Martin O`Malley on Welfare & Poverty
O'MALLEY: One of those so-called rigid programs is feeding hungry children. I don't think that there is anything rigid about a program where you feed hungry children.
Q: But I think his suggestion is we'll give you, Governor, the money that we are sending you anyway for this program and YOU manage it.
O'MALLEY: Actually what he's saying is we'll send you less money because this year we want to cut dollars to feed hungry children. The answers to feeding hungry children is not fewer dollars, it's to do more. It is to raise the minimum wage. It is to increase, not dismantle, the earned income tax credit. These are the things that grow our middle class, not a cynical shell game of cap-and-block-grant and then dismantle.
Help Working Families Lift Themselves from Poverty
In the 1990s, Americans resolved to end welfare dependency and forge a new social compact on the basis of work and reciprocal responsibility. The results so far are encouraging: The welfare rolls have been cut by more than half since 1992 without the social calamities predicted by defenders of the old welfare entitlement. People are more likely than ever to leave welfare for work, and even those still on welfare are four times more likely to be working. But the job of welfare reform will not be done until we help all who can
work to find and keep jobs -- including absent fathers who must be held responsible for supporting their children.
In the next decade, progressives should embrace an even more ambitious social goal -- helping every working family lift itself from poverty. Our new social compact must reinforce work, responsibility, and family. By expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, increasing the supply of affordable child care, reforming tax policies that hurt working families, making sure absent parents live up to their financial obligations, promoting access to home ownership and other wealth-building assets, and refocusing other social policies on the new goal of rewarding work, we can create a new progressive guarantee: No American family with a full-time worker will live in poverty.
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