Welfare Reform

The South Carolina Republican Party believes in freedom, hope and opportunity for all South Carolinians regardless of their position on the economic ladder. These can be achieved through personal and parental responsibility, hard work, and diligence unhindered by excessive government intrusion. Citizens should be encouraged to reach their maximum fulfillment as individuals and should not be shackled to a lifeline of government dependency.

The Party believes the federal government should shift all social service programs to the states in the form of block grants, reducing the myriad of federal regulations that prevent the states from creatively meeting the needs of the poor in the most efficient and effective manner. Local governments can best solve the problems of local citizens.

The Party believes that true freedom and self- sufficiency for the poor can only be achieved through employment. Unencumbered by excessive government regulation, the American free enterprise system can provide jobs for every educated and skilled worker. Job training and education are the basic foundation of any welfare program. Job tax credits and public/private partnerships increase employment among the poor and offer the most efficient means for welfare recipients to move from relying on tax subsidized good-will to becoming contributing, tax paying members of society.

The Party believes that a secure, stable and loving family is the most successful factor in assuring success and avoiding reliance on governmental welfare programs. Penalties that work against savings and the establishment of two- parent homes must be eliminated.

Realizing that broken homes and financial strains are a fact of life in our society, the ideal of one parent staying home is not readily attainable for many. As stated previously, the Party supports across the board tax credits for parents with young children. This policy would encourage and help the poor in the area of childcare.

Should a breakup of the family occur, the Party believes that parental involvement and support of the children should continue. Recognizing a deprivation of moral and financial support is a strong indicator of future reliance on governmental assistance, social service and law enforcement agencies are encouraged to vigorously and creatively pursue non- custodial parents who fail to financially support their children.

A shining example of the Republican philosophy of helping people to help themselves is the development of programs leading to ownership of public housing by current residents. Pride of ownership and freedom increases the efficiency of operation, enhances the quality of housing and improves community morale, thus providing incentives for self-improvement. The Party advocates the replacement of subsidies and welfare projects with a voucher system aimed at returning public housing to the free market.

The Republican Party, in accordance with its philosophy of encouraging individuals to work and of providing an equal opportunity for all, supports programs which provide training and incentives for persons with disabilities to become employed, taxpaying members of society, less dependent upon the fiscal support of society. Such programs include supported employment, attendant care, transition services, training for high school graduates with disabilities, and on the job training. The Republican Party encourages industry, the Department of Education and human services agencies to work together to provide these opportunities for individuals with disabilities.