Washington, D.C. — In anticipation of tomorrow’s release of new data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which is expected to show a rise in poverty, the Center for American Progress Action Fund today released a report illustrating the real impact a Romney-Ryan administration would have on the most vulnerable Americans. In the analysis, “Romney-Ryan Plan Slams Struggling Families, Showers More Money on the Rich,” Melissa Boteach, author and Director of the Poverty & Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, explains how Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) plan for the poor includes doubling down on a strategy that would increase economic hardship, erode the middle class, and send more struggling Americans deeper into poverty.
Since announcing Rep. Ryan as his running mate, Gov. Romney has claimed that the choice does not imply a full-throated endorsement of the Ryan budget plan. However, shortly after Rep. Ryan released his budget blueprint this year, Gov. Romney endorsed the plan wholeheartedly, calling it “bold and exciting.” And to the extent that Gov. Romney has articulated policies on poverty apart from his endorsement of the Ryan budget, his plan for the nation’s poor is even more radical than Rep. Ryan’s blueprint, with larger tax breaks for the wealthy and even deeper cuts to health care, nutrition aid, veterans’ services, education, and other fundamental supports for the middle class.
The consequences of a Romney-Ryan presidency are dire for families struggling to access the middle class. If Gov. Romney gets his way on poverty:
- 31 million people—predominantly children, seniors, people with disabilities, and the working poor—will lose access to health insurance due to Medicaid cuts
- 46 million people could see their bare-bones nutrition aid (averaging $1.50 per person per meal) reduced to below what the Department of Agriculture considers minimally adequate OR 8 million to 10 million people could lose access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program altogether
- Approximately 191,000 children could be kicked off Head Start, which helps provide at-risk preschoolers with the education, health, nutrition, and family support services they need, in the next two years
- More than 4 million children in low-income school districts could see their educational services reduced or eliminated in the next two years
- The costs of special education for 1.26 million special-needs children would be shifted to states and school districts in the next two years
“The Plan is literally Robin Hood in reverse. It cuts nutrition, health, and education from the hardest hit families to finance tax cuts of equal amount for the top 1 percent,” said Boteach. “Gov. Romney’s plan offers $2.9 trillion in tax cuts to just the top 1 percent of earners, which works out to an average annual tax cut of $230,000 for those who have an average income of $1.25 million. In contrast, Gov. Romney is proposing cuts of about equal value to critical health and nutrition programs relied upon by millions low- and moderate-income families today.”
- Understanding the 2011 Poverty Data
- 10 Questions for Mitt Romney on Poverty and Opportunity in America
The following experts from the Center for American Progress Action Fund are available for comment on the release the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 Poverty Data:
- Melissa Boteach, Director, Poverty & Prosperity Program
- Donna Cooper, Senior Fellow
- Joy Moses, Senior Policy Analyst
To speak with CAP Action experts, please contact Madeline Meth at firstname.lastname@example.org.