About the Book

"The War on Poverty created a great new upper–middle class of bureaucrats that found they had a fine career as long as they could keep enough needy people there to justify their existence."
Ronald Reagan

When Barack Obama, with great fanfare, signed the 2009 stimulus bill, he quietly gutted America's most successful domestic policy achievement—the 1996 welfare reform. This revolutionary policy had freed millions of Americans from the shackles of dependency. There was no legitimate reason to undo what had succeeded, and the moral and economic costs will be huge. The facts are clear: welfare reform worked for America. And we urgently need to relearn why.

Government Is the Problem is the story of a broken welfare system that needed to be fixed; of a great leader named Ronald Reagan who said that it could be fixed; of doubters who said that it couldn't be fixed; and of the man—Robert B. Carleson—who fixed it. Carleson pioneered reform measures that reversed a growing dependence on the welfare state and moved America away from the ruinous path of income redistribution.

Much has been written about welfare reform over the years—a lot of it by people who had no involvement with the process. But in this book the real story of how welfare was fixed is told. Bob Carleson has left a fascinating memoir of how out–of–control public spending was tamed; of the controversies and obstacles that threatened to derail its success; and of the principles that a decent society must follow to direct scarce resources to those truly in need.

Our country is in economic crisis, and Americans are rightly asking questions about government intervention in the economy, about individual responsibility, and about the future of our children's freedom. What could be more appropriate than a testimonial from the man who proved that government is, indeed, the problem?

In Ronald Reagan's Own Hand

Click here to read Governor Reagan's handwritten edits to his testimony before Congress and the Welfare Reform Briefing book prepared by Robert B. Carleson for President-elect Reagan, plus notes and letters.

Book Cover
Book Cover Photo: Gov. Ronald Reagan swearing in Robert B. Carleson as Director of the Department of Social Welfare.