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The Right's Campaign Against Welfare

by Lucy A. Williams and Jean Hardisty[1]

In 1996, then-President Bill Clinton betrayed many of his supporters when he signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) - the "welfare reform" bill. The class, racial and gender assumptions reflected in that bill, as well as its devastating consequences, seemed at odds with the Democratic Party's stated commitment to low-income adults and children. Why would a Democratic President assent to the punitive conditions that the welfare reform bill imposed on the poor?

The answer, of course, begins well before 1996 and is quite complex. In fact, exploring its roots is a case study in how the Right, as a political and social movement, constructed an ideological critique and a policy agenda that was mainstreamed and incorporated into the liberal agenda, culminating in the rollback of a centerpiece of the U.S. social safety net.

Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) or "welfare" was a New Deal program, enacted in 1935 as part of the Social Security Act. But it was always a program that differentiated among its recipients based on race. In its early years it served primarily white widows and their children, who were seen as the "deserving" poor. Gradually, the welfare rolls became predominantly single mothers and their children. States had wide discretion to determine eligibility and many states conditioned the receipt of welfare on the sexual morality of the mother, using "suitable home" and "man in the house" rules to disqualify many African American single mothers.[2] In the 1960s, as a result of the civil rights movement, welfare rights organizing, and several Supreme Court decisions striking down state mandates, the rolls were opened to African American women, whose number increased by about 15 percent between 1965 and 1971.[3]

Although the vast majority of those receiving welfare continued to be white, it was this increase in African American welfare recipients that triggered the Right's focus on welfare as a magnet to unite various sectors of the Right. The Old Right developed a critique of AFDC that linked it with street crime, busing, deteriorating neighborhoods, and centralization of power in the hands of the federal government. That critique was a central theme in Senator Barry Goldwater's 1964 presidential campaign and in Old Right publications such as those of the John Birch Society and the influential right-wing publication Human Events. [4]

The racism in the Right's rhetoric of this period was blatant in many subject areas, including welfare. Thus laziness and immorality were frequently explicitly tied to an image of AFDC recipients as African American, e.g., the immoral sexual practices of a "growing horde of lazy Negros" living off the public dole, or "the unmarried Negro women who make a business of producing children...for the purpose of securing this easy welfare money."[5] Goldwater stated that welfare "transforms the individual...into a dependent animal creature," evoking traditional European American caricatures of African Americans.[6] Others argued that distribution of welfare was designed to buy votes at the taxpayer's expense, with the implication that recipients were African American voters.[7] As the civil rights movement gained momentum, the Old Right increasingly linked War on Poverty and Great Society welfare programs with urban riots and communist agitation.[8] In more respectable political circles, Daniel Patrick Moynihan's "Report On the Black Family" added fuel to the Right's critique by arguing that African American male unemployment was caused by the breakup of the Black family, which he correlated with increases in African American AFDC cases.[9]

The Rise of the New Right

With Barry Goldwater's decisive defeat in 1964 and the gradual successes of the civil rights movement, the Old Right's explicit racism and conspiracy-minded anti-communism declined in popularity. Membership in the John Birch Society dropped and the influence of liberal Democrats over social welfare policies increased. However, quietly and somewhat out of the public spotlight, a sector of rightist intellectuals known as neoconservatives built on Moynihan's work to develop an analysis of an African American "underclass" whose social pathologies were aggravated by welfare programs. These intellectuals, led by Irving Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, and Midge Dector, and including Nathan Glazer and Daniel Bell, clustered around The Public Interest, the leading neoconservative publication. While publishing more moderate discussions of the welfare system than those of Human Events, some articles reinforced the erroneous impression that the majority of AFDC recipients were African American and played to white anger.[10] Associated with the image of welfare receipt as primarily a Black phenomenon was the debilitating effect of welfare.[11]

Simultaneously, a core group of right-wing Republican activists whose roots lay in Old Right electoral politics - including Paul Weyrich, Howard Phillips, and Richard Viguerie - were building a new "revolutionary" right-wing movement.[12] Stung by Goldwater's defeat and opposed to the social service programs created by liberals, they adopted "family values" as their central theme and methodically set out in the early 1970s to pull the Republican Party to the Right and eventually capture it altogether. Calling themselves the New Right, they replaced the more simplistic Old Right analysis of biological Black racial inferiority with the New Right analysis that emphasized social pathology and psychological irresponsibility in the African American community.[13] Human Events articles described recipients as ‘bums, parasites and leeches," and discussed recipient fraud and immorality.[14]

