Mike Pence

Indiana GOP Governor “Ennobling” The Poor By Making Them Work For Food Stamps (VIDEO)

Published On November 18, 2014 | By Bob Rowen |

Indiana Governor Mike Pence -Tea-Party Republican, 2016 GOP Presidential hopeful, and favorite recipient of the Koch brother’s largesse – is putting the screws to his state’s poor by cutting the food stamp program for thousands, but he’s doing it for their own good. He’s “ennobling” them.

In a speech on Tuesday, Pence said,

“I’m someone that believes there’s nothing more ennobling to a person than a job.”  He went on to cite the old proverb, “You know, it’s the old story,” added Gov. Pence. “Give someone a fish, and they’ll eat for a day. Teach them to fish, they’ll eat for a lifetime. I think this is an idea whose time has come here in the state of Indiana.”

It’s a laudable sentiment. Unfortunately, it presupposes that there are fish to be caught, or that, after working all week at poverty wages, the man has time and energy left to fish.

Indiana joined six other states, most with Republican governors, in reinstating a work requirement on SNAP benefits. The idea is that by forcing people to work in order to collect food stamp aid, they will do so. It suggests that people remain unemployed by choice and that taking away their aid will change their minds. It all goes back to the GOP’s 47% rhetoric that people who take assistance are lazy. It’s the cornerstone of the GOP war on the poor.

The rationale for such draconian policy has been that giving people help somehow leads them into dependency, trapping them in poverty. It’s like saying a sandwich causes hunger. The fact is, the reverse is true. Hilary Hoynes, an economist at UC Berkley concluded in her landmark paper last year that access to food stamp leads to,

“increases in economic self-sufficiency (increases in educational attainment, earnings, and income, and decreases in welfare participation).”

Pence cited the move as a return to a “core principle” of welfare reform.

Republicans look back at the Clinton years and remember how welfare roles were reduced after the reforms that were passed in 1996 and reason that restricting access to food aid can work the same way now. In doing so, they lose sight of half the picture. Welfare roles in those years were reduced because of a multifaceted approach, the carrot and the stick. Reforms did indeed, force people to work, that’s the stick.  But at the same time, 22 million new jobs made finding work a possibility. Without that carrot, the stick is useless.

GOP rhetoric suggests that a large swath of America suddenly became lazy when the Bush economy collapsed. They didn’t. They were failed by the 1% and by the corporations who took their billions in tax cuts for the last 15 years and instead of creating jobs with it, they just threw it on the pile.

And while their money piles soar to new heights, their minions – like Mike Pence – keep making things harder for those at the bottom.

Watch Via Raw Story;

Bob Rowen
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Bob Rowen

A lifelong politics junkie with particular interests in privatization and other business and labor issues like minimum wage and immigration.Robert Rowen is also a writer of fiction.His first novel is called The Ballad of Llewellynn.

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Bob Rowen
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