David Limbaugh

This week, I heard a conservative commentator "admitting" that Republicans don't do enough for black voters. "Why don't conservatives offer solutions?" asked this person.

It bothers me that otherwise-sound conservative thinkers fall into this trap -- unwittingly ceding the turf of the debate to their liberal counterparts. The assumption is that unless we offer liberal solutions -- catering and pandering specifically to blacks -- we have nothing to offer.

Republicans do offer solutions for blacks, just as they offer solutions for all other people. The conservative solution is not to increase government transfer payments to able-bodied people but to pursue policies that will lead to economic growth and opportunity.

Though many liberals would have you believe that efforts to reduce government assistance and dependency programs and to encourage self-sufficiency are heartless, they are in fact more compassionate. Have we learned nothing from a quixotic half-century war on poverty?

At the risk of cliché, it is far more compassionate and humane, as a general proposition, to teach a man to fish than it is to feed him fish. In the long run, it is irresponsible and, yes, cruel to promote policies that result in greater dependency on government for those who don't need to be dependent.

Many "broad-minded" liberals would doubtlessly dispute this assertion, as well, but a cohesive traditional family unit is better for individuals, families and society at large. The breakdown of the traditional family -- the absence of fathers from homes -- does cause (and has caused) unspeakable damage to Americans, especially black Americans.

Why don't Republicans offer solutions?

Excuse me, but in the '90s the Republican Congress offered welfare reform, one of the purposes of which was to reunite families -- to remove government incentives for fathers to abandon their families. It sought to break people's dependency on government, get them back to work and restore their dignity.

Though former President Bill Clinton has often bragged about his accomplishment in passing welfare reform legislation, history records that he had to be dragged kicking and screaming past the veto pen and only signed the bill after rejecting it twice.

There was a broad consensus that welfare reform was successful in achieving some of its goals. Specifically, black illegitimacy and black poverty were reduced after its enactment.

Even if Democrats eventually embraced the reform, their support was short-lived, for President Obama deliberately reversed the salutary effects of the law by gutting its work requirement despite its objective successes.

Why don't Republicans offer solutions?

David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh, brother of radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, is an expert on law and politics. He recently authored the New York Times best-selling book: "Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel."

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