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Safety Net Programs

The Massive Hidden Safety-Net Cuts in Chairman Ryan's Budget

A key misunderstood element of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's budget plan is his proposed cut in spending for "other mandatory" programs -- non-discretionary programs other than Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other health programs. His plan shows almost $1.9 trillion in cuts in such programs over the next ten years compared to what President Obama's budget proposed for such programs.

Chairman Ryan’s Call for “Welfare Reform, Round Two” Ignores Inconvenient Facts About Round One

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan said yesterday that his budget aims to begin "welfare reform, round two." According to Chairman Ryan, "That means block-granting means-tested entitlements -- like food stamps, like housing assistance -- back to the states so they can customize these benefits, have time limits, work requirements, the kinds of successful policies that made welfare reform so successful."

TANF Weakening as a Safety Net

Many policymakers see the 1996 welfare law's creation of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) as a major success and cite TANF's structure -- a block grant with fixed federal funding but broad state flexibility-- as a model for other safety net programs.

But when we analyzed state-by-state data to examine how well states have maintained TANF's role as a safety net, the results were sobering. TANF now provides a safety net for relatively few poor families with children.

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