Basic budget arithmetic suggests that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's coming budget will be at least as extreme as his budget last year, and likely more so.
The Ryan report grimly concludes that federal programs are "failing to address" poverty. Poverty certainly remains too high. But the report seems determined not to recognize the long-term successes of existing programs even when the evidence is in plain sight.
Economic policies often rest on assumptions about human motivation. What conservatives are saying to you is this: working for your money is not as good as instead of inheriting it.
Yesterday is yesterday, and progress is happening. Nevertheless, George Will's piece about Paul Ryan's comments still carries some assumptions -- assumptions of choice -- at least linked to the past, even while condemning people who hear them as such.
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This week, the Democratic Party is the party of the people and the Republican Party is the party of the wealthy 1 percent. Too often the messengers of the Democratic Party forget that and get tongue-tied trying to be everything to everybody and end up getting everyone mad.
Ryan's statement has undertones of racial bias and ignorance, and it fails to acknowledge the depth of the context of America's dark history. A history that digs back to the tobacco farms of Jamestown, Virginia, then makes its way forward to the lunch counters in Selma, Alabama.
Even with the crucial anti-poverty programs we have in place, these are new and emerging faces of poverty -- the very opposite of the picture of poverty Ryan paints.
Most poor and working class families, whether black, white, tan or brown, would much rather be working and earning a livable wage than being excluded from the workforce by institutional situations whether policy driven or profit driven.
Inarticulate, inelegant, inner-city, it's not the "in's that are the problem. It's what comes "out" of their mouths that keeps hurting Republicans.
It's easy to attack and demagogue those who don't have a voice. It's easy to blame others when you fail to provide true leadership. And it's easy to reinforce stereotypes and misconceptions to win elections, or to win over your party's base. That is precisely what Paul Ryan did last week.
This presumption that some people -- "in inner cities, in particular" -- are lazy isn't just insulting, it's a premise used by Paul Ryan and others to justify great cruelty while ignoring the actual sources and causes of poverty.
Since there is currently a rather large amount of poverty around that ideally would be rapidly alleviated, you could legitimately expect that the proposals that each side brought to the table might significantly erode the poverty under review. Sadly, however, neither set of proposals do.
Paul Ryan's politics dictate that those who are down on their luck -- even children -- are soulless, not the Wall Street bankers who continue to crush the American middle class, necessitating such assistance in the first place.
Last week, my colleague on the Budget Committee, Rep. Paul Ryan, put out a report: "The War on Poverty: 50 Years Later." Let's be clear, this report is nothing more than an ideologically bankrupt battle plan to attack the poor.