Daniel J. Mitchell

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I write about insanely stupid government policies. But I know I get more motivated to fight big government.

How can anyone want to give more money and power to politicians, for instance, after reading these comparisons of dumb government policy in the United States and United Kingdom? Or how can anyone think it’s a good idea to expand the public sector after reading these examples of bureaucratic incompetence?

But now I’ve come across something even more amazing, a story of government stupidity that trumps these other examples. And this is not satire. It is not from The Onion.

Believe it or not, the Greek government has decided that pedophiles are “disabled” and therefore deserve money from the government.

And what really makes this boondoggle remarkable is that you’re helping to pay for it thanks to the IMF bailout of Greece. Here’s the link to the AP story, and here are the relevant passages.

…a government decision to expand a list of state-recognized disability categories to include pedophiles, exhibitionists and kleptomaniacs. …The Labor Ministry said categories added to the expanded list – that also includes pyromaniacs, compulsive gamblers, fetishists and sadomasochists – were included for purposes of medical assessment and used as a gauge for allocating financial assistance. …The new list gives pyromaniacs and pedophiles disability pay up to 35 percent.

Maybe I’m just old fashioned, but my first reaction to this story is that child molesters should be in jail, not getting taxpayer-funded handouts.

I guess that’s being unfair, though, since not all pedophiles become child molesters.

But that’s besides the point. Why on earth did the government decide that pedophiles are disabled? And why does that automatically entitle them to disability payments?


Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a top expert on tax reform and supply-side tax policy at the Cato Institute.