(London Guardian) -- The face of poverty doesn’t look the same anymore. And Republicans here in Washington seem to be taking note. They even seem to be caring. What, Paul Ryan, worry about the takers and not the makers? Maybe the war-on-the-war-on-poverty message has less to do with faulty data and midterm chances than something a lot simpler: the GOP’s favorite all-purpose boogeyman – the Welfare Queen – has been replaced with a poor population that looks a lot more, well, white.
According to a recent report from the Census Bureau, one in three Americans can be expected to fall below the poverty line for at least six months, and more than 50% of all Americans between the ages of 25 and 60 have experienced at least a year of poverty. What’s different, now, is that two-thirds of those who fall below the poverty line now self-identify as white.
The GOP has responded to the ongoing pledge from Barack Obama and the Democrats to solve what the president calls “the defining challenge of our time”: income inequality. And they’ve responded primarily by way of Ryan’s controversial poverty report, which focuses much of its attention on the sort of social science reports that liberal Democrats have relied on for years. The report tiredly bemoans the government’s waste of social assistance programs, while praising some, like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which Obama’s new budget proposes to expand.
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