Broadly there are two poverty problems in the United States. One is a cyclical trend: The labor market has been slack for the last five years, leaving many people involuntarily unemployed and limiting workers’ ability to bargain for higher wages. The other is secular: Labor’s share of national income is declining, wages are rising more slowly for low-skilled workers than high-skilled ones, and rises in family income at the bottom have come primarily through fiscal transfers, not wages.
These problems require different solutions, and Republican ideas don’t address either.
When Republicans stop trying to cut food stamps and agree to extend unemployment insurance, then we can start believing that they care about the less fortunate.