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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Paul Ryan Has a New Plan to Fine Poor People for Being Poor

Posted by on Thu, Jul 24, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Every so often I'll see someone write about Paul Ryan's presidential prospects in 2016. I like to pretend those pieces are satire. Ryan was a lackluster vice-presidential choice in 2012. He wasn't especially interesting, people seemed to dislike him—he even lost his own hometown to President Obama—and his proposals are so far to the right that he turns off independent voters.

Take, for instance, Ryan's newest plan, which would combine multiple federal anti-poverty programs into one massive anti-poverty program that would disseminate money to states. The states could use that money however they want, so long as they follow a series of strict guidelines:

In the envisioned scenario providers would work with families to design a customized life plan to provide a structured roadmap out of poverty. When crafting a life plan, they would include, at a minimum:

• A contract outlining specific and measurable benchmarks for success
• A timeline for meeting these benchmarks
Sanctions for breaking the terms of the contract
• Incentives for exceeding the terms of the contract
• Time limits for remaining on cash assistance

So the party of small government wants to explicitly tell poor people how to live their lives, force the poor people to sign a contract promising they will do what the government tells them to do, and then penalize them if they do not follow that plan to the letter? Uh-huh.

I don't think even Ryan expects this plan to pass. I think he's doing his job as a Republican Party lackey, which is to keep pushing the idea of normal behavior further and further to the right until eventually, a few years down the line, someone else can re-present the Ryan plan as a completely sensible Republican solution. (I wrote about this tactic last year during the government shutdown.) This kind of monstrous bullshit would have been laughed out of the room even ten years ago; now it's the sort of thing Republicans get all horny over. We can't allow him to normalize horrible shit like this.

 

Comments (27) RSS

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1
Can you imagine if we held Congress to the same standard? EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM WOULD BE IN BREACH OF CONTRACT. I'd love to see every single one of these smug a------s stripped of their money and privilege and see how well they'd fare in the world - having to actually earn a living DOING SOMETHING.
Posted by xina on July 24, 2014 at 11:43 AM · Report this
2
I hate Paul Ryan and I am sure this plan is shit, but sanctions is a vague term. Currently, a family who is on TANF can face sanctions when failing to follow the terms of a personal plan created with the help of a DSHS case manager. The sanctions are a reduction of benefits until the issue is remedied, or complete termination of benefits for repeatedly falling into sanction.

So what I am saying is, I am not sure that this plan is all that different from the status quo.
Posted by ourkind on July 24, 2014 at 11:43 AM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 3
Maybe we should just bring back debtor's prisons. Would that satisfy him?
Posted by Reverse Polarity on July 24, 2014 at 11:49 AM · Report this
4
I am starting to believe that most people operate with no philosophical bases for their beliefs or actions, and that is scary.
Posted by Spike1382 on July 24, 2014 at 11:50 AM · Report this
5
@3 Debtor prisons are already back:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/as-economy-f…
Posted by screed on July 24, 2014 at 11:51 AM · Report this
6
I, too, see Paul Ryan's name floated as a 2016 presidential contender, and I, too, think he's a ridiculous longshot.

But--realistically--who else have they got?

Romney?
Bachmann?
Santorum?
Gingrich?
Rand Paul?
Palin?
Jindal?
Cruz?

Which of them has a snowball's chance in Hell?
Posted by Clayton on July 24, 2014 at 11:56 AM · Report this
Former Lurker 7
10 years ago in 2004, GW Bush was president. It would not have been laughed at.
Posted by Former Lurker on July 24, 2014 at 12:03 PM · Report this
8
Maybe the republicans have just given up on the presidency and are focusing on pursuing their interests by making Congress more and more dysfunctional? Could that be a valid game plan if all you care about are results?
Posted by Jude Fawley on July 24, 2014 at 12:09 PM · Report this
9
Why doesn't he just start a Plan to eat people and be done with it? Either "a modest proposal" or Soylent Green, I don't care. Just get on with it, Ryan, cut to the chase and stop messing around with half measures.
Posted by originalcinner on July 24, 2014 at 12:10 PM · Report this
10
@6 Bush, Perry, Rubio
Posted by dirge on July 24, 2014 at 12:14 PM · Report this
11
@2 is right. A contract has to include some sort of remuneration, goods, or action; in this case, the goods are financial aid, and the terms of the contract say that certain actions have to be carried out or the financial aid is cut in amount and/or term.

And Ryan is indeed a shit.
Posted by sarah70 on July 24, 2014 at 12:18 PM · Report this
Phoebe in Wallingford 12
It could be a Machiavellian scheme or it could be what he actually wants. More often than not though, such postulations have the same reality factor as conspiracy theories - not much at all.
Posted by Phoebe in Wallingford on July 24, 2014 at 12:38 PM · Report this
fletc3her 13
What surprises me is how many people who are living paycheck to paycheck support a party that proposes such draconian policies for people whose belts are just one notch tighter.
Posted by fletc3her on July 24, 2014 at 12:56 PM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 14
Paul Ryan and most other republicans want to run the government like a business. You can't run a government like a business, they're nothing alike.

