Margy Waller

Margy Waller is director of The Mobility Agenda at the Center for Community Change and a former adviser to President Clinton on welfare policy.

Recent Articles

It's Not Welfare Anymore

Many people are celebrating today, August 22, as the 10th anniversary of “welfare reform.” While it's true that President Clinton signed the law eliminating the previous program, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, and establishing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grants on this date in 1996, that was hardly the first effort to rewrite the book on welfare as we knew it. Both Congress and the states began expanding work-based reforms years earlier, and much of what now goes by the name of welfare reform took place prior to the implementation of the 1996 law. Moreover, our research , published recently by the Brookings Institution, finds that “welfare” is an inapt description of the policies adopted in the last decade. To better reflect today's reality, welfare reform should be shorthand for the policy shift toward providing employment benefits to low-wage workers. Key components of this shift include reimbursement for work expenses like child care and transportation,...