Income maintenance programs are a key feature of the American welfare state. The impact of the Reagan administration’s social welfare policies are examined in this article, which also speculates about the long-term effects of his successes on the future of income maintenance programs. Specifically, this article provides a brief historical background of income maintanence programs, examines Reagan’s ideological and strategic approach to deconstructing the welfare state, evaluates the domestic successes of the Reagan administration, and explores the long-term impact of Reagan’s policies on the future of income maintenance programs.

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