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‘There Are Some Really Amazing Heroes in Our Communities’

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February 22, 2016 | Ian Martorana (202-225-3031) | comments
WASHINGTON, DC — This morning, Wisconsin’s First District congressman and speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, spoke with the Big 1380 AM’s Stan Milam.

Excerpts of Ryan’s remarks follow.

Visiting Craig High School, Ryan’s Alma Mater:

“Being there on stage in the auditorium . . . it keeps me so thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given by this community, the Janesville community. As you know, high school wasn’t easy for my family. We had some tragedy and hardship. Really, Craig High School—the teachers, the students—were so good to me, so helpful to me in a very hard time; it is a big part of [my] life and a big part of my upbringing. I was happy to be there and it makes me feel at home and very comfortable to be able to share just a few tips and points. Only in America can a kid growing up a half of a mile from Craig High School, who still lives a half of a mile from Craig High School, go and do this type of job. That just speaks to how great of a country we have and how you can focus hard, and realize your dreams and goals in this country. And that’s just the kind of story I wanted to relay to the kids at Craig.”

Fighting Poverty:

“There are people who really do cling to the status quo, who don’t want to see any changes to poverty-fighting efforts as they are currently constructed. Many people refer to this as the poverty-industrial complex. . . . We’re not getting people out of poverty. More importantly, the programs that are designed to do this, have this backfire effect where they actually incentivize people not to work; it pays people not to work because you lose more in loss of benefits if you get a job or take a raise, so it holds people back.” 

"What we’re doing is trying to figure out how do you construct a poverty-fighting policy where it always pays to work. . . . Let’s measure success on results, outcomes. Are we actually getting people out of poverty? Is it working to move people from welfare to work? Instead of measuring success based on efforts or how much money are we spending or how many people are on programs.”

“We’re basically going around the country meeting a variety of poverty-fighting groups. We have learned a lot, just like the Salvation Army in Janesville or Catholic Charities or United Way. There are some really amazing heroes in our communities who are in the front lines fighting poverty, very effectively. We should get behind those effective poverty-fighting forces that are in our communities and make them more successful.”

Creating a Bold Agenda for a Confident America:

“We have a number of task forces led by our committees to come up with ideas that . . . solve basically the big problems confronting our country. How do you grow the economy and get higher wages through tax reform and energy development and regulatory reform? What do you replace Obamacare with? How do you prevent these entitlement programs from going bankrupt and prevent a debt crisis in this country? How do you get people out of poverty? How do you get people from moving from welfare to work? How do you rebuild our military to make sure we have a 21st century foreign policy that keeps us safe?”

“These are the basic, big issues that are confronting our country and so we have a number of task forces working on developing, from the bottom up, an agenda that attempts to fix these problems. . . . We ought to give people a very specific agenda on what it takes to rebuild a confident America and get this country growing again.”
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