Hunger Games

By Bill Maher

Paul Ryan told a twisted lie of a story at CPAC last month, but I don’t have as big an issue with the veracity of his story as I do with its point.

Recounting a claim by a fellow Republican named Eloise, Ryan said, “She once met a young boy from a poor family. And every day at school, he would get a free lunch from a government program. But he told Eloise he didn’t want a free lunch. He wanted his own lunch — one in a brown-paper bag just like the other kids. He wanted one, he said, because he knew a kid with a brown-paper bag had someone who cared for him.”

Because if your parents can’t afford to put a sandwich, some Fritos and a juice box in a bag for you every morning, that means they don’t love you.

And Ryan added, “What the left is offering people is a full stomach and an empty soul... People don't just want a life of comfort. They want a life of dignity...”

 You see? They’re not “the needy.” They’re empty-souled layabouts taking their comfort.

It’s just such fantasy-world, false-choice thinking: Democrats believe in a culture of dependency, where the government provides dignity-stripping handouts. And Republicans believe each child deserves a nutritious lunch, hand packed by two loving, financially solvent, heterosexual parents.

The fact is, when you live in a post-recession world of downsizing, dismantled unions and an unrealized living wage, some kids end up hungry. The Democrats’ solution is to feed them. The Republicans’ solution is to remind us they imagine a world where kids aren’t hungry in the first place. How exactly does that help?