The entire history of Republican policies that have led to today's high-and-rising poverty rates is too long to get into—at a bare minimum, we'd have to start with the deregulation of the financial industry—but you don't have to look very hard to find ways that their destruction is ongoing. Take this, from the AP:
Poverty will remain above the pre-recession level of 12.5 percent for many more years. Several predicted that peak poverty levels — 15 percent to 16 percent — will last at least until 2014, due to expiring unemployment benefits, a jobless rate persistently above 6 percent and weak wage growth.(Emphasis added)
Republicans have not only pushed unemployment insurance benefits cuts at the federal level, they've done so in several states as well. In 2010, 3.2 million people were kept out of poverty by unemployment insurance. Social Security kept 20.3 million people out of poverty that year. Not for lack of trying, but Social Security is a part of the safety net Republicans haven't yet been able to eviscerate, and the AP reports that:
Poverty among people 65 and older will remain at historically low levels, buoyed by Social Security cash payments.Then we've got Republican obstruction of minimum wage increases, again at the federal and state levels. Working full-time at minimum wage is just barely enough to lift a family of two out of poverty, and minimum wage workers are disproportionately likely to be stuck in part-time work. Part-time and minimum wage means living in poverty, and the AP projects that "Part-time or underemployed workers, who saw a record 15 percent poverty in 2010, will rise to a new high."
It's not hard to connect these dots: Republican policies lead directly to poverty. Whether it's the main thing they're intended to do or just a by-product of making the 0.1 percent richer doesn't matter that much, being two sides of the same class war coin. Defeating President Obama, another goal of Republican poverty-producing policies, only paves the way for more of the same.