Even as congressional Republicans mobilize for a new drive to retrench federal anti-poverty efforts, whites without a college degree—the cornerstone of the modern GOP electoral coalition—have emerged as principal beneficiaries of those programs, according to a study released Thursday morning.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal policy-analysis group, found that in both percentage terms and absolute numbers, federal programs reduced poverty among working-age whites without a college degree more than they did among non-college-educated Hispanics, African Americans, or members of other races, and far more than they did among college-educated adults of any race. The number of these working-age whites, in fact, exceeded the combined number of non-college-educated blacks, Hispanics, and members of other races that made such gains.
These findings, based on 2014 Census Bureau data, echo other studies showing that blue-collar whites have been among the principal beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act. Both results underscore the challenge Republicans face reconciling their ideological determination to shrink the federal government with the practical needs of their increasingly working-class coalition.
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