>> Saturday, January 02, 2010
Well, this is encouraging:
About six million Americans receiving food stamps report they have no other income, according to an analysis of state data collected by The New York Times. In declarations that states verify and the federal government audits, they described themselves as unemployed and receiving no cash aid — no welfare, no unemployment insurance, and no pensions, child support or disability pay.Of course, flat-taxer John Linder isn't amused.
Their numbers were rising before the recession as tougher welfare laws made it harder for poor people to get cash aid, but they have soared by about 50 percent over the past two years. About one in 50 Americans now lives in a household with a reported income that consists of nothing but a food-stamp card.
“This is craziness,” said Representative John Linder, a Georgia Republican who is the ranking minority member of a House panel on welfare policy. “We’re at risk of creating an entire class of people, a subset of people, just comfortable getting by living off the government.”Yeah, that plan worked well the last time.
Mr. Linder added: “You don’t improve the economy by paying people to sit around and not work. You improve the economy by lowering taxes” so small businesses will create more jobs.
But this is the state of the GOP in 2010. Linder is one of many who would argue that the Bush tax cuts -- which added $20 billion per month to federal budget deficits through 2008 -- should be made permanent, even though doing so would cost an additional $4.5 trillion. Meanwhile, food stamps -- which have greater stimulative effect than anything else we might think of -- are perceived to be vastly inferior to the public virtue of asking people to scavenge their meals from dumpsters.