October 11, 2012


The Wrong Way to Help the Poor (GARY E. MacDOUGAL, October 10, 2012, NY Times)

[F]or now, let's use that $1 trillion figure to ask a broader question: Are we spending this money in truly the best way to help the poor?

Consider a thought experiment: Divide $1 trillion by 46 million and you get around $21,700 for each American in poverty, or nearly $87,000 for a family of four. That's almost four times the $23,050 per year federal poverty line for that family. It's intriguing to think about converting all of this to a cash payment that would instantly lift everyone in poverty up to the middle class.

For a variety of reasons, of course, that's not possible, either logistically or politically. But a middle path might resemble what Mr. Ryan has proposed for Medicaid -- converting the behemoth program to block grants for each state, an idea that in some ways parallels the successful welfare reform plan of the Clinton era.

Put a portion of that into their personal SS, HSA, unemployment, etc. accounts and then a chunk of cash. 
Posted by at October 11, 2012 5:03 AM

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