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Wisconsin GOP congressman accuses government of bribing single moms to not work

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A newly-elected Republican congressman from Wisconsin made his case for welfare reform by saying the federal government “bribes” single mothers into not looking for work, Crooks and Liars reported.

“A single parent with a couple kids can easily get $35,000 a year in total benefits between the health care and the earned income credit and the FoodShare and the low-income housing and what have you,” Glenn Grothman said during a televised interview on Sunday. “And that’s after taxes. How many people make $35,000 a year after taxes? Most people don’t.”

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Grothman, who was a state senator before being elected to Congress, did not disclose the source of that statistic. But according to the Huffington Post, his argument seems to be drawn from a study of state-by-state benefits for single mothers by the Cato Institute, a Libertarian group.

“When you look at that amount of money, which is in essence a bribe not to work that hard or a bribe not to marry someone with a full-time job, people immediately realize you have a problem,” Grothman told interviewer Mike Gousha. “Then as soon as you realize you have a problem and something has to be done, then you look at the generosity of the benefits and see what you can do to pare them back.”

“Bribe’s a pretty strong word, don’t you think?” Gousha asked.

“Well, if you tell somebody you’re going to get $35,000 if you don’t get married and you’re not going to get anything if you marry somebody making 50 grand a year,” Grothman responded. “It’s certainly a strong incentive not to raise children in wedlock.”

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The Cato study, published last year, focused on seven federal benefit programs, including Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and a federal energy bill assistance program for low-income households, among others.

“In nine states — Hawaii, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maryland — as well as Washington, D.C., annual benefits were worth more than $35,000 a year,” the institute’s report stated. “The median value of the welfare package across the 50 states is $28,500.”

Grothman did not mention that Wisconsin was not among the states the institute mentioned. The study was also criticized by a progressive group, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).

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The Cato report, CBPP stated, overestimates the number of low-income families that are eligible for all seven programs at once. This contradicts Cato’s own statement that only 16 percent of families getting TANF benefits also receive housing assistance.

“Nationally, for every 100 families in poverty, just 27 families receive TANF cash assistance.,” the CBPP said. “In eight states, fewer than ten of every 100 families in poverty receive TANF. In most states, families must have incomes well below the poverty line to receive TANF. Even among those families with incomes low enough to meet their state’s eligibility criteria, just one-third receive assistance, according to the federal Department of Health and Human Services.”

Grothman was elected last month after defeating Democrat Mark Harris in the general election for the state’s 6th congressional district seat. Earlier this year, he complained that Secretary of State John Kerry had upset God after criticizing anti-LGBT laws in Uganda. He has also opposed both the federal holiday celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and the African-American celebration of Kwanzaa.

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Watch Grothman’s remarks, as posted by Crooks and Liars, below.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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‘His mommy should have told him she loved him a little bit more’: CNN analyst eviscerates Trump over ‘chosen one’ comments’

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," analyst Gloria Borger laid into President Donald Trump for his bizarre press conference anointing himself "the chosen one."

"'I am the chosen one,' and that comes after the president re-tweeted a conspiracy theorist radio host who said that he is like the second coming," said host Brianna Keilar. "So what do you make of all of this?"

"I think maybe his mommy should have told him she loved him a little bit more," said Borger. "I don't know. It is hard — it is hard to know what to make of this. Some people will say, as Trump says, 'Oh, I was only joking when I said all of that stuff.' But the truth of the matter is that he does this all of the time, and talks about how wonderful he is, and if you recall during his speech at the convention when he talked about the problems the country was facing he was saying 'I alone can fix it.'"

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Trump promises vets he won’t use his campaign slogan — then blurts it out seconds later

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While talking with veterans on Wednesday, President Donald Trump vowed that he would not politicize the event by reciting his 2020 campaign slogan -- and then did it anyway just seconds later.

While addressing the American Veterans National Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, the president made light of the fact that he was not supposed to be using his speech to promote his reelection campaign and was only there to talk about his administration's work on behalf of veterans.

"In all things, we are putting our country first," the president said. "We are saying, let’s say 'Make America great again,' but we are almost there, 'Make America great again.' We may have to switch it. You know what we’re going to switch it to? Huh? Yeah? That is right. I will not say it here, because this is not a campaign speech."

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Eugene Robinson stunned by Trump’s rant: No ‘responsible’ world leader can trust a self-proclaimed ‘chosen one’

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Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson on Wednesday reacted to President Donald Trump's assertion that he is "the chosen one."

Trump made the remarks while taking questions on the White House lawn on Wednesday. The president suggested that he is "the chosen one" to take on China because he was elected by the American people.

Robinson suggested that Trump had undermined his own negotiating position.

"You get to the point where he looks at the sky and says I'm the chosen one," Robinson said following Trump's remarks. "You get to that point and you cannot -- I don't see how any responsible leader could say this is a guy I could count on."

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