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Want to Rebuild Opportunity, Mr. President? Start with Welfare Reform
Posted By T. Elliot Gaiser On July 31, 2013 @ 4:46 pm In Culture | Comments Disabled
In the kick-off  to his most recent speaking tour, President Obama said the United States must “rebuild ladders of opportunity for all those Americans who haven’t quite made it yet.” But his economic policies have actually made it harder for many Americans to escape poverty and a welfare system that does little to promote self-sufficiency.
“Here in America…we expect people to be self-reliant,” he said. “But that idea has always been combined with a commitment to equality of opportunity, to upward mobility.… If you’re willing to work hard and discipline yourself and defer gratification, you can make it, too.”
However, very few of the government’s approximately 80 means-tested welfare programs promote self-sufficiency through work. And Obama has made it worse by seeing to it that even fewer welfare programs promote work .
While the cost of welfare has been growing for decades, Obama has accelerated welfare spending . Today, over a third of Americans now receive some type of means-tested welfare aid , with an average of $9,000 per person totaling nearly $1 trillion in taxpayer dollars annually. Taxpayers have financed almost $20 trillion in welfare spending since the 1960s — more than the cost of all of America’s military wars combined—but the poverty rate has hardly budged. America’s welfare system has failed the poor.
Obama went on to say that lawmakers should “redesign or get rid of programs that don’t work.” America’s welfare system is a prime candidate for reform. Here’s how the President can do it:
Policies should increase opportunities for upward mobility and self-sufficiency. If the President is serious about these aims, he should take leadership to reform welfare by promoting self-sufficiency through work. Reforming the broken welfare system and making efforts to build a healthy marriage culture are crucial to helping “rebuild ladders of opportunity” to open the way for more Americans to achieve a prosperous future.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/07/31/want-to-rebuild-opportunity-mr-president-start-with-welfare-reform/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/medicaidfoodstampswaitingro.jpg
 kick-off: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/25/us/politics/obamas-economics-speech-at-knox-college.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
 by seeing to it that even fewer welfare programs promote work: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/09/an-overview-of-obama-s-end-run-on-welfare-reform
 Obama has accelerated welfare spending: http://www.heritage.org/research/testimony/2012/05/examining-the-means-tested-welfare-state
 food stamps: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/07/reforming-the-food-stamp-program
 marriage is one of the greatest protectors against child poverty: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/09/marriage-americas-greatest-weapon-against-child-poverty
 two-caste society: http://www.heritage.org/research/lecture/marriage-and-caste-in-america-separate-and-unequal-families-in-a-post-marital-age
 explosive growth: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/03/how-to-get-welfare-spending-under-control
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