Rep. Paul Ryan: US Must 'Re-engage' on Welfare Reform

Wednesday, 20 Aug 2014 09:28 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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U.S. lawmakers need to "re-engage" with the poor and develop welfare reforms to help lift people out of poverty, Rep. Paul Ryan told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

On the 50th anniversary of the war on poverty, Ryan said "poverty is winning," adding that he wrote a book to outline solutions for "renewing the American idea, which is, basically, the condition of your birth doesn't determine the outcome of your life."

"We have got to re-engage with the poor in America," the Wisconsin Republican said Wednesday. "Let's think about how to measure success, instead of on inputs, how many dollars we spend, but how do we get people out of poverty."

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A lot of people think the country is on the "wrong track," Ryan said, adding that it is time for lawmakers to "rethink" the way they approach aiding the poor.

"Let's take the other welfare programs that have not been reformed and customize them to a person's individual specific needs, so that we can work on fighting poverty, soul to soul, eye to eye, and back up a community," he said.

Ryan wrote "The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea," which explains his belief that progressive ideas will lead the country to ruin and that the Republican Party must adhere to conservative principles.

There needs to be dialog to develop welfare programs that are "always pointed toward getting able-bodied people into the workforce," Ryan said. Toward that end, he said his book outlines a different approach to welfare programs.

"I've proposed a number of things here, rethinking the way we fight poverty and reintegrating civil society, local communities, and charities, along with federal resources, to get aid that's customized to focus on getting able-bodied people to work, and having a safety net that's resilient for those who cannot help themselves," he said.

Ryan was Mitt Romney's vice presidential running mate in 2012's presidential campaign. He told CNBC on Wednesday that he would like for Romney to run again for president, but he doesn't think that will happen.

"I would love to see Mitt run again. I hope he does. He's pretty emphatic in saying he won't," Ryan said, according to The Weekly Standard.

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