House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) paints himself as a purveyor of bold new ideas. But unless his speech on poverty on Thursday represents a complete about-face from four years of radical budget proposals, his policy prescriptions will start from the failed philosophy of austerity. While Rep. Ryan’s past four budgets have garnered two-thirds of their cuts from programs that help low- and moderate-income families while lavishing tax cuts on millionaires, he claims that his proposed cuts to food, health, housing, and education are actually for the benefit of struggling families.
If past is prologue, Rep. Ryan will couch proposals to consolidate and ultimately cut programs that help working-class families in language about empowering communities, streamlining access to services, and promoting work. But pull back the layers, and his proposals are an outgrowth of his radical budget blueprint, which would dramatically exacerbate poverty and inequality.
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