Dana Loesch on Monday shared the story of her upbringing, saying "poverty is a choice" and she knows "a thing or two" about it.
"I spent my childhood in a house headed by a single mom, and sometimes, we would have milk, gravy and biscuits twice a day to save money," Loesch began, filling in on The Glenn Beck Program. "I borrowed notebook paper from my cousin because we were pinching pennies. We didn't have cable. We didn't have cell phones. We didn't have any of the stuff that kids today have. We rented a tiny house in a small town, and I was known by my classmates' parents as the kid from the broken home whose mom didn't have much money."
"But here's something: my mom never went on welfare," Loesch continued. "We never took entitlements. She worked three jobs, and I pretty much lived at my aunt's house and with my grandparents. But she never once went on a single food stamp. Nothing. She made minimum wage, and we survived."
Loesch said her mother worked a minimum wage job, and when that didn't provide enough money, her mother got a second and third job.
"And she sought and she received job training so she could get a better, high-paying job," Loesch added. "See, she did not want to choose poverty. Some people may choose poverty. And I know in this very sensitive time, it's politically incorrect to say that poverty is a choice. But really, when you think about the options and everything available to everyone today, it is."
Loesch said her mother may have been born into poverty, but she chose not to stay there.
"You cannot tell me that poverty is forced upon people. That's a lie," Loesch said. "And it's a lie that survives because a particular political entity lives on the power of grievance. This isn't a feudal system. But yet, that's what the left is still trying to sell -- that you have to stay in whatever class you're born into. You don't! You don't have to stay in the class you were born in. Our president is a testament to that! The majority of Americans are a testament to that."
But Loesch said that Washington, D.C. appears to be doing everything it can to make it harder for people to escape poverty.
"Every manner by which poverty can be alleviated is restricted, it's regulated, it's prohibited from working," she said. "Lower corporate tax rates so we can spur job growth? No. Lower capital gains taxes so we can spur incentives to invest? What about consumption taxes ... ? There are so many steps that we could take to spur jobs and reduce welfare dependency, but the government makes it so easy to be dependent!"
Loesch said many Republicans don't even want to have the discussion because it's "unpopular."
"So many things are off the table because everyone wants to say that they represent the poor and the downtrodden. Well that's great, but where are your ideas?" she demanded.
Loesch brought in Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), who served as Mitt Romney's vice presidential nominee in 2012, to answer that question. The congressman's new book, "The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea," presents a number of ideas to combat poverty.
"Instead of having what I call an input based approach -- the war on poverty is 50 years in, trillions of dollars spent," Ryan began. "We measured success based on how much money government spends, how many programs are created, and we have the highest poverty rates in a generation. So why don't we think about measuring it based on outcomes, effort. Are we getting people out of poverty?"
Watch the complete interview, below.
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