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Paul Ryan washes dishes at a Youngstown, Ohio soup kitchen. According to news reports, the dishes were already clean.
Paul Ryan demonstrates his concern about poverty by washing clean dishes at a soup kitchen.
Rep. Paul Ryan's crusade to brand himself as a Republican poverty crusader has run into a few snags. But lucky for him, Ryan has Buzzfeed's McKay Coppins to issue a lavish, 7,000-word tongue bath paying tribute to Ryan's willingness to step outside Republican norms and make himself all uncomfortable and awkward by talking to poor people (black ones, even).

When it comes to fighting poverty, Ryan—so unafraid to think big when it comes to ending Medicare as we know it—highlights small-bore solutions. His answer to astonishingly high poverty among black men in some communities, and to discrimination against people with criminal records? They should go to programs run by local pastors who can then refer them for jobs. The results of the program Ryan visits with Coppins "speak for themselves," Coppins writes:

Since 2005, [Pastor Darryl Webster] has put about 900 men through the program and nearly 70% of them have overcome an addiction, according to the church. Scores of local men credit Webster with helping them start their careers.
That's nice and all, but 900 men since 2005 breaks down to roughly 100 a year, the 70 percent addiction-overcoming rate is self-reported, and "scores" of people now have careers as a result. Replicate this five times in each and every major American city and you're still not beginning to put a dent in poverty. But Coppins predictably allows to go unchallenged Ryan's portrayal of the results of federal anti-poverty programs:
If his rhetoric lacks poetry, his arguments against the current state-centric approach to aiding the poor is compelling. Since Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “war on poverty,” the U.S. government has spent an estimated $13 trillion on federal programs that have resulted, 50 years later, in the highest deep poverty rate on record. The failure, Ryan contends, is in the notion that anti-poverty programs are best managed from the top, with Washington bureaucrats crunching numbers and then issuing lowest-common-denominator directives.
In fact, according to the government's Supplemental Poverty Measure, safety net programs cut poverty in half, with food stamps improving children's health and educational outcomes and the Earned Income Tax Credit boosting employment among single mothers. Not to mention, there are a few other things going on in the economy that might be affecting poverty rates. Like, say, a decade of stagnating wages, a financial collapse brought on by barely regulated big banks, and a poverty-level minimum wage kept that way by Ryan's own party. Coppins is equally credulous when it comes to Ryan's explanation for why his signature legislation, his budget, is so brutal toward poor and middle-class people:
I’ve got two roles,” he says. “I’m chairman of the House Budget Committee representing my conference … and I’m a House member representing Wisconsin doing my own thing. I can’t speak for everybody and put my stuff in their budget. My work on poverty is a separate thing.”
Yeah, it's a thing he does to get adoring profiles of Paul Ryan, Republican Who Cares About Poverty, separate from his actual efforts to get legislation passed or shape the national political debate.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 07:53 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ugh (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, allie4fairness

    He could adopt a homeless person and still do everything legislatively to keep the poor down.

  •  He's a racist assho!e as are all Rs nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, jmac4110

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 08:22:34 AM PDT

  •  The War On Poverty is the one war that ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    has driven the GOP to become Conscientious Objectors.

    Some days it just makes more sense to climb out of the window when I leave my house.

    by glb3 on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 08:34:52 AM PDT

  •  Actually it was a pretty good article (0+ / 0-)

    which pointed out the failings of the conservatives and the Republicans. And I think 900 men who are working, not addicted and doing well is something to be proud of. Will it save  a city? probably not but it makes a difference to 900 families.

    •  Makes a difference to 900 families (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OHBRAD, cjtjc, jmac4110, millwood

      while Ryan fucks over 9 million families in the process.


      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 08:51:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is correct-900 families (0+ / 0-)

        are better off than they were before the scourge of addiction. I thought the article was more about the success of the pastor and looked rather dimly upon Ryan's trouble grasping the issues of what we can do as a collective body ( the government)  to solve the problems of poverty.

