Thursday, August 7, 2014

Ryan's War with Poverty a Bureaucratic Nightmare!

Poor Paul Ryan, he can’t get any breaks. Take the “liberal media,” which is throwing out headlines like “Critics bash Ryan’s new plan.” Aw, what’s a guy like Ryan to do?

The thing is, it’s another horribly thought out plan that even some liberal pundits were sucked into praising as a first step.  No, it’s an outrageous plan. For instance, here's my list of problems:
1. It privatizes social safety nets.

2. Creates a maze of private “case managers” incentivized to get “results.” Those results? Well, I doubt the government will tolerate increased spending if you catch my drift.

3. Big government oversight will hire and fire case managers or their organizations based on “results,” the above mentioned expectation to save money.

4. Massive amounts of personal information will be in the hands of case managers or organizations with lax security measures, not to mention the threat of a government data base tracking your every move.

5. Absolutely no mention of an economic policy that needs adjusting. Solve the problems that results in poverty in the first place.
This is the kind of stuff the right wing, tea party and GOP have been railing against for decades. This is an acrobatic flip flop the likes of which no one has ever seen before. Are conservatives sleeping?

Here's Greta's interview with Rep. Paul Ryan on his plan to change the ‘status quo.’ Greta is stumped by Ryan's increase of administrative bureaucracy. ON THE RECORD:

The media chimed in, amazed by Ryan's inability to acknowledge his plans nightmarish amount of red tape: 
Salon: Ryan’s plan still rests on a rather fundamental misconception of the poor: that those who suffer under the capitalist order have no one to blame but themselves … the idea that poor people, if they want to use government programs, should sign a “contract” that would outline various steps and benchmarks they’d be responsible for — or else suffer the consequences of undefined “sanctions” … a policy that quite literally would have government agents micromanaging poor people’s lives.

Ryan assumes poverty in America cannot be adequately addressed by doing seemingly obvious things like giving people money or creating well-paying jobs that tackle vital public needs, but that it instead requires the poor to learn from a government-provided surrogate parent how to wrest themselves free from that dreaded “tailspin of culture” Ryan’s previously warned us about. Reihan Salam, a longtime Ryan cheerleader agrees that Ryan’s plan is paternalistic, but considers that one of its virtues.
There's more:
630wpro: Ryan’s support for local service providers is supposed to encourage the poor to develop short, medium, and long-term plans with help from the providers, using contracts, timelines and rewards for meeting different “benchmarks of success.” 
More still:
Financial Times: Traditional conservative Republican ideas joined with what can only be described as a “big government” proposal to closely monitor the lives of the poor as they try to progress up the socioeconomic ladder … a program that runs headlong into traditional Republican rhetoric about getting the government out of the details of people’s lives. Ryan proposes to have recipients of social safety net services sit down with a third party case manager hired by the government to provide social services and to construct a “life plan” … he envisions these contracts, and individuals’ relationships with the case manager lasting for years and monitoring their parenting skills, substance abuse, finances, living situation, and relationships with friends and family members. 

The likely size of the bureaucracy– a network of case managers for every individual (or even every family) on public assistance would likely require tens of thousands of new government employees (or contractors) and not to mention facilities, information technology equipment, and the other essentials of any modern organization. 

Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, disagreed with Ryan’s diagnosis of the problems facing the poor in the first place. “The main problem faced by the American poor is not that there’s something fundamentally wrong with the safety net.  It’s that they lack the employment and earnings opportunities necessary to work their way out of poverty,” he wrote. 

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