3 Conservative Solutions for Baltimore

 

Child offers Baltimore police officer a bottle of water. (Image Credit: Bishop Cromartie)

With the depressing news out of Baltimore, conservatives are again decrying the social consequences of the welfare state, fatherless neighborhoods, and multigenerational poverty. We have repeatedly warned that misery and unrest would be the result of LBJ’s War on Poverty and related policies sold to the American people as “compassion.” There is no joy seeing these predictions come true.

As with Detroit and other failed liberal utopias, the press is desperate to blame the Baltimore riots on conservatives, even though the city has had only Democratic mayors since 1967 (when Nancy Pelosi’s brother was elected). Observers also blame systematic racism, even though just one white mayor has served since 1987 (expected presidential candidate Martin O’Malley) and the city has an African-American city council president, police chief, and top prosecutor. Even half of the police force is black. Despite the spin, fiscal and social liberalism is what failed Baltimore.

Instead of pointing and saying “I told you so,” many conservatives are taking steps to improve the lives of the most vulnerable. A group called the Foundation for Government Accountability is spearheading three initiatives that are already having a positive effect across America.

The first goal is to reduce the cycle of dependency by helping people get back to work. The fastest growing welfare program today is food stamps, ballooning from $17 billion in 2000 to almost $80 billion last year. In that same time, 31 million people have been added to the food stamp rolls. Much of this is due to states easing or eliminating work requirements and asset tests.

To fix this problem, the FGA created the Work First initiative to restore effective work requirements, reasonable time limits and common sense asset and eligibility testing.

Let’s look at Baltimore’s home state. In Maryland over the last decade, food stamp use has increased 188%. This translates to three-quarters of a million residents, or 13% of the population. Creating a permanent underclass isn’t compassion; it’s immoral.

Maine decided to employ a common-sense work requirement at the end of 2014. That state’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) rolls dropped from 12,000 to 2,680 by the end of March 2015. People are finding work and taxpayers’ money is used far more effectively.

Another FGA initiative is to reduce welfare fraud and abuse by verifying that applicants are truly eligible, monitoring enrollees to ensure they are still eligible, and prosecuting fraudsters who steal from taxpayers. Technology and e-verify software allows states to make these changes if they want to help the truly needy and protect taxpayers.

The third program is called Safe Families, which dramatically reduces the number of kids trapped in government-run foster care with the help of private organizations and families. With a change in state policies, a safe, temporary home is provided for a child while a parent in crisis gets help and support. This prevents abuse and neglect without the threat of biological parents losing custody to government bureaucrats. An extended volunteer family offers help, advice and support to parents who never had a social safety net to rely on. All this while reducing the number of kids who enter the child welfare system.

The key to fixing broken cities and lives isn’t bigger government, higher taxes and more dependency. If conservatives don’t push back on these broken programs and offer solutions, who will?

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  1. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Voters keep voting for this and they should get what they vote for good and hard.

    I have enough on my plate to make sure my community is OK. Cobb County is the only county in the Metro area of Atlanta without a corruption scandal in recent years. And hey, it is the County of the Evil one Newt.

    Democrats destroy all the touch. Don’t let them into power. If they are in power, flee.

    • #1
  2. Butters Inactive
    Butters
    @CommodoreBTC

    won’t happen, but

    1. legalize drugs

    2. abolish the minimum wage

    3. offer school vouchers

    • #2
  3. user_1152 Member
    user_1152
    @DonTillman

    This would make a fantastic platform for the GOP: Save America’s Dying Cities.

    This would be available to cities with:

    • high crime, specifically high murder rates
    • declining populations, specifically losing 25% or more over the last 50 years
    • Democratic rule over the last 50 years

    And the cities would have to buy into it (for some appropriate definition of “buy into it”).

    • #3
  4. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    This is a city with enormous drug and illiteracy problems. The first step is to get people moving in the right direction. The challenge is absolutely massive.

