Howard Dean on Welfare & Poverty
Former VT Governor; Former Democratic Candidate for President
Children and schools suffer under Bush policies
Kids are losing health insurance every day because of what Bush is doing. If he gets re-elected, those people are going to suffer. Schools are going down the tubes in inner cities and rural areas all over America. Those people are going to suffer
if Bush gets re-elected. And so what I see in [the Nader] candidacy is the perfect becoming the enemy of the good. In the long run, this is about American people who canít defend themselves against the kind of administration that Bush has.
Source: NPR, ďJustice TalkingĒ Dean-Nader Debate
, Jul 9, 2004
$100B Initiative to Strengthen Americaís Cities
Dean announced today a comprehensive Initiative to Strengthen Americaís Cities. Dean outlined a package that includes plans to create jobs, provide credit for urban businesses, boost wages, & strengthen affordable housing. Deanís urban initiative is part
of his New Social Contract with Americaís Families. The initiative includes four key commitments:
Source: 2004 presidential website, DeanForAmerica.com
, Dec 29, 2003
- To create jobs, through a $100 billion Fund To Restore America.
- To provide credit that helps Americans start their own businesses and promotes
- To boost wages by moving toward a minimum wage of $7.00 per hour, protecting overtime pay, and expanding unemployment benefits.
- To create a National Housing Trust Fund to build, rehabilitate and preserve affordable housing.
Dean Corps replaces under-funded AmeriCorps
Iím proud of an idea my supporters in Iowa came up with, which theyíve called Dean Corps, to rebuild their local communities. Dean Corps is based on AmeriCorps. Members donate their time, energy, and labor to community service. Dean Corps began in Iowa,
intending to fill in the vacuum left by the Bush administrationís underfunding of AmeriCorps, which hit Iowa particularly hard. Dean Corps has been active in the unemployed community in Iowa, and it is also doing environmental outreach and developing
programs to help ensure that the needs of seniors are met.
The first Dean Corps event I participated in was at the Johnson County Crisis Center in Iowa City. We collected more than 320 pounds of donated food for unemployed Iowans who were having
difficulty making ends meet. The Crisis Center exists because hardworking Americans are willing to volunteer their time. Thanks to their contributions, their neighbors have a resource to fall back no when they are having trouble feeding their family.
Source: Winning Back America, by Howard Dean, p.135
, Dec 3, 2003
Implemented VT workfare program along Clinton's lines
Dean approved the 1991 welfare reform bill initiated in the Snelling administration. "We're going to go for it," Dean said. "We're not going to change a word. These are all good, sound, humane changes."
The core of the bill was known as workfare, a
requirement that welfare recipients get a job after a limited period on the rolls. The job could be in a private sector, but failing that the recipient would have to take a public service job. The Clinton administration was moving in the same direction;
both the state and national governments were driven by research showing that workfare could break the chain of welfare dependency across generations. The move to greater independence would be cushioned by several safety nets, including an increase in the
cutoff age for the Dr. Dynasaur health program and formulas to allow welfare recipients to keep a larger percentage of their earnings as they started working.
Dean ordered a special one-day session of the legislature to approve the measure.
Source: Citizen's Guide to the Man Who Would be President, p.101-102
, Oct 1, 2003
Churches may provide social services if no discrimination
I am appalled that President Bush wants to make it easier for federal grantees to engage in employment discrimination. I welcome legislation introduced today to overturn this affront to civil rights.
Faith-based organizations provide important social
services in this country. But when they use taxpayer dollars to deliver those services, certain basic legal rules apply. One of those rules is that a recipient of federal funds may not hire or fire an employee because of race, gender, religion or
Last December, President Bush issued an Executive Order that expressly permits such employment discrimination. And yesterday he urged Congress to make it easier for religious organizations that receive federal funds to discriminate.
The Presidentís radical proposal may please his far-right base, but it violates the Equal Protection Clause. The Constitution protects the free exercise of religion, but it prohibits the use of public funds for religious discrimination.
Source: Statement on Employment Discrimination By FBOs
, Jun 26, 2003
Promote the next generation of welfare reform.
Dean is a member of the Democratic Governors Association:
Principles of the Democratic Governors Association:
PROMOTING PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY THROUGH THE NEXT GENERATION OF WELFARE REFORM
Democratic Governors are promoting the next stage of welfare reform: helping families rise above poverty; providing access to the health insurance, transportation and child care that make it possible for single parents with children to go to and stay in work; and focusing on the fathers of children on welfare, to not only make sure they meet their responsibilities to their kids, but to help them find the work necessary to do so.
Source: DGA website, www.DemocraticGovernors.org/ 01-DGA3 on Aug 15, 2001
Maintain federal Social Services Block Grant funding.
Dean adopted the National Governors Association position paper:
The IssueDespite an ongoing need to provide social services to families, the elderly, and the disabled, federal funding for the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) has been cut dramatically over the past few years, indicating a weakening of the historic state-federal partnership to serve needy Americans. In 1996, as part of the historic welfare reform agreement, Congress agreed to provide the states $2.38 billion each year for SSBG. Since that time, funding has been chipped away little by little. This year, SSBG is funded at $1.725 billion.
NGAís Position The nationís Governors have consistently supported the broad flexibility of the SSBG and are adamantly opposed to cuts in federal funding for the program. Governors believe that funding for SSBG is among the most valuable federal investment that can be made for the nationís most vulnerable population.
Further cuts will be difficult for state and local governments to absorb and will cause a disruption in the delivery of the most critical human services. Governors believe that funding for SSBG should be restored to $2.38 billion, and transferability should be permanently restored to 10 percent, the levels that were agreed to as part of the 1996 welfare reform law.
In 1996, Governors reluctantly agreed to a slight reduction in funding for SSBG, from $2.8 billion to $2.38 billion, with the understanding that funding would remain at $2.38 billion through fiscal 2002, and then return to $2.8 billion. However, the federal government has consistently broken that promise. The nationís Governors strongly urge Congress and the administration to reject the proposed cuts and to restore funding and flexibility to the program.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA14 on Sep 7, 2001
Maintain flexibility & funding levels for TANF block grants.
Dean adopted the National Governors Association position paper:
The IssueThe 1996 welfare reform law, including the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, needs to be reauthorized before September 30, 2002.
In 1996, the Governors, Congress, and the administration entered into a historic welfare reform agreement. In exchange for assuming the risk involved with accepting the primary responsibility for transforming the welfare system from one of dependency to self-sufficiency, Governors agreed to guaranteed funding for the life of the TANF block grant along with significant flexibility to administer federal programs. The current NGA policy on welfare reform makes three key points:
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA17 on Sep 21, 2001
- Maintain flexibility. The TANF block grant was created so that states could develop innovative approaches to addressing welfare reform, and states have been successful in tailoring their programs to meet the individual needs of their citizens. This flexibility must be maintained so that states can
continue the progress of welfare reform.
- Maintain investment. States are provided with $16.5 billion each year in federal TANF funds, which together with the required state maintenance-of-effort funds, finance welfare reform. Some will argue that the funding should be cut because of the dramatic drop in caseloads. But TANF is no longer just about cash assistance - states are now serving a much broader population than under the old welfare system, and states are now providing services to families that help them succeed and advance in the workplace, not just cutting a check for cash each month.
- Move toward greater program alignment. The Food Stamp Program is one example of a program that is in great need of reform, and its connection to welfare reform should be discussed in the context of reauthorization. Other related programs that should be considered include child support, child welfare, housing, the Workforce Investment Act and Medicaid.
Page last updated: Oct 08, 2013