We’ll be hearing this again

It has come to my attention that the failed Vice Presidential candidate is back out among media celebrities armed with some new deceptive slogans:

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Monday that he’s focused primarily on addressing poverty, a week after he complained that the farm bill did not include enough cuts to the food stamp program.
In a floor statement, Ryan lamented that the farm bill proposed only “modest changes” to the food stamp program, which he said had grown at an alarming rate. Ryan did, however, vote for an amendment to the farm bill authored by Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL) that would have applied federal work requirements to the food stamp program, a measure that cost the legislation Democratic votes.

About that work requirement that media and conservatives are selling:

As I explained yesterday, the farm bill that the House wisely rejected yesterday included an unprecedented provision to reward governors with large sums of unrestricted cash if they cut families off the SNAP (food stamp) program because the parents, through no fault of their own, cannot find jobs.
Some news reports have incorrectly described the provision, which came in an amendment from Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL), as giving states the option to impose work requirements on SNAP recipients, as though there are no work requirements now. That’s simply not correct. The program has had work requirements for years. The Southerland amendment is very different from a normal “work requirement.”
Work requirements in low-income programs require unemployed people to look for jobs, to accept any job offer, to participate in workforce or training programs if there is a slot available in a program, and the like.
This is not what the Southerland amendment would do. It would allow states to end benefits for most adults who receive or apply for SNAP — including parents with young children and many people with disabilities — if they are not working or participating in a work or training program for at least 20 hours a week. The amendment provides no jobs and no funds for work or training programs, and it does not require states to make any work opportunities available. People who want to work and are looking for a job but haven’t found one could be cut off.
That’s what makes this fundamentally different from a normal work requirement.
To add insult to injury, the amendment gives states a powerful financial incentive to cut people and their children off simply because they can’t find work in a weak economy. It allows states to keep half of the savings from cutting these people off and to use the money for whatever they want — tax cuts, special-interest subsidies, or anything else. Governors could help solve their budget problems by dropping unemployed people from SNAP.
Policymakers and the media should recognize the Southerland amendment for what it is: an unprecedented and draconian benefit cut-off. That’s why the measure aroused such passionate opposition.

So, to recap, this what the “work requirement” Paul Ryan is dishonestly selling is designed to do:

reward governors with large sums of unrestricted cash if they cut families off SNAP

It allows states to keep half of the savings from cutting these people off and to use the money for whatever they want — tax cuts, special-interest subsidies, or anything else

Florida Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Panama City, is in damage control mode after being blamed, in part, for the collapse of the farm bill. Southerland offered up an amendment, endorsed by Gov. Rick Scott, that would force food stamp recipients to adhere to federal work requirements. Democrats cited it as a reason why they backed away from a deal, which killed the bill.

Good.

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54 replies
  1. 1
    PeakVT says:

    Ryan makes all other bald-faced liars look timid.

  2. 2
    Roger Moore says:

    House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Monday that he’s focused primarily on addressing poverty

    He just didn’t mention that he’s primarily worried that there isn’t enough of it, and that it’s insufficiently miserable under the current system

  3. 3
    Hunter Gathers says:

    I’m surprised that this is being discussed at all, since the entire world seems to be playing Where In The World Is Edward Snowden? at the moment. Poor families getting the shaft? Not news. Egotistical man-child goes on world tour? That obviously calls for constant updates to be sent to your IPhone. Zombie Jesus wept.

  4. 4
    MomSense says:

    You know what I want to cut? I want to cut all the taxpayer subsidies that go to the biggest moocher of all–WalMart! I want the Waltons to have to submit to drug testing repeatedly.

    I just read a study that says that taxpayers subsidize the average WalMart employee to the tune of $6,000 per year for Medicaid, food assistance, housing vouchers, etc. The average store (each store!!!) costs taxpayers between 900,000 and 1,700,000 per year.

    Fuck Fucking Walmart!

    They have 1,300,000 employees at their stores so I figure that is 7,800,000,000 give or take a few hundred million.

  5. 5
    piratedan says:

    Nice to see that they’re not actually saving any of the cash, just making sure that we don’t feed poor people with it. Thank you compassionate conservatives!

  6. 6
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The “work requirement” provision assumes that everyone on the program can find employment.

    This, of course, is utter bullshit, when employers refuse to even consider the long term unemployed for hiring.

    Ryan is, of course, an asshole who deserves nothing better than the back of our hands, preferably sheathed in a mail gauntlet with large spikes.

