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Pick daisies on your own time, kid.Last night’s Republican debate in the former U.S. territory of South Carolina brought the declaration of not one but two wars! Which, thank goodness, we were just about to run out of wars! Rick Perry predictably bumbled South Carolinians into Civil War 2. And useless talking marshmallow Newt Gingrich finally and officially declared war on America’s poor children, after a long series of cross-border raids and minor skirmishes. Join your favorite warblog as we trace the run-up to Newt Gingrich’s War on Destitute Kids!

Gingrich first floated a trial balloon for his inchoate jihad several news cycles ago when he came out weirdly strong against child labor laws, which you probably (and quite wrongly!) assumed have been “off the table” since 1938. This was quickly followed by Gingrich stage-whispering that, if you ask him, what’s wrong with the future poors of America is they’re a bunch of shiftless criminals, that’s what:

“Really poor children, in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works so they have no habit of showing up on Monday,” Gingrich claimed.

“They have no habit of staying all day, they have no habit of I do this and you give me cash unless it is illegal,” he added.

Gingrich has long been noted for his exacting historian-sociological technique so there’s no way he’s just TOTALLY MAKING THIS ALL UP as he goes along. And you can tell, because he understands that schools in really poor neighborhoods operate pretty much like your local Walmart, with an unsupervised child greeting you as you pull up in your truck, looking for meth and day laborers:

Newt Gingrich does not want to send your children into the coal mines.

So he said on WNYM this morning, telling radio host Curtis Sliwa that when he suggested putting kids to work in their schools, he wasn’t thinking of the Dickensian child-labor force his critics imagine.

“They could be the person who greets you when you walk in the door,” Gingrich said, per POLITICO’s Ginger Gibson. “They could help in the school library. They can help in the kitchen. They can help clean up after lunch.”


Impoverished kids apparently have not gotten with the program fast enough for Gingrich’s liking. And so, when asked last night about his jobs plan for our newest and cutest domestic enemies, he had no choice but to go nuclear:

New York City pays their janitors an absurd amount of money because of the union. You could take one janitor and hire 30-some kids to work in the school for the price of one janitor, and those 30 kids will be a lot less likely to drop out, they will actually have money in their pocket, they’d learn to show up for work. They can do light janitorial duty, they can work in the cafeteria, they can work in the front office, they can work in the library. They’d be getting money, which is a good thing if you’re poor. Only the elites despise earning money.

Anything to gin up a few more miserable votes, right? [The Root]

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