Ryan’s Prescription for the Poor: End Anti-Poverty Programs

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/ryans-prescription-poor-end-anti-poverty-programs

Government anti-poverty programs, Ryan suggested at an Ohio campaign stop, are bad because, in his view, they render the poor into bad and lazy people.

By Solange Uwimana
October 24, 2012

In his first major economic policy address since he was elevated to the vice presidential spot on the Republican ticket, Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, laid out an agenda fraught with a condescending moralistic attitude toward poor people that has defined the presidential campaign of Mitt Romney.

Government anti-poverty programs Ryan suggested, are bad for the poor because, in his view, they render the poor into a morally bankrupt  and lazy people. “The problem is, starting in the 1960s, this top-down approach created and perpetuated a debilitating culture of dependency, wrecking families and communities,” Ryan told a gathering at Cleveland State University in Ohio on Wednesday.

“The truth is, Mitt and I believe in true compassion and upward mobility – and we are offering a vision based on real reforms for lifting people out of poverty,” Ryan continued.

But Ryan’s promise to the poor seemed to be about as authentic as his campaign stop last week at a soup kitchen, where, without asking permission of the charity’s managers, he donned an apron for the press corps cameras and washed what observers said were already clean pans.

Ryan’s idea of reform is to remove federal oversight from federal poverty alleviation programs, allowing states to spend federal dollars as they see fit. One need only look at Texas, where the state pulled contraceptive access for poor women, to see how well this might work. The other parts of the Ryan/Romney plan seem equally heartless: pulling money from public school systems for “school choice” and ending job-training programs, while cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans.

The Ryan budget, passed by the House earlier this year, cuts Medicaid , the federal health-care program for the poor by $1.4 trillion, which, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation, “would almost inevitably result in dramatic reductions in coverage.” It goes on to gut the food stamp program, cutting the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit — which a new study says have all been shown to reduce poverty.

Continue  reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/ryans-prescription-poor-end-anti-poverty-programs

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