The New Right's leadership, including its funders, specialized in building public policy-generating think tanks where a vision, the message to popularize the vision, and the policy to deliver the vision could be systematically developed. In its early days, the New Right's vision was heavily borrowed from that of neoconservatives. New Right think tanks and publications promoted the view of the Black community as culturally vulnerable to pathologies, which were aggravated by AFDC and other welfare programs.[15] Black conservative intellectuals drifted to these think tanks and were supported and published by them. Walter Williams, arguably the "father" of Black conservatism, wrote passionately on the harmful effects on the Black community of welfare programs.[16]

Rightist authors such as Martin Anderson at the Hoover Institution refined the Right's critique by directly attacking liberal arguments for welfare. In his 1978 book simply titled Welfare, he argued that poverty statistics were "faulty," that there are few poor people in the United States, and that welfare destroys the incentive to participate in wage work.[17] The dubious social science research of two right-wing scholars, Charles Murray and George Gilder, augmented the ideological groundwork of neoconservative intellectuals.[18] Heavily supported by right-wing think tanks and fellowships, Murray and Gilder developed the statistical "proof" that welfare was a failure and that it created dependency and pathology. [19]

Early in the 1970s, Ronald Reagan, then governor of California, had relied on many of these ideas in his California welfare reform scheme. Reagan argued that welfare should be under state and local control and proposed a "belt-tightening" welfare reform program that was described as "a program that would save nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars, put many welfare recipients to work and eliminate the chiselers."[20] Charles Hobbs, a principal architect of Reagan's welfare reform plan, pointed to another theme of the Right's analysis of welfare: that it unfairly forces the conscientious working family man to subsidize the support of "his welfare-collecting neighbor."[21] In California, mobilizing the resentment of those who do not receive welfare against those who do was a key organizing tactic used by the Right in promoting welfare reform. Nearly a decade later, Reagan would take his California formula to the federal level.

Throughout the 1970s, conservative Christians were emerging as a political force. Long-established as a subculture and a community of belief, conservative evangelical Christians had only sporadically been involved in politics. But spurred to action by the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, the banning of prayer in schools, and an increase in militant organizing by lesbian and gay organizations, conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists were ready to be mobilized by young ambitious leaders such as Rev. Jerry Falwell. The New Right's theme of traditional family values resonated vividly in this community. In the 1970s, conservative Christian evangelicals began the journey that made them, by century's end, the most disciplined voting block within the Republican Party.

The Right's welfare reform agenda, developed between the 1960s and the signing of the welfare reform bill in 1996, fits neatly into its larger agenda: devolving control of public policy to the state level; defeating liberalism and its social safety net programs; and unleashing the "free market" as the great provider of prosperity for all hardworking Americans. At the center of this agenda is the traditional (Christian) family and its traditional values, one in which the role of the wife and mother is tightly conscribed, but racially determined. The role for "good" (visualize white married) women is to be a stay-at-home Mom and homemaker.[22] As the new image of welfare recipient is constructed as African American, the role for single mothers - assumed to have loose morals, low work ethic, and self-destructive behavior habits - is to be in the workforce.[23] The Right constructed welfare as the cause of poverty, illegitimacy, crime, and sexual depravity. Having made that profoundly inaccurate argument, the remaining job was to sell it to the American people.

The Role of The Welfare Queen

The election of Ronald Reagan in 1980 officially ended any influence by liberals over social policy. Flying the banner of the New Right rather than the Old Right, Reagan brought the program of welfare reform he had promoted in California to Washington. Rightist think tanks became influential players, generating welfare policy proposals for the Reagan Administration. The Heritage Foundation and The Hoover Institution were only two of the panoply of think tanks that earned the Reagan administration the title "the think tank presidency." Robert Rector, Heritage's man on welfare policy, was one of the most influential policy players in the "welfare reform" process. Reagan himself, however, made a vital contribution with his promotion of a vicious stereotype he labeled "the welfare queen."

In the 1970s, the debate over welfare occurred among intellectuals, those interested in public policy, and policy practitioners directly involved in the welfare system. But in order for the Right to popularize its anti-welfare message in the 1980s, it needed a more basic message that built anger and resentment toward welfare recipients. The image needed to capture the "moral depravity" created by welfare, the way that welfare supposedly led women to have multiple children out of wedlock and then raise them in poverty, resulting in a generation of criminal adults. It needed to bolster the assertion that welfare recipients abused drugs and cheated the system. That image was the stereotype of the "welfare queen."

