Rep. Paul Ryan calls for cuts in anti-poverty programs



As expected, the one who wrote the article has a strong partisan bias against Republicans.


I was alive when President Lyndon B. Johnson announced the “War on Poverty” program back in the mid-60s. Since then, we have spent multiple trillions on “anti-poverty” programs. The result? Poverty level has remained essentially flat.

What is this money really buying?



The Republican party is the party of the corporations and lobbyists.


It’s not that I think it’s factually wrong that the big government welfare state doesn’t work well, but the GOP alternative of “trickle down wealth” economic policies and war mongering isn’t in any way a better alternative, in fact it’s probably worse.

We clearly spend way too much on national defense and have too many tax breaks for big businesses thanks in large part to politicians like Paul Ryan–a fan of anti-catholic Ayn Rand.

Until we start to correct the structures that empower the strong and rich over the weak, we shouldn’t be too eager to cut programs that help the poor and weak–even big government ones.


You made me laugh! Thanks!


Personally, I am worried that such cuts in anti-poverty programs would make life more difficult for those of us who are poor, such as myself. I am worried that food stamps could be cut yet again as an example.

I live on welfare because I am disabled. I have to have food stamps, medicaid, and SSI or I would not have a home and such. I’d be homeless and without food or medical care were it not for these programs.


Hey…someone has got to look out for the abused…


Income inequality is mainly responsible. It is greater now than any time since the 1920’s. In the past 15 years, the income of the top 1per cent rose 20%, while that of the bottom 99 percent rose only 1per cent.


If anybody’s actually interested in looking at the actual document released by Ryan’s committee, you can see it here:

It’s 204 pages, so I didn’t read the entire thing, but I did look through it a little bit.

What he does in the report is to provide an overview of programs in the area of:
Cash Aid, Education and Job Training, Energy, Food Aid, Health Care. Housing, Social Services, and Veterans assistance.

For each program, the report looks at the purpose of the program, its history, evidence of whether its worked or not, and the funding provided for each program. Important to understand, I did not see in any place where it recommended increasing, maintaining, or reducing any program at any place.

The other point to keep in mind is that the report is extensively footnoted. That is, if the report makes the claim that the program works, is ineffective, is fraught with fraud, waste, and abuse, and so on, it gives the source of where that assertion comes from. For example, in regards to the GEAR UP program, the report says: In a 2003 report, the Office of Management and Budget (128) rated the program as “adequate.” It found that “initial program results suggest that grantees have been successful in increasing the percentage of students taking a more challenging course load, better preparing these students for future college enrollment.”

This footnote #128 references an OMB report called, “Detailed Information on the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs Assessment

(Sadly, the Obama Administration no longer measures the effectiveness of federal government programs)

Bottom line: if somebody would care to go through the 204 page report and highlight where, exactly, it calls for taking food out of the mouths of babies or kicking elderly people out of their homes or whatever, by all means, please do so.

In the meantime, this sounds like a classic case of “journalism by press release” – in this case, the journalist undoubtedly got a press release from a left-wing advocacy group and went with it as fact.


Money without Christ turns bread into stones.


Holly, if you are disabled, I do not know anybody who wants to take your assistance from you.

But something has got to be done about this.

Next year, with mandatory spending programs (which are all benefit type programs), the White House anticipates that we will be spending 2.4 **trillion **dollars. That is 13.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product for the entire country (as you probably know, the GDP is the total value of all the products and services produced by the country in a year).

Next year, the White House is anticipating that the US debt will be 18.7 **trillion **dollars. Almost 75% of the gross domestic product of the entire country. According to the White House, if something doesn’t change, by 2022, we will be paying more in **INTEREST **on this debt than we will be spending on all defense programs. (761 billion on interest versus 745 on defense programs).

Here’s the source for the above numbers (in case you want to check to see if I’m lying)

The situation is that the vast majority of the spending that is utterly out of control is “mandatory” spending. It isn’t budgeted – it has to be spent no matter what (the law reads, “if you meet this criteria, then you receive this benefit”…no talk about actually budgeting for it). Imagine running your household budget that way. “I have to write this check, whether there’s money in the bank at all. I don’t account for it in my budget…and, oh, by the way, if the money isn’t there, I’ll just borrow money from the bank who will give it to me no matter what…and I’ll deal with the interest from that loan by borrowing more money.”

