With the promise of streamlining all of the different safety net programs and cutting red tape, Paul Ryan has devised an amazingly convoluted solution to his imagine "social hammock" problem.
Imagine those families struggling to make ends meet, on assistance, and under contract by a “local provider.” Call them a neighborhood "jobs boss." Someone who watches over their every move, wagging a finger and doling out consequences for missing job training benchmarks, income and wage expectations...
Big government enough for you yet? Working but not making enough and collecting food stamps? Now you have two bosses. And the one that helps you feed your family with food share is hanging a contract over your head…with penalties.
Here's a sample from Ryan's transcript:
Take an example. Let’s call her Andrea. She’s 24. She has two kids … Her husband left … her only work experience was a two-year stint in retail. She and her kids now live with her parents in a two-bedroom mobile home. She’s been trying to find work … She doesn't have a car. She can’t afford child care. And her dream is to become a teacher.
Under this plan, Andrea would go to a local service provider. She would sit down with a case manager and develop an “opportunity plan.” That plan would pinpoint her strengths; her opportunities for growth; her short-, medium-, and long-term goals. The two of them would sign a contract. Andrea would agree to meet specific benchmarks of success, a timeline for meeting them, consequences for missing them, and rewards for exceeding them.
Ryan Spreads Big Government in the form of oversight, more red tape and reporting…
A neutral third party would keep tabs on each provider and their success rate. It would look at key metrics agreed to by the state and federal government: How many people are finding jobs? How many people are getting off assistance? How many people are moving out of poverty? And so on. Any provider who came up short could no longer participate. And at the end of the program, we would pool the results and go from there.Here's 7 minutes of absolute lunacy, if you've got the time (edited for time and sanity):
Join Ryan's "War for America's Poor."
I also found this analysis over the problem with any form of block grant system:
The block-grant approach has fundamental flaws. A 2014 analysis by the Center for Law and Social Policy, or CLASP, summarized the problems: “Block grants do not respond well to economic downturns like the recent Great Recession, thus leaving families, communities, and states without resources just when they need them most. They are ill-suited to supporting core national goals – such as ensuring that every American starts life healthy and well-nourished – but instead contribute to disparate life chances based on where a child is born. And, since there is no direct link between spending and need, Congressional appropriations for block grants tend to shrink over time.”