Many are calling the American Rescue Plan transformational to the welfare state—including by making false claims that it will cut child poverty in half. Others argue that the American Rescue Plan’s sweeping welfare reforms are actually a return to 1960s-era welfare policies, and are comparing it to the historically unpopular Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. Regardless of whether you see the Biden stimulus as something brand new or a return to the old, the message being sent by his administration is the same: More welfare, less work.
How do we know that increased government dependency is the real motive? Because a recovery was, and is, already underway. As states begin to relax restrictions and even fully reopen after the disastrous shutdown policies, the economy is improving dramatically. Millions of Americans have gone back to work and the economy grew by 38 percent in the third quarter of 2020—the fastest recovery in American history.