The problem with so call conservative politicians is that they still think government is the answer. Congressman Paul Ryan does a solid job pointing out our government welfare madness but in a recent report he offers up little in terms of free market solutions. The first place for so called government reformers should be to look in the mirror. The Cato Institute’s Chris Edwards writes:
The House Budget Committee chaired by Congressman Raul Ryan released a 204-page report on federal welfare programs Monday. It provides useful discussions of 92 programs that cost taxpayers $799 billion a year.
The report drives home how immense the federal welfare state has become. You’ve probably heard of EITC, TANF, LIHEAP, and SNAP, but how about CCDF, WIA, SSBG, NSLP, SBP, CACFP, HOME, HAG, and CDBG? These are all multibillion dollar welfare programs that you as a taxpayer are funding.
The Washington Post called the Ryan report a “blistering” and “stinging” critique, but it is far from that. Indeed, Ryan’s report is a centrist analysis of welfare, not a conservative or libertarian one. The report generally points out minor problems with programs based on the polite criticisms of federal auditors and liberal researchers. The report often omits fundamental critiques of programs offered by pro-market scholars and think tanks.
Ryan’s report has 48 pages on housing programs, for example, but does not ask basic questions such as whether there are market failures that justify any of the government’s housing interventions. The Manhattan Institute’s Howard Husock has written about how private markets are able to supply low-income housing and did so historically, but Ryan’s report does not address these basic questions.