Star Parker

I believe that reasonable people look at facts and draw rational conclusions.

It's why I am mystified at the open and passionate embrace today by the Democratic Party of plain old unadulterated liberalism.

Being labeled a liberal fifteen years ago was the kiss of political death. Today's Democratic presidential candidates seem to wear it like a badge of honor.

Or perhaps I should qualify this to say that the programs and ideas they're selling are pure garden-variety liberalism. Maybe they are less enthusiastic about the liberal label.

A popular term of left wing spin-meisters these days is "progressive."

Liberalism did not fall from favor like an out of vogue restaurant or some fad. It lost its glow because facts show it doesn't work.

I am talking about the liberal idea that government is the answer to our problems. Tax here and spend there, take from this one and redistribute to that one, and you can solve any social or economic problem.

Ironically, globally, as China, India, and Africa see the light of day by shedding government controls and planning, this is where our Democrats want to take us.

There has been ink about the Democratic candidates snubbing the annual meeting of the Democratic Leadership Council, which represents the moderate wing of the Party, while they plan to attend a bloggers convention sponsored by the ultra-left Web site Daily Kos.

You can argue as several have that in the general election the Democratic nominee will scurry back toward the center. But today every Democratic candidate is entrenched unapologetically in the far left.

The DLC was the base for the "new Democrat" that defined Bill Clinton.

And Bill Clinton, as we must recall, signed into law in 1996, the first and enormously successful retreat from the failed welfare state, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, aka welfare reform.

The act ended welfare as an unqualified entitlement, and introduced time limits and work requirements.

The result? Welfare rolls decreased almost 60 percent. And, as USA Today reported last year, the tenth anniversary of welfare reform, "Nearly 70 percent of all single women are working, compared to 66 percent of married women, a reversal of the past. Single women's incomes have risen ... Child poverty rates have dropped, particularly among blacks and Hispanics. Teen pregnancies are down. Child support collections are up."

Is every problem solved? Of course not. But the achievement has been historic.

Welfare was a horrible and destructive disaster. Blacks continue to pay the price today in the broken families and communities that are its legacy.

Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.