Season 1 | Episode 1
Apr 28, 2016

The Magic Bureaucrat

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Twenty years ago, welfare changed dramatically. Meet the man behind it.

In the summer of 1996, on the lawn of the White House Rose Garden, President Clinton signed a bill that would dramatically transform the country’s welfare system.

Twenty years later, what the heck is welfare anyway? And we should make it clear — we’re talking about cash assistance to poor families, not food stamps or medicaid.

Welcome to “The Uncertain Hour,” the Wealth & Poverty desk’s new podcast hosted by Senior Correspondent Krissy Clark. In the first episode, we’ll introduce you to the “Magic Bureaucrat” — the former director of a suburban county welfare office. You’ll hear about his foray into synthpop music production and how he launched the welfare reform movement.

Because the things we argue most about are often the things we know the least about.

The future of this podcast starts with you.

This season of “The Uncertain Hour” tells the unheard stories of real people affected by this thing we once knew as “employment.”

Stories like these are seldom in the limelight. It takes extensive time and resources to do this type of investigative journalism… to help you understand the complexity of our economy and to hold the powerful to account.

We need your support to keep doing impactful reporting like this.

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