In a country where more and more people are living in poverty, why is the GOP branding itself as the party that hates the poor?

Increasingly threatened by demographic changes, since November the GOP has sought to make inroads among Latinos while not losing more ground with America’s women. But their latest move will merely reinforce that they stand for punitive policies that target exactly these demographic groups, as they represent a significant segment of the growing population that is poor.

Today, Republicans in Congress failed to provide enough votes to pass a Farm Bill. House members surprised Speaker Boehner when they split over whether the steep cuts to food programs for the very poor (many of whom are children) contained in the bill were draconian enough. 62 members of Boehner’s party said they could cut even more.

More than half of the recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are children or the elderly. Participation in the program is at an all-time high. And that rise tracks with huge gains in overall poverty:


source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

According to the US Census, more than one in four Hispanics in America are poor. Targeting the poor is, therefore, a dubious strategy for Hispanic outreach. Poverty rates are highest among families headed by women, particularly single women, another constituency Republicans are increasingly alienating. And the ranks of the poor are growing twice as quickly in the suburbs – home to much of the GOP base – than it is in urban areas.

With more and more Americans living in poverty, voters are increasingly likely to know people living in poverty, or to experience it themselves. So it’s difficult to understand why the GOP would engage in a public fight about how to take food off the tables of poor families with children.

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  • dmoore2222

    My answer: They’re angry. They see exactly what you’re talking about demographically and hate it that “Father” no longer “knows best”. Their world of 50s TV has crumbled around them for years now. Their answer: Starve em.

  • Think.

    After the continued GOP war on the poor, this slow motion electoral disaster can’t happen soon enough.

  • jr6020

    Only if the “poor” and disenfranchised come out and vote like they did in 2008 and 20012…

  • pb_dirtgirl

    To be clear, it’s not even the poor I see turning against the GOP. I think they’ve already lost them. But more and more traditional republican voters – suburban moms – are now likely to have someone in their lives (friends, family, classmates, neighbors) who’s struggling. Mean-spirited policies won’t attract those votes.

  • Linda Myers

    Yep, they’re angry. I see them more as the hate driven guy who snaps and decides to go out and take as many with him as he can because he hates society.

  • Mark Schrider

    The GOP have so ingrained greed, fear, stupidity and just plain meanness to point that they are nearly genetically inheritable characteristics

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