Friday, October 28, 2016


Life shouldn't have to be the giant pain in the ass it increasingly is, and liberal plans shouldn't contribute to it.

I switched my electricity provider the other day. Presumably it'll save me a bit of money, if I read the terms correctly and the new company doesn't try to screw me. But in 6 months I'll probably need to do it again. Maybe they'll send me a reminder letter that my contract is up and maybe I'll notice it, or maybe I'll assume it's junk mail and toss it. Maybe the rates won't be jacked up automatically. I don't know! The point is that at a minimum there's another 20 minutes of my life gone and one more thing on the pile of "minor hassles I have to think about."

The Medicaid expansion in Obamacare is great. It also means people have to worry about floating in and out of eligibility. Make too much money and you get sentenced to the exchange nightmare, which only 3 percent of the population have to deal with so shutupShutupShutUpSHUTUPSHUTUP. Getting kicked off Medicaid because you made a bit too much money is a huge negative income tax, both in actual monetary terms and in hassle (staying on Medicaid is also, too, a hassle).

Conservatives have long fretted (well, blamed the poors) about how Welfare keeps people trapped in a "culture of poverty" or some such bullshit. But they did have a point. Welfare - especially if you're a family with kids and most of the welfare we have in this country is Medicaid - can keep people trapped in poverty, because getting kicked off Medicaid is a nightmare. Add in to that the various drop offs for the meager benefits/tax credits and those high effective marginal tax rates - which are oh so important for rich people - hit a lot of poor people.

Make benefits as universal as possible, and make rich people pay more in taxes. That's how you means test things. The rest is needless complexity designed to suck the life out of people who have it hard already.