There's something poetic about naming your plan to end federal food stamps after your billionaire-funded super PAC. https://t.co/eCQQeATGXK
— Adam Smith (@asmith83) January 8, 2016
Ironic that Jeb reveals a plan to gut social programs one day after getting $10 million from a guy who got an $85 billion government bailout
— read the article (@SeanMcElwee) January 8, 2016
Catherine Rampell, in the Washington Post: “Jeb Bush’s welfare reform plan would only make life worse for America’s poor” —
Jeb Bush claims that, unlike that charlatan Donald Trump, he’s a proven political leader.
How has he chosen to illustrate such brave leadership? By joining the storied tradition of ducking responsibility for tough decisions.
Last Friday, Bush unveiled his grand welfare reform plan. He promises it will reduce waste, fraud and abuse while simultaneously empowering millions of poor people to stop being poor.
His magic formula: completely destroy established anti-poverty programs such as food stamps, cash welfare payments, rent subsidies and public housing. He’d then replace them all with “Right to Rise” grants (yes, named after his super PAC). These would be lump sums of federal money that states could apply for, assuming states would even be willing to create entirely new social safety nets out of whole cloth…
Here’s the usual sell: These are bloated, wasteful, one-size-fits-all programs that hook Americans on the government teat. If only we handed the money directly to the states, poverty could be eradicated on the cheap. It’s win-win, for both makers and takers!
In reality, block-granting is just a way federal politicians can strip poor people of much-needed services without actually taking the blame for the resulting suffering…
— sean penn (@SeanMcElwee) January 10, 2016
… The real issue is that rooting out waste, fraud and abuse (actually pretty rare in programs such as food stamps) is really, really hard — especially if you want to avoid accidentally cutting off deserving children and families from food security, affordable health care and stable housing in the process. Federal politicians don’t want to make the kinds of tough choices required for this cost-cutting, given the inevitable sob stories that will result.
So instead they just freeze spending and dump the responsibility for figuring out how to make do with less onto states. Not that states are any better equipped to make these decisions. But federal politicians nonetheless (quite literally) pass the buck anyway.
If history is any guide, block grants also make it easier for the feds to cut spending on the needy, regardless of whether the needy actually have reduced needs…
Or, as Jeb and his fellow Repubs see it: Win-Win!
Paleo for everyone! https://t.co/RXT1wAUc00
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) January 8, 2016