RNC discovers the safety net

I’d hoped to be first to the scene on this one, but Yglesias beat me to it. It’s a fun story anyway, though.

An alert reader passed along the latest fundraising pitch from the Republican National Committee, ostensibly sent by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). The lede is a stunner.

This is a copy and paste of the image of the actual RNC mailing, with my source’s name and address redacted.

It may be a little tough to read, but the text says, “America is at a tipping point. 14 million Americans are unemployed and 9.3 million are underemployed. Our debt has grown over $4 trillion in less than three years and will be above $16 trillion before the end of 2012. The safety net for the poor is coming apart at the seams and no one in Washington seems to care.”

Remember, this is a fundraising appeal sent to Republican donors by the RNC.

The latter is right to note that there’s a jobs crisis, though it seems pertinent that President Obama has presented a popular and effective jobs plan that congressional Republicans have killed. The letter is also right to note that the deficit is quite high, though it matters that Democrats have unveiled sensible, moderate debt-reduction plans that Republicans have rejected.

But putting that aside, a Paul Ryan letter sent by the RNC is concerned that “the net for the poor is coming apart at the seams and no one in Washington seems to care”?

You’ve. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me.

Ryan is the one swinging the machete at the safety net precisely because he doesn’t care. Put it this way: there’s only one party in Washington trying to slash spending on unemployment aid, student loans, food stamps, and job training, and I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the Democrats.

That said, if the RNC believes concern for the safety net is likely to appeal to Republican donors, it’s probably safe to say the Occupy movement has already changed the national conversation in rather fundamental ways.