@13,
The party has convinced them that they'll be the next Sam Walton or Bill Gates or Warren Buffett. If only they work a little harder and sacrifice a little more, wealth and power are just around the corner. Or maybe the next corner. Or the one after that...
Posted by Urgutha Forka on July 24, 2014 at 1:26 PM · Report this
15
@6: You forgot Vladimir Putin. You should know that the right has a hardon for Vlad the impaler.
Posted by Weekilter on July 24, 2014 at 2:38 PM · Report this
16
"...until eventually, a few years down the line, someone else can re-present the Ryan plan as a completely sensible Republican solution."

Then a few years after that, Democrats propose it, pass a watered-down version of it in the face of frothing Republican opposition, and call it a victory.
Posted by mattygmk on July 24, 2014 at 3:52 PM · Report this
venomlash 17
So he wants the government to tell people what to do (outside of maintaining public order and enforcing the law) and penalize them if they don't. And he's a libertarian?
Posted by venomlash on July 24, 2014 at 4:17 PM · Report this
18
@17

Paul Constant is one of two things. He's entirely dishonest or he's entirely stupid. You apparently agree with the moron or lying sack of shit, so which are you?

This proposal affects beggars from taxpayer funds. It doesn't affect me, who actually pays taxes to support these beggars. It affects only those asking government to give them money, and puts certain conditions on that begging.

Big government so far outside constitutional mandates for their power already exists thanks to scum like FDR and LBJ. Ryan isn't increasing it, that's your party of clowns. He's just saying what rational people know. Anti poverty programs are nothing more than a means of ensuring generational poverty, since they teach dependence and begging rather than life skills.
Posted by Seattleblues on July 24, 2014 at 5:21 PM · Report this
19
This essay really sheds light on the mindset of poor people who vote Republican; If it's too long or you don't have the time, it basically amounts to people feeling a sort of self-hatred for being poor when they've been told their entire lives that working hard equals success. It's the financial equivalent of a closeted homo voting to take away their own rights out of a deep seated sense of self loathing.

http://www.salon.com/2014/07/16/i_was_po…

Posted by UNPAID COMMENTER on July 24, 2014 at 5:41 PM · Report this
Frank Blethen's vodka distiller 20
@6 This is the ideal repub presidential candidate.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BtWKGgEIQAIJ…
Posted by Frank Blethen's vodka distiller on July 24, 2014 at 5:53 PM · Report this
venomlash 21
@18: "Anti poverty programs are nothing more than a means of ensuring generational poverty, since they teach dependence and begging rather than life skills."
Citation please. I do hope you're aware that the public safety net is shaped at every turn towards helping people become productive and responsible members of society, right? For example, let me remind you of the unemployment relief that you so desperately hate:
You get those benefits for a few weeks. You can apply to have them extended, BUT you need to prove that you're actively searching for honest employment. And if you're offered a job, you have to take it or risk losing your unemployment coverage. Not exactly what you describe, is it?

Oh, and every "beggar" you rail against pays taxes, not that you'd ever acknowledge that.

But never mind, it's just Seattleblues's usual tactic of "call people names, make wild claims, and then insist that any rational person is required to agree with his opinions".
Posted by venomlash on July 24, 2014 at 11:14 PM · Report this
22
@21

Thanks for the laugh Junior! "The public safety net is shaped at every turn" is the funniest thing you've ever written, kiddo. Wait, you're serious? You think there's some purpose driving these policies, other than vote buying? So- dumber than a bag of hammers it is.

For the record a few weeks of unemployment doesn't bother me. I've never taken it myself. But both as employee and employer I certainly have paid for it and wouldn't feel ant shame getting some value for my money. I have written that extending benefits for more than a year is stupid. At that point the person collecting needs to change career or move since clearly there isn't work for them in whatever field they were laid off from.

As for your ludicrous claim about taxpayers the IRS has data that nearly half of those filing pay no taxes. Of these some are retired. The rest are people who want to collect on their citizenship while others pay for it. They believe the rest of us owe them food, shelter, medical care, care for the children they couldn't afford to have etc etc etc.

Knowwm what would be fair? If a person pays no taxes on income and isn't retired they lose the right to vote. We productive citizens will help them as we see fit, but they get no say in a government paying them to be citizens. Once they have a year in which they pay some taxes, they get to vote again. Fair enough?
Posted by Seattleblues on July 25, 2014 at 8:07 AM · Report this
venomlash 23
@22: "the IRS has data that nearly half of those filing pay no taxes"
I see we have again come up against the wall of your inability or unwillingness to understand the not-terribly-subtle distinction between "pay[ing] no taxes" and "filing federal income taxes but having no net income tax burden".
News flash, Seattleblues:
EVERY SINGLE ONE of those supposed freeloaders pays taxes, from payroll to sales to state income tax. Just because they don't pay FEDERAL INCOME TAX doesn't mean they don't pitch in at all.
And of those dastardly 47% who don't pay federal income tax the composition will surprise you. 61% of them do pay taxes directly out of their wages! PAYROLL taxes, in fact! Another 22% are over 65 years of age and have very low income due to being retired. And the remaining 17% (or 8% of the tax-filing population as a whole)...sure, there are some long-term unemployed among them, but there are also students and those with disabilities or long-term illnesses that prevent them from working. This includes veterans whose injuries prevent them from bringing in a decent salary; by what YOU SAY IS FAIR, many of our wounded warriors should have their votes taken away.
I suggest reading the source on those numbers. You might have a few misconceptions dispelled!

