U.S. Rep. / VP nominee Paul Ryan delivered a major policy address yesterday in Ohio on poverty in America. It was a speech that Jack Kemp could have given 20-25 years ago and would be giving today if he were still with us. Jack’s son Jimmy introduced Paul, so there was no way to miss that connection.
The complete speech can be viewed here.
Following is a taste of it.
Today, 46 million people are living in poverty. That’s nearly one in six Americans – the highest poverty rate in a generation. During the last four years, the number of people living on food stamps has gone up by 15 million. Medicaid is reaching a breaking point. And one in four American students fails to attain a high-school diploma. In our major cities, half of our kids don’t graduate. Half.
In this war on poverty, poverty is winning. We deserve better. We deserve a clear choice for a brighter future. So what is the alternative approach that Mitt Romney and I are offering?
Well, to hear some tell it, we think everybody should just fend for themselves. But that’s just a false argument – a straw man set up to avoid genuine debate.
The truth is, Mitt and I believe in true compassion and upward mobility – and we are offering a vision based on real reforms for lifting people out of poverty.
I am a proud Republican. Our party does a good job of speaking to the part of the American Dream that involves taking what you’re passionate about and making a successful living from it.
But part of what makes America great is that when we don’t succeed, we look out for one another through our communities. My party has a vision for making our communities stronger – but we don’t always do a good job of laying out that vision.