NYT Blasts Corbett, Misses Facts

Public WelfareRecently, the New York Times ran an editorial that willfully neglected to mention the utter failure of more welfare spending to reduce poverty in Pennsylvania. The editorial was long on rhetoric and short on facts, blaming Gov. Corbett’s while ignoring the truth. Here is my response:

Dear Editor,

Your July 17 editorial accuses Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett, among others, of “abandoning the poor” by not spending enough tax dollars on welfare programs. But Pennsylvania’s general fund budget spends more on public welfare than ever before. Moreover, total welfare spending increased 64 percent over the past decade.

Despite the massive spending influx, Pennsylvania’s poverty rate increased 40 percent from 2000 to 2010, leaving little doubt the welfare system traps individuals in a cycle of poverty.

Undoubtedly, the best anti-poverty program is a job. To his credit, Gov. Corbett has reduced government spending and taxes to promote job creation. Since he took office, Pennsylvania added 156,000 private sector jobs in Pennsylvania (through May)—contrasted with a loss of 8,000 private sector jobs over the prior decade. 

Instead of blindly spending more, we should focus on policies that help transition the poor into rewarding careers.