Reagan repeatedly used an inaccurate story of a Black "welfare queen" in Chicago to explain his anti-welfare position. He told the story - to voters, members of Congress, and even foreign leaders - of a Chicago welfare recipient named Linda Taylor, who was convicted in 1977 for fraud and perjury involving $8,000 in welfare checks. In Reagan's telling of the story, however, Taylor cleverly worked the system so that she gained a tax-free income of more than $150,000.[24] This image of the cheating Black woman getting rich off the public's tax dollars reinforced the Right's drive to separate the deserving from the undeserving poor and demonize those labeled "undeserving." In this formulation, the race of the undeserving recipient was simply an accident of circumstance.

But the Right's argument against welfare was based on more than the racist demonization of the "welfare queen." It rested equally on the inaccurate assertion that there was a "crisis of illegitimacy" in the Black community. By highlighting this so-called crisis and associating it with welfare, welfare opponents could assume a mantle of caring and concern for the health of the community. Charles Murray was the most prominent promoter of the Black crisis of illegitimacy, though he was simply building on Daniel Patrick Moynihan 1965 Report on the Black Family. He was also an early proponent of the assertion that receipt of welfare was an incentive to bear children.[25]

When Ronald Reagan assumed the presidency in 1981, he immediately propelled through Congress major welfare provisions contained in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. These provisions revised the way in which earned income was calculated, removed many work incentives for AFDC recipients, and made most wage-earning recipients ineligible for welfare payments. This left many of the working poor economically poorer than they had been when they received supplemental AFDC and Medicaid. But subsequent efforts by the Administration to win Congressional approval for its California-style plan to give the states complete control over the administration of welfare programs failed.[26]

To get around that lack of Congressional approval, the Reagan administration created a system of federal "waivers."[27] A waiver is a grant of "permission" by the federal government for states to ignore specific federal requirements in programs that are partially federally funded. Waivers allowed states to experiment with various aspects of "welfare reform." Most waivers granted exemptions that allowed a state to terminate previously eligible welfare recipients. This encouraged experimentation with various welfare reform policy ideas, including policies intended to control and punish the behavior of welfare recipients. In 1990, then-Governor Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin, who would go on to become Secretary of Health and Human Services in the George W. Bush Administration, was one of the first to use the waiver system when he obtained a waiver for Wisconsin's Learnfare program.[28] The program reduced AFDC benefits for families whose teenagers failed to attend a sufficient number of days of school. Subsequent waivers allowed the denial of increased AFDC benefits for children born while the mother was receiving AFDC (known as "Family Cap" or "Child Exclusion"). To speed the review and granting of waivers, the Reagan Administration established the Low Income Opportunity Advisory Board (LIOAB).[29] According to Stuart Butler of the Heritage Foundation, "[t]hough the Board has attracted scant press and public attention since its creation in 1987, it is one of the most important gains for federalism in recent years." [30]

Throughout the Reagan and George Bush, Sr., Administrations, right-wing "experts" kept up a drumbeat of articles, statistics, and radio and TV appearances. Decrying the disintegration of the family and the resulting crime and pathological behavior in the Black community, they linked this degrading image of inner city communities to the effects of welfare and the immoral and cheating habits of welfare recipients.

At the turn of the decade, a number of right-wing spokespersons were articulating a new theory of "empowering the poor," freeing the poor from the shackles of their poverty and the demoralization of bureaucratic control through federal government incentives. As the threat of communism ebbed as an issue around which the Right could effectively mobilize, the Right adopted a particularly American value-oriented brand of populism, with welfare as a central wedge issue. As a result of a decade of message development, the Right was able to augment the justification for the elimination of federal social programs; they should be defunded not simply because they tax our pay checks, but because they destroy recipients' character. [31]

Poverty and Personal Responsibility

The election of President Bill Clinton in 1992 held the promise of the rehabilitation of the image of the welfare recipient. Clinton aligned himself with the gains of the civil rights movement, while holding centrist positions on economic issues. He was counted as a friend to poor people and people of color. While a central campaign slogan was "ending welfare as we know it," Clinton's proposals for "welfare reform" built largely on David Ellwood's ideas in his book, Poor Support. These ideas included substantial revenue investments in education, training, and job supports, as well as job creation.[32] It seemed unlikely that his Administration would pursue a punitive attack on welfare recipients.

