Al Gore on Welfare & Poverty

Housing: Keep interest rates low; foster more savings

Source: Washington Post, p. G5 Oct 28, 2000

Invest to increase median family income by one-third by 2010

Source: 191-page economic plan, “Prosperity for American Families” Sep 6, 2000

$200B to encourage more savings by low-income workers

Gore’s proposal, dubbed “Retirement Savings Plus,” would provide an extremely generous government grant to low-income workers who choose to participate. Individuals making less than $15,000 and couples making less than $30,000 would receive $3 for each dollar they invested, for total contributions of as much as $2,000 a year when the plan was fully implemented in 2009. The plan would cost $200 billion over 10 years. Gore would leave the basic structure of Social Security untouched, essentially gambling that future generations would be able to pay the bills when the baby-boom generation begins to retire in full force. Although Gore is proposing his plan in the context of Social Security reform, it seeks to address a problem that has long concerned policymakers--the extremely low savings rates of low-income workers. After five years, workers could withdraw funds without penalty to pay for a new home, education expenses or catastrophic illness.
Source: (X-ref Social Security) Glenn Kessler, Wash. Post, page A01 Jun 19, 2000

Second generation of welfare reform: focus on fatherhood

Al Gore today detailed his plan for a second generation of welfare reform and to encourage more responsible fatherhood. Gore called for the creation of Parental Responsibility Accounts to enhance the incentives for fathers to pay child support and for mothers to move from welfare to work. These proposals would ensure fathers share responsibility for their children with the millions of hard working moms.

“I believe we have a national obligation to insist upon responsible fatherhood - everywhere and from everyone,“ Gore said. ”Today, I call for a second generation of welfare reform. It is flat out wrong to bring a child into the world and then walk away. Every father has some basic obligations - to provide financial support for his children, to spend time with them and to treat the mother of his children with respect.“ Today, more than one third of all children live apart from their fathers. Children with absent fathers are more likely to turn to drugs and commit suicide.

Source: Press Release, “Next Generation of Welfare Reform” Jun 2, 2000

Build 180,000 low-income homes; subsidize 120,000 more

The Gore campaign said the vice president had proposed an additional $5.7 million of federal assistance, over 10 years, to help states build 180,000 apartments or houses, including rentals, for low-income people. Mr. Gore also supports an additional $690 million over 10 years to help 120,000 low-income families with housing vouchers to subsidize their rent.
Source: Frank Bruni, New York Times Apr 19, 2000

Investing in inner cities is good deed & good business

Investment in our inner cities is not just a good deed, it is good business,“ Gore told a gathering of business & community leaders. Gore said many black and Latino communities across the nation have been left out of the country’s economic prosperity because of ”the cumulative impact of many generations of diminished opportunity, discrimination & barriers that have impeded progress.“ Gore cited statistics that, on average, the wealth of African American families is just 11% that of the average white family; for Latinos the figure is 10%. As a result, he said, many bright young Latinos or African Americans with good entrepreneurial ideas can’t rely on relatives to help finance a first business, and thus abandon their dreams. “We’re missing out in America, because when a young entrepreneur has a good idea, that individual is going to create more jobs in the community, more wealth in the community, more investment by the people who live in the community in the future of that community,” Gore said.
Source: Elizabeth Shogren, N.Y. Times Staff Writer Apr 16, 2000

7M people off welfare: reform has worked

GORE [to Bradley]: We have moved seven million people from welfare to work, cutting the rolls in half. You voted against it in the US Senate. And I’m wondering why.

BRADLEY: I voted against it because I didn’t think it was in the best interest of the country. And I’m wondering why you think it’s working so well when there are one million children today who’ve lost their health insurance because of welfare reform. Although the welfare rolls have dropped, [the number of] people in deep poverty have increased. [The 1996 Senate vote] was a gamble with kids for reelection. I was not willing to take that gamble. The next 4 years [required] attempts to correct a bad bill. Legal immigrants were kicked off of the welfare rolls; the strict limits of two years and five years was an onerous burden. [Those provisions] have been changed now. Governors now have flexibility. So the bill I voted against is not the bill now. But I think we need to reform welfare reform. No question about that.

