Paul Ryan on the war on Poverty “Poverty is Winning.”

Wednesday, in the critical battleground state of Ohio, Paul Ryan spoke about his plan for the 46 million Americans who live in poverty saying that “in this war on poverty, poverty is winning.” With one in six Americans living in poverty, Ryan said that he and Mitt Romney would help them join (or rejoin) the middle class. “Many of those living in poverty today were in the middle class just a few years ago. We can help them regain the ground they’ve lost.” He also stressed the importance of those already in the middle class being secure in their financial futures. 

Ryan made the point that increased government spending doesn’t always pay off. “Just last year, total federal and state spending on means-tested programs came in at more than one trillion dollars. How much is that in practical terms? For that amount of money, you could give every poor American a check for $22,000,” he said. “Instead, we spend all that money attempting to fight poverty through government programs. And what do we have to show for it? In most of these programs, especially in recent years, we’re still trying to measure compassion by how much government spends, not by how many people we help escape from poverty.” 

Romney said that the best way to help people escape from poverty was through a better education which, he said, could be achieved through education reform. “Sending your child to a great school should not be a privilege of the well-to-do. Mitt Romney and I believe that choice should be available to every parent in our country, wherever they live.”

He also appealed to Democrats and independents in stressing Romney’s business record as a way to grow the economy and fight poverty.  He said “Whatever your political party, this nation cannot afford four more years like the last four years. Mitt Romney? This is a man who is uniquely qualified and ready to deliver this recovery. Why? Because he understands how an economy works and what it takes to make it grow.”