        •  The point of this article is that Ryan does these (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          things, in this example selfishly using a pastor, to make himself look compassionate. And I confidently say selfishly because we already know from the history of that picture of him doing dishes that he commandeered that sink against the objections of the woman running that shelter. And he did it for the photo op.

          The poor in this country cannot be helped while republicans are in it.

          "I feel badly about the kids," the unknown person said. "I guess." [but] "They are [only] the children of Buono voters," Wildstein replied.

          by plok on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 05:20:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  the innocent little boy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, millwood, allie4fairness

    ..... Ryan is one of the biggest hypocrites in public service and that young innocent looking, little boy face, allows him to get away with it..... in part....
      He LIED as was called for, as VP cqandidate... he created "look at me folks, I work for the poor", with his feigned photo op at a CLOSED food kitchen for the homeless...... he LIED when caught with a signed letter begging for "stimulus money" indicating that the stimulus would create JOBS......

    His latest statement BARELY has the restraint not to say exactly what he meant..... regarding "the negro"... he should thank the bigot Bundy for taking the GOP out of the closet & allow them to be what they are.... RACIST......

    •  He lied throughout his acceptance speech (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      At the Republican National Convention - he was lying so much I was screaming at the tube.  By contrast, I don't recall any lying from Romney during his speech - at least I wasn't screaming at the TV set.

      "Corporations exist not for themselves, but for the people." Ida Tarbell 1908.

      by Navy Vet Terp on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 05:11:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ryan did a 5 minute photo op in a soup kitchen too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but his actual behavior and votes (which can be verified) shows he doesn't give a damn about the poor or the middle class..Or, he brazenly calls them on national TV in front of the world, "Moochers"..(his own word).

    Ryan's own Budget bill recently also was more proof he doesn't care about the middle class or poor or about facing the issue of rampant racism in his followers. It demanded cut to programs we paid for to pay for the tax breaks he proposed for the 1%!

     If this man was an actual leader, qualified, or fit to serve, he'd denounce this racism, stop cutting vital services to the poor, pay the UEI,..but like the weak GOP Speaker, Ryan also remains too weak, too silent to speak up and back up this claim of 'caring about the poor"(suddenly).
     This is an election year, and we have seen how lying Ryan will even put on an apron (for 5 minutes) click of a picture to publish....and he's gone within minutes without dirtying his apron. No one but his own (few) members missed these scams. The GOP use Vet's shamelessly, while they vote down benefits for the same Vet's. He voted under Bush to cut anything the GOP asked, even if it harmed millions and lost jobs. Ryan may claim, "He's convinced, but no sane literate person buys it.

    •  Paul Ryan's Hammock (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      We don't want to turn the safety net into a hammock that lulls able-bodied people to lives of dependency and complacency, that drains them of their will and their incentive to make the most of their lives.
      In other words, all those lazy bums "moochers".

      "Corporations exist not for themselves, but for the people." Ida Tarbell 1908.

      by Navy Vet Terp on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 05:14:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Paul Ryan convinces reporter… (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    followyourbliss, JeffW, TheDudester, lcbo, Treg

    A REAL reporter would have looked at his work history and Congressional voting record.

    A REAL Editor would fire this "reporter" for being inept.

    I would tell you the only word in the English language that has all the vowels in order but, that would be facetious.

    by roninkai on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 05:08:37 PM PDT

  •  That would be "blah" people. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine." -- Patti Smith

    by followyourbliss on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 05:19:14 PM PDT

  •  god I feel sick to my stomache (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    niemann, JeffW

    it isnt funny to be poor and homeless

    it isnt nice when politicians show up in homeless shelters and meet and greet people

    its god damn disgusting

    i have had to utilize homeless shelters to protect myself and there is nothing fun or good about it

    Psychological abuse is real and can actually be prevented. Being stalked by a sociopath. And I don't know what to do about it.

    by Krush on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 05:24:37 PM PDT

  •  'I talk to blackies all the time' .... in fact.... (0+ / 0-)

    ...I told one to shine my shoes yesterday morning."

