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“Ideas that matter, since 1965.“ Volume 52, Number 2 Politics & Perspective
Cover Story (cont’d)
Wisconsin Leads the Way On Welfare Reform By Brett Healy A nine-bill reform package recently signed by Gov. Scott Walker is part of a continuing effort to change the culture of welfare back to what it was originally intended to be -- temporary help.
6 City on the Move, City on the Rise By Mick Cornett Over the past 14 years, Oklahoma City has transformed itself into a thriving metropolis geared around economic growth and healthy living.
The Youngest Victims of the Opioid Crisis By Nancy K. Young With more and more Americans falling victim to drug and alcohol addiction, the number of children being placed into protective custody has increased, as well.
The Greatest Threat to Global Security is Our National Debt By David Perdue President Trump is rebuilding our military and reengaging with the rest of the world. But if we do not deal with the debt crisis, it will undermine each of these important gains.
Five Ideas to Make Congress Work By John Feehery The retirement of Speaker Paul Ryan speaks less to the political headwinds facing Republicans and more to the miserable conditions that many Members of Congress work under.
Cover Story 10
Increasing Access to the American Dream By Tim Scott The best way to fight poverty in America is not through government handouts, but by encouraging investments that will help lift up distressed communities.
The Unfinished Agenda By Robert L. Woodson, Sr. We must go beyond the confines of thinking that has not only created a massive failed welfare system, but also trapped generations in a cycle of dependency over the past 50 years.
Publisher The Ripon Society
Editor Lou Zickar
President Jim Conzelman
Editorial Assistant Stephen Jackson
Editorial Board Thomas Tauke Michael Castle Billy Pitts Pamela Sederholm Judy Van Rest Jim Murtha John Feehery
The UBI will Help Solve America’s Crisis of Income Insecurity By Samuel Hammond The economic security provided by a Universal Basic Income would promote entrepreneurship, and provide a cushion against automationinduced job losses in the years ahead.
If You Like Big Government, You’ll Love the UBI By Aaron M. Renn Almost by definition, a Universal Basic Income would vastly increase taxes and government spending because it would require an enormous redistribution of income.
Sections 3 25 28
In this Edition News & Events Ripon Profile - U.S. Rep. Martha Roby
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RIPON FORUM April 2018
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THE RIPON SOCIETY HONORARY CONGRESSIONAL ADVISORY BOARD U.S. Senators: Shelley Moore Capito - Senate Co-Chair Cory Gardner - Senate Co-Chair Roy Blunt Richard Burr Bill Cassidy, M.D. Susan M. Collins Steve Daines Joni Ernst Deb Fischer Orrin G. Hatch John Hoeven Jerry Moran Pat Roberts Mike Rounds Thom Tillis Roger Wicker Todd Young U.S. Representatives: Susan W. Brooks - House Chair Martha Roby - Vice Chair, South Erik Paulsen - Vice Chair, Midwest Bill Shuster - Vice Chair, Northeast Greg Walden - Vice Chair, West Mark Amodei Don Bacon Andy Barr Mike Bishop Diane Black Marsha Blackburn Vern Buchanan Larry Bucshon, M.D. Michael C. Burgess, M.D. Ken Calvert Tom Cole Barbara Comstock Ryan Costello Carlos Curbelo Rodney Davis Jeff Denham Charlie Dent Dan Donovan Sean Duffy Tom Emmer Bill Flores Rodney Frelinghuysen Kay Granger Sam Graves French Hill Bill Huizenga Randy Hultgren Darrell Issa Evan Jenkins Lynn Jenkins Dave Joyce John Katko Mike Kelly Adam Kinzinger Darin LaHood Leonard Lance Billy Long Frank Lucas Tom MacArthur Tom Marino Kevin McCarthy Michael McCaul Cathy McMorris Rodgers John Moolenaar Kristi Noem Bruce Poliquin John Ratcliffe Tom Reed Jim Renacci Tom Rice Tom Rooney Peter Roskam Steve Scalise John Shimkus Lamar Smith Steve Stivers Glenn Thompson Mac Thornberry Mike Turner Fred Upton Jackie Walorski Mimi Walters Brad Wenstrup Steve Womack
In this Edition
The passage of welfare reform in the summer of 1996 was a watershed moment in recent American political history. It represented a major shift in the federal approach to the war on poverty, in that it required able-bodied Americans to work as a condition of receiving benefits. Beyond that, it also represented one of the last times both parties came together over major reform legislation. Twenty-two years later, the prospect of a compromise of this magnitude seems remote at best. The political environment is too poisonous, and the scars of unending partisan warfare are too fresh. And yet the need to update and make further reforms to the way Washington helps people climb the economic ladder could not be greater. As Arthur Brooks pointed out in an essay earlier this year, “The government has spent $20 trillion since the mid-1960s trying to alleviate poverty by helping struggling people meet their material needs.” Despite this fact, he continued, 15% of the country was trapped in poverty in 2017 -- the same number as 1964. “So while poverty has become more bearable,” Brooks concluded, “it has not become any more escapable. Is that really success?” Among those who do not believe the current system is a success is Tim Scott. The Senator from South Carolina recently launched what he is calling an “Opportunity Tour” across his home state, in which he is talking about the need for new approaches in the war on poverty, and a proposal that he has championed which was signed into law as part of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act last fall. The proposal is called Opportunity Zones. Scott explains what the Zones would do in our cover story for this latest edition of the Forum. “Instead of utilizing a ‘band-aid method’ or temporary fix,” the Senator writes, “this piece of legislation aims to lift up entire neighborhoods by attracting private investment to areas most in need.” In putting forward this plan, Scott also notes he was inspired in part by the work of the late Jack Kemp. When then-Congressman Kemp wanted to learn more about the war against poverty in the mid1980s, he contacted Bob Woodson. At the time, Woodson was a civil rights activist and the founder of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, which helped residents of low-income neighborhoods address the problems of their communities. He would go on to serve as an advisor to Kemp when he was HUD Secretary. More recently, he has advised Speaker Paul Ryan on federal efforts to fight poverty today. Woodson writes about these efforts in this latest edition, and doesn’t pull any punches in this regard. “In addressing the plight of Americans trapped in intergenerational dependency,” the anti-poverty crusader writes, “neither side explores solutions that go beyond tinkering with the existing 80-plus anti-poverty programs in suggesting reforms of the current welfare system.” Woodson shares his thoughts on how both Republicans and Democrats can “go beyond tinkering” and bring real change to a system that has proven to be ineffectual over the years. One state where real reforms are being made to the welfare system is Wisconsin, where the legislature recently approved a package of nine bills backed by Governor Scott Walker. Brett Healy, the President of the MacIver Institute in Madison, writes about this package, and discusses whether it could serve as an example to other states. Given the opioid crisis raging across the nation, it is difficult to talk about welfare in America without also talking about the youngest victims of the opioid crisis — namely, the children of users and addicts who have been taken away from their parents and are now in foster care. Dr. Nancy Young examines their plight — and the burden it is placing on our system — in this edition. A serious crisis of a completely different nature is America’s exploding national debt. Former businessman and current Georgia Senator David Perdue examines the growth of the debt in an essay, and why he believes it represents a threat to security around the globe. A more uplifting success story can be found in Oklahoma City, where unemployment is down and economic growth is up. Both may be related to a healthy lifestyle campaign launched by former Mayor Mick Cornett, who writes about the campaign in this edition. In another essay, former Congressional aide and veteran political strategist John Feehery examines political dysfunction on Capitol Hill and puts forward “5 Ideas to Make Congress Work.” In our latest debate feature, Stephen Hammond and Aaron Renn square off about the costs — and benefits — of providing Americans with a Universal Basic Income. And in our latest Ripon Profile, Alabama Congresswoman Martha Roby talks about her role as a working Mom and her responsibilities as a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. As always, we hope you enjoy this edition of the Forum, and encourage you to contact us with any comments, questions or ideas you may have. Lou Zickar, Editor firstname.lastname@example.org RIPON FORUM April 2018
Politics & Perspective
The Greatest Threat to Global Security is Our National Debt by D AV I D P E R D U E
