Stephen Pimpare at TalkPoverty.org performs a critical analysis of Congressman Paul Ryan’s so-called “poverty plan.”
So what’s so bad about Paul Ryan’s thinking about poverty?
First, there’s nothing new in it. He offers block grants, cuts to programs, new work requirements, school vouchers, regulatory repeal, more money to faith-based initiatives, and privatizing social services, presenting us with little more than fresh marketing for tired ideas that — when tried in the past — made people’s lives worse, not better. Even the proposals that might seem promising are badly designed — like his way of expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit. With the possible exception of his proposals to reduce some mandatory minimum sentences — which advocates of all stripes have been agitating for for decades — it’s old wine in old bottles. Why should we treat it as newsworthy or innovative?
There’s a deeper problem with Ryan’s approach beyond the details of his proposal. The foundation itself is rotten: the project is built upon three fatal, false premises.