4.12.2013 Leave a comment
2.18.2012 Leave a comment
The New York Times briefly describes a case of middle class welfare:
Ki Gulbranson owns a logo apparel shop, deals in jewelry on the side and referees youth soccer games. He makes about $39,000 a year and wants you to know that he does not need any help from the federal government.
He says that too many Americans lean on taxpayers rather than living within their means. He supports politicians who promise to cut government spending. In 2010, he printed T-shirts for the Tea Party campaign of a neighbor, Chip Cravaack, who ousted this region’s long-serving Democratic congressman.
Yet this year, as in each of the past three years, Mr. Gulbranson, 57, is counting on a payment of several thousand dollars from the federal government, a subsidy for working families called the earned-income tax credit. He has signed up his three school-age children to eat free breakfast and lunch at federal expense. And Medicare paid for his mother, 88, to have hip surgery twice.
Middle class welfare? Is that not a self-contradiction?
The government safety net was created to keep Americans from abject poverty, but the poorest households no longer receive a majority of government benefits. A secondary mission has gradually become primary: maintaining the middle class from childhood through retirement. The share of benefits flowing to the least affluent households, the bottom fifth, has declined from 54 percent in 1979 to 36 percent in 2007, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis published last year.
I guess not. Yet…
And as more middle-class families like the Gulbransons land in the safety net in Chisago and similar communities, anger at the government has increased alongside. Many people say they are angry because the government is wasting money and giving money to people who do not deserve it. But more than that, they say they want to reduce the role of government in their own lives. They are frustrated that they need help, feel guilty for taking it and resent the government for providing it. They say they want less help for themselves; less help in caring for relatives; less assistance when they reach old age.
I wish these people good luck solving their cognitive dissonance problem.
- New York Times: Critics of Safety Net Depend On It (educationclearinghouse.wordpress.com)
- Weekend Reading – Government Aids (philstockworld.com)
- Taking welfare and hating it (economist.com)
11.10.2011 Leave a comment
It was big money, too. They did it before, and they’ll do it again till they make cuts the Republicans will accept. As Jon Walker noted, “No wonder young people upset about income inequality are occupying the streets instead of rallying to elect Democrats. Americans need something better than just austerity lite.”
- Laphonza Butler: Open Letter: Saving Medicare Is About Being Super (huffingtonpost.com)
- Breaking: Medicare cuts (ynative77.wordpress.com)
- A turning point for debt super committee? Tax revenues on the table. – Christian Science Monitor (csmonitor.com)
- Democrats on Super Committee Offer to Cut Medicare Benefits (fdlaction.firedoglake.com)
- Super Committee Dems Reject GOP Tax Proposal (politics.blogs.foxnews.com)
- Two Days After Promising Constituents on the Safety Net, Durbin Says Democrats Must “Talk About Entitlement Reform” (news.firedoglake.com)
- Super-Committee Spin (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)
- Does the Super Committee stand a chance of success? (hotair.com)
- AFL-CIO Opposes Cuts to Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, Calls on Congress to Follow Suit (crooksandliars.com)
- Super Committee versus Medicare #p2 #ows (ismaelmelendez.wordpress.com)