In 1992, Bill Clinton ran for president promising to “end welfare as we know it.” In 2016, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders should promise to bring welfare back.
Thus far, they are doing no such thing. Neither Clinton nor Sanders has a welfare-reform proposal, despite the raft of options they have floated for helping lower-income families. Neither Clinton nor Sanders brings up welfare when discussing what good they would do for the poor. Neither campaign even bothered to get back to me when I requested comment for this piece. But our broken welfare program has left hundreds of thousands of people in extreme poverty, living on less than $2 a day per person. A battle between a fiercely progressive presidential candidate and an only slightly less fiercely progressive presidential candidate has somehow managed to overlook and avoid confronting the ragged hole at the very bottom of our safety net. This is a policy outrage and a moral blight.