credit – Dane Hicks of The Anderson County Review
Though the wailing critics of Governor Brownback’s recent state welfare reforms seem to have trouble realizing it, work really (italic) is (end italic) better than welfare.
It’s better for the individuals and families afflicted by poverty; it’s better for the state’s economy; it’s better for employers who need labor to pursue their business goals and its better for the state and its cities and counties which derive revenues from income and sales taxes.
That’s the basis for the conservative philosophy outlined in The Hope Act, which Brownback signed into law recently. Kansas’ liberal daily newspaper editors and the talking heads on MSNBC just can’t fathom it – the audacity of a law that seeks to restrict government assistance and incentivize recipients to leave welfare while it provides job training directed at gainful employment.
It is the common-sense restrictions within the new law that the “blank check” folks find so appalling – the idea that state assistance, your tax money, should be spent on necessities and not on liquor, cigarettes, casinos or strip clubs, movie tickets, tattoos, manicures, massages, fortune telling, swimming pools, theme parks, jewelry stores and lingerie.
“Should the government care where people buy underwear?,” asked the incredulous MSNBC program host Chris Hayes as “enlightened” liberals nationwide piled on last week to castigate Kansas once again for its conservative values.
Indeed, Mr. Hayes, it should. When taxpayers are picking up the tab, cotton skivvies will do just fine. If you want Heidi Klum Intimates at $90 a pop you can have them – but on your dime, not ours.
Those restrictions are important for two reasons: 1) welfare benefits should be Spartan enough to provide incentive to leave them behind for gainful employment, and 2) it is fiscally responsible for the state.
Liberal critics seem to despise another intrinsic virtue of the bill – the fact that dignity is important and that work shepherds it. Key provisions to The Hope Act, unaddressed by Brownback haters, are work training facets aimed at reconstituting the unemployed with expanded or new skills to make them marketable in the workplace. This free training is critically under-reported in the media but vital in breaking the generational cycle of poverty and in getting the unemployed into jobs and back on their feet.
But the gnashing of liberal teeth over state welfare reform is just the latest example of the paradigm limits that keep critics from seeing the logic of a government based on conservative values. Cut income taxes and government regulation; by doing so encourage companies to invest in their operations to make more money and drive job creation; incentivize and train the unemployed to embrace those jobs and the self worth that comes with them; reap benefits from those payrolls as they’re spent to create more jobs and generate income and sales taxes to fund other needed services.
I ask you, naysayers, what is wrong with that, and why is it so hard to understand?
Kansas’ liberal newspapers and other critics bent on being bumps in the road to the vision of conservative prosperity in our state should try practicing the tolerance, understanding and consideration they so often preach.