Welfare reform has been a huge success, if measured by reductions in caseloads. Since the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) was passed in 1996, welfare caseloads have plummeted, and are lower today than at anytime since 1969. Such diverse states as Wisconsin, Idaho, and Mississippi have experienced reductions of 80 percent or more since 1993. With reauthorization of the bill looming, much of the welfare debate has shifted to questions of how best to build on this success. Many observers--from across the political spectrum--suggest that policies that strengthen marriage and reduce divorce should be at the center of the debate.
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Marriage as Public Policy.