Rich Tucker

A year or so ago liberals demanded an “exit strategy” from the war in Iraq. But, 45 years on, what’s our nation’s “exit strategy” from a failed “war” on poverty?

Many point to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 as the beginning of the end of the Bush administration. But the better question is why it wasn’t the end of our faith in government. Government was in charge of the levees. They failed. Governments (state and local, too) were in charge of the evacuation. It was a disaster. Governments were in charge of maintaining order. They failed to do so.

Meanwhile private industry (Walmart) and private organizations (religious groups across the country) worked. They stepped up to provide products and help after the storm.

Or, to cite Obama again, let’s go back to his State of the Union address. He invited Ty’Sheoma Bethea, a middle-schooler from South Carolina, to sit with the First Lady. Her school was “a place where the ceilings leak, the paint peels off the walls, and they have to stop teaching six times a day because the train barrels by their classroom,” Obama said. She “typed up a letter to the people sitting in this room,” asking for help.

Well, help has arrived, but not from Washington.

The company Sagus International donated a quarter of a million dollars and, over a weekend, 25 workers delivered new desks and chairs to the school. Bethea says she’s learned a lesson. “Students should never give up on their dreams, because dreams do come true.” That’s true -- as long as you don’t have to wait for Washington to deliver.

All this is worth considering as the Obama administration attempts to centralize even more power in Washington. The president hopes to do for health care and college loans what the government has already done for border security: Run them out of Washington, in a way that simply doesn’t work. We’d be better off locking the barn door, before any more horses escape.

Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for