In his own peculiar reprise of the Protestant Work Ethic, Mr. Cunningham argues that "poverty is most often a result of bad habits and poor choices." If he allowed comments on his blog, I would ask him about children born into poor families; I would ask him to name specifically the habits that they exercise and the choices that they make to be thrown into dire strai
I would also point out that one of the most successful and enduring War on Poverty programs, Head Start (which has usually enjoyed widespread bipartisan support, except for those extremists at the partisan fringes) provides comprehensive health and education support for those children when parents either cannot (especially those who through no fault of their own end up poor) or will not. Or maybe Mr. Cunningham does not believe that a constitutional republic has a responsibility to protect the welfare of innocent children. Given his lack of focus and his broad scatter shooting against anti-poverty programs, one could easily surmise that the anti-taxer would cut Head Start and let little children fend for themselves on the street like little 19th Century-style urchins and artful dodgers.
There are other programs that have lasted from the Johnson era that don't deserve the misleading rap that Ben Cunningham gives them (even with his newly won beer-award celebrity)--VISTA/Americorps, Legal Aid, Community Action/Community Block Grant Programs--but it is enough to hold up Head Start as counter point to some ridiculous harangues over at Taxing Tennessee (including the suggestion that all War on Poverty programs erode self-sufficiency; Community Action Programs in fact promote self-sufficiency and individual participation and I can speak from my own experience with the Block Grant program in Salemtown that such programs promote local control and individual autonomy in improving neighborhood conditions; or maybe Mr. Cunningham would have us turn our neighborhoods exclusively over to rich marketeers and investors to develop or not; as I said, I cannot tell as he seems hell bent on ending the War on Poverty in toto).
Given Tennessee Tax Revolt's haphazard, horn-honking past and their indiscriminate hatred for anything that comes from government, local communities and the poor therein who may rely on public services just fell $5,000 plus a sophistic diatribe farther behind those who seem to care little about the less fortunate living in the more vulnerable segments of our society.