Republicans Get Smarter About Poverty Doyle McManus: Income equality is not a partisan issue By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Jan 22, 2014 1:40 PM CST 179 comments Comments Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks in Altoona, Iowa, in 2013. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall) (Newser) – Republicans seem to have shifted thinking about income inequality and the plight of poor people, writes Doyle McManus in the Los Angeles Times. Conservative stalwarts Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio are among those pitching proposals to help low-income Americans make ends meet, perhaps learning a lesson from Mitt Romney's "47 percent" comments in the last election. That's smart, writes McManus, because President Obama is keeping the issue of income inequality front and center, and Republicans have figured out that it's not enough to argue that lower taxes and reduced federal debt will be a cure-all. "The stagnation of middle-class incomes and the growing gap between rich and poor aren't by any means partisan issues," he writes. "Republican voters worry about them as much as Democrats do." GOP candidates will no doubt have different approaches toward solutions, but McManus thinks it's promising that they're even discussing the need for them. "The two parties have agreed on a basic premise: that the federal government must do more to help the poor, especially low-income workers, clamber out of poverty," he writes. "And that's progress." Click for his full column.