This blog originally founded by Blogger who holds a theological degree and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology. Taught Psychology for 32 years and is now Professor Emeritus. Is a board-certified psychologist and was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in his profession. Ministered as a chaplain, and pastored Baptist and Episcopal churches. Publications cover the integration of psychology and theology. Served in the Army, the Merchant Marines and the Peace Corps.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
What a Conservative Program Looks Like
However, I finally decided to write the following for my readers on the Right.
They can understand. Following is a description of one program I was involved in that has the fundamentals of Conservativism in it.
President Reagan requested the consolidation of 85 existing anti-poverty grants into seven categorical grants. Congress agreed to consolidate 77 grants into nine. The nine new block grants were budgeted about 25% less than the programs they replaced.
Block grants are large chunks of money sent back to local governments by the federal government with few strings attached and not micro managed from Washington. I was privileged to have been appointed by our governor to be a part of one of the nine grants–the mental health grant.
Each state sets up an oversight committee made up of stakeholders responsible for oversight of the money. I served on North Carolina’s Committee as well as chairing it for several years.
Our committee members included people with brain disorders such as Schizophrenia, BiPolar, Aspergers etc. as well as family members, providers and the directors of all the state departments who served that population.
The stakeholders quickly realized that they were equal members to everyone else appointed by the governor and the Secretary of Health and Human Services. It became obvious that from their experiences, the stakeholders knew what worked and what did not. And it was a thrill to see them take the bits in their mouths and run with it.
It wasn’t perfect. Nothing we humans do ever is. Also, this change in approach came along at the same time that funds for all programs were diminishing.
But, it was and is a program that has the elements of Conservatism. Devolve money back to the states. Involve the people who will be affected by the program. Get it as close to where the rubber hits the road as possible. That is Conservatism. We just need another Reagan with wisdom and charisma to get it done.
Posted by Blogger at 8:11 PM