Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) at The Brookings Institution  
Jan. 13, 2014-Addressing the "Social Mobility Summit" at The Brookings Institution, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) emphasized the need to "reintegrate the poor into our communities."  "How do we bring in the poor?" Ryan asked.  Ryan said that there is perhaps no greater example of government's ability to disappoint and to miss the mark than LBJ's war on poverty.  "We have displaced community," Ryan said.  What is needed, he said, are simplicity and standards.  Ryan said the "haphazard wack-a-mole approach" and "alphabet soup" of programs should be replaced.  He cited the example of Great Britain, where the government is replacing six separate programs with a Universal Credit; although the effort has encountered rough going, Ryan said it is a move in the right direction.  Ryan said states should have more control; although there will be "howls of protest" from certain corners, he said we must ask if the current approach is working or not.  "We need to listen to the people we're trying to help," Ryan stated.  He has been doing just that; as the Washington Post's Laurie Montomery reported in November, Ryan "has been quietly visiting inner-city neighborhoods with ...[an] old Kemp ally, Bob Woodson." (>) Ryan said "we need all hands on deck" to confront poverty.  "For too, long too many people have watched this from a distance," Ryan said.
Ron Haskins a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution and co-director of its Center on Children and Families, leads the discussion.
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