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Op-Ed: We shouldn’t return to welfare as we knew it

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Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has all eyes on him. Again. This time it’s because he’s questioning his party’s line on whether work matters for people receiving welfare.

He recently revealed his reservations with the Biden tax credit, which was transformed into unconditional cash grants: "There's no work requirements whatsoever. There's no education requirements whatsoever for better skill sets. Don't you think, if we're going to help the children, that the people should make some effort?"

Manchin is right to be concerned with the current legislation. Work matters, especially for the most vulnerable among us.

Twenty-five years ago, both Democrats and Republicans agreed with him. In 1996, there was broad agreement that our national welfare system held people in poverty, for the simple reason that it discouraged work. Even then-Sen. Joe Biden said, “Work should be the premise of our welfare system.”

The reality of workless benefits was striking. Before 1996, after decades of no-strings-attached payments, nearly 9 in 10 families on welfare were jobless. Most were stuck in long-term........

© The Intelligencer

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