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Oops. House Budget Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) released a thick report today on how the social safety net hurts Americans, but, as ThinkProgress quickly figured out and summarized in a headline today: "Paul Ryan’s Audit Of Federal Anti-Poverty Programs Finds Many Are Actually Very Effective" http://thinkprogress.org/...

ThinkProgress noted that Ryan's report is "designed to kick off his campaign to revamp federal welfare programs, [and] broadly characterizes federal aid as counterproductive and ineffective." However, ThinkProgress quickly found 16 examples from Ryan’s own report showing how government actually has been helping lower-income Americans. To share just a few examples:

Veterans Health Administration is the largest single-payer health care system in the United States. The report finds that the program is “effective in providing access to inexpensive health care for low-income veterans. ”

The Child Tax Credit provides assistance to families with children. “According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the CTC protected about 2.9 million people from falling into poverty, including about 1.5 million children,” the report says.

The Earned Income Tax Credit provides cash assistance to low-income working families. Accord to Ryan, the “consensus among studies on the EITC is that it is an effective tool for encouraging and rewarding work among lower-income individuals, particularly single mothers.”

Rural Housing Assistance Grants fund the repair and improvement of rural housing units. The report finds that the grants “allow very low-income elderly homeowners on a fixed budget to remain at home and independent.”

Federal Health Centers provide grants to outpatient primary-care facilities. The report found “fewer racial and ethnic disparities at community health centers” and concluded that they “perform better than private-practice primary case in some cases.” What’s more, medical expenses for health center patients were found to be lower compared to patients who receive care elsewhere.

Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children provides adequate nutrition to pregnant women, infants, and children. “Most of the academic literature supports that the WIC program increases birth weights for low-income women,” the report concludes.

Ah, but Ryan persists. See more at the ThinkProgress page on Ryan's Folly.

Originally posted to Ron Legro on Mon Mar 03, 2014 at 01:51 PM PST.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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