Paul Ryan’s Mea Culpa On Poverty Rings Hollow – Actions Speak Louder Than Words

By: Meredith Kelly

On Tuesday, Speaker Ryan gave a big speech in which he offered up an apology for using the phrase “makers and takers” as a frame to explain his extreme trickle-down economic doctrine.

Washington Post’s Plum Line: “Paul Ryan regrets that ‘makers and takers’ stuff. Sort of, anyway.”

The Atlantic: “Can Paul Ryan’s Pleasant Language Sell His Divisive Policies?”

The Atlantic: Ryan has long been the intellectual torchbearer of a public policy that would immediately hurt the same people he has decided to stop calling ‘takers.’ For years, he has put forth a budget that would provide the largest tax cuts in history for the wealthy while gutting income support and health care assistance for the middle-class and poor. . . . It doesn’t matter if a politician overhauls his vocabulary for America’s rich and poor without a similar renovation in principles.”

Never mind that this is the fourth or fifth clickbait-driven iteration of his mild mea culpa. Ryan’s decision to change the words he uses doesn’t change the fact that the policies he’s describing remain the same: devastating for working families.

Ryan Budget’s Cuts Would Force 3.8 Million People Off Food Stamp Assistance.  “The Ryan budget cuts SNAP (formerly food stamps) by $137 billion over the next decade.  It adopts the harsh SNAP cuts that the House passed last September — which would force 3.8 million people off the program in 2014, according to the Congressional Budget Office — and then converts SNAP to a block grant in 2019 and imposes still-deeper cuts.” [CBPP, 4/03/14]

Ryan Voted Against Increasing The Minimum Wage At Least 10 Separate Times. [HR 2206, Vote #424, 5/24/07; HR 2206, Vote #333, 5/10/07; HR 1591, Vote #186, 3/23/07; HR 2, Vote #18, 1/10/07; HR5970,Vote #425, 7/29/06; HR5970, Vote #424, 7/29/06; HR2389, Vote #382, 7/19/06; HR2990,Vote#364, 7/12/06; HR4411, Vote #360, 7/11/06; HR5672, Vote #319, 6/27/06]

U.S. Conference Of Catholic Bishops: Deficit Reduction “Must Protect And Not Undermine The Needs Of Poor And Vulnerable People” And Therefore Ryan Budget Cuts “Fail This Basic Moral Test.” “‘The Catholic bishops of the United States recognize the serious deficits our country faces, and we acknowledge that Congress must make difficult decisions about how to allocate burdens and sacrifices and balance resources and needs,’ wrote Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, as the House prepared to vote on a reconciliation package for the 2013 budget. ‘However, deficit reduction and fiscal responsibility efforts must protect and not undermine the needs of poor and vulnerable people. The proposed cuts to programs in the budget reconciliation fail this basic moral test.’” [U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, 5/08/12]

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