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Republicans Try to Beat Democrats at Their Own Game on the Problem of Economic Inequality
National Journal ^ | 01/09/2014 | By Jack Fitzpatrick

Posted on 01/09/2014 11:55:47 AM PST by SeekAndFind

As Democrats push to make income inequality one of the central issues of 2014, Republicans are rolling with the punches and presenting themselves as the party that has truly helped the poor.

Democrats used Wednesday's 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty and Tuesday's Senate bill on unemployment insurance to shift attention toward the wealth gap, and President Obama will likely focus on it in his State of the Union speech later this month, too.

But Republicans have refused to simply surrender the turf to Democrats, or to ignore the issue altogether. Rather than ceding the spotlight of Wednesday's anniversary to his opponents, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida gave a speech in which he argued that President Obama's economic policies have hurt the poor and that the so-called war, begun by President Johnson, has been a failure.

Democrats, Rubio said, "help people deal with poverty, but they do not help them escape it."

It was the latest instance this week in which Republicans have tried to turn the tables on Democrats, who have aimed to draw attention from the Affordable Care Act's troubled rollout and focus it on what they consider a more favorable issue.

Democrats scored a small victory Tuesday by advancing the Senate bill on unemployment insurance to a full debate, but Republicans made the case that Obama's economic policies have hurt the people the bill was meant to help. Zeroing in on the Affordable Care Act and environmental regulations, Republicans took a notably egalitarian tone.

"We all know the stock market's been doing great, so the richest among us are doing just fine," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a floor speech on Tuesday. "But what about the poor? What about working-class folks? What about folks who work in industries that liberals don't approve of, like coal?"

McConnell, who is up for reelection this year, has pushed for an amendment that would offset the cost of the bill, and he called for a one-year delay in the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate.

Other big-name Republicans—including Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn and House Speaker John Boehner—followed McConnell's lead. Boehner called for an unemployment insurance amendment to offset costs, and suggested in a press release that Obama delay the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate, approve the Keystone Pipeline, and reduce EPA regulations on power plants to promote job growth.

It's understandable that Republicans have entered the ring in the fight over economic equality, rather than avoiding or brushing off the topic, considering that voters strongly favor policies that help the poor. In a December ABC News/Washington Post poll, 57 percent of respondents said they wanted the federal government to pursue policies that try to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor.

With Obamacare still struggling, Republicans have every reason to try to tie the debate over income inequality to health care. Party leaders have argued that the law could hurt small businesses and lead to fewer full-time jobs. And the law is as unpopular as ever, according to a CNN/ORC survey in which 62 percent of respondents said they opposed the law. Health-care reform was the most commonly cited issue in a poll asking Americans which problems the government needs to work on in 2014, mentioned by the majority of participants in an AP/NORC poll.

While Republicans try to appeal to the lower middle class on health care, Democrats are countering with an emphasis on the federal minimum wage, sponsoring House and Senate versions of a bill that would raise the wage to $11 over two years. Nearly two-thirds of the ABC News/Washington Post poll's respondents supported such a raise, and Republicans have widely opposed it. Rubio maintained that raising the minimum wage would not help the poor in the long term, calling it "at best only a partial solution" in his Wednesday speech.

Rubio and other conservatives have made the case that unemployment insurance is a distraction from the best solution to unemployment: jobs. If Democrats succeed in making the wealth gap one of the top issues of the next year, expect Republicans to continue standing their ground, responding with a message of job creation.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: democrats; inequality; republicans

1 posted on 01/09/2014 11:55:47 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
the Problem of Economic Inequality

There IS no problem. It's a divisive, manufactured issue to make the low information voter think they're being hosed.

Your neighbor works harder, makes sacrifices & makes more than you? Then get off your ass and work harder. Make your OWN sacrifices.

I am so sick of this whiny cry baby garbage of the gimmee, gimme sect.

2 posted on 01/09/2014 11:59:10 AM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: SeekAndFind

Democrats, Rubio said, “help people deal with poverty, but they do not help them escape it.”

