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Generalissimo Trump is personally directing the hostilities in his war on our country's poor people, though he euphemistically calls it a war of liberation. The purpose, he says, is to "free" poor families from food stamps, Medicaid, housing assistance, and other programs that alleviate poverty.
"Welfare," he snarls, as he and his militant lieutenants conduct ruthless slash-and-burn forays to defund and destroy such benefits. Their rationale is that eliminating anti-poverty assistance will not only save billions of tax dollars and reduce the federal budget deficit, but it'll also provide a moral incentive for poor people to get jobs and work their way up to prosperity. Like El Donaldo did.
Actually, Trump inherited a fortune from his daddy, Fred, and he expanded it by relying on billions of dollars in government subsidies, tax breaks and special favors. As for working, most poor people already have jobs, but their miserly pay mires them in poverty and drudgery.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson is loyally serving the extreme right wing's ideological crusade by taking a budget ax to the program that enforces our fair housing laws, even stripping the words "free from discrimination" out of HUD's mission statement.
Such sneak attacks, however, were deemed too subtle by Trump's political base of hardcore haters of poverty programs, so the commander-in-chief demanded a frontal assault on the poorest of the poor. Carson delivered, dutifully, proposing legislation to triple the monthly rent that the most impoverished of public housing families would pay — including increased rents for the elderly and disabled. Carson also called for eliminating child-care and medical deductions that public housing families can subtract from their rent payments.
Carson tried to pass off this cold-blooded ambush on real people as merely a bureaucratic "streamlining," calling it necessary to cut the federal deficit. That's a despicable ruse, for the deficit was deliberately inflated by the trillion-dollar tax giveaway passed by Trump and the Republican Congress for the very richest people in America.
Trump, his cabinet of multimillionaires, and such Koch-headed congressional ideologues as GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are so disdainful of the needy that they have a perverse impulse to punish them — as though being poor is not punishment enough. It's said that war is hell, but their war on the poor is truly satanic.
You can contact Hightower at jimhightower.com.