Paul Ryan Refuses to Allow Poor People to Testify at Hearing About Living in Poverty

paul-ryan-idiotI say this with absolute confidence towards anyone who’s poor yet still votes for Paul Ryan – you’re an absolute idiot.  While I believe the entire Republican party loathes the poor, I don’t know if there’s any other conservative in Congress who more brazenly shows his contempt towards those living in poverty.

Next week, Ryan is set to hold a hearing on poverty featuring three “experts.”  I put experts in quotation marks because none of these three individuals has ever lived in poverty.  As someone who grew up dirt poor, you really can’t be an “expert” on being impoverished unless you’ve actually, you know – lived in poverty.

You would think that a hearing to discuss poverty might feature some people who actually live in poverty.  Except, Paul Ryan won’t let that happen. Director Mariana Chilton of Witnesses to Hunger, an advocacy project that shares the stories of low-income Americans, said, “When Ryan had his first hearing last July, we wrote to his office to see if we could testify, but they weren’t interested.”

This kind of reminds me when I see panels of all males discussing women’s health.  While it’s easy to talk about “stats” that tell you what it’s like being poor, until you’ve lived a life where you weren’t sure if you’d have food to eat or electricity the next day, you really don’t know what it’s like.  For many people, “being broke” consists of having to cut out HBO from the cable package or eat out less every month.  For poor people, it’s living in a constant state of fear that even the slightest unexpected disaster in your life could be the difference between having a home for your children and your children being homeless.

Paul Ryan clearly has a deep disdain for the poor.  He almost seems to view them as some kind of virus he wishes he could eradicate.  Sure, he’ll give lip service to act as if he cares about helping them, but by his actions he clearly has nothing but deep-seated contempt towards those living in poverty.

If you doubt me, just take a look at his budget.  It’s nothing more than a bunch of tax cuts to help the rich, while gutting programs that help poor and middle class Americans.

So while he’ll hold his little hearing next week to “discuss poverty” with “experts” (none of which have ever lived in poverty), it’s nothing more than a ploy to make him seem like he cares about helping the poor – when in fact he couldn’t care less.

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.


Facebook comments

  • Peter

    This guy is so out of touch with the real world that he makes Sarah Palin look “smart”. Get off the drugs moron before it’s too late.

    • moe/larry & curly keys

      actually even if palin is low IQ; she remains a sexy babe considering that 99% of GOP/tea party/regressive women are scabby looking

      • wolfendenpackleader

        but that nasal whiny naggy voice is worse that chalk on a blackboard when it makes that sound that makes your hair stand on end.and her nose is hideous and I have seen several pictures of her when her meanness comes shining through when she thinks no one is taking her picture. she has an ugly soul, that should be enough for any man to run as fast as he can away., And where has Todd been lately, have not heard much about him in a long time.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        agreed ,,,but her idiocy and greatness for skewering the rightwing for BIG money ( give credit where due) makes her quite appealing to me for a one nighter–
        NOTE: if she has ugly boobs I will run even b4 that

      • mms

        yeah, know what you mean. 99% of the GOP/etc. are scabby looking also…..

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        I like (a lot) how all the regressive crybaby rightwing guys are getting verrrrry fat– oreilly,,,,, Hannity,,,,,,,,,,, Limbaugh,,,,,,,,glenn beck,,,,,,,,,,,,,and my fave HUCK(ster)ABEE!!
        ,,,,,,,,,,, the GOP mantra? ” a waist is a terrible thing to mind”

      • man with common sense

        Said the guy who loves the party of Barney Frank, Joe Biden and, oh, by the way…the party with the most congressmen who are millionaires! If they care so much more for the poor than Repulicans, how about they take some of their money and give it to them?

      • regressive teaparty trash

        biden not overweight
        keep crying and suckling the rusted tete of regressive white trash tea party cretins

      • robingee

        That’s not helping. Republicans are very concerned with looks and often rag on womens’ appearances. Let’s be better than that.

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        repubs generally rag upon womens RIGHTS,,,,,
        Im thelyphthoric- so sometimes I cannot( willnot) help it with my off tempo rants

      • William D Hendricks

        Upon what facts do you base that conclusion?

