Sunday, October 18, 2015

High Cost on Taxpayers

The EITC is primarily a spending program. As noted, 88 percent of the benefits—$60 billion a year— are payments to people who owe no income tax. While the recipients gain from this largess, every dollar of that gain is a dollar of direct loss for other people who pay the taxes to support the program.  There is an indirect loss as well. The process of extracting taxes damages the economy because it causes people to reduce their productive activities, such as working and investing. The harm from the behavioral  responses to higher taxes is called “deadweight losses.”
For the federal income tax, studies have found, on average, that the deadweight loss of raising taxes by a dollar is roughly 30 to 50 cents.  Based on his pioneering work, Harvard University’s Martin Feldstein thinks that the loss may be higher, perhaps exceeding “one dollar per dollar of revenue raised, making the cost of incremental governmental spending more than two dollars for each dollar of government spending.”
But other estimates are lower than Feldstein’s.  Suppose that Congress expands EITC spending by $10 billion a year. Does this expansion make any economic sense? The benefits would have to be higher than the total cost of about $15 billion, which includes the $10 billion direct cost to taxpayers plu s another $5 billion or so in dead weight losses.  EITC proponents do not seem to consider the high costs. American Enterprise Institute scholar Michael Strain cheerleads for the EITC, saying it “channels social resources to meet a social goal.”
The problem is that there is no such thing as “social resources” in the sense of a free pool of community money. All $60 billion of annual refundable EITC payments must be extracted from taxpayers at a loss of about $90 billion, including the dead weight losses from higher taxes. Jobs are destroyed by that extraction and many investments are not made.  Analysts and reporters often point to the anti-poverty benefits of the EITC, claiming things such as the credit “pulled 6.5 million people out of poverty.”  But that is a meaningless statistic. If the government gives low-income individuals $60 billion, of course they will have more money in their pockets, and fewer of them will be below a measured poverty line. 
But why not double or triple EITC benefits and try to pull even more people out of poverty?
The answer is that we need to worry about the costs of federal programs, which are the harms done to other citizens and the broader economy. Expanding the EITC would create more fraud, higher administration costs, and added disincentives to increase hours worked in the phase-out range.  Furthermore, expanding the EITC—or any other federal spending program—would ultimately mean higher taxes, and thus more tax distortions and higher deadweight losses. Indeed, the deadweight losses from higher taxes rise more than proportionally as tax rates rise, which means that additional federal spending is more economically damaging than existing spending.
Conservative supporters of the EITC often talk as if the credit is one welfare program that actually works. But they seem to be looking only at the benefits, and not the costs. One conservative writer, for example, says that expanding the EITC would be much better than raising the minimum wage because “it poses no threat of destroying

But this ignores that extracting taxes from them economy to pay for the EITC certainly does destroy jobs. 

The EITC was designed to counter the anti-work effects of welfare programs and
the federal payroll tax. But as we have seen, the EITC creates a range of problems of its own, including errors and fraud, disincentives to increase earnings in the phase-out range, and deadweight losses caused by extracting taxes to pay for it.  The EITC should not be expanded. Indeed, the best long-term solution would be t o end the EITC, while also cutting other welfare programs and the payroll tax. At the same time, policymakers should pursue policies to boost wages and increase job growth. For example, cutting the corporate income tax rate would boost business capital investment. That would generate higher demand for labor, and thus raise wages and create more opportunities for
American workers over time.  In sum, we do not think that the argument for the EITC is very convincing. The credit creates a modest increase in workforce participation by single mothers, but that benefit is outweighed by the work disincentives during the phase-out range, billions of dollars of errors and fraud, substantial paperwork costs, and the damage caused by the higher taxes needed to fund the program. 
Veronique de Rugy, Mercatus Center  


  1. And here is the rebuttal:

    1. I had read the same link. As I said below, I find myself in the odd place of starting to dislike social programs because I feel that benefit the wealthy just as much as the poor, if not more so. Ever since Regan took a meat axe to taxes, we permanently severed ourselves from real world responsibility. The enormous debt we have created, under multiple presidents, is not purely a matter of ridiculous spending. Surely there is ridiculous spending, but without threat of raising taxes to pay for it, there is not genuine, adult debate about what to do about it. Over 40 years or so, we have completely reversed income distribution upward, while lowering taxes, while lowering wages, while lowering benefits and while also impeding upward mobility of lower economic status groups. What if we had no social programs? What if we tossed Greenspan's useless ass out 10 years after he go the job? Well, a lot more people would be hungry, but quite possibly we might have also had the kind of moral outrage that violently or otherwise forces social change. We not only no longer raise an eyebrow at ostentatious, in your face, displays of wealth, but we embrace it and worship it in the guise of putting a guy like Trump in serious contention to win the nomination. Our ability to prioritize at the moment seems more than a little impaired.

