Source:The New Democrat
“May 20, 1976: This AEI Round Table brings together four experts to discuss whether major modifications are needed in the American public welfare system. Why have welfare costs skyrocketed in recent years? Do these rising costs prove that our welfare machinery is defective? Are there more efficient and more equitable ways to provide for the nation’s poor? Can our present programs be improved by minor changes or is a sweeping overhaul required? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the negative income tax? And can proposals to reform our welfare system win political acceptance?
Wilbur J. Cohen — dean of the School of Education at the University of Michigan
Barber Conable, Jr. — Representative (R-New York)
Paul MacAvoy — a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers
Abraham Ribicoff — Senator (D-Connecticut)
Robert Bork — solicitor general of the United States
This is the perfect debate that we should be having now today especially when we now have Socialists and socialism on the rise in America in and outside of the Democratic Party, who believe that people shouldn’t be forced to work and not just that, but that we should even pay people ( meaning taxpayers ) to not work and pay them well if they choose not to work. Even if they simply don’t want to work and would refer to stay home and collect a public assistance check. When what we should be doing instead is not just encouraging low-income and low-skilled Americans to not just work, but get a good education so they can get themselves a good job and not need any type of public assistance at all to pay their bills.
I’ll give you just one example of why Progressive is different from Socialist and why Progressives are different from Socialists, and why progressivism is different from socialism, even though there are many of examples of why these two ideological factions are different. And they’re not the same political faction with just two different labels. That Conservative is actually different from Libertarian, Theocrat, and Nationalist. And that Progressive is different from Socialist and Communist.
Welfare and poverty in general are the perfect issues to talk about when you’re talking about what it means to be a Progressive, because if you’re actually a Progressive you believe not just in progress, but creating progress through government action. So if you have a large population of poor people in your country and have a lot of poverty and you’re a Progressive, you want to see some progress there. You want poverty to go down dramatically assuming you can’t actually eliminate it altogether. Instead of having people in poverty with a public assistance check and other public assistance checks which was the system before the 1996 Welfare To Work Law, you want to actually move people out of poverty and no longer be eligible of public assistance, simply because they make too much money and no longer live in poverty.
I’m not saying that solving the poverty issue in America is easy because if it were it would’ve solved in the 1960s and we no longer have 1-5 Americans who are eligible for public assistance whether they’re working or not. But if we empower not just encourage, but empower low-income Americans to not just work, but to go to school and finish or further their education and even help them get themselves a good job after they now have the skills to get themselves a good job, you’ll see poverty go down in America, because you’ll now have a well-skilled workforce in your country and there would be no reasons for people to live in poverty, other than that they’re lazy or perhaps just irresponsible and simply don’t want a good education and a good job. But those people we shouldn’t be subsidizing as taxpayers anyway and instead subsidize Americans who don’t have what they need right now to live a quality, independent life, but want to be able to do that for themselves.
For people who view themselves as fiscal Conservatives, ( which seems to be a dying breed in Washington right now: fiscal Conservatives ) who are concern about the budget deficit and national debt, you should be interested in not just welfare reform and welfare to work, because with a lower and low poverty rate in America, you would not just have more people working in America, but more people paying income and payroll taxes and fewer people collecting public assistance. And a lesser need for people to not just work to take care of themselves and their families, but to also subsidize people who either don’t work, or work but don’t earn enough money to take care of themselves and their families.
Today, we have a budget deficit and national debt that are too big, but we have an economic deficit as well that’s part of the income gap in the country where we have too many people who are simply too poor to be able to support themselves in this country and as a result are dependent on both private and public charity, and being able to work multiple jobs ( if they’re working at all ) in order to support themselves.
These are all reasons why we should not only encouraging people who are physically capable of working at all, but going back to school and getting themselves a good jobs. These are all things that we can do with the current public assistance system in this country. Which would be great for our economy have 50-60 million more Americans with good skills and good jobs in this country. But long-term would also be much better for our fiscal outlook. But the best thing of all would be to have all of these people who now have good skills and good jobs.