The purpose of this paper is to discuss President Carter's welfare reform proposals, appropriately titled, "The Program for Better Jobs and Income." If these proposals are adopted by Congress, they will guide the Administration in its stance toward and its work with the lowest income sectors of the nation: the welfare poor--those who cannot work and must be supported by the government, and the working poor--those who are able to support themselves, but whose yearly income is less than the poverty level.

Consequently, the paper starts with an analysis of what the government documents have to tell us about the scope and nature of poverty in the United States. Then we proceed with a discussion of the current welfare reform proposals--what the Administration intends to do about the persistent entrenched poverty that plagues the nation. Finally, we ask: will the Carter welfare reforms work? We return to the key question posed at the beginning of the paper: Is it possible for the federal government to institute reforms that will result in better jobs and better distribution of income so that the welfare poor and the working poor can maintain a standard of living above abject poverty?