Stop Favoring Unwed Mothers

New York Times, January 16, 1993.


The New Jersey Legislature took the plunge this week and passed a welfare package that, if signed by Gov. Jim Florio, would limit the benefits for women on welfare if they have additional children. Opponents and advocates alike have called the plan revolutionary. It is not.

We have been this way before. The seemingly small exceptions to the stern new requirements would turn out to be gaping loopholes. Giving a single mother incentive to marry by permitting her to keep her welfare benefits would have unintended consequences. Reducing benefits for additional children sounds like a major step, but few welfare mothers have more than two children.

The New Jersey plan would neither help nor hurt. It just won’t make much difference.

New York Times (missing from the archives)