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Archive for Thursday, November 17, 2011

Focus on marriage to end poverty misguided, Democratic Party leader says

November 17, 2011, 12:26 p.m. Updated November 17, 2011, 3:10 p.m.

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— Pushing marriage to end poverty is simplistic and potentially dangerous, Kansas Democratic Party Chair Joan Wagnon said Thursday.

Wagnon’s comments were made in response to remarks by a speaker invited to child poverty meetings set up by Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican.

That speaker, Robert Rector, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, has encouraged single mothers to get married as a way to get out of poverty. He has said he doesn’t want to force anyone to get married, but said the decline of marriage is the strongest factor leading to poverty.

In July, Rector was co-author of a study that said most Americans living in poverty lead comfortable lives with a steady supply of food, medical care, air conditioning, cable TV and other modern amenities.

“Poor families certainly struggle to make ends meet, but in most cases, they are struggling to pay for air conditioning and the cable TV bill as well as to put food on the table. Their living standards are far different from the images of dire deprivation promoted by activists and the mainstream media,” the study said.

On Wednesday, a protestor was arrested at Brownback’s child poverty meeting in Wichita after Rector spoke. Several Occupy Wichita members shouted during the meeting that Brownback’s policies, such as his record cut in base state aid to public schools, were hurting children and women.

On Monday, at a child poverty meeting in Kansas City, Kan., several groups said Brownback should focus more on education and health care to help poor children rather than marriage.

On Thursday, Wagnon said, “Marriage can be wonderful, but it can also be horrific.”

Wagnon said when she worked for the YWCA in Topeka in the 1970s, she counseled hundreds of women who were victims of domestic violence.

“I learned that living in a family where one parent beats the other parent or beats both mother and child is far more destructive to a daughter or son than living in a single-parent household, even one that struggles to make the rent every month,” Wagnon said.

Wagnon added, “Ending childhood poverty is a laudable objective, but we can only reach that goal by creating more jobs, improving our schools and guaranteeing high-quality and affordable childcare, among other things. I applaud the idea of encouraging marriage, but complex problems like poverty require real solutions.”

The governor’s spokeswoman, Sherriene Jones-Sontag, said Brownback knows that solutions to poverty will be multi-faceted.

“He is not advocating that people remain in an unhealthy marriage,” she said.

Brownback has said that he wants the meetings to produce recommendations on ways to reduce the number of children in poverty.

“The goal of the town hall meetings is to gather insights and strategies to reduce childhood poverty, increase childhood educational outcomes and decrease child abuse and neglect,” he said.

Comments

roadwarrior 2 years, 4 months ago

If the marriage is healthy....Lack of quality men to go around..... women who want to be mothers. What could possibly go wrong ?

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TomJoad23 2 years, 4 months ago

"Abortions for some, tiny American flags for others"- Kodos

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pickles1 2 years, 4 months ago

Focusing on marriage is not the answer. Gov. Brownback needs to avoid ethical opinions and focus on increasing jobs and managing the budget. In theory, marriage would help substantially increase a family's finances. But in reality if two people get married with kids they will end up having the same financial issues. The "middle class" is living pay check to pay check. Marriage is expensive and a life long commitment. The governer should let the citizens of Kansas marry eachother when they are emotionally ready to.

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roadwarrior 2 years, 4 months ago

George, I feel your pain. My parents are wonderful people who have been married 58 years with no nonsense between them. The are "some" very exceptional men in this world........but not nearly enough to go around. I agree with the posts that careful family planning with access to birth control "methods" IS pro life. Pro-quality of- life. It certainly makes "trying on a union" less financially devastating when it turns out that your partner just isn't worthy of parenthood. My mother tells me all the time that "quality of life is the real value".

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verity 2 years, 4 months ago

I'm going to repeat what Overthemoon said two days ago.

"Among the leading causes of divorce? Money issues. He would do better to promote birth control and family planning if he really wants to reduce the number of children in poverty."

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George Lippencott 2 years, 4 months ago

So, if you equate "hating" with, for example, "Are you fracking serious?? What kind of idiotic, illogical notion is that?!? How the hell can an increase in marriage certificates automatically reduce the number of people living below the poverty line?!?!"... well, if asking those questions are "hating," then okay, I hate Brownback, because I question his logic. Among other things.

