[Content Note: Class warfare; racist dogwhistling.]
"There was a time when I would talk about a difference between 'makers' and 'takers' in our country, referring to people who accepted government benefits. But as I spent more time listening, and really learning the root causes of poverty, I realized I was wrong. 'Takers' wasn't how to refer to a single mom stuck in a poverty trap, just trying to take care of her family. Most people don't want to be dependent."—Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, in a Capitol Hill speech today.
Despite his claimed conversion, as Alice Ollstein points out at Think Progress: "His most recent poverty plan takes a punitive stance, punishing people who can't find a job by a certain mandated deadline by reducing their benefits. While Ryan did express a willingness in Wednesday's speech to evolve on policies like criminal justice, he offered no changes to this economic model other than more respectful rhetoric regarding the poor."
Typical Republican bullshit. We just need to be more civil in public discussions about our heinous policies!
It must be nice to be a dude so privileged he can make it all the way to a vice-presidential nomination of the Republican Party without ever having felt obliged to explore the root causes of poverty, and can become Speaker of the House before he learns that everyone who needs the social safety net isn't a lazy moocher.
Or so he claims, anyway. I am extremely dubious that this information is really new to Paul Ryan. I expect instead he's feigning this remarkable ignorance to avoid addressing the real reason for this supposed enlightenment—that the Republican Party needs to do everything they can to win white voters if they're going to have a hope in hell of reclaiming the White House, and, since white people actually compromise the majority of people using welfare, he's trying to tone down the classist shit in order to not alienate them.