Republican Welfare Reform Pushed A Third Of America’s Children Into Extreme Poverty

Destitute Sisters
Destitute Sisters

Republicans have had a good run tormenting Americans who are not wealthy by actively seeking new and improved means of increasing the number of Americans living in poverty. It is irrelevant whether it is deliberately killing decent paying jobs, slashing anti-poverty programs, or passing legislation to eliminate what few pathetic worker protection programs still exist, Republicans are never at a loss for finding ways to increase the number of Americans in poverty, especially children. Where any decent human being would do everything in their power to protect children from living in dire poverty, Republicans appear to specifically target America’s young who had the misfortune of leaving their mother’s womb, breathing air, and become a living being.

It seems that every year there is another report by an international human rights organization ranking the richest nation on Earth, America, as an exceptional nation with an inordinately high percentage of children living in poverty. It is that time of year again and according to a report from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in 2014 “1 in 3 children in the U.S. lives in poverty as measured by living in a household whose income is below 60% of the national median income.” That works out to annual earnings below $26,4000 for a family of four; what any humane person in America would consider as poverty.

One of the factors contributing to the number of children in poverty is, besides slave wages, the persistent social safety net cuts at the hands of Republican savages. Republicans desperately want to completely abolish safety net programs such as food stamps, TANF (welfare), and any program created to combat poverty. They often refer back to their featured legislation in the “Contract With America” (1996), the hideous welfare reform act as a good jumping off point to fight poverty. They regularly tout its raging success at helping Americans claw their way out of poverty and promise that more “reform” (cuts) will end poverty in America. Of course, they would want to “reform” welfare in a big way again because since the brutal TANF program replaced the AFDC, the number of Americans living on $2 a day, or less in most cases, has more than doubled. Subsequently, that so-called “success” has contributed greatly to the number of  Americans, including their children, who live in what every organization on Earth considers “extreme poverty.”

The Republican “special plan” to combat poverty as promoted by Ayn Rand and Koch devotee Paul Ryan is slashing more anti-poverty programs to death. Apparently, even though only about one-quarter of families living in poverty receive TANF benefits, that is still far too many for Republicans who refuse to create decent-paying jobs or raise the minimum wage to a level families could survive on. Conservatives believe that safety net funding belongs to the rich in the form of tax cuts and they bitterly resent the fact that families, and their children, living in poverty receive assistance for basic sustenance and shelter.

Republicans now claim that eliminating assistance entirely is necessary to teach lazy poor people the value and culture of work, but according to the Economic Policy Institute, the great majority of Americans living in poverty and receiving assistance do work; at poverty wage jobs Republicans still think are too generous. So generous, in fact, that they passed legislation eliminating overtime pay and pant to eliminate the minimum wage; two measures they and their Koch masters claim will instantly end income inequality, create millions of jobs and completely eliminate poverty in America. However, the statistics prove that keeping wages at poverty levels and cutting safety net funding is, and has been, sending more children into dire poverty with no end in sight.

Even though the economy is growing for the extremely wealthy, Wall Street, and corporations, according to the 2013 annual Kids Count Data Report that ranks states based on the well-being of their children, there were 3 million more children living in extreme poverty in 2013 than in 2008. In fact, in a report from two years ago, 8.3 million children in America were adversely affected by the economic crash; particularly from the financial industry’s deregulation that drove the foreclosure crisis since the Great Recession. Those figures, as horrible as they are, do not account for the total number of children from families that struggle day-to-day just to make ends meet. The National Center for Children in Poverty reported in January that 44 percent of children in the U.S. — about 31.8 million children — come from low-income poverty-level families. Those numbers of American children in the richest nation on Earth who live in poverty represent a 3 percent increase since the Recession, and all the while the economy was recovering and Americans were going back to work for poverty wages, all the wealth went directly to the rich. It is true job creation has been on a record-setting run over 5 years, but wages have remained stagnant while living expenses increased and safety nets were slashed.

