Continuing the GOP’s war on the poor, Speaker Paul Ryan and House Republicans unveiled an ostensibly new “anti-poverty” plan on Tuesday, marked by cuts to critical safety-net programs and further austerity.

According to Politico, “much of this latest initiative is repackaged GOP proposals”—and the last time around, those ideas weren’t very popular. 

Politico‘s John Bresnahan reports that much of the plan is

The plan also seeks to expand “school choice,” which allocates public funds for charter schools and other alternatives; slash support for higher education Pell Grants; repeal the Labor Department’s “fiduciary rule,” which protects retirees from greedy brokers; and dismantle parts of the Dodd-Frank bank reform law—all in the name of reducing poverty, Ryan claims. 

“The Republicans would like to shed their ‘party of the rich’ image without actually going to the trouble of changing their policies, and the anti-poverty push is part of that.”
—Simon Maloy, Salon

Unfortunately, Ryan’s core argument—that anti-poverty spending has been inefficient—is spurious, political writer Simon Maloy wrote at Salon on Tuesday. In fact, programs like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) have done their job quite well, he argued, pointing to a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis that showed the program “kept about 10.3 million people out of poverty, including about 4.9 million children” in 2012 alone.

Yet “[w]hat Ryan and the House Republicans want to do,” Maloy said, “is alter its funding mechanism and cut its overall funding to make it (and other anti-poverty programs) less responsive and less effective.”

Indeed, Maloy wrote:


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