Fighting the War on Poverty at the State and Local Level

  • Overview of the issue
  • Senator Marco Rubio introduces the "Flex Fund"
  • House Republicans outline "A Better Way" to fight poverty
  • OL contributor highlights 3 bipartisan poverty-fighting ideas

Overview of the issue

OL has highlighted the numerous problems with fighting poverty from the federal government level.  From OL’s storyboard on moving the poverty fight to states and local governments:

“Instead of continuing the big government status quo, federal welfare policy should be focused on empowering those who are currently fighting poverty effectively in our nation’s states, cities and communities.” 

Senator Marco Rubio introduces the "Flex Fund"

Watch Senator Marco Rubio outline his idea to consolidate federal programs intended to fight poverty and send money back to states that are better-equipped to help people in need.

From his speech:

“…What I am proposing today is the most fundamental change to how the federal government fights poverty and encourages income mobility since President Johnson first conceived of the War on Poverty fifty years ago. I am proposing that we turn Washington’s anti-poverty programs – and the trillions spent on them – over to the states.

Our anti-poverty programs should be replaced with a revenue neutral Flex Fund. We would streamline most of our existing federal anti-poverty funding into one single agency. Then each year, these Flex Funds would be transferred to the states so they can design and fund creative initiatives that address the factors behind inequality of opportunity.” 

House Republicans outline "A Better Way" to fight poverty

In the summer of 2016, House Republicans introduced a series of ideas for reforming government across the board — including our approach to helping the poor.

In this video, House Republicans outline important improvements to the government’s antipoverty policies.  Note that Speaker Ryan is introduced as “America’s listener” given the time he’s spent traveling around the country questioning the status quo and gathering facts about what’s working and what’s not working in the way we fight poverty.

Old Way New Way on Blackboard

You can read more on these ideas in the Better Way’s Poverty, Opportunity, and Upward Mobility report.

OL contributor highlights 3 bipartisan poverty-fighting ideas

In his January 2016 article, OL contributor Tom Rogan writes that “we should consider new bipartisan opportunities whenever and wherever possible” and outlines three ideas that Republicans and Democrats might be able to advance together on at the local level: 1) providing more reliable and affordable public transportation, 2) improving the quality of public education, and 3) improving the safety of communities across the country.  

Click here to read more.