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Total AFDC-TANF and EITC Benefits, 1970 to 2007 (in Constant 2007 $)

"Several commentators feared that [welfare reform] might set off a 'race to the bottom'—that is, that the states, fearful of attracting low-income families from other states, might lower benefits, causing other states, in turn, to lower theirs. In fact, total ADFC-TANF spending on cash benefits declined from a peak of about $40 billion in 1995 to about $20 billion in 2006, but this reduction is roughly proportional to the welfare caseload reduction...In contrast, expenditures on the EITC grew sharply, from $5 billion in 1975 to $45 billion in 2006...No other federal antipoverty program has grown so rapidly since the mid-1980s."—p. 210, Changing Poverty, Changing Policies



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