LETTERS: Rep. Ryan’s brilliance dumbfounding

To the editor:

Boy, is Rep. Paul Ryan a smart fella. He figured out all by himself that the No. 1 solution to decreasing poverty is to give the poor people good-paying jobs (“Ryan: Poverty programs need overhaul,” Saturday Review-Journal). Now why didn’t I think of that?

How does Rep. Ryan propose to find all these good-paying jobs for the poor? By studying poor neighborhoods and finding the successful poor, who have found apparently poor-paying jobs (since they are still considered poor) and put their kids through college (apparently for free since they don’t have any money). These successful poor can then be used as shining examples to show other poor people how to be successful with a low-paying job and no money to put their kids through college. Makes sense to me.

But how do we find high-paying jobs for the poor? Again, that smart fella from Wisconsin has the answer. It’s easy, he says: We just give the poor less government aid, so that all the low-paying jobs look like high-paying jobs to the poor. Again, I’m kicking myself for not thinking of that.

There are a couple of other things I’m sure Rep. Ryan is working on to help the successful poor. I’m sure that his latest budget proposal includes a tax break for the poor by reducing their top marginal tax rate, which can be as high as 80 percent, as he pointed out in his presentation. And the mentoring program that Mr. Ryan is pushing sounds promising. After all, what could possibly go wrong with having former gang members and drug addicts mentor troubled students on how to overcome adversity?

People on the right say that the system isn’t working. I can’t argue with that. They also say that we should cut social programs and let free enterprise determine peoples’ fates. But then, isn’t it the failure of our so-called free-enterprise system that makes it necessary for the government to have all these social programs in the first place? If the largest economy in the world can’t generate enough good-paying jobs to support everyone who wants to work, how can you call that system a success?

Rep. Ryan has it all figured out. By speaking to 1,800 hedge-fund managers, political and business leaders and celebrities at a private meeting at the Bellagio, he is doing his job to bring the plight of the poor to the rich and famous. After all, if we can turn the successful poor into social entrepreneurs by making them hedge-fund managers, then we have solved the problem.



Benghazi answers

To the editor:

It looks like we are back to the “Republicans are poopheads” type of letters to the editor (“Benghazi investigation,” Friday Review-Journal). So no one is interested in the answers to the questions of why no military aid was sent to our besieged consulate? Or what the president was doing in the time between when the attack started and our ambassador died? Or why the absurd story was pushed that a video was responsible for demonstrations that got out of hand?

If it’s true that no one is interested, then we are in serious trouble.

And while we are on the subject of Benghazi, what is it with the bizarre Tom Toles editorial cartoon from the same day, showing the Republicans looking for a scapegoat? The Republicans aren’t looking for a scapegoat, because they don’t need one. All they need is to find out who was responsible for the Benghazi disaster and the ridiculous lies afterward. It’s the Democrats who need the scapegoat.