The War on the War on Poverty

By Bill Maher

There's a new stupid conservative argument making the rounds as President Obama and his socialist pal Pope Francis begin to focus on income inequality. 

"Anti-poverty warrior Bill Maher... For an anti-poverty warrior, dude definitely makes a lot of money."

This was AM 870 dweeb Ben Shapiro (as he tried to defend the Duck Dynasty guys, because our criticism of their fraudulent personas really hurt conservative feelings!). But the argument is also one that we're hearing being directed at the President, the Pope, and anyone else speaking out about poverty and inequality: "He's not poor. Therefore: hypocrite."

It's even dumber than complaining about Al Gore's heating bill. That's stupid, but this latest push to discredit people speaking out against income inequality is a little more evil, because there is literally nobody else who CAN speak up. Of course the poor and powerless can't make themselves heard without help; if they could, they wouldn't be powerless. Or poor.

Can we name any famous people who are actually poor? I mean, besides Randy Quaid. And the various laughable rednecks and mooks who populate reality TV's squalid and cruel little world. But in terms of people who choose to speak out on public policy - are any of them poor, or even lower-middle income? 

Of course not. And yet conservatives, terrified by the prospect of having to pay single moms 10 bucks an hour, are attempting to spread the ridiculous idea that liberals who want the poor to have more money should therefore be willing to impoverish themselves. The argument is - what? That the only acceptable spokesperson for the poor is Mother Teresa? Well, she's dead. And, as it turns out, kind of a bitch.

This new Congress is the first ever to have a majority of millionaires - 268 in all. The poor and lower middle class, meanwhile, are increasingly screwed. And that only gets worse if we let people spread the toxic non-point that nobody with money or power is allowed to speak up for them.