Moderate Responds

I think we are talking past each other. And pray tell way would two incomes not potentially move some people out of defined poverty?

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George Lippencott 2 years, 4 months ago

Agnostic Says “The point that is being argued about, singularly and specifically, is the preposterous idea that if you take a single (as in "unmarried") person living in poverty today.... and marry 'em up next Saturday... "

Where did that come from?? That was not MY point. My point is that committed relationships offer stability and two paychecks (or a home based helper). I never argued to make people get married but I do argue that committed relationships are better for the kids and can influence who is in poverty. That is obvious and does not need a study to support though as I said there are many studies about kids and stable relationships.

Nobody has ever answer=s my 0914 questuion as to "Come on - what is the real issue or is it really just Brownback hating???"

Why is pushing marriage a threat that seems to concern so many on here? The attack on the very notion of marriage (that is how I chose to read many comments in this thread) seems senseless, doctrinaire and liberal (threat to programs? - which it is not)!

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Linda Endicott 2 years, 4 months ago

"In July, Rector was co-author of a study that said most Americans living in poverty lead comfortable lives with a steady supply of food, medical care, air conditioning, cable TV and other modern amenities.

What type of food do they have a steady supply of, exactly? Probably a lot of beans, rice, macaroni, and a bunch of fatty meat that everyone says isn't good for you...lots of carbs...poor people can't afford to buy all that wonderful food, fresh fruits and veggies, that are good for you...not on a consistent basis...

Medical care...really? If you're talking about welfare recipients, then you're talking about Medicaid...do you know how many things Medicaid will no longer cover? And of the things it does cover, you sometimes need pre-approval to get it at all, which takes time...wonderful medical care, my arse...

Air conditioning...my, oh, my...well, as someone pointed out earlier, most rental units come with AC included anymore...not that people can necessarily afford to use it...hey, would he feel better if they didn't have AC and got sick from the heat and dropped like flies?

Cable TV...well, damn those poor people for wanting any form of entertainment at all...it's not like they can afford to go out to eat all the time or to a movie or a bowling night or a football game or something...I guess they're just supposed to sit there twiddling their thumbs all the time and staring at the walls...and gee, they could have TV without cable, except the government changed that, too...you used to be able to get a cheap black and white TV (they don't even make them anymore), stick an antenna on your roof and presto! Not anymore...with all the digital crap we were forced to take, now it requires an expensive TV, and expensive converter box, an expensive antenna...unless you have cable...get the logic to that? With cable, you can still get TV even if you own a crappy one...

Other modern amenities...like what, refrigerators, furnaces, running water and indoor plumbing? We're talking about America, not some third world country where you have to drink water from the same river that the cows poop in...and for all of you out there who think it's just terrible that poor people manage to have cell phones...well, gee, let's just take away their ability to communicate with loved ones from a distance at all... Not to mention that you can get a cell phone in some stores for $20 now, get prepaid cards and basically get service for about $50 a month or less...yeah, usually a crappy phone and crappy service...not the rah-rah unlimited everything plans that you may be used to, with phones that can do practically everything except impregnate your wife...

But then a lot of you also complain about the poor who are homeless...they have no AC, no supply of food, no TV, no cell phones...and yet you don't like that type of poverty, either... So where do you think the poor are supposed to go? How should they live? What should they have?

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Agnostick 2 years, 4 months ago

Oh, and remember: This whackjob idea is coming from a former gubernatorial candidate who ran on the promise of jobs, jobs, and more jobs. With this nonsensical idea, it's almost as if Brownback is thinking, "You know, if the single people living above the poverty line will all just marry up with someone who is living below the poverty line.... the 'lower' folks will be magically and miraculously lifted up, simply by being attached to someone with a better education and/or income. If that happens, people will never notice the jobs that never materialized!"

Another thought: Next time you're in the presence of one of these wonderful old couples that has been married to each other for 50 or 60 years, ask them why they got married in the first place. Was it because they were in love? Was it because they each felt they had found their perfect life partner? Or was it because one of 'em was "rich" and wanted help out a "poor person" just by marrying them?