But the Right's analysis of poverty and the role of welfare in perpetuating poverty was now both widespread and embraced by the American public. To help mobilize that public support, in 1993 Charles Murray kicked off what amounted to a right-wing media blitz against AFDC with an editorial in the Wall Street Journal, claiming a runaway epidemic of illegitimacy in the Black community.[33] Murray followed up with multiple appearances on TV and radio talk shows, and was later joined on the media circuit by William Bennett, a Heritage Foundation fellow, neoconservative Irving Kristol, Heritage's Robert Rector and other right-wing strategists and scholars.[34]

When a Republican majority took control of Congress in 1994, political pressure to pass a welfare reform bill mounted. In fact, the passage of such a bill was the third of ten items listed in the Republican Contract with America, effectively and widely touted by Speaker Newt Gingrich during the 1994 Congressional elections. Congressional Republicans introduced the Welfare Reform Act of 1994, sponsored by then-Senator Robert Dole (R-KS) and 15 other Senators, which was to become the PRWORA.

Ninety-eight Democrats in the House of Representatives and 25 Democrats in the Senate supported the PRWORA. Bill Clinton, a Democratic President whose approval ratings had slid alarmingly during his first two years in office, signed it in his fourth year. With the passage of the PRWORA, AFDC was replaced by time-limited Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF). Public approval for the bill undoubtedly explains some of the Democratic support for the PRWORA. However, the Right's campaign against welfare, stretching over nearly two decades, also played a crucial role in its passage.

During the political build-up to the signing of PRWORA, the Right further developed and highlighted its earlier assertions of an epidemic of illegitimacy, widespread abuse in the welfare system, and generations of permanent welfare recipients in the same family. These inaccuracies went almost unchallenged in the media and even by many Democrats. No amount of correction and clarification of the Right's inaccuracies and misrepresentations could dent public support for welfare reform. For example, in a 1994 press release, seventy-six social scientists with varying political viewpoints issued a joint statement that previous research does not support the conclusion that welfare is a primary cause of rising non-marital births.[35] Yet a White House Report issued soon after this press release maintained that:

Statistical evidence does not prove those suppositions [that welfare benefits are an incentive to bear children]; and yet, even the most casual observer of public assistance programs understands there is indeed some relationship between the availability of welfare and the inclination of many young women to bear fatherless children.[36]

Michael Lind, in his book Up from Conservatism, has pointed out that sociologist Charles Murray's statistics on the "dramatic increases in Black illegitimacy" were an artifact of an entirely different development in the African American community.[37] While Murray enflamed popular opinion by touting that "[i]llegitimacy has now reached 68 percent of births to black women. In inner cities, the figure is typically in excess of 80 percent.",[38] Lind points out that four-fifths of the increase in African American illegitimate births as a proportion of overall African American births is explained by an increase in married employed African American women deciding to have fewer children. An examination of the rate of babies born to unwed African American teenagers remains virtually unchanged from 1920 through 1990.[39]

But the Right's analysis, based on misinformation, blatant distortions, and racial stereotypes, carried the day in 1996 and persists after the passage of the PRWORA. In 1995 the Cato Institute, a right-wing libertarian think tank based in Washington, DC, issued a report claiming that welfare paid more than a low-wage job in every state in the nation.[40] However, in its calculations, Cato researchers counted as income programs such as WIC and housing assistance, which the vast majority of welfare recipients did not receive.[41]

Similarly, the myth of widespread permanent welfare status proved equally impossible to correct. Numerous reports and studies demonstrated that welfare was a transient state for most recipients and that it served primarily as a temporary safety net during financial crisis caused by job loss or family crisis.[42]

Misinformation and stereotypes persist in the popular imagination and right-wing think tanks continue to press for ever-more punitive measures against the poor. In the Heritage Foundation's Candidate's Briefing Book called Issues 2000, Robert Rector repeats the same distortions that have built support for welfare reform in the past. He asserts that there is little material poverty in the United States, as the public generally understands the term, never mentioning the burgeoning homeless population. He maintains that illegitimacy in the Black community has skyrocketed as a percentage of overall births, never discussing the decrease in the birth-rate among married African American women. And in his four point program for expanding welfare reform, he emphasizes first and foremost "fostering marriage" through various government funded pro-marriage initiatives, including: governmental affirmation of the institution of marriage, short-term pro-marriage counseling programs, mandatory pro-marriage mentoring programs within TANF and Medicaid, and a government funded pro-marriage public advertising campaign.[43] Ironically, while calling for less government interference in our lives, the Heritage Foundation, in this case, advocates virtual behavior modification. In fact the pro-marriage program is consistent with Rector's belief, stated elsewhere, that welfare reform should focus on a "behavioral content" approach to aid for the poor. He sees soup kitchens and food banks as paradigmatic examples of the "permissive entitlement" philosophy of welfare - the core of the "problem" of welfare programs. Behavioral content-based programs are based on the assumption that the expressed need of the recipient is not necessarily authentic and a "one-way" handout is not constructive.[44]

