In a heated exchange on ABC this Sunday, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich hammered former House Speaker Newt Gingrich on the GOP’s role in increasing poverty and inequality in the U.S.
Stemming from a discussion regarding the attention surrounding Pope Francis’ comments (seemingly directed at some U.S. politicians) on poverty, Gingrich suggested that it’s time for Democrats to abandon Lyndon B. Johnson’s so-called “War on Poverty” because according to him, the initiatives are not working.
“The war on poverty which next year we are going to celebrate the 50th anniversary in addition to the Civil Rights Act,” Reich responded. “The war on poverty was successful for a time. What has happened, however, over the last 30 years is much of the — much of the ardor, much of the concern, much of what propelled that war on poverty has dissipated.”
“I think it has something to do, perhaps, with the intransigence of the [Gingrich’s] Party,” Reich went on to explain.
“Because every time there was a jobs bill, every time there was an effort to expand a low income housing, every time there was an effort to provide better opportunities for young people — We’re talking about equal opportunity…”
“This baloney,” Gingrich interjected.
“Every major city which has a center of poverty is run by Democrats. Every major city. Their policies have failed, they’re not willing to admit it, and the fact is it’s the poor who suffer.”
“First of all, [former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg] is not a Democrat,” Reich replied. “What’s happening in America is happening all over America. And it is happening in a way that has to do with the fact that wages, median wages, are going nowhere and rents are going up. And there’s absolutely no response in Washington or elsewhere.”
Watch the exchange in the video below, via The Raw Story: