Must-Read: Scott Lemieux: David Brooks is not on a Path of Upward Intellectual Mobility

Must-Read: Scott Lemieux: David Brooks is not on a Path of Upward Intellectual Mobility: “”David ‘vast, lavishly taxpayer-subsidized spaces for entertaining’ Brooks’s scorching Burke-abject-morons hot take on the killing of Freddie Gray…

…cites Robert “alas, not Paul” Samuelson favorably…. [One should] drop the mic. But it’s probably worth explaining in some detail why Brooks and Samuelson’s vaguely fact-resembling assertion that $14,000 per year is spent on poor people in the U.S. is abject nonsense…. Annie Lowrey does the job very effectively…. Samuelson is citing Ron Haskins… who calculated that in 2011, spending dedicated to the poor averaged out to $13,000 per person below the federal poverty line… Medicaid, food stamps, the earned-income tax credit, the child tax credit, the Supplemental Security Income program, welfare, housing assistance, Medicare Part D, grants for school districts serving low-income children, and Pell Grants.
But… Medicaid helps the disabled… and a huge chunk of its spending goes to doctors, hospitals, and administrators…. School grants go to schools, not families. The earned-income tax credit goes to hundreds of thousands of families that are not below the poverty line. You don’t need to be below the poverty line to get food stamps, either….

Robert A. Moffitt of Baltimore’s own Johns Hopkins University has found that aid to profoundly poor single-parent families dropped 35 percent between 1983 and 2004, while it rose 74 percent for those earning a bit more more. “You would think that the government would offer the most support to those who have the lowest incomes and provide less help to those with higher incomes,” he said, releasing his findings. “But that is not the case.”…

May 27, 2015

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