We are starting to see positive results and a change Secretary James Mattis said the same thing in his in direction under President Trump’s leadership. confirmation hearing last year. He said, “I consider However, we are still in a moment of crisis. The it abrogation of our generation’s responsibility to world is more dangerous than at any point in my transfer a debt of this size to our children.” Secretary lifetime, and we face symmetric and asymmetric Mattis is exactly right. President Trump has threats from all corners of taken several critical steps the globe. The single greatest to deal with global security threat to our national security threats. He is rebuilding is homegrown, and it is our our military and reengaging national debt. with the rest of the world. Last October, our national But if we do not deal with debt surpassed $20 trillion. the debt crisis, it will Last month, it surpassed undermine each of these $21 trillion. It is on track to important gains. grow by another $10 trillion There is no immediate over the next decade. Recent fix for the debt crisis. interest rate hikes mean It is going to take longwe are on track to soon be term planning over the paying $500 billion annually next several decades, but in interest on the debt alone. there are five immediate That is more than the federal imperatives to get started. government spends on NASA, First, economic growth NIH, the Army Corps, and has to continue. Last the Veterans Administration We are on track to soon year’s historic tax cuts combined. On top of that, be paying $500 billion and regulatory rollback there is another $100 trillion are on track to help put in future unfunded liabilities annually in interest on the $4 trillion back to work in coming at us like a freight debt alone. That is more our economy. If enacted, train. than the federal government the Senate’s Dodd-Frank The national debt rollback will put in play threatens our ability to deal spends on NASA, NIH, the another $2 trillion stuck with global security threats, Army Corps, and the VA on bank balance sheets. To whether it is ISIS and other combined. have a strong foreign policy, terror cells in the Middle you have to have a strong East, rising aggression from defense. To have a strong Russia and China, the nuclear ambitions of rogue regimes in North Korea and defense, you have to have a strong economy. Second, redundant spending in the federal Iran, or an emerging arms race in space. Military leaders agree. For example, Admiral government should be rooted out and eliminated. Mike Mullen is a former Chairman of the Joint This should be happening across all agencies. Third, Washington’s broken budget process Chiefs of Staff. For years, he has called the debt the greatest threat to our national security. Defense should be changed. It has only worked four times in 4
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44 years. It creates uncertainty for our military, does and it is not going to be solved by anything less not deal with every dollar the federal government than bold action. This is critical if we are going to spends, and does not impose harsh consequences on meet the global challenges and threats of today and Congress for failure. This is another root cause of tomorrow. our debt crisis. America has Fourth, Social always been the best at Security and Medicare responding to a crisis, President Trump is rebuilding must be saved. They but we are often the last our military and reengaging with to recognize that we are are the largest drivers the rest of the world. But if we of federal spending, and in a crisis. Now is that both of their trust funds time, and Washington do not deal with the debt crisis, will go to zero in less must summon the it will undermine each of these than 20 years. collective will to act important gains. Fifth, we have to get accordingly, before it is after the real drivers of simply too late. RF rising health care costs. Career politicians allowed our national debt U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) is the only to grow for years, and now we are past the tipping Fortune 500 CEO in Congress and a member of the point of a crisis. It is the challenge of our time, Senate Armed Services and Budget Committees.
Source: Congressional Budget Office
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City on the Move, City on the Rise
A success story in America’s heartland by MICK CORNETT You’ve undoubtedly seen the headlines coming out of “fattest cities” in Men’s Fitness magazine that year. Oklahoma in the last few years: budget shortfall after budget I was surprised, however, when I checked my weight shortfall, a struggling economy because of slumping oil prices and height on a federal government website and discovered and even a downgraded credit rating. I, just like many of our citizens, fell into the obese category. I Meanwhile, in Oklahoma City, we are growing at a had struggled with my weight for years, gaining slowly, then significantly greater pace than the state. In the past 14 years, losing it over and again, but I was shocked to find out I was we’ve seen the creation of 100,000 new jobs and nearly “obese.” 10,000 new businesses, both of I immediately changed my which are more than the rest of eating habits, began losing weight the state combined. We have and dropped 40 pounds. Sensing one of the lowest unemployment this moment was crucial for the levels in the country, the highest long-term health and wellness credit rating agencies will give of our community, I held a press a municipality, and the city conference on New Year’s Eve economy is one of the most2007 and announced, “this city is diversified local economies in the going on a diet,” with a challenge country. to collectively lose one million The picture of Oklahoma pounds. City, my hometown, where I have It was an ambitious goal with had the pleasure of being mayor a small budget. Actually, there was for the last 14 years, is simple: no budget, but after confronting conservative leadership works. obesity in my own life and Of course, there is no shortage examining how the issue impacted of conservatives in a deep-red the community, I knew we needed Oklahoma, so why have the to start a broader conversation Mick Cornett results not been the same? The about health and wellness. So, missing link is leadership. I used the most valuable tool Let me take you back to Presidents, Governors and Mayors In the past 14 years, we’ve 2007. After decades of turmoil have: I used the bully pulpit to seen the creation of 100,000 from the cyclical nature of convince people we had a problem our boom and bust economy, we needed to address new jobs and nearly 10,000 Oklahoma City was finally on the After early coverage at the new businesses, both of rise, in no small part because of local level, the citywide diet started which are more than the rest the foundation of leadership laid to receive national attention, and by my mayoral predecessors. luckily for us, it was positive of the state combined. Our economy was growing, not coverage of a city trying to improve just in the energy sector. We had itself, not of a city struggling to recruited an NBA franchise for cope with an obesity epidemic. temporary relocation, setting into motion a series of events Our efforts were picked up by widely-viewed talk shows, which would lead to the arrival of our very own franchise. featured on every cable news channel, and opined about in There were other issues, though, we hadn’t begun to the country’s foremost newspapers. All the while, visitors to address. It should be no surprise that Oklahoma City, which our website, where individuals from around the city could log is a community awash in fast food restaurants and vehicular in and track their weight loss, increased by the hundreds of transportation, appeared at number two on a list of the country’s thousands. 6
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Most importantly, the conversation was started, and the goal What started as a negative article and a challenge of our awareness campaign was being achieved. The first step to our citizens, has transformed our city completely. was always going to be convincing people our community had a In 2012, we hit our 1,000,000-pound weight loss problem we needed to address. goal with more than 47,000 voluntary participants. The conversation soon turned to action through public policy We have completely changed our built environment decisions. As we began to discuss to favor more active a follow-up to our successful lifestyles. As a result Metropolitan Area Projects of all of this, 17 out of (MAPS), the conversation 20 of our health and turned to the impact our built wellness statistics have environment had on the health markedly improved for and wellness of our community. our city. Voted on by the citizens The city still has in 2009, MAPS 3 would room for improvement, encourage a more active lifestyle but we began the process through changes to the built of changing behavior by environment of the city. We built focusing on individual parks, community and senior responsibility. That wellness centers, bicycle and is the conservative walking trails, and sidewalks to leadership we should We have completely changed communities which had never expect from all levels of had them previously. The $777 government. RF our built environment to favor million project was a large part more active lifestyles. As a result of the nearly $2 billion the city Mick Cornett served as invested in public improvement Mayor of Oklahoma City of all of this, 17 out of 20 of our projects, all of which yielded 2004 to 2018. He health and wellness statistics have from nearly $6 billion in local, private is currently a candidate markedly improved. sector investment. for Governor.