  •  coppins neglects to note (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Treg

    that there has been a war on the war on poverty, and that after decades of improvements, poverty rates rising and income disparity exploding trace to reaganomics and bush.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 05:27:57 PM PDT

  •  Like all Repubs, Ryan LOVES poor people. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Treg

    They rake their yards, mow their grass, prepare their food, bus their tables, watch their kids, wash their cars, and they do it all really, really cheap.

    Hey GOP! You'll get my Obamacare when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. And thanks to Obamacare, that just may be awhile.

    by jazzmaniac on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 05:31:27 PM PDT

  •  Uh-oh. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    "...federal programs that have resulted, 50 years later, in the highest deep poverty rate on record."
    - Coppins

    ...according to the government's Supplemental Poverty Measure, safety net programs cut poverty in half...

    Something I find myself saying more and more these days:

    If you have to lie to make a point, you don't actually have one.

    And here's another flaw in the Ryan argument: whether it's "programs run by local pastors" or whatever, there has never been anything about what he calls "Washington bureaucrats" and their "lowest-common-denominator directives" stopping the kind of programs he champions from existing and working right alongside, if they can do such a great job.

    It's all rather similar to the "repeal Obamacare" song they've sung for so long; there was nothing stopping them from proposing their replacement ideas along with their "repeal" bills.

    But no: gotta destroy what's in place first; only then can their "solutions" be given free rein.

    •  Exactly (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MartinAlexander, StevenWells

      The house is on fire and they recommend building a fire truck. But they don't really want a fire truck or to put out the fire.

      Christianity has been with us for 2000 years and it has a long history of not being the tool that shrinks the income gap. I think it's about time politicians stopped using Christianity as the red herring hiding the theft of wages by wealthy people.

      "I feel badly about the kids," the unknown person said. "I guess." [but] "They are [only] the children of Buono voters," Wildstein replied.

      by plok on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 06:23:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think it is hard for the right to wrap.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Their brains around the fact that government programs help the poor.  Think about this....SNAP was 85 billion a year...  and private charity food banks constituted another 5 billion in spending....where exactly is that private support for the poor giving to come from?  Even those private food banks and kitchens are propped up by government subsidies and contributions.  

  •  Paul Ryan looks cute with an apron (0+ / 0-)

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 05:49:23 PM PDT

  •  Paul Ryan Could Start a Govt Job Training Program (0+ / 0-)

    to teach blacks how to wash clean dishes his way and pick cotton the Cliven Bundy way.

  •  That photo summarizes Ryan & the Poor: ALL FAKE! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  What I don't understand is why old folks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Are so fond of the party that wants to end Medicare. Does not compute.

  •  How many times (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    does it have to be said that churches could never make up for what public programs do?  There just are not enough resources.

    I don't get the Republican end-game.  Do they really think that gutting all social programs will result in a society where inequities are not glaring and impossible to ignore?  That we wouldn't have more homeless, indigent seniors, malnourished children?  Maybe they really believe in their whole "dependency" myth and think that magically, without federal programs, all social problems will DISAPPEAR.

    The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

    by LiberalLady on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:34:37 PM PDT

  •  Plantation Owners Spent Plenty Of Time Too (0+ / 0-)

    Usually with a bullwhip in their hand.

    And as the song and dance begins, the children play at home with needles, needles and pins.

    by The Lone Apple on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 03:16:14 AM PDT

  •  I'm thinking that it didn't take Ryan to pursuade (0+ / 0-)

    Coppins that the Great Society was a loser.  I would bet that his questions concerning any liberal program or policy were resolved years ago, when he laid down his worn and annotated copy of Atlas Shrugged, invigorated by the discovery that his acne scars, total lack of athleticism, and inability to win the friendship or recognition of any other human were all attributable to his superior ranking on the evolutionary scale as reinterpreted and adapted to his religious beliefs.

  •  Paul Ryan is a total fraud (0+ / 0-)

    created by a public relations firm. He does not know what he knows because no one has bothered to tell him.

  •  Goddamn Buzzfeed, man... (0+ / 0-)

    "See our slideshow for the 15 ways in which Buzzfeed is pox on American journalism!"

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