Robert Reich on Welfare & Poverty

Former Secretary of Labor; Democratic Challenger MA Governor

Include faith based organizations in crime prevention

We should contract with small and medium-sized community groups, including faith-based organizations, in areas with rising crime to provide mentoring and drug counseling services. They know the score, and they know who to worry about. But we must also coordinate: individual neighborhoods and individual agencies accomplish much on their own, but unless there is exceptional leadership, they don’t operate together.
Source: Campaign web site, RobertReich.org, “Keeping Families Safe” , Sep 17, 2002

Give housing vouchers to poor families

We could break up high concentrations of poverty by giving housing assistance vouchers to all poor families, so they could live in more affluent communities. Preliminary evidence suggests that poor children of families who move to higher-income communities do better than the poor children who stay behind. In addition, we could require housing developers to include in their plans for upscale communities a certain proportion of lower-income residences. And we could bar private insurers from imposing higher-risk premiums on people because of where they live, what they earn, or their genetic makeup.
Source: The American Prospect, vol.12, no.3,“New Economy” , Feb 12, 2001

Clinton’s signing of Welfare Reform was his worst decision

The Republicans had already given him [Clinton] two welfare bills. He had vetoed the first two. The third was slightly less draconian than the first two, but it was still awful. It treated immigrants badly. It cut food stamps. At some point this economy is going to turn downward. And at that point there’s no safety net for millions of people. I knew that the president was going to sign the bill, and it seemed to me the worst decision of the administration.
Source: ABC Nightline Interview, “Clinton Years” , Sep 1, 2000

Welfare reform resulted in millions working at dead end jobs

Many Democrats have celebrated the decline in welfare rolls without acknowledging that millions of people who are now at work are in dead-end jobs without a future. To the extent that there’s a moral core to American capitalism, it consists of three promises: First, any adult needing to work full time deserves a full-time job. Second, that job should pay enough to lift that person out of poverty. Third, people should have the opportunity to move beyond this minimum by making use of their talents.
Source: The American Prospect, vol.11, no.15, “Working Principles” , Jul 3, 2000

Other governors on Welfare & Poverty: Robert Reich on other issues:
MA Gubernatorial:
Deval Patrick
MA Senatorial:
John Kerry
Scott Brown

Newly seated 2010:
NJ Chris Christie
VA Bob McDonnell

Term-limited as of Jan. 2011:
AL Bob Riley
CA Arnold Schwarzenegger
GA Sonny Perdue
HI Linda Lingle
ME John Baldacci
MI Jennifer Granholm
NM Bill Richardson
OK Brad Henry
OR Ted Kulongoski
PA Ed Rendell
RI Donald Carcieri
SC Mark Sanford
SD Mike Rounds
TN Phil Bredesen
WY Dave Freudenthal
Newly Elected Nov. 2010:
AL: Robert Bentley (R)
CA: Jerry Brown (D)
CO: John Hickenlooper (D)
CT: Dan Malloy (D)
FL: Rick Scott (R)
GA: Nathan Deal (R)
HI: Neil Abercrombie (D)
IA: Terry Branstad (R)
KS: Sam Brownback (R)
ME: Paul LePage (R)
MI: Rick Snyder (R)
MN: Mark Dayton (D)
ND: Jack Dalrymple (R)
NM: Susana Martinez (R)
NV: Brian Sandoval (R)
NY: Andrew Cuomo (D)
OH: John Kasich (R)
OK: Mary Fallin (R)
PA: Tom Corbett (R)
RI: Lincoln Chafee (I)
SC: Nikki Haley (R)
SD: Dennis Daugaard (R)
TN: Bill Haslam (R)
VT: Peter Shumlin (D)
WI: Scott Walker (R)
WY: Matt Mead (R)
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Page last updated: Nov 23, 2011