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'American Dream': The Effects of Welfare Reform

Dec 4, 2004 (Weekend Edition Saturday)

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One notable absence from the panoply of issues raised in this year's presidential campaign was how to provide for those millions of Americans who receive some kind of welfare assistance.

President Bill Clinton vowed in 1992 that he would "end welfare as we know it." Four years later, he worked with a Republican-controlled Congress to enact sweeping reforms meant to move millions of Americans off the welfare rolls and into jobs.

New York Times senior writer Jason DeParle's book American Dream: Three Women, Ten Kids, and a Nation's Drive to End Welfare examines the effect of these reforms. DeParle and Angela Jobe, a woman affected by the law who is featured in the book, join NPR's Scott Simon.

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