One for the Kausfiles

Leslie Kaufman in the NYT has another piece on welfare reform, beginning with a spin that Mickey Kaus would surely approve of , saying

“During the boom years of the late 1990’s, when the 1996 welfare law was still sending public assistance rolls plummeting nationwide and more recipients were leaving for jobs than anyone had expected, critics of the law had one big warning: wait until the economy sours, the poor will come back.

But despite the economic downturn, it has not happened in New York City, which has the largest number of public assistance cases of any city in the nation. Nor has it happened in many other large urban areas.”

It’s only later in the article that the critics get their say, pointing out that families may be off welfare, but they are turning up at homeless shelters and food pantries in record numbers. No doubt Mickey will see this as a commendable Third Way outcome, with private philanthropy relieving an overburdened state.