The Cowardly Ryan Has No Heart

Another example of why Republicans can’t maintain respectability came this past week when Paul Ryan, chair of the House Budget Committee, walked back his statements regarding the culture of poverty that exists in the inner city.

Speaking on Bill Bennett’s show “Morning in America,” Ryan said– among other things- that there is a “tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value of work.”

The Congressional Black Caucus claims Ryan’s statement was “highly offensive.”  How the truth is offensive is anyone’s guess.  Everyone with eyes can point to any inner city in the country and clearly see the chaos and dysfunction that permeates it.

And black Democrats couldn’t pass up another chance to embarrass themselves and prove yet again, why no one takes blacks who vote Democrat- or black Democrat politicians- seriously.

Barbara Lee (D-CA) called Ryan’s statements a “thinly veiled racist attack” and added, “Let’s be clear, when Mr. Ryan says ‘inner city,’ when he says, ‘culture,’ these are simply code words for what he really means: ‘black.’”

So?

Aside from whites and Latinos who also live in the inner city, whether Ryan meant “black” or not, isn’t important because it isn’t a racial issue.  But the merits of what he said are undeniably true.

More importantly, it’s NO coincidence that these same inner cities, which have been run and ruined by progressive politicians and suffer from a culture of moral, spiritual, and economic poverty, are all under the political leadership of the Congressional Black Caucus. So in essence, Paul Ryan was unintentionally calling the Congressional Black Clowns out on their lack of political leadership and influence upon the districts they represent.  That’s one reason why the CBC is calling Paul Ryan racist.  The CBC wants to deflect attention away from their contributions to this problem, which directly indicts their perpetual failures as political leaders.

But even more troubling is that Ryan- who went through the trouble of drafting a 200-pg report on the federal government’s fifty-year failure on the “War on Poverty,” detailing how welfare programs trap beneficiaries in poverty- is now apologizing for what he said, claiming his statements were “inarticulate.”  Ryan has also agreed to meet with the CBC, which means he’s volunteered to grovel as penance, hoping for absolution.

This is nothing more than another public example of black power (black grievance) leveraged with the manipulation of white guilt.

Sadly, in post-modern America the truth is now referred to as “inarticulate.”  When that truth is spoken, and people are “offended,” it’s apologized for.

With all due respect to Congressman Ryan, his retraction due to the CBC’s campaign of public intimidation shows that he’s a coward and he typifies the essence of today’s Republican party.  It’s one reason why so much effort is made by conservatives to distinguish themselves from Republicans.  Republicans have no courage, vigor, initiative, backbone or testicular fortitude to speak the truth and condemn those who would seek to silence them, regardless of the issue.  By acknowledging the CBC’s foolishness, Ryan gives these benefactors of affirmative action credibility in attributing his statements- and the party he represents- to racism.

Doing this also demonstrates that Ryan and the GOP, still aren’t ready to commence serious outreach to poor and minority communities.

Ryan shouldn’t be apologizing for the truth that data and common sense affirm.  What characterizes the inner cities- rightly called ghettos– is a culture of poverty which unproductive and inefficient welfare programs aid and abet.  This is why everyone who can do so, leaves the inner city as soon as they get the chance.  This should be said over and over and over.  What else do people call high rates of illegitimacy, fatherlessness, abortion, broken families, violent crime, drug and alcohol abuse that isn’t accompanied by any moral stigma, but funded by federal and state governments? It isn’t called the American Dream I can guarantee you that.

No one expects anything more from the CBC than the racial charade we see here; the bar really is that low- completely earned, by the way.  By acknowledging their empty cries of racism, congressman Ryan has allowed the CBC- emblematic of black Democrats and their white counterparts, everywhere- to excuse the inexcusable behaviors that characterize and contribute to the culture of poverty.  This is precisely why alleviating high rates of poverty in America will never happen.  Democrats need poor people as a constituency so they excuse their behaviors and Republicans are afraid of calling Democrats on it.

Paul Ryan should’ve ignored the CBC in the same manner the CBC ignores its constituents.  He also should’ve doubled down on what he said on Bennett’s program, standing firm on the truth.  Instead he gave the CBC unearned credibility and proved once again, that Republican leadership is just as gutless as Democrat leadership.

