In the battle to explain the riots over the indiscriminate killing of black people in terms which will appeal to conservatives, we have a new winner! Paul Ryan, step right up and show us what you got!
“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. It pays not to take a risk to take a job to go out an prove your life because of the benefits your lose.”
Yep, welfare is just. that. awesome. Or, I suppose you could put it another way: “Until employers pay a real living wage, people are actually better off on government assistance than working for said employers.” Gee, if you put it that way, it makes those God-like “job creators” look like assholes, doesn’t it?
I wouldn’t put it that other way, though, because “poverty” isn’t the problem: It’s police killing black people and getting away with it which suggests that non-black society is ok with this state of affairs. Talking about “poverty” may score points with Ryan’s owners, but it doesn’t come close to addressing the issue.
Ryan goes on to wax false-nostalgic about The American Dream:
“The American idea is that the condition of your birth doesn’t determine the outcome of your life. Anybody in this country can overcome their current circumstances and make a better life for themselves and their kids. We were taught believing that, [Republicans] believe that. There are a lot of people who don’t believe that.”
It’s not technically a lie, I suppose, but it’s misleading as all get-out. The condition of your birth doesn’t determine your outcome, but it can and usually does have a great deal to do with it. Anybody in the U.S. can overcome current circumstances, but it usually takes a great deal of good fortune; hard work alone ain’t nearly enough. Republicans are taught this because it makes the privileged people feel good about themselves. It makes them feel as though their privilege was something they earned, and, conversely, it lets them take a dump on people who weren’t fortunate enough to be born into privilege or didn’t hit the lottery by combining hard work and good fortune to better themselves.
The TL;DR? If you really believe that welfare is just too lucrative, then you probably ought to take a few moments to reconsider pretty much everything in your life.