Rick Perry’s Big Welfare Success in Texas

By Logan Pike and Justin Haskins

They say “everything is bigger in Texas,” but Texas’ welfare rolls are shrinking, and presidential hopeful and former Gov. Rick Perry (R) deserves a lot of the credit.

When Perry first became governor of Texas in 2000, the number of people enrolled in the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program was well over 300,000. Since then, the number has declined to below 80,000, and a new study says key policy changes help explain why.

On March 19, The Heartland Institute, a free-market think tank in Chicago, released its updated welfare reform report card, an analysis of every state’s welfare policies since the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) in 1996.

Passed by the Republican-led Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton, PRWORA presented states with a significant opportunity to reform welfare systems. Since it became law, welfare rolls in the United States have been reduced by more than 9 million, a decrease of 73 percent.

This incredible turnaround occurred to some extent in every state, but data clearly show some state governments took advantage of the changes offered by the federal government better than other states.

In Texas, greater flexibility offered by PRWORA allowed Republican Governors George W. Bush and Perry to implement sweeping reforms to stagnant programs that were providing little, if any, success at moving people out of poverty.

Authors of the Heartland study, titled “2015 Welfare Reform Report Card,” say although academic research conducted to determine which policies are more successful than others have produced varying results, some agreement exists on which strategies lead to overall positive outcomes. READ MORE …

[Published on Breitbart]