January 24th, 2004


Things I'll say when I'm President...

Alright folks, let's do an informal poll. Who here wants to help the poor? C'mon, raise your hands; this includes you guys in the press corps. Alright good, that's most of you. Now, who thinks the government should help the poor. Again, most of you, but that's not so good.

I'm going to say this, and watch the reaction: "The government's job is not to help the poor." There are two myths on how to solve poverty. From the liberals, we hear that the end to poverty and the salvation of the poor is just one more expensive federal program away. We can buy our way out, and in the process, complicate the government infrastructure even further. The conservatives spout another myth, typified in the phrase, "A rising tide of the economy lifts all boats." In reality, it just drowns the people in the deepest water.

I say the government can't help the poor; if it could, we should have seen some progress. A rising economy doesn't help the poor, because again, we should have seen it happen already.

So then, who is responsible for helping the poor? I assign that responsibility to the most powerful force, and most compelling organization ever created. The citizens of the United States of America. That's right; the people I delegate to end poverty is you.

Gasp! I've just committed political suicide. Nope, no reelection chance for me. Perhaps I should just resign now?

Let me make clear who's responsible for what. You, the people of this country, are responsible for ending poverty. As your leader, and the head of this government, my job, is to ensure that you have every tool and every resource to do that job. To that end, I'm propsing a bill that allows you to take (some percentage) of your Federal Income tax, and have it redirected into one of the certified poverty-related charities on this list. ::gestures to the list on his podium:: Note that, unlike welfare, this is voluntary. Your money can just be dropped into the common treasury just as easily; but you will have the freedom to choose, which is the core of democracy.