Paul Ryan’s past apology for claiming America was comprised of “Makers and Takers” now appears less than sincere.
Speaker Ryan’s catchy new phrase declares his intent to move people from “Dependency to Dignity.” It underscores Ryan’s apparent belief that those not working are lacking in worth and value. The nearly 1,000 employees at the Manitowoc Company and the Brillion Iron Works that have lost their jobs, possibly their homes and their futures are not aided by Ryan’s cruel choice of words.
They lost their job, not their dignity. They need help, not a scolding.
Ryan has long held that government support for those failing to achieve the American dream breeds laziness and dependency. Ryan’s plan to move people towards “dignity” calls for huge cuts in programs like Food Stamps and Medicaid. Yet 68% of those being helped by food stamps are children, elderly or disabled. Over 6 million recipients live in a household that has people working.
Speaker Ryan offers a tax plan that will confer 99.6 percent of its benefits on those earning more than $700,000 a year. This return to “trickle down” economics offers neither reward nor hope to anyone beyond those at the top.
President Roosevelt offered more thoughtful words: “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”