Michelle Goldberg puts a lot of facts together to reach her perceptive conclusions about Republican attitudes on American poverty in “Poverty Denialism,” in the latest Nation.
Goldberg quotes the usual suspects—FOX commentators, Bobby Jindal, Tea Party Congressmen—to demonstrate that the GOP denies poverty exists, and instead proposes that there are only a bunch of people who could work if they wanted to but prefer to sit at home getting fat on government handouts.
The article points out that the Republicans could blame President Obama for poverty, if they wanted to. But to do so would be to admit that poverty exists and require them to present a plan to deal with it. Goldberg recalls that Nixon, Kemp and even Bush II proposed initiatives to address poverty. All the current Republicans want to do now is cut, cut, cut. I urge you to read Goldberg’s article.
The sheer meanness in the attitudes of most Republicans is dazzling. They are willing to watch their fellow citizens starve so that taxes on the wealthy and corporations can remain low and go even lower. It’s not even good economics, since the poor will spend all the money the government gives to them and thereby fuel the economy and create more jobs, whereas the wealthy recipients of GOP largess are just going to save it. But these Republicans don’t really care about creating new jobs or strengthening the economy. They want theirs. Thus they ignore the poor except to cut their food stamp benefits by 7% and to make it harder for them to get public assistance, or to make clever and cruel comments about their laziness.
The current Republican neglect and mocking of poverty represents the height of selfishness. But it only makes sense: Selfishness goes hand-in-glove with a materialistic culture in which the mass media and TV commercials tell you to indulge yourself all the time.
Of course the same people who fund the GOP mostly control or own the companies that are advertising and producing our entertainment. It’s up to the American people to reject this selfish thinking and elect representatives who want to make sure that everyone in the country eats at night, can access needed medical care and has a chance to attend a quality school, As humans in a wealthy society, we have both a right to these basics and the responsibility to make sure that everyone has them. Republicans once knew it, but the current bunch seems to have forgotten.