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    Paul Ryan to Poor Parents: Even Your Kids Are Ashamed Of You

    Photo:  Salon

    Paul Ryan took to the podium at CPAC on Thursday and did not disappoint those of us waiting to pick at the lies this duly elected government official must tell in order to remind us all that our government --the very same government he volunteered to be a part of; the very same government that pays him a handsome salary and will give him lifelong perks--has been infiltrated so thoroughly by the socialists (that's us) huge chunks of it must be eradicated and the spoils turned over immediately to the only saviors who have our best interests at heart--the privateers.   (Why does Paul Ryan lie?  Because he's Paul Ryan and that's what Paul Ryan does and does and does.

    Here's a portion of what he said:

    "The way I see it, let the other side be the party of personalities. We’ll be the party of ideas. And I’m optimistic about our chances—because the Left? The Left isn’t just out of ideas. It’s out of touch. Take Obamacare. We now know that this law will discourage millions of people from working. [We do?] And the Left thinks this is a good thing. [They do?] They say, “Hey, this is a new freedom—the freedom not to work.” [Who says that?  Lemme at em!] But I don’t think the problem is too many people are working—I think the problem is not enough people can find work. [ Now you're talking] And if people leave the workforce, our economy will shrink—there will be less opportunity, not more. [Yeah, that's what we've been saying ever since you guys came up with that crazy outsourcing idea] So the Left is making a big mistake here. [They are?] What they’re offering people is a full stomach—and an empty soul. [Okay, now--what?] The American people want more than that."

     So then he went on to explain that remark about the full stomach and the empty soul:                               

    "This reminds me of a story I heard from Eloise Anderson. She serves in the cabinet of my friend Governor Scott Walker. She once met a young boy from a poor family. And every day at school, he would get a free lunch from a government program. But he told Eloise he didn’t want a free lunch. He wanted his own lunch—one in a brown-paper bag just like the other kids’. He wanted one, he said, because he knew a kid with a brown-paper bag had someone who cared for him."

    Now, I know I'm not the only one to sit up and take notice over that one.  It's been all over the place.  But the emphasis from most corners has been on Paul Ryan's misuse of an anecdote that was lifted initially by Eloise Anderson, Scott Walker's appointee to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, who skewed the story to serve her own purposes after apparently finding something somewhat similar in Laura Schroff's book, An Invisible Thread.

    I don't care where it came from.  I don't care that Paul Ryan was careless about the source.  What grinds me most about this are these words out of Paul Ryan's mouth:

    She once met a young boy from a poor family. And every day at school, he would get a free lunch from a government program. But he told Eloise he didn’t want a free lunch. He wanted his own lunch—one in a brown-paper bag just like the other kids’. He wanted one, he said, because he knew a kid with a brown-paper bag had someone who cared for him.

    This is a representative of our government shaming poor people.  This is a man of privilege--a man who never hesitates to vote against safety-net programs designed to pull underprivileged people up and out and on their own; a man who, through his own "Ryan Budget", offered up huge cuts to the safety nets in order to give more to the rich and to the military--shaming poor parents by telling them their own children don't want a free lunch.

    He told a crowd--and the rest of us by extension via TV cameras--that poor kids are ashamed of their parents, that poor parents who accept government aid ought to be ashamed, and that we on the left are guilty of encouraging that kind of behavior:

    "That’s what the Left just doesn’t understand. We don’t want people to leave the workforce; we want them to share their skills and talents with the rest of us. And people don’t just want a life of comfort; they want a life of dignity—of self-determination. A life of equal outcomes is not nearly as enriching as a life of equal opportunity."

    This is what Paul Ryan does, and why he is so dangerous.  A quick reading of that quote above has everybody nodding their heads.  Skills!  Talents!  Dignity! Self-determination! Equal opportunity!

    But what he's really doing is equating essential programs like welfare and SNAP to "a life of comfort".  He's suggesting poor people are poor because they like it that way.  A "life of dignity" means getting out from under the government wing and going it alone.  "Self-determination" means you brought this on yourself.

    The "Brown bag" story means stop using your kids as pawns in order to get people to feel sorry for you and give you stuff.

    And, oh, by the way, get a job.  (But good luck with that, since the dreaded Obamacare just killed that avenue for you, too.  The theory goes that employers hate the idea of Obamacare so much they're cutting their workforce in order to show how much they hate it.  The insurance companies thank them very much.)

