In an op-ed column in today's Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, Deroy Murdock, a columnist with Scripps Howard News Service, reveals that government spending on anti-poverty programs is the highest it's ever been.
Everybody knows that President Bush and the Republican Congress have chopped poverty spending to finance massive tax cuts for their wealthy friends.Another liberal meme debunked.
"The Republican House just voted to slash health care for struggling families, cut college loans for middle-class kids, and take food off the tables of poor children," the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees complained in TV ads during budget votes last December. As Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) moaned in The Washington Post, "I don't know what the poor, the elderly, the disabled, or our foster children have done to Republicans to deserve this."
Once again, what "everybody knows" turns out to be false.
Heritage Foundation budget analyst Brian Riedl actually looked at social spending under Republican control. What he finds is as astonishing as it is counterintuitive: Under the mean, nasty, coldhearted Republicans, expenditures on the poor have zoomed to record levels.
In 2004, 16.3 percent of the federal budget went to anti-poverty efforts. This figure never has been higher.
In 2001, President Bush and the GOP Congress spent $285.7 billion on 33 anti-poverty programs. By 2005, that sum had grown $111.2 billion to a total of $396.9 billion. That 39 percent boost far outstripped that period's 10 percent cumulative inflation.