Michael Tanner

Food Stamp Growth Continues, Despite Economic Recovery

As food stamp utilization escalated over the last several years, the program’s advocates assured us that there was nothing to worry about. Yes, more people than ever before were on food stamps, but that was just because of the recession. Once the recovery began and the unemployment rate declined, fewer people would need food stamps.

Lessons from Dutch Welfare Reform

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.

Obamacare Damaged the Nation’s System, Some Dems Don’t Mind

At the end of the children’s nursery rhyme, “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again.” That’s the lesson Americans should bear in mind as we witness the implosion of ObamaCare — sometimes, once something is broken, no amount of effort can fix it.

Beyond the Obamacare Website Fiasco

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.

The Next Budget Battle

The fight over the government shutdown may have come to an ignominious end, but the reprieve from Washington budgetary politics will be short-lived. The latest continuing resolution will expire on January 15, while we will hit our debt ceiling again on February 7. In the meantime, a budget conference committee, headed by Representative Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) and Senator Patty Murray (D., Wash.), is supposed to reach an agreement by December 13.

Welfare Can Make More Sense than Work

Next Monday, the Cato Institute will release a new study looking at the state-by-state value of welfare. Nationwide, our study found that the value of benefits for a typical recipient family ranged from a high of $49,175 in Hawaii to a low of $16,984 in Mississippi.

GOP Hypocrisy and the Farm Bill

Whenever Republicans attempt to cut spending for some social welfare program or another, Democrats are quick to claim that it is not unaffordable spending that the Republicans dislike, but poor people. By passing the farm bill this week — after stripping out spending for the food stamp program — House Republicans showed that that stereotype is largely true.

SNAP Theatrics Fall Flat

It has become a set piece of political theater for liberal Democrats, carried out in recent weeks by everyone from New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner to Connecticut senator Chris Murphy and a bevy of congressmen: attempting to eat on the $4.50-per-day food budget supposedly provided by the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the program formerly known as “food stamps.” While always good for a headline, and generally accompanied by amusing photographs of the bizarre meals the politicians cobble together on their meager budget, the so-called SNAP challenge is also arrant nonsense.

The Deficit is Still Bad News

To listen to much of the mainstream media recently, one would assume that the battle against the national debt has been won.

Krugman's Still Wrong

Paul Krugman has never been shy about proclaiming that he is right and everyone else is wrong — and not just wrong, but “knaves and fools.” Lately, however, one begins to worry that he might actually hurt himself, so vigorously has he been patting himself on the back for his opposition to “austerity” (defined as any cut in government spending, anytime, anywhere).

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