July 22, 2014
ACTUALLY, WHAT'S NOTABLE IS THE FAILURE TO EXPAND THE DEFICIT:
Ryan to propose deficit-neutral anti-poverty plan (Zachary A. Goldfarb, July 22, 2014, Washington Post)
Echoing an idea that has been gaining traction among conservative intellectuals, Ryan will propose a pilot program whereby the federal government consolidates existing safety-net programs into a single grant offered to a state. It would group programs such as food stamps and housing aid, although it would not include Medicaid, the health program for the poor.Ryan is not proposing any spending cuts, and he will pledge that the resources given to the state will equal what it would have received under the current law. "It is important to note that this is not a budget-cutting exercise--this is a reform proposal," according to a Ryan document obtained by The Post. The new state grant will be called an "Opportunity Grant." The document says state initiatives would be subject to accountability standards.Ryan's decision not to immediately seek savings with his safety net proposal is striking because, as House Budget Committee chairman, he's been known for budgets that dramatically cut spending in hopes of paying down the debt.
Given that the future lies with a defined contribution wefare state, replacing the defined benefit one, it's necessary to have an initial spurt of massive spending. Any plan without one isn't sufficient. The much more savings come generations down the road.Posted by Orrin Judd at July 22, 2014 7:57 PM