      • danton5

        Well, how about Rush Limbaugh calling Chelsea Clinton the White House Dog? Or making fun of Michelle Obama’s posterior?

      • richard

        In terms of her physical appearance, I believe we’re all witnessing a juncture in her life where Gravity has taken her in its cruel embrace and has begun to pull, inexorably, at the portions of her face and body most likely to be influenced by the constant downward tug toward the waiting permafrost. This means two things; 1. The major counter factor against her repellent personality was her looks, and without that, you just have a mean-ass bitch. 2. The one thing that kept he booked as a cheerleader for stupid was her looks, so that’s over soon.

      • Sean Jones

        Without her looks she is Michelle Bachmann

      • regressive teaparty trash

        to quote Arthur fonzarelli,,,,,,,
        ” correct-a-mundo”

      • Marilyn Olsen Scheffler

        Why are we mentioning Palin? I thought this was about Paul Ryan and his so-called “caring for the poor”! Somebody’s physical appearance isn’t that important to me—it’s what’s inside and how they treat people that makes a difference.

      • regressive teaparty trash

        really? well- that’s where U and I differ as I have a TON of experience with life to know that a persons outsides is a mirror of their “insides” and self esteem
        u might like corpulent humans as sexual partners; NOT MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

      • regressive teaparty trash

        I still thinks she is “relatively” yummmie————- but I do love what ya’ wrote!!!
        look up ” Marilyn lange” photos———– finest looking woman EVER to walk on this planet

  • rossbro

    Ryan is a heartless prick ! Nasty as they come.

  • John Wasco

    Ryan is a piece of dog shit!!!!

  • Avatar

    If society collapses that deemed monetary systems to be very obsolete, rich people won’t survive the apocalypse while poor people will survive it. Why? We’re far more united and having better support base while the wealth will attempt to enact the slavery systems that history will show that it is failed theory.

    We’ll make sure that no politicians in exception for few along with billionaires and millionaires would be ever welcomed into new society.

    • wolfendenpackleader

      they rich have no real survival skills. they have had everything handed to them their whole lives and if it ever came down to doing anything for themselves, they are helpless. let’s see Ryan dig up a garden plot by hand and clean all the stones, roots and plants from the dirt, then plant it, grow a garden to feed his family, go out and chop food to cook food on and heat your home. He would not be able to hack for for more than a few days at the most, or Mitt or Rand, lets see them go out and try to survive as they tell us to do, but if we do as they say, it is also illegal, or you have to have tones of permits and those cost money and so many of todays politicians signed Monsanto’s anti-organic farmers bill into law, which includes YOU, if you grow a garden, it is illegal and some places in America and Canada are destroying peoples gardens if the homeowner does not destroy it, usually in September just a week or so before harvest. I have seen too many instances where the cities come in and totally trash people gardens, which the politicians tell the poor to grow and then also put into law bans on doing that very thing.

      BTW-you can buy seeds with food stamps. it is the law-many stores do not know this. seeds used to be like 39 cents a pack of a lot of seeds, thanks to Monsanto and fiends, they are like 2.99 on up to 8.99 a pack of seeds and there are not as many and they are also GMO seeds for about 80% of the seed market.

      • Sean Jones

        Paul Ryan do manual labor? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. He couldnt even wash his own dishes.

      • regressive teaparty trash

        ryan suspects “manual labor” is an undocumented gardener

  • moe/larry & curly keys

    isn’t he the guy who plays QB for the packers?

    • Pipercat

      You’re thinkin’ of the Falcons…

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        and is soon to lead the “league” in fumbles

  • Ampsie22

    Ryan, do you remember when you were poor?

    • wolfendenpackleader

      he was never really that poor

      • moe/larry & curly keys

        as poor as o’reilly claims HE ( bill O)was growing up

    • Avatar

      He never understood poor living because his family was part of upper middle class.

    • alikhat

      Not being stupendously wealthy is not the same as being poor. Ryan has never known anything like true want. His idea of destitution is having to get to or from an airport without a private limo driver.

      • DoctorButler


  • Cathryn Sykes

    Like holding hearings on the military…and refusing to let a single soldier talk.

  • Pipercat

    Let them eat wieners!

