To The Daily Sun,
Tony Boutin does it again. Changing the words and tenor of how the "war on poverty" has been fought, but sadly still not won. Yes, Pres. Johnson came from humble beginnings, but so did Pres. Lincoln (born in a log cabin into poverty). Lincoln's legacy was to try and abolish slavery in the United States. I would ask Mr. Boutin, how long did it take before the slaves in America were "really truly free" without outright prejudice against this population?
Poverty has been an issue in the United States for too many decades, most poverty is well hidden from the public eye with the exception of those who are held up to ridicule for the very fact of their being poor.
Almost every Democratic administration since Lyndon Johnson declared "war on poverty" has tried to improve or eradicate this blight on our nation. While in turn almost every Republican administration has done away, tried to eliminate, disestablish, and decimate programs to eliminate poverty. While telling us that they are legislating in the name of saving the country money in federal or state or city and town budgets.
We must ask why the "percentage of people in poverty has increased" since 1964. Could it be because the minimum wage has not increased exponentially with the cost of living? Could it be that those on the right in Congress cannot and have not taken the initiative to increase the minimum wage to reflect the rate of inflation? Tony, pray tell, without over exaggerating or taking us on a fairytale romp.
Handouts you say. A chunk of cheese and other substandard food given by the government in the past, inadequate food stamps and services are not my idea of "handouts". Many thousands of those in poverty must utilize church and town food pantries. I would suggest that you visit St. Vincent de Paul in Laconia. Ask them how many thousands of pounds of food, clothing and the money which has been given just last year, including for the purchase gasoline (in order to have a link with the outside world) and be a stop-gap measure before disaster strikes their family members. Is this the way you want to manage how those in poverty are fed and clothe or use a broken down vehicle to get to a job which is paying minimum wage or below?
Single parents as a factor? Nope again. Best public face would be Pres. Obama, who was raised by a single parent and the hundreds of thousands of other individuals who came from single parent homes to succeed in spite of their family circumstance. This statement you make is flawed and is misleading at best.
"The poor remain poor because Democrats want them that way". Certainly you jest. Please take a look at the states that are run by Republican governors, state legislators or federal House and Senate representatives: TX-MS-LA-FL-NC-SC — just to name a few, where poverty tops the list of their "claim to fame". These states among many others have outright rejected the ACA which would give the working poor a chance to finally be covered with medical insurance instead of having to depend on the ER for medical care.
Democrats do not need the poor to win politically. Democrats have the lower income class voting for them because this segment of the population know that this may be their only chance to get out of the vicious cycle of poverty that has plagued this country for many decades.
Many other countries have shown us how they take care of their poor in a compassionate and caring manner without demeaning this segment of their population. Would you please check out those countries (start with Norway) where programs have been successful instead of misleading us with old worn out and baseless arguments?
Your research must include the laws passed over the decades, then follow these laws to show us how they have been diminished, dissolved or totally done away with by GOP administrations. Let's be fair and evenhanded when it comes to stating "the facts" of poverty it's cause and effect.
Your next letter should detail the programs and laws passed by the GOP on the state and federal level to eradicate poverty once and for all. Please be sure to site the laws by name and number and the year they were passed, implemented, revised and updated over the years.
As Lord Byron said: 'Opinions are made to be changed — or how is truth to be got at?' Or as Josh Billings is quoted as saying: "There are two kinds of fools: those who can't change their opinions and those who won't."