Friday, Micheal Sean Winters of National Catholic Reporter commented on Congressman Paul Ryan's anti-poverty speech at AEI. I saw the end of the discussion and was rather taken aback by AEI's statement that they do so much for the poor. I have not looked at the whole program online, so I waited for MSW to post the decription and comments, which you can find here http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/paul-ryans-anti-poverty-plan. If you have the stomach for Ryan's remarks, they are at http://triblive.com/politics/politicalheadlines/6432477-74/ryan-woodson-.... My remarks follow (at least read MSW first).
If MSW means by wedge issues that Republicans are favoring the Democrats over gay marriage then that would be news indeed. Actually, the Log Cabin Republicans were in the vangaurd of this issue early on.
As for Ryan on poverty, any speech to AEI does not inspire awe. I am glad he is concerned for the poor (he has to be as a Catholic), but lets remembr that the EITC and enterprise zones are standard Repbulican proposals, although the former is way too complicated (as a boon to tax preparers) and the latter is one of the President's active proposals, which was news because Jack Kemp did it. The real news would be Ryan supporting the Obama initiative. Additionally, The idea of one stop for assistance is not old. Alexandria, Virginia and presumably the state have been doing it for years.
What would be revolutionary is to pay beneficiaries to make up deficits in education while paying them a generous child trax credit (and pay the same to workers through their employers) with that pay. Ending TANF and Food stamps are good ideas, as long as they are replace by unencumbered payouts. As for Mediaid, I would end it for the poor and instead fund the agency providing the training to add the clients to the same plan the employees get. Now this would be anti-poverty according to the Golden Rule.
I also saw a part of the piece on the O'Donnell show. The fact that he gave it a sympathetic hearing pretty much is all that needs to be said about how MSNBC is as biased as FoxNews. While they are reflexively Democratic, they justify their positions with fact. As far as engaging Ryan, the Democrats won't (except for the fact that Obama has done most of what Ryan is saying to do, I know, I filled out the form for aid) engage because Ryan is not brining anything forward - at least not this year. I suspect that this speech was to remove the fear of thim becoming Ways and Means Chair after his disasterous Randian plan to cut Medicaid made such an appointment less credible. If anyone is engaging him on the issues, it is I - and I'm a Green. Perhaps this is where you should look for new ideas. The Democrats are about to join Hillary Clinton in an embrace with the Democratic Leadersip Council (actually, she's already a member).
MSW, if you want to engage anyone with answers in the fight against poverty, then take a look at my paragraph starting with the words "What would be revolutionay..."