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Five Ideas to Make Congress Work by J O H N F E E H E RY Woody Allen is credited with saying “80 percent of the House. Moving to the nation’s capital was seen as a political liability, an example of a Member who had lost success is just showing up.” It takes more than just showing up for Congress to be touch with his or her constituents. Members were advised to leave their families in their districts and promised that successful. If measured by days in session, the Congress has been they could get home in time to watch Little League games over the weekend. remarkably consistent when it The promise of a familycomes to showing up. friendly Congressional schedule Since 1927, the House has meant that Members packed pretty averaged around 142 days in much all of their work into a session, while over the last decade, compact three-day schedule (okay, that average is around 153 days in more like a two and a half day session. From 1987 to 2007, the schedule), before racing off to the average was a bit lower, at 136 airports and flying to all parts of days in session. the country. What changed dramatically It’s hard to do any job on a was not necessarily the days the three-day schedule. It is impossible Speaker gaveled sessions in or out. to do the hard work of the American Instead it was the work schedule people -- to make the laws of the and the number of recesses. In the land, to do proper oversight, and to distant past, Congress would have pass routine spending bills, in that fewer but much longer recesses. abbreviated time. These days, the House comes in Members barely know each either on Monday night or Tuesday other in their own political parties, morning and is usually scrambling John Feehery let alone have the ability to get to to the airport by Thursday know folks from the other side of afternoon. Since 1927, the House has the aisle. A Member who swoops The ubiquity and the relative averaged around 142 days in on a Tuesday morning barely has lost-cost of air travel made it easier for House Members to fly in session, while over the time to get fully briefed on his or her own subcommittee responsibilities home every weekend, some even last decade, that average before having a chance to meet to the West Coast. the crush of constituents and then My first boss on the Hill, is around 153 days in attend the multitude of fundraisers former long-time House Minority session. that are essential to doing the job. Leader Bob Michel, would tell The result has been devastating stories about how he would drive back and forth between Washington and his hometown of to the work-product of the Congress. The reputation of Peoria, car-pooling with Dan Rostenkowski, who hailed the legislative branch has been stuck at historic lows for a from Chicago, on the journey. That sounds nice a couple decade. The appropriations process hasn’t been completed of times of month, but doing it every weekend would have on time for longer than that. The high cost of living in the metro area makes it presented a logistical nightmare. In the not too distant past, it was fairly routine for highly unlikely that most new Members can afford to Members of Congress to move their entire families to move their families to Washington. DC is now one of the the Washington metro area. But that started to change in most expensive cities in which to live in the United States. the 1990’s, especially after Republicans took control of That’s why so many Members find themselves either 8
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5) Ban fundraising when Congress is in session, sleeping in their offices or bunking with some of their colleagues, neither of which is a beneficial result. Even so that Members can focus on their work and not on Speaker Paul Ryan sleeps in his office in one of the House bolstering their campaign coffers. The news that Paul Ryan is retiring speaks less to office buildings, a remarkable and regrettable situation for the third ranking official in world’s most powerful the political headwinds facing Republicans and more to the miserable conditions country. that many Members of Here are five ideas to Congress on both sides of consider to make Congress The news that Paul Ryan is the aisle find themselves work: retiring speaks less to the working under. The 1) Change to a two-year political headwinds facing result has been inadequate budget process, with the first legislative production and year dedicated to oversight Republicans and more to the unhappy politicians who and authorization and the miserable conditions that many would rather retire than do second year dedicated to the essential business of actual spending authority. Members of Congress the American people. 2) Update the Committee work under. When the voters say process so that Members it is time for a change, can hold virtual committee they don’t usually think in terms of changing Congress hearings from their districts. 3) Give Members of Congress a housing allowance so to make things easier for our representatives. But making that they can afford the high-costs of living in or near the life easier for Congress might very well make life better for all of us. RF nation’s capital. 4) Change the schedule so when Members are home, they are home for a full week and when they are in John Feehery is a partner of EFB Advocacy, a boutique Washington, they are in Washington a full week. lobbying and strategic advocacy firm on Capitol Hill.
CONSENSUS & LEADERSHIP.