Excellent line. Every Republican should be repeating it.


3 posted on 01/09/2014 12:00:59 PM PST by Twotone (Marte Et Clypeo)
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To: SeekAndFind

I personally think Rand Paul has the right idea.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hZqoxmyow8

Get off the people and let them help themselves.


4 posted on 01/09/2014 12:01:44 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: SeekAndFind

As Rush Limbaugh said in the 1990’s, liberals want to give the poor just enough to keep them miserable.


5 posted on 01/09/2014 12:13:20 PM PST by cuban leaf
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To: Puppage

All the rich liberal democrats like most hollywood stars and politicians should show by example and give all of THEIR money to the poor then we can talk about income inequility.


6 posted on 01/09/2014 12:18:45 PM PST by Caribou ( www.ktok.com Red State Radio free streaming.)
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To: SeekAndFind

We can point-out how government policies keep potential achievers at the bottom; but we cannot out-promise the socialists, who feed on envy and desire for a free lunch. Sometimes, we have to wait until people hit bottom before they will change. It happens with lazy kids. And it happened in the 1970’s before Ronald Reagan was elected. It won’t happen if we continually run away from the socialists and their politics of envy.


7 posted on 01/09/2014 12:21:16 PM PST by Socon-Econ ( is no model of USA-style democracy)
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To: SeekAndFind
Democrats, Rubio said, "help people deal with poverty, but they do not help them escape it."

If they wanted to escape it they would have found ways to do so by now.


8 posted on 01/09/2014 12:21:23 PM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: SeekAndFind

I’m surprised the National Journal published this article.


9 posted on 01/09/2014 12:21:31 PM PST by WashingtonSource
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To: SeekAndFind

The folks who are getting the free stuff don’t like

The folks who are paying for the free stuff, because

The folks who are paying for the free stuff can no longer

Afford to pay for both the free stuffand their own stuff.

And the folks who are paying for thefree stuff

Want the free stuff to stop.

And the folks who are getting the free stuff want even more

Free stuff on top of the free stuffthey are already getting!

Now... The people who are forcing the people who pay

For the free stuff have told the people who are RECEIVING

The free stuff that the people who are PAYING for the

Free stuff are being mean, prejudiced, and racist.

So... The people who are GETTING thefree stuff have been

Convinced they need to hate the people who are paying for the

Free stuff by the people who are forcing some people to pay

For their free stuff and giving them the free stuff in the first place.

We have let the free stuff giving go on for so long that there

Are now more people getting free stuff than paying for the

Free stuff.


10 posted on 01/09/2014 12:22:10 PM PST by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: SeekAndFind; ilgipper
When Dems bring up unemployment comp the GOP needs to reply that Obama’s economic policies are a disaster and : ‘Even the president is admitting that millions of unemployed Americans are on the brink of starvation and foreclosure under his watch and five years of his policies’

And throw inequality right back in their faces.

11 posted on 01/09/2014 12:25:57 PM PST by sickoflibs (Obama : 'If you like your Doctor you can keep him, PERIOD! Don't believe the GOPs warnings')
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To: Puppage

Respectfully, you’re dead wrong.

There is an inequality issue. However it’s something that’s been created by the failed 50 year long social welfare experiment (and by the 80 year long New Deal) called the Great Society/War on Poverty that’s frozen a permanent, government dependent underclass in place.

Rubio is absolutely right on the: Dem programs help people “deal” with poverty and being on the wrong end of the equality equation. But they also keep, indeed trap, them there instead of providing ways to escape upward.


12 posted on 01/09/2014 12:30:20 PM PST by tanknetter
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To: Puppage
Your neighbor works harder, makes sacrifices & makes more than you? Then get off your ass and work harder. Make your OWN sacrifices.

It's not all that easy.

We live in a world in which the regulatory burdens on entry-level entrepreneurship can be severe.

Suppose, for example, you've no education, no training, no connections, but you have a car that runs. You know there are elderly shut-ins who'd be thrilled to have some help with their groceries. So you start a service, driving them to the store, helping them shop, and helping them get their groceries back home. You build a clientele, build a viable business, and wham...

