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GOP Looks Forward with New Agenda for Poor and Middle Class

Cantor: “There are way too many barriers right now to success... we need to stop that."

by
Rodrigo Sermeño

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May 24, 2014 - 10:20 am
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WASHINGTON – Republican lawmakers pitched an agenda focused on helping the poor and middle class Thursday that will likely serve as a platform for the November midterm elections and in the 2016 presidential race.

The legislators discussed regulatory barriers for entrepreneurs and small businesses, education reform for both K-12 and higher education, tax penalties, and other issues that affect poor and middle-class Americans.

“The bulk of the people in this country are not those who have a college or graduate degree. They’re wage earners,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said during a panel at the American Enterprise Institute on the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “Great Society” speech. “They’re people who are feeling that this country is not there for them.”

AEI President Arthur Brooks compared the 1,500 hours of training a cosmetology license requires in D.C. to just 135 hours to become a real estate agent, which he said is typically a second job for a wealthier two-parent household.

“That’s anti-poor, and it’s un-American, and we need a solution,” Brooks said.

Brooks highlighted the cosmetology example because opening a home salon is a job that many single mothers could turn to that would allow them to earn money while being with their children.

Cantor said that the House GOP agenda, called “An America that Works,” is aimed at helping Americans by introducing policies that will make it easier for people to “pursue the happiness that was the vision of the founders of our country.”

“There are way too many barriers right now to success,” he said. “The licensing question in particular is one that strikes at the heart of what America is about.”

Cantor said part of the problem was that the federal government continues to subsidize the training programs that rely on strict licensing requirements for a profit.

“We need to stop that. The incentives are wrong,” he said. “Hopefully, we can come down on the side of the working middle class, those individuals who do not necessarily have higher education degrees but make up the bulk of working middle-class people.”

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) noted that education is “the gateway to the American dream.” Scott said he picked up this insight as a teenager who flunked out of high school, including civics, which he joked might be the first time that has happened to a future U.S. senator.

“I always hear labels being put on poor kids: ‘at-risk kids.’ What an awful label. We are high-potential children,” he said.

Scott said the CHOICE Act, which he introduced earlier this year, would provide opportunities to children “trapped and mired in poverty.” The proposal would create pilot programs around the country for military families and expand on the success of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program, which allows parents to send their children to a school of their choice in the city.

“One of the challenges that I…and so many Americans face today is that we haven’t spent enough time figuring out how to unleash the American dream in the poorest areas of the country,” Scott said.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said the purpose of the conservative reform agenda is best summarized by the words of Abraham Lincoln who said the goal of government “is to lift the artificial weights off all shoulders…and to afford all an unfettered start and a fair chance in the race of life.”

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Top Rated Comments   
Whoopdy-doo. What are they doing to kill obamacare? Nothing? How about defending our borders against foreign invasion? Nothing? Open borders and obamacare are hurting AMERICAN families by the millions! Cantor, shut your bloviating pie hole and stop pretending to give a crap about the dying middle class, until you're ready to man up and fix the REAL issues we are facing. You are not one of us.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The best way that disgusting little corrupt creep Cantor, if he was actually sincere, could help the poor and middle class would be to stop pushing amnesty for tens of millions of third world invaders who suppress wages and take jobs from the poor and many in the lower middle class.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
After a number of years in the Republican women's groups, I am pretty sure that the poor, working class, and those who don't have big bucks are not part of their planning. They just won't leave their strata to think about others. Not everyone is interested in becoming a lady who lunches and bears her husband's name: Mrs. blank blank, through adult life. I have found them to be a pretty smug bunch of women who were more interested in picking their next venue rather than the status of the country.
If this attitude persists throughout the party, there is pretty little hope for the GOP.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (40)
All Comments   (40)
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Some good proposals there, like licensing reform, charter schools, and school vouchers.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Licensing reform for cosmetologists? Claiming that "education is the gateway" without any substantive proposals? Tim Scott's quote is appropos "we are high potential children". How about reforming the tax code, dumping disastrous trade policies, bringing living wage jobs back to the US?
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
More government programs and tinkering a bit with the tax code: it's business as usual for the Stupid Party.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The premise of this article is laughable on its face. "The GOP" wants Shamnesty, and Cantor, his sugar daddy Speaker Boner, et al are going to make sure of it. Everything they say is a lie, intended to lull primary voters into pulling the lever for GOP Inc. "Bite Me GOP!" http://tinyurl.com/n84n59k
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The impact of IQ on income is well known. Unless we find new ways to prepare those who do not respond to our one size fits all educational system nothing will happen for the segment of the population that doesn't fit into the high technology labor market. Low wages for the untrained who flood an ever shrinking market will be with us.
Real estate people are non technical and are those who have responded to the educational system and can do most of the learning on their own. They can be tested before they apply their training to human beings. Beauticians are required to use more technical material on human beings and must be trained before they can be tested.
Unfortunately I don't see a serious approach or even recognition of the problem. Jobs for the low IQ or the poorly educated or the untrained don't pay well because the replacement cost is nil. Training is the only answer but for some there is no answer.