    This is Paul Ryan. He is wildly successful.  We pay him, but it's a drop in the bucket compared to his other income sources.  We will give him health and retirement benefits for the rest of his life--not that he needs us to pay for them.  We've given him the power, as a representative of the people, to use this public platform and he uses it to screw the least of us.

    If there's a lesson to be learned here, it's this:  Live with it.



    Well... There's another lesson to be learned . . .

    If there's a (second) lesson to be learned here, it's this:

    Someone grab a "Brown bag" and pull it down over Ryan's smug mug...


    Republicans will never see the irony in believing that helping poor people destroys their initiative, while at the same time, believing that helping rich people does NOT destroy THEIR initiative.   To Republicans, destroying initiative only happens to poor people that get stuff, not rich people that get even more stuff. 

    Libtard countries like Australia have programs like 'Growing Up Smiling' that give kids government funded dental care through the teen years. Talk about a free lunch. Where's the dignity, Australia? Where's the 'Go It Alone' Paul Ryan lifestyle? Have you no shame?

    Sadly, Socialist Finland is talking about trimming their welfare programs.  Even trimmed, it's a system we can only dream about.  Free higher education, free child care, free health care. . .

    They pay for their system with taxes, but businesses like Nokia have dwindled so they're thinking about cutting benefits for citizens in order to give tax breaks to companies willing to locate there.  I think we should tell them to pay attention to the U.S and be very, very careful.  It hasn't worked out so well for 99% of us.

    Has anyone else commented yet on the fact that if you don't have a job, then the conservatives will tell you both:

    1. it's Obama's fault because of all of the programs he's created that discourage the job creators from creating a job for you; and
    2. it's your fault because you're too lazy to get a job.

    And yet, I don't detect the slightest hint of cognitive dissonance from them!

    The unifying ideology of Republicans is: "Vote for us, it's not our fault".

    Everyone, except for them, is wreaking havoc on America.  Everyone but them deserves the blame. Only their record is clean and pristine. Only they can lead us out of the darkness.

    Even the simple act of giving a kid a free lunch is a symptom of our imminent demise, and is destroying us as a nation, - Paul Ryan.

    If their policies lead to disaster, which they inevitably do, as with the ancient irrelevant forgotten administration of George W. Bush, it's simply because he was not conservative enough.

    Thanks for posting this. Ryan is a cretin.Eloise Anderson told the story to a Hose committee as a personal encounter.Now see says that she "mis-spoke". She lied

    Ryan promotes himself as a loyal Catholic. He ignores the words of his own Pope's message of compassion for the poor. Charity is the basis of Christianity, Catholicism and Judaism. Politics and the power- hungry pervert the message.


    Rick Santorum surprises CPAC with plea for GOP to work for little people
    By Jim Newell in National Harbor, Maryland, theguardian.com, 7 March, 2014

    Former senator and Republican primary runner up: ‘Cutting taxes for high-income people doesn’t really cut it for most’

    Coincidence he really is a devout Catholic?

    The "Left" doesn't understand? Oh,we understand you Paul Ryan. You and the Republican Party want the working class to work themselves to death. You hate when the Government does anything to aid the poor, the afflicted, the oppressed, or the downtrodden. 

    The "Left" doesn't understand? Yes... yes we do. We understand. Paul, you and the Republicans have nothing to offer 99% of Americans. Your ideas and goals are to further enrich the 1%, cement income inequality, and shackle the working class with the chains of unbreakable Corporate Bondage and Wage Slavery.

    Hey, Grung, nice to see you here.  Ryan and his bunch need to keep repeating "the left doesn't understand" in order to convince their minions.  They know we do;  they're hoping we won't be able to figure out a way to get through to those minions by November.

      He says  that poor people want "dignity and self-determination". To me, that doesn't sound like saying that people want to be poor. He didn't suggest that the little boy on the school lunch program liked being poor.

      It seemed that what he was saying, or implying, is that Republicans will see to it that people get good jobs, while Democrats will provide government assistance

    Only Republicans can lead us from the dark world of free lunches for poor children.

    Side benefit, if Republicans eliminate the indignity of the gov't lunch, they get to cut taxes on the rich. 

