Monday, December 10, 2012

But What Happens to the Little People?

You might think that falling gasoline prices would be welcome news to the left. Cheaper gas brings down the cost of everything which is a special boon to the poor. It also reduces the cost burden of businesses which enables them to hire more people. Moreover, the reasons for the lower prices - the natural gas boom at home and the slowdown in petroleum demand worldwide because of cooling economies in India and China and difficulties in Europe - means that less carbon is being thrown into the atmosphere. All of this should be welcome news to the left, but it's apparently not.

The problem, as they see it, is that if gas is relatively cheap, then alternative fuels will not be competitive and there'll be little to no incentive to move toward developing them. Thus, lefties like those in the piece at the link believe we need to artificially make fossil fuel more expensive by imposing a hefty tax on carbon consumption.

The left doesn't seem to care much that such a tax will severely hurt the poor and middle class, stifle job creation, and smother any chance of an economic recovery. What they care about is making fossil fuels economically impractical and whoever has to be sacrificed to get to that goal is evidently expendable.

Cheap fuel is a blessing for everyone, but especially for the "little guy." If we really care about him we'd be a lot more reluctant to make his life harder than it already is.

Out of Whack

A post at the Daily Caller shows that something is very much out of whack with welfare spending. According to the article:
[T]he amount spent on federal means-tested welfare programs, if converted to cash payments and divided among households below the poverty line, would equal a daily income greater than the median household income in 2011.

The cash value of welfare spending, according to the analysis, is $167.65 daily per household in poverty. The median household income in 2011 was $50,054 or $137.13 per day, according to the analysis, released Friday.

When broken down into an hourly wage, welfare spending would be enough for $30.60 an hour for 40 hour weeks for each household in poverty. The median household hourly wage is $25.03, which drops to between $21.50 and $23.45 after federal taxes, depending on deductions and filing status, the minority side of the committee showed. The wage is further reduced with local and state taxes. Benefits from government assistance programs, they note, are not taxed federally.
No wonder people receiving government benefits are in no hurry to find gainful employment. Almost any job they take would result in a pay cut.

President Obama is not satisfied, however, that we're doing enough to subsidize poverty in this country. His budget would increase federal means-tested spending another 30% over the next four years. Heck, why not? Just tax the rich to make them pay their "fair share" and none of us would have to work.