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Mike Lee on Welfare & Poverty

 


Poverty comes from cronyist privilege at the top

Lee gave a succinct and accurate account of the poverty problem:

"Immobility among the poor, who are being trapped in poverty by big-government programs; insecurity in the middle class, where families are struggling just to get by and can't seem to get ahead; and cronyist privilege at the top, where political and economic insiders twist the immense power of the federal government to profit at the expense of everyone else."

In contrast to the tired nostrums of "small government" and unrealistic assumptions that free markets will cure poverty, he explained, modern conservatism has to be about something bigger: "Not just by cutting big government, but by fixing broken government. Not just by making government smaller but by promoting bigger citizens, stronger families and more heroic communities. Our goal should be an America where everyone has a fair chance to pursue happiness--and find it. That's what it looks like when protest grows into reform."

Source: Washington Post: 2014 State of the Union Tea Party response , Jan 29, 2014

Social programs "crowd out" church & charitable giving

Large, government-funded social programs tend to "crowd out" charitable giving--partly because they necessitate high tax rates that leave would-be donors with less money to give, and partly because they create the (often incorrect) impression that the government will always address the needs of the poor. In this respect, a move toward constitutionally limited government will promote the welfare of vulnerable populations by enlisting the invaluable assistance of churches, charities, neighborhood organizations, families, and other elements of civil society. The combined efforts and resources of all these groups could form a far more effective societal safety net than bureaucratic government programs ever could.
Source: The Freedom Agenda, by Sen. Mike Lee, p. 97 , Jul 18, 2011

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Page last updated: Aug 10, 2014