Paul Ryan has had three overarching goals during his political career: to cut taxes on the wealthy, to cut government spending on the poor and old, and to make the needy work if they want government help. Last year, the House Speaker finally checked the taxes bit off his Congressional bucket list. But his dreams of clipping the safety net have proven more elusive. The Obamacare repeal bill Ryan jammed through his chamber would have made the historic reductions to Medicaid that Republicans have been chasing for decades. But that effort died with a thumbs down from John McCain.

Pallister tax proposal absurd

Well that didn’t take long.

Sixteen months and 10 days after being sworn into office and Premier Brian Pallister is already talking about raising taxes. I guess we now know who the real Brian Pallister is.

The premier said Wednesday that health care costs are escalating so rapidly, government will have no choice but to either bring in a new health tax or cut services. With the federal government no longer increasing health care transfers to the provinces by 6% a year (Manitoba got a 3.4% increase from Ottawa in 2017), the “stark” reality is that Manitoba has no choice but to either charge Manitobans a health care premium on their income taxes or slash services, Pallister said.

Of course, the premier’s assertions are utter nonsense. He’s creating an entirely false and misleading scenario and attaching a fabricated ultimatum to it. The evidence clearly shows he’s not telling Manitobans the truth. Which is why his tax proposal is hopelessly indefensible.

US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson has sparked outrage after describing poverty as a “state of mind”.

During an interview with Sirius XM radio on Tuesday, Mr Carson suggested people are poor because they learned the “wrong mindset” from their parents.

The retired neurosurgeon oversees a department that manages housing for the country’s low-income population.

His comments quickly drew sharp criticism on social media.

“I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind,” he said in an interview that aired on Wednesday.

Idaho Republican Rep. Raul Labrador sparked outrage from his audience and online after saying “nobody dies” for lack of health care access in a town hall Friday night at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho.

Labrador made the comments the day after the U.S. House passed a GOP-led health care bill repealing and replacing chunks of Obamacare. Labrador, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, was responding to an audience member who expressed concern about how the bill would affect Medicaid recipients.

“You are mandating people on Medicaid accept dying. You are making a mandate that will kill people,” the audience member said, before being drowned out by Labrador’s response.

“No one wants anybody to die,” Labrador said. “You know, that line is so indefensible. Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.”

The line immediately drew audible outrage from the crowd, as well as ire from social media users.

A first-term congressman who spent three decades as a physician — and is now part of a group of Republican doctors who have a major role in replacing Obamacare — is facing backlash after saying that poor people “just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.”

“Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us,’ ” Marshall said in response to a question about Medicaid, which expanded under Obamacare to more than 30 states. “There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.”

Smiths Falls councillors have rejected a proposal for the town to participate in a pilot project to test the concept of providing a guaranteed basic income in Ontario.

At a meeting of council’s Committee of the Whole Dec. 19, councillors were told that Mayor Shawn Pankow had written to the province in May suggesting that the town might be interested in participating in the project – a step which some councillors said they were unaware of and would not support.

“I think this is something that has merit,” said Councillor Lorraine Allen. “People who live in poverty and have mental illness of one kind of another are struggling.”

However, councillors John Maloney and Dawn Quinn said they viewed the project as throwing money at a problem that could better be addressed through education, and were not in favour of Smiths Falls being a site for the pilot project.

Council has endorsed the establishment of a food bank in the town that could open its doors by the end of the year.

Since last year, an organizing committee has been laying the groundwork for a food bank emboldened with the principal that it is incumbent upon a caring society to provide the basic essential food needs for those less fortunate in its own jurisdiction. On Monday night, council passed a motion supporting a food bank for the town.

“This is, unfortunately, exciting for the community,” said Mayor Bob Sweet adding it has become too difficult for Petawawa residents to commute to food banks in Pembroke.