Talking Poverty with GOP Candidates at the Kemp Forum Tomorrow


January 8, 2016

kemp forum
As you hopefully saw in our earlier blog post and Fact of the Week, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R­-WI) is moderating a forum on “Expanding Opportunity” tomorrow (Saturday, January 9) in which at least seven of the Republican presidential candidates will take part.

We’ll be taking part via social media, and we hope you will, too. Join in the conversation by using the hashtags #KempForum16, #talkpoverty, and #RhetoricVsReality.

Below are some resources and sample tweets to help you participate before, during and after the event.

Blog posts from CHN:

    • GOP Candidates Take the Stage to Discuss Poverty, But Will They Walk the Talk? [link]
    • Fact of the Week: If Income Gains Had Been Broadly Shared – and Not Concentrated in the Hands of the Richest 1 Percent – Poverty in America Could Have Been Eliminated by 1985. [link]

Resources from our friends at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:

    • Elephant in the Room at GOP Poverty Forum – Tax Cuts and Budget Plans that Would Lead to Sharp Cuts in Anti-Poverty Programs [link]
    • Merging Safety Net Programs Could Increase Poverty, not Reduce It [link]
    • Safety Net’s Anti-poverty Effectiveness has Grown Nearly Ten-fold Since 1967 [link]
    • Safety Net Reduces Poverty Now and Promotes Opportunity over Long Run [link]

Resources and sample tweets from our friends at the Center for American Progress:

    • What South Carolinians Think About Ryan’s Poverty Summit [link]
    • Paul Ryan’s Anti-Poverty Summit: A Test of Republicans’ Sincerity on Poverty [link]
    • What Candidates Should Say about Poverty and Opportunity at Ryan’s Forum [link]
    • Three fact sheets that highlight how many of the worst states on poverty, child poverty, and food insecurity are adopting policies that will further harm their residents. [Poverty] [Child Poverty] [Food Insecurity]
    • An interactive map data updated to include 2015 indicators of poverty and opportunity
    • Media Matters’ memo to media to get out in front of Summit coverage and remind reporters of Paul Ryan’s harmful policies [link]
    • Top 5 Reasons TANF is Not a Model for Other Programs [link]

Sample tweets from the Center for American Progress:Media Accountability

    • Despite his rhetoric, Ryan’s policies would actually harm Americans struggling with poverty:
    • Paul Ryan talks about helping the poor—but his budgets got most cuts from anti-poverty programs: #KempForum16
    • #SNAP kept 4.7 mil Americans out of poverty in 2014 yet Paul Ryan wants to cut the program:

What South Carolinians Think About Ryan’s Poverty Forum

    • #KempForum16 will test whether conservatives mean what they say about poverty: #RhetoricVsReality
    • Instead of cutting poverty, conservatives have long opted to cut public assistance: #KempForum16
    • What South Carolinians want to see from the #KempForum16:
    • .@SpeakerRyanis hosting a poverty summit in South Carolina. Here’s what residents have to say about it:

Paul Ryan’s Anti-Poverty Summit: A Test of Conservatives’ Sincerity on Poverty

    • Paul Ryan’s talking points may be pitch-perfect, but his policies don’t measure up to his words: #KempForum16
    • Words aren’t enough to fight poverty. Here’s what a bold anti-poverty approach should look like: #KempForum16

What Candidates Should Say about Poverty and Opportunity at Ryan’s Forum

    • If #KempForum16 participants seriously want to reduce poverty, here are the eight things they need to address:
    • In case you don’t hear it at #KempForum16, here’s what you need to know about poverty in America and how we can fix it:
    • .@GtownLawPovCntr: Addressing poverty can expand economic security while growing the economy: #KempForum16

Fact SheetsChild Poverty

    • States with some of the highest child poverty rates adopted policies that made life harder for low-income kids:
    • 1 in 4 Arizona kids are poor, but the state has prioritized cutting them off of aid instead of cutting poverty:
    • In Mississippi, where 29% of kids are poor, children pay the price when the state bans parents with felonies from aid:

Overall Poverty

    • In Georgia, some workers earn $5.15 an hour—below the federal minimum:
    • Georgia discourages saving by restricting TANF to families w/ $1000 in assets—hardly enough to weather a hardship:

Food Insecurity

    • 17% of Ohio residents are food insecure, but the state has barred many adults—mostly people of color—from SNAP:
    • Texans face high food insecurity, but the state doesn’t let them access SNAP unless they have less than $2000 in assets: 

Attacks and CounterattacksATTACK: People are poor because the safety net breeds dependency/is a hammock

    • A full-time min. wage worker earns $15,080/year, below the federal poverty line for a family w/ a kid. #KempForum16
    • Most SNAP recipients who can work are working. 2/3 SNAP recipients are children, elderly, or disabled. #KempForum16

ATTACK: The war on poverty failed/poverty is intractable/there’s nothing we can do about it

    • The safety net lifted 48 million people out of poverty in 2012, cutting the poverty rate from 29.1% to 13.8%.
    • Without the safety net that we have in place today, the poverty rate would be nearlytwice as high it is now.
    • It’s not the war on poverty that’s failed, it’s an off-kilter economy. #KempForum16 #RhetoricvsReality
    • Social Security kept 26.6 million out of poverty in a single year. Our anti-poverty programs work. #KempForum16
    • SNAP keeps 10.3 million people—including 4.9 million kids—out of poverty. #KempForum16
    • The EITC kept 6.5 million Americans out of poverty in 2012. We can win the war on poverty. #KempForum16

ATTACK: TANF should be a reform model for other programs

    • 1 in 4 poor families w/ children receive TANF, compared to more than 8 in 10 in 1996. #KempForum16 #TalkPoverty
    • Fewer than 1 in 5 poor families with kids receive TANF in more than half of all states. #KempForum16 #TalkPoverty
    • Just $1 out of every $4 in TANF funds goes to income assistance for struggling families. #KempForum16 #TalkPoverty
    • Here’s why TANF isn’t a model for other anti-poverty programs: #KempForum16 #RhetoricvsReality

ATTACK: Marriage is the solution to poverty

    • There are more married parents living in poverty than never-married parents.  #KempForum16 #RhetoricvsReality

ATTACK: People should have to pass drug tests in order to get public assistance

    • Public assistance applicants test positive at a lower rate than drug use of the general population.

ATTACK: Safety net programs should have work requirements

    • 91% of safety net/social insurance benefits go to elderly, disabled, or working households. # KempForum16
Budget and Appropriations
child poverty
Earned Income Tax Credit
Income Support
Poverty and Income
Ryan budget
Ryan poverty plan
tax policy