  7. 7
    Violet says:

    the failed Vice Presidential candidate is back out among media celebrities

    I thought you meant Palin. Speaking of Palins, her daughter Bristol and her other daughter Willow were on “Wife Swap” last night, changing places with Joan and Melissa Rivers. Yes, seriously. They’re like low rent Kardashians.

  8. 8
    MomSense says:

    @MomSense:

    You know what else? The Republicans keep complaining that Immigrants bring wages down. You know what brings wages down–having low paid workers in practically every town peddling low cost, sweatshop, made in China crap.

  9. 9
    Jerzy Russian says:

    Can’t someone kick Mr. Ryan in the junk? Is there a company or an organization that provides such a service>

  10. 10
    MomSense says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    It’s also BS if the work they can find doesn’t pay enough for them to pay their rent or feed and clothe their kids.

  11. 11
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Violet:

    They’re like low rent Kardashians.

    They aspire to that status. Climbing into the gutter would be a major upgrade.

  12. 12
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I could get behind this proposal if we could somehow extend it to include congressional Republicans.

  13. 13
    Roger Moore says:

    @PeakVT:
    Ryan worked for Oscar Mayer when he was in college, an he’s never stopped peddling bologna.

  14. 14
    Kay says:

    @Violet:

    I thought you meant Palin.

    I don’t think about her anymore, but you’re right. I decided she was over when I overheard people discussing Dancing With The Stars last year or so and they were really, really mad because the Palin’s cheated.
    DWTS-gate.
    I acted outraged: “Really? they cheated? Tell me more”

  15. 15
    dedc79 says:

    Hey, he said he was focusing on “addressing poverty.” He didn’t say he was focusing on eliminating poverty.

  16. 16
    danimal says:

    The GOP is continually looking for accounting-free piles of money to distribute to their lackeys. I knew there was more to this story; food stamps (SNAP) has had a work requirement for at least 20 years. This is just more budgetary shenanigans from the supposedly hyper-vigilant debt warriors. Hypocrites.

  17. 17

    @Villago Delenda Est: It wouldn’t be impossible if you liberals would just let us get rid of the minimum wage and child labor laws.

    Then everyone could go out and find work and help contribute to the family’s economy.

    If Little Timmy and Susie wanted an education instead of working a full time job for a $1 a day, then God would have let them be born to wealthier parents.

  18. 18
    kindness says:

    Blaming Ryan is easy. That our MSM does not explain this very well is either criminal in it’s carrying out it’s mission or in on it with the Repugs. I think there are far too many Program Directors and Media owners that are in on it.

    No doubt I’m not alone there.

  19. 19
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Violet: I’m not surprised the Palins are chasing every check and camera willing to come their way, but Jesus, Joan Rivers, don’t you have enough money?

    I have a hunch that Ryan is past his sell-by date, and the only way he gets the attention he now craves is with a TV show, maybe follow the full Kasich model and run for governor in a few years.

    Has anyone not paid by MSNBC pointed out that the Tea Party, allegedly born of outrage at bailouts, was madder about foodstamps than fellow traveller Steve Fincher getting 3.5 million in subsidies? Google tells me the local press noticed. I wonder if local voters did.

  20. 20
    Ruckus says:

    @MomSense:
    Not to be seen taking the other side here as I agree with you but it is the average worker, not all workers. Also they have stores in other countries so is the 1.3 mil just in the US or is that worldwide?

    Once again they are still huge assholes, I just think the numbers are not quite correct.

  21. 21
    quannlace says:

    food stamp program, which he said had grown at an alarming rate

    Jeez, wonder why. Economic meltdown, shitty job market, perhaps?

    Why are they so determined to punish people for the crime of needing a little help?

    These people want to help alleviate poverty in the same way that they’d teach someone to swim by throwing them into a bottomless lake.

  22. 22
    Ruckus says:

    @Violet:
    They’re like low rent Kardashians.

    They weren’t before?
    You are saying they are low rent versions of low rent?
    How low rent can one get?

  23. 23
    Kay says:

    @Ruckus:

    They could put better than 50% of lowest wage workers above the poverty line by raising the minimum wage to ten dollars an hour. Today. They could do it today.

    Food stamp growth problem, gone. They’re fighting a wage increase like rabid dogs, while whining about people needing food subsidies.

  24. 24
    rikyrah says:

    to quote Steny Hoyer as he bitchslapped Eric Cantor for trying to blame the Democrats for the Farm Bill going down:

    When we were in charge, we didn’t whine. We got to 218…and we did it without your help. Don’t blame the Democrats for this bill failing…25 percent of your caucus voted against it.

