What I hope Trump & the GOP-led Congress tackle -
Reader comment on: Cheer Up
Submitted by Mark Michael (United States), Nov 9, 2016 17:06
I would like to see the entire set of federal means-tested (85+) welfare programs transitioned back to the 50 states. They have been a tragedy for the poor over the 50 years since the heavy federalization following LBJ's 1965 Great Society anti-poverty programs. That "tragedy" is due to the out-of-wedlock birthrate that went from 5% in 1965 to 20%+ by 1980 to over 40% today. That underlies the list of anti-social behaviors that afflict the lower-income groups today: high high school dropout rates, higher crime rates & incarceration rates for young males, higher unemployment rates of those males, etc.
The 1996 Welfare Reform Act did nothing to slow down that increase in the out-of-wedlock birthrate. It cannot be "fixed" at the federal level - which is what I'm afraid Speaker Paul Ryan thinks we can do - somehow. That's a fool's errand. Just block grant them to the states, and reduce the amount steadily every year until they are entirely the states responsibility to fund or end. We spend $700 billion/year on them today - just the federal part. The voters would approve it by 2 to 1 margins - if put to a vote with a decent plan. Libertarian prez candidate Gary Johnson discussed on PBS how as governor of N. Mex. he streamlined and improved various welfare reforms he received waivers to do from the feds. Claims he saved 20% easily on most of them within a year.
Trump has said nothing that he's considered such a plan. The Hard Left Democrats, the Professional Left, would fight it tooth-and-nail. But Trump could sell it to the public if someone convinced him it was the right thing to do, I suspect.
I do worry he'll gravitate to doing lots of "infrastructure" building, since that was his private sector business. In a limited-government, decentralized system, that's mostly a state, local, and private sector responsibility. Some judicious funding from the feds is okay, of course.
Of course, we should have a much better corporate income tax system. The current system is insane. It only brings in 12% of federal revenues, but has that goofy top marginal rate of 35%. Make it more like the Irish one! (Trump will straighten this out, presumably.)
I would like to see an immigration system more like Canada's than our de facto near open borders one we have today, thanks to both political parties wanting lots of grade-school-educated Latinos from south of our Mexican border for different reasons.
I get tired of the supply-siders like Lawrence Kudlow who propose the no-pain just tax-cuts-will-solve-everything ideas. My contrarian idea: lay off millions of government workers - slash their bureaucracies' budgets - and you'll see REAL economic growth 2 or 3 years later! They & all of their bad impacts on the economy are the real drag. They need to find more productive work in the private sector! I read that 7 of the 10 highest-income counties are around Washington DC. Thanks to all of those bureaucrats, lobbyists, Beltway Bandit companies. They need to hear Trump say, "You're fired!"
I await what Trump's transition plans emerge over the next 3 months - as does everyone else, no doubt.
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