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A HAND UP, Not a Handout Opportunity Zones will increase access to the American Dream by TIM SCOTT
It has been more than 50 years since the United Cuts and Jobs Act. It was the first deadline set by the States formally took on the “War on Poverty,” and Treasury Department requiring states to submit their unfortunately for too many, we have yet to see a nominated ‘Opportunity Zones.’ It was exciting to see manifestation of permanent an actual list of locations that have progress. Instead, today we have the potential to see an economic millions of people still living in resurgence with an initiative that Poverty touches distressed circumstances who is unlike anything we have tried in everyone, whether continue to be held back by the past. unescapable unemployment, lack The IIOA is a tailored and you’re living in a rural of skills, and even worse, the innovative approach to fighting or urban community absence of hope that things will poverty. Instead of utilizing a get better. “band-aid method” or temporary March 21 st marked a major milestone for my fix, this piece of legislation aims to lift up entire Investing in Opportunity Act (IIOA) legislation, which neighborhoods by attracting private investment to was signed into law late last year through the Tax areas most in need. With about $2.3 trillion of capital 10
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gains sitting on the sidelines, investors can now take Poverty touches everyone, whether you’re living advantage of a tax incentive through the IIOA if they in a rural or urban community, and it is important to elect to invest resources in designated distressed spread out this investment potential to cover as many communities. To put it another way, if an individual or different categories as possible. At the end of the day, business sells an asset for a gain, they are required to every state has unique needs for their residents, and pay the federal government a capital gains tax. Under there is no one equation we can apply that would the IIOA, that tax can be deferred up to ten years if the adequately address all of the differences. capital gains are invested in an approved ‘Opportunity I grew up poor, and know that it’s not lack of Zone.’ effort or work ethic that keeps most people back. It’s The law is also written in a way that encourages the shortage of opportunity that continues to plague long-term investment by allowing for a “step-up” our most vulnerable citizens. Through the IIOA, we approach: there is are hoping to make a greater financial progress in closing the benefit for investing gap by creating broader over a 10-year time investment opportunity period, rather than in distressed just five years. The neighborhoods. hope is that this type My passion for of structure will tackling poverty is encourage investors to long-embedded in who establish meaningful I am and my personal relationships with the story. It is also fueled communities they are by inspirational people investing in. whom I have been Another benefit blessed to encounter of the IIOA is that along the way. One of it gets the decisionthose individuals was making process out former congressman of Washington and and pro-football into the hands of local player, Jack Kemp. Senator Scott meets with a family during his Opportunity Tour launch in North Charleston on March 9th. leaders. That’s why Jack understood the governors -- and not importance of creating federal officials -- are access to opportunity It’s not lack of effort or work ethic the ones responsible and how the strength for nominating which of our nation lies in the that keeps most people back. It’s the areas get to take collective strength of shortage of opportunity. advantage of this our people. Sadly, we initiative. Governors lost Jack in 2009, but are able to choose his efforts and legacy 25% of a state’s low-income census tracts, allowing continue to play out in amazing ways that inspire so for one in every four of our most economically many people to keep fighting for the American Dream. challenged (distressed) communities to be eligible for To me, the IIOA is only the beginning. Last month, this investment. They are the experts on the ground, I kicked off an ‘Opportunity Tour’ in my hometown of and will be able to choose locations with tremendous North Charleston, South Carolina. I will be traveling potential for growth and job creation. to Florida this month with Senator Rubio and have a In my home state of South Carolina, Governor few other stops in the works. My goal is to talk about Henry McMaster nominated roughly 130 census the IIOA, and to sit down with folks to hear about tracts, ranging from distressed to severely distressed what is working and what isn’t, so we can continue conditions, which will be eligible for the ‘Opportunity to effectively find ways to help those in need. This Zone’ program. It was clear that their selection process is my mission, and I am blessed to be in a position to took into consideration a number of factors, including help drive the national conversation on such a serious representative demographics and geographic location. I issue. RF could not be prouder of our state’s leadership for setting a national model on how to work with local municipalities Tim Scott is the junior United States Senator from to identify communities based on actual needs. South Carolina. RIPON FORUM April 2018
The Unfinished Agenda
To fight poverty effectively, we must move beyond the failed model of the current welfare system by ROBERT L. WOODSON, SR.
The consensus among both liberal and conservative to whites, who had an eighth grade average. By the 1940’s, scholars is that the dissolution of the family structure and that gap had closed to just six months — a decline that function is a major contributor to systemic poverty. Still, in occurred in an era when local government funding for black addressing the plight of Americans trapped in intergenerational schools was a small fraction of that being spent on white dependency, neither side explores solutions that go beyond schools. This dramatic closing of the educational racial tinkering with the existing 80-plus anti-poverty programs in gap was attributed largely to the creation of a collaborative suggesting reforms of the current welfare system. initiative of Booker T. Washington and Julius Rosenwald, The Left argues for more the CEO of the Sears Company. funding and more expansive Their initiative established 5,000 social safety-net programs, while schools throughout the rural South the Right demands stronger work for which $5 million donated by requirements and drug testing the philanthropist was matched as a condition for receiving aid. by contributions from churches, Currently, the big push in Congress organizations, and individuals by the Republican leadership is to within the black community. consolidate programs and devolve From the late 1800s to 1950, responsibly to states. some black schools were models Despite all that has been spent of academic achievement. In 1899, over the past 50 years, a recent black students at Washington DC’s report by the National Assessment segregated Paul Laurence Dunbar of Educational Progress reveals High School outscored white that a troubling gap between students in the District in citywide high- and low-achieving students tests. Similar strides in academic continues to exist. It is widely excellence during that era have Robert L. Woodson, Sr. accepted that the gap is a major been documented for Baltimore’s contributor to poverty. Many Frederick Douglass High School, of these documented disparities Atlanta’s Booker T. Washington In addressing the plight have a strong implication for race, High School, Brooklyn’s Albany of Americans trapped as low-income black families Avenue School, and New Orleans’ in intergenerational and children make up a large McDonogh 35 High School. The percentage of those in poverty. parents of most of the students dependency, neither side Outside factors such as the legacy who excelled worked as manual explores solutions that go of discrimination and systemic laborers, domestic servants, porters injustice are always assumed to and maintenance men, and this beyond tinkering with the have resulted in declines within the record of educational success existing 80-plus anti-poverty black community. However, it is was accomplished in spite of programs. useful to look back in recent history meager school budgets, secondto discover successful approaches hand textbooks, and overcrowded from the past and how they can be useful in the present day as classrooms. a foundation for solutions. The question that begs an answer is, “If Black America Take, as an example, initiatives to close the racial gap could have achieved these gains under such difficult conditions in education. In the 1920’s, the gap in educational attainment then, why can the same type of gains not be achieved today?” between black and white males in the South was three years. The answer might be found in this famous quote from Rev. Blacks had an average of fifth-grade education compared Charles Swindoll: 12