It remains to be seen whether the elected members of Congress will have the will or the ability to reexamine the flawed process that led to the passage and signing of the PRWORA and seize the opportunity to correct it. If instead, they perpetuate the Right's disdainful view of welfare recipients and re-authorize or even extend the punitive policies of PRWORA, the demonization of the poor and the shredding of the social safety net will continue apace.


Lucy A. Williams is a Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law in Boston. She has published and lectured widely in the area of welfare law and poverty. (Beacon Press, 1999).


[1] This article is based on a more extensive report by Lucy Williams, Decades of Distortion: The Right's 30-Year Assault on Welfare (Somerville, MA: Political Research Associates, December, 1997).

[2] "Alabama denied AFDC payments to the children of any mother cohabiting in or outside her home with a single or married able-bodied man; in Louisiana, any home in which an illegitimate child was born subsequent to the receipt of public assistance was considered unsuitable, and the children in that home were denied benefits." King v. Smith, 392 U.S. 309, 311, 322 (1962). For a discussion of the racial implications of these policies, see Mimi Abramovitz, Regulating the Lives of Women: Social Welfare Policy From Colonial Times to the Present 318-19, 323-27 (1989); Michael B. Katz, The Undeserving Poor 253 (1989); Frances Fox Piven & Richard A. Cloward, Regulating the Poor: The Functions of Public Welfare 138-145 (1971); Winifred Bell, Aid to Dependent Children 34-35 (1965); Charles A. Reich, Individual Rights and Social Welfare: The Emerging Legal Issues, 74 Yale L.J. 1245, 1246-51 (1965); Charles A. Reich, Midnight Welfare Searches and the Social Security Act, 72 Yale L.J. 11347(?) (1963).

[3] Irwin Garfinkel & Sara S. McLanahan, Single Mothers and Their Children: A New American Dilemma 55-57 (1986); Katz, supra note 2, at 267; Joel F. Handler & Yeheskel Hasenfeld, The Moral Construction of Poverty: Welfare Reform in America 117-18 (1991).

[4] Barry Goldwater, Wanted: A More Conservative GOP, Human Events, Feb. 18, 1960, Section II, at 2 ("programs of the welfare staters are ... an assault upon the dignity of the individual--designed to rob him of his independence, lessen his ability and his will to be self-sufficient, limit his opportunity, guide and determine his course in this world."); Goldwater, The Conscience of a Conservative 69 (1960) (hereinafter "Conscience") ("The collectivists have not abandoned their ultimate goal--to subordinate the individual to the State--but their strategy has changed. They have learned that Socialism can be achieved through Welfarism quite as well as through Nationalization."). Also see: John Birch Society Bulletin, September, 196l, at 6 (stating that governmental welfare programs led to "the subsidization of illegitimacy, laziness, and political corruption."); and Charles Mohr, Goldwater Links the Welfare State to Rise in Crime, New York Times, September 11, 1964, at A1.

[5] Jonathon Martin Kolkey, The New Right, 1960-1968 with Epilogue, 1969-1980 54, citing to Rockwell Report, February 1, 1963, at 4; Marilyn R. Allen, Kingdom Digest, August, 1960, as quoted in the Beacon-Light Herald, March-April 1961, at 33 ("All official statistics prove the uncleanness of the Negro race as a race, both as to contagious disease, sex lust, and criminal inclinations." Id.).

[6] Barry Goldwater, Conscience, supra note 4, at 73.

[7] Manchester Union Leader, as quoted in Destiny, Dec. 1962, at 244 ("constant pandering to the negro vote")' Kolkey, supra note Error! Bookmark not defined., at 158, citing to Storm Trooper, Sep.-Oct. 1964, at 31 ("almost every last one of our cowardly, demagogic politicians kisses black fannies for Black votes.").

