Talking Points: Response to Charles Murray

Welfare Reform Working Group, William Jefferson Clinton Library, May 3, 1994.


“He did the country a great service. I mean, he and I have often disagreed, but I think his analysis is essentially right. Now, whether his prescription is right, I question… I once polled 100 children in an alternative school in Atlanta–many of whom had had babies out of wedlock–and I said, ‘If we didn’t give any AFDC to people after they had their first child; how many of you think it would reduce the number of out-of-wedlock’births?’ Over 80 percent of the kids raised their hands. There’s no question that that would work. But the question is… ls it morally right? …There is no question that… if we reduced Aid to Families with Dependent Children, it would be some incentive for people not to have dependent children out of wedlock … [O]nce a really poor woman has a child out of wedlock, it almost locks her and that child into the cycle of poverty which then spins out of control further. “–President Clinton, NBC News interview 12/3/93

William Jefferson Clinton Library