State of Wisconsin Archives: on Welfare & Poverty

Hillary Clinton: Address distressed communities and generational poverty

I am concerned about what's happening in every community in America, and that includes white communities, where we are seeing an increase in alcoholism, addiction, earlier deaths. I'm going to do everything I can to address distressed communities, whether they are communities of color, whether they are white communities. I particularly appreciate the proposal that Congressman Jim Clyburn has--the 10-20-30 proposal--to spend more federal dollars in communities with generational poverty.
Source: 2016 PBS Democratic debate in Wisconsin Feb 11, 2016

Glenn Grothman: Concerned about massive trend towards government dependency

Glenn has been a longtime advocate for reform of the welfare system. He is very concerned about the massive trend towards government dependency.

The number of people on Food Stamps has gone from 17 million as recently as 2001 to 47 million today. The number of people on disability has risen from 5 million people to almost 9 million people in the last thirteen years, all while job safety has improved greatly.

The rush towards government reliance is resulting in the erosion of the American family, which will have severe, negative consequences for the next generation. Glenn has introduced legislation in Wisconsin to reform these programs, but again and again changes are blocked by federal laws and never-ending regulations that preempt reforms on the state level.

Congress needs a leader to stand up and fight. Glenn has consistently proven he is unafraid to tackle even the most formidable issues. He will fight to make reform of these government programs a top priority for Republicans.

Source: 2014 Wisconsin House campaign website, May 31, 2014

Scott Walker: Help transition from government dependence to independence

Years ago, under Governor Doyle, eligibility for BadgerCare Plus went up, but not enough funds were budgeted, so many people living in poverty were put on a waiting list. This year, for the first time in Wisconsin history, everyone living in poverty will be able to access health care under Medicaid.

For those living above poverty, we transition them into the marketplace. I believe Medicaid is for those living in poverty, and our goal should be to help lift more and more people out of the depths of economic despair.

Our Wisconsin Plan is unique as we are able to cover everyone living in poverty, reduce the number of uninsured, and still not expose Wisconsin taxpayers to the uncertain potential cost of the federal Medicaid expansion.

Helping more people transition from government dependence to true independence is not only good for the taxpayers, it is good for employers, too. Most importantly, it is good for the people, who can now control their own lives and their own destinies.

Source: 2014 State of the State Address to Wisconsin legislature Jan 22, 2014

Tommy Thompson: Replace Welfare with the Tools to Succeed

Gov. Thompson made building our people - particularly the poor - an important priority. Frustrated that generations of families were being locked in a welfare trap, Thompson embarked on welfare reform in 1987, long before it became a major national issue

Before starting, Thompson invited groups of welfare mothers to his home for luncheon discussions on what locked them into welfare and what was needed to free them from the trap. The most commonly cited barriers to leaving welfare were inadequate child care, health care, transportation and training - four elements that became the foundation for the governor’s reform programs.

Since 1987, Thompson has instituted many welfare reform programs and initiatives that have combined to reduce Wisconsin’s welfare caseload by more than any state in the nation.

Since 1987, Wisconsin has cut its welfare caseload by more than 93%, from 98,000 AFDC families in January 1987 to under 6,700 W-2 cash assistance families in February 2000.

Source: Wisconsin Governor’s web site Dec 25, 2000

Tommy Thompson: Early leader in welfare reform

Wisconsin was so far ahead in its reforms that Gov. Thompson ended welfare and the AFDC entitlement check altogether and replaced it with a new program based on work called Wisconsin Works, better known as W-2. This program is now the standard for welfare reform in America.
Source: Wisconsin Governor’s web site Dec 25, 2000

  • The above quotations are from State of Wisconsin Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Welfare & Poverty.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2016 Presidential contenders on Welfare & Poverty:
Gov.Jeb Bush(FL)
Dr.Ben Carson(MD)
Gov.Chris Christie(NJ)
Sen.Ted Cruz(TX)
Carly Fiorina(CA)
Gov.Jim Gilmore(VA)
Sen.Lindsey Graham(SC)
Gov.Mike Huckabee(AR)
Gov.Bobby Jindal(LA)
Gov.John Kasich(OH)
Gov.Sarah Palin(AK)
Gov.George Pataki(NY)
Sen.Rand Paul(KY)
Gov.Rick Perry(TX)
Sen.Rob Portman(OH)
Sen.Marco Rubio(FL)
Sen.Rick Santorum(PA)
Donald Trump(NY)
Gov.Scott Walker(WI)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee(RI)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(NY)
V.P.Joe Biden(DE)
Gov.Martin O`Malley(MD)
Sen.Bernie Sanders(VT)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren(MA)
Sen.Jim Webb(VA)

2016 Third Party Candidates:
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Roseanne Barr(PF-HI)
Robert Steele(L-NY)
Dr.Jill Stein(G,MA)
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Page last updated: Feb 13, 2018