    • #4
  5. user_129539 Member
    user_129539
    @BrianClendinen

    Don Tillman:This would make a fantastic platform for the GOP: Save America’s Dying Cities.

    This would be available to cities with:

    • high crime, specifically high murder rates
    • declining populations, specifically losing 25% or more over the last 50 years
    • Democratic rule over the last 50 years

    And the cities would have to buy into it (for some appropriate definition of “buy into it”).

    See to do this we would have to have conservative evangelist who are also called community workers, that would be communicating and relating to the local population to change their mind. However we don’t have this because conservatives care more about spending time and money to actual change someones life and community regardless of how they vote. Verses proselytizing a name for voting and power purposes and only pretending to make someones life better because my emotional intentions are all the maters not the actual end result.

    • #5
  6. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    iWe:This is a city with enormous drug and illiteracy problems. The first step is to get people moving in the right direction. The challenge is absolutely massive.

    Thank you very much for staying there to help improve the city.

    • #6
  7. Jon Gabriel, Ed. Admin
    Jon Gabriel, Ed.
    @jon

    Don Tillman:This would make a fantastic platform for the GOP: Save America’s Dying Cities.

    This would be available to cities with:

    • high crime, specifically high murder rates
    • declining populations, specifically losing 25% or more over the last 50 years
    • Democratic rule over the last 50 years

    And the cities would have to buy into it (for some appropriate definition of “buy into it”).

    Love this idea. We should hold the RNC in Detroit.

    • #7
  8. iWc Coolidge
    iWc
    @iWe

    The first step? Allow churches to do what they do best. Touch people, get them to think about improvement and responsibility and honor.

    There is much that government does that severs ties within communities. Anything that de-institutionalizes welfare and charity allows them to become humanized once again. It is people that help people – not bureaus or divisions or services.

    • #8
  9. Karen Inactive
    Karen
    @Karen

    Well, let’s give the Maryland electorate credit for voting for Larry Hogan for governor. He’s a successful real estate businessman who ran on a platform of lower taxes and more jobs. The increased taxes under O’Malley ran wealthy taxpayers out of the state, which only exacerbated the problem. Yes, fatherless families, the welfare state, and multigenerational poverty are reasons, but they aren’t the only reasons. Baltimore is the heroin capital of the country. Drug dependency is a big problem. A lot of that has come from Afghanistan. The economy in Baltimore has changed dramatically. During the Cold War build-up, Baltimore built more ships than anywhere else in the country. Now the Navy builds a lot fewer ships. The technological innovations in shipping have made many port jobs obsolete. So, the workers in Baltimore, as with many people, have to adapt to the evolving job market. Baltimore needs businesses to invest in the city, and the city needs resources to assist people with job training. This afternoon the Mayor attended the news conference in Under Armour gear. Great example of a business betting on Baltimore, and I think conservatives should encourage Hogan’s efforts to bring more jobs to Maryland.

    • #9
  10. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @Martel

    These solutions sound great, but even if we can’t pull any of them off, at the very least couldn’t we do a better job at making sure Democrats get some of the blame for this crap? I’m sick to death of conservatism getting the blame for cities run by Democrats in states run by Democrats following policies set in Washington by other Democrats.

    Lots of regular hardworking blacks despise the likes of Sharpton, and it wouldn’t be that hard to drive a wedge between them and normal folks IF we made the sort of effort Brian recommends. Unfortunately, the only alternatives most blacks hear to the “necessary evil” black establishment is crickets.

    • #10
  11. user_1152 Member
    user_1152
    @DonTillman

    Martel:These solutions sound great, but even if we can’t pull any of them off, at the very least couldn’t we do a better job at making sure Democrats get some of the blame for this crap?I’m sick to death of conservatism getting the blame for cities run by Democrats in states run by Democrats following policies set in Washington by other Democrats.