The city slaps you with a fine because you don't have a taxi license.

13 posted on 01/09/2014 12:37:18 PM PST by jdege
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To: SeekAndFind

End ObamaCare...stop the delay BS

You either end ObamaCare or you support it


14 posted on 01/09/2014 12:54:05 PM PST by SeminoleCounty (Amnesty And Not Ending ObamaCare Will Kill GOP In 2014)
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To: jdege
It's not all that easy.

Didn't say it was. My point is,some people work their ass off to make things happen. Others, do the least they can, then cry when others make more than them.

I worked 2 jobs for 6 years and put myself through college. Am I now supposed to feel bad because Mr. X chose not to go to school and makes less than me?

15 posted on 01/09/2014 1:06:19 PM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: Puppage
Am I now supposed to feel bad because Mr. X chose not to go to school and makes less than me?

No. But you're supposed to get pissed off at the government, when it imposes measures that couldn't do more to discourage initiative and self-reliance than if they'd been designed to.

16 posted on 01/09/2014 1:43:48 PM PST by jdege
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To: jdege

Fair enough and agree completely.


17 posted on 01/09/2014 2:16:24 PM PST by Puppage (You may disagree with what I have to say, but I shall defend to your death my right to say it)
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To: Puppage

I agree. There is no problem.

But I will say, I don’t mind them tackling the issue, because democrats will continue to pound this point, relevant or not. I am worried about how they intend to tackle it though...


18 posted on 01/09/2014 2:28:41 PM PST by Vanbasten
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To: SeekAndFind

The Republicans should ignore this issue and keep stressing opportunity for all. Once again, they allow the Dems to set the so-called narrative.


19 posted on 01/09/2014 2:42:21 PM PST by BfloGuy ( Even the opponents of Socialism are dominated by socialist ideas.)
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To: jdege
We live in a world in which the regulatory burdens on entry-level entrepreneurship can be severe.

Indeed, but redistributionist programs do nothing to alleviate such problems, and instead help protect those who benefit from the imposition of such burdens from prospective political challengers who would seek to eliminate them.

20 posted on 01/09/2014 4:07:23 PM PST by supercat (Renounce Covetousness.)
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To: BfloGuy
The Republicans should ignore this issue and keep stressing opportunity for all.
If you re-read the article, I think you might perceive that that is precisely what it reports that the Republicans are doing. Not saying that the rich don’t make a lot, but that the “poor” don’t have jobs because of Democrat policies.
Once again, they allow the Dems to set the so-called narrative.
Once again, journalists prove that they are independent of Democrats IN NAME ONLY. Or said differently, journalists have their own institutional incentives, their own agenda - and Democrats align themselves with the journalists.

But the bottom line is that journalists are de facto Democrats - and that makes it impossible for Republicans to set the agenda of journalism.


21 posted on 01/10/2014 3:02:09 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion ("Liberalism” is a conspiracy against the public by wire-service journalism.)
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
that makes it impossible for Republicans to set the agenda of journalism

The Republicans had better learn to stop being cowed by the liberal press. They will never win it over. Give it up and set the agenda for governing.

And, yes, trust me, I know that's difficult. But the current tack isn't working.

22 posted on 01/10/2014 3:01:51 PM PST by BfloGuy ( Even the opponents of Socialism are dominated by socialist ideas.)
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To: BfloGuy

And cannot work.


23 posted on 01/11/2014 11:37:19 PM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion ("Liberalism” is a conspiracy against the public by wire-service journalism.)
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To: SeekAndFind

24 posted on 01/16/2014 5:06:31 AM PST by Lazamataz (Early 2009 to 7/21/2013 - RIP my little girl Cathy. You were the best cat ever. You will be missed.)
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To: SeekAndFind

25 posted on 01/16/2014 5:07:00 AM PST by Lazamataz (Early 2009 to 7/21/2013 - RIP my little girl Cathy. You were the best cat ever. You will be missed.)
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