  2. This article reminds me of a joke about economists, "Three economists are trapped in a deep hole, how do they get out? First, they assume a ladder........"

    In essence, setting aside for a second whether the premise is correct, this article is basically saying two things should happen, one is that poor people should pay more tax, and the other is that corporate taxes should be lowered. In support of these premises, the author states standard trickle down theory, IE because of the EITC, those who pay higher taxes are directly having money taken right from their pocket to be given to poor people. Because of this, they invest less money. If this author had just honestly said poor people should pay more and corporations should pay less, I'd have less issue with it. The reason it annoys me, however, is that these very straightforward points that all rich people make is buried in a landslide of bullshit, and I'll try to make that point brief.

    First of all, the premise that this is a dollar for dollar gain/loss is false. We are a deficit spending nation. Ergo, we do not bring in an equal amount of revenue to meet our spending. If we had no budget deficit, this might actually hold some water, but for now it does not. If we grant this premise validity, than it works in a host of other situations as well. We can say that for anyone who is allowed to defer taxes through 401k, their taxes in the present are paid by others. For those that are able to pay for health insurance with pre tax dollars, their current taxes are paid by others. For those with children who get to claim deductions, they are subsidized by others. For owners of small business who write off a ton of shit they use for personal reasons, we absorb part of that cost. this is just a small sample.

    Corporate tax-again, there is the stated rate, and there is the actual rate that corporations pay which is lower. Further, there is no shortage of money available for investment. Rather, the holders of capital are simply investing where ROI is greatest.

    The case that will never be made by conservatives like Veronique is that while these programs may be construed as robin hood deal, I think it is also quite true that programs like these also help push wages lower. They do keep people from starving which is just another of way of saying it provides just enough sustenance to keep open rebellion from occurring. Many of these programs also provide health and other benefits that businesses have managed to successfully divest themselves of while still charging a price for their goods that reflects costs of production they had to previously pay. While the corporate tax rate has stayed high, the list of deductions has grown, wages have been squashed, and many agencies have been stripped of their ability to enforce regulations. there has not been more of a goldilocks period for larger corporations in a long, long time. Whether through the Fed, shitty trade deals, open borders and programs that keep the poor from starving despite working full time, our government has bent over backwards to push a shitload of money UP the wealth chain. People like Veronique and penultimate assholes like Stephen Moore, Grover Norquist and countless other bootlickers pen pieces like this, but those in power keep things just the way they are because it clearly is not hurting the wealthy one bit.

  3. Fifteen trillion dollars: That’s how much American taxpayers have forked over in the name of helping the poor since 1964.

    Under President Obama, government will spend more on welfare in a single year than President George W. Bush spent on the war in Iraq during his entire presidency. According to the Congressional Research Service, the cost of the Iraq war through the end of the Bush Administration was around $622 billion. By contrast, annual federal and state means-tested welfare spending will reach $888 billion in FY 2010. Federal welfare spending alone will equal $697 billion in that year.

    18.4 trillion in debt and growing tells you that this will not end well.

    1. Similarly Lou, we could also measure the explosive growth in wealth in the very richest over the same period time and come up with stunning results. You want the data to show one thing, and one thing only, which is that government programs cost a lot of money. You ignored everything I said to keep making that some one point, the debt is growing and it's solely because of shitty government programs to help the poor.

      I believe it was assumed by many on the right that all that needed to be done was cut taxes and that over time, all the social programs they hate would be cut to close the budget gap. This didn't happen because there is just as much pork for the wealthy as there is the poor. While spending has increased on programs for the poor, the wealth at the very top has simultaneously grown to gargantuan proportions. BTW, what was spent solely on weapons used during a time frame is a little disingenuous. The medical costs from that necessary war are continuing to climb. Take that failure of a VA facility you keep talking about. Would that facility be built if we didn't invade Iraq? I think that's a fair question to ask.