    The data is plenty available.  Now more than ever…  Wikipedia is remarkably well set up for this.  Go to:

    Wikipedia: List of US Cities By Crime Rate

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_cities_by_crime_rate_(2012)

    Click on the Murder column twice to sort by descending murder rate.

    Click on the top cities, and for each about 2/3 of the way down you can see their population over the decades.

    And most cities have a List of Mayors entry with political affiliation.  Here’s the List of Mayors of Baltimore.

    • #11
  12. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @EustaceCScrubb

    While Bill de Blasio looks to practice his liberal solutions to make NYC again more like Baltimore.

    • #12
  13. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @Martel

    iWe:The first step? Allow churches to do what they do best. Touch people, get them to think about improvement and responsibility and honor.

    In some cases this is entirely correct.  In other cases, urban churches have become so infused with Liberation Theology and the victim mentality of the “civil rights” establishment that a great deal of what they do simply exacerbates the problem.

    Moreover, were these churches actually effective agents of “social change,” I doubt that out of wedlock birthrates, crime rates, etc., would be quite so high.  I’ve known plenty a churchgoing black who acts exactly like his secular brethren in every way except where he spends Sunday morning.

    One serious deficiency that virtually supersedes the absolute moral imperatives of Christianity is the “keep it in the family” mentality of many blacks.  Amongst themselves, they’ll rip on the gangbangers with as much fervor as Sean Hannity ever could.  Yet the moment a white guy enters the room, they’ll either shut up or even take his side against the white guy.  The message the gangbanger takes from this is that ultimately his people got his back no matter what he does.

    • #13
  14. user_278007 Inactive
    user_278007
    @RichardFulmer

    Bryan G. Stephens:Voters keep voting for this and they should get what they vote for good and hard.

    I have enough on my plate to make sure my community is OK. Cobb County is the only county in the Metro area of Atlanta without a corruption scandal in recent years. And hey, it is the County of the Evil one Newt.

    Democrats destroy all the touch. Don’t let them into power. If they are in power, flee.

    In another post, the “Curley Effect” was mentioned.  According to this theory, a strategy for keeping power is to purposely undermine a city’s financial base in order to drive away wealthy citizens and to get whoever is left dependent upon government and those who run it.  Whether the strategy is a conscious one or not, it clearly works.

    Any solution will have to overcome the city’s political machine and the voting bloc that keeps it in power.

    • #14
  15. Roberto Member
    Roberto
    @Roberto

    All excellent ideas, but while the family in such localities is in ruin I fear they can only amount to token efforts.

    With the families destroyed, father’s absent, adolescents left without proper role models wonkish policy decisions can only have ephemeral and marginal effects.

    • #15
  16. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @Martel

    Don Tillman:

    The data is plenty available. Now more than ever… Wikipedia is remarkably well set up for this. Go to:

    Wikipedia: List of US Cities By Crime Rate

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_cities_by_crime_rate_(2012)

    All apologies if I come across as flippant, but how about printing out those pages, take them to a Baltimore protest, and see what happens.

    Yes, the facts are there, everywhere, but what the hell good are they at changing anybody’s mind if nobody wants to see them?

    We emphasize those facts that support our foregone conclusions and tend to ignore those that don’t (even us).  Blacks have had it pounded into their heads for generations that no matter how bad things are, it’s not their fault.  Every thug has a bad experience in his childhood that made him that way.  Every Democratic mayor has had his policies stifled by economic reality some Republican somewhere, whether somebody on a city council, a greedy business owner who re-locates his factory, the Governor, Congress, the President, etc. (there will always be a Republican somewhere to hold them down.)

    We’ve been downright horrible at anything even closely resembling outreach, thus allowing generations worth of filth to seep into black minds virtually unabated.  We’re awful because we’re too ignorant of the black experience to make a case, we’re too wimpy to fight back when we do, and we barely even try.

    • #16
  17. Kay of MT Member
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    Bryan G. Stephens:Voters keep voting for this and they should get what they vote for good and hard.