    • wolfendenpackleader

      wieners are not cheap. sometimes you might see them for $1.00 a pack, but they normally are like $4.89 a package of skimpy pieces of meat and there are like 8 servings to 10. when they cut your food stamps to $52/mth and you worked all your life it is like a slap in the face of those working people who pay the money for these elected assholes who love to tell the poor-you eat too much, so you are getting too much to eat. Medically speaking, people are fat because they cannot afford a proper diet, which would lead to a normal weight and a healthier body but that cost too much. might cut into the tax cuts 1 cent on a billion dollars for the rich or more war toys.
      Also that Ryan bullshit about “teach a man to fish crap” does that idiot even realize that you have to have a fishing license every year, equipment, bait, really could use a boat as off shore fishing is not as good, they you can only fish for certain types of fish and certain sizes at certain times of the year or you can be arrested. Then you have to look at the access to get to a place to fish-good luck and if the 98% of us who fall into that category Ryan puts us, you have to also know about the safety of the fish you eat, especially pregnant women and small children. Add to the fact almost all fish-and it has been few and far-I have caught since the 80’s if any at all, are parasitic, open sores, sickly looking and that was beofre the days of all the dirty energy polluting our water even more with poison carcinogenic chemicals. Then you look at Ryan thinking that Americans can catch enough fish to feed their family, over 320+ million of the reported roughly 330 million Americans, all year long every year is asinine.
      Even up in Canada well over 500 miles from civilization in the wilds, a co-worker went with his dad and uncle for their yearly fishing trip in 1986 and the fish were unhealthy that far away from people and big dirty corporations. So when you look at the real situation of little to no safe fish left on earth and than add the Corexit used to disperse oil spills-carcinogenic also- then the radiation from Fukushima, other pollution they don’t tell us about. Ryan’s fishing comment is an insult, unless he intends for the middle class and the poor should starve to death or if they are lucky enough to catch anything and eat it, they get cancer and die. Bet he would throw a party for every one who dies. But it makes no sense for these creeps who dictate rules to women and demand they give birth to every pregnancy when they obviously hate the poor so much or are the Teabaggers/Republicans that sadistic they get off on the suffering of the poor ?

      • Pipercat

        Dude, roll with the joke……

      • wolfendenpackleader

        Pipercat, I realized the joke immediately, especially after the “Anthony” episodes with his WIENER problems. Also my friend was out of state and locked up in the nut unit of a hospital when visiting Florida and the head doctor’s name was Wiener. she said every time she had to talk to him it was hard not to crack up laughing. They discovered she was an eccentric and that was how she was normally before they released her after 2 weeks.
        Actually, the GOP and fringe want us to all eat each other, you know, like feed the homeless to the hungry.

      • Pipercat

        I guess I shoulda done an Eddie Munster schtick…

      • Guest

        Munster is good on plain, white toast.

  • Heather Hakenewerth

    I’ve lived in poverty my whole life. Worked in poverty-wage jobs for 15 years….am now disabled due to them. My husband works at our local Sonic Drive-In, and we have three children. Let me testify! I wanna see this POS look me in the face and tell me I don’t matter! That my whole family doesn’t matter! That the millions like us don’t matter! I wanna record it for the world to see, and then give it to Anonymous! It’s time for NEW government! Citizen-led! Iceland did it, so can we! Fight back against Patrician Tyrants!

    • aez

      Why would he be telling you that you don’t matter? Did you remain in poverty because all the programs we have that focus on it worked for everyone except you? The attention being paid to the problems that cause and result from poverty is being paid because it worries us, as a nation, that despite the billions spent on those programs, poverty has remained stable since the Great Society programs were implemented, and is drifting up. Your frustration is understandable, but Ryan is not the one to whom the poor do not matter, and it is sad that you have been persuaded that he is.

      • Sean Jones

        Do you really believe what you just wrote? If so, I feel sad for you. Its funny when Paul Ryan needed government handouts to pay for college, they were ok. but when people need that same help to buy food and keep a roof over their head, its a bad thing? Do you not see they hypocricy from the Reich wing?

      • aez

        What I posted in reply to alikhat applies to you, as well. Hope both of you have a good week!

      • alikhat

        The funniest thing is he actually thinks that comment was soooo darn clever, it was worth pointing out to others.

