The political war over poverty
GINI ratios measure income inequality. This graph, compiled with U.S. Census Bureau information, shows that income inequality is growing. A value of zero shows complete equality, and a value of 1.0 represents complete inequality.
January 7th, 2014
12:36 PM ET
9 months ago

The political war over poverty

Washington (CNN) - Tianna Gaines-Turner is so politically active, she gave 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney a questionnaire to answer on policy positions. When he failed to respond, she volunteered on President Barack Obama's campaign. She also encourages her neighbors to vote.

Her activism is persistent despite feeling like she is an ignored component of the American electorate.

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    "It's hurtful because they don't know what we go through every month,"
    ------------------------------------------–
    How can someone making $355 million a year(Darrell Issa) possibly relate?

    January 7, 2014 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  2. Donna

    This story was posted last week CNN. Are you signed onto the Obama Smoke and Mirror Show already?

    January 7, 2014 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  3. just saying

    the more we have 'waged the war on poverty' the more people we have in poverty. the fact is that poverty was on the decline all by itself before the war started. since the war started, poverty has not gone down but stayed level or increased. like the war on drugs, the government is losing this war as well. failed policies for both.

    January 7, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  4. Fair is Fair

    50 years into "Great Society" programs and we're worse off now. Clearly we need more "Great Society"-type programs.

    January 7, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  5. Jules

    A political war over poverty and we call this a nation under God and most will say a Christian nation. If you do not care about the poor, do not call yourself a follower of Christ. I would ask #just saying, if he has gone back and looked at the rate of inequality growth since trickle down economics started with Ronal Reagan. The fact is that if we give more capital to the wealthy in hopes that it trickles down to the poor, we are on a fool's errand. It has never worked. More for the rich does not mean less poverty.

    January 7, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. wendel

    Just saying should just shut up What decline are you talking about fool. The one on Fox??? Really tired of people like you and Donna who think poverty is some kind of joke. Try getting out more. . Poverty is not only real but alive and well in these United States.

    January 7, 2014 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  7. Malory Archer

    Fair is Fair

    50 years into "Great Society" programs and we're worse off now. Clearly we need more "Great Society"-type programs.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    A better idea would be to compel employers to pay their employees a livable wage, thereby negating the need for such programs – or tax the bejebus out of them! Your tax dollars fund the support of your local walmart super store employees to the tune of $1 million – $2 million a year – FOR ONE WALMART!!!

    The right's argument that paying a livable wage would hurt "small business" is laughable on its face as the vast majority of working Americans who live in poverty work for businesses that employ 100 or more people. With the exception of privately owned convenience stores and the rare mom & pop book store or restaurant, the majority of "Small businesses " are professional offices like doctors, dentists, attorneys, accountants and other local professionals that pay even their lowest-paid office staffs considerable higher than minimum wage.

    January 7, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  8. Rusty Krus

    The GOP should be considerd two seperate camps. First, he rich who won't share anything with the underlings. Second, there are the poor white trash who don't realize they are poor and hate anyone who isn't white.

    January 7, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. simplyput

    People who don't ralize that we had a world-class economy and a world-class education system until the Libs trashed it are so funny. DNC=Doesnotcompute.

    January 7, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. Wendi Dixon

    Not until this UI INS issue came up did I hear either side ever mention the poor! Middle class is all I ever heard about! Middle class this n middle class need that. While I'm living on disability getting by on 10,000 a year. Yes, $10,000. Thank you for advocating for us!

    January 7, 2014 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    Graph with ascending slope shows descent towards plutocracy. Story at 10.

    January 7, 2014 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  12. Former Republican

    @simplyput
    People who don't ralize that we had a world-class economy and a world-class education system until the Libs trashed it are so funny. DNC=Doesnotcompute.

    World class economy under which GOP president? Reagan? Bush#1? Bush#2? They all tanked the economy you ass hat!

    January 7, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  13. Fair is Fair

    Malory Archer

    Fair is Fair

    50 years into "Great Society" programs and we're worse off now. Clearly we need more "Great Society"-type programs.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    A better idea would be to compel employers to pay their employees a livable wage, thereby negating the need for such programs – or tax the bejebus out of them! Your tax dollars fund the support of your local walmart super store employees to the tune of $1 million – $2 million a year – FOR ONE WALMART!!!