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Agnostick 2 years, 4 months ago

Moderate (George Lippencott)...

1) bozo's analogy may be silly, but that's not the point. It perfectly illustrates the way that Governor Brownback is apparently thinking. So, even though it's silly to you, me, bozo, and a lot of other people... it probably makes perfect sense to Brownback. THAT is the scary part.

2) Go back to the top... read the article... and then read the comments. Slowly. Studiously. Then consider your 9:14am comment again:

http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2011/nov/17/statehouse-live-focus-marriage-end-poverty-misguid/#c1843939

Can you point out specific "man-hating" comments? Alright, so you may have a point about the benefits of "marriage or at least some committed state in which to rear children." I don't recall anyone arguing that point. The point that is being argued about, singularly and specifically, is the preposterous idea that if you take a single (as in "unmarried") person living in poverty today.... and marry 'em up next Saturday... they'll be miraculously lifted out of their poverty in, say, six to twelve months.

I asked earlier, and I'll ask again--this is for you and anyone else:

Those of you who support this idea... can any of you link to some statistics, examples, news reports etc. that set some sort of precedent for this? Another nation or region, state, even city... that reduced its poverty rate by increasing its marriage rate? You'll have to successfully exclude other possible contributing factors, of course.

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lunacydetector 2 years, 4 months ago

he's just saying, women should marry for money.....which i thought they already did!

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 4 months ago

If marriage is the cure for poverty, shouldn't we legalize polygamy? If one husband or wife is good, two must be twice as good, three would be three times as good. It's just simple math.

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George Lippencott 2 years, 4 months ago

Sound like we have a lot of doctrinarian liberals with a strong component of men hating.

What is wrong with marriage or at least some committed state in which to rear children? Al sorts of data show that children do better in such environments.

Two paychecks are better than one despite the government tax policies.

Come on - what is the real issue or is it really just Brownback hating???

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citizen1 2 years, 4 months ago

It is interesting that so many people are waiting on government to do for them. The government only provides the minimum to perpetuate its own existence.

Until you do for yourself you will be waiting forever.

It is a shame, this waiting for someone else to act in our behalf, when your future lies within your own self.

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tange 2 years, 4 months ago

Again overlooking the obvious. Stimulate the economy AND eliminate poverty with a national move to longer furniture... sectionals... wrap-around sectionals... fold-out sectionals.... and, OHHHH, all that couch change!

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citizen1 2 years, 4 months ago

Life is full of choices. It is not that there is poverty, or that someone is impoverished. It is what each person in poverty does to pull themselves out of poverty.

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Stain 2 years, 4 months ago

Nothing about jobs, job training or education though.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 4 months ago

So will Sam put some real teeth to this?

How about this for teeth-- if you aren't married by age 14, you get a fine of $25. And every year thereafter, the fine doubles. If you get divorced, your fines resume at whatever level your age dictates.

Just think what kind of tax cuts for the Kochs could be financed by this progressive initiative!!!

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Hong_Kong_Phooey 2 years, 4 months ago

I love it: the GOP is advocating for poor, single women be gold-diggers. Sanctity of marriage my arse!

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Agnostick 2 years, 4 months ago

Those of you who support this idea... can any of you link to some statistics, examples, news reports etc. that set some sort of precedent for this? Another nation or region, state, even city... that reduced its poverty rate by increasing its marriage rate? You'll have to successfully exclude other possible contributing factors, of course. ;)

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hcother 2 years, 4 months ago

I think that the government should be careful about what it encourages. You will have people abusing the system no matter which way things go. Maybe if we could make it no difference if you are married or not. That might help avoid bad marriages starting and avoid good marriages from being prevented due to taxes or benefits and what-not.

Unfortunately I'm afraid the "system" may be too complex in order to achieve a balance.

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preebo 2 years, 4 months ago

This is nothing more than social engineering and part of the far-right "Christian" agenda that Brownback obviously ascribes to. Nowhere, is there any policy review or statistical analysis to back up these assertions.

As a married man, with a spouse who stayed home with our child for the first few years could argue that being married was a greater strain on our finances, given that my wife had to quit her job to look out after our daughter leaving us with one income. For many, us included, finances were but a part of our decision to marry and not the reason. The only financial benefit is during income tax time, when you check that box for married filing jointly. For many in poverty, income tax is already a NON-ISSUE as they do not pay income tax.

