At Bread for the World, Cynthia Woodside writes about the arduous task of building consensus in the fight against poverty. As she notes, sometimes this first requires an agreement on what is and is not data! I appreciate greatly her measured tone in discussing profound policy differences with Speaker Paul Ryan's recent proposals to combat poverty. Too many on the left threw Ryan's words back into his teeth the second they were uttered. If politicians, and policy advocates, do not learn to build bridges as well as they issue press releases aimed at their donor base, there will never be real progress on this, or other issues.
Speaking of poverty, at Vox Ezra Klein has a very revealing interview with Hillary Clinton on the subject. I especially liked this part of his answer to a question about welfare reform:
I know there’s a big debate — and it’s an important debate — about welfare reform. Because when welfare reform was passed, there was an expectation — certainly on my part, and I think on the part of many who had supported it — that there would be a requirement that states would have to be contributing to the broadest possible safety net, particularly in economic downturns.
She needs a similar answer about NAFTA: What were the expectations, were they right, and if not, what can be done to correct them? There will not be a Catholic sponsored debate, and if the USCCB ran it, they would focus only on religious liberty. But, it is good to see both the current Speaker and the likely next President discussing poverty in ways that are not so polarizing and are clearly focused on getting results. Good and even hopeful.
Yesterday, I wrote about guns and race. So did Tony Annett at Commonweal. Great minds....