  25. 25
    Ruckus says:

    @quannlace:
    It’s not just throwing them in the lake. The lake is a superfund site and they are willing to purchase(with tax $ of course) jackets with wraparound sleeves that everyone must wear when thrown in.

  26. 26
    pokeyblow says:

    Winkers, Wankers, and Werewolves: a History of the Recent Republican Vice-Presidential Ideal will be available from my website soon.

  27. 27
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    Please understand, I agree whole heartily. I used to know someone who worked for the walton family as an investment adviser. His tales of them(those that he would even tell) made me take an oath that I will never shop or even step foot in walmart or sams club for the rest of my life. They are evil and have infested the rest of the country with their low price bullshit. They cut quality out of everything they can and they cut money out of their workers pockets such that without food stamps and such many of their employees couldn’t afford to shop there, all the while making billions, that’s billions with a b per year. They are evil personified.

  28. 28
    Hungry Joe says:

    @PeakVT:

    See Issa, Darrell.

  29. 29

    These people are just plain evil.

    And Paul Ryan’s theory of how to deal with poverty is to dispense with any sort of help to the poor, because (as he sees it) that would give them more incentive to get out of poverty. I guess the jobs for them to fill would magically appear from thin air by the magic of the market, once they didn’t have food stamps anymore.

    I’d compare him with the Dickens character Thomas Gradgrind, but at least Gradgrind cared about Facts. I’m not sure there’s a parallel universe anymore where the GOP gives a good goddamn about Facts.

  30. 30
    danah gaz says:

    I was just reading about this over at Wonkette, while listening to Aesop Rock (Skelethon, Crows Pt 1)

    As I was reading about Paul Ryan cutting food stamps to save the poor, Ian is singing this – apropos of nothing, apparently…

    Everything you think you’re hiding shows
    In the way you view the graves like a string of tiny thrones
    Messages you’d tucked away for keeps have resurfaced to be heard amidst the butchery and beaks
    You don’t want the passengers to pass
    You want each cow taxidermy’d fatter than the last
    Mausoleum lighting is a rush
    While it might enhance a silhouette it might expose a crutch
    A proud chest puffed to the heavens
    Holds nothing if we’re cutting past the muscle and the tendon
    And we will be cutting past the muscle and the tendon…

    heh.

  31. 31
    MikeJ says:

    @low-tech cyclist: I personally don’t have a problem with a Dickensian solution to poverty, as long as we’re talking about Paris in A Tale of Two Cities.

  32. 32
    mai naem says:

    So, is this Southerland guy another moocher farmer? That would fit the GOP M.O.

  33. 33
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    In all my many days I have never seen anyone so anxious to shovel shit on people and so willing to then complain that they stink.

  34. 34
    MomSense says:

    @Ruckus:

    They have 1.3 million US employees and obviously they do have employees who do not earn subsistence wages but the study says 904,000 -1.7 million per store to pay the health benefits, food assistance, etc. I don’t have accurate numbers for the entire company but the point is that this is an outrageous burden on taxpayers for a company that should be able to cover its expenses. The costs vary per state.

    I also looked up some reporting on the state Medicaid rolls. It is hard to find current information but going back to 2005 WalMart employees represented the larges block of Medicaid recipients in many states.

    It just strikes me as irresponsible and unfair for WalMart to expect taxpayers to support them to such an extent especially when many state budgets are being cut drastically and when Republicans like Ryan justify cutting food assistance to poor people as ending dependency. How about we ask corporations like WalMart to do their fair share before we deny food to children.

  35. 35
    eldorado says:

    we really need a strategy to get this guy voted out of office

  36. 36
    MomSense says:

    @MikeJ:

    My knitting needles are ready to go.

  37. 37
    Violet says:

    @Kay: Lol. I can imagine you doing that. What I heard at the time was people mad that Palin’s fans had cheated by voting too many times or something. Taking a step back, she has fans who will cheat to vote extra times on a reality show in hopes it gets her to run for president. Delusional.

  38. 38
    Kay says:

    @mai naem:

    He inherited a funeral home business:

    Southerland is current co-owner/President of Southerland Family Funeral Homes, founded in 1955

  39. 39
    PeakVT says:

    @Kay: So, he has a direct interest in more people starving to death. Hmmm….

  40. 40
    Roger Moore says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    And Paul Ryan’s theory of how to deal with poverty is to dispense with any sort of help to the poor, because (as he sees it) that would give them more incentive to get out of poverty.

    It’s part of a general pattern. Conservatives believe that people always respond to incentives, regardless of external circumstances. It’s just that poor people only respond to punishment while rich people only respond to reward.