I have one question. Where is a single policy proposal or piece of legislation that creates even one job. These summits are a joke and nothing more than window dressing. Brownback honestly thinks he can make Kansas an agronomic power?! It's 2011, and way too late to try to make Kansas an agrarian superpower. All I've seen is governmental restructuring and organizational shift which will weaken services, create mission creep among numerous agencies having to rely on the institutional knowledge of other agencies, and, oh yeah, cut jobs (government jobs, but jobs nonetheless). These people still have to file for unemployment and when there's no jobs to go to, what do you have? That's right, a greater dependence on government and a government less able to respond.

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AverageCitizen 2 years, 4 months ago

I thought the Republicans were wanting government out of our lives!. How on earth is marriage Brownbeck's business? This is just a smoke screen to keep our attention on ridiculous policies like this so they can implement policies that give the rich more.

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Stuart Evans 2 years, 4 months ago

the Heritage Foundation...keep these *&^%$! out of government! the religious have shown time and time again that they think of the female as a 2nd class citizen.

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onemansopinion 2 years, 4 months ago

I simply find it interesting that the very groups that argue so strongly for the societal benefits of "traditional" marriage are the same ones now telling poor women to get married simply as an economic lifeboat. I can't help but think conservative "small government" would be better served by having a consistent message and stay out of social issues (and medical privacy issues) altogether.

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markoo 2 years, 4 months ago

I can't be mad at these ignoramus twits who run our state anymore. Only makes our state look that much more ridiculous when we realize just who voted them in......

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Amberella 2 years, 4 months ago

If you really care about helping single parents get out of poverty, how about forcing the non-custodial, or absent parent pay child support. If the state of KS required child support proceedings at the time of anyone applying for any kind of government assistance, maybe some of these dead-beat parents would actually start paying for their children. I find it to be extremely stupid that the state of KS does not require the SRS to find absent parents and order child support at the time of applying for food stamps or daycare assistance. It's these absent parents' responsibility. Yet the state just foots the bill for it. Also, how about a little reform on child support? It took me 2 years to get child support. Then the SRS didn't even back-date it. That's ridiculous!

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tbaker 2 years, 4 months ago

Young single minority mothers make up the largest percentage of those in poverty. Marriage isn't so much the problem as is the lack of a father helping support his child and baby momma. Marriage certainly isn't contributing to poverty at least.

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overthemoon 2 years, 4 months ago

Among the leading causes of divorce? Money issues. He would do better to promote birth control and family planning if he really wants to reduce the number of children in poverty.

I think the Gov is looking at yet another issue backwards. Sometimes that's a good way to rethink a problem, but I'm not seeing the thinking or the rethinking here. This guy lives in a Pleasantville, a colorless world where no critical thinking is allowed.

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 4 months ago

Jimo (anonymous) says… "In July, Rector was co-author of a study that said most Americans living in poverty lead comfortable lives with a steady supply of food, medical care, air conditioning, cable TV and other modern amenities." === That was interesting. The 'poor' vary in what they have at home. Seems pretty petty to me. I guess they are supposed to suffer more to show them the error of their ways. Being poor in America isn't like what the poor (2-3 billion) around the world experience, where the median income is still $2-3 a day. Maybe if we can get those undeserving poor people to live on about $1,000 a year, they will sell all their stuff to feed the babies, go live in the dumps and become trash pickers like they do in the 3rd world. A. Bourdain has a visit to one of these in a Central American country during one of his recent shows. It was stomach-turning, let me tell ya.

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Jimo 2 years, 4 months ago

"In July, Rector was co-author of a study that said most Americans living in poverty lead comfortable lives with a steady supply of food, medical care, air conditioning, cable TV and other modern amenities."

Was this the "study" that caused the grown-up world of people who have to deal with reality to hoot in laughter? The poor people aren't poor cause they have appliances study??

If the poor sold every appliance they have (one time opportunity), and converted it to rent, they'd get about 2.5 months of expense, and then face an indefinite future where food could not be stored, had to be cooked over campfires, and employers would never be able to contact them.