[8] Sedition Case Dismissed, Human Events, Sept. 23, 1967 at 4 (reporting that sedition indictment of poverty program organizer had been quashed because of a finding of unconstitutionality of the statute, although the grand jury had charged that a "well-organized and well-financed effort is being made to promote and spread the Communistic theory"); OEO Against Flag Pledge?, Human Events, Sept. 9, 1967 at 4 (reporting that Head Start program was discontinuing pledge of allegiance as part of its youth program); Capital Briefs, Human Events, July 6, 1968 at 2 (Offices of poverty program in New York are lined with pictures of Karl Marx, LeRoi Jones, and "advocate of violence" Tom Hayden); Reds Use OEO, Human Events, July 20, 1968 at 4 ("Appearing before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, [Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Ed] Montgomery told how Cassandra Davis, Midwest representative of the W.E.B. Dubois Clubs, and Roscoe Proctor, Communist party functionary, used OEO-financed facilities to raise money to send demonstrators to the Poor People's Campaign in Washington"). See also: Capital Briefs, Human Events, Sept. 3, 1966 at 2. Anti-poverty employees are reported as participating in street demonstration, including a Neighborhood Youth Corps employee who is quoted as being paid to participate. Id. The Strange Case of the Telescopic Sights, Human Events, Sept. 2, 1967 at 9 (reporting purchase of high-powered rifle scopes by Houston anti-poverty agency, and stating that "in several cities employees of the ‘War on Poverty' outfits have acted as agitators in major riots and insurrections..."). George Wiley, director of the Poverty Rights Action Center, is quoted as stating, "If this country does not listen to poor people after what happened in Detroit and Newark and New Haven, you haven't seen nothing yet." Welfare Recipients Stage Noisy Washington Rally, Human Events, Sept. 9, 1967 at 8o we cite to this again now?) (hereinafter Welfare Recipients). Capital Briefs, Human Events, Sept. 23, 1967 at 2.

[9] Office of Policy Planning and Research, U.S. Dept. of Labor, The Negro Family: The Case for National Action (1965).

[10] Edwin Kuh, A Basis for Welfare Reform, 15 Public Interest 112, 116 (1969) ("Much of the white backlash, centered in the ranks of blue-collar workers, has been of this character. ‘Why,' such workers ask, ‘should they (the poor Blacks) make nearly as much money as I do without working while we have to work?'")

[11] Peter F. Drucker, The Sickness of Government, 14 Public Interest 3, 14 (1969); Edward C. Banfield, Welfare: A Crisis Without "Solutions," 16 Public Interest 89, 94 (1969); Martin Kilson, Black Social Classes and Intergenerational Poverty, 64 Public Interest 58 (1981). Edward C. Banfield, Welfare: A Crisis Without "Solutions," 16 Public Interest 89, 94 (1969).

[12] Jean Hardisty, Mobilizing Resentment: Conservative Resurgence from the John Birch Society to the Promise Keepers 38-39 (Boston: Beacon Press, 1999). See also Alan Crawford, Thunder on the Right 39 (1980).

[13] E.g., Henry Marshall, The Poverty Peddlers, Human Events, July 17, 1971 at 10.

[14] Al Capp, The Day the Welfare Stopped, Human Events, March 27, 1971 at 12; Capital Briefs, Human Events, June 16, 1973 at 2; Welfare figures Undercut Argument for FAP, Human Events, Sept. 11, 1971 at 3 ("In Baltimore, officials became suspicious when some recipients began picking up their checks in Cadillacs."); John Chamberlain, An "Alimony Law" forWelfare?, Human Events, June 13, 1971 at 17.

[15] Douglas J. Besharov, What We Know About Targeting Long Term Welfare Recipients and What To Do About It, paper prepared for the Rockefeller Foundation Conference on Welfare Reform, Williamsburg, Virginia, February 16-19, 1988; Don Feder, Poverty: A State of the Human Mind, Conservative Chronicle, March 11, 1987 at 19; Charles D. Hobbs, Mickey Kaus, Charles Murray- a "discussion" moderated by Virginia Postrel, Working on Welfare: How to Reform the System, Reason, April 1994 at 23-39; Jennifer E. Marshall, Observations About America's Welfare Crisis, At The Podium, undated; Robert Rector, Strategies for Welfare Reform, Heritage Lectures, No. 378, April 9, 1992; Robert Rector, Combating Family Disintegration, Crime, and Dependence: Welfare Reform and Beyond, The Heritage Foundation's Backgrounder No. 983, March 17, 1995; Michael Novak, The Crisis of the Welfare State Crisis, July-August 1993 at 4-7; Michael Tanner, Ending Welfare As We Know It, Policy Analysis, July 7, 1994; Walter Williams, Getting Serious About Welfare, Conservative Chronicle January 7, 1987 at 18.

