Washington Post columnist Marc Theissen speculates on why Paul Ryan's critics are so unhappy with his recent writings and speeches on poverty:

"Why are Democrats so threatened by a Republican congressman trying to find new ways to help the poor and vulnerable? Wouldn’t it be better if there were two parties competing to find the best ways to alleviate poverty?"

Maybe part of the reason is that Ryan didn't actually present any new ideas. Everything in his bag of tricks is at least two decades old and in many cases much older. Furthermore, much of his analysis was based on misrepresentations of research on poverty.

Is it really surprising that people who are concerned about addressing the plight of the poor are upset when an ambitious politician seems to deliberately misrepresent decades of research by serious scholars in order to push his political agenda? The fact that these misrepresentations get large amounts of media attention, when the actual research is largely ignored, is a further cause for anger.

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