The Financial Times reports that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) either misstated or outright misrepresented the findings and opinions of economists which he included in his analysis of anti-poverty programs. Programs that, according to him, have actually made poverty worse.
Here are a few examples:
Ryan’s paper, for example, cited a study published in December by the Columbia Population Research Center measuring the decline in poverty in the U.S. after the implementation of Lyndon Johnson’s “War on Poverty.”
One of the study’s authors, Jane Waldfogel, a professor at Columbia University and a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, said she was surprised when she read the paper, because it seemed to arbitrarily chop off data from two of the most successful years of the war on poverty. [...]
“It’s technically correct, but it’s an odd way to cite the research,” said Waldfogel. “In my experience, usually you use all of the available data. There’s no justification given. It’s unfortunate because it really understates the progress we’ve made in reducing poverty.”
Barbara Wolfe, a professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, said Ryan’s paper simply misstates the findings of one of her papers studying the effect of housing assistance on labor outcomes. [...]
Wolfe pointed out that Ryan’s paper did not mention another study by the very same authors finding that “the housing program has more benefits than costs so focusing on only one outcome is insufficient from a policy perspective.”
Wolfe also objected to Ryan’s use of another of her studies, which his paper claimed found “Only a minority of families alter their employment decisions in response to Medicaid’s design.”
The Ryan paper also cites a study by Jeffrey Brown and Amy Finkelstein studying whether Medicaid “crowds out” private long-term care insurance.
However, in an email, Brown, the William G. Karnes Professor in the Department of Finance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, noted that while the paper cites the study accurately in a literal sense, it ignores the caveat that “there may also be other factors that would continue to limit the size of the private market even if Medicaid was reformed.”
It was already clear that Paul Ryan ignored available evidence to arrive at the conclusion he wanted to arrive at, which is that anti-poverty programs do more harm than good, but now it’s also clear that he even ignored other findings of economists he cited to support his predetermined conclusion.
Paul Ryan is a lying liar and his lies aren’t as relatively harmless compared to the lies of a Steve King or Darrell Issa character.
Paul Ryan is the House Budget Committee chairman. His brand of lies inevitably influence policy.
The blinders Ryan wears on the side of his face mean that vulnerable people pay the price for his smarmy, sociopathic arrogance.