      • aez

        It actually took no cleverness at all to reply to the two of you…and I’ve just supplied you with your next reply to me, as well! Cheers!

      • The Dane

        You do realize that most of thouse programs are there not to combat poverty but to keep the poor fed? Poverty is a direct consequence of unregulated capitalism. Only way to mitigate poverty is either Unions or Government. No corporation will ever pay a living wage unless forced.

      • aez

        Unregulated capitalism is not what we’ve got here, so I’d be interested to know what country you’re referring to. Whoever has told you there’s no regulation on capitalism in the US is attempting to make you look very foolish indeed, and I’d advise you not to pay attention to them. And as for the purpose of the programs…”The Great Society…demands an end to poverty and racial injustice, to which we are totally committed in our time.” That was LBJ in 1964, widely regarded as the patron of the Great Society programs. It sounds like you are asserting that he didn’t mean that. What do you believe he meant instead?

      • Dave

        I have no idea what LBJ meant, nor do you. We never knew the man, but what I would like to say is this. You are a right wing asshole. Point blank, period. Your long winded one sided comments are meant to hurt, and we could care less as Democratic Americans. Our skin is thick, but from me to you, you are just an asshole. I say this as a college grad, former homeless person who worked my way up from dirt. I am management at a restaurant in KC and still struggle from time to time. I have never had a silver spoon, just a red white and blue heart. Cheers have a good week yourself.

      • aez

        Congratulations!–and whatever anyone may tell you, that is not meant to hurt. I work too, and I never had a silver spoon either, and actually I don’t think either of us needs one. Hope the rest of your weekend is good.

      • The Dane

        Who regulates your capitalism? US corporations are virtualy untaxed, in fact many recive massive grants from the government.
        US wages are totaly unregulated, and dictated by the capitalists.
        But please list the ways that capitalism in the US is regulated. I would think that it is hard for a system where capital = political power regulates capital.

        Foodstamps to take an example, can not create more jobs, it is just there to prevent that the serfs die of starvation, and is in a way indirectly yet another grant to the capital.

        The notion that a company can show a profit while parts of its staff lives in poverty is proof enough that you capitalism is unregulated.

      • aez

        Hmm. Seems to me that where business and capital are regulated (and that is in nearly every respect), regulation of the last remainders of capitalism flourishes. There are a lot of agencies whose purpose is to regulate business and capital, in many different aspects…and that is actually what those agencies do. Are you familiar with the SEC? Far-reaching regulations. The EPA has oversight in many industries. ERISA (and other areas of responsibility of the Department of Labor), EEOC, NRLB, FTC…I’m sure you know about these, so perhaps you mean something else. But these all regulate different aspects of business, and most businesses operate under regulations from many different agencies, both state and federal. There is so much regulation, in fact, that businesses often have to determine which of several conflicting regulations from various agencies will be most important to any given auditor (or the auditor’s boss), so as to be able to respond to those specific audits. (I imagine you can tell right away how that can go wrong, though it doesn’t always.) Since some of the last vestiges of capitalism show up in regulated business activities, seems to me these are applicable. If you do mean something different, could you clarify? Is it that you believe that, if only enough regulations were in place, nothing would go wrong? Not in this world, I’m afraid.

      • aez

        I think a lot of companies did learn a lot from the early union actions, and figured out from those issues how to compete for good employees. Competing for good employees is actually the issue now, for the companies that do not depend on union labor. I know unions want everyone to believe that nothing has changed, but that very basic element has changed, and it’s very significant. The purposes unions can serve have changed accordingly…but some of the big unions have yet to learn that, and I hope they learn it fast.

      • alikhat

        And right on cue one of the GOP’s useful idiots jumps up to spew their useless idiocy. Thanks for giving us a look-see into the bizarro world “reality” of the sociopathic right wingnut. It’s always good to know just how base the conservative base is.

      • aez

        Our rulers are counting on you! Glad you’re a good soldier for them. Mercy on your soul.

      • alikhat

        I love it when the crazies let me know what their head voices are telling them. Thanks!

      • aez

        You’re welcome, dear heart.

