Jesse Ventura on Families & Children
Former Independent MN Governor
No more tax subsidy for child care; parentsí responsibilty
In July, I got an avalanche of diapers in the mail, sent by angry parents who didnít like the fact that I wouldnít make other taxpayers pay for their kidsí day care. Iím still asking them, why did you have kids in the first place when you werenít ready
to provide care for them? Terry and I waited five years to start a family. We didnít just do whatever we felt like doing, and then expect other citizens to pick up the tab.
I wish those folks would look at the issue with a little foresight: if I
earmark day care money for 8,000 kids this year, how many kids do you think Iíll need to find it for next year? Rest assured, thereíd be more. Parents would see their neighbors getting it, and want it too. The responsible thing to do is harder than
accepting a government handout.
Unfortunately the folks who criticized me as being heartless and anti-child would rather send me diapers than consider making the tougher, more responsible choice.
Source: Ainít Got Time To Bleed, p.287-8
, Jan 1, 1999
Community regulates behavior better than government
Over the past few decades, weíve gotten into the bad habit of looking to the government to solve every personal and social crisis that comes along. People have really come to misunderstand governmentís scope. Thereís only so much it can do. For one
thing, itís a terrible social regulator. And morals and values arenít things that legislation can even touch. You canít legislate morality. It doesnít work.
There are other ways to handle those things, better ways. One is called parenting. The othe
is called community. I was very fortunate: I was raised in a time and place where family and community were still very strong, when people fought to keep family and community and keep them respectable. If you got out of line, you had an army of
family, friends, and neighbors who you knew would be personally disappointed in you--people you cared about and respected. Thatís a far more effective means of ďregulationĒ than anything government can do to you. And it doesnít even raise your taxes!
Source: Ainít Got Time To Bleed, p.262-3
, Jan 1, 1999
Encourage fathers' participation in child-raising.
Ventura adopted the National Governors Association position paper:
The IssueGrowing evidence suggests that children from families in which fathers do not contribute their time and support endure a number of risk factors. Children with absent fathers are more likely to drop out of school, become teenage parents, develop drug or alcohol problems, or become involved in violent criminal behavior. Congress and the administration have recently proposed a number of federal programs to support state and local fatherhood initiatives.
NGAís Position Governors believe that government at all levels can and should take immediate action to help reduce the number of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and encourage active participation by fathers of all ages in raising their children. Governors have played a leadership role at both the national and state level in developing and implementing comprehensive strategies to strengthen the role of fathers in their childrensí lives. While many Governors are using Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and other federal program funds to support state-specific fatherhood initiatives, additional investment in fatherhood would broaden the population of fathers that can be served. Governors believe that there should be support of and coordination between existing programs and any new federal funding stream designated for fatherhood initiatives and that these new initiatives should not be funded at the expense of another vital human service program.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA12 on Sep 7, 2001
Federal funds & state involvement in fatherhood initiatives.
Ventura adopted the National Governors Association policy:
The nationís Governors recognize that governments at all levels can and should take immediate action including:
- providing additional education and information about the importance of fathers participating in raising their children;
- establishing a nongovernmental national clearinghouse to collect and disseminate information regarding responsible fatherhood;
- expanding efforts to prevent unintended and out-of-wedlock teen pregnancies;
- providing children with appropriate adult male role models, such as mentors, in the absence of a caring father;
- ensuring that young men are given opportunities to feel successful and valued, which will lead to the development of self-confidence and preparation for fatherhood;
- encouraging the involvement of the community, including the religious community, civic community, business community, and mentors in addressing the importance of father involvement;
- developing strategies that include both parents in activities focused on their children, such as training service providers and educators to include both parents in their service delivery;
- working with private employers and the education community to provide education and job training opportunities to unemployed, underemployed, and low-skilled fathers; and
- paternity establishment and child support enforcement efforts.
Any new federal funding stream designated for fatherhood initiatives should:
Source: NGA policy HR-28. Fatherhood Policy 01-NGA6 on Aug 15, 2001
- support programs in states, at the discretion of each Governor, that encourage appropriate involvement of both parents in the life of a child, with priority given to programs that specifically address the issue of fatherhood;
- be coordinated with existing fatherhood programs, as well as with other federal funds that can be used for fatherhood initiatives, such as TANF; and
- not be funded at the expense of another vital human service program.
Page last updated: Nov 23, 2011