I 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.