During a segment on Meet the Press this Sunday morning, host David Gregory grilled Paul Ryan (R-WI) on his controversial new poverty plan. A
Gregory pressed the former Republican VP candidate on his past statements that suggested minorities in inner cities were part of a “culture of dependency,” kicking off a firestorm surrounding the racial implications of his economic ideology.
“It doesn’t sound there’s like a lot of sympathy for people who need the government’s help,” Gregory started out. “What you seem to be saying is that people have a problem with their own dependency here, that the government is only furthering.”
“That’s not my intent,” Ryan replied. “My point is we don’t want to have a poverty management system that simply perpetuates poverty. We want to get at the root causes of poverty to get people out of poverty.”
Ryan then claimed that his plan was intended to be “customized” to the specific needs of each person participating because poverty is “very complicated.” But he then returned to the oversimplified GOP adage that suggests poor people are lazily avoiding work and feeding off government.
“That is the thrust of these proposals. The federal government’s approach has ended up maintaining poverty, managing poverty. In many ways it has disincentivized people going to work. So we need to reemphasize getting people up in their lives, giving them the tools to do that. That’s the point.”