      • disqus_WhpgSMAxfs

        I am a fiscally conservative woman. I raised 2 children, with no child support (deadbeat dad, before anyone assumes otherwise) and NO government assistance. It kills me what the poor consider necessities these days.
        We never ate out, rarely went to movies, had NO phone of any kind, had a B&W TV, no cable. . . I WAS one catastrophe away fom homelessness. I still don’t buy the liberal agenda.
        Conservatives don’t hate the poor, they are tired of supporting the LAZY, poor. Those with the entitlement mentality–the somebody owes me, mentality are what disgust conservative-minded people.

      • alikhat

        If government assistance had been available to you in your time of need and you refused it because your twisted ideology was more important to cling to than securing your own children’s welfare, you are a fool.

        If government assistance was *not* available to you in your time of need and you now believe that everyone else should have to suffer as you and your family did because revenge is more important to you than simple human empathy, you are scumbag.

        Of course, I wouldn’t want to suggest you are limited to pick from one or the other of the above choices. After all, there’s no saying you can’t be both.

      • DoctorButler

        “The LAZY poor” DId you know that about 90 percent of welfare recipients are employed, and still need government aid to make ends meet. No, of course you didn’t, because you’re spoon-fed misinformation by old-media. I suppose working 60 hours a week makes one “LAZY”

        The remaining 10 percent consists of war-verterans (you know, the troops you “support” but only conditionally), really old-people, and the mentally/physically disabled.

        Try doing this thing called “research” before you speak next time.

      • regressive teaparty trash

        “there U go again…………..” ——————- annoying a regressive with facts

      • drklassen

        Right, so because your life was shitty while poor, ALL poor lives should be just as shitty or shittier. Classy.

      • dDouglas Cole

        And ALL the poor are lazy?

      • mcquestion5000

        You might want to save some of that disdain for the billions in corporate welfare the 1% are taking. Talk about entitlement mentality. Where is the conservative disdain for that?

      • aez

        Lots of us conservatives want corporate/political cronyism ended, and corporate taxation (and the taxes for the rest of us!) completely overhauled so the burden on all of us is less. Gonna be a hell of a fight to get any of that done, as our problems benefit political leadership of both parties. The last couple of Presidencies (Pres. Obama and Bush 43) have made this harder, no doubt about that. We’re trying to change our leadership accordingly…but also to leave some experienced hands in.

      • mcquestion5000

        Lost of “us” conservatives? Then why don’t I hear about it? Why don’t I hear more outrage about the 1% who are sitting on record profits and they squirrel away as much as they can in Cayman Island accounts, not paying a dime in taxes (And some huge corporations get a refund.)? These people who don’t pay any taxes to help fund repair of brides, roads and other infrastructure they don’t take because they’re flying around in private jets?

        What about these corporations that are sitting on record profits and refuse to pay a living wage to people stuck in these crap jobs, because they have outsourced all the labour to China and other places where there is no protection for the worker (Practically slave labour in some places?)?

        The demarkation in our beliefs is that some of us think they have a responsibility and they owe their taxes and a living wage to the people who helped sell their product and made their companies work. Others (GOP) believe they have every right to screw over as many working families as they can because that’s the religion of unrestrained capitalism (Probably because so many of them are incredibly wealthy to begin with.).

        Where is the outrage on FOX about that? Why are they defended as “job creators?” For China they might be job creators, but not this continent.

        Save your ire for the true welfare queens in the system, the corporations and the 1%, who insist on socializing their losses and privatizing their profits. They’re the biggest socialists on the planet.

        Welfare abuse? Please. It’s statistically low.

        The right isn’t waging a war on poverty. They’re waging a war on the poor. It’s that simple.

        Obama, at least, knows what it’s like to be poor. I’ll take him any day over a guy like Romney (“Captain Kolob.”), a lifetime one percenter who has no idea what it’s like to NOT be in danger of losing everything you own if even one little bump in the road occurs. Paul Ryan? Douche extraordinaire who, never having known true poverty, worships at the altar of Ayn Rand (But not the atheist thing.). He is an enemy of the 99 percent, pure and simple.

        Today’s libertarians? They believe in unrestricted capitalism, like most GOP fools. That’ll just get us unrestrained greed with no consequences and plenty of pollution and unemployment on top of it.

