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Indiana Republican Candidate John Johnston: Let Poor People ‘Wither and Die’

John JohnstonA Republican candidate for the Indiana House of Representatives is defending a controversial Facebook comment about poor people in which he lamented that “no one has the guts to just let them wither and die.”

The Post-Tribune reports John Johnston, who is challenging state Rep. Chuck Moseley (D) for the 10th district seat, raised eyebrows and ire during a Facebook debate on poverty.

Johnston wrote:

For almost three generations people, in some cases, have been given handouts. They have been ‘enabled’ so much that their paradigm in life is simply being given the stuff of life, however meager. What you see is a setting for a life of misery is life for them never-the-less (sic). No one has the guts to just let them whither and die. No one who wants votes is willing to call a spade a spade. As long as the Dems can get their votes the enabling will continue. The Republicans need their votes and dare not cut the fiscal tether.

Johnston has attempted to walk back his comment a bit, but he compared poor people to untrained children when telling the Post-Tribune that he does not want to end welfare or food stamps.

“I was not trying to hurt anybody’s feelings,” he said. “I saw the opportunity to say something. I think a lot of the poor have no way out, and there’s no motivation to improve your position. It’s like training a child, either you enable them or force them out at some point.”

“My main point is that the programs are used as political tools,” added Johnston. “Sometimes it hurts, but you might give them less to motivate someone to get a job.”

The United States has the highest poverty rate and weakest social safety net among most-developed nations.

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  1. Todd TelfordJune 13, 2014 at 10:20 amReply

    This guy not only drank the koolaid, he bathes in it. I bet his daughter’s name is Ayn

  2. karen eppersonFebruary 19, 2015 at 3:50 pmReply

    Mr.Johnston you’re right about poverty being generational. Poverty can be handed down. Looking at our own history as a nation though it’s obvious one generation can change everything, whether it’s a family, business, or government. Who are you to decide who’s worth societies time and help? I’m sure more than one solider from the past or our present heroes has had poverty or misfortune on their family. I’m so glad you’re not in charge……if you mistreat a man or woman laying down their life for this country, what wouldn’t you do? Pig!

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