Michael D. Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, heading research into a variety of domestic policies with particular emphasis on health care reform, welfare policy, and Social Security. His most recent white paper, "Bad Medicine: A Guide to the Real Costs and Consequences of the New Health Care Law," provides a detailed examination of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and what it means to taxpayers, workers, physicians, and patients.
Examples of the failures of government, large and small, are pretty easy to come by. Solyndra, the Iraq War, the response to Hurricane Katrina, Obamcare: Take your pick. But in terms of both wasted money and human suffering, it’s hard to find a more egregious government failure than the War on Poverty.
This year mark’s the 50th anniversary of Democrats’ declaration of a War on Poverty. Ironically, it seems as if President Obama and congressional Democrats have decided to mark the occasion by declaring a war on the poor.
As this session of the 113th Congress draws to a merciful close, much of the punditry has picked up on the refrain that this is the “most unproductive Congress in history.” Indeed, this Congress has passed just 28 bills, easily eclipsing the previous record for inactivity set by Congress in 2012.
Welfare advocates regularly urge Americans to look to the European welfare state as a model. At least in the case of the Netherlands, they might be on to something.
Democrats and the media are raising the usual outcry over Republican hard-heartedness and suggesting that the proposed Republican cuts will lead to widespread hunger and hardship. Most of the handwringing is based on myths.
The president has now apologized —sort of — for misleading people. But such protestations would be far more credible if the president and his administration didn’t continue saying things that are, let us generously say, inaccurate.
House and Senate budget conferees have begun meeting in an attempt to head off another potential government shutdown when the latest continuing resolution expires, on January 15. In theory, the committee is supposed to report no later than December 13, but few on Capitol Hill expect them to come up with a deal by that deadline.
When the computer system running your signature legislative achievement is slightly less functional than painting on a cave wall, you know you have a big problem. When that’s actually the good news, you know you have a really big problem.
Social Security is the single largest program of the federal government, accounting for more than 20 percent of all federal spending in 2012. Indeed, by some measures, it could be considered the largest government program in the world, providing more than $774 billion in benefits to 58 million recipients last year.
The bigger question — and one most important to the future of this country in the long run — is how we got to the point where a temporary suspension of some government services is seen as the end of civilization as we know it.
We were once told it would provide universal coverage, ensuring every American has access to affordable health insurance. Nope: The Congressional Budget Office says more than 33 million Americans will still be uninsured by 2023.
Capitalism threatened the old social order. And it still does so today. Race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation are irrelevant, enabling individuals to rise above social attitudes and historical discrimination.
While everyone’s attention has been justifiably focused on whether or not we will be going to war in Syria, a pair of important fiscal deadlines has been quietly sneaking up on us.
Among the national chains and franchisees that have announced that Obamacare is forcing them to reduce employee hours: Applebee’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Del Taco, Denny’s, FatBurger, Five Guys, Hardee’s, IHOP, Olive Garden, Wendy’s, and White Castle.
Making work pay better, including the sort of entry level jobs that people leaving welfare can expect to find, is a terrific goal. Unfortunately, government has very little ability to force such increases.
Unsurprisingly, our study has attracted criticism from several quarters. Some of those critics make valuable points that might improve future research, but most criticism falls far short of the mark.
A new study by the Cato Institute found that in many states, it does indeed pay better to be on welfare than it does to work.
When residents in Connecticut consider getting a job, they assume they would be better off having a job than not. They’d be wrong. Because in Connecticut, it pays not to work.
On January 8, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered a State of the Union address to Congress in which he declared an “unconditional war on poverty in America.” At the time, the poverty rate in America was around 19 percent and falling rapidly.
Asked if Republicans had the courage to fight for defunding, Rand Paul replied gloomily, “Honestly? Probably not.”
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