"It’s an odd way to cite the research… usually you use all of the available data" http://t.co/2ncmR3JB9v
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) March 4, 2014
While most media attention was focused elsewhere, the GOP’s favorite blue-eyed boy released his latest attempt to further gut the remnants of our social support system. Per the Washington Post:
… As he crafted the report, Ryan — a former adviser to the late Jack Kemp, a longtime GOP voice on poverty issues — consulted with a diverse group of conservative thinkers. Ryan counselor Yuval Levin, a policy analyst, played an instrumental role, as did the American Enterprise Institute’s Arthur Brooks and the Brookings Institution’s Ron Haskins.
Ryan also huddled with Iain Duncan Smith, a former leader of Britain’s Conservative Party. Smith is well known in the United Kingdom for his attempts to better connect conservatives with the poor.
“We’ve been paying very close attention to the Tories and their think tanks,” Ryan said….
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Paul Ryan report — two hundred pages! — if it didn’t involve some serious dishonesty. Steve Benen, at MSNBC:
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has been pretty aggressive in recent months about leaking word of his recent policy focus on poverty. The far-right congressman has periodically let major news outlets know he now hopes to “help” those who would suffer most under his own budget plan: low-income families…
The editorial board of the New York Times did a nice job summarizing the degree to which Ryan’s ideas are “small and tired.”… It’s a fair critique, but digging in a little closer, even more glaring issues arise.
The Fiscal Times’ Rob Garver, for example, interviewed some of the same economists cited in Ryan’s paper in support of his thesis. Many of the experts “had reactions ranging from bemusement to anger at Ryan’s report, claiming that he either misunderstood or misrepresented their research.”…
The Fiscal Times also talked to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Jeffrey Brown who said Ryan’s report also ignored relevant caveats when he highlighted Brown’s scholarship on Medicaid….
Mr. Benen chooses to believe (at least for public consumption) that this dishonesty is an error on Ryan’s part. I’m more of a mind to agree with Mr. Charles P. Pierce about the man he dubbed The Zombie-Eyed Granny-Starver:
The reboot centers on Ryan’s casting himself as “The Conservative Who Cares About The Poor.” This, he says, stems from his deeply held Catholic faith — except that, when he tried to run that riff past the Jesuits at Georgetown during the campaign, they handed him his head, and even the National Council of Catholic Bishops wasn’t buying this codswollop… Nonetheless, because the report has been produced by Paul Ryan, there has been a positive scramble to announce that a new actual “debate” about poverty has been opened, and that the Republicans now have a “chance” to come up with their own solution to the problem afflicting millions of people who wouldn’t vote for them even if they could, and who the Republicans have no intention of allowing to vote anyway…
Look. Let’s not all be children. Paul Ryan’s entire political career has been about eliminating the federal government’s ability to do anything except raise an army and keep the tax burden on the country’s wealthiest citizens low. This is the Makers And Takers guy, remember? There is no compelling reason now to believe he’s changed at all. He has yet to take his lunatic “budget” off the table. He is a true believer in voodoo economics. He still believes in voucherizing Medicare into oblivion. (He would like to do the same thing to Social Security, too, but that gets kept on the downlow.) He is not opposed to federal programs to help the poor because of their (relatively) small effect on the budget, or even out of concern for The Deficit. He is opposed to them because he does not believe that they are legitimate functions of government. Anybody who buys that he’s sincerely morphed himself into a champion of what Karl Rove once called “compassionate conservatism” should not be allowed to cut their own meat without supervision…