Greenstein: House GOP Poverty Plan Is Welcome, But Seriously Flawed

Poverty in America doesn’t get enough attention. It is therefore a welcome development that House Speaker Paul Ryan and his colleagues seek to foster debate on these issues. Nevertheless, their new poverty plan is disappointing.

As CBPP President Robert Greenstein explains:

Most of its proposals are so vague that it’s hard to figure out how they would work or affect low-income people. And in some cases where the plan provides more specificity, the proposals would likely do more harm than good, risking increases in poverty and even homelessness among poor families with children.

This plan also ignores House Republican budget policy. The budget plan that the House Budget Committee’s GOP majority approved in March would cut programs for low- and moderate-income Americans by a startling $3.7 trillion over ten years — targeting those programs for 62 percent of the plan’s budget cuts.

The plan disappoints in many other ways as well, including ignoring the minimum wage, misrepresenting key research and data, and misdiagnosing the strengths and weaknesses of anti-poverty programs and policies.

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