Support for the American Welfare State: The Views of Congress and the Public

What is the state of the American welfare state? After half a century of growth and development, social welfare programs came under attack during the 1980s, generating widespread uncertainty about their future. Yet the welfare state weathered the assault. Cook and Barrett argue that social welfare in America is firmly rooted and that the American welfare state is here to stay. They attribute this to a strong reservoir of support on the part of both policymakers and the general public. Support for the American Welfare State asks how much support there is, who is most supportive, and why there are differences in levels of support. The authors report the results of a survey of attitudes of both the general public and members of the U.S. House of Representatives about Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Medicare, Medicaid, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Food Stamps, and Unemployment Compensation-seven of the largest programs in the American welfare state.