The Republicans are waging war on the poor in America. And just like the war on women, they want to pretend it doesn`t exist.
But it's real. And millions of the most vulnerable Americans are being targeted.
Eric Cantor is complaining about poor Americans who don't pay income tax. But he leaves out all the tax that they do pay. The working poor have payroll taxes. Some pay about seven percent of their wages to Social Security and Medicare taxes. In every state except Vermont, the poor pay a higher percentage on state and local taxes. There are other taxes like sales taxes, property taxes and gas tax. But Eric Cantor still says taxes should go up on these Americans opposed to the super rich.
This war is not new. It has been going on for years. But it really stands out this week. In a span of a few days, Republicans chose to protect the rich by voting down the Buffett Rule in the Senate. Now, they are attacking the most vulnerable. It`s no surprise the Republicans have chosen this man as their standard bearer.
Romney tried to say he misspoke when he made that comment in February. But his policies prove, well, he was telling the truth. His economic plans puts money in the back pockets of the wealthiest Americans while raising taxes on people making less than $30,000 a year. Romney says he's 100 percent supportive of Congress and Paul Ryan`s budget plan.
The Ryan budget is the virtual battlefield map in the Republican war on the poor. Ryan`s plan is Robin Hood in reverse. It takes $5.3 trillion from programs benefiting low income people. It gives a $4.3 trillion tax cut to the wealthiest in this country.
Here are some of the cuts Republicans want to make so millionaires can get their money back -- $770 billion to Medicaid, $205 billion to Medicare, $1.6 trillion to the health care law, and nearly $2 trillion to other mandatory cuts.
This includes programs like welfare, federal pensions and food stamps. That's right. Gather that.
The Republicans are trying to make big cuts to the federal food stamp program. According to the Associated Press, the cuts would force 3 million people off food stamps next year.
These cuts are so unbelievably cruel, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is speaking out against them. In a statement, the bishops urge Congress to resist the proposed cuts in hunger and nutrition programs at home and abroad.
Well, House Speaker John Boehner was quick to brush off their concerns. Here is his response when asked if he understands the bishop`s moral argument.
You see, Boehner says that we have to cut these programs in order to save them. The architect, Paul Ryan, also dismissed the bishops today.
Not only is Ryan cold-blooded when it comes to the poor. He`s wrong when it comes to the bishops.
The spokesman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops told Talking Points Memo, "Bishops who chair USCCB committees are elected by their follow bishops to represent all of the United States bishops on key issues on the national level. The letters on the federal budget were written by bishops serving in this capacity."
Republicans always try to link themselves with religion. They position themselves as the party of moral righteousness. But the only Republican religion, let`s face, is the almighty dollar.
It`s been five years since the federal minimum wage was raised. It was 10 years before that. Take a look at this chart.
If you work a minimum wage job, this is the how many hours in a week it takes for you to work to earn rent for a two bedroom apartment. In Texas, it's 88 hours. In Florida, it's 97 hours. In Virginia, it's 112 hours, on and on.
There is no lobby for the poor in this country. The only thing that they can rely on is a little bit of government assistance to keep their dignity and their opportunities alive.
Republicans want to take all of this away. Democrats need to advocate harder on behalf of the poor. President Obama gave it a shot in Ohio on Wednesday.
It's a start but it's not enough. There needs to be an advocate for the working poor in this country, like Ted Kennedy. The only way you can fight an attack like the Republican war on the poor is to attack back. Ted Kennedy knew how to do that. He hit back hard for the vulnerable in this country.
It`s time for the Democrats to step up and protect the poor from the assault of the Republicans.
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