      • aez

        Hmmm…it sounds like you see it this way: since libertarians wish there were unrestricted, unregulated capitalism, that means it’s the system we have. How do you arrive at that? And I actually have not expressed any ire, certainly not the name-calling you indulge in above (hope it provided some catharsis). I’m hopeful, but not motivated by vengeance or anger. Have a good weekend!

      • Amanda Russo

        You’re right. We don’t have unregulated capitalism, and I hope we never do. There are a LOT of things messed up with our current system. However, if big business were allowed to do as they’d please they would steamroll right over workers.

        I don’t get why people are being so rude to you. I’m just excited that a conservative on here isn’t calling me a libritard.

      • aez

        Frankly, I do not see that there ever can be unregulated capitalism except in the shadow economies–the economies that run mainly on bribe and barter, and that grow in countries like Greece (a major reason why they can’t collect even a fraction of their taxes) and parts of Europe. Those are, in truth, unregulated, like the Wild West we once had, but will never have again. And you are absolutely right–we definitely do not want that. Part of the mess of the current system is actually due to the growth of regulation of capital and businesses…the more rules, the more cracks in between them, and the more mistakes they make, or advantage they take (it can go either way). I think a lot of these folks probably have never worked in the “corporate” parts of corporations…but I have, and I’ve seen the tons of regulations and the negotiations with auditors and regulators. I appreciate your courtesy, Amanda, and hope the rest of your weekend is great, as well!

      • aez

        And–forgot to say this in my prior post–I hereby apologize on behalf of the conservatives that have called you a libritard (another I sometimes see is “libtard”). It will not make any difference to those conservatives, I’m afraid, as they will continue on calling y’all names, similar to the Left calling the Right names under similar circumstances; I’ve seen it all over, and I’m sure you have, too. So this is a kind of ancient-oriental-sense-of-honor apology on someone else’s behalf, I guess.

      • mcquestion5000

        No, libertarians want even more unrestricted capitalism. The rich are removing their legal restraints one by one but they still exist to some degree.

        I called no one a name that didn’t deserve it, certainly not you, nor was it intended. Irritability? Yeah, you could say that.

        Catharsis? Not so much, but thanks for caring.

      • TruthHurts

        In other words, you had it hard, very hard. you had no phone, only B&W tv, no cable, probably had no healthcare, no preventative care, kids probably did not receive proper nutrition, and you as the article, says, was “one catastrophe away from homelessness”. Now finish the story of your success. Today where are you? How did you children turn out? Please let us hear more about this success story!

      • aez

        Good work! I bet your kids have turned out fine.

      • Marilyn Olsen Scheffler

        I’d like to see a list of all of the programs that the conservatives in office right now have done to help the poor! They have cut funding for programs one right after the other. I’m not for big handouts to people that don’t or won’t even try to help themselves but most of the poor we speak of are not guilty of doing nothing. It’s a vicious cycle for them and a hard one to get off of.

      • aez

        Hi, Marilyn: just wanted you to know I replied to you a couple of minutes ago with a chart based on government-supplied figures. It wasn’t abusive, but was deleted. The moderators of this forum evidently want you to believe that conservatives control both houses of Congress and that the use of SNAP (for instance), which depends on the funding someone has told you was cut by conservatives, has not risen steeply. AEI is a good source on some of these issues, though I believe you should decide for yourself. Cheers, and have a good week!

      • aez

        Also: I work in a food pantry, so I see many of the poor you speak of, and of course many of them are doing what they can. Insofar as the deck is stacked against them, government policy helps keep it that way. That’s part of what Ryan wants to fight…and that’s one of the things that makes the Left angry.

      • drklassen

        All these programs *do* work. But the oligarchs simply create more poor to help. And the con’s keep working to cut funding or make getting help more onerous.

      • Fabj

        You are deaf and blind. People like you are the reason the current minimum wage is half it’s value today under a typical 800% CEO salary boom since the 70’s. You are all ideology and no fact. You are more of a problem than Paul Ryan and I would appreciate if you leave my country.

    • William D Hendricks

      You seem to desire to complain rather than solve a problem. Mr. Ryan is looking for solutions, not proof of a conceded point.

      • Devon Lewis Adrian

        Paul Ryan is not looking for solutions. He is casting about for the most attractive window-dressing to disguise GOP policies that cause and continue poverty. “Compassionate conservatism” – that’s what W promised and we ended up with a wrecked economy and more Americans in poverty than ever!

