Paul Ryan fan fiction has become incredibly popular among national political reporters. But money talks and puff “journalism” walks:
If you don’t care even slightly about how Paul Ryan’s policy ideas will impact poor people then I really recommend that you read McKay Coppin’s new long Buzzfeed feature article about Paul Ryan’s newfound interest in poverty issues. Reporting? Check. Color? Check. Political context? Check. Great writing? Check. This piece has it all. Except for even a teeny tiny shred of insight into how Paul Ryan’s policy ideas will impact poor people. The article’s subhead says that Ryan is “trying to challenge the notion that his party is out of touch with poor people the old-fashioned way: by talking to some.” Perhaps one reason is that the more newfangled way of showing in touchness with the economically struggling — by advancing a policy agenda that would help them in concrete ways — is wildly out of step with Ryan’s basic ideology.
For example, what does Ryan’s budget mean for the poor? Well it turns out that the majority of his budget cuts come from programs that benefit poor people. He wants to reduce spending on poor people’s Medicaid benefits. And on their nutrition assistance. And on their college tuition assistance. And on their access to subsidized private health insurance. Ryan does cut some programs that aren’t aimed at helping low-income Americans, but mostly he cuts programs for the poor.