President Clinton’s remarks will be broadcast this evening, October 28, 1996, on the following stations: CNN, C-SPAN, NOSTALGIA TELEVISION, NPR, PBS and UPN.
When I ran for President four years ago, I said I would end welfare as we know it, and make responsibility a way of life for those who had been on welfare. I wanted to make sure that all our children could look out the window in the morning, and see their whole community getting up and going to work. We’re making good on that commitment. We’ve helped 43 states to experiment with their own welfare reforms, today there are already 1.9 million fewer people on welfare than there were when I took office and child support collections are up 50 percent, almost four billion dollars.
The welfare reform bill I signed will help us to finish the job, with strict time limits on those on welfare, the toughest child support enforcement in history; and guaranteed health care, child care, and nutrition for children -- to give families the help they need as they move from welfare to work.
Now we have to work even harder to see that the jobs and opportunities are there, so that people can leave welfare and become permanent members of the workforce.
Our goal is to help the private sector create one million new jobs for welfare recipients by the year 2000. Under our new law, states can take the money that was spent on welfare checks and use it to help businesses provide paychecks. I have challenged every state to do this and do it now.
I have also challenged the nation’s business leaders to hire people off welfare. Hundreds have already agreed to meet that challenge -- and I want to make it easier for them and others to do it. My plan would give businesses a tax credit for every person hired off welfare and kept employed, and give private job placement firms a bonus for every welfare recipient they place in a job who stays in the job.
By helping people receive paychecks, not welfare checks -- by reinforcing our most fundamental values of work, and family, and responsibility -- we will break the cycle of dependency. We will help families come together and stay together and we will build a safer, stronger American community.
That’s the way to build a bridge to the 21st Century, a bridge that will give every American a chance at a better and brighter future.
Paid for by Clinton/Gore 96 General Committee, Inc.