"I've tried for years to have a very simple model. Most of these schools ought to get rid of the unionized janitors, have one master janitor and pay local students to take care of the school. The kids would actually do work, they would have cash, they would have pride in the schools, they'd begin the process of rising." Newt Gingrich said this on November 18, 2011.
Fast forward to December of 2014. Congressman and Senate candidate Jack Kingston has this to say. "Why don’t you have the kids pay a dime, pay a nickel to instill in them that there is, in fact, no such thing as a free lunch? Or maybe sweep the floor of the cafeteria — and yes, I understand that that would be an administrative problem, and I understand that it would probably lose you money."
Evidently, the Republicans have not learned much from the past. They still think punishing poor children for being poor is a good idea. Poor bashing by the Republicans is nothing new. They just pushed for cuts to the food stamp (SNAP) program. The poor get hurt by this. They insisted on cutting unemployment insurance. The poor get hurt by this.
Why pick on the poor? There are a few good reasons. One reason is the poor don't donate to their campaigns. Another reason is that the poor are less likely to vote. Most importantly, there is no collective "poor peoples lobby" that wields political power over congress. They have no political influence. What consequences does a congress person suffer for voting for legislation that harms the poor? Simply put, there are none.