- Jul 11, 2003
Few details at this point but the concept sounds like it's worth debating. Of course, the Democrats have already panned it.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/24/usa-fiscal-poverty-idUSL2N0PZ0B820140724?feedType=RSS&feedName=bondsNewsAiming to shake up the debate over fighting poverty, Republican Representative Paul Ryan on Thursday called for charities, community groups and even for-profit firms to compete with government in spending taxpayer money to aid the poor.
Presenting his plan for a sweeping revamp of social safety net programs, Ryan said he wanted to give families more choice in how they receive taxpayer-funded assistance. He proposed replacing some 11 programs ranging from food stamps to housing vouchers with "opportunity grants" given to states to tailor aid to individual needs.
The plan would shift the federal government's anti-poverty role largely to one of vetting state programs to distribute aid, and they would have to give the poor a choice of providers.
"There wouldn't just be a federal agency or a state agency," Ryan said in remarks prepared for delivery to the American Enterprise Institute. "Instead, they could choose from a list of certified providers. We're talking non-profits, or for-profits, or even community groups unique to your neighborhood."
He described the case of a 24-year-old single mother of two with a high school education, two years of retail work experience and dreams of one day being a teacher. Instead of relying on food stamps, housing vouchers and welfare checks, she could go to a social services provider, sit down with a case manager to develop an "opportunity plan" to meet her goals, targeting money where it is needed most.
This could result in payments for transportation and child care so that she could meet her goals of going to college while working in retail. The catch: she would have to sign a contract and meet certain benchmarks for success, such as learning new skills or seeking work. Failure would means a cut in aid while exceeding expectations would earn a bonus. There also would be a time limit on assistance.
Ryan argued that current federal programs only treat symptoms of poverty and do little to get people's lives back on track.