Posted by Lilly from ? (220.127.116.11) on Thursday, May 16, 2002 at 10:18AM :
Let me emphasize this: if the state provides child care to working mothers, it MUST ensure that this child care is *excellent* - I don't want to see that 1/2-assed job interviews let a slew of pedophiles "take care" of anyone's children. I completely agree with the Greens, but a LOT of care, money, & planning has to go into the creation of adequate child care facilities.
Greens Say No To Bush's Marriage Proposal
Welfare 'reform' will impose massive federal control, enforce dependence, turn many women into second-class citizens, and continue to deny health coverage and child care
WASHINGTON - May 14 - Greens blasted the plans by President George W. Bush to earmark $300 million of the $17 billion welfare budget for experiments to promote marriage as a way to get women off welfare and to force most welfare recipients to work a 40-hour work week without child care and benefits.
"Too many Democrats crumble when they encounter Republican rhetoric about family values," said Rahul Mahajan, Green candidate for governor of Texas. "Bush's plan doesn't promote healthy families or moral values. These are schemes to make many women more helpless and dependent, to push them into jobs and marriages without regard for the women themselves or the care and health of children. They have everything to do with posturing on the supposed moral shortcomings of poor people, and nothing to do with alleviating dependence and poverty. The real measure of success is the extent to which any plan reduces poverty."
"So-called welfare reform often doesn't solve the problem of getting people into good jobs, because it neither creates real jobs with good wages nor ensures good wages and good benefits in jobs that already exist," said Robert Miranda, elected Green member of the Social Development Commission in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which is responsible for administering welfare in that state. "Instead, welfare reform of the past decade, whether from Clinton or Bush, has meant cheap labor and enforced dependence."
Greens have called for living wages, full benefits, collective bargaining rights, and democratic workplaces for all people who work, including those moving from relief to jobs. Greens support national health insurance for all Americans; assistance for employment through stable and responsible locally based business instead of make-work and dead-end Walmart-wage jobs; and recognition of caregiving as real work that deserves compensation, not a luxury or an excuse to avoid jobs.
Many Greens want the reauthorization of Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) to increase investments in child care, education and training, and job creation rather than impose stricter workfare requirements on states and participants as proposed by Democrats and Republicans in Congress. Greens cite the Carter-Bayh bill, supported by liberal Democrats like Hillary Clinton (NY) and John Rockefeller (WV), which includes such regressive agenda and which would also divert TANF funding to noncustodial parents and to groups that seek to win custody rights over children for abusive spouses.
"Do all poor people have to return to slavery and indentured servitude before Congress finds the backbone to say no to Bush's insane welfare proposal?," asked Donna Warren, Green candidate for Lieutenant Governor of California. "Bush's plan is counterproductive, disrupting, and drains money from efforts to move poor people from government dependency. The Greens know this, 39 states know this, and Bush knows this. It is amazing that Congress pretends not to know."
Green activists and candidates list specific dangers in the Bush plan:
*** It doesn't provide what many mothers trying to rejoin the work force need most: child care, training and education where effective (especially GED preparation and English as a Second Language), and transportation. "At the same time Bush would expand the workfare requirement to 40 hours a week, there's no acknowledgement that working mothers have special needs," said Miranda. "It's devastating for many women and some men who take care of children, elderly, or disabled family members."
*** Bush's plan discriminates against mothers, including lesbian mothers, who need help but may find themselves barred from public housing and other relief. The plan creates a second-class level of 'undeserving' lesbian mothers and single heterosexual mothers who are unwilling or unable to wed. Proponents claim the plan will strengthen marriage. But by compelling marriage solely for economic convenience, the plan encourages unstable, temporary, and even exploitative relationships. "Many women who remain single or have separated from partners in order to escape exploitation, abuse, or dependence will now find themselves thrust back into the kind of circumstances that forced them to seek welfare in the first place," said Mark Dunlea, Vice-Chair of Green Party of New York State.
*** The plan's "Super Waiver" option allows states to spend welfare relief and job training funds on projects like the promotion of marriage. It also allows some faith-based organizations -- groups that seek exemption from discrimination statutes in hiring and training, providing services, and licensing requirements -- to claim larger shares of public funding.
"I thought Republicans opposed 'social engineering'," observed Dr. Jonathan Farley, Green Party congressional candidate from Tennessee. "I don't want to be married by Big Government. I want to be married by a priest."
The Green Party of the United States
National office: 1314 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Index of Green Party candidates in 2002
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