Let the Debate Begin
I got my start in politics in the Democratic Party because I believed the policies it advocated were the best hope to help people. After several years I became disenchanted, not with helping people, but with federal government's solutions.
Today I believe there are better ways to address poverty and social issues. These alternatives revolve around concepts like ownership, choice, responsibility, and focusing resources more at the local level. I've also seen the power of faith based organizations in delivering effective aid and rehabilitation.
Many of these ideas have been advocated by President Bush in his compassionate conservative agenda, and also more recently by lawmakers like Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
They all share a common thread -- a desire to move beyond ends (do we want to help the poor) to means (the best way to do it).
I'm going to expand on this theme later this week, but I thought this piece in the NY Times today captures the growing debate between liberals and conservatives focusing not on whether to help the poor, but the best way to do it.