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Two plans, one problem, no solutions

"Two plans, one problem, no solutions" Continued...

But those who listened to Ryan and Rubio beyond sound bites heard both say that the principle of a safety net is important. They just don’t believe the current methods in the War on Poverty are working. Today’s programs only do so much, Rubio said: “They help people deal with poverty, but they do not help them escape it.”

In other words, many government programs have protected people from destitution, but those same programs do little to encourage self-sufficiency. Republicans are still struggling, though, to clearly define what they mean by “the War on Poverty is not working”—or at least to get that definition to stick. 

And they don’t have long before they’ll need to sell their message to voters. President Barack Obama is expected to make inequality the story of the 2014 election, starting with his State of the Union address on Jan. 28. Without details from Ryan and Rubio, Republicans are playing from behind.

But with the philosophical groundwork Ryan and Rubio are laying—and the presidential aspirations both likely have—they may be thinking further ahead than November. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Andrew Branch
Andrew Branch

Andrew is a freelance writer living in Raleigh, N.C. He was homeschooled for 12 years and recently graduated from N.C. State University. He writes about sports and poverty for WORLD. Follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewABranch.

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