Why temporary assistance may not be enough for the neediest of families

by Jeff Guo

In 1997, the nation embarked on a new experiment in welfare. People would have to work or be looking for work in order to get benefits, and they could only receive 60 months (five years) of assistance before being cut off for life. The name for this latest incarnation of cash welfare was “Temporary Assistance for Needy Families,” with an emphasis on the “temporary.”