Joseph Lieberman on Welfare & Poverty
Democratic Jr Senator (CT), ran for V.P. with Gore, ran for president 2004
Individual Development Accounts for low-income families
Lieberman champions “Individual Development Accounts,” which are tax-free savings accounts that provide matching funds to families at the bottom of the economic ladder, provided they use those funds for education, home ownership, or new business
start-ups. IDAs match deposits dollar for dollar by offering government tax credits to participating banks. Lieberman introduced the Savings for Working Families Act to broaden the IDA program on a national scale.
Source: Senate web site, “Issues Focus: Budget & Economy”
Aug 7, 2000
Volunteerism is good but government needs professionals
Millions of Americans find the time to volunteer in neighborhood, religious, or community services groups, and still more millions could. But it is important to acknowledge that government will not function with
volunteers alone. It needs professionals, hopefully some of the best and the brightest, willing and able to serve full-time in positions of public trust to make the government work.
Source: Excerpt from “In Praise of Public Life”, p. 31-2
May 2, 2000
Enterprise zones spread prosperity to poor cities
The booming economy has raised millions of people with it, but left millions of others behind. Our government can and should do something about it. Influenced by good experience with enterprise zones in Connecticut, I introduced legislation that offered
tax incentives, grants, and regulatory relief to woo businesses and jobs into our poorest urban and rural areas. President Clinton embraced the idea and it was finally adopted in 1997. It is starting to work to spread opportunity and wealth.
Source: Excerpt from “In Praise of Public Life”, p.133
May 2, 2000
Supported 1996 welfare reform
On economic issues, he has backed capital gains tax cuts for small business (“you can’t be pro-jobs and anti-business”) and urged President Clinton
to sign the 1996 welfare reform bill--both stands opposed by many Democrats.
Source: Almanac of American Politics 2000 (Barone & Ujifusa)
Jan 1, 2000
Voted YES on welfare block grants.
Replacement of federal welfare guarantee with block grants to the states.
Status: Conf Rpt Agreed to Y)78; N)21; NV)1
Reference: Conference Report on H.R. 3734;
Bill H.R. 3734
; vote number 1996-262
on Aug 1, 1996
Voted YES on eliminating block grants for food stamps.
Vote to not allow states the option of getting food stamp funds as a block grant administered by the state, rather than as a federal program, if they meet certain criteria.
Bill S 1956
; vote number 1996-218
on Jul 23, 1996
Voted NO on allowing state welfare waivers.
Vote on a procedural motion to allow consideration of an amendment to express the Sense of Congress that the president should approve the waivers requested by states that want to implement welfare reform.
; vote number 1996-208
on Jul 19, 1996
Voted YES on welfare overhaul.
Approval of an overhaul on the federal welfare system.
Status: Bill Passed Y)87; N)12; NV)1
Reference: Contract w/ America (Welfare Refm);
Bill H.R. 4
; vote number 1995-443
on Sep 19, 1995
Finish welfare reform by moving able recipients into jobs.
Lieberman signed the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":
Help Working Families Lift Themselves from Poverty
In the 1990s, Americans resolved to end welfare dependency and forge a new social compact on the basis of work and reciprocal responsibility. The results so far are encouraging: The welfare rolls have been cut by more than half since 1992 without the social calamities predicted by defenders of the old welfare entitlement. People are more likely than ever to leave welfare for work, and even those still on welfare are four times more likely to be working. But the job of welfare reform will not be done until we help all who can
work to find and keep jobs -- including absent fathers who must be held responsible for supporting their children.
In the next decade, progressives should embrace an even more ambitious social goal -- helping every working family lift itself from poverty. Our new social compact must reinforce work, responsibility, and family.
By expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, increasing the supply of affordable child care, reforming tax policies that hurt working families, making sure absent parents live up to their financial obligations, promoting access to home ownership and other wealth-building assets, and refocusing other social policies on the new goal of rewarding work, we can create a new progressive guarantee: No American family with a full-time worker will live in poverty.
Goals for 2010 Finish the job of welfare reform by moving all recipients who can work into jobs.
Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC3 on Aug 1, 2000
- Cut the poverty rate in half.
- Double child support collections and require every father who owes child support to go to work to pay it off.
Establish a National Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
Lieberman sponsored the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund Act
Establishes the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund in the Treasury to promote the development of affordable low-income housing through grants to States and local jurisdictions.
Source: Bill sponsored by 22 Senators 03-S1411 on Jul 15, 2003