Welfare: Managing the Poor

The Reagan Administration, which prides itself on keeping Government out of people's lives, made a distinctly paternalistic proposal last week. The Department of Health and Human Services suggested that a portion of welfare recipients' monthly checks under the Aid for Dependent Children program (A.F.D.C.) be earmarked for rent payment, ensuring that landlords will get their money. The proposal, proponents feel, would make welfare tenants more attractive to landlords and cut down on the eviction rate.

Most of the nation's 16 million welfare recipients are permit ted to spend their checks as they choose. The suggested change would mean that welfare tenants...

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