[16] Walter E. Williams, Government Sanctioned Restraints that Reduce Economic Opportunities for Minorities, 2 Policy Review 7 (1977), pp. 10-19.

[17] Martin Anderson, WELFARE 24-5, 31, 43-58 (1978),

[18] Charles Murray, Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950-1980 (1984); George Gilder, The Coming Welfare Crisis, Policy Review, No. 11 (1980), p. 25; George Gilder, Wealth and Poverty (1981). For a critique, see, e.g., Robert Greenstein, Losing Faith in Losing Ground, New Republic, March 25, 1985, at 14; Christopher Jencks, How Poor Are the Poor?, New York Review of Books, May 5, 1985, at 41.

[19] The Manhattan Institute hired a public relations expert to run the "Murray campaign," spent $15,000 to send 700 free copies of the book to "influential politicians, academics, and journalists," booked Murray on talk shows, and paid a $500-1500 honoraria to "intellectuals and journalists influential in policy circles" who attended a seminar on Murray's ideas. Michael B. Katz, The Undeserving Poor 152 (1989); Fred Block et al., The Mean Season: The Attack on the Welfare State 51(1987); Michael Lind, UP FROM CONSERVATISM: WHY THE RIGHT IS WRONG FOR AMERICA (NY: Simon and Schuster, 1996), pp. 179,182; James Allen Smith, The Idea Brokers: Think Tanks and the Rise of the Newe Policy Elite 192 (1991).

[20] Reagan Points Way to Welfare Reform, Human Events, March 13, 1971 at 4.

[21] Hobbs was Chief Deputy Director of Social Welfare in California from 1970-2 and a member of the California Governor's Tax Reduction Task Force from 1972-3. Charles D. Hobbs, The Welfare Industry inside cover, 9, 69 (1978).

[22] Phyllis Schlafly, Essays on Feminism Versus Feminine, Phyllis Schlafly Report, Dec. 1982, at 1-4; Facing the Future: Family vs. Feminism, Phyllis Schlafly Report, April 1990 at 1; George Gilder, supra note 18at 127.

[23] Senator Russell Long, in debating bills mandating work requirements for welfare recipients, drew the classic Right's distinction between Senate (white) wives and welfare recipients, when he said:

We will do everything that the mind of man can conceive of to help put these people to constructive work - for the first time in their lives for many of them and, for that matter, for the first time in the lives of the fathers and mothers of many of them.... [T]here are people right in this building who hire 15- and 16-year-old children as baby-sitters to give their wives a much-deserved evening out from time to time. If these children, in that age bracket, can very constructively and usefully do work themselves, there is no reason why they should be seized upon as an excuse for their mothers to do nothing.... [T]here is no reason why the mother should not do what other women do when they find themselves widows, or find themselves alone, with the necessity to support a child - do something to support themselves, rather than rely on society entirely to support them.

1134 Cong. Rec. 33, 542 (1967) (statement of Sen. Long).

[24] Lind, supra note 19 at 192-193. For its enduring effect, see Clarence Page, This Drug Crackdown Targets Color, Chicago Tribune, Dec. 31, 1989, at 3 ("...Reagan...put a black and urban face on [poverty] from the time he campaigned against "welfare queens" in 1980 and the stereotypes are reinforced almost daily by television images of ghetto gang wars and drug busts.").

[25] Murray, supra note 18 at 154-65, 167.

[26] George E. Peterson et al., The Reagan Block Grants: What Have We Learned? (1986); David S. Broder & Spencer Rich, Block Grant Plan Would Replace U.S. Welfare Payments, Washington Post, Aug. 13, 1981, at A1. Linda E. Demkovich, Political, Budget Pressures Sidetrack Plan for Turning AFDC Over to States, 13 Nat'l J. 1671 (1981).

[27] Ronald Reagan, Address on the State of the Union 6 (Jan. 27, 1987) (transcript available from the Bureau of Nat'l Affairs, Inc.).

[28] Lucy A. Williams, "The Abuse of Section 1115 Waivers: Welfare Reform in Search of a Standard" (YALE LAW AND POLICY REVIEW, vol. 12, no. 1, 1994), p. 18.

