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Haley Barbour on Welfare & Poverty

Former Republican MS Governor (until 2012)


Welfare is harmful in many, many ways

Our welfare policy has been a disaster. Liberals insist that we don't actually spend that much on it. Yes, they admit that the system might benefit from some tinkering. But, they inevitably add, the only people who speak against welfare are people who don't want to help the poor. They are wrong. What they adamantly refuse to acknowledge, either through genuine blindness or sheer demagoguery, is that welfare is harmful--in many, many, ways.

Only 2 decades ago, those who warned that the deterioration of family life would undermine civil society were apt to be dismissed as worrywarts, if not kooks. Today, on the contrary, their insight is downright trendy.

Source: Agenda For America, by Haley Barbour, p.101 , Apr 25, 1996

Real welfare reformers seek to uphold the American family

We believe a seismic change is in order. Above all we believe in upholding the American family as a unit capable of inculcating its children with the qualities that make them able to lead challenging and independent lives. Hence, today's real welfare reformers propose to:
  1. end the entitlement status of AFDC and related programs
  2. impose time limits for welfare eligibility
  3. stop subsidizing illegitimacy
  4. enforce work requirements
  5. replace an array of federal programs with a few simple block grants to the states; and
  6. return decision-making regarding welfare to state and local government, which is to say, state and local taxpayers.
Within that consensus agenda, there is considerable room for debate. One approach would federally mandate a reform agenda for the states, especially with regard to illegitimacy. Another approach gives priority to prying control of welfare out of the hands of official Washington: to make reform last, it must be shaped & implemented on the local level.
Source: Agenda For America, by Haley Barbour, p.105 , Apr 25, 1996

Enterprise zones let poor neighborhoods get honest jobs

Enterprise zones, a policy that's been kicking around for years--and applied here and there in timid, grudging half-measures--should be put into effect throughout our inner cities. Distracted by the ideological mirages of quotas, a higher minimum wage, and federal make-work programs, Washington has forgotten what our poor neighborhoods most need--honest jobs.

Enterprise zones are not based on theories but on a simple truth: No company wants to locate in poor, dangerous, and ravaged neighborhoods. These same communities, moreover, are often beset by high taxes and regulatory intrusion. Government, local and federal, has managed to turn these areas into permanently dependent constituencies with almost no private economic activity.

The best way to entice private business into these stagnant areas is to remove those hindrances. Cut taxes, radically. Eliminate every needless regulation. And, wherever possible, get the politicians and bureaucrats out of the way of business.

Source: Agenda For America, by Haley Barbour, p.151-152 , Apr 25, 1996

Other governors on Welfare & Poverty: Haley Barbour on other issues:
MS Gubernatorial:
Phil Bryant
MS Senatorial:
Roger Wicker
Thad Cochran

Newly elected Nov. 2012:
IN: Mike Pence (R)
NC: Pat McCrory (R)
NH: Maggie Hassan (D)
MT: Steve Bullock (D)
WA: Jay Inslee (D)

Re-elected 2012:
DE: Jack Markell (D)
MO: Jay Nixon (D)
ND: Jack Dalrymple (R)
UT: Gary Herbert (R)
VT: Peter Shumlin (D)
WI: Scott Walker (R)
WV: Earl Ray Tomblin (D)

Up for re-election 2013:
NJ: Chris Christie
VA: Bob McDonnell
Up for re-election 2014:
AK: Sean Parnell
AL: Robert Bentley
AR: Mike Beebe
AZ: Jan Brewer
CA: Jerry Brown
CO: John Hickenlooper
CT: Dan Malloy
FL: Rick Scott
GA: Nathan Deal
HI: Neil Abercrombie
IA: Terry Branstad
ID: Butch Otter
IL: Pat Quinn
KS: Sam Brownback
MA: Deval Patrick
MD: Martin O'Malley
ME: Paul LePage
MI: Rick Snyder
MN: Mark Dayton
NH: Maggie Hassan
NM: Susana Martinez
NV: Brian Sandoval
NY: Andrew Cuomo
OH: John Kasich
OK: Mary Fallin
OR: John Kitzhaber
PA: Tom Corbett
RI: Linc Chafee
SC: Nikki Haley
SD: Dennis Daugaard
TN: Bill Haslam
TX: Rick Perry
VT: Peter Shumlin
WI: Scott Walker
WY: Matt Mead
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Page last updated: Apr 25, 2013