On the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s declaration of his “War on Poverty,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) will deliver a speech Wednesday outlining his ideas for more economic mobility and opportunity.
The biggest problem we face is not the difference in income between the richest and the poorest Americans, the biggest problem is that too many of those making low incomes are not moving up to better and higher-paying jobs,” Rubio is expected to say on Wednesday. “America is still the land of opportunity for most, but not for all. If we are to remain an exceptional nation, we must close the gap in opportunity equality.”
In addition to the phony “war on women” rhetoric, Democrats have painted Republicans as the party that does not care about the poor, even as Americans–especially minorities–have struggled more since President Barack Obama has been elected. Republicans have been aggressively proposing ideas on economic mobility to prevent Democrats from labeling them as the party that does not care about the so-called “47%.” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), in the spirit of Jack Kemp, released a plan for economic freedom zones, and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), whom Kemp mentored, will reportedly speak about poverty with NBC’s Brian Williams on Thursday. Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has proposed a variety of ideas, as well. Rubio, Paul, Ryan, and Jindal are all considered potential presidential candidates in 2016.
President Ronald Reagan famously quipped, “We fought a war on poverty, and poverty won.”