It All Starts in the Home
June 1, 2017 | View PDF
In his State of the Union address in January 1964, President Lyndon Johnson declared “an unconditional war on poverty in America.” Since that time, our nation has spent trillions of dollars fighting a war it cannot win. That money has only given us welfare-dependent people who cannot see the importance of meeting their own needs. The “war on poverty” turned out to be another democrat debacle that has done nothing to eliminate poverty; in fact, there are more Americans living below the poverty line today than there were in 1964. When plotting their “war on poverty,” the democrats failed to identify the real enemy. The problem is not “poverty;” it is the culture that embraces and encourages it.
Recently, I was pleased to read about a Republican-developed plan that attacks the root of the problem – a culture that views government and not parents as the primary provider for and educator of children. This plan, which has been proposed in Utah, should serve as a blueprint for other states and our nation. If enacted into law, the principles found in this plan can do something about the systemic causes of poverty in our country.
One precept espoused by the plan is that parents are expected to be the first teachers of their children. One by-product of the decades-long nanny state is that too many people producing children today don’t understand that the word “parent” is a verb. They themselves need to be educated on how to teach their children and encouraged to do so. Another foundation of the plan is the promotion of a culture that supports consistent school attendance. Education, not another government check, is the way to escape poverty.
This plan also addresses the economic stability of families. It contains a recognition that families are at the center of economic stability. Its strategies are designed to help individuals improve their job skills and ensure that economic policies support putting people to work and keeping them there. The “War on Poverty” has produced the welfare state, inspired generations of Americans to reject work, and deprived millions of the pride one feels when he knows that he is meeting his family’s needs. This colossal failure must end.
In too many homes the mailman is known as the “moneyman” because he brings the welfare checks. Too many people look to Congress and not themselves for increases in their income. Too many marriages have been destroyed because the husband is not needed to provide for his family. In fact, the failures of the welfare state are so many that you might conclude that the democrats created it to enslave people and prevent them from voting Republican. I encourage Alabama’s leaders to review the Utah plan and, whenever possible, to follow its guiding principles of supporting parents and encouraging them to care for and properly train their children. The solution to the problem of poverty does not lie in Montgomery or Washington, D.C.; it lies in the home.