30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
"War on the Poor" vs. "War on Women"
I like our chances...
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Our overbearing central government policies are better than their overbearing central government policies so vote for us!
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Cantor's words are empty political blathering.

If the innate ability of any individual is not readily apparent to those doing any hiring, then that lack of ability isn't going to be "cured" or substituted by political party platforms and media blitzes and legislated social or cultural change.

Face it, some folks are simply uneducable. How many more centuries of experience are needed for that to become apparent to politicians?
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Never happen- as the Founders well knew and we have forgotten.

"America was founded on the notion that most politicians can only be expected to be ornery, low-down, crooks. Nobody in those days was fool enough to believe they could be Light-workers, Messiahs and create a world without guns. Thus in the Founder’s view the only way to guard against rogues was to ensure that government remained as small as possible relative to its essential jobs; to change those in office frequently and often, like we change underwear.
The Founders saw roguery as the byproduct of high office. And so they wrote a constitution — you know, the document more than a hundred years old that nobody smart reads any more — to keep the weeds down. For they knew better than our modern enlighteneds that any politician sufficiently powerful to disarm the people is sufficiently powerful to sell missiles bought from Russia to Muslim rebels in Mindanao.
Unless one remembers this there is no defense against crooks in high places.
http://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2014/03/27/yee-gads/

30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
The GOP is speaking like the left. Get lost, Cantor. Get the heck out of everyone's lives, and mind your own business. Go make yourself useful, and find out if Obama's a terrorist, who's using the White House as a weapon. This guy's nuts. The country's disintegrating, and he thinks it's business as usual, "poor and middle class." The so called middle class, wants you out of our lives, and we want a wrecking ball taken to D.C. with you in it.

The only thing we need is for you to shut up and GET THE HECK OUT OF OUR LIVES
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
RE 1,500 hours of training for a cosmetology license vs. 135 for a real estate license. Cantor can go to a hair dresser with only 135 hours for ANY chemical processing (hair color or perm) if he likes. i will stick with the ones who've been SERIOUS enough about this potentially dangerous occupation to get the 1,500 hours or they aren't putting ANY chemicals on my head!! Is this moron INSANE? People who can use dangerous chemicals on the human body NEED proper training!! Can't we just send ALL the "Washington Insiders" home to their districts to ride in parades & kiss babies...EVERY TIME they are in D.C., they're cooking up schemes to harm the American people!!
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
For crying out loud, it's hair dye, not plutonium*. Training in the proper application and handling takes a couple of hours, tops. Seriously, how long does it take to internalize "Don't leave it on too long, and don't %&*@(ing eat it"? Requiring kilohours of training to cut and dye hair is nothing more than a government-run protection racket for current cosmetologists disguised as a public safety issue. And you're dumb enough to fall for it.

*Note, plutonium is perfectly safe to handle just as long as you avoid assembling a critical mass and don't get any inside of you. Those caveats are why you still need to deal with Lybians when powering your time machine.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes, but, as with almost everything, it is none of the federal government's business. Power must be devolved back to the states where it belongs or the rush to tyranny will continue.
30 weeks ago
30 weeks ago Link To Comment
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