Clearly American’s are supportive of some sort of re-distributive scheme to help those in poverty. The question is, does the current mishmash and myriad of bureaucracy do that well or does it not just encourage massive fraud and employment of tin plated left wing dictators who enjoy ministration to “the poor”? There is another way. How about the negative income tax? :
“Friedman’s creative policy proposals to re-imagine and replace the welfare state—he called these “alternative utopias,” a term he borrowed from his mentor, the Austrian economist and philosopher Friedrich Hayek—have gained far less traction. Both men believed that the best way to fight destructive ideologies like socialism and statism was to offer equally audacious, but effective, solutions to the problems that the bad theories purported to solve. Just Say No was not, Friedman thought, a satisfactory posture in a democratic society.
Republicans would do well to revisit Friedman’s alternatives. The most familiar is the school voucher, which students could use as tuition at any school, public or private, willing to accept them. But one of the most inventive and potentially effective of Friedman’s alternatives to statist bureaucracy receives far less attention than vouchers do. Liberals tend to dismiss Friedman as an extremist libertarian, a blind advocate of selfishness, an enemy of any kind of social help. This was always an absurd charge. In his 1962 book Capitalism and Freedom, Friedman acknowledged that some form of welfare was necessary in capitalist societies and that the state would likely play a role in its provision. The trick was to imagine a very different, radically improved, and more efficient form of welfare—what Friedman’s son, David, also an economist, calls “libertarian redistributionism.” What kind of program could help protect every citizen from destitution without granting excessive power to bureaucrats, creating disincentives to work, and clogging up the free-market economy, as the modern welfare state has done? Friedman’s answer was the negative income tax, or NIT.
“Because the welfare budget is so fragmented—food stamps are only one of 15 federal programs that provide food assistance—it makes effective oversight nearly impossible, at the same time disguising the scope of the budget from both taxpayers and lawmakers alike. For instance, it is easier for anti-reform lawmakers to oppose food stamp savings by obscuring the fact that a household receiving food stamps is often simultaneously eligible for a myriad of federal aid programs including free cash assistance, subsidized housing, free medical care, free child care, and home energy assistance.
“In the UK, six of the nation’s welfare programs have been consolidated into a single credit and total benefits have been capped at £26,000 (about $42,100 per family) in an effort to both improve standards and decrease net expenditures. A similar reform concept in the United States—combining welfare spending into a single credit—would still result in a surprisingly large welfare benefit while reducing expenditures and allowing for reforms that encourage self-sufficiency. For instance, a CATO study found that an average household in the District of Columbia currently receiving the six largest federal welfare benefits (Medicaid, TANF, SNAP, etc.) receives assistance with a converted cash value of $43,000. In Hawaii, it’s $49,000. Hypothetically, if net benefits from these myriad programs were combined into a single credit and capped at even 95 percent of that very large amount, it would save taxpayers billions while enabling reforms to promote self-sufficiency, reduce the penalty for working, and make the system fairer for taxpayers.” – The Weekly Standard
Americans spend exorbitant amounts of taxpayer dollars on welfare and the money spent, gets diluted into the panoply of government programs including SNAP, Medicaid, Section 8, WIC, SSI, and far too many others to list.
One can’t help but look at these numbers and note, wouldn’t it have been easier to cut a check? Imagine the young single mom who wants to pinch pennies on food for a few months so instead of too much SNAP, she can divert funding to a job training program.
The point being: The person who is down on their luck could decide how best to allocate the resources being given a hand up in society in a way that works best for her. You’re young and poor? Well then you can buy a catastrophic policy instead of the cost of Medicaid that likely limits your access to doctors for preventative services anyway.
Contrary to what those on the left think, a poor person knows better than the government on how to best spend their resources.
Americans want to help the poor. Democrats want to keep people poor. It’s a big difference.
Let us work to put welfare out of business by drying up demand. Opportunity and freedom win out every time even if you temporarily need some help.