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Like Kimi, all the grassroots leaders in the Woodson “Life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how you Center’s network began their outreach on the level of vision, react to it.” values, and character. They also served as models and We are in charge of our attitude. It is more important “surrogate family members” for those who did not come from than the past, than education, than circumstances, than failure, two-parent households. This is the power of their transforming than success, than what people think, say, or do. It is more outreach. Yes, children born to single parents have a greater important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. likelihood of deviant behavior, dropping out of high-school, History clearly demonstrates that achievements against the and living in poverty. But we cannot simply say to them, scourge of poverty must originate among those experiencing “Sorry, your parents should have been married.” problems. It begins with a belief that self-development is Unfortunately, there is no magic policy lever we can pull possible, and no matter what their circumstance, they have to eradicate poverty. However, there are effective communitythe capacity to be agents of their own uplift. based models that are successfully solving some of our If 70% of black families are raising children who are nation’s most intractable problems. To date, deliberating engaged in self-destructive behavior, it means 30% are not. about poverty among liberal and conservative policy experts The Woodson Center goes into these drug-infested crimehas been limited to developing a “program” approach. This ridden neighborhoods and identifies these healthy elements. is an attitude that primarily focuses on externally-imposed It then helps to buttress these community anti-bodies with related incentives and impediments that are intended to the support that can enable them to become the foundation enable individuals and families of an immune system which can to ascend out of poverty and ride restore families and revitalize Unfortunately, there is no the wave of the American dream entire neighborhoods. There magic policy lever we can and achieve economic success. are contemporary examples of The perpetual issue is that such neighborhood leaders who are pull to eradicate poverty. programs do not respect the applying the old values of the However, there are effective wisdom and experience of those black community to a new vision. who have personally overcome One such leader was Kimi community-based models poverty and have committed Gray, a onetime welfare mom that are successfully solving themselves to help others do the who became a national figure some of our nation’s most same. because of her efforts to empower Immediate action must residents of public housing. She intractable problems. be taken in the private sector was a divorced mother of five to invest, bolster, expand, and children in her early twenties export effective initiatives that captures the imagination of the living in one of Washington, DC’s most notorious open-air American public as well as policymakers. Just as President drug markets. Chronically neglected by the D.C. Housing Obama’s call for support for his My Brothers’ Keeper’s Authority, the residents were often without heat or hot water Initiative elicited millions of dollars within a short period, for weeks at a time. Kimi took on management duties for conservatives should be called on to provide support and her development. Within six months, she organized and funding for the powerful local initiatives that are based on the hired residents and instilled discipline and a sense of hope founding principles of this country--personal responsibility, that revived the entire complex. Even though she was a high self-determination, and mutual assistance. school dropout, she managed to send all five of her children In the policy arena, action that could be taken to facilitate off to college. Countless residents sought her help in sending this renewal and revitalization cannot be dictated from the toptheir children to college as well. down by analysts and specialists, but must be informed by As a consequence, Kimi created an initiative called the experience of the experts who are working on the ground. College Here We Come that enabled 600 youths from her Experience shows that policy changes will be different in public housing development to attain higher education. different situations and, typically, will involve the removal of The initiative made national news. Yet when four of the barriers constructed by the government. students came home on semester break, they were ashamed Just as Kimi Gray was able to reach and change the lives to bring their friends. That set Kimi on a quest to promote of hundreds of residents, there are other anti-poverty warriors improvements in her complex. She was elected resident across the nation performing the life-salvaging tasks of leader and galvanized the entire neighborhood in a massive preparing individuals to gain from opportunities to move toward restoration effort that drove out the drug dealers and promoted self-sufficiency. What would be the impact if we embraced and personal responsibility. Kimi’s approach was no-nonsense supported the work of one thousand Kimi Grays? RF and entailed high standards. Her efforts virtually wiped out teen pregnancy and helped to make Kenilworth Parkside not Robert L. Woodson, Sr. is President and Founder of the only one of the safest places to live, but a place that saw a Woodson Center. dramatic reduction in welfare dependency, as well. RIPON FORUM April 2018
Wisconsin Leads the Way On Welfare Reform
judged on the success vendors have in actually reducing welfare rolls and saving taxpayer money, not just shuffling bureaucratic paperwork around. Some of Walker’s reforms will require federal waivers. For example, Wisconsin recently sought federal permission to implement work requirements in its Medicaid program. As with the FoodShare work requirement, BadgerCare recipients would have to either work part-time or enroll in job skills training. People who fail to meet the proposed work requirements by BRETT HEALY will have their Medicaid benefits limited to four years. That eliminates an open-ended entitlement bankrolled by taxpayers Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is proving -- once again for people who refuse to work, and is the very definition of a -- to be the nation’s leading limited government governor, having common sense, pro-taxpayer reform. recently signed into law the most ambitious welfare reform Fortunately, Wisconsin Republicans have found a willing package introduced anywhere in the country. partner in the Trump administration. Both the Department of Wisconsin Works For Everyone, Walker’s nine-bill welfare Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture reform package, is designed to move people from “government recently sought ideas through the administrative rules process dependence to true independence through on how the federal government can the dignity of work.” reduce welfare rolls and move more Walker’s latest reforms are part of people to a private sector job. his continuing effort to change the culture We could save the country a of welfare back to what it was originally lot of time and debate if the Trump intended to be -- temporary help. The administration would just borrow all of governor has said that welfare should be Governor Walker’s Wisconsin-based “more like a trampoline and less like a reforms and implement them nationally. hammock,” with the end goal being gainful President Trump’s willingness employment and a permanent private sector to reform welfare and improve the job. At the same time, Walker has insisted lives of our fellow citizens who need that new taxpayer protections be instituted a little help is in stark contrast to the -- like strict time and asset limits -- to approach of President Obama. Obama’s safeguard these programs for those who destructive policies attempted to roll truly need them. back every single Clinton-era welfare Under the new reforms, the work Walker’s latest reforms reform, resulting in over 44 million requirement for recipients of FoodShare, are part of his continuing Americans being dependent on food the state’s food stamp program, will be effort to change the culture stamps. Thankfully, President Trump expanded from 20 hours per week to 30 hours, the maximum allowed by the federal of welfare back to what it and Governor Walker are working hard to reverse course and change welfare government. The requirement will also be was originally intended to forever. expanded to include able-bodied adults If Governor Walker’s earliest be – temporary help. with school-aged children -- a common welfare reform initiative is any indication sense and groundbreaking expectation of of future success, then the Wisconsin Works For Everyone welfare recipients whose children are in school during the day. package will have a dramatic impact. According to the most When your child is in school, you will be expected to spend that recent data from the state Department of Health Services, a new time working or taking the training needed for a different career. FoodShare work and training requirement implemented in 2016 The Wisconsin Works For Everyone reforms also place has helped over 25,000 Wisconsinites gain private employment, an asset limit on those receiving assistance from a variety of and the average wage (as well as the average number of hours programs, including FoodShare. Participants with a home worth worked) for these participants has steadily increased over time. more than 200% of the median statewide home value -- $321,000 Many politicians pay lip service to changing welfare and -- will no longer qualify. the culture of dependency. Scott Walker is actually getting it That means people like Latasha Jackson -- a welfare recipient done and changing peoples’ lives forever. in Wisconsin who was found to own a million dollar mansion with Now that’s a legacy we can all be proud of. RF an indoor swimming pool and basketball court -- will no longer be able to scam government assistance programs and cheat taxpayers. In addition, Walker has implemented new performancebased requirements for vendors in the Wisconsin Works and FoodShare Employment Training programs. Contracts will be
Brett Healy is president of the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy, a free market think tank based in Madison, Wisconsin.
