Posted 1 year ago on Oct. 20, 2012, 8:05 a.m. EST by factsrfun
from Phoenix, AZ
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
“At the Maryland Hunger Solutions annual conference in Baltimore this week, keynote speaker Dr. Michael Reisch, a leading social work educator in the United States and Distinguished Professor of Social Justice at the University of Maryland, said, “Children constitute the demographic cohort most likely to be poor, a phenomenon unprecedented in industrialized nations.”
Indeed there are 16 million children in poverty—22 percent of all kids—including more than one in three African-American and Latino children, and one in four children under age 6 from all backgrounds.
So it was very timely that the leaders of six child advocacy organizations wrote letters to President Obama and Governor Romney asking each candidate what he would do to address child poverty in America. There were three questions, including one that has been pushed for months by the #TalkPoverty movement: “What will you pledge to do in your first 100 days to address childhood poverty?” The other two focused on ensuring comprehensive healthcare, quality educational opportunities starting with Pre-K, and food security; and describing a “vision for how to permanently ensure that future generations of children will not have to face the specter of crushing poverty.”
In a detailed response, Obama wrote of the importance of the Affordable Care Act in covering tens of millions of currently uninsured Americans and providing children with preventative care. He singled out the importance of Head Start, public and private Pre-K, and childcare in providing “children from disadvantaged backgrounds with a strong start and a foundation for school success.” He described the importance of extending tax cuts for working families included in the Recovery Act, such as the expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, which benefit people with low-wage jobs. He pushed for infrastructure investments “to repair crumbling schools, roads, and bridges,” and passing the American Jobs Act to create 1 million jobs, and “help states keep up to 325,000 teachers.”
Obama’s long-term vision includes transforming “high-poverty neighborhoods with distressed public housing and crumbling schools into communities that are sustainable for the growth of our children.” He cited the Choice Neighborhoods programs to address housing, crime and transportation in a comprehensive way; and the Promise Neighborhoods program—modeled after the successful Harlem Children’s Zone—“where 37 communities in 18 different states already have plans in place to put education at the center of combating poverty.”
The Romney campaign informed the authors of the letter that their candidate wouldn’t respond in writing. So we’re left with—as far as the Romney-Ryan record goes—the observation that poverty is up; that there are more women in poverty now; that people in poverty are “our brothers and sisters”; and the big fat lie that Obama is “gutting the work requirement” so those very same “bothers and sisters” just get a “welfare check.”
Kudos to these six organizations for getting the most substantive comments yet about child poverty from at least one of the candidates.
The third and final presidential debate on Monday will focus on foreign policy. Child poverty is definitely a foreign policy issue as it relates to economic competitiveness and how America is viewed by the world.
As Dr. Greg Duncan—an economist and widely respected researcher on the consequences of childhood poverty—recently told me: “What’s at stake is whether America will be able to maintain its position as a leading economic power in the next generations. Not to mention that America prides itself on offering people at all levels a chance for success. Rising income inequality over the past thirty years and its attendant increases in poverty should worry not only advocates for poor people but also anyone else concerned about the future of the country.””
I thought this was worth putting up, here’s the link: