Saturday, January 11, 2014

Florida Sen. Marc Rubio Declares War on Poverty Lost – Republicans Celebrate, “We Finally Won” They Did Not Say

And His Solutions – More War on the Poor

That the United States has made significant strides in reducing poverty is not dispute, but the gains have not been evenly distributed.  Thanks to enhanced Social Security and Medicare, poverty among the elderly population has been substantially reduced.  But thanks to cuts in government programs passed by Republicans and supported somewhat by Democrats who never want to be charged with favoring government spending, poverty among children, single parents and young people is still very persistent.

So potential and likely Presidential candidate Marco Rubio is celebrating the conservative win against government programs to fight poverty by proposing even worse solutions. 

“Five decades and trillions of dollars after President Johnson waged his War on Poverty, the results of this big-government approach are in,” he said. “We have four million Americans who have been out of work for six months or more.”

Rubio added that “economic, social, cultural and educational changes and challenges” have caused poverty to get worse and that the federal government was not equipped to fix it.

Rubio, a potential 2016 contender for the GOP nomination, is one of several top Republicans who have been speaking publicly about poverty in recent days and offering alternative proposals to help middle-class and low-income Americans. 

Well of course we have  long term unemployment Mr. Rubio.  It's what you and your party have been fighting for these last five years, and successfully so.

So what is Mr. Rubio fo?.  Well certainly not for unemployment benefits.

On Tuesday, Rubio joined 37 Republicans in voting against continuing debate on the extension of unemployment insurance.

And we all know from his previous votes that he is against government support for public education, more training, and more help for low income Americans.  He certainly doesn’t want to raise the minimum wage.  So what’s his big idea?  Oh, he would give the Federal money to the states.

Among the changes to the system Rubio proposed was a plan to consolidate federal funding for anti-poverty programs into the one agency and give those funds to the states. The key to addressing poverty, Rubio emphasized in his high-profile speech, is decentralizing.

“These Flex Funds would be transferred to the states so they can design and fund creative initiatives that address the factors behind inequality of opportunity” closer to home, Rubio said.

But about all this proposal does is confirm that Mr. Rubio is ignorant on his subject, that he doesn’t know that much of Federal spending on support for low income programs is already joint federal/state programs.  Of course he doesn’t exactly know how spending the same amount of money (actually probably less) would change things.

Rubio said his staff was still working through the details of what would be a part of the “Flex Funds” but said programs like food stamps could potentially be included.

And one other program would change the Earned Income Credit, essentially making it a weekly or semi-weekly progam, as if that would do anything to help low income employees.

So yeah, Sen. Rubio is ecstatic that poverty is not defeated.  He and Republicans have prevailed because he and his co-horts severely damaged programs designed to defeat poverty.  And now, if he has his way things can get even worse.

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