[29] The White House, The Interagency Low Income Opportunity Advisory Board Procedures for Coordination and Review of State Welfare Reform Demonstration Proposals and Waiver Requests (Nov. 30, 1987). For a summary of the waivers processed by LIOAB during 1987-88, see Michael E. Fishman & Daniel H. Weinberg, The Role of Evaluation in State Welfare Reform Waiver Demonstrations, in Evaluating Welfare and Training Programs 119 (Charles F. Manski & Irwin Garfinkel, eds. 1992). Summaries of all waivers in 1991 and 1992 are contained in Michael Wiseman, The New State Welfare Initiatives 13-18, 30-33 (The Institute for Research on Poverty & The Robert M. LaFollette Institution of Public Affairs, Discussion Paper No. 1002-93, 1993); Jodie Levin-Epstein and Mark Greenberg, Center for Law and Social Policy, The Rush to Reform: 1992 State AFDC Legislative and Waiver Actions 1 (1992); Center on Social Welfare Policy and Law, Report on AFDC § 1115 Applications Submitted to HHS From January 1992-January 1993 (Pub. No. 169, 1993).

[30] Stuart M. Butler, How the White House Spurs Welfare Reform, 705 The Heritage Foundation's Backgrounder, May 4, 1989, p. 10.

[31] Robert Shogan, The Right Seeks New Purpose, Los Angeles Times, July 4, 1990, A1, at A24 (quoting American Conservative Union's David Keene, Heritage's Stuart Butler, and Paul Weyrich). See also Richard Cimino, "Religious Right Agenda is Basis of New Party," St. Petersburg Times, July 20, 1991, at 3E (discussing Howard Phillips formation of the U.S. Taxpayers Alliance, with a platform that includes abolishing welfare and replacing it with private charity); Nina J. Easton, Merchants of Virtue: By Shifting Their Party's Longtime Focus From Money to Values a Trio of Thinkers Hopes to Win Over the Agenda--and the Soul--of the GOP, Los Angeles Times Aug. 21, 1994, at 16, 18.

[32] David T. Ellwood, POOR SUPPORT; POVERTY IN THE AMERICAN FAMILY (NY: Basic Books, 1989).

[33] Charles Murray, The Coming White Underclass, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 29, 1993 at A14 ("[I]llegitimacy has now reached 68 percent of births to black women. In inner cities, the figure is typically in excess of 80 percent.").

[34] Nina J. Easton Merchants of Virtue: By Shifting Their Party's Longtime Focus From Money to Values a Trio of Thinkers Hopes to Win Over the Agenda--and the Soul--of the GOP, Los Angeles Times Aug. 21, 1994, note 209 at 44 (Bennett is on the evening news, and CNN's Capitol Gang; Kristol is on CNN's Inside Politics, numerous newspapers excerpt from his memos, and Empower America "launches radio ads denouncing Clinton's welfare proposal as ‘cynical and deceptive.'").

[35] Sheldon Danziger, Researchers Dispute Contention that Welfare Is Major Cause of Out-of-Wedlock Births, June 23, 1994 (press release on file with author).

[36] Gary Bauer, The Family: Preserving America's Future, A Report to the President From the White House Working Group on the Family 24 (1986).

[37] Lind, supra note 19 at 167-71.

[38] Charles Murray, The Coming White Underclass, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 29, 1993, p. A14.

[39] Claudette E. Bennett, U.S. Bureau of the Census, The Black Population in the United States: March 1994 and 1993, Current Population Reports P 20-480 (1995).

[40] Michael Tanner, Stephen Moore, and David Hartman, The Work and Welfare Trade-Off: An Analysis of the Total Level of Welfare Benefits by State, 240 Policy Analysis 3 (Sept. 19, 1995).

[41] For a full discussion of this miscalculation and analysis of the Cato Institute Report, see Sharon Parrott, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, The Cato Institute Report on Welfare Benefits: Do Cato's Numbers Add Up? (1996).

[42] Mark Greenberg, "Beyond Stereotypes: What State AFDC Studies on Length of Stay Tell Us About Welfare as a ‘Way of Life,'" Washington, DC: Center for Law and Social Policy, 1993.

[43] Robert Rector, Welfare: Broadening the Reform, in: ISSUES 2000: THE CANDIDATE'S BRIEFING BOOK, The Heritage Foundation, 2000, chapter 8.

[44] Robert Rector, Implementing Welfare Reform and Restoring Marriage, PRIORITIES FOR THE PRESIDENT, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION, 2001.