    2. Whoops, that should read the costs from the UNNECESSARY war continue to mount. Additionally, we paid for that war with borrowed money as well. So yeah, while you keep banging the drum about how high the debt has gotten under Obama, that bill includes existing debt from multiple president's before him.

    3. Always remember the politicians have never paid for a war from WW1 to WW2 to Korea to Vietnam, why is this so different???

      And the 10 trillion prior to Obama was the accumulation of previous presidents debt.

    4. I believe it was assumed by many on the right that all that needed to be done was cut taxes and that over time,

      JFK a big tax cutter. Obama the last tax cutter removing 10 million Americans from the tax rolls. What politicians fail to realize as fewer people pay taxes, the impact diminishes.

      Cutting taxes like welfare freebies the best way to buy votes.

    5. "Always remember the politicians have never paid for a war from WW1 to WW2 to Korea to Vietnam, why is this so different???"

      And yet, our debt never exploded until Reagan became POTUS. Why else is it different, hmmm, wonder what the top tax bracket was during those wars. Speaking of JFK, where were the top rates when he cut them? They were substantially higher. You sort of make my point with the next couple of sentences, when fewer and fewer people pay taxes, the impact of lowering taxes vanishes, which is why it is ridiculous to keep talking about cutting taxes.

      That final sentence is always the go to line, sounds great but says nothing of substance. I see the problem from several angles, 1) Incomes of the working class have fallen so far, they aren't high enough to pay taxes 2) You could change the structure and make the poor pay more income tax, and then they would spend less, which would mean less sales tax, less money to make the economy grow, less money to use to put kids through school or whatever. 3) We make the poor pay more tax, but we aren't going to pay them better, you told me yourself basically, why should business pay a living wage when there is a surplus. 4) Because we won't raise taxes high enough to meet our budget shortfalls, there is no consequence for spending. once consequence is that you come here and perpetually bitch about Obama, but that doesn't change anything. What if we had raised taxes, cut and spending and closed the deficit. At least at that point, you have genuine debate about spending, which we aren't having now. Righties want to cut all social programs, lefties, allegedly want to give away this endless free shit you are so obsessed about. Neither has a consequence.

      As you see it, I think, Obama sucks and that's kinda the answer for everything.

    6. Why is it that you see black and white???

      Why is it Obama's fault, Bush's fault or Reagan's fault?

      Congress today as well as then have always had the ability to just say no. Yet everyone is so afraid of being blamed for a shutdown when that's exactly what's needed.

    7. As long as we have bullshit immigration laws and enforcement and Free trade agreements, get use to it, cheap junk for jobs and low wages, the new America.

      Non enforcement of immigration laws is all Obama's today as he refuses to enforce the law so it must be broken.

    8. Louman if you really believe it was 622 billion you are living in another world. The real long term cost for the US is 4Trillion. 622 billion is only what Bush put on the books.
      the U.S. war in Iraq has cost $1.7 trillion with an additional $490 billion in benefits owed to war veterans, expenses that could grow to more than $6 trillion over the next four decades counting interest, a study released on Thursday said.

      The war has killed at least 134,000 Iraqi civilians and may have contributed to the deaths of as many as four times that number, according to the Costs of War Project by the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University.

      When security forces, insurgents, journalists and humanitarian workers were included, the war's death toll rose to an estimated 176,000 to 189,000, the study said.

      The report, the work of about 30 academics and experts, was published in advance of the 10th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003.

      It was also an update of a 2011 report the Watson Institute produced ahead of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks that assessed the cost in dollars and lives from the resulting wars in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

      The 2011 study said the combined cost of the wars was at least $3.7 trillion, based on actual expenditures from the U.S. Treasury and future commitments, such as the medical and disability claims of U.S. war veterans.

      That estimate climbed to nearly $4 trillion in the update.

      The estimated death toll from the three wars, previously at 224,000 to 258,000, increased to a range of 272,000 to 329,000 two years later.

      Excluded were indirect deaths caused by the mass exodus of doctors and a devastated infrastructure, for example, while the costs left out trillions of dollars in interest the United States could pay over the next 40 years.

      The interest on expenses for the Iraq war could amount to about $4 trillion during that period, the report said.

