Elizabeth Warren Challenges Paul Ryan’s Assumption That Unemployed People Are Lazy

Elizabeth Warren, Democratic Senator from Massechusetts, may be the most popular politician in the US right now. Warren’s recent criticism of Paul Ryan’s “vision of America” has thrust her into the spotlight again.

In a recent poll, conducted by Quinnipiac University, Americans were asked to give prominent politicians a score, from zero to one hundred, of how favorable they feel toward that person. Elizabeth Warren was the highest-rated a score of 48.6. The poll results were released last April 3, 2014.

Warren is attempting to frame the debate as one about the character of working people in America. Elizabeth Warren’s message is that the middle class has been deprived of a fair shot at success because special interests have successfully written the rules of the game in their own favor.

In the video Sen. Elizabeth Warren is responding to controversial comments Paul Ryan made on a talk radio program last month. According to MSNBC Ryan had said, “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning to value the culture of work, so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”

Elizabeth Warren challenges Paul Ryan's opinion of unemployed Americans.

Warren had this to say about Ryan’s comments when she recently spoke at the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor’s Humphrey-Mondale Dinner, “Ryan sees three unemployed workers for every job opening in American and blames people who can’t find a job.” She pointed out, however, that in 2008 the economy crashed and washed away millions of jobs.

Elizabeth Warren continued by saying,

“Paul Ryan says don’t blame Wall Street: the guys who made billions of dollars cheating American families. Don’t blame decades of deregulation that took the cops off the beat while the big banks looted the American economy. Don’t blame the Republican Secretary of the Treasury, and the Republican president who set in motion a no-strings-attached bailout for the biggest banks – Nope. Paul Ryan says keep the monies flowing to the powerful corporations, keep their huge tax breaks, keep the special deals for the too-big-to-fail banks and put the blame on hardworking, play-by-the-rules Americans who lost their jobs.”

Warren declared to a standing ovation, “That may be Paul Ryan‘s vision of how America works, but that is not our vision of this great country.”

MSNBC reported, “After Ryan initially made his controversial remarks, he came under fire from several lawmakers, including Rep. Barbara Lee of California, who called the comments a ‘thinly veiled racial attack.'”

According to the Huffington Post, “A Ryan spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Warren’s remarks. However, Ryan later said in a statement that his comments were ‘inarticulate about the point I was trying to make.'”