Welfare Suggestions Go from Less to None Candidates Detail Abortion Beliefs, Education Ideas
Jo Mannies Post-Dispatch Political Correspondent, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
COUNTESS PRICE, 32, a lawyer in St. Louis, wants the candidates for the U.S. Senate to answer one question:
"What ideas do they have for really getting people off welfare?" she asks. "Poverty and ignorance force people to stay on it."
The 14 candidates running in Missouri for the Senate reply that they have lots of ideas on welfare. Some propose job training or public jobs. Others say more restrictions would discourage teen-agers from having children. And several call for ending welfare entirely, saying the federal government shouldn't pay states to run their welfare programs.
Jeaneanne Wallen, 55, of south St. Louis County, a retired brewery worker and a Democrat who has voted for Republicans, also wants to learn the candidates' stances on her other pet issue: education.
Every time voters approve more money for education, she says, politicians figure out a way to divert the money to other uses.
A third hot topic, as far as some voters are concerned, is abortion.
On education and abortion, the candidates also widely differ.
On Aug. 2, voters will pick nominees from three parties - Republican, Democrat and Libertarian - who will then compete in the Nov. 8 general election.
Following, in the order they will appear on the Aug. 2 ballot, are the candidates and their views on welfare, education and abortion. Democrats
Alan Wheat, a congressman from Kansas City for 12 years, says, "Make work pay more than welfare." He is a co-sponsor of a House bill that sets a two-year limit on welfare, while providing child care, health care, education and job-training services.
If the recipients can't get jobs in the private sector, Wheat's plan would provide them with public jobs. He also wants to simplify welfare programs, attack fraud and focus on the prevention of teen pregnancies.
On education, he helped lead a House effort to expand Missouri's Parents As Teachers program to other states. He supports the Goals 2000: Educate America Act.
He supports abortion rights.
Marsha Murphy, the Jackson County executive, says the federal government should pattern welfare after Missouri's Futures program, which offers education and training for the mothers and care for their children.
She notes that the program has a waiting list. "We must return welfare to its original purpose: it is a hand up to people down on their luck, not a permanent way of life," she says.
Noting that she is former teacher, Murphy proposes to cut the federal bureaucracy in the Department of Education and send more dollars to the classroom. She advocates redirecting national priorities to advance the Goals 2000: Educate America Act.
Murphy supports abortion rights.
Nicholas Clement, a newspaper carrier in St. Louis, says, "I am not for any welfare reform program I have seen. The greatest thing you can do for welfare is create jobs." And by that, he means good-paying jobs in the private sector, not "some useless job" created by government. In the meantime, welfare is necessary. "Throwing people off welfare is murder," he says.
Clement opposes outcome-based education, a philosophy that he contends stifles learning by promoting group learning over individual initiative.
He opposes abortion, except to save the life of the mother.
Gerald Ortbals, a lawyer in Richmond Heights, proposes "partial privatization" in which the federal government would give grants to private church and nonprofit agencies to help serve the needy.
"Instead of telling someone you're going to throw them on the street and take their kids away, we should create positive incentives involving a job and a family and a place in this world," he says.
On education, "No amount of money will address the current problems of public education until we create an adequate support system for kids" - either families or a substitute.
He opposes federal funding for abortion and opposes the proposed Freedom of Choice Act.
Jim Hawley, a tooling technician from Ferguson, is against federal money for welfare. "It's literally rotten. . . . It's robbing the American people of billions and billions of dollars. Any able-bodied recipient should be limited to 24 months of payments, and no more, over their lifetime."
He supports school prayer and favors vouchers that would allow tax dollars to be used to help pay tuition at any public, private or parochial school. His four daughters are home-schooled.
He opposes abortion.
Ned Sutherland, a dentist in Bethany, says politicians waste too much talk over welfare reform. He says Aid to Families with Dependent Children accounts for "only one percent of the national budget. It's a straw in the haystack. And there are people who need help in this world," he says.
