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  • Ryan and Rubio on the Promise of American Opportunity

    At Tuesday night’s Kemp Foundation Leadership Award Dinner, Representative Paul Ryan (R–WI) and Senator Marco Rubio (R–FL) talked about ways to promote opportunity, battle poverty, and get the country back on track.

    Both men aim to further successful reforms triggered by former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and longtime Heritage Foundation Distinguished Fellow Jack Kemp, who died in 2009 after having dedicated his life to promoting the power of free markets and economic opportunity.

    The problem with poverty, Ryan pointed out, is that “when Lyndon Johnson launched the War on Poverty in 1964, he predicted we would eliminate poverty in 35 to 50 years. Here we are, 48 years later, and poverty is winning. We deserve better.” That doesn’t mean gutting the social safety net; it means making certain that poor people don’t get caught in it.

    “We need a vision for bringing opportunity into every life—one that promotes strong families, secure livelihoods, and an equal chance for every American to fulfill their highest aspirations for themselves and their children,” Ryan said. “It calls on government to encourage, not displace, the efforts of free people to help one another. It calls for a stronger safety net—one that protects the most vulnerable and promotes self-reliance. It calls for an end to the chronic inequalities in our education system. And finally, it promotes economic growth through free enterprise—because nothing has done more to lift people everywhere out of poverty.”

    For his part, Rubio, recipient of this year’s Jack Kemp Foundation Leadership Award, noted that “millions of Americans worry that they may never achieve middle-class prosperity and stability and that their children will be trapped as well with the same life and the same problems.”

    We should mend the safety net, Rubio said, and provide “a way to help those who have failed to stand up and try again, and of course to help those who cannot help themselves. But these programs must be reformed to enhance family stability, financial opportunity, education, and a culture of work.”

    The good news is that the American dream isn’t dead. “I am still convinced,” Rubio said, “that the overwhelming majority of our people just want what my parents had: a chance, a real chance to earn a good living and provide even better opportunities for their children.”

    Americans are compassionate and understand the need for a safety net for the few who struggle as they seek to improve their lives. But we can’t accept a country that traps people at the bottom. There should also be a ladder of opportunity for them to climb. That’s the promise of the American dream.

    Or, as Ryan put it, “the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to rise, to escape from poverty, and to achieve whatever your God-given talents and hard work enable you to achieve.”

    Posted in First Principles [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Ryan and Rubio on the Promise of American Opportunity

    1. Bobbie says:

      People of principle avoid problems through accountability, Problem solvers not problem managers. Both Mr. Rubio and Mr. Ryan are strong in dignity and honor (with a public lifetime to prove it,) this country somehow lost in it's main steam society and democratic leadership. America needs her strong and honorable leadership back to reeducate by conduct the strong, indiscriminate principles of this country notably and specifically "timeless." Those that understand America's "timeless principles" are those of endurance and inner strength, exemplary to moral civility and integrity and inspirational to self esteem.

      Free markets and economic opportunity would commence by lifting excessive government regulations and freeing the markets and the economy from the controls of government obstruction abuse, intentionally collapsing it, continuing government creations of tax paid make work with massive uncertainties for tomorrows free market/private sector.

      One way to AVOID poverty is to determine government need and then determine government pay by what those benefiting from it are willing to pay for it. The "government need" might not be so needed which will free minds to a more personal resourceful, self reliant, government resistant, independent way. Unconstitutional government and costs impoverish everyone in more than a monetary way….

      Obama reduces peoples' natural abilities when there's expectations for them here in America. He erases further ability to reach ones' potential without holding his hand (which doesn't make it "ones" potential!!)

    2. Griz says:

      I believe that the best way to help people get out of poverty in America is to limit the time eligible to get public assistance. There should be a lifetime limit for each American is allowed to receive public assistance, for instance a 2 year limit on unemployment, and 10 years for food stamps. The goal of these programs should be to help a fellow American during hard times to give them a chance to get back on their feet. For that, I am happy that my taxes go for. But to sign up a 20 onto public assistance (pay their rent, buy them food, pay their health insurance, and give them a free cell phone) as long as they do not make more than 20k a year-that I vehemently oppose!. These benefits should also be for only American citizens.

    3. Daryn Kent-Duncan says:

      There's nothing in the Constitution about a social safety net. It is not the business of the federal government to take care of people. It is destructive on every level and it is immoral for the government to take money by force from some to give to others.

    4. Jjet says:

      I always believed, education was the answer to the generational recipiants of Welfare. 40 yrs. later, nope thats not it. The entitled mentality is continually exploited and encouraged by so called black leaders, Sharpton and bunch. They have found a way out, by making millions off the backs of their "brothers".
      Our government, by Over compensateing. In the 60's afirmative action was indeed needed in the beginning, but also teaching, helping, to be "EQUEL" , not a forever victom, not forever exploiting the slave issue. So many blacks today have put that in the history books. They are in their own right, equal and have over come it. The younger kids of today start on equal ground. It's up to parents, and educaters to point that out. The fact of just their color is differant. They can do anything, as any other. This whole issue, is a political game, as well as a power play, not only for politicions, but again certain "leaders'. Sadly, this didn't progress as hoped in the 60's, but, They didn't "teach a man to fish" they Gave him a fish.

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