Thursday, March 6, 2014
Another GOP Gift to the Dems?
On the eve of President Obama's budget proposal for fiscal year 2015, the top House Republican on budget matters has released a harsh assessment of federal poverty programs – and a promise of a major overhaul plan. (Source)
In the House Budget Committee report, chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin agrees that some programs provide crucial aid to low-income families. He also grants that the decline in the labor-force participation rate, now at a 36-year low, is not solely a result of welfare programs steering people away from work. Changing demographics and slow economic growth are also factors.
“But federal policies are also discouraging work,” says the report, called “The War on Poverty: 50 Years Later.” A large problem, it says, is the so-called poverty trap: “There are so many anti-poverty programs – and there is so little coordination between them – that they often work at cross purposes and penalize families for getting ahead.”
Because the programs are means-tested – that is, the benefits phase out as recipients make more money – poor families may find they are better off staying on public assistance. “The federal government effectively discourages them from making more money,” the report says.
The report itemizes 92 programs: dozens in education and job training, 17 food-aid programs, and more than 20 housing programs. In FY 2012, these programs cost the federal government $799 billion.
We want to know what you think about Ryan’s plan: A much needed reform, or a gift to Democrats in the 2014 Election?
Posted by Mustang at 12:30 AM