Paul Ryan Knows Real Problem With Welfare Is How Rich Those Poor People Get Off It

Republican Rep. Paul Ryan is the wonky boy genius of the House of Representatives, according to his colleagues and the voice in his head, because he wrote a "budget" one time to privatize Medicare, slash welfare benefits, and tell the poors to feed themselves with their own damned bootstraps, like Jesus said.

So of course he was on CBS's "Face the Nation" to talk about how he'd win the war on poverty:

I would consolidate many of our federal poverty programs into flexible programs that go to our states to customize a welfare benefit for a person's particular need, because what you do when you stack up all these poverty programs on top of each other -- we have this thing called the poverty trap, where we're actually disincentivizing a person from getting on with their life and going to work. It actually pays not to take that risk to take a job to help go improve your life because of the benefits you lose.

If that were true, you'd think the solution would be obvious: allow Americans living in poverty to continue receiving benefits, even if they manage to get a job, because there are lots of crap jobs out there that pay crap wages that don't cover things like rent and food and healthcare. So maybe, just maybe, we should provide aid to any American who needs it? Nah. Better to just take away all that aid, so they're more "incentivized" to get one of those high-paying jobs. Like, say, being a member of Congress. It pays six figures, includes some really terrific perks, and you only have to work part-time.

But if the useless federal government would just write out checks to the states and let them decide how best to motivate impoverished citizens to stop being poor, we'd definitely see better results. Why, in Ryan's own state of Wisconsin, plenty of innovative Republican leaders have some really creative ideas to tackle the underlying issues of poverty. Newly elected Rep. Glenn Grothman thinks folks in Oshkosh should spy on each other at the grocery store and report suspicious-looking shoppers who boast of receiving disability benefits because, as he's been saying for years, letting people eat "discourages work" and "encourages cheating."

Then there's state Rep. Jesse Kremer, who thinks we should be carding the poors to make sure their photo IDs say "Yeah, this person is poor for reals," and also, while we're at it, why not make them shop at specialty Just For Poors grocery stores, so they don't get their poor cooties all over decent hardworking not-poor Americans who would like to buy their Cheez Whiz and frozen scrambled eggs without having to dirty their beautiful minds with the sight of, ugh, poor people?

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker thinks it would be a swell idea to drug test recipients of food stamps or unemployment benefits because that will help poor people not do drugs, like they are always doing all the time, and then they will get jobs and be able to afford food all by themselves. This has yet to work in any other state that has drug tested welfare recipients, and also it is unconstitutional too, but maybe we just haven't given it enough time to work yet. Like with magic tax cuts for the rich, if you just wait and wait and wait ... and wait some more, eventually it'll work. We're waiting to see it work in Kansas, another fine state that knows the best way to tackle poverty is to ensure that poor people can't use their moocher government benefits on cruises and strip clubs.

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But, as Rep. Ryan explained on Sunday, the federal government is terrible at helping people in need, so it should stop doing that. Sure, he collected benefits from the government and yet somehow was incentivized to work, but those Social Security checks he collected were different because ... BECAUSE, that's why. And no one on government aid is turning out like Paul Ryan these days (thank god), so instead, we should be "measuring success based on results, outcomes, how many people are actually getting off of poverty," by letting Republican governors and legislatures tell those poors to stop being poor, stop trying to eat, and go get a job already. Because that ought to work.



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