    I have enough on my plate to make sure my community is OK. Cobb County is the only county in the Metro area of Atlanta without a corruption scandal in recent years. And hey, it is the County of the Evil one Newt.

    Democrats destroy all the touch. Don’t let them into power. If they are in power, flee.

    Cobb County GA, where most of my maternal ancestors lived and were on the 1850 Federal Census, California District. All those Paris’, Rainwaters, Fullers, Bartletts, Mintins, and Calleys, were mine, I tell you. All mine. I don’t think Cobb County appreciated them much because about 1852 they drew a straight line down the western side of Cobb County and pushed the whole lot of them into Paulding Co. That Aaron L.F. Bartlett statue in front of the Paulding Co. Courthouse was my 3rd great Uncle.

    • #17
  18. Ricochet Member
    Ricochet
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Karen :Well, let’s give the Maryland electorate credit for voting for Larry Hogan for governor. He’s a successful real estate businessman who ran on a platform of lower taxes and more jobs. The increased taxes under O’Malley ran wealthy taxpayers out of the state, which only exacerbated the problem.

    It is not only Leftist policies that have dreadful effects.  Even the risk of Leftist policies have dreadful effects.

    I don’t think that any business owner (or reasonably well-to-do citizen) should put any trust in the government of Maryland or any other Leftist state.  Sure, maybe Maryland elected a Republican governor this time, but the legislature is dominated by Democrats (33-14 in the State Senate, 91-50 in the House of Delegates).  Maryland currently has a Cook PVI of D+10.  What assurance does this give for the future?

    Remember, Maryland is the state that passed the ridiculous “Wal-Mart Bill” in 2005.

    This is the same effect that held back economic growth in many non-Communist countries during the Communist era.  Even the threat of Communist revolution drives out the private investment that would create economic growth.

    • #18
  19. Karen Inactive
    Karen
    @Karen

    Arizona Patriot:

    Karen :Well, let’s give the Maryland electorate credit for voting for Larry Hogan for governor. He’s a successful real estate businessman who ran on a platform of lower taxes and more jobs. The increased taxes under O’Malley ran wealthy taxpayers out of the state, which only exacerbated the problem.

    It is not only Leftist policies that have dreadful effects. Even the risk of Leftist policies have dreadful effects.

    I don’t think that any business owner (or reasonably well-to-do citizen) should put any trust in the government of Maryland or any other Leftist state. Sure, maybe Maryland elected a Republican governor this time, but the legislature is dominated by Democrats (33-14 in the State Senate, 91-50 in the House of Delegates). Maryland currently has a Cook PVI of D+10. What assurance does this give for the future?

    Remember, Maryland is the state that passed the ridiculous “Wal-Mart Bill” in 2005.

    This is the same effect that held back economic growth in many non-Communist countries during the Communist era. Even the threat of Communist revolution drives out the private investment that would create economic growth.

    Capitalism thrives on risk and reward. Under Armour invested and it paid off. I don’t have any assurances that a business will be successful in Maryland, but it’s still a very wealthy state. I can’t imagine more fertile ground for economic development than Maryland over the next few years.

    • #19
  20. Ricochet Inactive
    Ricochet
    @PaulaBolyard

    Jon Gabriel, Ed.:

    Don Tillman:This would make a fantastic platform for the GOP: Save America’s Dying Cities.

    This would be available to cities with:

    • high crime, specifically high murder rates
    • declining populations, specifically losing 25% or more over the last 50 years
    • Democratic rule over the last 50 years

    And the cities would have to buy into it (for some appropriate definition of “buy into it”).

    Love this idea. We should hold the RNC in Detroit.

    No worries, Cleveland can use the help, too (although there was that brief flirtation with a Republican mayor after the Kucinich debacle, which I suppose disqualifies the city from the 50-year Dem rule rule).

    • #20

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