      The report also examined the burden on U.S. veterans and their families, showing a deep social cost as well as an increase in spending on veterans. The 2011 study found U.S. medical and disability claims for veterans after a decade of war totaled $33 billion. Two years later, that number had risen to $134.7 billion.

    9. As always I would never expect you to understand the point of the post as it's a bit to subtle for you.

      Why is it that you see black and white???

      Why is it Obama's fault, Bush's fault or Reagan's fault?

      Congress today as well as then have always had the ability to just say no. Yet everyone is so afraid of being blamed for a shutdown when that's exactly what's needed.

      It's about the sustainability of spending today. Not something you believe in.

    10. In the post Lou you spout off figures that are just lies to prove your point. If you are going to price the war let's also price what it costs us to take care of our men and women who will suffer for the rest of their lives because of this nonsense. Or maybe you would be happier if we just said fuck it and leave them to do the best they can as you feel the poor should do. The working poor are doing the best they can Lou that's what you don't get. Not everyone is equipped to be a high browed high faluntin" engineer. Thank god for that because if we were all engineers who the hell would mow the grass and wash the dishes since you don't want anybody doing the dirty work of servicing America. And remember Americans can't do it because in your little dream we are all engineers, doctors etc.

  4. Figure it out yourself Max.

    SS/pensions 1 trillion dollars this hear.
    Healthcare, medicare, medicaid, 1 trillion this year.

    The next up defense 600 billion.

    I think we should eliminate the military entirely dedicate the additional 600 billion to welfare which should fix things just fine.

    1. Social Security is not in a deficit state. I kinda think that is an important point.

      Medicare and Medicaid. I've never denied issues here. Again, I see multiple avenues to containing costs and as a nurse practitioner, I'm actually going to be one of those scabs who directly competes with physicians and gets paid quite a bit less to do 80% of the same work. Now I understand, Obama sucks and that he is the cause of everything wrong in America. It's a fair enough point, but he will be out of office soon, and we will have the same problems that Republicans and the Tea Bag idiots have chosen to do nothing about since 2000. That 600 billion in the military is already welfare...for defense contractors.

    2. An important point is SS is a pay as you go system. Money comes in, money goes out. The day a new recession begins and one will begin, SS will drop into a deficit mode where borrowing is required to send out checks.

      Nothing will change, nothing until we are forced to change.

      Your Obama analogy is laughable as it's a systemic problem. All our politicians vie for votes with money, tax payer money. Cuts, freebies, you name it.

      As I stated end the military tomorrow.

      That will solve nothing and barely balance the budget.

      Higher taxes is the only answer, not only on the wealthy but everyone except the very bottom that cannot take care of themselves. The sad part is nothing will change until change is forced upon our government.

    3. It is systemic, but I stick to my party line that what enables the problem more than anything is that there is no consequence. If there is never a threat of higher taxes, I don't think it matters which party you support, there is no penalty to not cut things. I'm busting your balls on Obama because I think the epithet of free shit is more than a little unfair and also because you won't even mount a dismissal of my premise that food stamps and other welfare benefits those at the top just as much because it maintains status quo. The year by year traceability of engorging wealth at the very very top is too hard for me to dismiss is just a coincidence. Arguably, when we had higher taxes, we had higher incomes in the lower end of the economy. If we did not have the support programs, I tend to believe we would have had people in soup kitchens just like we did in the great depression.

      I believe you on the military, but it's a tougher sell to those who believe Obama is a pussy and that we aren't feared enough in the world. No ball busting here, but I don't know how you convince that crowd. Thoughts?

    4. As I said before, nothing will change until we are forced to change. Taxes will not rise nor will they broaden the tax base to address the problem.

      Such is life.

      As to the wealth thing, no kidding. It's to be expected when you have massive Federal Reserve intervention. Look at the drop and then the rocketing market. It takes money to make money and if you had cash in 2009, you could have easily doubled that in a short time. The poor stay poor. The middle class cowers and do not invest, they also tend to struggle with the ZIRP as do the fixed income crowd. The winners, the people with money. Unfortunately ZIRP also enabled the government to add to the debt without consequence as the interest at ZIRP was less than paid during the last Bush year. Throw in 3 trillion pf Federal reserve holdings and the perfect atmosphere for the Government to continue their spending spree.