    Cutting taxes on the wealthy in a nation which leads the industrialized world in children and families living in poverty is, of course, so dignified as to require no explanation.

    "Republicans will see to it that people will get good jobs"

    And you don't see a problem with this?

    Don't Republicans say if we eliminate job killing regulations on Wall Street, and cut taxes on wealthy job creators, it will create millions of jobs?

    Don't you think it is worth giving it a try?

    Wasn't there a trial of this policy with decreased taxes and regulation in the 1920s? Did that end well?  wink

    Time for Rip Van Winkle to wake up.  It's 2014.  Been there, done that.  A whopper of a fail.

    You are joking, are you not?

    Yeah Jolly. Just doing my dumb American voter with no memory meme.  The - I get my facts from the swift boat political commercials prior to elections, funded by secret donations of billionaires who really care about saving our way of life.

    Of course, 'conservatives' had it all in spades when GWBush was in power. Huge tax cuts and regulators who don't believe in regulation.

    Case in point, Stephen Moore, right wing economist, Club for Growth, Wall Street Journal board, Free Enterprise Fund, and now, Chief Economist at the Heritage Foundation.

    In 2004 Moore wrote the book Bullish on Bush: How George Bush's Ownership Society Will Make America Stronger, and now 2014, Moore has co-authored a book titled Crash Landing: How Bush, Bernanke, Pelosi and Obama Have Wrecked the U.S. Economy.

    Bush  Bernanke  Pelosi  and Obama!!!! WTF!!!

    Bu..t..t..t, GWB did everything Stephen Moore wanted!

    Moore even wrote a book proclaiming his love for Bush policy!

    How it would lead to a greatness! And economic strength!

    Now GWB is lumped in with Obama and Pelosi for crying out loud?

    And Moore is selling more books and snake oil at the Heritage Foundation?

    Which means Heritage has about as long a memory, or is as shrewd a judge of flimflam artists as the proverbial American voter profiled above?

    Daggers, the George W. Bush administration is neither irrelevant, ancient history or a one time anomaly. It is exactly what happens when the GOP is put in control of this country. No 'millions of good jobs'!

    Job losses!

    Huge deficits!

    Tax cuts for the rich, yes, of course!

    Constant lies/crimes and, inevitably,  economic collapse.

    The Republicans are WHY we have so many poor kids.

    That turnaround on Moore's book titles is hilarious. I have watched Naill Ferguson, a Harvard historian, rail about how things are collapsing because of Obama. Unfortunately for Ferguson, his predictions have been wrong. Just listening to his rambling explanations which are generally diversions criticizing the questioner for daring to ask an "irrelevant" question., I have often wondered why Ferguson hasn't been laughed out of his professorship.

       You mean do I see a problem with people getting good jobs or do I not believe the Republicans can achieve this? I doubt that the free market can eliminate poverty--if it could, it would have done it already--and I don't think Ryan is very concerned about the working class or the lower middle class. My point is that I don't think he was saying the things you attributed to him.

    I agree with you Aaron. It's clear to me that he wasn't trying to shame poor people. He was trying to say that poor kids are ashamed to have to need free lunch and have parents that can't afford to feed them, and he thinks that is sad and bad. And that Republican policy will get their parents jobs so that the kids don't have to be poor and ashamed. Which completely ignores the fact that most of those families have jobs that pay only poverty level.

    And I really don't understand Ramona's question that you are replying to here.

    "Republicans will see to it that people will get good jobs"

    And you don't see a problem with this?

    If promising jobs is a problem, every politician in this country has that problem.

    Looks like his speech was was all classic Ronald Reagan crap to me. Telling stories about how the left wants to take the pride of work away from people and how the GOP wants to help them. To do that well, you've got to have a story like the lunch story. It works, people feel sorry for the little bugger of the story. He is ashamed, let's all fix that and let the GOP get his Dad a job and a mom in a marriage where she can stay home and make lunches, instead of being on welfare where the liberals have enslaved them to non-working food stamp poverty. It's the kind of story that made for Reagan Democrats. Works with people who see shame in having to take either charity or government handouts, people who believe that there could be well-paying factory jobs available for everyone so there will be little need for either welfare or charity in the country.  And if you cut taxes, there would be more of those jobs blah blah blah...

