recently read “The Myth of the Welfare Queen” and reminded me that we originally instituted welfare to help mothers stay at home to care for their children. However, in the past 40 years, as more and more middle-class mothers have given up the idea of staying at home to pursue their careers, our society had less and less sympathy for the mother who would like to stay at home to care for their children, but can’t afford to do so. As the number of two-earner middle-class families increased, the willingness to pay for government support for mother’s staying at home disappeared. Which made it possible for Clinton to completely reform the welfare system. That reform would have been impossible if moderate, middle-class workers had felt strongly that mothers should stay at home with their children (as they did earlier in the 20th century). Progressive Feminists successfully convinced mothers not only that they could have a career, but that they should (witness the discussions about whether or not motherhood is a worthy option for women in-and-of-itself). So moderates became convinced that mothers could work, support for welfare disappeared, and Clinton successfully eliminated a large amount of government obligation. This left the budget wide open for a conservative like Bush to create deficits supporting his pet projects. Things like “bringing democracy to the middle east“. This, as well as anything, demonstates why we should be cautious with policy changes. There are always unintended consequences.