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Ryan-led House GOP Releases new Welfare Reform Proposal

cpwill

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As part of his general push to reign in the Imperial Executive and make the Legislature the focal point of policy, Ryan is leading the House GOP to releasing broad-ranging policy proposals, intended to drive the GOP agenda for the next few years. Yesterday was the release of the Welfare Reform / Addressing Poverty section.

I'm planning on taking part of my afternoon and reading through the more in-depth version.

...[T]he main theme of his “Better Way” welfare-reform agenda, outlined in a draft document released on Tuesday, is linking the benefits to the pursuit of work and the skills that lead to work. This is sound policy: If the ultimate goal of our assistance programs is not to help individuals and families to a state of economic independence, then there is only one alternative: indefinite and perhaps lifelong dependency. It’s one or the other.

An important feature of Ryan’s proposal is that federal funding for state and local agencies would be restructured in such a way that these organizations would be financially rewarded for moving their clients to work rather than being punished, as they are today, for reducing their beneficiary head counts. Likewise, the perverse situation in which welfare recipients who earn income lose benefits — leaving them in effect working harder for no real economic gain — would be reformed. Subsidies still would be phased out, but in a less aggressive way that leaves individuals and families better off for work. Some of those perverse incentives (sometimes called the “welfare cliff”) could be offset by an expanded Earned-Income Tax Credit. That program has problems (mainly improper payments), but it is one of our most successful anti-poverty measures, precisely because it rewards work rather than punishing it. ....

A final but critically important aspect of the approach Ryan is outlining is the devolution of program design and implementation to state and local governments, which under his approach would enjoy broad discretion in experimentation — with successful experimentation being financially rewarded. Ours is a very large country and one that is heterogeneous in important ways not truly captured by our platitudinous notions of “diversity.” What works in eastern Oklahoma is quite likely to be different from what’s effective in Chicago or Los Angeles....
 
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Skeptic Bob

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The devil is in the details but I am happy to see the Republicans being proactive and coming up with actual plans rather than just resorting to obstructionism.
 

azgreg

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This is quite the chart.

N3QwLX1.jpg
 
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As part of his general push to reign in the Imperial Executive and make the Legislature the focal point of policy, Ryan is leading the House GOP to releasing broad-ranging policy proposals, intended to drive the GOP agenda for the next few years. Yesterday was the release of the Welfare Reform / Addressing Poverty section.

I'm planning on taking part of my afternoon and reading through the more in-depth version.

Did Trump give his approval?

/hides
 

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I'm planning on taking part of my afternoon and reading through the more in-depth version.
Yeah, at a first pass it sounds like the same ol' same ol'.

• Implement work requirements to cut back on safety nets
• Smooth out the "welfare cliffs" with... EITC, which already operates? Seems a bit odd.
• Extremely vague comments on "incentives" for businesses and individuals to do... what, it's not clear
• Shift more control to the 50 states, which will somehow reduce the 80+ national lower income aid programs
• Penalize "inefficient" safety net programs
• Switch from public housing to subsidies, sort of like Section 8, which already exists
• De-dupe programs
• Make a commission to develop efficiency standards for programs
• Get rid of "improper payments" (mostly, making sure EITC, UI, SSI and school meals have less errors)
• More Pre-K / Head Start stuff
• Uses at-risk youth as an excuse to push school vouchers
• Improve CTE (career and technical education)
• Improve secondary education
- clean up Pell Grants (which Republicans have cut for years)
- simplify student loan programs
• Privatize Social Security. Surprise!

It's not awful, and it doesn't spend a lot of time blaming the poor. I agree with some of the education recommendations, but I don't see much else that really tries to get people out of poverty.

The efficiency stuff and improper payments, yeah, I dunno. Sounds good on a slogan, much tougher to implement. E.g. the more work a program has to put into ensuring payments are done right, the less efficient it will be, as that's going to mean a torrent of documentation and active supervision.
 

cpwill

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Did Trump give his approval?

/hides

Of course not. This plan is A) at least somewhat conservative, B) longer than the intro paragraph of a news article, and C) doesn't mention him at all.

It's quote plausible he's not even aware of it.
 

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Of course not. This plan is A) at least somewhat conservative, B) longer than the intro paragraph of a news article, and C) doesn't mention him at all.

It's quote plausible he's not even aware of it.

Ah, so Ryan will have to withdraw it when Trump puts forward his plan to deport welfare recipients?

Sorry, I will stop now, but you got to admit, making fun of Trump supporters is kinda fun.
 

cpwill

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Yeah, at a first pass it sounds like the same ol' same ol'.