      Obama does get some credit for enabling more welfare. Look at the stats on SNAP. 20 million more collect than when Bush left office. The Additions to the Free cell phone plan, the doubling of those on disability. Loosening eligibility requirements has it cost and we pay it. Probably the most damaging was the trashing welfare for work and limiting the length of benefits which accompanied the porkulus program in 2009.

      Bottom line on the military, time for the world to take responsibility for the world not just the USA.

    5. So suppose Obama did no expansion of money to the poor and suppose we just let all the banks fail that were going to fail. Would we look like we do right now? Not trying to defend Obama's spending, just asking for an educated guess.

    6. It's not about what he did but where we are today.

      After the crash and recovery, did Obama withdraw the easing of benefits?

      Do 100 million Americans still need food aid today?

      If that's the case, Obama's economic policies are a complete failure.

      The number of Americans receiving subsidized food assistance from the federal government has risen to 101 million, representing roughly a third of the U.S. population.

      The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that a total of 101,000,000 people currently participate in at least one of the 15 food programs offered by the agency, at a cost of $114 billion in fiscal year 2012.

    7. More lies. there are 46,500,000 people on food stamps today the majority issued to families with children. This represents 20% of American households not 33%. These are January 2015 numbers so evidently the program is being scaled back. And who receives them Lou. Mexicans, Blacks? No Louman Whites specifically whites in red states,

      Who Gets Food Stamps? White People, Mostly
      WASHINGTON -- Gene Alday, a Republican member of the Mississippi state legislature, apologized last week for telling a reporter that all the African-Americans in his hometown of Walls, Mississippi, are unemployed and on food stamps.

      "I come from a town where all the blacks are getting food stamps and what I call 'welfare crazy checks,'" Alday said to a reporter for The Clarion-Ledger, a Mississippi newspaper, earlier this month. "They don't work."

      Nationally, most of the people who receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are white. According to 2013 data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the program, 40.2 percent of SNAP recipients are white, 25.7 percent are black, 10.3 percent are Hispanic, 2.1 percent are Asian and 1.2 percent are Native American.
      In the two congressional districts that overlap Alday's state legislature district, more African-Americans than whites receive food stamps, according to USDA data.
      Republicans are conducting a review of nutrition assistance with an eye toward figuring out how to nudge more people into the workforce. In recent years Republicans have lamented that a growing share of recipients are able-bodied adults without children -- a group that made up 10.2 percent of beneficiaries in 2011, up from 6.6 percent before the onset of the Great Recession in 2007. (The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that 1 million people will be kicked off the rolls by next year as states reimpose time limits on childless, non-disabled adults.)

      Nearly one-third of food stamp beneficiaries lived in a household where at least one member had some earned income in 2013. Different states have different eligibility rules for the program, but federal law puts the upper income limit at 200 percent of the poverty line, currently $20,090 for a family of three. Many SNAP recipients qualify based on their participation in another means-tested program, such as Medicaid or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

      Twenty-three million households and 47 million Americans received benefits on an average month in 2013; enrollment declined slightly to 22 million households and 46 million individuals in 2014. Three-quarters of those households included a child, an elderly person or someone with a disability. The average monthly benefit per household was $274 in 2013 and $256 last year.

    8. The figures
      45% of food stamp recipients are households containing Children.
      75.5% of these households have income through work disability or social security.
      20% of food stamp recipients are disabled.
      17% are elderly.
      Your whole assumption that people just sitting around mooching off you is so far off base that it is pathetic.
      But you have no problem with the Donald Trumps of the world using every loophole imaginable to get out of paying the taxes that they owe on their income. You have no problem with corporations who do the same unless of course they support the president.

    9. Either your reading challenged or you call your government a liar.

      In either case your a pathetic human being when you cannot even recognize the crappy recovery we have had for the last 7 years even with massive stimulus from the Fed.
      As Kenny Loggins would say;
      (This is it)
      Make no mistake where you are
      (This is it)
      Your back's to the corner
      (This is it)
      Don't be a fool anymore

      The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that a total of 101,000,000 people currently participate in at least one of the 15 food programs offered by the agency, at a cost of $114 billion in fiscal year 2012.

      I assume nothing but quote from the USDA.

      You assume as you always do and are still the chief excuse maker for the administration. Do you get paid per excuse???

    10. Observationally, you don't like my painting you as being nothing but an Obama basher, but conversely, any questioning of your points makes me and Rick de facto apologists for Obama. That some food for thought that isn't subsidized by the tax payers!