Is it any wonder why our country continues to proceed in the direction it is?

The War on Poverty, Fifty Years Later

Fifty years after Lyndon Johnson initiated the war on poverty, America is close to the same percentage of people in poverty now as it did then. Over fifteen percent of Americans- fifty million- people are currently living in poverty.

Statistics such as these indicate that the so-called war on poverty has been a continually mismanaged disaster. That isn’t to say that there haven’t been people helped by this initiative, but all things considered, it’s been a failure.

Among other things, the war on poverty has successfully undermined the institution of the family, it has robbed millions of Americans from experiencing the nobility and dignity of work as a result government subsidization; and it has created, encouraged and nurtured a sense of dependency and a mentality of entitlement among the benefactors of social welfare programs. Rather than effectively combating poverty and reducing its numbers, the poverty industry- along with the massive bureaucracy that accompanies it- has instead expanded the underclass of poor people by making them comfortable with- or desensitized to- being poor. I believe this to be immoral.

The disastrous effects of government-supported poverty are recognizable across racial lines, but the destruction has been particularly evident in the black community. The war on poverty has effectively and perpetually subsidized the dissolution of the black family while rendering the black man as husband and father irrelevant, invisible and more specifically- disposable.  The result has been several generations of blacks being born into broken families and communities, who have experienced social, moral and economic chaos fostering inescapable dependency primarily- and many times, solely- on government to sustain their livelihoods.

In 1940’s, black illegitimacy was roughly fifteen percent and during the same period, through the 1950’s, black women were more likely to be married than their white counterparts. During this time, under ten percent of black families with children were headed by a single parent. Sadly, after- and partially as a result of the war on poverty, that number is now seventy-three percent.

Around the time Lyndon Johnson initiated his Great Society programs, the illegitimacy rates were much lower than they are now. Overall, the national rate was approximately twenty-five percent; for whites, the rate was around three percent and for blacks it was twenty-five percent. Now, America has over forty-percent of her children born to single mothers, while blacks have seventy three percent out-of-wedlock births.

What woman needs a father or husband when she, for all intents and purposes, is married to the government?

This so-called ‘war’ has used poverty as political tool to justify wealth redistribution without regard to the poor. This is a passive admission by those who engage in this kind of politicizing that the poor aren’t intrinsically valuable who are in need of help; their value resides in how effectively they can be manipulated as political pawns.

This too is immoral.

We can’t simply judge socio-economic policies merely by their intentions.  Rather, we have to judge them on the merits of their results.  If we judge the results on reducing poverty in general and in real numbers, I would say that this policy has failed.  Materially, those who are considered impoverished are much better off than they were half a century ago- from where they live, to what many drive, to the public transportation they ride to the televisions they watch to the smartphones they clutch.  But there are more people, numerically, considered poor today than in 1964 (when the numbers of poverty where actually abating) and though they’re better of materially, they’re still, statistically speaking (based on federal income numbers), in poverty.

As such, the war on poverty has been a failure both morally and economically- to the tune of trillions of dollars. The attempts to alleviate poverty (and I say alleviate rather than eliminate because poverty, for a number of reasons, will never be fully eradicated) will continue fail until we elect courageous officials who will take the necessary steps to reinstitute welfare reformation (eligibility and work requirements), which reduces dependency. Elected officials will also have to: redefine eligibility (so those seeking a free ride can be removed thereby ensuring more provisions get to those who actually need it, rather than want it); eliminate bloat and the redundancy of welfare programs, reduce bureaucracy, and transfer more responsibility to state and local governments who are closer to where the poor are.

Politicians will also need support and encourage the social institutions- beginning with the family, and the church- that are responsible for inculcating an upright character, a strong and dependable work ethic, sacrifice, quality education, and a value system that supports a mentality which embraces economic opportunity.

More specifically, those in poverty need to be equipped and empowered to be responsible participants in their own ascendant destiny rather than continuing to cultivate and embody a culture of mental and physical dependency upon those who’ve embraced the cultural values that have led toward moral and socio-economic success.

Jesus said that the poor would always be with us.  They surely will if we continue fighting poverty as we’ve been doing- and in greater numbers too.