Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Blame the Blahs

The way some of our anti-poverty programs are set up, low earners really can face high marginal tax rates. If earning very little qualifies you for public assistance, and then you start earning some more money and the public assistance goes away, you could end up earning not much more, or even less, than when you were getting public assistance.

That's the not-crazy center-right critique of American anti-poverty efforts. And it's not the one Paul Ryan is using here. He's blaming it all on inner city blah culture:
“[W]e want people to reach their potential and so the dignity of work is very valuable and important and we have to re-emphasize work and reform our welfare programs, like we did in 1996,” Ryan told Bennett. “We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning to value the culture of work, so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.”