Welfare Warriors 2711 W. Michigan, Milwaukee, WI 53208

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Press Release – For Immediate Release

March 25, 2004                                       


Marriage Initiative Empowers Professionals, not the Poor


Discussion about the $1.5 billion proposed for marriage promotion in the TANF bill misses the main points:

            1) The $1.5 billion dollars that Bush wants to spend on marriage training would be taken from the tiny poverty budget (about $16 billion a year) which must fund all families in poverty across the country. Mothers and children in poverty need access to cash and affordable housing, not a contest with professionals for that miniscule pot of money.

            2) Single moms need access to real education--post-secondary education to support a family. Bush's TANF bill would not allow education essential to all breadwinners. He would only allow bogus "marriage education" to empower some more professional parasites. Is parasite too strong a word? How else can we describe the vast army of professionals now amassing secure incomes under welfare "reform" which took away cash from the poorest American families and turned it over to millions of TANF administrators,

non-profits, jobs programs, therapy scams etc.

            3) The Bush mandated marriage classes would not be classes in relationships at high schools and college levels where they need to be part of the curriculum. No, they would be part of a mandated "training" for single moms desperate enough to seek child support from the TANF program. And mandated education for adults simply does not work. The forced "students" are far from enthusiastic and the "teachers" know they need not come up with creative, effective curriculum since they will never have to "sell" students to attend their classes. Like those parenting, nurturing, anger management classes forced on poor single moms by professionals in the Child Welfare system, marriage classes are simply a way to empower professionals and use them to keep the poor in line.

            4) Providing yearly marriage training grants to churches, non-profits and community newspapers (to advertise “marriage”), will guarantee their silence in the face of injustices in the TANF policies and implementation. In this way families in poverty will lose any remaining allies in the struggle to stop the war on the poor.

        It is illogical--and immoral--to fund marriage classes and marriage advertising from the tiny part of the federal budget allocated to victims of poverty. Even allies who believe that an anti-poverty plan should include jobs, better wages, education, health care, affordable child care and housing fail to acknowledge cash, that essential resource ($1.5 billion) which would be funneled to professionals instead of to moms and children. Most moms who resort to welfare do so to replace the missing parent's CASH support. Whether employed, at home, or at school, single moms need additional cash to supplement the miserly wages we earn, not some mandatory marriage monotony.



Welfare Warriors have been Fighting for the Lives of Mothers and children since 1986