Saturday, January 26, 2008

I stand corrected, but I'm still right.

Political pragmatism:

Of all the arguments in favor of putting a food stamp provision into the stimulus package, rather than a cash transfer, possibly the most bizarre is "Well, it is perhaps less than ideal, but it was the only way we could get it passed."

You may have noticed that it didn't, in fact, pass. Politically, increasing food stamps has been exactly as successful as increasing cash transfers, which is to say, not at all.

Summary: The Democrats tried to compromise but stubborn ass Republicans refused to budge so obviously the Democrats' ideas were flawed.
In fact, the EITC is the only major program for the poor that has been expanded in the last ten years--and yes, that last expansion would be in 2001, under President George W. Bush
Yes, Megan, we should all emulate dubbaya in our empathy for the poor. Duh!
Update I stand corrected: the farm bill expanded food stamps in 2002. The larger point stands: there's no reason to think that cash transfers are politically impossible, because they self-evidently aren't; and trying to use food stamps to funnel money, however inefficiently, to the poor, clearly failed in this instance.

Paraphrase: The only piece of evidence I used in this post isn't actually true, but I'm still right, compromise is a stupid idea and you should always blindly do what you think is absolutely best and assume that your opponents will be intimidated by your ability to use the force.

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