Paul Ryan: An opportunity to cut poverty
Let's re-conceive the federal government's role in providing a safety net for the poor.
This week, our economy received some bad news: The International Monetary Fund revised its projection for U.S. economic growth this year to just 1.7%. Working families will pay the price. Real median household income is still lower than before the recession. Deep poverty in America has reached record levels over the past three years.
We need to expand opportunity in this country. And to do that, we need Washington to get its act together. Each year, the federal government spends almost $800 billion on 92 programs to help struggling families. Yet the poverty rate is the highest in a generation.
The problem with all these federal programs is that they're fragmented and formulaic. They don't see how people's needs interact. And what's worse, they measure success by how much they spend, not how much good they do. Instead, we need to measure success by results — that is, by how many people we're helping get out of poverty.