THE POLITICS OF A GUARANTEED INCOME: The Nixon Administration and the Family Assistance Plan by Daniel P. Moynihan

THE POLITICS OF A GUARANTEED INCOME: The Nixon Administration and the Family Assistance Plan

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Moynihan, former Presidential adviser on urban affairs, describes how Nixon's welfare reform bill was conceived and received, and how the President unsuccessfully tried to steer it through the 92nd Congress. The Family Assistance Plan would have replaced existing state-administered public welfare with a federally funded stipend of about $2,400 a year for a family of four, with the proviso that parents must look for jobs and job training. Clearly writing in view of the next attempt to pass Nixon's welfare bill, Moynihan is satisfied that the press and the major business-banking interests represented by the influential Arden House Steering Committee on Public Welfare are wholly in support. And he is aware that most wage-earners are sufficiently hostile toward welfare recipients to approve cutbacks in grants, though he does not dwell on the fact that FAP would have meant lower welfare benefits in major states, as well as further taxpayer subsidy of low-wage industries. Instead he devotes his efforts to assuring liberals that FAP was not a conservative scheme -- what does ""conservative"" mean anyhow, and haven't John Lindsay types backed FAP? But his rhetoric about ""fundamental social change"" is not wholly convincing, and his impugning the motives of welfare rights protesters (""militant black leaders would oppose a proposal to give money to the black poor"") is at best diversionary, at worst gratuitous. It is now reported that Nixon's 1973 version of FAP will be even ""tougher,"" and this book will be a major partisan document in the upcoming contest.

Pub Date: Jan. 29th, 1972
Publisher: Random House