The logic of the Republican view is inescapable…like toilet paper sticking to one’s shoe except more embarrassing and dirty. Just as we all know that the way to stop a child from being obese is to feed them more desserts and the way to promote world peace is to launch more wars, Republicans now seem united behind the concept that the way to help people get out of poverty is to make them poorer.
Now, to many, such a concept might seem unintuitive, completely ignorant and just plain dishonest and cruel. Some might also think the same about what it takes to be a Republican and though they might be right, no one likes a show off.
Republicans have stripped up to 2 million Americans, many in desperate financial situations, of extended unemployment insurance. They have demanded and achieved $8.6 billion in cuts to the food stamp Program, SNAP (though they had sought to make $40 billion in cuts). Republicans continue campaigning for the repeal of the ACA/Obamacare and strip poor people of the Medicaid they are now covered by due to it (nearly 5 million adults living in poverty in states with Republican controlled legislatures and Governorships are left uninsured because of these Republicans’ refusal to provide expanded Medicaid in their state under the ACA). Republicans strongly oppose raising the minimum wage and in fact, some support abolishing it completely so corporations can get wealthier and millions more Americans can be doomed to much worse abject poverty.
Republicans have been on a crusade to undermine Medicare and Social Security, to slash benefits and income (and delay them for years) and remove any guarantee of retirement income for seniors.
Republicans who are millionaires and billionaires are now taking their turns appearing on Bloomberg TV, CNBC and Fox channels pounding their chests about how they are being attacked like Jews in Nazi Germany by those who dare to criticize them for winning their class warfare against the rest of Americans and how the 99% should just shut up because the poor people here are far better off than they would be if they were in more torturous poverty in a third world nation (“You’re only scrounging for rent and money to feed your children and can’t afford a decent education or savings, you lucky, lucky bastards!”).
And Republicans have also taken to the airwaves to promote their underlying philosophy that the only reason people are living in poverty in America…is because they aren’t poor enough. The only way to lift people out of poverty, according to them, is to take away from the little they do have so they’ll stop buying their Escalades and going on their Bermuda vacations. If only we cut deeply into the inadequate lifeline people in poverty now have, they would instantly go from being unemployed or working as a greeter at Target to becoming a multimillionaire hedge fund CEO. All it takes is destroying the lives and families of the poor to make their lives better.
Oh, and only the wealthy work hard (let’s see Donald Trump pick strawberries for 12 hours a day). If you’re poor, it’s because you’re lazy (think of all the hard work it took for Donald Trump to be born so he could inherit his fathers fortune).
All it takes to believe this lunacy is embracing the following:
a. Completely ignore the documented and undisputed fact that millions of well-paying and not-so-well-paying blue collar jobs have been eliminated in the U.S. especially since the economic crash that occurred under Republican President George Bush. Also ignore that there is an average of at least three unemployed people applying for each available job.
b. People living in poverty are actually living lives of relaxation and luxury that anyone else would envy…unless they weren’t poor. Anyone who isn’t a corporation and wants money from the government, even those most in need due to their or their children’s health conditions, are greedy asshole takers (just like those people who receive $142 per month from SNAP to buy food, talk about a huge windfall with plenty left over to buy plasma tvs and jet skis!). Corporations however, that pay zero in taxes, giving back nothing to the government while taking billions in subsidies and tax breaks from the government/taxpayers, are the best kind of “people” and deserve more than they’re getting.
c. White people aren’t among the poor.
The sad but true facts about the racial breakdown of poverty explains a lot about why the Republicans feel so free to have such a war on the poor.
So, considering that white people are a bigger percentage of the U.S. population as a whole and that the percentage of white people in poverty is the lowest of all racial groups, that does support the Republican agenda of racism since 90.3% of the poor aren’t white.
The question to be asked of Republicans about the poor, aside from, “How can you be such complete assholes?!” is, “Really, there are well paying jobs out there just waiting for the poor to apply but the poor won’t because they’re way too comfy being poor? Name those specific jobs.”
There may be a percentage of poor people who may be resolved to living on a shoestring but if that was so rampant, why are there so many people applying for each and every job that comes up (aside from specialized jobs that can’t be filled by those without a Masters degree or PHD)?
No one needs further proof of the dishonesty of the Republican Party. Whether it’s racially targeted suppression of votes through Voter ID laws when no fraud can actually be found, the Death Panels and the end of America that Obamacare would bring or this fraud about people preferring to live in poverty because they receive too much money, the GOP is quite apparent in being a party that just flat out lies to harm those who aren’t wealthy to benefit the wealthy.
The Republican “vision” for the future of America, if they were to be able to accomplish all their goals, is to have our country regress into a feudal society where the majority are peasants who are economically enslaved to their wealthy Lords and have no power to change that. Look at the latest howling by Republicans over the CBO’s report on the ACA which recognized that 2.3 million Americans by 2021 could leave the workforce to retire or pursue other ventures thanks to their not being dependent on their employer for health care. If one thought the GOP was somewhat rational, one might think that they would applaud this new freedom people would have to become entrepreneurs and “job creators” but freedom when it comes to anything but corporations and guns is not something Republicans believe in. They pointed to that report to complain that it would be immoral for people NOT to be trapped in a job because they needed health insurance…supporting the idea of a continuation of a type of slavery for American workers.
At the same time that they fight for government to keep subsidizing corporations, they attack Americans who receive Unemployment Insurance, health insurance subsidies, Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid as “living off the government”. Someone needs to get them to sit down with one of their insurance corporation donors to get educated about what “insurance” means. When Americans pay for insurance, whether unemployment, life, medical, etc, they are investing in the security of being covered if they run into an issue. Is it immoral to file a claim on your auto insurance? Does that make you a “taker”? You paid for coverage in case something bad happens and its okay for you to pay but not for you to get what you paid for? Social Security and Medicare, while not exactly insurance, are also programs that insure Americans will have income and health coverage when they are seniors. Paying into those your whole life is fine but getting the benefits from them is being a “taker”?
The bottom line is that the GOP, as the political arm of corporate America, believe that taxpayer money should only be funneled to them and every penny spent on Americans, whether it’s in return for payments made to government over a lifetime, is a penny not going into their pocket. So, they oppose ALL spending for the 99% and demonize different segments of Americans to turn other Americans against them and in favor of cutting them out. A cynical game of self-interest, always cloaked in a contrived morality. That’s what this fraud about their obsessive concern over the deficit is, elevating it as a horrible threat to convince people to support their dismantling of the flow of tax money back to society and tax payers (ever wonder why the billions in subsidies to corporations has never been addressed by Republicans who claim the deficit is an existential emergency and government spending needs to be slashed everywhere?)
It’s doubtful that Republicans will back off of their War on the Poor since ultimately, it’s a war on those more likely to vote for Democrats and winning that war means the ability to carve out more tax money for their corporate backers. It will be interesting to see if their theory works for their party as well, if the best way to overcome a majority of Americans disliking your party for being dishonest and destructive, is to do more dishonest and destructive things.
For those of you trying to overcome gambling addictions, I’d suggest aggressively and frequently betting against them.