February 10, 2005
Ballooning federal deficits threaten all social spending in this country, but in kind programs for vulnerable women and children may be most at risk. In 2002, only 5 million people received cash welfare under TANF, while more than 30 million people participated in other safety net programs. The attack on the federal safety net has several prongs including allegations that programs dont work, that programs are riddled with fraud, waste, and abuse, and that poverty alleviation is best left to state and local government. This article assesses these arguments, and argues that each is mostly myth.