In a rare moment of lucidity, Meet The Press host David Gregory called out Rep. Paul Ryan’s uncompassionate lies about the poor.
DAVID GREGORY: Let’s talk about your own attitudes about people who are poor and their views on government. You were on this program of January of last year and you said the following:
REP. PAUL RYAN (On Tape): We don’t want a dependency culture. Our concern in this country is with the idea that more and more able-bodied people are becoming dependent upon the government than upon themselves and their livelihoods.
DAVID GREGORY: It doesn’t sound like there’s a lot of sympathy for people you think need the government’s help. What you seem to be saying is that people have a problem with their own dependency here that government is only furthering.
REP. PAUL RYAN: That’s not my intent and it’s far from it. And my point, and I’ll make it again, is we don’t want to have a poverty management system that simply perpetuates poverty. We want to get at the root cause of the poverty to get people out of poverty. And I would argue that that is the best way to go forward.
And that’s what we’re proposing here, which is have benefits that are customized to either person’s problems, because poverty is very complicated. And not just keep them where they are, but have them get to where they want to be. And that is what is the trust of these proposals. The federal government’s approach has ended up maintaining poverty, managing poverty.
In many ways, it has disincentivized people to going to work. In some cases, you lose more in benefits if you go to work. So people don’t go to work because of the federal disincentives that do so. So we need to reemphasize getting people up and on their lives and helping them give them the tools to do that. That’s the point.
Able-bodied people should go to work and we should have a system that helps them do that so that they can realize their potential. That for me is a far better system to get people out of poverty long term than to just spend more hardworking taxpayer dollars on a program that is not getting the results that people deserve.
Ryan isn’t interested in helping the poor. His motivation has always been to slash the programs, which is what his block grant proposal would do. By bundling up all the programs and turning them over to the states, Rep. Ryan would be hurting the poor because many Republican run states would eliminate programs for the poor, and use the money to cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations.
The Ryan budget would give millionaires an $87,000 tax cut. He plans to pay for that giant tax cut for the people who need it least by gutting programs for seniors and the poor. Paul Ryan’s budget would actually increase the number of people in poverty.
What Ryan is doing is pushing Koch brothers backed poor bashing propaganda. Paul Ryan believes that poor people should just go get jobs. In the past, Rep. Ryan has called poverty programs that don’t have work requirements insensitive.
It would be difficult for most of the people who need poverty programs to get jobs because the vast majority of them are children, the elderly, and disabled adults. For example, 64% of the people on food stamps come from those three groups.
Ryan is a firm believer that laziness, especially among African-American men, is the cause of poverty. David Gregory, who is obviously trying to save his own job, couldn’t let Ryan’s ridiculous smokescreen slide. In Paul Ryan’s view, poor people will always be takers who need to be thrown out into the cold to fend for themselves.
The only reason that Paul Ryan cares about the poor is because he wants to redistribute the money spend on their survival upwards to the wealthy.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association