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Discussion: (4 comments)

  1. Geez, when are you Washington elites going to understand that, with $100t+ in unfunded liabilities, THERE IS NO MONEY FOR NEW PROGRAMS?! Not for wars on poverty or for middle east wars for profit. No money. Period.

  2. Todd Mason

    Krugman is right to think that nothing Rubio or Ryan propose would make it through the House in any shape or form. So what’s the point of ruminating on nonstarter ideas?

    And Ryan has an excellent idea — using housing programs to move the poor into into neighborhoods with jobs, transportation, good schools and positive role models. Only an R could take on a Nixon-to-China idea like this. Bright blue Montgomery Co Md went to war in the 90s over a program using the county’s affordable housing profits to build mixed-income apartments in good neighborhoods, Today, most full-rent tenants don’t know they share the halls with subsidized renters. Critics claim that careful screening keeps the peace. Regardless, here is one group of poor people who know not to screw with a good thing.

  3. Earned. It’s Earned Income Tax Credit.

    Under what dim lights is the Flex Fund idea going to help? States, as the author of this post noted, already administer almost all the anti-poverty programs Rubio named. That further devolving authority to the states would help the poor is fact-free pablum with no empirics behind it. How much money are we talking about? Is there reason to believe that a ‘unified’ revenue stream would result in more efficient delivery of services by state governments? If so, Rubio hasn’t explained that or provided numbers. But that might require a bit of work. As it happens, some of the programs that are at issue are among the most brutally efficient and effective in the federal arsenal.

    As for the EITC replacement plan, that’s not actually new. EITC reform ideas have been around since the author was a tadpole. Rubio also didn’t even attempt to make a case for how much it would reduce poverty.

    Rubio’s are fact-free policy theories on building a better mouse trap. Why should Krugman take this seriously at all while UI benefits lapse, tossing 1.2 million people into poverty in an instant while we know perfectly well how to avoid that?

  4. GodisanAmerican

    GOP wants to be taken seriously? OK, pass the extension of unemployment benefits.
    Support food stamps and extend social security for the poor.

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