Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), who found himself in hot water this month for saying a double-amputee veteran is not a “true hero,” has a message for poor people: government assistance is actually hurting you.
During a town hall meeting in Elmhurst yesterday, a constituent asked Walsh about corporate welfare provisions in the farm bill currently before Congress. Walsh denounced corporate welfare, but used the opportunity to highlight his belief that government assistance is “destructive” for those in need.
WALSH: Corporate welfare is every bit as destructive as welfare for poor people. And we do both of them.
Far from being “destructive”, government assistance is directly responsible for keeping seven million Americans out of poverty. Without government assistance, the poverty rate would have nearly doubled to 28.6 percent in 2010, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:
Still, House Republicans are poised to make Walsh’s mindset national policy. Last week, they voted to cut food stamps by $16.5 billion in the final version of the 2012 farm bill. Up to three million Americans may lose access to food stamps as a result.
Though Walsh professes to hate welfare of all kinds, there is a major form of corporate welfare he does support: taxpayer subsidies for oil companies.