New Poverty SolutionCommentary by Pete du Pont
December 16, 1996
Host intro: Washington D.C. housing project subsidies run $14,000 per year with a vacancy rate of 21 percent and a 60 percent delinquent payment rate. Pete du Pont of the National Center for Policy Analysis says compared to private operations, public subsidies are a failure.
In contrast to Washington's government-funded operation, Jubilee Housing, a private charity for low income renters, charges almost 40 percent of the market rate for apartments, provides just $1,000 in subsidies, but has a one percent vacancy rate and just 16 percent fail to pay rent.
It's another example of charities -- ranging from shelters to youth groups, job training to housing projects -- that do more with less while government agencies do less with more. Washington now pays $24,400 in anti-poverty money for a family of four, while the poverty rate is higher than when the war on poverty started in 1965.
Given the opportunity, wouldn't you rather see your welfare-designated tax dollars go to private groups rather than government programs you have little control over? That's the idea behind taxpayer choice.
You'd get a tax credit for money you donate to private charities providing services to the poor. For every dollar given, a dollar comes off your federal income taxes, and a dollar comes out of the federal anti-poverty budget.
In other words, give your money to big brothers and sisters -- or big government; brigades of bureaucrats -- or the salvation army.
Those are my ideas. And at the NCPA, we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont, and I'll see you tomorrow.
Host outro: Is the Internet just for surfing? Absolutely not, and tomorrow, Pete du Pont will tell you why.