"I don't think Paul Ryan intended to write a budget that concentrated its cuts on the poorest Americans. Similarly, I don't think Mitt Romney intended to write a budget that concentrated its cuts on the poorest Americans. But there's a reason their budgets turned out so similar: The Republican Party has settled on four overlapping fiscal commitments that leave them with few other choices."
"The major Republican contenders in the Mississippi primary -- Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich -- want to turn over to the states federal programs such as food stamps, housing vouchers and Medicaid. That would transform the aid from open- ended entitlements into fixed annual grants while allowing states to impose new conditions upon recipients, ultimately reducing the number helped."
"With campaign chatter now focused on issues like separation of church and state and the proper place for contraception, the realities of life for the poorest Americans, and the cost to them and society as they continue to founder, hasn't yet been a significant part of the presidential candidates' — or the White House's — stump speeches."
"In his speech from the rostrum in the legislative chamber, Gingrich gave one example of why the U.S. government needed to shift power to the states: a bureaucratic tangle of 185 offices dealing with federal assistance to low-income Americans. 'I'd like to block-grant that into one office and send you the money and say you need to figure out how you're going to cope with helping people in Georgia who need help,' Gingrich told the lawmakers, who responded with a round of applause."
"Deficit cutting plans by Santorum and Romney would reduce federal responsibility for Medicaid, food stamps and other benefits used by the neediest Americans."
"But Mr. Gulbranson and many other residents who describe themselves as self-sufficient members of the American middle class and as opponents of government largess are drawing more deeply on that government with each passing year. "
"Programs that provide assistance to people who are struggling to get by—the social safety net programs that any decent society provides—are under attack. Far from the claims of critics, however, programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, a.k.a. Food Stamps, are not on a relentless growth path with very high administrative costs that endanger the nation's fiscal future."
"Social services providers across Connecticut are gearing up for an annual count of the state's homeless population. The 'point in time' count takes place Wednesday night. Participants will fan out to shelters, transitional housing and areas where homeless people might be staying in vehicles or wooded areas."
"The Foundation for Child Development’s new report on state-level differences in the Index of Child Well-Being – a broad quality-of-life indicator based on 25 indicators – shows enormous variation, as does another set of indicators known as Kids Count, developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation."
"Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich recently offered to attend an NAACP convention to explain why African-Americans 'should demand paychecks instead of food stamps.' And he has described President Barack Obama as 'the most successful food stamp president in American history.'"
"Food stamp use has soared over the last decade, and now some 44 million people receive the assistance. You can call this a bipartisan phenomenon: Factcheck.org reports that the number of people using food stamps jumped by 14.7 million during Republican George W. Bush's term and has risen by 14.2 million so far under Democrat Obama."
“According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest data, a record 44.7 million people participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in fiscal 2011 at a $75.3 billion cost to taxpayers. That's up from 28.2 million and $37.6 billion in 2008. Some four million people are now on food stamps in Texas, with California (3.7 million) and Florida (3.1 million) close behind. In absolute numbers, President Obama has presided over a food stamp boom.”
"First, some facts: The number of food stamp recipients has indeed risen sharply, but this rise began under President George W. Bush and is largely attributable to the recession. Food stamps are an anti-poverty measure, so it's no surprise that enrollment should rise when large numbers of people are out of work (the number of recipients dropped last month as the economy improved)."
"But to the horror of radical free-market ideologues, the myth of no-fault capitalism is under scrutiny. No one is arguing against markets, which are indeed the best way to create wealth and thus the best weapon against poverty."
"South Carolina has the nation’s first female Indian-American governor (a Republican), the highest-ranking African-American in Congress (on the Democratic side) and a rapidly growing population of Latinos, all evidence, longtime political players here say, that the state is shedding its racially charged past."
"He added to that by citing that the 185 U.S. agencies set up to cut poverty -- with no results -- are a perfect illustration of economist Thomas Sowell's dictum that 'you can have all the poverty you'd like to pay for.'"
"Ever since Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry started criticizing Mitt Romney’s actions at Bain Capital — and talking about the thousands of people laid off as a result of Bain’s investments — party leaders have essentially told them to shut up. That response is a pretty good indication of how deeply party elders fear the issue of economic inequality in the campaign to come."
" In recent speeches and debates, Republican Presidential contenders Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have all invoked the 1996 welfare reform project as a model for responsibly cutting federal spending on social safety-net programs like food stamps and health care."
"A few weeks earlier, he said that youth in the 'inner city' often lack a strong work ethic. His solution? Let them clean toilets. Such language promotes the vicious and dangerous lie that the nation's poverty problem is rooted in the black community."
"The Republican field is united in its determination to overturn Roe v. Wade; to appoint Supreme Court justices supportive of that goal; and to end government payments to Planned Parenthood for family planning services, cancer screening and other vital health services provided to low-income women. "
"'The fact is, if I become your nominee we will make the key test very simple: Food stamps versus paychecks,' said Gingrich hoping to appeal to conservative white voters in New Hampshire and in upcoming primaries in South Carolina, Florida and other southern states."
"Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Thursday he is willing to go before the NAACP and urge blacks to demand paychecks, not food stamps."
"The problem for Republicans after the welfare reform law passed was that, having achieved the victory, they no longer had the issue: The specter of the non-working poor could no longer be reliably evoked, and nothing with a similar power to divide voters has emerged to take its place. "
"Newt Gingrich isn’t the only Republican who wants to relax U.S. laws that have restricted work by children for more than seven decades."
This is ugly and stupid stuff. In fact, most poor people work every day that they can. And 83 percent of all poor children live in households with at least one adult who works. Their parents often work two or three jobs to support the family. Poor working parents work longer hours on average than their wealthier counterparts, according to the Economic Policy Institute.
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