• Implement work requirements to cut back on safety nets
• Smooth out the "welfare cliffs" with... EITC, which already operates? Seems a bit odd.
• Extremely vague comments on "incentives" for businesses and individuals to do... what, it's not clear
• Shift more control to the 50 states, which will somehow reduce the 80+ national lower income aid programs
• Penalize "inefficient" safety net programs
• Switch from public housing to subsidies, sort of like Section 8, which already exists
• De-dupe programs
• Make a commission to develop efficiency standards for programs
• Get rid of "improper payments" (mostly, making sure EITC, UI, SSI and school meals have less errors)
• More Pre-K / Head Start stuff
• Uses at-risk youth as an excuse to push school vouchers
• Improve CTE (career and technical education)
• Improve secondary education
- clean up Pell Grants (which Republicans have cut for years)
- simplify student loan programs
• Privatize Social Security. Surprise!



So, I have a long running interest in that topic, so that excited me, and I went ahead and cracked open my copy to dive to the relevant section.


There is literally nothing in there whatsoever about privatizing Social Security. The proposals under the section "Building Retirement Security through the Private Retirement System" are:

Prevent a Taxpayer Bailout of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation by setting premiums that accurately reflect risk, instead of subsidizing risk-taking by corporate pension funds.
Ensure Pension Plans are Well Funded by requiring changes to have a kind of fiduciary responsibility towards the worker, rather than being politically guided.
Protect Access to Affordable Retirement Advice by overturning Department of Labor regulations that threaten the provision of affordable advisors.
Make it easier for employers to band together to offer 401(k)s by eliminating current restrictions on them doing so.
Reduce costly red tape mostly through eliminating unfunded regulatory mandates on things like providing paper v electronic copies of financial reports.​



Nothing in there about Social Security whatsoever. Which is a shame, as (see link) that could be an incredible way to eliminate multi-generational poverty as we know it.
 

cpwill

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Ah, so Ryan will have to withdraw it when Trump puts forward his plan to deport welfare recipients?

In the future, President Trump will have all welfare recipients getting jobs, great jobs, beautiful jobs. So many - so many people are coming up to tell him that oh, his plan creates all the jobs. All of them. And that's very kind. And he has perfectly normal size hands, in fact, he gets compliments on them all the time.

Sorry, I will stop now, but you got to admit, making fun of Trump supporters is kinda fun.

:( This election has been a bit soul-crushing. But this is a thread about policy, so we're in little danger of them wandering in here, except by accident.
 

cpwill

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This is quite the chart.

N3QwLX1.jpg

Again. I hawk, I hawk, I hawk for the replacement of this abortion with a simple, streamlined, Negative Income Tax of -50% on all monies not earned below 200% of the FPL.
 

Redress

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:( This election has been a bit soul-crushing. But this is a thread about policy, so we're in little danger of them wandering in here, except by accident.

When I get a few minutes to rub together, I will actually look at it and make policy comments. I note visbek's list contains some things I could go with with no problem, and this one "Make a commission to develop efficiency standards for programs" is something that should be continual for the whole federal government. Instead of bitching about programs being inefficient, look at how to fix it kinda thing. Bill Clinton had Gore do something like this, and it was remarkably effective.
 

Visbek

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There is literally nothing in there whatsoever about privatizing Social Security.
My apologies. I got distracted by the vague and mistitled "Building Retirement Security through the Private Retirement System" section on page 33, plus his previous plan.

None of the policy recommendations in that section seem to do... anything. Except make it a little easier to offer 401(k)s.

I thought that "A Better Way" would have some SS proposals, but maybe they learned their lesson. It doesn't seem to fit well in any of the 6 categories listed.
 

cpwill

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My apologies. I got distracted by the vague and mistitled "Building Retirement Security through the Private Retirement System" section on page 33, plus his previous plan.

None of the policy recommendations in that section seem to do... anything. Except make it a little easier to offer 401(k)s.

I thought that "A Better Way" would have some SS proposals, but maybe they learned their lesson. It doesn't seem to fit well in any of the 6 categories listed.

I haven't dived into it much yet. But yeah - they seem not to have gone terribly big here. Disappointing, but I understand they want to focus on what can pass.

I just think that they are miscalculating "what can pass" by conflating it with "Things Democrats won't have major problems with". That's sort of irrelevant.
 

Visbek

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This is quite the chart.
It is. Especially since it's in part a product of the people who complain about it. ;)

Many Americans despise the idea of a simple, straight, cash-only, means-tested safety net. The mere idea of giving poor people a check for $500 a month, "just for being poor," is galling to many Americans.