Here’s the issue as far as I’m concerned: in 1973, 11.1% of the population was in poverty. In 2012, 15% of the population was in poverty. How many trillions of dollars have been spent on anti-poverty programs between 1973 and 2012? How many people have been lifted out of poverty as a result of all these trillions of dollars being spent? It looks to me like the exact opposite has happened…

Holly, nobody is saying that people like you who are disabled and **unable **to work should be refused assistance. But all the trillions of dollars spent to reduce poverty have done nothing of the kind. We, the United States, are heading for a train wreck, Holly, We are beyond the point in time where that train wreck can be averted. It will happen. The question is no longer whether we can stop the train wreck from happening, the question now is whether that train we’re all riding is going to hit the wall at 10 miles per hour, 20 miles per hour, or 60 miles per hour.

Holly, your benefits are either going away or they will be so devalued that they’ll be worthless. I don’t want that. But no politician, no matter what they say, is going to be able to stop that from happening…at this point, it’s not a matter of “if” but “when” and “how bad.”

And it’s not just you, Holly.I will never see a Social Security check when I get old. I will probably lose my military retirement that I sacrificed 21 years of my life to earn within the next 5 years (or again, it will be so devalued that it will be worthless). That is no longer the question.

The question now is whether our society will survive it. It might be possible, but I doubt it.


These programs must be killed; no one was dying in streets before the welfare state.

Government anti-poverty programs are designed to keep people poor, hence no reduction in poverty.

As for business taxes, no business on Earth pays any taxes; their customers pay them in the form of higher prices. If you think sticking it to those evil corporations is a good idea, you’re the one who gets stuck, not them.


That’s because most of the top 1% have sizeable income-producing investments (capital) while the rest of the population (at least below the 10% level) doesn’t.

Unfortunately, involuntary transfer payments (which is what this thread is about) comes out of labor’s percentage of national income. So, as involuntary transfer payments increase as a percentage of national income, labor’s percentage goes down as a percentage. There are reasons for that, and it has been true since 1929 when the government first started keeping track.

So, it’s actually the reverse of what a lot of people think. Income inequality is not the cause of social benefit programs (transfer payments). Government-imposed transfer payments are (not totally, but very significantly) responsible for income inequality.

And the appetite for that just grows, or is at least imposed. Obamacare itself is, at the core, a forced income transfer from one part of the middle class to another part of the middle class. The truly wealthy are little affected by it, and the truly poor are not benefitted at all.

Additionally, if one realizes that Income (from all sources) = Consumption + Transfer payments, one has to face the fact that transfer payments can be voluntary or involuntary. If I put my kids through college or support my parish, those are voluntary transfer payments. When I pay taxes for social programs, that is an involuntary transfer payment.

But the capacity for making transfer payments is limited for any individual. If we look at the birth rate in the U.S. (even more so in Europe) we can reasonably surmise that the absorption by government of individuals’ capacity to make voluntary transfer payments is at least somewhat responsible for the birth dearth. As I think we all know, that has a downward spiraling effect.


Where have you been for the last 100 odd years? Demopublicans and republocrats same coin different side


Like the Koch Brothers, right? You need to try to think for yourself for once. George Soros and big labor unions shove more money into democrat pockets than any republican has received from the Koch brothers. But this is who the democrats have told you is killing our country, so it must be true.:rolleyes::cool:


The defense budget is 19%of the pie. Defense is one of the items enumerated in the Constitution that the federal government is responsible for.

If I recall correctly, the president said he would cut fraud, waste and abuse in the government. He might start with eliminating the duplication from one department to another. No one, not even the nasty GOP wants people to be in need, but if one thinks there is not major fraud in these programs, one lives on another planet.

For those who can work but do not, they should be required to do community service of some kind to help pay for what they get.

Finally, the money tree in Washington has died. There is no more money to spend. It’s time to try something other than what we have been doing since the 60’s.


Are these actual cuts in spending? Or are they decreases in the rate of GROWTH for these programs?

I have yet to see any cuts in spending anywhere in Washington.

And for those that oppose this plan, why don’t you throw out your own plan for balancing the budget? Take a look at our current year expenditures, and explicitly describe the $1 trillion in spending you would like to cut.


You assume that the answer would be in cuts. My guess is that there are many here that would raise taxes and make some cuts, but only to the military. We will see if any of our left-leaning brothers and sisters reply.




This post follows the standard pattern:

  1. Newspaper prints sensational liberal-agenda driven headline

  2. Liberal posters who don’t research beyond just reading the liberal agenda-driven article post the usual “republicans love Koch / republican party is the party of the rich / republicans hate the poor” tripe

  3. Conservative posters (In this case, Mark OMalley) provide research and facts that disprove liberal posters

  4. silence by the liberal posters

To my liberal friends on CAF: Do results matter? Must we keep every government program that may have had good intentions when it was started, but may either be a duplication or just isn’t getting the job done?

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