It is interesting that while Republicans are attacking minority groups because their skin is not white, reporting from The Associated Press and Al-Jazeera show that poverty rates have nearly doubled among minority groups since the Republican recession. It should surprise no American that the hardship to children is most severe in the South and Southwest where the overwhelming majority of states are under Republican governors and legislatures. It is also noteworthy that those Republicans have worked tirelessly to increase, or at least maintain, the inordinately high poverty rates by passing right to work laws, refusing to raise the minimum wage, and cutting social programs created specifically to combat poverty; particularly among children.

Most Americans who are not barbaric teabaggers and Republicans, as well as evangelical fanatics, comprehend that none of the people, particularly the working class and children, had any part whatsoever in causing the Republican Great Recession. But they have been most seriously affected while the rich have increased their wealth substantially. The sad truth is that what has been occurring during the Obama Recovery, with all the wealth flowing to the top is exactly what Republicans have fought tooth and nail to keep in place.

Throughout this recovery, President Obama has promoted an agenda to raise the ever-increasing number of Americans suffering Republican economics out of poverty, and Republicans have opposed every single measure. There is a lot of attention, and praise, being heaped on Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for his ‘populist’ appeal at calling for a reversal to the flow of money straight to the rich, and it is praiseworthy. However, it is not new and it is not anything President Obama has not called for throughout his tenure in the Oval Office. But it is encouraging that finally there is beginning to be real national exposure of the need for a monumental shift in how the American economy should work for the entire population and not just the uber-rich. Even though more Americans are aware that there are Democrats, and one popular socialist in name only, who are proposing real solutions to benefit all the people, there is precious little reporting that in the richest nation on the planet, about a third of children live below the poverty line and a solid 23.4 percent of that 33 percent live in dire extreme poverty.

34 Replies to “Republican Welfare Reform Pushed A Third Of America’s Children Into Extreme Poverty”

  1. Don’t believe that poll. If you go to the poll, you see a lot of numbers that strain credulity. It isn’t just that Trump gets 31% of the Hispanic vote against Clinton (and similar numbers against Sanders, Biden, and Gore). It’s that Trump gets between 21% and 26% of black voters against the Democrats. (Including midterm elections, Republicans haven’t won more than 11% of the black vote since 1996, though they did win 10% in the low-turnout 2014 midterms.)

  2. “The measure of a society is found in how they treat their weakest and most helpless citizens.” – Jimmy Carter

  3. Love your articles, Rmuse.

    Inform Yourselves:
    Corporate Welfare is Almost Double Social Welfare

    And this should make everyone cry:
    Encore: The Faces of America’s Hungry
    Here in the Richest Country On Earth, 50 million of us — One in six Americans — go hungry.
    More than a third of them are children!

  4. And remember how the polls predicted a Romney landslide back in 2012?

    How well did that turn out?

  5. the subtext her is that there is no war on women…

    we’ve made damned sure that their access to abortion and birth control has been restricted…

    we don’t care about the life of the mother… make sure she foals before she dies… someone can adopt…

    and then make sure she gets her lazy ass up and back out in the fields to work because we sure as hell aren’t going to help support her or her child…

    if she dies then the man will step up and/or help provide support…

  6. Christian Family Values. Religious freedom. Pro-life, until you’re born. Then work hard, longer hours on minimum wage, and don’t complain because it’s all your fault you are poor.

  7. It follows, that if you are one of the “makers”, that you will favor policies that socioeconomically disable other people’s children in order to assure more opportunities for yours, and to create a class of humble servants for your offspring to command in future years.

  8. I say expect the unexpected. Take nothing for granted. If you are for Hilary or Bernie or O’maily, go and get your ass to work. The GOP is gearing for celebration of 2016. Don’t let them win.

  9. Here’s the thing, Suga. I didn’t vote for President Obama because he was black. I voted for him because he was my party’s nominee and the best choice for the job from the available candidates. I won’t vote for Hiliary because she’s a woman. I will vote for Hiliary, if she receives the nom, because she’ll be my party’s nominee and the best choice for the job from the available candidates.

    Color, gender…..those things should not play into it, no matter where you stand politically. She can win on her record and on her ideas and vision for our country. Focus on that and don’t give righities the power to go “She only won because she has tits.” like they have done in claiming for years that “Obama only won because he’s black.”