Thus, we wind up creating lots of in-kind programs, targeted to specific populations, with all sorts of barriers and documentation requirements and work requirements and verification systems. Rather than just give someone cash, we prefer to give them vouchers for food purchases, subsidies on a home, a credit on their energy bill, tax credits and so on. We have programs for just the elderly, just the disabled, just veterans, just vets who are disabled for non-service related injuries, just free lunches for children in school, and another program for breakfast for kids in school, a program just for food security in Puerto Rico, the Ryan White AIDS program, a national breast cancer detection program, programs for homeless people, programs for rural poor, and so on.

Of course, it's much easier to say "let's simplify things!" than to actually do it. I have heard some people float the idea of a straight cash benefit, but I don't recall if that's coming from the right, the left, or both. If we ever did get everything into a single program, that's also a central point of attack for those who don't want the government to provide any services for the poor.

Plus, the moment a single recipient gets caught using his or her benefits to gamble on a horse, or buy a joint, or pay for a prostitute, the outrage will result in demands to strictly control how people use that straight cash payment. And in a few years, we're back to 80+ programs.

By the way, Ryan's proposal doesn't do anything to consolidate the plethora of programs, except to say "let's get rid of the duplication and inefficient ones," while simultaneously putting more institutional demands on those programs to reduce incorrect payments.
 

Visbek

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I haven't dived into it much yet. But yeah - they seem not to have gone terribly big here. Disappointing, but I understand they want to focus on what can pass.

I just think that they are miscalculating "what can pass" by conflating it with "Things Democrats won't have major problems with". That's sort of irrelevant.
Yeah, I dunno. I don't think it's a bad idea to focus on improving existing programs. I'm also sure I would strongly disagree with suggestions to further decimate existing safety nets.

At the same time, it doesn't show much imagination, or will to change the system. It also doesn't seem terribly conservative to me, as it doesn't question the basic role of government in providing services to improve the status of the poor.

It's an exercise in futility anyway, as normally it's a President who is supposed to propose these kinds of platforms. The idea that Trump is going to listen to one of his staffers summarize this document, let alone read it himself, let alone modify his own ideas based on this, is downright amusing.
 

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It is. Especially since it's in part a product of the people who complain about it. ;)

Many Americans despise the idea of a simple, straight, cash-only, means-tested safety net. The mere idea of giving poor people a check for $500 a month, "just for being poor," is galling to many Americans.

Thus, we wind up creating lots of in-kind programs, targeted to specific populations, with all sorts of barriers and documentation requirements and work requirements and verification systems. Rather than just give someone cash, we prefer to give them vouchers for food purchases, subsidies on a home, a credit on their energy bill, tax credits and so on. We have programs for just the elderly, just the disabled, just veterans, just vets who are disabled for non-service related injuries, just free lunches for children in school, and another program for breakfast for kids in school, a program just for food security in Puerto Rico, the Ryan White AIDS program, a national breast cancer detection program, programs for homeless people, programs for rural poor, and so on.

Of course, it's much easier to say "let's simplify things!" than to actually do it. I have heard some people float the idea of a straight cash benefit, but I don't recall if that's coming from the right, the left, or both. If we ever did get everything into a single program, that's also a central point of attack for those who don't want the government to provide any services for the poor.


Plus, the moment a single recipient gets caught using his or her benefits to gamble on a horse, or buy a joint, or pay for a prostitute, the outrage will result in demands to strictly control how people use that straight cash payment. And in a few years, we're back to 80+ programs.

By the way, Ryan's proposal doesn't do anything to consolidate the plethora of programs, except to say "let's get rid of the duplication and inefficient ones," while simultaneously putting more institutional demands on those programs to reduce incorrect payments.

I like everything about a BIG except for the ramifications of the bolded. If someone is going to just waste their benefit then what? Do we just let them falter in the street? Do we just tell them "To bad, so sad"?
 

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Yeah, I dunno. I don't think it's a bad idea to focus on improving existing programs. I'm also sure I would strongly disagree with suggestions to further decimate existing safety nets.

At the same time, it doesn't show much imagination, or will to change the system. It also doesn't seem terribly conservative to me, as it doesn't question the basic role of government in providing services to improve the status of the poor.

It's an exercise in futility anyway, as normally it's a President who is supposed to propose these kinds of platforms. The idea that Trump is going to listen to one of his staffers summarize this document, let alone read it himself, let alone modify his own ideas based on this, is downright amusing.
I think that's the point. Ryan wants to take back the House as the center for policy.

