• Deion Sanders Gives Paul Ryan Props In Anti-Poverty Fight

    NFL hall of famer Deion Sanders touted the authenticity of Republican Rep. Paul Ryan’s efforts to fight poverty Monday, saying Ryan’s not “trick or treating.”

    “There’s a lot of people trick or treating in these wonderful offices, and it’s not even October,” Sanders said as part of a panel with Ryan at an anti-poverty forum hosted by the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise and Opportunity Lives. “But the man that I’m sitting by, I’m telling you he’s real.”

    “I would not waste my time,” he continued. “I’ve got a wonderful life, and I have means. So I would not waste my time to come here had I thought and had I known that he’s trick or treating. It’s real. It’s authentic.” (RELATED: Paul Ryan Calls For ‘New Battle Plan’ In War On Poverty)

    Sanders, who founded youth organization TRUTH Sports to fight poverty, said he has a problem with people making decisions at the federal level about fighting poverty who have never really been to inner city neighborhoods, and that he supports Ryan’s effort to direct federal dollars to fight poverty into grassroots efforts rather than distant government organizations.

    “Often times the people who are making these crazy decisions have never set foot in the inner city unless it’s a photo opp, and that’s where I have a problem,” Sanders said. “What about the people that are really doing it, and pushing the envelope?”

    “It’s people like [Ryan], who take the initiative — it was so powerful when I looked in your eyes in your office,” he added. “I said, ‘Why do you do this?'” (RELATED: The War On Poverty After Fifty Years)

    “You said, eloquently, ‘Because I want to provoke change.'”

    Ryan, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, is sponsoring a bill along with Democratic Rep. Patty Murray, that would set up a commission to figure out how to better evaluate public policy from an outcome-based data standpoint, with the goal of directing money to programs that are proven to work.

    “It’s the mindset on what the public thinks is the war on poverty that we’re trying to attack,” Ryan said. “It has mistakenly reinforced this notion that: ‘Oh this is government’s responsibility, I don’t have to do anything about this. I pay my taxes. I do my job. I send my money to Washington. They’ll fix this.'”

    “And what we’ve done as a result of that, is we have isolated and marginalized the poor from among us,” he continued. “And what you’re showing, what these leaders are showing is, no no no it’s the opposite of that. Everybody has a stake, and everybody can do something.”

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