November 6, 2014 |
So-called dark-money groups spent 27 percent more on this year's elections than they did in 2010, thanks to reckless Supreme Court decisions and regulatory failures allowing unlimited, undisclosed political contributions. The groups hide donors behind the tax code, disguising themselves as "social welfare" organizations. In fact, they are an increasingly powerful and poisonous political force. Analysts say they are just beginning to flex their muscles in preparation for the main event: the 2016 presidential election.
March 16, 1994 |
Israeli social worker Asher Behrend tries his hand at clay modeling with youngsters at Archway Day Care and Preschool in Camden yesterday. Behrend and others from the Israel Ministry of Social Welfare are child-care policymakers who are on a 10-day tour of South Jersey child-care facilities. They were guests of Archway, a private, non-profit, federally subsidized child-care center, one of three facilities in the city that they visited yesterday. At Archway, they joined children at circle time, read books to them, made creatures with green Play Doh, and took notes of such novelties to Israel as toys with mirrors in them.
June 6, 1998 |
Religious values have inspired some of the most important social movements in our nation's history, including those for civil rights and the abolition of slavery. But current proposals for religious institutions to become more involved in providing social welfare services ignore the lessons of the past. Throughout the 19th century, private religious institutions were the primary source of social welfare in the United States. Those who needed food, clothing and shelter turned to religious organizations, not the welfare office.
November 7, 2012
The day after President Obama's reelection is a good time to reflect on how the campaign was affected by a tragically flawed Supreme Court decision and others that undermined efforts to add some common sense to political spending. This is the day after more than $6 billion was spent on election campaigns, with much of it coming from barely restrained and often secretive groups. Most of that money went to TV advertising that was generally negative and further served to erode the public's confidence not only in the candidates put before it, but also in an electoral system that is supposed to be the model for the rest of the world.
January 16, 2016 |
Since the Supreme Court's infamous Citizens United decision in 2010, several hundred million dollars in fingerprints-free contributions have helped elect candidates favored by the superrich and special interests. Safely hidden from the public, these transactions have bought influence without risking blowback from voters. The secret money flows through a clandestine pipeline known as "social welfare" groups. A bizarre provision in U.S. law allows these grossly misnamed groups to accept secret donations and use the money to sway elections.
May 18, 1988 |
In the last four years, the city's spending priorities have continued to shift away from traditional services - like parks, recreation and libraries - and toward social services. For example, in three years funding for the homeless has grown from nearly nothing to $32 million. Some of this shift is a reasonable response to the fact that the city's population has a growing proportion of disadvantaged families. Ideally, the needs of this impoverished population should be paid for by redistributing resources from higher levels of government.
July 28, 1992 |
The family is under siege, and the choices in this election are clear: On one side, the advocates of the liberal agenda; on the other side are you and I and those values of family that we share. " - George Bush, last week in Garfield, N.J. The headline was, "Bush Says Liberals Imperil U.S. Families. " Of course, the headlines also say Texas' unemployment rate for June was 8.3 percent, the highest in four years. Guess there are lots of different ways to imperil the family. But I was struck by how little progress we've made in the political use of The Family as an issue.
December 1, 2002 |
In his first presidential campaign speech, George W. Bush rejected as "destructive" the idea that "if government would only get out of the way, all our problems would be solved. " He pledged support for "faith-based organizations, charities, and community groups. " Once in office, he promised to help mobilize adult mentors for at-risk urban youth, and to aid the big cities they call home. "No child left behind," he repeated, is his special "charge to keep. " Anyone privileged to be around him, as I was during the first 180 days of his administration, knows that President Bush is a strong moral leader with a true heart for the poor.
January 15, 1989 |
Jack Kemp, chosen to head the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the Bush administration, proposes to launch a new War on Poverty. Will he succeed any better than Lyndon Johnson, who officially began the last one in 1964? What lessons should he learn? According to many current assessments, during the years from 1964 until 1972-73, when federal social benefits in real dollars peaked, Washington threw massive amounts of money into a futile attempt to eliminate poverty.
December 12, 1991 |
Many Americans have a vision of slashing the defense budget and gleefully standing by as coffers of gold come pouring out of the Pentagon. It would be nice if it were that simple. Indeed, dividends can be saved by careful trimming of some defense fat. The stark reality remains, however, that any peace dividend taken today will be paid for sooner or later. Large, inordinate defense cuts will do two things to this nation, which will force us to pay bills in blood or money, sometime down the road.