Ruinous economic policies affect the poor acutely, particularly at a time when the national unemployment rate is 9.8%. My friend Paul Budline explains,
With all the talk about “tax cuts for the rich,” it’s worth looking at the other end of the income spectrum. Our public policy now features some sure-fire recipes for ensuring that poor people remain that way. Namely:
– Tax the hell out of cigarettes. Smoking is pretty much relegated to the poor these days, who cough up – literally – about 5 to 8 bucks a pack. It’s the most regressive tax imaginable, even before considering that these folks die a whole lot earlier and thus receive far less government largess in their nicotine-tinged golden years.
– Have states run and promote lotteries. Again, it’s usually the poor who play, and the implicit message from the government is that luck is the best (only?) way to strike it rich. As a corollary, put casinos in Tunica, Mississippi, Bethlehem, PA and other depressed areas.
– Make sure all poor kids are herded into public schools where unionized teachers have no incentive to perform and can pretty much never be fired. Of course, anyone with enough money can live in a fine district or send their little ones to private schools. In a singularly grotesque move, Congress voted to kill a pilot voucher program that allowed some DC kids to attend private schools. All because the teacher unions pull the strings.
– Deduct 15.3% from the very first dollar earned for Social Security and Medicare, and then stop the SS “contribution” when a worker’s salary reaches $107,000. How regressive can a tax get? Also, employ terms like “trust fund” and “lockbox” to disguise the fact that these programs are often a direct transfer of income from the working poor to retirees, many of whom are very well-off.
– Make believe that never-married moms are just fine when it comes to raising kids, and have Hollywood glamorize single parenthood. It’s been pointed out, accurately I believe, that avoiding poverty in America is pretty easy if you do just three things – graduate from HS, don’t have kids out of wedlock, and steer clear of the joint.
I’ll mention that all of the above are generally, but by no means exclusively, created and promoted by folks on the left. They claim to champion the poor in America, but what have their schemes wrought? The carnage is visible everywhere.
The above post was written by Paul, and I cross-posted it at The Green Room.