      • William D Hendricks

        If that were indeed true, that he is searching for window dressing, then what better window dressing would there be than actual poverty stricken Americans? Perhaps even those who were victims of Obama’s policies. Perhaps a small business owner driven into the street because of skyrocketing energy costs and over regulation? But instead he wants a scholarly discussion of the issue to arrive at a solution.

    • modera8

      Did you ever think that it might not be a good idea to have three kids when you’re working poverty-wage jobs?

  • Edmond Dantes

    The premise of the article is wrong, as are all of the commenters that so eagerly swallowed the bait without thinking. Paul Ryan does not control the witnesses before this or any other House committee. Under House rule XI(j)(1), minority members have a right to call witnesses during a Committee hearing. Maybe these minority members dropped the ball, who knows. Any decent journalist would know this and cover it off in a story with this sort of headline. If they cared abiut the truth, that is.

  • David Sullivan

    I think the people who agree with this writers opinion are missing the larger point of what these hearings are probably trying to accomplish, that being how to help combat poverty in this country. There is no doubt that if poor people were given the chance to appear at these hearings they would offer some very heartbreaking anecdotes about their personal experiences of life in poverty, however it is unlikely they would be able to offer any valuable or realistic solutions to combat poverty for the entire nation.
    One would not ask an overweight person for diet advice so why ask a poor person for advice on getting out of poverty?

    • DoctorButler

      That’s an extremely arrogant and dehumanizing opinion, Dave.

      I doubt you meant it that way, but it sounds like you’re implying that poor people aren’t intelligent; being poor simply means you are trapped in a system that’s rigged against you.

      Most of the people I know who’d fit into the “lower-income” bracket are much brighter than the rich kids I know, simply because they have more experience, and have better comprehension skills, because, when things aren’t handed to you on a silver platter, you gotta figure out how to get by anyway.

    • Always curious

      Here is an idea to help the WORKING poor. Raise the minimum wage so that people can actually WORK their way out of poverty.

  • Christian

    Ayn Rand is calling. She wants her thesis back.

  • richard

    No more talking, somebody start to build some guillotines, we’re going to need several hundred. ONe dismaying and overwhelming drawback to being just 1%… means you’re outnumbered 99-to-1. Pitchforks, torches, time for a damn round up.

  • worrierking

    My God! What more can this man do to show that he cares for the poor?

    Didn’t he have his picture taken while pretending to wash pots and pans at a homeless shelter?

    I’ve heard that he even went as far as making sure that none of the shelter residents had to come in contact with him. Imagine their envy if they had. Not only would they have still been homeless, but then they’d feel resentful and deserving of much better treatment from us.

  • William D Hendricks

    Mr. Clifton, you have a very seriously flawed argument. You start with an unsupportable assumption. From there your flawed argument, by necessity, falls apart.

  • Guest

    he is trying to get control of the crazy person in the white house who has no idea what to do. and speak of the koch brothers, maybe you should check and see how they got their money and the owner of oboma (george soros) at least they didn’t help the nazi’s kill their own people.

    • Sean Jones

      George Bush’s grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany. His business dealings continued until his company’s assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act. And its Obama, you illiterate tool

      • reallyfasted

        His nickname back then was Hitler’s Angel

  • mike

    how could u b in poverty today the governmsnt gives u everything u needif u want poverty go back before the 50s

  • AJ

    Every single comment I see is rude, we wonder why we get a bad rep. Lets show a little respect even if we disagree with the right.

  • Terence Sommer

    How many of you want progressive thugs in your neighborhoods.

  • dDouglas Cole

    He claims to be a Catholic, but like Anthony Scalia and others in high places, His philosophy in life is not based on anything in the New Testament.

  • guest

    Well I thin this particular post seems to try to make a mountain out of a mole hill. Ryan should have probably picked better experts but that’s not the same as refusing to let the poor testify…

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  • Scott Schwandt

    Went to college….got a degree…made good money, got laid off when Paul Ryan and company screwed up the economy, now working for the same rate of pay I did after high school…..which is poverty. Come walk in my shoes Paul Ryan ya COWARD

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