What Representative Spencer Swalm Thinks About People Living in Poverty

February 2010

Swalm, SpencerIt's obvious that state Representatives Spencer Swalm and Terrance Carroll have divergent views on House Bill 1002, which would give a family of four earning $41,000 or less a state earned-income tax credit. The bill, meant to ease tax burdens on low-income families once the state has collected enough in income-tax revenue to give refunds under the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, provoked Swalm (right), a Centennial Republican, to share his views on people who live in poverty (via The Denver Post). "Don't have kids out of wedlock," Swalm said on the House floor. "If you're married, if at all possible, try to stay married. Those are ways to lift families out of poverty." Carroll, TerrenceSome Democrats, including Carroll, the Democratic House Speaker, have taken offense. Carroll was born to an unwed mother and lived in poverty much of his young life, but he worked hard to receive a master's degree and become a lawyer. "Swalm displays a great deal of ignorance about the causes of poverty," Carroll says. "His comments are an insult to every single person who lives in poverty, who works their butt off every single day just to keep their head above water." Earlier this month, Swalm led the cause for defending the rights of men to continue to pay less than women for individual health insurance. He testified against a bill that aimed to ease the inequalities of costs, points out The Colorado Independent. "Men are having the toughest time finding work, so this is going to make it even harder for them to pay for insurance," Swalm says.