Paul Ryan: poor people just aren’t loved enough, that’s why they’re poor.

Paul Ryan, who famously barged into a soup kitchen to wash already-clean pots and pans for a photo op before skipping out before any actual work could be done (just wanted to be seen helping the poor without actually helping the poor), was just speaking at a Manhattan Institute gathering with Jeb Bush.  In his talk, he hit on the real reason people are poor:

Ryan said: “The best way to turn from a vicious cycle of despair and learned helplessness to a virtuous cycle of hope and flourishing is by embracing the attributes of friendship, accountability and love.”

Charles Blow at the NYT took him to task for it:

Lovely, Mr. Ryan. Really, I’m touched. But as every poor person in America will tell you, you can’t use friendship tokens to pay the electricity bill, and you can’t simply hug the cashier and walk away with groceries.

Furthermore, the statement makes a basic and demeaning assumption about the poor: that they suffer a deficiency of friendship, accountability and loving relationships. That, sir, has not been my experience. Poverty is demonstrative not of a lack of character, but a lack of cash.

Not to be outdone, Jeb Bush suggested a good way to help the poor is to keep gay people from getting married:

For Bush’s part, he said: “A loving family taking care of their children in a traditional marriage will create the chance to break out of poverty far better, far better than any of the government programs that we can create.”

Because everybody knows that being gay means you like people of the same gender AND you’re irresponsible with money.

Seems to me most kids are being raised by a straight couple in the United States, which means most of the kids in poverty are in that type of scenario.  Jeb Bush didn’t go into specifics about how discriminating against gay people would help those families.


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