, Aid to Families with Dependent Children was created to provide money to single mothers with children. In 1964, Congress approved a food stamp program to low income households. In 1965, Medicaid was created to provide health insurance for the poor, elderly, and disabled. In 1974, the Supplemental Security Income program was established. In 1996, the U.S. Congress passed a law and President Clinton signed it, which gave the states primary control regarding welfare, ending sixty-one years of federal control (Trattner 273-304). Over the years, welfare programs have often been criticized. Critics of the welfare program argue too many people abuse the program. They state people who are not actively looking for work should not be receiving welfare checks. Critics cite the classic example of the unemployed mother who is receiving food stamps and monthly social security unemployment benefits as a serious problem to the welfare system. The program which received the most criticism was Aid to

More about The History of Welfare in America Essays

Open Document