Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Rep. Paul Ryan Gets Great Press in the Washington Post for His Phony Anti-Poverty Policy Crusade

Memo to Jeff Bezos – You Need to Really Start Watching Your Investment

[Editor's note:  Nothing funny in the following story, just pure rightous indignation.]

Poor people are to Republicans the same way investors are to Bernie Madoff, people to be fooled and exploited for their votes, particularly low income rural families.  So it is no surprise that Rep. Paul Ryan (R, Wi) the recent VP nominee is spinning out the political rhetoric by taking on a “tour on poverty” and trying to give the impression that he cares about the low income and their problems and is looking for solutions.  The surprise is that the Washington Post is being fooled into writing a non critical examination of Mr. Ryan’s activities.

Paul Ryan is ready to move beyond last year’s failed presidential campaign and the budget committee chairmanship that has defined him to embark on an ambitious new project: Steering Republicans away from the angry, nativist inclinations of the tea party movement and toward the more inclusive vision of his mentor, the late Jack Kemp.

Since February, Ryan (R-Wis.) has been quietly visiting inner-city neighborhoods with another old Kemp ally, Bob Woodson, the 76-year-old civil rights activist and anti-poverty crusader, to talk to ex-convicts and recovering addicts about the means of their salvation.

Yeah, quietly doing this, and at the same time having a large article in the Washington Post about his 'quiet' work.  And of course the problem for people like Paul Ryan is not the lack of resources to help people who need help, it is not the fact that in an unequal society those who grew up in middle and high income families had so much more opportunity and education than those who did not  and not that the problems of health care, mental health, and support for low income families requires substantial government resources.  No the problem is the very government programs that help low income families.

“Washington has gummed up the works,” Ryan told the Iowa crowd. “It’s made it harder for people to get ahead, and the idea of upward mobility, of equal opportunity, is slipping farther and farther away from people who haven’t seen it for generations. . . . We can restore America as the party of equal opportunity to show how these ideas can prevail.”

To call this what it is may be impolite, but garbage is garbage. Garbage is thinking that low income families are poor because of government programs that try to help them.  What nonsense.   And what about the solutions?

Ryan’s new emphasis on social ills doesn’t imply that he’s willing to compromise with Democrats on spending more government money. His idea of a war on poverty so far relies heavily on promoting volunteerism and encouraging work through existing federal programs, including the tax code. That’s a skewed version of Kempism, which recognizes that “millions of Americans look to government as a lifeline,” said Bruce Bartlett, a historian who worked for Kemp and has become an acerbic critic of the modern GOP.

That’s right, no new help, no new programs, no reform of existing programs, just wishing the problem will go away through volunteers.  Is Mr. Ryan so out of touch with the real world that he has no idea how it works?  The Republican solution to lack of food and nutrition for low income families, cut food and nutrition assistance.  The solution to lack of job training, cut job training spending.  The solution to problems of health care among low income families, deny them the benefits of expanding Medicaid.  Problems with health care expenses for low income elderly, privatize Medicare.

And how did Mr. Ryan himself succeed?  Did he do it all on his own?  No.

(Nikki Kahn/ The Washington Post ) - After a period of disappointment and reflection, Paul Ryan is now trying to move beyond the failed campaign and his role as the GOP number-cruncher.
Rep Ryan, contemplating going to the government provided gym from his government provided job with his government sponsored health care he gets with his government job he got with his government provided education benefits so he can concentrate on the damage government help does to low income families and how bad government aid is for everyone except Paul Ryan.

Unlike Romney, Ryan is no child of privilege. His dad died when he was 16, and he paid for college with a mix of Social Security survivors checks and maxed-out student loans, according to his brother, Tobin Ryan.

 Gosh Paul, you made good after getting a lot of help from the government. Paul was a 'taker', one of Mitt Romney's 47%.  After is father died according to Republican dogma Paul should have dropped out of school and worked, but instead he accepted cash payments from the government.  Not a loan, nothing he paid back, just good ole welfare checks. So Paul could laze around, hang around school and not have to work.

And now for years Paul has had a great government jobs, culminating in his present one with $175,000 a year salary and benefits that would make a potentate envious.  Health care for Mr. Ryan, no problem, all government sponsored and subsidized. Good grief, how can anyone treat this person as nothing more than a miserable selfish hack.

The key, Winship said, will be coming up with incentives “that are consistent with conservative values about personal responsibility and smaller government.” One idea: giving poor parents vouchers or tax credits to invest in their kids’ educations.

Oh, and poverty can be solved by changing the tax code.  See cutting taxes on capital gains will really help low income people, none of whom of course have the capital on which to make gains.  And there is the old conservative stand by, vouchers.  The idea that giving maybe 5 to 10% of the low income student population access to good schools and cutting support for education for the remaining 90-95% of students will somehow cure poverty is sos rediculous that maybe the dollars government spent on educating Mr. Ryan were truly wasted.

And specifically what does Mr. Ryan want to do?

The takeaway for Ryan, a Catholic, has been explicitly religious. “You cure poverty eye to eye, soul to soul,” he said last week at the Heritage forum. “Spiritual redemption: That’s what saves people.”

How to translate spiritual redemption into public policy? So far, Ryan’s speeches have been light on specifics.

And the great thing about “spiritual redemption” as a policy for helping low income families, it doesn’t cost the government anything and thus leaves plenty of room to cut taxes for the Mitt Romney crowd.  Maybe Mr. Ryan is thinking that if all the poor just became religious hypocrites like Paul Ryan they would cure their own poverty.

SOS to Jeff Bezos, you really need to start paying attention to what you invested in.  There is still some good reporting, but right now much of it is suitable only for wrapping the trash and tossing the whole thing in the garbage bins. 

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