Monday, September 23, 2013

10 Myths About the Food Stamp Program

Here's some more statistics about the SNAP program: 10 Myths.  But I suppose if one actually knows recipients who are true serial welfare abusers, it makes perfect sense to support cuts in a program that feeds many who need it and even some who underserved by it.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

About SNAP Judgments

Krugman analyzes SNAP growth. In 2007, it was no higher than in 1990.  There has been a big jump with the 2008 recession.  He also notes that AFDC has faded away and SNAP is picking up some of that demand as well.
The idea that food stamps represent a problem — not a small blessing that has made this ongoing economic disaster marginally less awful — represents an awesome combination of ignorance and cruelty.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fantasy Fiscal Policy

How much stimulus should have been done if our government had chosen to do the job correctly?
With the benefit of hindsight, we do know roughly how depressed the economy has been; we have reasonably good estimates of the effects of government spending; so we can put together an estimate of what would have happened if we had, in fact, pursued a policy of government spending sufficient to keep output at potential.
... it would have taken $1.76 trillion in spending over the past 4 1/2 years to close the output gap. Yes, I know, it would have been politically impossible — but we’re just doing the economics here.
Given that revenue from tax collections would be higher, that means this could have been accomplished with $0.76 trillion in government debt.  Stated in terms of GDP (which would be higher), our debt would be at 76 percent of GDP instead of the 72 percent it is now.  This isn't the makings of a fiscal crisis.

'Terminator' Polymer

A new plastic has been invented that can actually heal itself without any help from the outside.  Someday plastics parts will last for a long, long time.

Trayvon Martin's Prosecution Threw the Case

The evidence mounts that Zimmerman's prosecutors intentionally threw the case.  The medical examiner was prevented from testifying that Martin's wound entered his back so Zimmerman's version of the events isn't possibly true.

IRS Scandal Didn't Happen To The Tea Party

A careful analysis of events shows that the IRS scandal was invented by the Tea Party.  Many groups were targeted but it was the Tea Party groups that were planning it and expecting it with the outrage machine fired up and ready to go.