TANF costs and caseloads were intended to go down in no small part because the other safety net programs, along with the extremely important earned income tax credit (EITC) were intended to pick up the slack. And that’s why the GOP proposals are so devastating: they knock the very props from beneath the effort to “make work pay” that was more important than state generosity in TANF rules or funding in making welfare reform work as well as it has.
The problem is that the extremely important increase in the EITC was enacted in 1993 and had nothing to do with the 1996 welfare reform bill. There was no need to accept the time limits, block granting, elimination of food stamps for legal immigrants or elimination of food stamps for adults without children in order to obtain the EITC increase. the EITC increase was current policy when the welfare reform bills reached Bill Clinton's desk.
A former deputy assistant secretary of the treasury who shall remain nameless remarked "oh how embarrassing."
Ed Kilgore has corrected his error more recently writing
"the EITC that had already been greatly increased long before the third welfare bill hit his desk. "
(Clinton vetoed the first and second welfare reform bills to hit his desk).
But now Bryce Covert reports
"The Clinton campaign responded to Sanders’ attack on Wednesday, pointing out that welfare reform came as a package of measures and highlighted the inclusion of the Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income families"
The claim by the (un-named) source is totally false nonsense. The 1996 welfare reform did not come as a package of measures including the 1993 increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit. They were not part of the same package at all. The 1993 bill was passed with zero Republican votes. The 1996 bill was written by a Congress with Republican majorities in the House and the Senate.
The claim that the two reforms were a package is totally 100% false. I guess some campaign staffer who was a child in 1993 might be honestly confused, but Hillary Clinton knows the claim is false and should correct her spokesperson.
Final note: I don't regret voting for Clinton (by e-mail) in the 2016 Massachusetts Democratic primary.