Oh, and as a taxpayer, I do believe that I owe the unfortunate what assistance I can reasonably provide in the way of food, shelter, and (if at all possible) employment assistance. If my meager tax contribution goes to improve the lives of those who sleep in dust, so much the better. I believe this because I am a halfway decent person, and because God commands that we care for the destitute.
"And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corner of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleaning of thy harvest; thou shalt leave them for the poor, and for the stranger: I am the LORD your God." (Leviticus 23:22)
"And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corner of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleaning of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather the fallen fruit of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and for the stranger: I am the LORD your God." (Leviticus 19:9-10)
More...
Posted by venomlash on July 25, 2014 at 8:31 AM · Report this
venomlash 24
This is just a reminder that according to Seattleblues, soldiers who fought for our nation and earned Purple Hearts in the process should be denied the vote if they're too badly disabled to hold down a good job in civilian life.
Posted by venomlash on July 25, 2014 at 8:33 AM · Report this
25
@23

Try very hard and you might follow this-

Paul Ryan's proposal, and my comments, have to do with FEDERAL policies. Therefore the system by which my money is grabbed so that someone who refuses to take responsibility for their own life gets my money, federal taxation, is in fact the topic.

But let's be willfully ignorant and assume you're right. If someone pays $1000 a year in various state taxes, but collects several thousand in direct cash, food stamps, housing and medical assistance and so on- are they actually net taxpayers. (Hint, since liberals cannot do math especially as it's applied to economics. The correct answer is'no'.).

As to payroll taxes, FICA and unemployment and the like, the benefits a retiree collects are predicated on those taxes. In other words they'll get it back directly on retirement or unemployment. To ask that they contribute to their OWN retirement isn't unreasonable.

What moral obligations, religious or not, you or I feel aren't public policy. They're our duty, if we believe in the Judaic or Christian faiths, certainly. A personal duty, I might add, not a communal one. Or do you not believe in separation of church and state?
Posted by Seattleblues on July 25, 2014 at 10:20 AM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 26
So what we've learned in this thread is that SB continues to be an asshole and his opinion continues to be irrelevant for obvious reasons.
Posted by Pridge Wessea on July 25, 2014 at 3:37 PM · Report this
venomlash 27
@25: "If someone pays $1000 a year in various state taxes, but collects several thousand in direct cash, food stamps, housing and medical assistance and so on- are they actually net taxpayers[?]"
If I spend $50 buying lamps and gnocchi at my place of employment, but they pay me $80 that day for moving heavy stuff and tending the register, am I actually a customer? Of course I am! Just because the net flow of money was in my favor doesn't mean that I didn't buy stuff from them.
Now I know what you're thinking here. You're thinking it's unreasonable to compare me getting paid to poor people being given a tax credit, because I provided a service to my employer. Well, what do you think tax credits are for? You get a tax break if you're raising a child, because it's in Uncle Sam's interests that children be parented well and not suffer from malnutrition and disease when young. You get a tax break if you're a student, because it's in Uncle Sam's interests that people are able to become productive and well-educated members of society. It's no different than businesses getting tax breaks for hiring veterans or bringing jobs back home.

"As to payroll taxes, FICA and unemployment and the like, the benefits a retiree collects are predicated on those taxes. In other words they'll get it back directly on retirement or unemployment. To ask that they contribute to their OWN retirement isn't unreasonable."
Actually, you don't get those benefits directly back on retirement. The amount you get per month has some relation to how much you paid in, but it's pretty well removed. But let me get to the better point.
So, everyone pays into these agencies and funds, and those who become eligible all get some benefit from those collective contributions. Hmm, sounds like an explanation of government as a whole to me! On the one hand you're saying that these people are grifters because they don't (according to you) contribute to the common benefit, but on the other hand you're saying that they should contribute to the common benefit and so it's a good thing that they actually do. Make up your mind, Seattleblues! Are they grifters or do they fulfill their obligations to society?

"Hint, since liberals cannot do math especially as it's applied to economics."
I've chewed my way through multivariable calculus, linear algebra, and statistics, all at the college level. I'm not going to take this shit from a guy who doesn't have any postsecondary education (please correct me if you actually do) and who can't comprehend that paying for poor people to have preventative care actually saves us money overall.
More...
Posted by venomlash on July 25, 2014 at 4:51 PM · Report this

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