Democratic Party on Welfare & Poverty

Party Platform

Partner with faith-based organizations to serve the needy

Faith has always been a central part of the American story. We know that our nation, our communities, and our lives are made vastly stronger and richer by faith and the countless acts of justice and mercy it inspires. Faith-based organizations will always be critical allies in meeting the challenges that face our nation and our world--from domestic and global poverty, to climate change and human trafficking. People of faith and religious organizations do amazing work in communities across this country & the world, and we believe in lifting up and valuing that good work, and finding ways to support it where possible. We believe in constitutionally sound, evidence-based partnerships with faith-based and other non-profit organizations to serve those in need and advance our shared interests. There is no conflict between supporting faith-based institutions and respecting our Constitution, and a full commitment to both principles is essential for the continued flourishing of both faith & country.
Source: 2012 Democratic Party Platform , Sep 4, 2012

OpEd: If justice is a problem, fix poverty programs

Everyone in Washington wants to do the right thing--govern in a fiscally responsible manner--but their behavior, sadly, tells a different story. Republicans almost uniformly say the problem is spending, but few participate in the work of eliminating low- priority spending. Cutting spending, therefore, is a nominal value, not a real value.

Democrats aspire to values like economic justice, equality, and protecting entitlement programs; but their behavior says something else. Instead of fixing the programs upon which the poor depend, many Democrats support policies that will bankrupt those very programs. Many Democrats also engage in class warfare rhetoric and complain about tax cuts for the rich, yet they refuse to end tax breaks for the rich and other direct payments to millionaires. With Democrats, economic justice is often a nominal value, not a real value.

At the end of the day, our $15 trillion national debt is a monument to Washington's real values--self-preservation and careerism.

Source: The Debt Bomb, by Sen. Tom Coburn, p. 39 , Apr 17, 2012

Line in the sand: protect entitlements (but it needs reform)

Democrats claim their line in the sand is protecting entitlement benefits for the poor and seniors. Convinced of the virtue of their goal, partisan Democrats rationalize their decision to dismiss, demagogue, and demonize anyone who proposes entitlement reform.

This position, however, is entirely about protecting Democrats, not the poor or seniors. If entitlement programs are not reformed, they will collapse and bring our economy down with them.

Republicans, meanwhile, say their line in the sand is "no tax increases." I'm glad so many Republicans are talking tough about the problem being overspending, not under-taxation. I've been making that case since 1995. If these same Republicans, who continue to vote for more spending, had been as resolute since 1995, the problem would be much easier to solve. Every dollar of deficit spending Republicans backed--along with Democrats--was a deferred tax increase. Our present challenges prove that deficits do matter.

Source: The Debt Bomb, by Sen. Tom Coburn, p. 56 , Apr 17, 2012

Raise EITC & minimum wage to $7 & expand middle class

The dream of the middle class should belong to all Americans willing to work for it. We still have work to do as long as millions of Americans work full-time, fulfill their responsibilities, and continue to live in poverty. We will offer these Americans a ladder to the middle class. That means raising the minimum wage to $7.00, increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit and extending child credits so that parents who work full-time donít have to raise their children in poverty And it means continuing on the path of welfare reform. We must match parentsí responsibility to work with the real opportunity to do so, by making sure parents can get the health care, child care, and transportation they need. And we must expect increased responsibility from fathers as well as mothers by increasing child support enforcement and promoting responsible fatherhood together with religious and civic organizations.
Source: The Democratic Platform for America, p.22 , Jul 10, 2004

Harness power of faith-based organizations PLUS govt

We have ended the era of big government; its time to end the era of old government. We need to create a government that is on-line all the time. We must decentralize government. Democrats believe it is time that government found ways to harness the power of faith-based organizations. However, we believe that partnerships with faith-based organizations should augment - not replace - government programs, should respect First Amendment protections, and should never use taxpayer funds to proselytize.
Source: 2000 Democratic National Platform as adopted by the DNC , Aug 15, 2000

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Page last updated: Apr 28, 2015