Ryan, meanwhile, is trying to shift his party away from the relentless focus on spending and deficits that has dominated GOP thinking in recent years. In its place, he is working to identify conservative policies that offer a helping hand to poor and working-class families.
Ryan says he sees a role for government, but he also wants to get parts of it out of the way so Americans can advance on their own. On Monday, for example, he released a blistering 204-page critique of the nation’s vast array of social programs. The document serves as a precursor to a GOP budget that would fundamentally reweave the social safety net and — if past is prologue — shrink federal spending on it dramatically.
We will help the poor by doing nothing to help them! Because we care about them! Not.
Actually the evidence is right there on the first page of his new report. “Despite trillions of dollars in spending, poverty is widespread,” it reads. “In 1965, the poverty rate was 17.3 percent. In 2012, it was 15 percent.” Sounds like a huge bust, right?
Except, there’s a footnote at the end of that sentence, and it reads, “The Official Poverty Rate does not include government transfers to low-income households.”
I’m surprised Ryan included this caveat, even though it’s more honest to include it than to leave it out. Because it also reveals that his critique of federal anti-poverty programs is premised on a metric designed to create a false impression that tons of money has been wasted, when really it’s done exactly what it was supposed to.
If Paul Ryan's plan involved putting poor people in wood chippers, the Washington Post would dutifully inform us that he was concerned with helping the poor.