Friday, June 20, 2008

rewarding poverty with tax and spend

The problem with most of our "government programs" that try to address poverty is that they tend to only "serve" the poor rather than try to help people out of poverty. When we only serve the poor we draw the lower middle class into poverty so that they can get some of the services that the poor are receiving. When we only serve the poor we give impoverished families no incentive to get out of poverty.

We have had government programs for the poor for nearly a century now. Has poverty increased or decreased? Poverty continues to grow because our programs are designed unwisely. We shouldn't reward poverty with more services than the middle class can afford for themselves. That doesn't make any sense.

If you are in the middle class and can't afford health insurance for your kids but come to realize that poor families are having their kids covered by the government, what would you do? With the government programs the way they are, it makes more sense for someone to be below the poverty line than it does for them to be in the working lower middle-class.

We need to reward having a job. We need to reward families for taking care of their kids. We need to reward the middle class, not tax them more.

And does anyone really believe that someone making 85,000 a year qualifies as "upper-class"? No, that is still middle class. What about 205,000 a year? Well it depends on where you live. That salary in the mid-west and places like Texas is pretty wealthy. But that salary in Northern Virginia, DC and Maryland is definitely not "upper class." That is truly the middle class in expensive places to live. Nobody making 200K in New York City is living extravagantly.

This is my biggest issue with tax and spend economic policies. They tend to tax people who are still in the middle class in order to spend money servicing the poor. Yet, people are not empowered to get out of poverty and the middle class gets the load of the burden.

Maryland residents have some of the highest state taxes in the country. Yet we also have a serious poverty problem in Baltimore. Likewise, the cost of living is putting a tremendous burden on Maryland's middle class. Tax and spend is not the answer. The overwhelmingly Democratic Maryland legislature has proved this all too well.


At 5:44 PM, Blogger Kristina said...

But Mark, if we take the gov't money from the poor, how will they survive?
I wouldn't have a problem not having the gov't pay for the poor if I knew that these people would eventually have support.
But honestly, I don't trust anyone, including the church, to provide for these people. We seem to give more to Starbucks than our fellow man. As for the job situation, you have a point in that we need to take care of jobs but I still don't like leaving people out in the cold with health care. In fact, I support universal health care, meaning EVERY person gets a chance to be healthy. If we find ways where everyone is equal,
However, this may mean that the money earned by the higher ups will decrease.
Some of this also comes from the fact that I think the poor tends to be given a bad hand from the get-go.
And some people may say that "oh let's just pray about it." which is fine but what if God has already given us the resources to give to others? Why can't the resources be used for generating jobs in poverty-stricken areas?

At 9:38 PM, Blogger Mark said...

I am not against the government having good programs to help get people out of poverty. I am just against giving millions of dollars to programs that only service the poor without ever trying to help them out of poverty.

And I am not against taxes. I just think that taxing heavily the middle class is a bad economic policy. Too often Democrats have a warped view of the middle class thinking that 200,000 a year is wealthy. Some Democrats want to increase taxes on those who make more than 75,000. I just think that is irresponsible in a time when the economy is bad.

I do agree that the health care system needs an overhaul. I am not sure putting it in the hands of the government is the best idea.


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