Incoming GOP Congressman Can’t Wait to Cut Aid for Poor Kids


I wasn’t necessarily surprised when the Republicans won control of both Houses, but I was slightly shocked that Wisconsin Republican Glenn Grothman won a seat in the next House.

Grothman, as you may recall, made a name for himself in 2011 when he led the charge in the state legislature to end collective bargaining for public employees. Grothman also embarrassed himself on multiple occasions at the time during his TV appearances and, more recently, he introduced a bill to list being a single parent as a risk factor for child abuse.

Now that he’s headed to capital hill, Grothman has his eyes set on cutting aid to single parents with children. Specifically.

GROTHMAN: “A single parent with a couple of kids can easily get $35,000 a year in total benefits between the health care and the earned income credit and the food share and the low-income housing and what have you.

When you look at that amount of money, which is in essence a bribe not to work that hard or a bribe not to marry someone with a full-time job, people immediately realize you have a problem.”

There are more than a couple reasons why this is a disgusting thing to think and say, such as the idea that everyone should be forced to marry, but I want to focus on the fact that he specifically calls out parents with “a couple of kids.”

You don’t have to infer or imply anything when they say it themselves, and in this case Grothman says he wants to cut the amount aid that poor children receive.

If you cut aid to single parents with children, you’re also cutting aid to those children. And just because you cut aid to the parent doesn’t necessarily mean that parent will be able to find another way to take care of the children without it.

Grothman apparently has a problem with the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) which was expanded alongside Medicaid under Obamacare. He also has a problem with food stamps and low-income housing, because nothing says Family Values like forcing single parents with children into homeless shelters or food banks so they will learn their lesson.

That’ll teach ‘em, right?

I don’t think I need to explain why it’s wrong to put a moral price tag on food or healthcare for children.

There is no end-game for conservative policy regimes that call for cutting aid for the poor. The idea seems to be that, by simply cutting aid, factors that prohibited someone from achieving “success” will be eliminated through magic or osmosis, but when that doesn’t happen there is no recourse. There’s no there, there.

It’s interesting that the crop of conservative politicians coming out of Wisconsin all believe in using the power of the government to conduct social engineering. In this case Glenn Grothman believes the power of the government should be leveraged to promote marriage, while outgoing Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan believes we should require that people pass through some kind of deranged 12-step program for addicts and sign a contract before we provide assistance to them.

Most conservative would tell you that social programs are “big government,” but I would say using government in the manner that Grothman and Ryan want to use it is the essence of big brother and big government.