Will This 'Anti-Poverty' Plan Work?

Paul-Ryan_smallerHouse Speaker Paul Ryan wants to empower communities to reduce poverty. The federal government can’t get the job done.

“We’re trapping people in poverty,” he said at the recent Conservative Political Action conference, “by basically paying people not to work. We need to make it so work always pays. Not only does the federal government not know what it’s doing, it thinks it knows what it’s doing. When it does, it actually does more harm than good in many cases.”

We’ve lost the so-called War on Poverty, with over 50 years of government programs that haven’t reduce the poverty rate. From the Daily Signal:

The policy wonk from Wisconsin partnered with the American Enterprise Institute and Opportunity Lives to visit poor neighborhoods of rural and urban communities throughout the country. Ryan touted success stories he saw on that tour, pointing to former members of the Bloods and Crips gangs who now work to rehabilitate heroin addicts and combat gang violence.

Ryan called for a new measure of success.

“We have this thing called a cost benefit analysis, which the Obama administration ignores,” the self-described tax nerd quipped. “What we’re saying is, let’s measure how regulations affect the poor, the out of pocket costs, the take home pay of people.”

Since picking up the speaker’s gavel in October, the Wisconsin Republican House has made welfare reform part of his promise to deliver a bold election year agenda. Last month, he appointed a task force to explore “poverty, welfare, and economic opportunity.”

CURE’s Star Parker interviewed Rep. Ryan several years ago about government dependency. 

“We want to make sure that these programs are working in a way that make people more independent and more on their own two feet,” he said.

Rep. Ryan leans toward privatizing Social Security. 

“Shouldn’t we give people the right and the chance to make sure that this Social Security benefit is their private property that they own…it’s a nest egg that they can control, they can grow it faster?”

Blacks account for about 30 percent of Medicaid, and for two in five retired black households, Social Security is their only source of income. Watch the video for more:

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons)

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