He says education is the key to helping the poor find jobs and to encourage all people "to respect their fellow man and treat people the way they want to be treated." He opposes vouchers for private schools.
Abortion, he says, is a woman's private matter. "It's not for the state."
Jim Thomas, a businessman in Branson, says that more education opportunities will reduce the need for welfare. He says there is waste in the program because those who make the laws don't pay enough attention to how the aid programs are administered. Any welfare changes, he says, should include incentives to encourage people to work. "There has to be some humanity," because some people do need the help.
He says he strongly supports public education.
He favors abortion rights. Republicans
Joseph Schwan, a retired army procurement officer, says that welfare was originally designed to keep children out of orphanages when their bread-winning fathers died. "It was supposed to be for widows," he says. "The loophole was giving the aid to unmarried women." He added, "Our education system is falling down because of it."
Schwan supports school vouchers and school prayer, and opposes busing for racial purposes.
He says he opposes abortion but wants a national vote on the issue. "I'm beginning to change my mind on it. These damn little babies are being born with AIDS and crack in their bodies. It scares the tar out of me."
John Ashcroft, the former governor, says the nation's welfare system "is in desperate need of reform." His proposals include: "Stop giving welfare checks to unwed teen parents to set up their government-supported apartments."
Teens should live with their families or in group homes where they would learn job and parenting skills and complete high school. He opposes "a prolonged government-subsidized jobs program," saying private sector jobs are better. He favors waivers to give states flexibility.
On education, he calls for reduced paperwork for federal programs and opposes "the stifling sameness of a national curriculum."
He opposes abortion except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. He supports the Hyde Amendment, which restricts federal funding.
Ronald Halstead, a farmer in Eunice, says there should be no federal involvement in welfare or any aid program. States should administer and pay for them, he says.
Education, he says, is a state or individual responsibility and not a federal matter. It should be under local control, he says.
Abortion, he says, is a private family matter; he opposes any federal funding.
Joyce Lea of Kansas City could not be reached for comment. In a brief written statement, she proposed that 20 be the minimum legal age for marriage.
Doug Jones, who works for Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, says he supports some of the current welfare programs. "There's a lot of people who can't work" because of mental and emotional problems, he says. Jones recommends more counselors.
Regarding school prayer, he favors separation of church and state. On vouchers, he might consider a phased-in program.
He would allow an abortion during the first 45 days of a pregnancy. A major cause of teen pregnancy, he says, is child abuse and incest. Libertarians
Bill Johnson, a construction contractor in Norwood, contends that all welfare programs, including Medicaid and energy assistance, cost $318 billion a year. Most of that money is wasted on administrative costs, he says. "If we wrote a check to all 7.7 million poor families in this country for $14,900, the base poverty line, we'd only spend a little over $110 billion."
He says 76 different federal agencies dispense aid. He proposed consolidating all aid programs to a single agency.
He favors school vouchers, and he opposes the federal Goals 2000 program. The Libertarian ideal, he says, is to do away with the public school system.
He favors abortion rights and opposes all federal funding.
Rickey Jamerson, a community activist in St. Louis, says, "The best reform of welfare is a job." Many people have part-time jobs. "The best reform is to `make room for daddy' and encourage marriage."
Welfare programs now force some fathers to leave home, he says. "This welfare system was designed by narrow-minded white males."
He advocates more spending for education "on all levels. Keep the schools open in the evenings, and let's look at a voucher system in some form." He said the city-county desegregation program is destroying the traditionally black neighborhood high schools. "It needs to be scaled back. All segregation isn't bad."
Abortion "is between a woman, her doctor and God. It has no place in politics."…
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Welfare Suggestions Go from Less to None Candidates Detail Abortion Beliefs, Education Ideas. Contributors: Jo Mannies Post-Dispatch Political Correspondent - Author. Newspaper title: St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO). Publication date: July 28, 1994. Page number: 5B. © 2008 St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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