The Robin Hood Foundation is a New York-based charity that has done a lot of fine work in support of education reform, and with the support of a lot of center-right donors from the financial industry. So it's disappointing to see a Time article under the byline of the Foundation's new CEO, Wes Moore, that includes this passage:
what was once a war on poverty has become a war on the poor. I say this not to cast judgement on any particular administration or political party. From the housing policies of the '70s, through the taxation policies of the '80s, the welfare and criminal justice reform efforts of the '90s, the education policies of this decade, to this new proposed health care bill; America has a shameful history of instituting policies that have put people into poverty and kept them there.
It's not either accurate or constructive to characterize "the taxation policies of the '80s" or "the welfare and criminal justice reform efforts of the '90s" as part of a "war on the poor." The 1980s tax cuts led to economic growth and jobs that helped the poor and made the cities they lived in cleaner, safer, and more prosperous than they were during the era of 1970s stagflation. The welfare reform of the 1990s, initiated by President Clinton, helped move tens of millions off people off dependency and into the workplace, reversing perverse incentives. The criminal justice reform efforts of the 1990s, while they may have gone too far on incarceration, also helped make cities safer, decreasing the likelihood that innocent poor people would become victims of violent crime.
Anyway, I hope that this is just a poorly considered piece, or that Mr. Moore comes to his senses quickly, because if these are really this guy's deeply held beliefs, it could really damage the organization if they filter through its grant system or if he keeps repeating them in ways that alienate its stakeholders.