Ronald Reagan famously quipped that liberals waged a war on poverty and poverty won. One major reason for this is because liberals double and triple down on policies that empower bureaucrats and the establishment elite while creating a vicious cycle of government dependency among those who are in poverty.
To combat poverty in a real and effective way that empowers individuals and families, the Republican Study Committee, The Heritage Foundation, and the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise (CNE) will partner for an Anti-Poverty Initiative which will kick off with a summit on September 12th and 13th.
The initiative will seek to “connect reform-minded, conservative policymakers with community leaders who are successfully working to restore broken and impoverished communities.”
Reps. Steve Southerland (R-FL), RSC Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), and Allen West (R-FL) will headline the summit “where members of Congress can discuss strategies and solutions with real-world problem solvers and anti-poverty” advocates.
Reps. Jordan and Southerland wrote in The Washington Times the “bloated maze” of programs aimed at combating poverty “is good for bureaucrats but not for the families stuck in the system.”
“The American welfare state has failed the poor,” they wrote. “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.”
Jordan and Southerland suggest such programs be simplified so that “instead of 70 efforts with poor results,” the programs that achieve results efficiently get implemented, allowing the government to “save money and even help grow our economy as more families move from welfare to financial independence.”
According to organizers of the the Anti-Poverty Initiative, “too often, federal policy anti-poverty efforts have misdiagnosed the need,” and “material poverty is often a symptom of deeper and more intransigent problems, like fatherlessness and community breakdown.
“That’s why personal responsibility, healthy relationships beginning with strong marriage, and civil society institutions are critical to fighting poverty and social breakdown.”
Here are the goals of the Anti-Poverty Initiative:
There may be no greater obstacle to the pursuit of happiness than poverty. The question policymakers must confront is how to best combat poverty and help Americans lift themselves up the economic ladder without further increasing the size of the administrative state. …
… This initiative will seek to make policy more responsive to these realities. Building on the success of past proposals like welfare reform and school choice, policymakers will learn from community leaders about additional promising solutions in areas like foster care, financial literacy, violence prevention, and promoting healthy marriage.
Aspects of this initiative will include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Forums and Outreach with Community Leaders
- Research and Education
- Policy Briefs
- Policy Solutions (such as welfare reform and school choice)