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The Youngest Victims of the Opioid Crisis: Statistics and the Lives of Children by NANCY K. YOUNG I saw a sign advertised recently with a remarkable quotation: “85% of statistics on the Internet are made up.” -- Abraham Lincoln. We can joke about statistics, and sometimes it’s funny. But when we’re counting lives that may be diminished by prenatal exposure to potentially harmful substances — the numbers really matter. And when we’re talking about the tragedy of a child who has been removed from her birth family and placed in foster care, we need to do all we can to get the numbers right to make sure that practice and policy are helping families. The impetus for this essay included a request to comment on the “highest rate of parental drug use in 30 years among child welfare cases.” Indeed, the data look bad. Over the past 15 years, reports by states to the federal government regarding parents whose alcohol or drug use resulted in a child’s placement into protective custody have steadily increased -- from 18.5% in 2000 to 35.3% in 2016.1 1) Children and Family Futures (2018). Analyses of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Children’s Bureau. 2017. Adoption and foster care analysis and reporting system (AFCARS) Foster Care File FY 2016. Ithaca, NY: National Data Archive on Child Abuse and Neglect [distributor]. https://ndacan.cornell.edu
However, states report wide variation in these data from less than 10% to nearly 70%. The states reporting higher rates have typically made two important changes – namely, they have improved their screening protocols and their information system to count these children. Another disturbing trend is the increasing number of infants placed in out-of-home care. Children under the age of one make up an increasing percentage of child placements — from 13.4% in 2000 to 18% in 2016 — with nearly 50,000 babies removed from their birth parents, more than twice as many as any other age group in 2016. Forty two percent of children in care are under the age of five. We don’t have data to know if those 50,000 babies and young children are associated with prenatal substance exposure. An estimated 220,000 of all births are annually exposed to illicit drugs, 352,000 exposed to alcohol, and 34,000 of those exposed to heavy drinking — despite warning labels on every alcohol bottle sold. In addition, 488,000 are exposed to tobacco despite its known association with poor birth outcomes. A much smaller but still significant number of babies are identified as experiencing neonatal withdrawal symptoms from opioids— an estimated
RIPON FORUM April 2018
24,000 each year. times more likely to have illicit drug use problems, and Over the past half century, the country has witnessed twice as likely to be alcoholic. Women, in particular, several drug epidemics -- the heroin epidemic of the are often coping with the combined effects of their 1960s and 70s, cocaine in the 80s, methamphetamine own early experiences of trauma, including childhood in the 90s and 2000s, and now prescription drugs and sexual abuse, as the #MeToo movement has recently other opioids in the 2010s. In each of these epidemics, underscored. Unless our policy and practice respond to we’ve seen babies on covers of weekly magazines. this trauma, we are perpetuating an intergenerational They are the innocent victims of the latest drug cycle of trauma and substance abuse. scourge. Yet the resulting policy action is too often So what can be done to build a more effective sporadic, resulting in shortstrategy to improve the data term grant programs aimed and policy responses? at improving conditions in 1) Conduct universal Over the past 15 years, reports by some communities. But, screening for substance states regarding parents whose overall, policies have failed use during pregnancy. alcohol or drug use resulted in a to support families by Screenings with a preventing substance use response that supports child’s placement into protective disorders and associated women’s abstinence and custody have steadily increased – child neglect. This scattered treatment interventions are from 18.5% in 2000 to 35.3% approach without an critical. However, these effective, long-term policy interventions must be in 2016. strategy has not been non-punitive and connect adequate to meet the needs expectant mothers to of these young children and their families at the scale supportive treatment services that meet their unique of the problem. needs. Creating fear of negative repercussions among Childhood trauma is also under-emphasized, as it pregnant women who need help too often suppresses affects substance use disorders. A 2003 study found their engagement in prenatal care and treatment that, compared to persons without childhood trauma services. Punishing mothers and not providing experiences, individuals with five or more adverse a connection to the treatment they need isn’t an experiences -- such as parents with a substance use appropriate policy response for the infants we seek to disorder, divorce, or incarceration -- were seven to ten protect. RIPON FORUM April 2018
2) Fix the data systems. Besides universal been asked to assure that their state has policies and screening, having greater clarity in data systems and programs for healthcare providers to notify child requiring states to submit this data would go a long protective services when a baby has been prenatally way in turning the tide of opioids’ effects on children exposed and, to respond with a plan of safe care. In and families today, while preventing another child 2016, Congress made it clear that this plan must address protection caseload explosion in the next substance the needs of the infant and his/her family or caregiver. But those systems are not use epidemic. yet in place in most states. 3) Prevent prenatal Children under the age of one It’s past time to move exposure to substances. these infants from the While the campaigns make up an increasing percentage covers of magazines and to decrease tobacco of child placements — from 13.4% into a policy response and alcohol use during that prevents child abuse pregnancy have not in 2000 to 18% in 2016 — with neglect and promotes achieved universal nearly 50,000 babies removed from and family recovery. RF compliance, current levels their birth parents. of use are much less than Nancy K. Young, Ph.D., in my generation of baby serves as Executive boomers. Then, mothers Director of Children and Family didn’t know as much about the dangers of tobacco use Futures, a national nonprofit and were often encouraged to “have a nice glass of organization based in Lake wine” while they were pregnant. The effect of these Forest, California that focuses more recent social taboos have been dramatic for on the intersections among child today’s young mothers and good for their babies. welfare, mental health, substance 4) Implement infant and caregiver plans of safe use disorder treatment, and court care. As required by the Child Abuse Prevention systems. and Treatment Act since 2003, each Governor has
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“UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME: A NEW ENTITLEMENT OR A SOLUTION TO INCOME INEQUALITY?”
The UBI will Help Solve America’s Crisis of Income Insecurity by S A M U E L H A M M O N D America faces a crisis of income insecurity — a be known, fueled a subsequent growth in anti-trade and crisis that providing people with a Universal Basic nativist sentiment that contributed directly to political Income stands to solve. polarization and support for populist politicians. Despite the frequently heard claim that the Who could be surprised? Displaced workers federal government spends a trillion dollars on social become justifiably angry in the absence of robust welfare, less than a quarter of income supports. In a democratic that resembles anything close to society, this means that even income support for the poor or one-off economic shocks will distressed, and is less than what often have lasting political we spend annually subsidizing and economic consequences. employer based health insurance. In contrast, the economic Look instead at the OECD’s security provided by a UBI measure of net income supports, would promote risk-taking and a measure of a country’s de entrepreneurship in the here facto “minimum income” across and now, while ensuring that developed nations, which reveals the creative destruction brought that the U.S. welfare system on by automation and artificial is among the stingiest in the intelligence in the years ahead developed world. For a country avoids generating popular that prides itself on its economic backlashes of their own. dynamism, the massive UBICritics of UBI will argue that shaped hole in our safety-net income for nothing undermines comes with steep costs. the incentive to work, but rarely Samuel Hammond Take China’s entry into do they back-up their claims the World Trade Organization with evidence. Studies of UBIDespite the frequently (WTO) in 2001. Chinese imports like schemes -- from Canada’s benefited millions of Americans generous child allowance to the heard claim that the through lower consumer prices. annual oil dividend provided federal government At the same time, Chinese import to Alaskan residents by their spends a trillion dollars competition destroyed nearly two Permanent Fund -- all suggest that million jobs in manufacturing and the work disincentives of “noon social welfare, less associated services — a classic strings attached” cash transfers than a quarter of that case of “creative destruction.” are negligible. Indeed, in many Yet rather than help those workers resembles anything close cases the principles behind UBI adjust, our social insurance quite clearly promote work. The to income support for the United Kingdom, for instance, system promoted languishment. poor or distressed. In the regions of the United recently reformed its core States most exposed to import disability program, the Personal competition, Social Security Independence Payment (PIP) , Disability Insurance (SSDI) was more than twice as with the principles of UBI in mind. Unlike SSDI, responsive as unemployment insurance and Trade which restricts the ability of claimants to work, the new Adjustment Assistance (TAA) combined, despite being UK system is universal and unconditional, meaning one of the most restrictive disability programs in the developed world. The “China Shock,” as it’s come to (cont’d on p. 22) 20
RIPON FORUM April 2018
“UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME: A NEW ENTITLEMENT OR A SOLUTION TO INCOME INEQUALITY?”
