The Nation: Welfare Reform: Act I

Throughout his presidential campaign, Jimmy Carter pledged he would reform the antiquated and anarchic welfare system run by the Federal Government. At his first Cabinet meeting, Carter ordered HEW Secretary Joseph Califano to get cracking on a solution. Califano quickly assembled a 32-member committee—composed of Administration, congressional, state and private experts—and set out to produce a plan by May 1. Last week, unable to get agreement on a single concept, Califano gave Carter four different approaches to the problem that were long on principle and short on detail. The President hopes to be able to choose one proposal, perhaps borrowing ideas...

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