Are You Ready for Rep. Ryan’s New Poverty Plan?

July 23rd, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Here’s the WaPo’s discussion of the plan, out tomorrow.  Here’s my take re what to look for over at PostEverything, of what to look for.

Our anti-poverty infrastructure is actually much more effective than many people claim, including, as Bob Greenstein points out, Paul Ryan himself.  Still, one is of course always open to ideas to improve its functioning and efficiency.  But as I stress in my piece (second link above), this “throw it to the states” idea is by no means an obvious solution.

We’ll see Ryan’s details on this point tomorrow, but turning the support of federal programs over to the states through block grants can and has been a way to kill their essential counter-cyclicality.  The figure shows the trajectory of SNAP (food stamp) and TANF cases over the recent recession, along with unemployment.  Guess which of those two safety net programs was previously changed from a federally administered program to a state-based block grant?




Source: CBPP

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One comment in reply to "Are You Ready for Rep. Ryan’s New Poverty Plan?"

  1. Oakchair says:

    Welfare reform made welfare vastly less efficent. Benefits were cut by around 70% while spending only decline 15% this is because welfare reform added a bunch of administrative spending. So if you want poor people to be poorer and get less help and also want more bureaucratic mess then follow welfare reforms example otherwise stay away from it.