The Republican Party, stung by a widespread perception that it cares only about the wealthy, has decided to recast itself as a poverty fighter.
Party leaders are now marching in lockstep to redefine the party’s approach. Senators Marco Rubio and Mike Lee have spoken out recently, as has Representative Paul Ryan, framing the issue as a failure of the Obama administration to adequately address the problem.
Ryan says that the government safety net has “failed miserably,” and Rubio adds that the anti-poverty programs already in place fail to “deal with the structural problem.”
An internal memo recently obtained by this reporter details the GOP’s newly-minted approach.
“We must rethink our attitude toward existing poverty programs,” the memo states, “especially food stamps, unemployment insurance and the minimum wage. Every one of these programs is too generous to a fault, sustaining the poor at a bare subsistence level while failing to do anything to reduce the ranks of the destitute. Taken together, they create a self-perpetuating cycle of poverty.
“By eliminating these programs entirely, along with the school lunch program, we can quickly and humanely starve the neediest among us (who, by the way, tend to vote disproportionally Democratic), with the simultaneous benefit of reducing the deficit by tens of billions of dollars, which would allow us to cut taxes for the richest American even further.
“This approach will be especially effective when packaged with the repeal of Obamacare. Allowing the millions dying of starvation access to medical care, prolonging their miserable existence for no good reason, would be unspeakably cruel, not to mention counterproductive in the extreme.
“Taken together, we estimate that these policy initiatives will virtually eliminate the poor in this country within a year and a half, just in time for the 2016 election.”