Sorry, but a the money to buy a microwave wouldn't feed a family for more than half a week. This "study" was designed to appeal to the elderly who still view a microwave as an expensive miracle product.

You know most people who put out propaganda than can be disassembled by a kindergartner don't go around proud of such crappy work. If low marriage rates made for poverty then Sweden would be the poorest nation on earth. Sorry, but in many ways socialist Swedes live lives of luxury compared to many Americans. And only for the price of an airplane ticket, anyone in Kansas can go there and see this truth for themselves.

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jonas_opines 2 years, 4 months ago

This whole thing translates down pretty simply:

"We don't have any clue how to actually fix income disparity, or to make an attempt at combating poverty, but we have a social agenda to push that is the real cornerstone of our platform, even when we run on the economy, so we will attempt to make those two things seem like they are related, in some fashion."

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 4 months ago

Next thing ya know Brownback will be passing out the burkas.

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Kirk Larson 2 years, 4 months ago

Force women to get/stay married. Next, keep them covered so men won't rape them. Then don't let them leave the house without a male escort so they don't stir up trouble. Hey, I've heard something like this before...

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 4 months ago

Why has no one pointed out the logical conclusion that two incomes supporting two children makes a far better life for the child than one income supporting two children? Marriage has nothing to do with it. Dead beat ex spouses and "baby daddies" do! And believe me, forcing women to have children they don't want , can't support and may not even know who fathered them doesn't make the problem any better. And please don't give me that old trope of "They should have kept their legs together." That really feeds and clothes a kid that's already here. It's frightening to think that Brownback would happily do away with contraception.

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Cait McKnelly 2 years, 4 months ago

Odd that when my second marriage ended I was stuck with over 14K in debt that he caused. Took me over ten years to pay off a debt caused by five years of marriage. I'll never make that mistake again.

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FlawontheKaw 2 years, 4 months ago

Wow promoting marriage reduces poverty. Who would have thunk it? Is that why multiple married Mormons are so wealthy? What if I marry myself? Lets just assign our kids a spouse as soon as they are born....or would that be as soon as conception?

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Enlightenment 2 years, 4 months ago

Maybe parents should teach their boys how to be better partners so women may consider them as viable marriage partners. Besides the obvious solution of having more and better paying jobs, there would be fewer impoverished single mothers if unwanted pregnancies could be terminated without the interjection of judgmental conservative pro lifers interfering with personal choices of women.

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KS 2 years, 5 months ago

"On Monday, at a child poverty meeting in Kansas City, Kan., several groups said Brownback should focus more on education and health care to help poor children rather than marriage." - Just who were these groups? Very poor reporting.

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naturenut 2 years, 5 months ago

Marriage does not end poverty unless everyone finds a sugar mama or daddy.

In many cases it causes poverty, as you can often be held responsible for their debts, their healthcare costs, gambling addictions, the sky's the limit.

In my case- I am a woman, a democrat, and could be seen as rich. Of course, I got rid of the debt accruing husband along the way, but paid all the debts.

Women need to know they can be independent and take care of themselves without depending on someone else. Get a job, get three like I did, but really, I never thought of remarriage as a way out of poverty. I thought of how I could work, make payment plans, and manage my finances until I was free.

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George Lippencott 2 years, 5 months ago

"Wagnon added, “Ending childhood poverty is a laudable objective, but we can only reach that goal by creating more jobs, improving our schools and guaranteeing high-quality and affordable childcare, among other things. I applaud the idea of encouraging marriage, but complex problems like poverty require real solutions.”

Moderate Opines. I agree that marriage is not a panacea. It can, however, make living easier in many cases by increasing income. The cost of two people living together is rarely if ever greater than double a single persons costs.

If this is really the Democratic position, it troubles me greatly. Perhaps I misunderstand and there is some nuance in that position that I am missing?

