We’ve been told time and again that we’re on the cusp of a great new opportunity, that this country is ripe for change, that we have a chance to be a nation of opportunity.
And yet, all too often, we are stuck with the same problems.
The welfare system is the root cause of poverty, inequality, and other ills in our society.
As a society, we have an obligation to create opportunities for all, but we have to do so in a way that benefits everyone.
As we strive to create more jobs and grow the economy, we must create the conditions that will allow our children and grandchildren to thrive.
The Welfare Reform Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives in April, takes a fresh look at our nation’s welfare system and proposes a more just, inclusive and just society.
The bill is not an end in itself.
Rather, it is an opportunity to strengthen our nation, create new opportunities for the future, and help address our nation and the world’s problems.
For those who work to end poverty and provide a fair and just future for all people, this is a great start.
The new law requires the government to allocate money to states and localities to provide financial assistance for those who need it most.
It requires states to provide the same level of assistance to individuals who qualify for it, and it creates a new grant program for states that provide greater financial assistance.
And, as we look ahead to the next decade, we will need to address our broken social safety net, our broken child welfare system, and our broken marriage and family laws.
These reforms are the first step in creating a more humane, just and inclusive America.
They are the beginning of a long journey toward ending our nation as we know it.
But as we begin the journey toward greater justice, fairness and opportunity for all Americans, we can and must look beyond the immediate, short-term gains of this bill to long-term challenges facing our nation.
These reform efforts will make a difference in the lives of millions of Americans.
They will create opportunities that will help create a safer, stronger and more prosperous future.
They can help lift millions out of poverty.
They may even improve the lives and well-being of tens of millions more Americans.
These are the steps that we must take to end our nation in the best possible way, and we are on the right path.
But they also require action on the part of both sides of the aisle.
The Democrats in the House and the Republicans in the Senate have a long history of standing up to our country’s economic and social injustices.
These issues are not new, but they are urgent and they are too often ignored by both sides.
The problems that our country faces require urgent attention and urgent solutions.
We cannot let up until the welfare system reforms that are needed in this country are enacted and the families who need them are lifted from poverty.
We have to make sure that these reforms are implemented and enacted quickly.
But we must also work to ensure that they do not create a situation in which people are simply forced into poverty by a broken system that has become dysfunctional.
These changes will take time and they will require sacrifice.
And this is not the way to solve these problems.
We need to be bold, independent, and responsive to the needs of those who are most vulnerable and vulnerable communities.
But the reforms must also be bipartisan.
Because these reforms will improve the welfare and safety net for all of us, they must be bipartisan, so that we can get the job done.
So, the welfare reform law requires that we create a $100 billion program to provide state and local assistance to those who depend on it.
That program, called the Workforce Investment Tax Credit, will provide tax credits to states that offer a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour.
The state will be required to match that dollar amount with an amount equal to the amount of assistance provided by the federal government.
This will help those most in need by providing them with a lifeline to help them pay the bills and save for their future.
We will also make permanent a $2.9 billion grant program to assist states in the states that do not have enough money in their state budgets to meet their welfare needs.
The law also requires that states create $100 million in new tax incentives for businesses and entrepreneurs to create jobs and create wealth.
This is the way that the economy and our society can grow and prosper for everyone, without the government burdening businesses and people with a heavy burden of taxation.
We know that a strong safety net is the foundation of prosperity.
The bipartisan legislation in the Welfare Reform and Jobs Act will allow the federal and state governments to work together to provide needed assistance to states, businesses, and small businesses.
The $100-billion program is the first of its kind in our history, and its bipartisan nature will be a model for future programs.
This new grant