If You Like Big Government, You’ll Love the UBI by A A R O N M . R E N N It’s practically a truism that something that sounds meaning any speech they disagree with – is not entitled too good to be true probably is. That goes double for the to free speech protection or that it even constitutes idea of providing people with a universal basic income violence. It takes no imagination at all to see that these (UBI). Talk about big government: almost by definition, same groups would fight to strip people with the wrong a UBI would vastly increase taxes and government sorts of politics of their UBI benefits. Just as colleges are staffed with administrators spending because it would require an amenable to the desires of student enormous redistribution of income. protestors, so, too, is the federal For example, one proposal, by bureaucracy. All they would need Philippe Van Parijs and Yannick to do is create an “extremism” Vanderborght in their book Basic exception, then apply it to an ever Income, would consume about 25% of greater range of opinions they don’t the GDP. That’s more than the entire like. Traditionally this was not a federal budget today.1 UBI is often problem, which is why it has not touted as a replacement for various come up for programs like Social welfare programs. But that doesn’t Security. But the no-platforming include things such as governmentmovement is just getting started, provided health care and various and is already having success in other benefits. Depending on how the commercial world outside of it’s structured, UBI could be a floor academia. It’s a risk we shouldn’t rather than a ceiling on government take. benefits. Silicon Valley disrupters and As with all big government, the leftist utopians are the biggest backers risks of UBI have as much to do with Aaron M. Renn of UBI. Yet their track records of freedom as finances. While it might unintended consequences speak to seem like the federal government Almost by definition, the risk of a radical social change would simply be a pass- through like UBI. For example, Facebook’s entity for UBI, having a significant a UBI would vastly Mark Zuckerberg is a proponent of chunk of every American’s income increase taxes and UBI, but his own company became coming in the form of a government government spending a platform for Russian propaganda check introduces enormous potential and improperly shared your private for tyrannical government abuse. As because it would information with outside marketing Hayek famously pointed out in The require an enormous firms, among other abuses. Why Road to Serfdom, if the government would providing people with a controls how you get a living, it redistribution of UBI also not have many negative controls you period. income. unforeseen consequences? And Consider the obvious threat Zuckerberg’s failed $100 million to free expression. We have a constitutional right to free speech. Yet on college schools experiment in Newark is another reason to think campuses today, including public colleges, agitators he’s not a great person to be taking policy advice from. routinely – and, too often, successfully – attempt to What’s more, Silicon Valley firms are already among those prevent conservative speakers from having a platform to aggressively banning people from their platforms over speak. They often explicitly argue that “hate speech” – politics, highlighting again the risk to freedom posed by UBI. 1) See: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/FYONGDA188S (cont’d on p. 22) RIPON FORUM April 2018
Renn, cont’d from p. 21) A UBI would also trigger mass migrations There are also reasons to believe that UBI could from countries where incomes are lower than any actually be counter-productive towards its stated aims. American UBI amount. Even some of the biggest UBI Some American Indian tribes already have a de facto UBI boosters like Van Parijs and Vanderborght admit that – as high as $100,000 per year – from the distribution a restrictionist immigration policy would be required, of casino gambling proceeds. The Economist magazine and that undocumented migrants must be excluded from UBI benefits. Given looked at this and found “as the commitment to a de payment grows, more Native And once a UBI is established, facto open borders policy Americans have stopped by political elites of both working and fallen into a drug no matter how big a failure it parties, this makes UBI a and alcohol abuse lifestyle might prove to be, reforming non-starter in the U.S., unless that has carried them back into or eliminating it would Americans want to step up to poverty.” pay the freight for anyone in And once a UBI is be essentially impossible the world who wants a slice established, no matter how politically. of the action. big a failure it might prove to In short, it shouldn’t be a be, reforming or eliminating it would be essentially impossible politically. Already surprise that the UBI is backed by people who have mottos today, every proposed rollback of some social benefit -- like “move fast and break things” and a dubious commitment no matter how modest -- is greeted with hysterics. With to political freedom. America should stay far away from their every single American collecting a UBI, there doesn’t UBI scheme. RF appear to be any way to ever undo it, even if it turned out to be catastrophic. Unlike with a Silicon Valley startup, Aaron M. Renn is a Senior Fellow at the Manhattan there’s no ready way to “pivot” from a failed UBI. Institute for Policy Research.
“Universal Basic Income: A New Entitlement or a Solution to Income Inequality?” Hammond, cont’d from p. 20) that those who are assessed for recurring disability be to follow Denmark’s lead and combine generous benefits are not penalized for re-entering the labor force wage replacements for laid-off workers with strong supports for re-employment. if and when their condition While not technically a improves. Similarly, Finland The economic security provided UBI, their supercharged is currently experimenting employment insurance with UBI as a replacement by a UBI would promote risksystem is nonetheless one for unemployment insurance, taking and entrepreneurship way to provide robust income again in order to encourage security for workers displaced while ensuring that the greater work. by trade and automation. The cost of a UBI would creative destruction brought Whatever option obviously depend on its on by automation and artificial policymakers choose, it’s design and implementation. clear that the status quo is While some envision intelligence in the years ahead unsustainable. Until we begin providing every man, avoids generating popular to take America’s income woman and child $10,000 a insecurity crisis seriously, our backlashes. year at an annual cost of over economy will remain hyper$3 trillion, others propose a smaller minimum income that gradually phases out vulnerable to economic disruptions and the reactionary RF with earnings. Known as a negative income tax (NIT), politics that invariably follow suit. its budgetary cost would be an order of magnitude less than a full UBI, but would have a similar role in Samuel Hammond is a Poverty and Welfare Policy reducing income insecurity. Another approach would Analyst for the Niskanen Center. 22
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2018 Theodore Roosevelt Leadership Awards Presented to Cole, Denham, Dent, Walorski & Royce
WASHINGTON, DC – At a dinner strive valiantly; who know the great Ed Royce, who represents the 39th on April 5th at the Richard Nixon enthusiasms, the great devotions, and District of California. Presidential Library and Museum in spend themselves in a worthy cause; According to Ripon Society Yorba Linda, California, The Ripon who at best know the triumph of high President & CEO Jim Conzelman, this Society honored five members of achievement; and who, at worst, if they is the fourth year that the Society has Congress with the 2018 Theodore fail, fail while daring greatly, so that visited a presidential library to present Roosevelt Leadership Award, an honor their place shall never be with those the Theodore Roosevelt Leadership that is given in the spirit of America’s cold and timid souls who know neither Award. ety’s 4th Annual26th President and one that is intended victory nor defeat.” “Three years ago,” he stated, “we OOSEVELT to recognize leaders who today “The five leaders we honor tonight presented the Awards at the Ronald AWARDS DINNER embody of the same qualities embody these qualities and more.” Reagan Library just up the road from Presidential Library andsome Museum that Theodore Roosevelt displayed Morella declared. “Between them, they here in Simi Valley. In 2016, we throughout his life. have over 100 years of service at every traveled to Texas to visit the George “The award was W. Bush Presidential established with one Library and Museum in The Ripon Society’s 2018 premise in mind,” stated Dallas. And last October, THEODORE ROOSEVELT former Ambassador we went to New York, and Congresswoman where we not only visited LEADERSHIP AWARDS DINNER Connie Morella, who Theodore Roosevelt’s delivered opening historic home at Sagamore remarks to help kickHill, but toured Franklin off the evening and is Roosevelt’s