In the run-up to the 2016 election, Republicans are trying to position themselves as the party of the middle class. It may well work, but not because Republicans are in fact reformist, but rather because voters and pundits eschew data and instead focus on rhetoric.
The situation is dire. By placing moral judgment on the impoverished, we do everyone a disservice. We fail to harvest the potential of so many bright and talented people in this country. And by doing so, we fail to thrive as a nation. It is imperative that we change the dialogue.
One of the lessons we teach our children is simply this: "If you make that decision now, you will have to live with the consequences later." It is a lesson about the need to consider the implications of a decision. It is a lesson we seem to have neglected in our national life.
We are one of the world's wealthiest democracies, and yet the people who make up the fabric of our population -- who serve our food, stock our warehouses, and take care of our loved ones -- barely make enough to survive.
While Pay for Success is still a new tool and there are real implementation challenges ahead, it has the potential to improve communities and save taxpayer dollars, while also providing a new way for governments to help make better spending decisions and end programs that aren't working.
Saying you love Jesus, then making it your political mission to dismantle systems and programs designed to help those whom Jesus loves -- without offering up a legitimate alternative -- cannot but appear to those on the outside to be an exercise in looking out for yourself.
Quick, what's more obscene: Anthony Weiner's obsession with sending crotch shots of himself to female admirers or the Republican House of Representatives, seeking to gut a host of social, environmental and arts programs in America to take revenge for Barack Obama's health care plan?
If we accept the position that public social support has to have some rational limits, then many more people must build on whatever that base of support will be to push their lives further forward with their own efforts, brains, energy and ambition.
In designing automatic across-the-board spending cuts, policymakers will face a decision that's received little attention of late: whether to continue a quarter-century tradition of protecting low-income programs or risk serious harm to the poorest and most vulnerable Americans.
Running throughout the Romney-Ryan budget is a suspicion that by helping people you make them weaker, that the poor are easily swayed into behaving irresponsibly. The sad thing is, Romney and Ryan are the irresponsible ones
The next time you hear someone discussing "welfare reform," ask them if they are referring to those in corporate America to keep mismanaged and failing businesses afloat, or the ones that are helping the people of America to survive.
The country I grew up in made it possible for a kid who had no chance in life to climb up and help himself. I'm a product of 40 foster homes, three group homes and finally adopted parents who passed away -- I know the importance and need for social programs.
Either spend some money now in order to enable a generation of kids to participate in and contribute to our society, or pay exponentially more later when we have a generation of adults who are wholly reliant on us because we didn't give them the skills they needed.
Dr. Martin Luther King, responding to near-starvation conditions found in parts of the U.S., viewed access to food as a civil rights issue. King made the hunger issue a central component of his Poor People's Campaign.
It is not surprising that Congress's approval rating is, for the first time, in single digits. The views of the American people who -- across party lines and all demographics -- consistently say "do not cut Social Security," "Do not cut Medicare" lack standing in this policy discussion.
While whacking our parents and grandparents with a big cut in Social Security benefits apparently draws bipartisan support, the supercommittee will not even score a plan to tax Wall Street financial speculation.