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CherylHudspeth 2 years, 5 months ago

Instead of focusing on marriage the Gov. would serve Kansans better by spending time and energy to create supportive family structures for children. How do we create jobs with a living wage, health insurance and policies that support parents, married or not.
Child poverty can not be measured by air conditioned housing (most rental housing comes with A/C). Child poverty can be measured by latch-key children in households with both parents working 50+ hours a week and still unable to afford childcare. By poor learning related to nutrition habits that include drive-thru breakfast and dinner.
There are many good studies with recommendations that have been implemented with measurable success. The Gov. appears to have the outcomes for this series of public hearings front loaded. To cut support services to families and blame it on the single-parent, in most cases the mother. In exchange, the funders of the Heritage Foundation (most notably the Koch's), are rewarded with tax breaks for their Kansas businesses. Brownback is delivering the goods to his supporters. How predictable was that?

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pace 2 years, 5 months ago

Sammy wammy, he might start promoting that kisiing kochs' is good for lip muscles. That making special tax and deregulation breaks for oil, coal and gas is good for cloud formation. Dang

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Bob_Keeshan 2 years, 5 months ago

So essentially the Dems are conceding marriage, as a political issue, to Republicans.

Sam Brownback should truly enjoy that.

Of all the ridiculous things this administration is a part of, promoting marriage is hardly the worst. No wonder the GOP has a stranglehold on state government, it this is the opposition.

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beatrice 2 years, 5 months ago

Heck with marriage, they should just promote dating instead. Everyone knows married people don't go out, but people spend money when they date. Spending money creates jobs and jobs help lower the poverty level.

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Lane Signal 2 years, 5 months ago

You all are being too hard on Brownie. This initiative meets all of his criteria for a clever political move. 1. It must allow rationalizing cutting funding for social program(s). 2. It must allow what little money is spent to go to radical far right groups or his cronies. 3. It must pander to radical far right political groups (not just moderate conservatives, really hard core single issue types). 4. It must be weird enough that it's effectiveness can't be measured. He does not want to propose anything that could easily be examined for effectiveness about 4 years from now. 5. It should stir controversy. It's important that he be attacked so he can say he is the hero standing for what he believes (in this case apple pie and marriage) while the left fights against him. The fact that it's such a stupid policy is, I think, a bonus for him. If he came up with something that might be effective, there's a chance the initiative would become more important than what he has to say about it. He would not want that.

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08Champs 2 years, 5 months ago

KANSANJAYHAWK You've gone strangely silent when asked for specifics - what policy do you propose that would encourage young boys to marry their pregnant girlfriends? That would encourage 30year old men to marry a woman with 3 children? Come on, you wouldn't just spout off some dumb idea without having factual data to support it, right?

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 2 years, 5 months ago

This by far is one of the most stupid and fraudulant expositions I have ever heard from the long list of Brownbackwardsisms I have ever heard! After he and Governer Hair of Texas gathered a large flock to "pray for the nation", I thought I had heard it all. But this little gem takes the cake for stupidity and ignorance. Which is th cause of poverty to begin with. People who will not take the responsibility to educate and train themselves an be responsibile citizens create poverty by making families they cannot support.

Get it?

This phony baloney from the Republican Theocracy Bund is the height of ridiculous and phoney policy I think I have heard yet from the nuts in the state house in Topeka.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 5 months ago

How does marriage prevent or remove poverty from one's life?

How does one explain poverty after being middle class and married for decades?

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tange 2 years, 5 months ago

"That speaker, Robert Rector, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, has encouraged single mothers to get married as a way to get out of poverty."

Wonder if that tank comes replete with float valve...?

/ conservative would imply brick

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Agnostick 2 years, 5 months ago

Seriously, check out this goofy grin:

http://backattheranchwithpaula.com/coffee/tag/mary-stauffer-brownback/

♬ ♪ ♩ ♭♫ ♬ ♪ ♬ "We're in the money, come on, my honey, Let's lend it, spend it, send it rolling along!" ♬ ♪ ♩ ♭♫ ♬ ♪ ♬

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zzgoeb 2 years, 5 months ago

And ultra-rich folks deduct every expense under the sun, pay no taxes, give millions to puppet politicians and no one seems to be able to stop them. Let's pick on them for awhile you greedheads!!!!

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Agnostick 2 years, 5 months ago

Some folks need to learn how to read between the lines.

Governor Gigolo isn't encouraging marriage--he's encouraging poor people to be gold diggers and gigolos!

