Good news, America. In just 46 seconds and in front of at least 7 black people, Eddie Munster Ryan has unveiled the plan that will end poverty once and for all. Does this “new” plan sound remarkably like the same garbage Republicans have been spouting for years? Sure it does, but that doesn’t matter. This time, they have a distinct five-point plan and a neat little info packet that goes with it, aimed directly at people who would never have to worry about such things but believe they know what’s best for the American working poor:
This is how to fight poverty. This is how to create opportunity. This is how to help people move onward and upward. pic.twitter.com/y1GVPuUuwn
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) September 5, 2016
Well there you have it; problem solved. Or not. Let’s go over the plan from the perspective of people who live in the real world and not a bunch of Republicans who will think it sounds great based solely on catch phrases like “personal responsibility.”
- Reward work – Typically, rewarding work means something to the extent of paying more money, increasing benefits, etc. To Ryan and his pack of pitiful panderers, it means “require work, even if that means unrealistic rules for single parents, people without ample transportion or those physically unable to do the job assigned to them.” Required work usually also means community service in exchange for benefits, giving counties with impoverished inner cities free labor on the federal SNAP and TANF — and therefore the taxpayers’ — budget. It also means people required to work 30-40 hours for their $534 per month in TANF and $156 in food stamps earn $3 per hour.
- Tailor benefits to peoples’ specific needs – In other words, create more beaurocracy and red tape to figure out how much we can cut from everyone’s benefits. We’ll see such amazing “new” plans as forcing people to bring in their food receipts to prove they aren’t living on steak and lobster, maximum withdrawal limits on EBT cards, new restrictions on section 8 housing that will make it even more difficult than it is now to find landlords willing to participate and monthly monitoring of household expenses by the party of smaller government.
- Demand results; hold each other accountable – This is accomplished by kicking people off of their benefits if they can’t find a job quick enough or if they dare try to do something like educate themselves rather than working for free picking up trash on the side of the road.
- Improve skills and schools – Yeah, right. Republican policy has shown time and time again that they prefer to cut funding in school systems with low test scores and a majority of poor students in favor of increased police presence. The Rudy Giuliani “lock as many minorities up as young as possible for as long as possible to attempt to lower crime” theory of solving poverty in action.
- Help people save and plan for their future – If you’re living in or near or have ever lived in or near poverty you’re laughing your ass off right about now. More than half of this country lives paycheck to paycheck. A majority of us have less than $1000 on hand and something like an engine failure or major illness goes from what people like Paul Ryan would consider an inconvenience to a life-altering event that could take months or even years to recover from.
This man and his entire party are so out of touch with reality it’s frightening. Even if the first four items on his list were legitimate, which they’re not, the fifth is just the dumbest thing ever. The American dream used to be to find a niche, go into business for yourself and leave your kids better off than you were. That dream has been reduced to hoping the job you’ve had to take at a 25 percent pay cut is still around in five years so you can help your kids pay off their engineering degree while they work as a Starbucks barista.
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All so people like Ryan and his corporate masters can keep a little bit more.