Fighting Poverty can be a Bipartisan Effort

Here's a letter I submitted to the Philadelphia Daily News on how Pennsylvanians of any ideology can share good intent, and work toward a common goal.

I was disappointed that John Baer’s latest editorial was unusually one-sided and partisan. Baer calls Republicans “hard-hearted,” dismisses any merits of conservative policy ideas, and pretends special interests only lobby for lower taxes not bigger government programs—hardly a civil discussion about the suffering caused by poverty.

Instead, let’s remember we all want the same outcomes. Conservative and liberals, libertarians and progressives, Republicans and Democrats, all would like to see more jobs, higher incomes, and greater prosperity for all Pennsylvanians. There’s still honest disagreement over issues like raising the minimum wage—some workers would get raises, but some jobs would be lost—and welfare programs that provide some material benefits, but crowd out private charity, discourage work, and trap people in poverty.

Thankfully, there are bipartisan solutions to help all Pennsylvanians. Expanding educational choice for thousands of low-income students, reducing barriers to employment that hurt the poor and those with criminal records, and reforming the tax code to create investment and jobs all have broad support from legislators, Gov. Wolf, and business leaders.

Let’s put aside name-calling, stop assuming cruel intentions, and work together on solutions to help all Pennsylvanians flourish.