The PJ Tatler

Speaker Boehner Offers Prayers for Freddie Gray's Family, Says Government Approach to Fighting Poverty Isn't Working

 In the wake of this week’s events in Baltimore, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) described the solutions Republicans believe are needed to expand opportunity for all Americans to strengthen  communities.  He noted that the hundreds of billions of dollars spent on federal anti-poverty programs haven’t worked and argued that rather than launching new programs and creating more dependency, the government should fix what’s broken.

The following are Boehner’s remarks:

“The people of Baltimore have certainly been in our prayers, especially the family of Freddie Gray and the police officers who have been injured.  Like many Americans, I’ve been inspired by the stories of residents banding together to clean up the damage.

“Now, the president has suggested more taxpayer money is the answer – again.  We believe the answer is more jobs and more opportunity.  Listen, our government spends hundreds of billions of dollars a year on well-intentioned programs designed to help people get out of poverty.  We’ve been doing this for decades, but from what we’ve seen around the country, it’s clear that this approach is not working.

“I think we first should be asking the question, what is working and what isn’t?  And if they’re not working, how can we fix these programs?  How can we make sure that we educate more of America’s kids?  How can we put in place more economic policies that expand opportunities for all Americans?  And how can we put the focus on what will help the most people in need and will do the most good for our communities?

“One of my political icons, Jack Kemp, was asking these same questions nearly three decades ago.  Today, my friend Paul Ryan, and many others, are continuing that work – focus on expanding opportunity instead of creating more dependency. And I think we owe it to every American to take a long, hard look at this problem, begin to think of new solutions.”