January 9, 2014

From this Thursday's Ed Schultz Show, Rep. Keith Ellison with his response to Marco Rubio and the Republicans ridiculous declaration of the "war on the war on poverty."

ELLISON: Marco Rubio is for the rich getting more. I mean, his idea is that poor people have too much money and the rich don't have enough and he thinks that... he argues that if you cut the taxes and don't have health and safety regulations that rich people and big corporations will take the extra money and put it into jobs.

But there's no proof of that. As a matter of fact for the last three or four decades we have seen serious wage stagnation. We have seen wages decline. And yet we've seen corporate profits exploding. America, by the way, has never been richer. We have the highest gross domestic product per capita in the history of the republic and yet the productivity gains that workers have helped corporations to make more money have not been shared.

That's the problem. We need stronger unions. We need a better minimum wage. We need stronger education.

Here's more from Ellison's House site: Rep. Ellison Statement on the 50th Anniversary of the War on Poverty:

Jan 8, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement today on the 50th Anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s introduction of the War on Poverty during his State of the Union on January 8, 1964.

“At the heart of President Johnson’s War on Poverty is the idea that poverty and inequality are man-made. It’s hard for an American to pull herself up by her bootstraps if she isn’t wearing any boots. ‘The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities,’ President Johnson said when proposing the legislation.

“President Johnson’s initiatives were designed to end structural barriers to opportunity. The creation of Medicare and Medicaid increased health security for Americans who couldn’t afford health care, while Head Start and a permanent food assistance program invested directly in America’s children and working families. According to a new study from Columbia University, the poverty rate dropped from 26 percent to 16 percent from 1967 to 2012, improving the lives of millions of Americans.

“The War on Poverty was a significant step forward, but there is still a lot of work to do to end inequality in the richest nation in the world. Where a child is born today still determines her chance at success in life. We need to renew unemployment benefits, raise the minimum wage, improve workers’ rights and decrease huge giveaways to corporations. We need an economy that works for everyone.

“Increasing opportunity for every single American will not be easily achieved, but fifty years later helping our neighbors put food on the table, clothes on their kids and a roof over their heads remains an essential ingredient of being an American.”

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