House Speaker Paul Ryan had his hands full and a town hall full of boos and negative feedback with regard to his answer as to why his actions were so contrary to Church teachings about taking care of the poor – a question asked by Sister Erica Jordan, a Dominican nurse and retired school principal.
An answer full of wrong information was given by Paul Ryan, after finally holding a proper town hall with questions about his position on the recent debates on health care and tax reform. Contrary to what Ryan stated, the war on poverty had started in 1964 (not 32 years ago in 1985). Moreover, he claimed that the poverty rate was steadily at 19%. In fact, the rate hasn’t been above 15.2% ever since the so called war had started in 1964. Furthermore, even bigger drop has been shown in the 60s – from 26% to 14.3%.
Speaker Ryan’s claim that all that is needed is to bring back people into the workforce also holds no ground as almost 78% of household which are on Medicaid are up and working day in and day out. Many of those households cannot even afford the basic day-to-day necessities for a family because of the unwillingness of Republicans to increase the minimum wage.
Last but not least, Ryan’s patterned welfare line is another debunked fairy tale. Only a small number of welfare plans just give out money to people for free. Many of them, such as TANF and the Earned Income Tax Credit, have labor requirements and the very few ones that do not, cover the basic needs for health care and food, without which any human being wouldn’t be able to work at any level, let alone optimal.
All things considered, Paul Ryan needs to step up to the plate and go beyond those learned lines and answers if he wants to make a difference and his voice to be heard and welcomed by his fellows in the hall meetings.