Source: (X-ref to Bradley) Democrat Debate in Manchester NH Jan 26, 2000

Reduce child poverty via tax credits & minimum wage

Q. The US has the highest rate of child poverty of any major Western industrialized nation. There are 13.5 million American children living in poverty. What specific plans do you have to reduce child poverty in America?
A. I will work tirelessly to reduce child poverty through a number of measures, including: expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit; expanding federal programs to provide health care and nutrition to children in need; and raising the minimum wage. One more thing we can do immediately to help alleviate child poverty is to ensure and help more “deadbeat dads” acknowledge paternity, go to work and pay child support. As President, I will continue the Clinton/Gore Administration’s successful efforts to make more fathers take responsibility and help them play a constructive role in lives of their children. And I will keep working to find new ways to tackle the critical problem of child poverty.
Source: National Association of Children’s Hospitals survey Jan 8, 2000

Invest in urban redevelopment and “Empowerment Zones”

Through innovative strategies such as the Empowerment Zone initiative to attract private investment to distressed communities, and the agreement he announced this year under which the nation’s homebuilders will build 1 million new homes in urban America over the next ten years, Gore has worked to promote investment and redevelopment in historic and neglected neighborhoods, so that they are not merely abandoned as people move further and further out.
Source: 5/16/99 May 16, 1999

Al Gore on Faith-based organizations

Strengthen voluntary charity as well as federal welfare

Source: The Economist, “Issues 2000” special Sep 30, 2000

Supports volunteerism thru faith-based organizations

Americans’ volunteer work has doubled in 20 years, even as more women-the traditional mainstay of volunteer groups-have moved into the workplace. [Americans’] hunger for goodness manifests itself in a newly vigorous grassroots movement tied to non-profit institutions, many of them faith-based & values-based organizations. I have seen the transformative power of faith-based approaches through the national coalition I have led to help people move from welfare to work-the Coalition to Sustain Success.
Source: Speech on Faith-Based Organizations, Atlanta GA May 24, 1999

Corporations should match donations to faith-based orgs

We should encourage more private support for faith-based organizations. Employees commonly have their charitable contributions matched by their company. But rarely are faith-based programs approved for such matches. I call on the corporations of America to encourage and match contributions to faith- and values-based organizations. For too long, faith-based organizations have wrought miracles on a shoestring. With the steps I’m proposing today, they will no longer need to depend on faith alone.
Source: Speech on Faith-Based Organizations, Atlanta GA May 24, 1999

“Charitable Choice:” Fed funds for church-based welfare

The 1996 welfare reform law contained a little-known provision called Charitable Choice. It allows faith-based organizations to provide basic welfare services, as long as there is a secular alternative, and as long as no one is required to participate in religious observances. They can do so with public funds - without having to alter the religious character that is so often the key to their effectiveness. We should extend this approach to drug treatment, homelessness, & youth violence prevention.
Source: Speech on Faith-Based Organizations, Atlanta GA May 24, 1999

Faith-based organizations replace govt programs

People who work in faith- and values-based organizations are driven by their spiritual commitment. They have done what government can never do, [based on] compassionate care. Some political leaders have relied on well-intentioned volunteerism to feed the hungry & house the homeless. [But to spiritual volunteers, the] client is not a number, but a child of God. And their solutions & programs are more likely to work because they are crafted by people actually living in the neighborhood they are serving.
Source: Speech on Faith-Based Organizations, Atlanta GA May 24, 1999

Other candidates on Welfare & Poverty: Al Gore on other issues:
John Ashcroft
Pat Buchanan
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
Bill Clinton
Hillary Clinton (D,NY)
Elizabeth Dole
Steve Forbes
Rudy Giuliani (R,NYC)
Al Gore
Alan Keyes
John McCain (R,AZ)
Ralph Nader
Ross Perot
Colin Powell
Jesse Ventura (I,MN)

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