  41. 41
    Kay says:

    @Violet:

    So funny. I think things like that matter. Savannah, one of the women who works here, is completely apolitical but she’s a fan of that show and she turned on the Palins like nothing I have ever seen before.

    They cheated

  42. 42
    Violet says:

    @Ruckus: The Kardashian matriarch is a shrewd business woman. The Palin clan has no business plan except grifting from an ever diminishing supply of supporters. Kardashian wannabes.

  43. 43
    WereBear says:

    @Jerzy Russian: Now THAT calls for a Kickstarter project!

  44. 44
    Violet says:

    @Kay: so funny

  45. 45
    Roger Moore says:

    @Kay:

    I decided she was over when I overheard people discussing Dancing With The Stars last year or so and they were really, really mad because the Palin’s cheated.

    You may think it sounds silly, but I know some people who really woke up to what Republicans are like because of Bristol Palin on DWTS. It’s always a bit tricky, but once I understood they were angry about it, I tried to make it clear that this was just an example of a more general trend of Republicans voting for people because of who they are, not because of their competence or qualifications. It seems to have done the trick, and I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

  46. 46
    Ruckus says:

    @MomSense:
    Thanks for the update.
    We do agree, they are evil. They are the epitome of what is wrong with the top .01% They wouldn’t even notice the money that it would take to fix this. They(and several more generations of their blood suckers) would still be stinking, filthy rich.

  47. 47
    Ruckus says:

    @Violet:
    Maybe we don’t have the same definition of low rent. The walton gang may be shrewd business people as well. Doesn’t change their basic personalities. Like to change personalities to proclivities.

  48. 48
    Kay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I don’t really think it’s silly. Cheating matters.
    I watched Palin’s daughter’s show once and I had real sympathy for her, so it can go the other way.

    There’s a scene where she’s alone in this
    stupid, borrowed LA mansion, sitting on the couch, and she’s just bawling because she’s tasked with finding daycare for her little boy.

    She is CLEARLY overwhelmed.
    I felt bad for her.

  49. 49
    gbear says:

    @Jerzy Russian:
    When I was at the U of M, there was a short-lived company called ‘Pie Kill Ltd’ that you could hire to mash a cream pie into the face of anyone you wished. Rumor had it that one of my lecture professors (an incredibly boring and ungenerous guy) was going to be a victim. Sure enough, one morning as he was lecturing from the stage of a theater-type room, in front of 300 students, a guy came out from around the curtain and THWAP!! Right in the kisser. Approxomately three students laughed while the rest of us sat in stunned silence until the prof muttered in total disgust ‘CLASS DISMISSED’. I quit college about 6 months later and it’s one of my favorite memories of that sh!thole.

    Someone should do this to Ryan with a shaving cream pie.

  50. 50
    rikyrah says:

    @Violet:

    I thought you meant Palin. Speaking of Palins, her daughter Bristol and her other daughter Willow were on “Wife Swap” last night, changing places with Joan and Melissa Rivers. Yes, seriously. They’re like low rent Kardashians.

    THEY WISH they were the Kardashians..

    can’t stand them, but you cannot deny….the K’s know how to grift like nobody’s business…every kid is a revenue stream.

  51. 51
    Roger Moore says:

    @Kay:

    I don’t really think it’s silly. Cheating matters.

    I don’t think it was the cheating that really got people’s goat. With the people I knew, it was more that the show they liked was being ruined by outsiders. They’ve been watching for years, and the genuinely want the best dancers to win. They really resented it when a group of non-fans showed up and voted for an undeserving contestant just because they liked her mom’s politics. I think it really stuck in their craw, especially because they were reminded of it week after week as the show went on.

  52. 52
    Ruckus says:

    @Roger Moore:
    I wonder if they can get the connection that conservatives will fuck up a wet dream if they thought it would get them the ability to gain power over others.

  53. 53
    Sean connery says:

    This douchebag should get all he deserves. the company of losers.

  54. 54
    mikeyes says:

    The ironic part is that both Paul Ryan and I are here for the same reason: Sir Charles Trevelyan. The Great Hunger outlines his role in the Irish famine in which he decided that the Irish were too lazy and too corrupt a race so they had to learn to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. His first act was to close all the food depots so the Irish wouldn’t become dependent on the British for food. You know how that worked out. My relatives and his had to flee Ireland or starve (or die of disease.) All of those GOP congresspersons of Irish descent seemed to have forgotten that little fact.

    I urge you to read the book, it sounds like the GOP handbook on poverty. Charles Trevelyan stuck to his ideological guns and millions died for the sake of the free market and “self determination.” Facts be damned.

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