    You don't think he was shaming poor parents?  I don't know how you can read this and not see what he was doing:

    But he told Eloise he didn’t want a free lunch. He wanted his own lunch—one in a brown-paper bag just like the other kids’. He wanted one, he said, because he knew a kid with a brown-paper bag had someone who cared for him.

    Paul Ryan is telling poor parents their kids are ashamed to get free lunches.  He's telling the rest of us that if those parents can't pack brown bag lunches at home and are, instead, relying on government handouts for their kids, they must not care about their kids.

    That's just odious.  I don't see how any poor parent would feel better after hearing that.

    As to either of you not understanding what I meant when I responded to the jobs comment.  I don't get your confusion there, either.  Who really believes, after all this time, that "the Republicans will see to it that people will get good jobs"?  They were the ones who killed the good jobs.  Who would ever believe they care about "good jobs"?  Election year rhetoric and nothing more.  If they really cared about people getting good jobs they wouldn't have worked so hard to make them go away.

    Paul Ryan got the story from Eloise Anderson, when she recounted it at a congressional hearing.  This is what Ryan heard and reacted to:

    Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler told Chait that it seems as if Anderson essentially fibbed to Ryan about the source of this story. Kessler cites the transcript of a July 31, 2013 congressional hearing, in which Anderson recounted the "anecdote" in front of Ryan:

    "My thought has always been around the SNAP program even when it was called "food stamps" is, why do you have this program, school program, school breakfast, school lunch, school dinner, when do we start asking parents to be responsible for their children?

    You know, a little boy told me once that what was important to him is that he didn't want school lunch, he wanted a brown bag because the brown bag that he brought with his lunch in it meant that his mom cared about him. Just think what we have done. If this kid tells me a brown bag was more important than a free lunch, we've missed the whole notion of parents being there for their children because we've taken over that responsibility, and I think we need to be very careful about how we provide programs to families that don't undermine families' responsibilities."

    That's pure Right Wing shaming crap.  It's also a way of justifying their lack of compassion for the poor.  Keeps them from giving our hard-earned money to those irresponsible people who just keep on being poor.  Much better to give tax breaks to "responsible" people who don't ask us for anything.  Right.

    Thomas Sowell has been clear that he wants to shame American poor. Here is Sowell's description of the poor.

    Most Americans with incomes below the official poverty level have air-conditioning, television, own a motor vehicle and, far from being hungry, are more likely than other Americans to be overweight. But an arbitrary definition of words and numbers gives them access to the taxpayers' money.

    Herman Cain is clear that poverty is the fault of the poor.

    CAIN: I don’t have facts to back this up, but I happen to believe that these demonstrations are planned and orchestrated to distract from the failed policies of the Obama administration. Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself! [...] It is not someone’s fault if they succeeded, it is someone’s fault if they failed.

    Note that Cain doesn't need facts to back up his opinion.

    Ain't nuthin no how the fault of Republicans or rich folks.

    Poh folks even crashed Wall Street with them liar loans libruls made em give out.

    Maybe a dumb question but when did brown bagging flip as a social status marker? I remember when people tended to be more embarrassed than proud bagging it.

    I also wonder if other kids would know which school-provided lunches were free and which were bought. If so, how do they know? Do schools no longer bother to make sure they know who they will be feeding ahead of time?

    Wouldn't singling out a kid on the free lunch program to interview and subsequently be used as an exemplar be even more embarrassing for him?


    It would be if it were true.  It's not.

    Most kids don't know until they are older.  They just line up and get their lunch.  The older ones wish they could get them free so they could spend that money on other things.  Some of them skip lunch to save their lunch money for games or music.  Schools are careful not to embarrass kids on this subject. They just want to teach and the kids to learn.  Kids do better in school if they are not hungry.  

    Absolutely.  It pays in the long run to keep kids fed so their brains can function.  It could be that's the problem.  They can't afford to have too many braniacs roaming around.  They might take over and then where would the Wingers and the Koch Brothers be?

    Right. And the next thing you know... Those well-fed, educated FREELOADERS will expect to VOTE!

    Shame works wonders in keeping people down.  If you can convince them it's their fault they won't look to any other reason for their misery.  God forbid we should blame the profiteers.  Not their fault when people are lazy, unmotivated and always looking for a handout.

    That guy is Out to Lunch. Don't expect him back soon.

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