In the War on Poverty, Poverty is Winning

The war on poverty has done nothing but keep more Americans impoverished. Poverty is winning this war. The only way out is to empower people to make their own way in this world. Making people dependent only exacerbates the problem and impoverishes more people. For the able-bodied there is only one way out of poverty – hard work. Unfortunately, President Obama and the Democrats disagree,  much to the detriment of our republic.

The American welfare state has failed the poor. It has squandered decades, dollars and good intentions, while families and communities have suffered the consequences. Liberals only offer more of the same. We can do better.

Because the best help comes as people help themselves, we should expand the TANF work requirements to other areas of welfare. There’s a reason Habitat for Humanity requires families to put in hundreds of hours of sweat equity before getting a new home. The things we earn are the things we value most.

Right now, federal welfare includes at least 10 programs for housing, seven for medical assistance and 17 for food and nutrition. We also have multiple programs for job training, cash assistance and education. Altogether, at least 70 programs cost state and federal taxpayers around $1 trillion per year.

This bloated maze is good for bureaucrats but not for the families stuck in the system. So let’s simplify it. Instead of 70 efforts with poor results, let’s just have a few that actually work. We’d save money and even help grow our economy as more families move from welfare to financial independence. As in 1996, Congress should block-grant the funds to states and let them innovate. Grass-roots organizations and state and local leaders know better than Congress what works in their communities.

The Republican Study Committee, the home for conservatives in the House, already has begun advancing legislation along these lines. But fighting poverty does not just mean designing more effective welfare. We need to fight the causes of welfare dependence, and many times the answer lies outside of Washington.

Read the whole thing. Adding to the welfare rolls, or getting more people into houses and cars they can’t afford is not the answer to our economic woes. Those policies only make everything worse. Just look at the state of the economy today. The number of impoverished Americans is increasing, while the number of rich people is going down. If we let these progressive Democrats have their way, expect things to get worse. – much worse – for all of us. The only solution is to vote Obama, and his fellow Democrats, out of office in November. Central economic planning is obviously not working.