estate and a 2016 TR Leadership museum in Hyde Park. Award winner herself. “We are pleased to be “Namely, there is a lot here at the Nixon Library of good, thoughtful to not only present the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum work being done on 2018 Theodore Roosevelt april 5, 2018 Capitol Hill and in Leadership Awards, but Washington that people to have the opportunity to do not regularly hear about. level of government, both here at home learn more about the life and legacy of “With trust in government at and abroad. Individually, they have our 37th President. It is a complicated an all-time low, The Ripon Society made their mark in many important legacy to say the least. It is also a legacy believes it is important that Americans ways. On behalf of The Ripon Society, that has a special resonance in the not only learn about this work, but learn it is an honor to recognize them for history of The Ripon Society. Several more about the individuals who are their leadership, their service, and their founding members of The Ripon W. Bush responsible for getting it done.” The George commitment to bold thinking and new Society went on to work for President To that end, Morella noted, Presidential the ideas over theCenter course of their careers.” Nixon. And a number of ideas that Theodore Roosevelt Leadership Award This year’s Theodore Roosevelt Ripon proposed and developed in honors those leaders: Leadership Award honorees include: the 1960s were later embraced by his -Who have a sense of duty and Congressman Tom Cole, who Administration. These ideas including service driven by a love of country. represents the 4th District of Oklahoma pushing for trade with China, and -Who possess a desire to do what in the House of Representatives; calling for an end to the military draft. is in the best interests of the American Congressman Jeff Denham, who “President Nixon paid tribute to people – regardless of party, and represents the 10th District of these contributions in a 1970 letter regardless of who gets the credit; and, California; Congressman Charlie Dent, to mark the anniversary of Ripon’s -Who embody the qualities that who represents the 15th District of founding. He wrote: ‘At a time when Theodore Roosevelt spoke of when Pennsylvania; Congresswoman Jackie many young people fear that their he said: “The credit belongs to those Walorski, who represents the 2nd ideas cannot have an impact on who are actually in the arena, who District of Indiana; and Congressman American politics, the members of RIPON FORUM April 2018
The Ripon Society have effectively “Clearly, a lot has changed since and venturesome institutions, always proven otherwise. By thinking long President wrote receptive to new ways of looking at “President Nixon paid tribute to these contributions in a 1970 “Clearly, a lot has changed sinceNixon President Nixonthis wroteletter this and hard about 48 years But letter to mark the anniversary of Ripon’s founding. He wrote: letter 48 years ago. But one thing that hasn’t changedago. is the need public problems one with thing hasn’t ‘At a time when many young people fear that their ideas cannot for us to be impatient and bold – impatient oldthat approaches and an by impact arguing changed the need for have on American politics, the members the Ripon that over no longer work, and bold and is pursuit of new “Between them,of they have 100 years ofin our thinking in be thatimpatient spirit thatand we Society have effectively proven otherwise. By thinking long and ideas to meet the challenges we face. Itusis to its positions service every level of hard public problems and byat arguing its positions in agovernment, meet here tonight,both and it ishere in that spirit that the 2018 in aabout vigorous boldwe– present impatient with vigorous and reasonable manner, the Ripon has notably Theodore Roosevelt Leadership at home andSociety abroad. Individually, they have Awards.”old approaches that and reasonable enriched our political dialogue.’ The Ripon Society is a public policy that and was manner, The noorganization longer work, made their this: mark in many important ways.” “The President concluded by writing ‘Neither the founded in 1962 and takes its name from the town where the Ripon Society bold in our thinking Republican Party nor the American government can be effective Republican Party was born in 1854 – Ripon, Wisconsin. One has notably of ideas new unless they are vital and venturesome institutions, always of the main goals of The Ripon Societyand is to pursuit promote the enrichedtoour political to America meet thegreat challenges we face. public That problems. is why the party receptive new ways of dialogue.’ looking at public problems. is whyThat and principles that haveideas made and contributed “TheandPresident concluded byRipon’s It is inideas thatinclude spirit that we meet here and the government Ripon’s the GOP’s success. These keeping our nation the party the government welcome impatience with towelcome writing this: ‘Neither thepast Republican tonight, and ita isfederal in thatgovernment spirit that that we impatience tired approaches the tired approaches of the and its readiness to explorewith ideasthe secure, keeping taxes low and having ‘whose time the is coming.’ is smaller, accountable the people. RS Party nor American government present the 2018toTheodore Roosevelt of the past and its readiness to smarter explore and more can be effective unless they are vital Leadership Awards.” RF ideas ‘whose time is coming.’
2 0 1 8 T H E O D O R E R O O S E V E LT L E A D E R S H I P A W A R D S
Ed Royce www.riponsociet y.org
RIPON FORUM April 2018
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Name: Martha Roby Occupation: U.S. Representative (R), Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District First job & the lesson(s) you learned from it: The summer after my junior year in high school I worked as a girls’ camp counselor. I really learned about the importance of developing meaningful relationships with both the people you work with and the people you work for. Lesson(s) in life that you’re now trying to impress upon your kids: As a mother of a 9-year old and a 12-year old who are growing up in the social media age, I consistently try to impress upon them the importance of being kind to other people. With online bullying so rampant among children their age, I always want them to remember that kindness is often the most important and meaningful thing you can give to another person. As a working Mom, what advice do you have for others who are trying to balance their job at the office & their family at home? I believe work-life balance is one of the most significant challenges Americans face, and it’s very important that we try our best to get it right. For me personally, I try to carve out specific, set-aside time for my family to be together – without distractions – each week, no matter how busy work is. My advice for others facing the same challenge is to find what works for you and stick to it. We aren’t nearly as effective professionally if we are neglecting life and responsibilities at home. Speaking of your job, you’re a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee & helped push through a near-record increase in defense spending. Why is it so important to invest in our military this year? I am very grateful to serve as a member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Alabama’s Second District and our entire state have a large military footprint, and I’m glad to have a seat at the table in crafting the funding that impacts the vital work they do every day. While far from perfect, the Omnibus bill – now law – restored military funding to the proper levels and provided our troops with the biggest pay raise they’ve received in eight years. The world we live in today is dangerous, and new threats to our national security emerge daily. During these times of uncertainty, it is imperative that we properly support and fund our military so that the men and women who wear the uniform are adequately prepared and equipped to do their jobs and keep us safe. I’m proud that after eight long years of damaging cuts due to sequestration, we’re finally funding our military at the appropriate level. Looking back on some of the other challenges you’ve worked on over the past few years, what are some of the accomplishments that really stand out? Most people who know me know that I am unapologetically pro-life, and I consider it my enduring responsibility in Congress to fight for life at all stages. I have fought this fight alongside my pro-life colleagues for the last eight years, but often we came up short. Now that we have an Administration that has taken up this fight with us, we are beginning to make real progress. I consider it a great accomplishment that the Omnibus bill that was recently signed into law contains provisions that restrict taxpayer dollars from being used to fund abortions and research using the tissue obtained from aborted babies. As a country, we must begin assigning greater protections to life under the law. I’m very proud of our recent accomplishments, and I’m eager to see the momentum continue.
RIPON FORUM April 2018
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