No. of Recommendations: 1
http://askheritage.org/are-we-helping-poor-americans?utm_sou...

"At the end of the year, many people take time to make charitable donations. But caring for those in need is a year-round responsibility—and when it comes to public policy, conservatives have an important opportunity to articulate an effective response to poverty and social breakdown in America.

A half-century into the War on Poverty, liberals can hardly declare victory. But they can claim the dominant anti-poverty narrative: Fight poverty by spending more, by starting another federal program.

Americans seldom look to conservatives for policy answers to the problems of poverty.

That’s not to say we don’t have answers. To the contrary, we’ve had important policy successes. The 1996 welfare reform rises to the top. School choice, which allows low-income parents to get their children out of failing and often violent public schools, is another a vital example of a policy that can help lift those in poverty and give them a chance at a different future.

But we’ve made precious few attempts to string these single notes of success together into something larger. We have yet to popularize a competitor to the prevailing tune about how to meet the needs of our neighbors.

It’s time to change that—first and foremost in the interest of our neighbors.

A single mother on welfare may reflexively accept liberal policies. But if we believe that long-term government dependency doesn’t do justice to her dignity, we ought to be able to explain that in a way that taps into her aspirations for a better future — particularly for her children. Anyone who thinks that’s not possible should consider how low-income parents have clamored for school choice.

In 2012, The Heritage Foundation hosted an anti-poverty conference to bring leaders together from around the country. About 90 policymakers, policy implementers, researchers and program evaluators, service providers and ministry leaders, representatives of philanthropy networks, and communicators gathered. Fourteen leaders of state welfare agencies participated.

Our objective is to help more Americans escape poverty by promoting work, marriage, civil society, and welfare-spending restraints.

The many disciplines represented at that conference on Capitol Hill reflect the complexities of the human needs we seek to meet. But because we work in different disciplines, we might not often think of ourselves as a cohesive anti-poverty movement. And if we don’t, that means the public certainly doesn’t. ...

...Content. Conservatives need to offer a concrete description of our near-term objectives: We want to build on the success of the welfare reform of 1996, which reformed just one of 80 federal means-tested programs that in total are now funded to the tune of $1 trillion annually. ..."
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