  10. And what state would that be? Texas? Louisiana? Florida? Which of the money-sucking red states that consistently take more money then they pay in do you want to cut?

    Unless you meant corporate welfare, you’re blowing talking points and false memes out your butt.

  11. Florida isn’t a Red state. It is a swing state. Obama won 2012 by a mere small percent but 29 delegates matter.

    It will be blue in 2016.

  12. TRUTH BOMB: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH 2015 LABOR DAY MESSAGE: Eradicate Poverty. If President Obama doesn’t implement a Basic Guaranteed Income, will Hilary or Bernie? The continued existence of US and Global poverty is totally indefensible and the United States, the wealthiest country in the world BIGGEST SHAME. The cost to eradicate US Poverty for 222 million people is $175.3 billion. The cost to eradicate Global Poverty for 2 billion is $169 billion. The dollars we are talking about are minuscule up against the size of the US economy. Especially when the Pentagon is unable to explain where $8.5 trillion was spent, or the Federal Reserve giving trillions to foreign banks and corporations, or the Congress providing trillions in tax breaks for the rich, and tax subsidies like the$ 5.2 trillion a year given to fossil fuel industry.

  13. Then people need to turn out for the Congressional elections, which have been captured by the frothing sTRUMPets who vote because of the decent people who don’t.

  14. Ronda. how exactly does a “Basic Guaranteed Income” stop poverty? How exactly would you control where the money is spent? Who would/would not qualify?

    GOPers do not like to admit that LBJ did bring the poverty levels down. ex:
    26% versus 16% 1967 to 2012 overall.
    27% versus 9% elderly.
    35% to 22% for young people (18 and under).

  15. “Are there no workhouses”.
    The Republicans are taking America back to the Dickensian Era of workhouses and blaming the poor while they sit on their arses being smug and evil.

  16. Let’s not place ALL the blame on the Republicans, though. They couldn’t have forced their austerity policies through Congress had they been rendered a tiny minority in Congress.

    Instead, they became a powerful and destructive majority due to the “get the Blue Dog Dems!!” campaign of 2010.

    These politically apathetic enablers, most of them young voters of the Left fringe, share the blame in the poverty our American children are suffering today. They could’ve stopped it. But no. Purity above people.

  17. Sunny, They’re gonna Savage ANY Dem who becomes our Candidate!

    Keep in mind – HRC is probably more War-Torn and Battle-Experienced!

    Is someone who knows first-hand what tactics to expect in The Lions Den…
    Then any…ANY Previous Presidential Candidate in US History!

    All that honed/steeled/experience Under Hillary’s Belt…
    Is not because she is a *WOMAN*!

    The GOP is vicious…
    I want to fight….FIRE WITH FIRE!

  18. Color, gender…..those things should not play into it, no matter where you stand politically

    Righties weren’t the only ones who said Blacks only voted for President Obama because he’s African-American, but the Democratic Socialist or Socialist Democrat, or whatever he calls himself these days, said the same thing in the Stephanopoulos interview:

    Well, here’s what you got. What you got is an African-American president, and the African-American community is very, very proud that this country has overcome racism and voted for him for president. And that’s kind of natural.
    But that’s not important. You should not be basing your politics based on your color.

    Bernie Sanders forgets that Obama had to EARN the Black vote since they overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton early on in the 2008 primaries.

    Instead, he parroted the Republicans excuses.

  19. and this article points out exactly why we
    need Bernie Sanders in the white house.
    these welfare reforms were enacted while
    Clinton was in office, and a Hillary win would just be more of the same

  20. If we can’t blame republicans, can we credit the church for supporting the restrictions on contraception and gay marriage while ignoring virtually all else in a downward spiral into poverty?

  21. Jim, did you NOT read the article. The GOPers are making the attempts to eliminate Unemployment, Temp Assistance for Families, Social Security, ACA, Medicare etc. NOT the Democratic Party.

  22. Also, since Bernie has been in the Senate 9 years and has only sponsored/cosponsored one (1) real bill that has become law with Republicans:

    The Traumatic Brain Injury Act of 2008 by Orin Hatch,

    How exactly would he get anything done in the White House?

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