Despite the constant attacks by Leader Paul Ryan and the Republicans in Congress, we have safety net programs in place that work to lift millions of Americans out of poverty. Don’t take my word for it — according to the Brookings Institution, the poverty rate has declined 26.4 percentage points between 1960 and 2010.
Speaker Paul Ryan recently announced a new “Task Force on Poverty, Opportunity, and Upward Mobility” a task force made up exclusively of Republicans that is charged with reducing poverty in the U.S. However, the very members of the task force have voting records that cut funding for the very safety net programs aimed at reducing poverty!
We cannot let the Republican message that these programs do not work overshadow the figures and stories of Americans whose lives are greatly impacted by these programs. Creating a task force alone will not result in a meaningful discussion is an injustice to the millions of Americans living in poverty.
The American people need leadership, not showmanship.
The SNAP Program – or food-stamps – is one of the most powerful programs to end hunger. It helps hard working families and those that need it most a way to get out of poverty. Over 70% of SNAP benefits go to households with children; children who are in need of nutritious meals.
Other recipients of SNAP are low-wage workers, seniors, people with disabilities and veterans. Republicans are quick to point to fraud, waste and abuse of this program. But in reality, The SNAP program has the lowest error rate of any federal government program.
Now more than ever, it is critical that we protect the integrity of these safety net programs.