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Your Views: Paul Ryan should walk in different shoes

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May 20, 2014

Paul Ryan has toured the country examining poverty, and he has declared that “the best way to turn from a vicious cycle of despair and learned hopelessness to a virtuous cycle of hope and flourishing is by embracing the attributes of friendship, love and accountability.” The use of accountability leads one to suspect that Ryan believes that most in poverty are there because of a choice to be coddled by government.

 There are roughly 46 million Americans below the poverty line, but nearly half are working full time.

In Ryan’s hometown, 52 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced lunches. These parents are not dependent upon government, nor are they unwilling to take personal responsibility for their lives; they simply can’t earn enough money to escape need. Of the people receiving food stamps, half work full time at jobs that don’t pay enough to rise out of poverty. Military personnel make up 900,000, and 60 percent are children, seniors or the disabled.

 It is honorable that Ryan declares that friendship and love should be directed toward the poor, but if accountability is equally important, then the same demand must be placed upon Wall Street, the guys who made millions cheating American families.

 If Congressman Ryan will walk in the shoes of those in his own district, he will find poverty results from a lack of a job or a living wage, not a lack of an incentive to work.

JERRY HANSON

Elkhorn



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