Public Papers of Richard Nixon, 1974

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Author: Richard M. Nixon  | Date: March 30, 1974

95
Statement About Proposed Reductions in Appropriations for Welfare Programs.
March 30, 1974

DUE IN PART to the first major drop in the Nation’s welfare rolls in a number of years, I am pleased to announce today that I am asking the Congress to cut almost $800 million in appropriations for welfare programs during the current fiscal year.

This reduction in costs to the taxpayer can be made without in any way reducing welfare benefits to eligible recipients.

In recent years, Americans have had to live with a continuing upward spiral in both the size of the welfare rolls and the cost of the welfare programs. The tale has been a tragic one, and because the welfare system is marred with inequities, it has also been an outrageous one to both recipients and taxpayers.

HEW Secretary Weinberger has now reported to me encouraging evidence that we are beginning to make some progress in solving the welfare mess. As of the end of December 1973, there were still 10.8 million people receiving assistance underthe program for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), but that was a net reduction of 255,000 people below the rolls at the end of 1972. As Secretary Weinberger reported to me at last Thursday’s Cabinet meeting, we are starting at last to turn back the ever-increasing welfare rolls which had become a tragic way of life for far too many Americans.

A very significant factor in the reduction in the welfare rolls was the improvement in the management of the AFDC program.

My last two budgets have contained plans and proposals for management improvements. Among the actions we have taken are the establishment of quality control programs as part of a cooperative Federal-State effort. This effort soon revealed that the problem was larger than originally thought; errors in eligibility and payment levels were found in 41 percent of the cases. This discovery of the magnitude of error helped to spur administrative improvements by Federal, State, and local officials alike.

In my last two budget requests, we anticipated some savings from improved management. The further reductions of some $800 million I am proposing today are in addition to those we had previously anticipated.

While encouraging, this improvement in the welfare picture in no way eliminates the great necessity for a replacement of the Nation’s welfare programs with a more equitable and efficient system. Secretary Weinberger is now in the midst of his study of possible legislative proposals, and I expect to receive his recommendations later this year. Soon thereafter, I will submit a legislative proposal to the Congress.

NOTE: The statement was released at Key Biscayne, Fla.

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Chicago: Richard M. Nixon, "95 Statement About Proposed Reductions in Appropriations for Welfare Programs.," Public Papers of Richard Nixon, 1974 in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Richard Nixon, 1974 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.633 328. Original Sources, accessed April 20, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DCPKQSS39FNVERQ.

MLA: Nixon, Richard M. "95 Statement About Proposed Reductions in Appropriations for Welfare Programs." Public Papers of Richard Nixon, 1974, in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Richard Nixon, 1974 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.633, page 328. Original Sources. 20 Apr. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DCPKQSS39FNVERQ.

Harvard: Nixon, RM, '95 Statement About Proposed Reductions in Appropriations for Welfare Programs.' in Public Papers of Richard Nixon, 1974. cited in , Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Richard Nixon, 1974 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.633, pp.328. Original Sources, retrieved 20 April 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DCPKQSS39FNVERQ.