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Blog of Mass Destruction

Properly Punishing The Poor

By The Reverend Published: July 26, 2014

Israeli scoreboard at halftime (12 hour cease fire beginning Sat. morning at 8 AM): Over 985 dead Palestinians most of whom are civilians, 6000 wounded Palestinians, 37 dead Israeli soldiers, 2 dead Israeli civilians and a dead Thai migrant worker.

Elsewhere in Judeo-Christian values, we find the U.S. House once again using it's legislative power as a political campaign tool. I didn't realize that the role of the House of Representatives was to vote on impassable legislation for the purpose of exciting the majority's base voters.....

The House of Representatives voted Friday to change a tax credit in a way that would add $115 billion to the deficit and hurt poorer parents while aiding the well-to-do.

Sounds about right. In fact, that AP sentence is a very accurate synopsis of Republican economic policy. Punish the poors and provide breaks for the non-poor....all while increasing the national deficit. The House passed their latest political campaign ad along partisan lines, naturally....and no doubt the conservative extremists for which the bill was passed will be energized to support Republican candidates this November.

It always seemed odd to me.....but conservative base voters really dig punishing the poors.

According to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities...(the House bill) means a mom working full time at a minimum wage job would receive no help from the credit -- because she would be earning only $14,500. Indeed, that mom would lose $1,725 under the new bill, while a family of four earning $150,000 would gain $2,200, according to the center's analysis.

About 12 million people, including 6 million children, would be pushed further into poverty if the measure became law.

Sing it.....USA, USA, USA

GOP punishers-of-the-poor know that Democrats will use this vote against Republican candidates in the run up to the midterms.....but Republicans apparently do not care if their candidates are known for punishing the poor. Punishing the poor through congressional legislation has become a badge of honor and pride for elected Republicans.....and a rallying vehicle for base GOP voters intent on taking their country back from, I guess, the poor Americans who, I guess, own and control the nation. Who knew?

And the part about the just-passed House bill resulting in increased deficits.....is evidence that Republicans are Very Serious about reducing the national deficit. Say what? Let me explain.

If Republicans increase the deficit through punishing the poors, then Republicans can later point to the deficit that they have increased as proof that more punishment on the poors, and perhaps the elderly and children as well, is necessary. That's the conservative formula for redistribution....and always has been. By the looks of those huge income disparity gaps in America......in would appear that the Republican redistribution plan is working out as planned.

Some readers may think I'm just being snarky here.....but I'm not.

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan has put forward a new anti-poverty plan that proposes sweeping changes to the safety net through a state-led pilot program.

States that opted into the “opportunity grant” program would receive a single block of aid that would consolidate funding for 11 federal programs, including food stamps, housing vouchers, heating aid, child-care assistance and welfare payments.

Long punish-the-poor story short.....Ryan and his House Republicans would like most assistance-to-the-poor programs block granted to the states. This would allow GOP-run states to decide how much to punish the poor in their respective states. Discretion for use of those block granted funds would be in the hands of state officials, not communist tyrants in Washington.

The phrase "state's rights" is important here. GOP states have the right, according to those who pass legislation meant to punish the poor, to punish their poor any damn way they choose. I mean, what good is freedom...if you can't punish your poor and powerless? Two dozen GOP-controlled states are already punishing their poorest workers by refusing to expand Medicaid in their states.....so why not block grant all federal assistance programs, so the poor can be punished properly, right?

Finally, what is the overarching philosophy of Republicans in punishing the poor? What's the end game? Sure, it's a lot of fun torturing the weakest.....like burning ants with a magnifying glass.....but Republicans are not quite that demonic. There's method in their madness.

If the poor are sufficiently punished through gutting of federal assistance programs, domestic spending by the feds will be reduced enough to allow for...wait for it....further tax cuts on the rich. As Paul Ryan has made crystal clear in his two House-approved "Ryan Budgets".....the goal of all this poor-punishing is to reduce the highest income tax rate on the rich from 35% to 28%.....because, I guess, that income disparity gap in America is not quite wide enough.

Here's Democrat Chris Van Hollen explaining Ryan's block grant plan....“People in poverty will have a much more difficult time accessing support to help them climb out of poverty.”

To House Republicans and the voters who love them, that is a feature, not a bug.

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