      The 101 million number seems curious to me. Here is the link that I think you are using which I also found posted on some other conservative sites. What it looks like to me is that they are taking the participants stated for each program and I"m not sure that provides an accurate number. I tend to believe that individuals receiving assistance are being counted more than once. For example, there is a school lunch and school breakfast and school milk program. If one child participates in all three, are they being counted as one participant in three programs, or as three individuals? Note, I'm not stating whether the money being spent shouldn't be questioned because in that report, the FDA seems to be conceding that perhaps it is providing a level of assistance that exceeds nutritional needs. I'm only questioning whether that figure truly represents what it is being implied it represents.

      It's a shame to me that in this discussion, there is no questioning of why so many individuals need the assistance. Of those alleged 101 million, there are also several assistance programs for seniors. Some are simply obsessed with the level of money spent, others are obsessed that some are getting free shit on the backs of workers, some are obsessed with the idea we can't let people starve, and so on. Most discussions, as I see it, hit the symptoms, instead of the cause.

    11. It's a compilation of all users from all food programs. Some use multiple programs like school lunches, summer lunch programs, SNAP etc. 17 programs. A question, if a family receives SNAP, why would they not provide a breakfast for their children?

      there is no questioning of why so many individuals need the assistance

      A better question is why the government has 17 different programs administered by various departments. Why so many people are on assistance while the economy is supposedly in recovery according ton the government.
      A question, have standards been loosened so more can qualify for aid? Seems that's what happened with disability as we rocketed from 5 million to over 11 million in the last 7 years.
      Do people find it easier to collect benefits than work as the outcome is the same, an existence? Have so many middle class jobs been shipped overseas that there are fewer to support a growing population of poor?

      An Obama basher. Interesting as it's quite clear that the economy isn't what it should be. Clear that good paying jobs are not plentiful. Clear more people are accepting welfare benefits. Clear that millions are on medicaid getting free healthcare. Clear that millions accept subsidies for healthcare. Clear that we are 18.4 trillion in debt not that it matters until it matters.

      The above post was not directed at you but at rick.

      To me, this is more the end results of a broken government past and present. Where government largess buys votes and power for the sitting politicians. This is the end result of the not so free trade agreements, the illegal migration of people to the US and most of all the irresponsible spending by government over the years.

      Am I an Obama basher, yes as I was also a Bush basher. I did like Clinton except for his lack of morals. Bush 1 was truly a gentleman and I believe a good person with the country in mind.

    12. I get that it's compilation, I just wonder if it's truly 101 million, or if people are just being counted several times for being in different programs. I have to admit that if the administration is going to claim credit for economic recovery, it should take some heat for that growth not being able to reduce poverty. And I'm being totally serious about that. The Democrats have supported a lot of trickle down bullshit while they simultaneously go out and campaign against it. So now, we have a flood of cheap merchandise this way, a flow of jobs the other way, a fabulous run for the stock market and investors, but a disastrous run for the average person working a wage job.

      Until I have time to really research my conceptual belief, I'm going to continue to believe these programs are helping the wealthy as much as the poor. Let's face it, if we were giving away so much free shit as is being claimed and the wealthy were suffering, it would be easy to draw a conclusion. Instead, we have the exact opposite. I have said numerous times that I believe our standard of living has fallen far faster than the level of benefits has risen. A ten dollar an hour job pays just over 20 grand a year, I have hard time believing that anyone can just go out and quickly and easily find a way to get on multiple programs and get 20 grand free per year.

      That said, I can understand the bitterness that some feel that they are subsidizing others. My bitterness is no less. For the 8 trillion that Obama has spent, there has been a whopping explosion of wealth for those who do nothing more than buy, hold and flip. I'm sorry, but that is not productive work. Their gain now will far exceed anything they will have to pay in the future, which means I will pick up the tab for their benefit. The poor will continue to be poor, live shitty lives and we will all feel that whether we believe so or not. Whether we pay higher medical costs for their bad health, pay personal costs as victims of crime, or pay other costs when they decide one day to vote for Kanye, we will all feel that.

      As I've said many times, my life has not been changed by Bush or Obama. I take home a few bucks more or a few bucks less but ultimately, it has no bearing who is POTUS to me. It's not worth being perpetually bitter at a figurehead. Just my take.