So what would Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan do for the poor and the working class if they were elected? Let’s recap:
- They would allow the payroll tax holiday to expire. This would immediately raise taxes on everyone, and would hit the working poor especially hard.
- They would repeal Obamacare, which would immediately kick about 17 million low-income earners and their family members off of Medicaid.
- In addition, they want to block grant Medicaid and cap its growth. In some states, this wouldn’t have a big immediate impact. In other states, conservative governors and legislatures would use their newfound authority to limit enrollments and cut benefits substantially. Over time, all states would have to cut enrollments dramatically, probably by another 15-20 million within a decade.
- If they pursue the cuts outlined in Paul Ryan’s budget plan, they would cut funding for SNAP (food stamps) by more than $100 billion over the next decade. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that this would reduce enrollment in the program by at least 8 million people.
- They would cut funding for Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health organizations. This would especially hurt poor women, since they don’t have the resources to pay for services at full-cost clinics.
- They would cut the college tax credit, the child tax credit, and the earned-income tax credit. All of these are programs designed to help the working poor.
This is a short post. Sometimes it’s better to lay out the facts simply and starkly, because Romney’s priorities really are pretty stark: He wants to cut taxes on the rich and cut spending on the poor. That’s Romney’s real poverty plan.