The War on the Poor

I heard an interview of Ted Cruz recently when he said that it was time to “admit that the big government war on poverty has been a failure”. Lost in the discussion about income gaps between the rich and the rest of us exponentially growing , there has been the downward shift of people lapsing into poverty. Much of the increase in poverty is due to the large number of unemployed people, however there is a growing number of women and children in poverty. Cruz and his Tea Party conservatives want to claim that “big government” has failed, but once again reality is at odds with the conservative philosophy. 

Here are the facts. Until the Presidency of Reagan the rates of poverty steadily DECREASED from the advent of President  Johnson’s “Great Society”. Beginning with Reagan the rate of poverty remained the same and then suddenly began to decline during the Presidency of George W.  What happened during these Presidencies that would reverse a decades-long decline in poverty? Republican tax policies and social policies began to simultaneously change the tax rates to favor the ultra-rich and the social safety net (that got and kept people out of poverty) were dismantled.  In other words, the “war on poverty” was replaced by Republicans with a war on the poor. 

Martin Luther King Jr. on prophetically said that a nation that spends more on weapons to destroy than programs of social uplift was morally bankrupt and doomed. Conservatives have been gifted at convincing middle-class Americans that the money spent on anti-poverty programs was coming out of their pockets, even as they were constructing a massive welfare system for the rich. Big government was WINNING the war on poverty, until Conservatives began their war on the poor. 

Many Americans could not care less about the poor, until they become poor. I think most Americans are caring and simply need to understand that in terms of poverty and unemployment, Government IS the solution, not the problem. At some point the rhetoric of the Right will have to bow to reality. Until then…     


3 Responses to The War on the Poor

  1. Another nail right on the head! 🙂

  2. Rex A. Umney says:

    All this class warfare, it’s rather frustrating really.

    Wealth, as you know Mr. Fieger is not always measured in dollars and this Republican has to bow to reality every day with very little Government help.

    It’s all a very nice “dream” that Mr. King had, however I think he must have forgotten about the other half of the world who would just soon see him and everyone else enslaved once more if it weren’t for these weapons. In fact I have been reading more and more about Iran reaching some nuclear deal. How many more new nuclear nations will it take to have an entire group of nuclear armed countries that together exceed our current 450 stockpile? Not too many, and if you include Russia at any point it’s already a reality.

    What say you look at the bigger picture. China is holding a record 1.7 trillion dollar chunk of our debt. At what point will our owing them money start to dictate how we deal with them? The answer is it already has.

    So excuse me and other conservative types for wanting to one day be able to afford health insurance, rather than only dreaming of getting it by way of the government, which is just acting as a middleman.

    If government IS the answer, it sure isn’t this socialistic administration we live under today.

  3. Rex A. Umney says:

    Are you upset with me Mr. Fieger? Starting the 2014 New Year “Rex Free”?

    I’m hoping you have just been busy because I really like reading and responding to this forum.

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