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Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan Talks to CBS about Overcoming Poverty

It’s not the amount of money you
use, but how you spend it that matters. According to Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan,
the US Government needs to develop real solutions to poverty instead of
flooding poor communities with so many resources that the individuals taking advantage of said resources are dissuaded from ever improving their lives

Last Sunday, Paul Ryan discussed poverty and the federal government’s failure to decrease poverty rates despite “trillions spent” during the CBS program “Face the Nation.” Rather than spending more money in the war against poverty, he believes the answer to be found in more effective spending.

Host Bob Schieffer asked Ryan to tell him about the tour of small town America he took just after his defeat alongside Mitt Romney in 2012. Ryan explained that he encountered new
perspectives, underlying anxiety, and true despair. He also found “incredible
stories of redemption in the poorest communities in America” from individuals
escaping poverty.

Ryan believes that the key to
healing these communities is not telling them what to do, but listening to them
and learning from them. Ryan calls for a welfare reform “not to save money, but
to save lives” and has ideas for flexible programs that can be customized by
state to more effectively target problems on a case-by-case basis.

Ryan is frustrated that after 50
years of fighting poverty, America’s poverty rates have stayed the same. The fact that 45 million Americans live in poverty is unacceptable. Another government failure, says Ryan, is the way it measures success.

Simply put, the current system isn’t working.
And even worse, the myriad of programs available promotes the idea that being
poor and unemployed is okay because the government will take care of you. This
is an attitude that sorely needs to be extinguished if we as a country are
going to improve our poverty rates. What ever happened to the core American belief
that the conditions of your birth do not determine the outcome of your life?

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