Republican Candidates Turn to a Touchy Topic: Poverty: On Saturday ... six Republican hopefuls gathered at a convention center here to talk about poverty. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, the top two, weren’t there. But still, poverty?
Not even Democrats, who by Republicans’ own admission pretty much own the subject, have dedicated this kind of campaign time to those at the very bottom of the ladder. The votes simply aren’t there. And that’s especially true for Republicans.
What’s going on? ...Republicans ... have a coherent theory about the causes of America’s entrenched poverty that fits well with their underlying worldview: it’s largely the government’s fault. ...
“From the government standpoint, we have actually been building a trap,” Mr. Ryan said.
Trouble is, the evidence doesn’t much mesh with this view. ...
... Consider the huge tax cuts offered up by most Republican candidates. ... All of them provide most of their benefits to the rich.
Meanwhile, the House Republicans’ 2016 budget plan, drafted largely by Mr. Ryan, includes some $3 trillion, over 10 years, in cuts to programs that serve people of limited means.
As an antipoverty strategy, it’s impossible to square the circle of the largess of Republican tax plans and military spending plans with their parsimony everywhere else. As Senator Rubio of Florida noted: “What the other side is going to say is the Republicans, the conservatives, they are just looking to gut the antipoverty programs.”
Yes, they will. And Republicans’ priorities are helping the other side make its case.