Add this whopper to the mushrooming litany of lies, half-truths, fabulations, and “real fake news” flooding out of the Trump White House – the War on Poverty has been won! Thanks to a booming, tax-cut-fueled economy in which anyone who wants a job can have a great one, the way is wide open to scale back – or better, eliminate outright – what’s left of our disappearing safety net. Wow – no more poverty! Who knew that America had become so great so fast under the president’s unparalleled leadership?
If you’re wondering how poverty could have suddenly disappeared from the American scene in light of so much evidence to the contrary – including the recent United Nations report that nearly 20 million Americans live in “extreme” poverty – you’re certainly not alone. A bevy of poverty experts both inside and outside of academia are doing all they can to call out the administration on its extraordinary distortion of economic reality.
Don’t count on appeals to reason and facts to get much traction with the administration and the Republican-dominated Congress, however. More likely is that the big lie about poverty’s demise will fuse with ballooning deficits (all-too-true, a direct effect of massive tax cuts for corporations and the wealth) to make an ideologically compelling case to kill off what’s left of the American welfare state.
The history of modern social work is the history of the welfare state. Can social workers do anything but resist efforts to destroy it with every means at their disposal?