    The right's argument that paying a livable wage would hurt "small business" is laughable on its face as the vast majority of working Americans who live in poverty work for businesses that employ 100 or more people. With the exception of privately owned convenience stores and the rare mom & pop book store or restaurant, the majority of "Small businesses " are professional offices like doctors, dentists, attorneys, accountants and other local professionals that pay even their lowest-paid office staffs considerable higher than minimum wage.
    --------
    Here's the deal, Sweetheart – businesses pay their employees based on a particular employee's contribution to the bottom line. Minimum contribution = minimum wage. Kapeesh?

    January 7, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. Malory Archer

    simplyput

    People who don't ralize that we had a world-class economy and a world-class education system until the Libs trashed it are so funny. DNC=Doesnotcompute.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yeah, except the whole of the EU is "liberal" and they actually have a world-class education system – including in many countires, FREE university!

    January 7, 2014 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    It's refreshing to see that the right wing talking points are so enthusiastically debunked without my input. Please, carry on.

    January 7, 2014 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "The right's argument that paying a livable wage would hurt "small business" is laughable"

    Indeed. In fact, since you mention Walmart, the fact is that it would hurt the Walmarts of the world more. Their entire business model is based on the idea that they can pay their employees sub-subsistence wages, supplementing their profits by relying on the social assistance programs that those wages create the need for.

    Forcing them to pay a living middle-class wage, such that their employees do not need gov't assistance, would indeed put a lot of Walmarts out of business. And you know what? That statement right there tells you why Walmart should not exist. Until Amurika recognizes that that business model is extremely damaging to the economy, the middle-class's existence and the "American dream" in general, and decides that it should not be allowed because it threatens our society's well being, then the Walmarts of the world are going to be a millstone around our neck.

    January 7, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    Here's the deal, Sweetheart – businesses pay their employees based on a particular employee's contribution to the bottom line. Minimum contribution = minimum wage. Kapeesh?
    ------------------
    Kapeesh. The sales assistants slaving on the sales floors of Walmart ARE the faces and voices of Walmart, not the top executives reaping the fruits of their hard labors. Executives contribute little or nothing to the Walmart experience. Anyone can push a pen, or sign a check.

    January 7, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  18. simplyput

    @Former Republican
    World class economy under which GOP president?
    ________________
    It wasn't the political party that determined world-class I'm referring to, it was the citizens. No matter the political party in power, there was opporuntity for anyone willing to work and learn. Not sure that still applies today. Feel sorry for the young people who work for minimum and beyond and still can't afford rent. This was unheard of when I was growing up, but then, I'm older. Even MY generation, distracted by pot and the 60's, managed to eek it out. It's sad, and to make it worse, those of us who know better about pot, are not getting the voice to warn you. Eek on....

    January 7, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. sonny chapman

    "The War on Poverty is over".-Ronald Reagan. Guess who was behind when he declared Game Ove?. Only, it ain't Game Over. The Poor are still with us & we tried throwing 'em all in jail & throwing away the key, but even that approach is getting too expensive. Oh heck, just eat a jelly bean & pretend everything is Peachy.

    January 7, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. sonny chapman

    Has anyone on the Right ever heard of Henry Ford? He paid his workers enough & cut down his profit so that THEY could buy the cars they were making.

    January 7, 2014 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. current state of the union

    Fair, too bad that doesn't work, the rich have been absolving themselves for years, pay no tax then complain we need to cut the throats of those who do pay their taxes. Your blind belief in gop ideology only suggest that your well off. Cutting taxes in hopes of jobs is the biggest lie out there, I honestly feel sorry for those who believe that BS, and I don't think giving 10% on Sunday is going to cut it, and that's why I feel sorry for some. Truth be told, they probably lie about the 10% too, they have no shame

    January 7, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. Silence DoGood

    @Wendi Dixon
    Not until this UI INS issue came up did I hear either side ever mention the poor! Middle class is all I ever heard about! Middle class this n middle class need that. While I'm living on disability getting by on 10,000 a year. Yes, $10,000. Thank you for advocating for us!
    -------
    Many conservative politicians do not consider the poor at all. They tell their voting base the poor do not count and are lazy, they do not contribute big money to their campaigns, and through gerrymandering districts and making voting more difficult, the poor can be kept from voting in strong numbers. I think all politicians should have to live poor for a year before running for office.

    January 7, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |