Society

Clinton, Ryan Cross Party Lines For Anti-Poverty Plan

| by Nik Bonopartis
A street in Brooklyn, New YorkA street in Brooklyn, New York

Hillary Clinton and Paul Ryan seem like strange allies, but they've agreed to team up to support a South Carolina congressman's plan to fight poverty.

Rep. James Clyburn, a Democrat, calls it his "10-20-30" plan. It would commit 10 percent of all federal resources to the 20 percent of the U.S. population that has lived below the poverty line for the last 30 years.

A key part of the proposal is that it isn't tied to any specific location or demographic -- its appeal to Democrats and Republicans stems in part from the fact that it could benefit everyone from struggling black families in inner cities to whites living in rural poverty, according to NewsOne.

Clyburn said an earlier version of the plan was tested as a smaller-scale experiment under the 2009 federal stimulus package.

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“People got water and sewage that they have been trying to get for forty and fifty years," Clyburn said. "People got broadband build-outs in areas in rural communities where they were not able to afford to do it. It just had a remarkable success.”

The emphasis, Clyburn told NewsOne, is that the plan is "need based," and the formula is blind to color, demographics or voting blocs.

“This is targeting places of need and putting the money there ... all this talk about programs without putting the money there is foolhardy and I’m just not going to get on that train," he said.

About 500 counties across the U.S. match the criteria for aid under the 10-20-30 plan, according to Politico, which described those counties as areas of "persistent poverty."

The Politico report also points out that the plan equally benefits congressional districts represented by Republicans and Democrats. Of the 500 counties that would likely receive aid, 8.3 million people live in Republican-controlled districts, and 8.8 million reside in districts represented by Democrats.

Clyburn's plan could work out better than traditional local economic stimulus packages, economist Jared Bernstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities told Politico.

“My experience is that you can’t assume public infrastructure jobs will go to the local folks who need them the most,” Bernstein said. “This is a positive idea in that it focuses poverty policy on getting the water to the fire.”

Sources: Politico, NewsOne / Photo credit: Noremacmada​/Wikimedia Commons

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