Republicans & The Poor: The Truth

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>> The Truth Files

Documenting Republican policies and rhetoric that affects poor people.

Republican Record On Poverty

Most Of The Poorest Counties In America Are In Republican States. “For median income, we found that 95 of the 100 poorest counties were located in red states … For percentage of residents in poverty, we found that 93 of the 100 poorest counties were in red states.” [Politifact, 7/29/14]

Republican Statements Attacking The Poor

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee Compared Government Assistance Programs To Slavery. ““A public official that causes people to become enslaved to the government is no leader,” Huckabee said at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition summit in Waukee, Iowa.” [The Hill, 4/25/15]

Rep. Paul Ryan Said Free School Lunches Give Children “An Empty Soul.” “Paul Ryan says that free lunches provided to children by government programs give kids “a full stomach — and an empty soul.”” [Time, 3/6/14]

Republican Proposals Targeting The Poor

Republican Budget Cut Billions To Help Urban Poor. “With Baltimore’s troubles as a backdrop, House Republicans are proposing new cuts from urban programs this week even as their budget would add tens of billions of dollars for the Pentagon to get around strict spending caps.” [Politico, 4/30/15]

Republicans Pushed For New Requirements To Block Medicaid, Obamacare For Poor. “In nearly a dozen Republican-dominated states, either the governor or conservative legislators are seeking to add work requirements to Obamacare Medicaid expansion, much like an earlier generation pushed for welfare to work.” [Politico, 4/30/15]

Wisconsin Republicans Push To Ban Poor From Buying Shellfish. “Low-income Wisconsin families won’t be able to buy shellfish with food stamps, and will have a much harder time getting basics like dried beans, pasta sauce, and cooking spices into their kitchens, under the latest state-level Republican proposal to tighten the government’s grip on the poor.” [ThinkProgress, 5/1/15]

Republican Proposed Revoking Food Stamps For Families Of Baltimore Protesters. “Maryland State legislator Patrick McDonough, the guest host of a drive-time radio program on Wednesday morning, discussed the possibility of revoking food stamps from the parents of protesting Baltimore youth.” [The Intercept, 4/30/15]

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) Supports Legislation That Would Ban Food Stamp Recepients From Buying Deli Meat, Spaghetti Sauce. “The law goes even further than the tax code to prohibit food stamps from being used for bulk purchases of groceries that could be considered “prepared food” if they were bought individually. According to state tax guidelines, that includes packaged deli meats, large jars of spaghetti sauce, and pickles, among other things.” [ThinkProgress, 4/24/15]

Republicans Support Repealing The Estate Tax, Which Impacts Almost Nobody. “With the country’s many problems, eliminating the tax hardly seems a top priority. It affects almost no one. In 2013, 2,596,993 Americans died, but there were only 4,687 taxable estate returns filed, reports the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. That’s 0.18 percent of deaths. The number is so low because much wealth is exempted from the tax. In 2015, the exemption is $5.43 million for individuals and $10.86 million for married couples. Above those amounts, the top tax rate is 40 percent.” [Washington Post, 4/26/15]

2015 GOP Budget Deal Would Repeal Obamacare, Take Away Insurance Coverage From Millions Of Poor People. “The deal would approve more than $5 trillion in spending cuts over a decade, and seeks to use the budget procedure known as reconciliation to send a repeal of the healthcare law to President Obama’s desk.” [The Hill, 4/29/15]

Kansas GOP Cut Welfare Recipient Withdrawls To $25/Day, Banned Spending On “Cruise Ships.” “Kansas welfare recipients will be unable to get more than $25 per day in ATM cash withdrawals under a new law sent this week to Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s desk by the state legislature. The bill also prohibits welfare recipients from spending their benefits at certain types of businesses, including liquor stores, fortune tellers, swimming pools and cruise ships.” [Huffington Post, 4/4/15]

Republicans Tried To Block Predatory Lender Protections For American Soldiers. “House Republicans are pushing legislation to block predatory lending protections for American soldiers, under pressure from the banking lobby. GOP lawmakers tucked the deregulation item into the National Defense Authorization Act” [Huffington Post, 4/29/15]

Minnesota Republicans Passed A Bill Banning Cities From Increasing The Minimum Wage. “The bill would create a two-tiered minimum wage, with a lower rate for employees who receive tips of at least $4 per hour, while also prohibiting cities or the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport from enacting a higher minimum wage than the state minimum.” [Minnesota Star-Tribune, 4/23/15]