Paul Ryan Pathetically Blames Poverty in Baltimore on Welfare Abuse (Video)

ryan1The poster child for just how little Republicans understand about poverty, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), proved once again how deranged the GOP is about impoverished Americans when he suggested that the chaos we recently saw in Baltimore is all linked to a systemic problem tied to ‘lucrative’ welfare programs.


“After a 50 year war on poverty and trillions of dollars spent, we still have the same poverty rates,” Ryan told CBS host Bob Schieffer during a discussion about the recent events in Baltimore. “This isn’t a Republican-Democrat thing. We as a country need to say, that’s not good enough. We’re not getting the results we need.”

Amazing isn’t it? To Republicans, poverty has nothing at all to do with the greed of the richest among us who continue to hoard cash by the billions, but it’s all about people who would rather live on welfare than get a job. Republicans like Ryan also never like to mention that there are millions of Americans on welfare who have full-time jobs, they’re just not paid enough at those jobs to take care of their families.

“I think we need to do another round of welfare reform, not to save money, but to save lives,” he continued. “And so it’s not a function of pumping more money into the same failed system because we’ll just get the same failed result. It’s rethinking how we actually attack the root causes of poverty. All we do these days effectively is treat the symptoms of poverty.”

Granted, his comments sound solid – but we all know his real “plan” is to gut these programs, throwing millions of Americans off programs that they rely on just to feed their families.

Then, finally, his true colors showed.

“Because what you do when you stack up all these poverty programs on top of each other, we have this thing called the poverty trap, where we’re actually disincentivizing a person from getting on with their life and going to work,” Ryan stated. “It pays not to take a risk to take a job to go out and prove your life because of the benefits you lose.”

“The American idea is that the condition of your birth doesn’t determine the outcome of your life,” he continued. “Anybody in this country can overcome their current circumstances and make a better life for themselves and their kids. We [Republicans] were taught believing that. There are a lot of people who don’t believe that.”

And there’s the usual “we’re all given the same opportunities/welfare is too lucrative to get people to look for jobs” nonsense we’re used to seeing from Republicans.

While I fully admit there are people out there who do abuse our welfare system, they certainly don’t make up the majority of those who receive these types of benefits. All that sort of statement represents is hate-mongering by Republicans to get people angry about the “lazy person living off their tax dollars.”


And don’t even get me started on the absurd belief that anyone can overcome their current situation. There are millions of people born into situations that doomed them before they could even walk. While some do indeed make it out, statistically speaking, it’s far more difficult for someone to make something out of themselves when they come from an environment that’s not conducive to that. To discount the often overwhelming obstacles someone needs to overcome to take themselves from a broken home and poverty to success as an adult shows that Ryan doesn’t understand a damn thing.

But for Paul Ryan to try to use everything that went on in Baltimore, and everything that might have led to it, as an excuse to push for cuts to programs that help poor people is absolutely disgusting. His comments serve as a reminder to all of us just how little Republicans care about the poorest among us or the problems plaguing impoverished Americans.

Watch the video below via CBS News:




Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • wendy

    Curious what’s more evil to these people, the poor or atheists.

    • Sunnysmom

      The halls of hell will be filled with Republicans the likes of Paul Ryan. These are not Christians.

  • Frank DiChutney

    Fifty years of Democratic governance with billions upon billions thrown into trying to fix the problem, and Liberals like Allen still blame Reagan.

    Obama threw 1.2 billion dollars of Stimulus money into Baltimore. How’s that working, Allen?

    • david morelli

      Do the Wall Street banks have home offices in Baltimore?

      • Frank DiChutney

        Wall Street banks’ home offices are on Wall Street.

        What a dumb question.

    • david keener

      How much cocaine money did Reagan spend to buy arms for the rebels trying to overthrow gov’ts? And didn’t Obama stimulus money for the most part get handed over to those who bet against the US economy, and taxpayers paid them off to keep the economy of Bush from collapsing into another Great Depression? Wow, must be nice to go through life without fact checking your thinking. Maybe letting Fox tell you what is the “truth” makes life so much easier. Just blame that Black guy for everything.

  • bestfriend

    I love how they’re always trying to demonize the poor when everyone knows it’s the rich who are evil

  • Clintoris

    Baltimore is a city run by Democrats and like most cities run by Democrats it is full of poverty.

    • Sunnysmom

      Have you even bothered to look at a map of poverty rates by state in this country? Newsflash: Most of those states you will find are “red” states.

      • Frank DiChutney

        They’re not rioting in the streets, burning down buildings, smashing police car windows and throwing rocks at policemen. Also, they don’t get the funding Baltimore does per capita.

      • ThinkAboutIt

        Another thing that’s different about the high-poverty Republican-voting counties of red states is the very high rates of disability. It’s how red states lower their welfare bill – – push the cost onto federal SSI.

  • FD Brian

    “The American idea is that the condition of your birth doesn’t determine the outcome of your life,” he continued. “Anybody in this country can overcome their current circumstances and make a better life for themselves and their kids. We [Republicans] were taught believing that. There are a lot of people who don’t believe that.”

    the above is statistically not true. The number one determining factor of success in this country is the economic status of the parents you are born to. Sure, republicans will point to the success of Ben Carson and say “See you can do it”, well I can show you a 97 year old man who smoked 2 packs a day and has never had cancer, those are the EXCEPTIONS to the rules, not the rule. Keep that in mind.