Hey, it worked for him, right? Why shouldn't he be in favor of it? Gigolo Sam married Mary Stauffer back in 1982; then, in 1995, Mary's family sold Stauffer Communications for a cool $275 million. That's a big piece of pie, any way you slice it.

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08Champs 2 years, 5 months ago

"kansasnjayhawk" on poverty divorce is not the leading contributor - the vast number of homes termed "impoverished" are homes where the father of the children is absent, not divorced. Single mothers never married. Get the statistics straight if you're going to quote them. And then again - tell me what "policy" you propose that would work here? Shot-gun marriages? I'd support the enforcement of fathers to pay support, but that doesn't seem the focus - the criticism and blame is innapropriately leveled solely at the woman. And there are plenty of well-employed men that dodge payments, not just the unemployed or under-employed.

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Gandalf 2 years, 5 months ago

"His spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag said Brownback knows that solutions to poverty will be multi-faceted. "He is not advocating that people remain in an unhealthy marriage," she said."

guv brownie is pro-divorce! Who knew!

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TomJoad23 2 years, 5 months ago

This world is overpopulated as is, we don't need to keep bringing children in this horrible country.

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getreal 2 years, 5 months ago

The government should not be advocating marriage as a solution to ending poverty or as a cure for anything. Marriage should be an individual choice. And for the comment about Mrs. Wagnon not caring about marriage, the only marriage she needs to care about is her own. If being single is such a horrible thing, then why did Brownback appoint a divorced male living away from his children to head up SRS? This administration has some sick notion that men should be telling women how to live their lives.

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BigDog 2 years, 5 months ago

So Ms. Wagnon your answer to this issue is ..... surprise .... more money must be spent. Accord to Joan Wagnon the solution for all problems is more money.

I may not agree with Brownback on this but it is refreshing to have a governor look at an issue and not saying to fix it we need to spend more. How about looking at how we are spending it now and see if there are better ways to use the money in solving the problem.

Over $5 trillion has been spent on poverty programs .... have we made much progress? Should we question if current programs are effective?

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kansanjayhawk 2 years, 5 months ago

autie--you are wrong because the Governor is not being simplistic--he is seeking a mult-faceted approach dealing with our tax structure and jobs in Kansas--however, marriage is very important to all of society and whatever little State government can do to encourage it to thrive is very important. Sadly, many government policies can serve to destroy important social instituions that should be re-inforced!

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autie 2 years, 5 months ago

Get married and end your poverty. Those boys don't know a whole lot about poverty now, do they? Yes...I would say a decent job and some day care would go much farther. Brownslack has all these simple platitudes for such complex social issues and misses the marks by a mile. It would be nice to have some government play to the issue and not play to the crowd.

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tomatogrower 2 years, 5 months ago

How about we bring back factory jobs and provide affordable day care? Problem solved.

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08Champs 2 years, 5 months ago

This is the same bunch that doesn't believe in sex education in schools or birth control, etc. This doesn't have to be a Dem or Repub thing, just common sense. Instead, they'd have 16 year olds getting married. NO - I don't think 16 year olds should be having sex, but guess what - they are. And they get pregnant.

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somedude20 2 years, 5 months ago

"has encouraged single mothers to get married as a way to get out of poverty" If you have to convince someone to get married, then that person shouldn't do it. This could create more problems too. How many of us had parents who should not have gotten married or who should have split up but stayed together causing more stress on everyone. What if the single mother/father were gay, would you promote those marriages? I don't think so! Asinine thinking at its best!

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kansanjayhawk 2 years, 5 months ago

I think Ms. Wagnon needs to look at the research on poverty and maybe call Mr. Rector up the telephone or visit with him in person to discuss what effect marriage has upon poverty. No one is advocating "horrific" marriages or abusive relationships but it would be nice if goverment would create a positive atmosphere for good marriages to thrive! Sadly, I doubt that Ms. Wagnon is even serious about marriage and family being important it seems that she may be playing liberal-left-wing politics with an issue that both sides of the politcal spectrum should be in agreement on.

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oldvet 2 years, 5 months ago

Of course the Democrats want to keep women single and in charge of households... they are 4 times more likely to be in poverty than married couples with children, keeping them dependent on the benevolent Democratic government.

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