The Compassion Of Paul Ryan

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 25 2012 @ 5:14pm

Yesterday in Ohio, Ryan unfurled his solution to poverty. Chait pounces:

He is the author of a plan that would, as budget expert Robert Greenstein put it, “produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history.” Upward mobility is Ryan’s constant answer to this objection. In his telling, his plans would make the economy more open and free, making it easier for the poor to rise and the rich to fall … Ryan assumes that increasing the role of the market and decreasing the role of government will increase upward mobility — the wealthier people can get, the easier it will be to get wealthy or to fall out of wealth. But he doesn’t argue it explicitly, and for good reason: There’s no reason to believe it. In fact, the evidence all suggests exactly the opposite. Economic mobility is higher in countries with higher levels of equality and lower in countries with lower equality.  

As Charles Blow itemizes the deception, Ed Kilgore reframes Ryan’s argument:

In other words, Medicaid and food stamps will be block-granted, which in the former case will (along with the repeal of ObamaCare) eliminate health insurance for 31 to 37 million poor people, and in the latter eliminate food assistance for a mere 10 million. And since Medicaid, food stamps and the earned-income-tax-credit (extremely unlikely to survive a Romney administration attack on “tax loopholes”) were key working-poor supports underlying welfare reform, it’s unlikely welfare reform will exactly thrive, either.