In a stunning display of what can only be correctly defined as media bias, a presidential candidate is publicly chastised for giving money to the poor. Unbelievably Mitt Romney is actually getting smacked with the race card for giving a woman in need $50 on the campaign trail.
The real reason that this is so very uncomfortable for the panel is that it is charity. When the poor and those experiencing hard times had to accept charity in order to get through a rough patch, it was the reason that was a rough patch and not a way of life. In other words, taking money from someone’s hand is infinitely more difficult than receiving an automatic download to a spiffy debit card with a pretty American flag on it. It’s a tad difficult to make government dependence a generational way of life when you have a face associated with the help.
This exposes the fundamental flaw in the left’s idea of helping someone. Give them money for food on a card. But along with that money, insist that they be single mothers. Insist that the father not dwell in the home. By attaching these strings (which should be correctly identified as chains) the government that this panel so loftily refers to is absolutely dooming recipients to a damning cycle of dependence that is difficult to escape. Statistics show that the way to avoid poverty altogether is to delay having a child until after high school and marry first. Just the act of delineating a road map to success has become an invitation to fling the race card.
Reducing the Anti-Marriage Penalties in Welfare
Another important public policy to strengthen marriage would be to reduce the penalties against marriage in the welfare system. Welfare programs create disincentives to marriage because benefits are reduced as a family’s income rises. A mother will receive far more from welfare if she is single than if she has an employed husband in the home. For many low-income couples, marriage means a reduction in government assistance and an overall decline in the couple’s joint income.
Marriage penalties occur in many means-tested programs such as food stamps, public housing, Medicaid, day care, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. The welfare system should be overhauled to reduce such counterproductive incentives.
The simplest way to accomplish this would be to increase the value of the earned income tax credit (EITC) for married couples with children; this could offset the anti-marriage penalties existing in other programs such as food stamps, public housing, and Medicaid. In addition, the appeal of welfare programs as an alternative to work and marriage could be reduced by requiring able-bodied parents to work or prepare for work as a condition of receiving aid.
For the media, admittedly the poor excuse for media that is MSNBC, to devote this much time to a laser focus on race; while completely ignoring the true issue of the poor leadership present in the White House is an atrocity of the highest order. Only in a bizarro world would Mitt Romney giving a needy woman money on the campaign trail be a divisive issue.
Certainly the true insult here is that the woman had no recourse but to approach a presidential candidate in the first place. Should someone on the panel have investigated the woman’s background to see if she was eligible for government assistance? Probably not. Undoubtably, she wouldn’t have needed assistance to begin with had she been married. Not every person can or should be married. But a return to that ideal and the elimination of government mandated marriage disincentives would go a long way towards improving the plight of America’s poor.