Contact Lance Cayko
For Immediate Release 5/6/19
A Red White and Blue New Deal by Bonnie Pyle
In America today we are seeing more and more people pushing for a bigger, more powerful government, the movement for socialism and communism seems to be gaining steam across the country. Everything from universal health care to a basic income for all citizens is being pushed. This attitude and political movement is driving an ever deepening rift between Americans. The anger and hatred continues to intensify. The National debt is increasing at a seemingly unstoppable rate recently surpassing the $22 trillion mark, and despite tax cuts working Americans still give up a significant portion of their income to taxation; still, the push for more government and more government spending continues. Americans of every political ideology are screaming for “change “, yet people keep voting for the same parties and same ideas without seeing any real change.
Despite the expanding debt and government power there are bright spots if you look for them. Programs and legislation are popping up that really are a change from the things we keep doing over and over all the while screaming for “change “. In May, Denver will be voting on whether or not the city will decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms, a step in the right direction for individual rights and one less thing to spend money and law enforcement time on. Cities and counties around the country are lessening the charges, or even refusing to prosecute some drug possession offenses. Here in Colorado we have HB 19-1263 which will take certain drug possession charges down to misdemeanors so those charged won’t do jail time. Taking the government out of our personal lives is always a good thing! But how do we get it out of our wallets and paychecks? What if we think outside the box and look for ways citizens can accomplish some of the things the government has taken responsibility for, maybe add a little voluntaryism ? What if we change the goals of some programs and fund things that incentivize independence and productivity rather than dependence? Wouldn’t that be a change?
Goodwill has long been known as an organization that assists those with intellectual and developmental disabilities in developing skills and finding employment. From the former sheltered workshops to contracts with places like the Air Force Academy and hotel chains that give the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IADD) community the opportunity to earn money, be productive members of the community and gain independence. Last year the Southern Colorado Goodwill program took it a step further by becoming a contractor for the department of human services and offering the Colorado Works Subsidized Training and Employment Program (CW STEP) . This program works with families eligible for Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF), a federally funded cash assistance program for needy families, and finds them employment. The program goes beyond skill training and job leads and actually contracts with local businesses to hire TANF recipients. The Goodwill program pays the wages of program participants at the business that they are placed with for a certain number of weeks. Job coaches work intensively with participants to make sure they are successful at the job they are placed with. At the end of the subsidized work period the businesses have the opportunity to hire the participants as regular employees, and they do! Many participants become full time employees, no longer dependent on TANF. A government backed program that subsidizes work and promotes independence. How’s that for change?
Another novel idea to take some public assistance out of the government’s hands, and the taxpayers wallets, is making its way across the country. A program called care portal connects families with children who are in need with local churches. The churches agree to work with local DHS offices. When a DHS worker has a family in need a request is typed into the care portal system where it is transmitted to all the participating churches in the county. The church then sends the request to members, and anyone who wants to help with that request can do so. Currently the greatest needs are bunk beds and bedroom items for foster families, but they can be anything from diapers and formula to help with home repairs; about 80% of these requests are currently met in El Paso county. Americans helping each other voluntarily.
These are just a few examples of outside the box thinking that is producing results and change. The possibilities are staggering if people embrace the change they claim to want. Let’s think outside the box and find a deal that really works for America without adding more government.
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Bonnie is a libertarian living in Teller County, Colorado. She’s passionate about fitness, animal rescue, and an avid outdoor adventurer.
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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Lance Cayko at 303.775.7406 or email at CommunicationsDirector@LPColorado.org.