Friday, March 15, 2013

Paul Ryan's Budget Plan and its affect on Women

Back to the budget. Paul Ryan (R-WI) released a plan this week that has caught the ire of the National Women's Law Center. Ryan's proposed budget is expected to cut many women's programs over the next ten years. Among them are:

- federally funded childcare programs, job trainings and domestic violence funds.
- Medicaid, of which 2/3 of women are receiving payments. Ryan's plan will give states control to determine eligibility and qualification.
- repeal the Affordable Health Care Act and cut many of the health and insurance benefits to women and the poor.
- Food Stamps will now come with conditions and work requirements (for the record, I support the latter since it will help women become more financially independent)
- alter the number of applicants and the amount of aid off Pell Grants, scholarships provided to college students from low-income homes.

Sounds like bad policy to me, although I haven't personally read the proposal myself. As I said, I will be listing reactions and findings to the budget debate for future predictability measures. I'm interested to see just how valid all this hype around the crisis is, not to diminish its importance.

I will say this: anything that proposes to cut funds to the needy and women is a bad idea. As I stated before, I support tying work to assistance because its what accountability is about. Also, it helps women gain independence and learn how to manage their own affairs. Like other vulnerable groups, women have been found more financially illiterate and are therefore more prone to abuse. They are also more likely to abuse their credit card usage. Women are also more likely to stay in a violent relationship because they have no access to money. Maybe working for federal assistance can help them escape.

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