The GOP Finally Takes on Poverty

Republican Congressman and former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, infamous for budget proposals that denigrate and starve the downtrodden, has changed tack with an anti-poverty proposal that actually includes safety-net items like expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit. Still, the Republican Party remains in thrall to trickle-down economic theories that, if they worked, would take years to help poor people who need money now.

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13 thoughts on “The GOP Finally Takes on Poverty

  1. I do love your token richperson luxury store “Pricey Baubles”.

    I like the comic but I might have gone more bitingly cynical at the end – like changing that last line to something like “She is poor enough that she might be dumb enough to give you some.” You know something to really highlight that classism at the core of the GOP disdain that increases for each layer further underneath their primary base.

  2. But Ted, maybe she really would (give the chap with no job and no prospects and no money) a couple of bucks. Ever thought about it ? After all, poor people – as she no doubt will be, slaving away in that pricey bauble boutique – high wages to salespeople are not the reason the products sold there are dear – are known to be kinder to other poor people than rich people are to poor people. That is, when the fear of losing everything, doesn’t turn many of the poor people into Nazis, as in Germany during the Great Depression….


    • “That is, when the fear of losing everything, doesn’t turn many of the poor people into Nazis, as in Germany during the Great Depression….”


      That is, when the fear of losing everything, doesn’t turn many of the poor people into volunteer soldiers, as in America during the Great Recession….

      • Hell of a way to raise an army, eh? We take those with no other options & combine them with those who will take any excuse to shoot people. We put ’em through basic training (“brainwashing”) to remove any remaining vestiges of ethics. Then we send them out into the world to represent the USA. What could possibly go wrong?

        I also think there are prices too high to pay to save the United States. Conscription is one of them. Conscription is slavery, and I don’t think that any people or nation has a right to save itself at the price of slavery for anyone, no matter what name it is called. We have had the draft for twenty years now; I think this is shameful. If a country can’t save itself through the volunteer service of its own free people, then I say : Let the damned thing go down the drain! – Robert Heinlein

    • CrazyH, if I remember Mr Heinlein’s prescription, it was to turn the US into a Sparta 2.0, in which only those who had «volunteered» for the military and completed their service were allowed the franchise, and to participate in the political life off the country ; everybody else was regarded as a freeloader. I am not at all sure that such a society is worth striving for. The end of conscription in the United States, under the aegis of that noted humanitarian and philanthropist, Richard Milhous Nixon, was not done so much out of consideration for draft resistors, but to take the wind out of the sails of the anti-war movement and, no less important, to provide the military with a more malleable work force – «you volunteered, so you can’t complain». It is not obvious that the US wars of aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq, protracted as they were (are), could have been prosecuted with a conscript army….


      • Not quite. You’re thinking of one particular novel, “Starship Troopers” which was published in 1959. In that, service to the country was a requirement for a full franchise – but military duty was only one way to perform that service.

        He explored several different societies in other stories, most of them considerably more free than our own. I remember one exchange from “Glory Road” – the protagonist asks the empress of the galaxy, “How does a mature society govern itself?” She answers, “Mostly, it doesn’t”

      • « I remember one exchange from “Glory Road” – the protagonist asks the empress of the galaxy, “How does a mature society govern itself?” She answers, “Mostly, it doesn’t”» CrazyH, when I look at the people today who are opposed (so they say, at least) to «Big government» and who enjoy citing such maxims as «that government is best which governs least», I do not find myself particularly enthralled….


      • 😉

        The operative phrase is “mature society” – one of which we do not have.

  3. On the other hand, if the U.S. government had promoted “Osmosis Economics” and given bail-outs to the bottom strata who really needed it, the money would eventually have reached the top, benefitting everyone along the way.

    • I was reading recently – Paul Krugman? – anyway, it seems that countries with better distribution of wealth have healthier economies. Workers who eat well and have adequate medical care do better work. Imagine that! It’s a tired old example, but the US of A’s most prosperous years were when the top tax bracket was 95%. (And when corporations accounted for about 1/3 of taxes – now it’s around 10%)

      A rising tide raises all boats … so if it isn’t raising all boats, then it must not be a rising tide.

  4. Compassionate Conservative = Liberal
    Liberal = Compassionate Conservative

    Clinton’s “Ending Welfare As We Know It,” was a winning meme to receptive former Reagan Democrats.

    The GOP the now reviving this captivating meme.

  5. If trickle down economics worked, then Reagan & both Bushies would have left office with a booming economy as their legacy. It’s amazing how the Repgnican party can do the same thing over & over while expecting different results. Or rather, it’s amazing how the Repugnican electorate can fall for the same old line over & over again; the elected know damn good & well that money will never reach the majority of the voters.

    Part of Ryan’s proposal is to send federal money – such as food stamps – to the states & let them decide what to do with it. It’s the old divide & conquer strategy. He can’t stop the feds from allocating money for the poor, but if he sends it to the states like Tex-ass, then they can be counted on to make sure those poor billionaires get their cut.

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