State of Iowa Archives: on Welfare & Poverty

Jim Carlin: Goal of welfare system should be keeping families together

Our welfare system needs to be rethought and turned upside down. It penalizes parents who stay together. It fails to lift people out of poverty. It snares too many into a cycle of dependence too often lasts for generations. The goal of welfare and public assistance should be to keep families together, quickly get the needy to back on their feet and to a place where they are no longer dependent on the government for help.
Source: 2021 Iowa Senate campaign website Mar 7, 2021

Mike Huckabee: Poor people don't know how to get out of the hole

Do you know what poverty programs do to people? They keep them in poverty because we have thresholds. If you go to work, you lose Medicaid, WIC, Section 8 housing, food stamps, and then your kids go hungry. I resent it when people say people are poor because they want to be. Nobody wants to be poor. People are poor because they don't know how to get out of the hole. Government shouldn't push them back in the hole which is what our policies do when they punish people who want to work.
Source: 2016 Fox News Republican Undercard debate in Iowa Jan 28, 2016

Tom Fiegen: Address childhood hunger & childhood poverty

My biggest concerns for Iowa and the country are: the need to address childhood hunger (One in five of our children in America is food insecure); the need to democratize and decentralize our food production, to grow, process and market more healthy local fresh food.

There is something profoundly wrong when we have a proliferation of millionaires at the same time as millions of Americans work longer hours for lower wages and we have the highest childhood poverty rate of any developed country on earth.

Source: 2016 Iowa Senate campaign website, Oct 9, 2015

Alison Grimes: Shameful to oppose food stamp program during recession

McConnell voted against the new Farm Bill, saying the legislation had been overtaken by a too-generous food stamp program that overshadows actual farm policy. His chief Democratic challenger, Alison Lundergan Grimes, has denounced McConnell's vote as "shameful." Grimes said, "He has failed our farmers, and in the process left so many in the lurch." An estimated 1 in 5 Kentuckians receive food stamps. Those food stamp rolls swelled nationwide as the economy has struggled in recent years, with the stimulus providing higher benefits and many people signing up for the first time.

"It just largely became a food-stamp bill with production agriculture kind of stuck on as an afterthought," McConnell told reporters. He also voiced support for work requirements for many recipients.

Grimes didn't provide details about what level of funding she would support for the food-stamp program. She said she hoped the negotiations would produce a comprehensive bill that includes food -stamp funding.

Source: Iowa Farmer Today, "Farm Bill", on 2014 Kentucky Senate race Dec 12, 2013

Mitch McConnell: Opposed Farm Bill due to too-generous food stamp program

McConnell appeared before the Kentucky Farm Bureau to explain his vote against a new farm bill, saying the legislation had been overtaken by a too-generous food stamp program that overshadows actual farm policy. McConnell said he hopes to eventually support a new farm bill if negotiators reach an agreement. His Democratic challenger, Alison Grimes, has denounced McConnell's vote as "shameful."

"It just largely became a food-stamp bill with production agriculture kind of stuck on as an afterthought," McConnell told reporters. He also voiced support for work requirements for many recipients, saying it could spur more economic productivity. "Why would anybody object, if they can be given employment, to being productive?" McConnell said. "At the same time, you may be eligible for some food-stamp assistance. We need to move in the direction of having a vibrant, productive, expanding economy. And you don't do that by making it excessively easy to be non-productive."

Source: Iowa Farmer Today, "Farm Bill", on 2014 Kentucky Senate race Dec 12, 2013

Sam Clovis: Don't trading spending cuts for entitlement reform

Clovis also showed he will stand up to members of his own party. He criticized Mitch McConnell more than once and did not hesitate to say he disagreed with popular Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley regarding trading spending cuts for entitlement reform.
Source: Kevin Hall in Iowa Republican on 2014 Iowa Senate debate Oct 24, 2013

Rick Santorum: No compromise on core principles; compromise on all else

Q: You would not negotiate on raising taxes? Not even as a 10-to-1 ratio of spending cuts to taxes?

A: Absolutely not, because it's not the problem. This is where leadership comes in. You know, you need to stand firm on these things. But you can't stan and say you give me everything I want or I'll vote no. You have to find the principles, like I did on welfare reform. I said three things--to end the federal entitlement, which we did. We wanted to require work, which we did. And we wanted to put a time limit on welfare. We did those 3 things. We compromised on everything else. I didn't get everything I wanted, but I got the core of what I wanted and we transformed welfare. You need leaders, you need people who are good at leadership, not showmanship. You go to the American public and you lay out the facts. [On the budget crisis], we need to get the economy growing. That doesn't mean taking more money out of it, that means creating energy jobs, creating manufacturing jobs. And my plan will do that.

Source: Iowa Straw Poll 2011 GOP debate in Ames Iowa Aug 11, 2011

Dennis Kucinich: Address poverty with full employment economy & social reform

Q: We live in a country today where Latino and Black household wealth--not income, but accumulated household wealth--is about 10% for the average black and brown family of what it is for the average white family. How did we get here and how do we get out of it?

A: In Cleveland we face a situation where there is a massive amount of foreclosures, rising unemployment about around particularly around African American households and some Latinos. Here is my plan first of all. A full employment economy. A Roosevelt type WPA program that puts everyone who is able to work back to work with a living wage. Second a not for profit health care system. Third, universal pre-kindergarten. Four, universal college education. So we need to make economic reform the fundamental driving force in this country and a president percentage stands for the principle of a rising tide lifts all boats not trickle down economics.

Source: 2007 Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum Dec 1, 2007

Hillary Clinton: Partner with faith based community in empowerment zones

Q: What leadership would you take to ensure that young people and Latino and Black communities not only have access to capital but to ensure that economic development is more inclusive of black and brown youth?

A: In New York City we have seen the transformation of Harlem from a combination of government action creating an empowerment zone, the private sector coming in to take advantage of that and an explosion of entrepreneurial dynamism. Weíve also seen the faith based community like Abyssinians & others that have been partners with it and of course weíve seen a lot of hip hop participants and leaders taking advantage of that. So we need this partnership. We need this partnership between the public and private sector and the not-for-profit and faith-based sector. And we need to make sure that young people have a particular stake in what we are going to present. Thatís what Iíve worked on in NYC and in upstate NY and I intend to put that to work when Iím president.

Source: 2007 Iowa Brown & Black Presidential Forum Dec 1, 2007

Jack Hatch: More TANF; more job training programs

Source: 2002 Iowa Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test Nov 1, 2002

George W. Bush: ĎArmies of compassioní are next step of welfare reform

Government can spend money, but it canít put a sense of purpose in our lives. This is done by churches & synagogues & mosques & charities. [We should] rally these armies of compassion. As president, I will lift the regulations that hamper them. I will involve them in after-school programs, drug treatment, prison ministries. I will lay out specific incentives to encourage an outpouring of giving. Supporting these soldiers in the army of compassion is the next, bold step of welfare reform.
Source: Candidacy Announcement speech, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Jun 12, 1999

  • The above quotations are from State of Iowa Politicians: Archives.
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2020 Presidential contenders on Welfare & Poverty:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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Page last updated: Oct 13, 2021