There are many more restrictions. Most serve to dehumanize recipients with little savings for taxpayers in a classic exercise of blaming the victim.
Yes, let’s weed out the fraud! Anyone cheating the system should be identified. But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Don’t lose sight of the painful reality faced by the majority of welfare recipients. Where is our concern, our empathy?
Poor families need and deserve the opportunity to learn skills, gain educational credentials and build assets. A focus on the positive, on lifting up lives through education, compassion and support, will reduce poverty while it lowers costs to tax-payers.
John J. Drew is president/CEO of Action for Boston Community Development, a Boston-area anti-poverty and community action organization.