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As part of his general push to reign in the Imperial Executive and make the Legislature the focal point of policy, Ryan is leading the House GOP to releasing broad-ranging policy proposals, intended to drive the GOP agenda for the next few years. Yesterday was the release of the Welfare Reform / Addressing Poverty section.

I'm planning on taking part of my afternoon and reading through the more in-depth version.

Starting to read the document, and some good, some bad so far. The good is that they do not want to remove to safety nets, they want to "repair them". They acknowledge the government does have a roll to play. Then it gets weird. It talks of states not using their resource to require people to work(with some justification), that state control was failing the program. Then, right after that, it talks about using wavers to give states more ability to determine how to handle unemployment insurance. This comes off as the states are choosing to not enforce work requirements, so let's give the states more power.

Will post more as I read, but that lept out at me.
 

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OK, the report talks about how as wages among working poor increase, benefits drop, and drop unevenly, creating a disincentive to work or improve jobs. The example it uses is of a single mother of 2 in Pennsylvania earning minimum wages, to go to a 10.35 an hour job would, taking into account taxes and reduced benefits, only gain about 10 cents on the dollar for that, or to put it another way, she would end up getting 30 cents total more, or 12 bucks a week, for that 3 dollar raise. It blames this one two primary things, tiered benefits with cliffs(ie you get one level of benefit for making less than x amount, a significantly less level of benefit over, so when you cross that x income, you can end up losing money overall), and that the various benefits are compartmentalized, so that there are a bunch of different income amounts that represent cliffs, one for each program you might be on. One solution it then talks about is to increase the Earned Income Tax Credit. I like this as part of the solution. The problem is with the other part of the solution it suggests...more state control of the programs. So the solution is to make things more complex and further compartmentalized, and they have already stated as I mentioned last post that some states are not doing a very good job with what they do control. That just seems odd.

But bitching without solutions is just bitching, so it seems to be what we actually want is centralization(I think I just saw a vein pop in Cp's forehead when he read that...). Instead of a dozen or more programs, make it one program, and with smooth benefit levels instead of irregular ones. For an area, you can figure it will cost about X amount for housing, transportation, food, plus people need a certain amount for normal incidental living expenses, so set a basic goal of a minimum amount to cover it. This is what you get when you are not working. As you work, for each dollar you earn, you benefits reduce by, say 50 cents, until you reach a point where you get no benefits. Administration costs go up, but there is more incentive to get a job, and get better jobs. And to top it all off, you drastically reduce the paperwork and hassle for the individual trying to track a dozen different programs. Not a perfect solution, but better than the kneejerk pass the buck along to the states solution.
 

Visbek

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I think that's the point. Ryan wants to take back the House as the center for policy.
When was the last time the House was the center of policy? 1823? :D
 

cpwill

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When was the last time the House was the center of policy? 1823? :D
No, it was post Civil War up until the early 20th Century, and then again in the mid-late 1990s.

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Ah, so Ryan will have to withdraw it when Trump puts forward his plan to deport welfare recipients?

Sorry, I will stop now, but you got to admit, making fun of Trump supporters is kinda fun.

Any plan is better than rewarding lazy bums and giving away 19 trillion dollars ! It's time for some one to watch out for the hard working taxpayers that see their paychecks get smaller and smaller so some deadbeat can have a cell phone to conduct his drug deals , don't you think ? :roll:
 

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Any plan is better than rewarding lazy bums and giving away 19 trillion dollars ! It's time for some one to watch out for the hard working taxpayers that see their paychecks get smaller and smaller so some deadbeat can have a cell phone to conduct his drug deals , don't you think ? :roll:

Yeah, retired people are so lazy...
 

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Yeah, retired people are so lazy...

That's always the liberal line ! But we all know who we are talking about , the deadbeat that NEVER had a job , the ILLEGALS that come here for the free ride , the fourth generation welfare that we some how owe a living . But you dam well know retirees worked ALL their lives to EARN their way , so stop with the liberal deflection and lies !! That's if you are even capable at this point , we understand Hil LIAR y has influence that thought process .
 

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That's always the liberal line ! But we all know who we are talking about , the deadbeat that NEVER had a job , the ILLEGALS that come here for the free ride , the fourth generation welfare that we some how owe a living . But you dam well know retirees worked ALL their lives to EARN their way , so stop with the liberal deflection and lies !! That's if you are even capable at this point , we understand Hil LIAR y has influence that thought process .

So you don't want to reform programs except some. See, we are talking about the Ryan plan. The plan you are frothing at the mouth about does not exist.
 
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