Harry Browne on Welfare & Poverty

2000 Libertarian Nominee for President


Repealing taxes will foster charity

Repealing the income tax will leave an extra trillion dollars a year in the hands of individual Americans-money now being poured down government rat holes. That trillion dollars will buy a job for everyone who can work and charity for everyone who can’t.

Can you envision the jobs that will be created? Can you imagine the increase in charity? Whatever the problem, the people most interested in solving it will have the means to do so.

Source: The Great Libertarian Offer, p. 75 , Sep 9, 2000

End unemployment programs; feds out of employment biz

Source: 2000 National Political Awareness Test , Jan 13, 2000

Religious & community-based charities should handle welfare

On welfare:“The federal government has no constitutional authority to be in this area. True compassion requires religious and community based charities to handle welfare. Government is neither efficient or compassionate in this area.”
Source: 2000 National Political Awareness Test , Jan 13, 2000

End welfare completely; no entitlements to others’ earnings

End welfare completely, so that children no longer believe that they are entitled to the earnings of others.
Source: 1996 National Political Awareness Test , May 1, 1996

War on Poverty & rent control cause poverty & homelessness

Browne does not support tax incentives for companies to hire and train homeless people; nor increasing spending on low income housing projects; nor expanding the earned-income tax credit for low income families. Browne says, “Federal urban renewal programs, the War on Poverty, welfare, rent control, and housing regulations are the primary causes of enduring poverty and homelessness.”
Source: 1996 National Political Awareness Test , May 1, 1996

Supports enterprise zones; eliminate govt regulations

Browne would eliminate government regulations to encourage investment and economic expansion of the private sector. Browne says, “Enterprise zones are very valuable; they free companies from oppressive regulations and taxes, so they can hire more people, lower their prices, and improve their communities.”
Source: 1996 National Political Awareness Test , May 1, 1996

End welfare; return to private compassion & charity

End welfare entirely and return to the traditional American system of relying on churches, charities, and private compassion.
Source: 1996 National Political Awareness Test , May 1, 1996

Community-based welfare ensured oversight & honesty

Before the 1960s, a person who needed help appealed to a local charity (such as the Salvation Army) or to the town government. The downtrodden individual had to explain how he got into trouble and how he intended to work his way out of it. He was monitored closely to assure that he was telling the truth and that he stuck to his plan to get back on his feet. And he knew that the money he received came from the pockets of his neighbors. Federal welfare requires nothing more than filling out a form.
Source: Why Government Doesn’t Work, by Harry Browne, p. 45 , Jul 2, 1995

Welfare perverts natural incentives & hence destroys lives

The people who have been seduced by welfare have become wards of the state, unable to fend for themselves, with no self-respect and no self-confidence. Is this compassion?
Source: Why Government Doesn’t Work, by Harry Browne, p.120 , Jul 2, 1995

8-month transition, then end all welfare checks

Would a transition program ease the move from today’s welfare system to a completely private, voluntary system? We have to remind ourselves over and over that government doesn’t work. So any government program to ease people off welfare--by retraining them or educating them--won’t work any better than the current welfare system works. The next President should announce to all people receiving welfare checks from the federal government:
If I have my way, your federal welfare payments will end in eight months. So you have eight months to turn your life around, to find a job, to learn to take care of yourself.
We expect to pay you for those eight months. So if you get a job tomorrow morning, you can get two checks each month for those eight months. Or you can wait until the last moment to change things. But even if you haven’t found a job in eight months, your checks from the federal government will end.
So what are you going to do?
Source: Why Government Doesn’t Work, by Harry Browne, p.125 , Jul 2, 1995

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Page last updated: Oct 01, 2016